Where to celebrate the life and music of Gord Downie in Vancouver

Gord Downie. David Bastedo photo.

Even non-Canadians probably noticed a pall over the country these past couple of days.

On Oct. 17, we lost one of our greatest poets and chroniclers. Gord Downie, frontman for Kingston band the Tragically Hip, was 53 when he passed away from brain cancer.

Fans of the singer and the group he helped form over three decades ago were, and still are, bereft. There have been gatherings and impromptu musical tributes to Downie, in his hometown of Kingston and across the nation. Fans are still coming to terms with their grief. No doubt we can expect many tributes to Downie and his music in the weeks and months to come.

In the meantime, there are a couple of events in Vancouver that will allow people to grieve together, to share stories, memories and music. One is a screening of the new documentary about the Tragically’s Hip’s final tour; another is a chance to sing one of the band’s greatest songs with others.

CTV is screening Long Time Running, the new doc about last year’s final Tragically Hip tour, this evening (Oct. 20). But those looking for a more communal experience, not to mention the chance to see it on a big screen, can do so at the Rio Theatre (1660 E. Broadway) Oct. 21 at 4:15 p.m. The theatre is urging interested parties to buy advance tickets online, as they are expecting the show to sell out.

Gord Downie receiving the Order of Canada.

The Impromptu Rock Choir is gathering twice next week to pay tribute. On Tues., Oct 24, the choir—open to everyone—gathers at The Wise Hall & Lounge in East Vancouver to sing the Tragically Hip song “Ahead By a Century”. On Wed. Oct 25, the choir moves to St. James Community Square in Kitsilano. Organizers suggest arriving at “7.15-ish” (p.m.), with singing to begin at 7:30. “No singing experience is needed, and no need to read music either!” we are assured.

Got a Gord Downie/Tragically Hip open-to-the-public event in Vancouver to share? Please let us know in comments.

Inside Vancouver Blog

Where to celebrate the life and music of Gord Downie in Vancouver

It’s Entertainment Season – Enter to Win a Stay in Vancouver

Photo credit: Rishad Daroowala

The season of rainfall, cozy layers and colourful gumboots has arrived in Vancouver and, when the natural light dims, Vancouver takes advantage of long nights by turning up the lights, volume, and entertainment indoors and out! Shake off the precipitation, leave your umbrella at the door, and step into sparkling theatre, passionate dance, roaring sport, and concerts that rattle the floorboards.

The Vancouver Opera’s Turandot & The Wedgwood Hotel

We are ringing in Vancouver’s Entertainment Season by giving away tickets to see some of the most opulent performance in the city, along with a luxurious stay right downtown. If you thought the Vancouver Opera‘s Turandot was a ride of the senses, they have three more productions coming up this spring, and we’d like to send you to one! Then shed your opera glasses and leave your shoes at the door of your Wedgwood Hotel room. Stroll through a front lobby fit for a operatic masterpiece into your room of classic elegance.

Enter on the Entertainment Season Sweepstakes page, and you could win!


Inside Vancouver Blog

It’s Entertainment Season – Enter to Win a Stay in Vancouver

Thrill the World Vancouver 2017: Annual Zombie Dance Flashmob (Yes, you read that correctly)

thrill the world vancouver 2017

Image from Vancouver Film School | Flickr.com

It’s close to midnight and something evil’s lurking from the dark… It’s one of the world’s most recognizable dance numbers and one of October’s standout events… Thrill the World Vancouver is coming to Olympic Village Square on October 28, 2017!

Have you ever wanted to dress up as a zombie and dance to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”? Now’s your chance! Thrill the World is an annual dance event in which participants simultaneously emulate the zombie dance seen in the music video of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller’!

The annual performance is a world-wide phenomenon and takes place on the same day in locations such as England, Italy, Japan, America, and more. It’s a great opportunity to connect with the global community while dressing up like a zombie and dancing… Best of all, anyone can join the fun!

thriller vancouver dance 2016

Image courtesy of Vancouver Film School | Flickr

Last year, over 129 zombies participated in the dance, raising over $ 2,800 + 103lbs of food for the Greater Vancouver Foodbank. This year organizers hope the dance will attract even more people zombies!

For those interested in participating in the dance, you can join organizers and other participants for Thrill Day on October 28, 2017 from 12:00pm – 4:00pm at the Creekside Community Centre Gym (main event dance at 3pm at the Olympic Village Square)!  If you want to make sure your zombie dancing feet are close to perfect, you can either attend a dance rehearsal or watch the how-to videos online.

‘Thrill Day’ starts at noon at the Creekside Community Centre Room. You can register at the event, or you can register online. If you want to get a little gory, you can also get  zombie makeup done by professionals from Blanche MacDonald (first come, first serve).

Bonus: your zombie makeup should last for the rest of the night, perfect if you’re going to a Halloween party after!

thrill the world vancouver 2017

Image courtesy of Vancouver Film School | Flickr.com

If you just want to watch the dance… the Thriller dance flashmob will be happening at the Olympic Village Square by the giant bird sculptures. The dance will officially begin at 3pm sharp.

Quick Details

Date: Saturday, October 28, 2017

Time: Dance starts at 3:00pm sharp, dancers should arrive well before 2:30pm.

Location: Olympic Village Square

Cost: By donation, $ 40 per person suggested (to participate in the dance), which includes dance rehearsals and basic zombie makeup. All proceeds go towards charity.

More info: www.ttwvancouver.ca

Inside Vancouver Blog

Thrill the World Vancouver 2017: Annual Zombie Dance Flashmob (Yes, you read that correctly)

Girleen, the Irish teenage bootlegger gives as good as she gets in Martin McDonagh’s The Lonesome West

Cave Canem’s production of The Lonesome West at Pacific Theatre opens tonight.

The production of a new Martin McDonagh play is always cause for a celebration—at least, by fans of the Irish playwright.

McDonagh, whose work has been called “scabrous,” “morbid” and “depraved” by the press, tends to be a polarizing figure. Then again, critics are loving his new movie, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. (In a five-star review, the Guardian called it a “violent carnival of small-town America.”)

The Lonesome West (1997), which opens tonight (Oct 19) and runs until Nov. 11 at Pacific Theatre (1440 12th Ave. W) is the third in McDonagh’s trilogy of plays set in the Western Ireland town of Leenane. (The other two are The Beauty Queen of Leenane and A Skull in Connemara). In The Lonesome West, two brothers express grief over their father by more or less trying to kill each other.

The play is the first production from new local theatre company Cave Canem. We talked to Vancouver actor Paige Louter about her role as Girleen, the teenage bootlegger.

Inside Vancouver: Martin McDonagh is considered by some to be a very male playwright. Would you go along with that?

Paige Louter: Yes. He’s very masculine in his themes, and most of his characters are men.

He’s interested in violence and aggression, and a lot of things that we think of as stereotypically male. But he also writes really good female characters. I get to deliver some of the best insults in the show. And I get to be vulnerable in way some of the male characters don’t.

Girleen, my character is one of his more successful female roles. In his most recent play, there’s another teenage girl and I don’t think he wrote that one as well.

IV: Is it fair to say you get to deliver some of the best insults in an insult-filled show?

PL: Yes. Yes, I would definitely say that.

IV: Have you played anyone like Girleen before?

PL: Girleen is kind of unique in terms of what I’ve done before. The range of where she starts and where she ends up, the toughness and the vulnerability—I’ve done all of those things before, but to have those compressed into one character is an exciting challenge.

IV: How did being born and raised in Hamilton, Ontario prepare you for this play? Is it at all similar to the town where The Lonesome West is set?

PL: In some ways it (Leenane) is kind of representational of the kind of terrible people you can find anywhere. Hamilton certainly has its share of gritty, kind of horrible people.

IV: Is there a big Irish population there?

PL: Not particularly. I’ve found that there are a lot of Irish people in Vancouver. I lived in Ireland for a year. Anytime I told anyone I was moving to Vancouver, everyone seemed to have a cousin or friend living there.

IV: Did anything about living in Ireland prepare you to do this?

PL: Yeah. I think understanding a lot of the cultural references. Certainly, having the sound of the accent in my head really helped. And I got to intern with the company where The Lonesome West premiered. And I know the theatre where the show first went up. That definitely fed into my process, and preparation.

IV: One review mentioned of the play mentioned “expressive, deliberately goofball fight sequences.” Is that something that is part of this production?

PL: Yes. Most of the fighting takes place between the two brothers, Valene and Coleman. It’s kind of brutal but also very funny. It’s two grown men fighting over the pettiest things. You look at John (Voth) and Kenton (Klassen, who star as the brothers) and you know they couldn’t do real damage to each other if they actually wanted too. It’s always about something totally unimportant, like who gets a bag of chips. I love the fights in this show—they’re hilarious.

IV: Do you have a fight choreographer?

PL: Josh Reynolds is our fight choreographer. He’s blocked the scenes. I’m the show’s fight captain. We run before we do them and make sure everything’s safe.

IV: Another thing I’ve seen mentioned is the set, which is the brothers’ kitchen. Have you seen it yet?

PL: The set is already loaded in. It’s great to have it there, it totally informs how we feel about the space. (It’s very rural, west of Ireland. This is what this would look like if these two grown men lived here in squalor.

The Lonesome West runs at Pacific Theatre until Nov. 11. Tickets start are $ 36.50 ($ 20 on Wednesday) and are available at pacifictheatre.org.

Inside Vancouver Blog

Girleen, the Irish teenage bootlegger gives as good as she gets in Martin McDonagh’s The Lonesome West

Five Spooky Cocktails to Scare You Silly this Halloween

Let’s get real: ghosts, vampires and witches can’t survive on blood and fear alone – after all, even the most terrifying ghoul needs a boozy pick-me-up after a haunting night on the job. This Halloween, we’ve scared up five cocktails that are just as delicious as they are disturbing, each best savoured at the bars of their origin. Inspired by spooky landscapes, horror films and exotic spooks, these drinks are sure to inject your All Hallow’s Eve with equal parts fear and fun. Happy bar haunting!

Tales of Suspense, courtesy Amy Ho

Tales of Suspense #52 I Café Medina  Truly ghoulish in appearance, this black-as-night cocktail is named for the comic book in which Marvel superhero Black Widow makes her first appearance. The drink incorporates vodka, Grand Marnier, mulled cranberry syrup and charcoal syrup with an egg white added for foamy texture – look closely and feel your heartbeat accelerate as you take in the intricate spiderweb magically spread across the foam. Equal parts sexy and scary, this festive brew makes for the perfect round of drinks to toast the Day of the Dead.

The Casey Becker

The Casey Becker I Crowbar  The ‘90s generation carry fond memories of Scream, a cult classic that’s more campy than creepy yet still buckets of (gory) fun. Ghostface, with his nightmare-inducing white mask, serves as inspiration for the Casey Becker, Crowbar’s nod to the killer’s first victim. The bright pink brew combines fall and Halloween flavours like cranberry-infused gin, maple syrup and pumpkin spice, and is garnished with a single fresh cranberry reminiscent of a pearl of blood. What a scream!

Candy Cap Magic

Candy Cap Magic I Botanist  The magic in this enchanting cocktail starts at presentation: the glass is perched inside an elegant terrarium on a bed of preserved moss. Swing open the gold-rimmed gate, and wisps of dry ice drift like moody fog. The crimson-hued drink is bold and complex, combining wild mushroom-infused Canadian rye, vermouth and spiced maple. You’ll catch subtle notes of cinnamon, sarsaparilla and anise boosting the whisky’s strong flavour, and the aromatized fog lends an added sensory thrill as it releases the earthy scent of forest floor.

Oni No Chi

Oni No Chi I Minami  “Demon’s Blood” in Japanese, Oni No Chi perfectly encapsulates the dark side of Halloween. This exotic brew is appropriately blood-red in colour, and spicy on the palate thanks to pepper-infused tequila and a garnish of cloves balanced by Ginger of the Indies liqueur and Crème de Cassis. Take a sip and get ready for an exciting night – you have Demon’s Blood running through your veins, after all.

Gold Dust Woman

Gold Dust Woman I The Union  This enchanting concoction features turmeric-infused vodka, black walnut bitters, cherry cedar bitters, gomme and activated charcoal coalescing into an elegant sipper with notes of black licorice and spice. The coupe is rimmed with edible gold dust, adding a flash of femininity to the inky blackness of the liquid within, a subtle nod to the drink’s inspiration – Stevie Nicks’ popular tune “Gold Dust Woman”. Shimmy over to The Union between October 27th and 31st to taste for yourself. Happy Halloween!

Inside Vancouver Blog

Five Spooky Cocktails to Scare You Silly this Halloween

VanDusen Glow in the Garden is a Fun, Kid-Friendly Halloween Activity

glow in the garden vandusen 2017

Image courtesy of VanDusen Botanical Garden | Facebook.com

If Halloween is a little too scary for your tastes, VanDusen Botanical Garden in Vancouver will be the place to celebrate the season without the usual chainsaws, fake blood, and costumed clowns… From October 24 – October 31, 2017 from 5:00pm to 9:00pm daily VanDusen Botanical Garden will be hosting “Glow in the Garden”, a whimsical garden adventure inspired by Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

You’re invited to take a trip through the looking glass on what will surely be an unforgettable Halloween walk in the woods at VanDusen Botanical Garden.

Perfect for all ages, Glow in the Garden will bring VanDusen Botanical Garden to life with spellbinding lights, music, and glowing pumpkin characters created by award-winning carvers.

vandusen botanical garden

Image courtesy of VanDusen Botanical Garden

Spend as much time as you want exploring the gardens at night, discovering curious twists and magical moments from the classic tale of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. After the walk, kids can also participate in fun Halloween crafts inside.

There will be pumpkins and hot apple cider available at the Taves Family Farms pop-up shop in the plaza.

You are also encouraged to come to the event in costume, as VanDusen Botanical Gardens will be hosting a photo contest. Tag a photo or video of yourself at the event with the hashtag #VanDusenGlow and you could win a 1 year family membership to the gardens, or Afternoon Tea for Two at Truffles Café.

Tickets to the event are available online and cost $ 10 for adults, and $ 6.20 for children.

Quick Details:

Dates: Tuesday, October 24, 2017 – Tuesday, October 31, 2017
Time: 5:00pm – 9:00pm nightly
Location: 5251 Oak Street, Vancouver, BC V6M 4H1
Website: http://ift.tt/2yyPuIR

Inside Vancouver Blog

VanDusen Glow in the Garden is a Fun, Kid-Friendly Halloween Activity

Unearth Stanley Park’s Dark Secrets on Forbidden Vancouver’s New Adventure

Courtesy Forbidden Vancouver/Kyle Pearce

We all know Stanley Park as a lush oasis offering a leafy respite from the urban landscape surrounding it – a thriving rainforest whose sprawling 400 hectares contains scenic trails, sandy beaches, historic landmarks and the world-renowned Vancouver Aquarium. But underneath the beauty and splendor of this national historic site lies a complex, exciting past filled with famous crimes, secret cemeteries and truly bizarre public art – and local walking tour company Forbidden Vancouver is sharing these secrets with the public through a new experience that brings to light the park’s lesser-known stories and attributes.

Secrets of Stanley Park is a 2.5-hour walking tour that covers the park’s scenic stretch of seawall, roams winding trails and wanders amid towering old-growth trees. Along the way, guides relays harrowing stories about crime, persecution, military installations, poetry, scandals – and even murder. Aligning with Forbidden Vancouver’s existing tours, which are fun and interactive while also jam-packed with fascinating historical, architectural and cultural information, Secrets of Stanley Park is designed for those of us adventurers who wish to forego a simple stroll in the park and instead take a deeper dive into the forest.

Tour participants learn about the Secrets of Stanley Park.

Autumn is the perfect time to tag along on the tour – the park is set ablaze with fiery riots of orange, red and yellow leaves, making for photo-worthy snaps at every turn. For the Instagram stars out there, rest assured you’ll pass plenty of no-filter-necessary photo stops, including a perfect view of the city skyline and the famous totem pole “forest”. History aficionados will appreciate the captivating storytelling that brings alive facts like the real reason the park was opened, how Lion’s Gate Bridge was built on beer and what really went down on Deadman’s Island. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or have logged hours exploring the park’s serene trails, ponds, gardens and attractions, you’re guaranteed to learn something new – and you’ll come away with a brand-new perspective and fresh respect for Vancouver’s biggest and arguably most beautiful attraction.

Secrets of Stanley Park runs on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 2pm to 4.30pm (until the end of November) and tickets cost $ 25. Since adult subject matter is discussed (murder! scandal! corruption!), the minimum recommended age is 14. The start and end point is just outside the Aquarium, so we recommend allotting extra time – after all, nothing beats a fall afternoon in Stanley Park except a fall afternoon in Stanley Park followed by cute-as-a-button sea otters and penguins. For more information or to book tickets, click here.

Inside Vancouver Blog

Unearth Stanley Park’s Dark Secrets on Forbidden Vancouver’s New Adventure