Find yourself in the heart of the action – literally – when you enter through the wings and sit right in the set as the drama takes place around you at All The Way Home, an immersive re-imagining of Tad Mosel’s Pulitzer-winning play about a family tragedy, by the ever-inventive Electric Company (Saturday, electriccompanytheatre.com). Want a little suburban drama? Catch the Arts Club and Axis Theatre’s fun and mask-heavy retelling of Don Quixote (in Maple Ridge, Surrey, Mission, Coquitlam and West Van until Feb. 7, artsclub.com).
Treat your visual cortex to myriad new art shows, including Ian Wallace’s avant-garde film-involving Masculin/Féminin at Catriona Jeffries (until Feb. 18, catrionajeffries.com); urban images by top artists including Chris Gergley, Bill Jeffries, Roy Kiyooka, Owen Kidd, Jeff Wall and more at Beyond Vague Terrain: The City and the Serial Image (at the Surrey Art Gallery until March 18, surrey.ca/arts); or a group show featuring Attila Richard Lukacs, Angela Grossmann and more at the Winsor Art Gallery (until Jan. 29, winsorgallery.com).
Animation Express 2
For more eye candy, don’t miss Animation Express 2, a collection of the National Film Board’s top animated shorts from the past two years – including stunning works by Vancouver animation legend Marv Newland, famed local filmmaker Anne Marie Fleming, Paul Driessen and many more (at Vancity Theatre until Jan. 17, viff.org).
The TCP Show
Take in a comedic blend of religious iconography and ’70s Steve Martin-style stand up by favourite Vancouver choreographer Tara Cheyenne Friedenberg, and check out The Contingency Plan’s exploration of solitude – both inside and out – at The TCP Show (at the Firehall Saturday, firehallarts.ca). For dance of an entirely different kind, head for the WWE Smackdown, featuring Randy Orton, Big Show, “The World’s Strongest Man” Mark Henry and more (at the PNE Agrodome Saturday, ticketmaster.ca).
BC Sports Hall of Fame
Check out the recently revamped BC Sports Hall of Fame, where you can follow the incredible journeys of Terry Fox and Rick Hansen, relive the Canucks’ Stanley Cup run and the BC Lions’ Grey Cup triumph, see artifacts from Nancy Greene’s Olympic-winning gear to the Canucks’ very first hockey stick and puck, and test your own sporting mettle at the Participation Gallery, which comes with a climbing wall, a multi-sport simulator and more. Pining for old times? You can even pick up a piece of the old inflatable roof (at BC Place, bcsportshalloffame.com).
Go walking in a winter wonderland and learn about local ecology, winter wildlife, and the link between snow and our water supply – then head inside for hot chocolate and talk about protecting watersheds on a new Winter Watershed Snowshoe Tour at Mt. Seymour (Saturday, metrovancouver.org). For more snowy tromps, try a Cypress Mountain snowshoe tour, some of which come with chocolate and cheese fondue in a rustic cabin (cypressmountain.com), or take a two-hour tour of Whistler’s Lost Lake Trails, then savour a three-course fondue dinner at Fairmont Chateau Whistler’s Chalet (tagwhistler.com).
Snowed in Comedy Tour
Then when you come in off the slopes, catch the Snowed In Comedy Tour, featuring Flight of the Conchords star and Marijuana-Logues creator Arj Barker, Fringe favourite Craig Campbell, Just For Laughs winner Dan Quinn and more (on the Granville Island Stage Saturday, followed by dates in snowy spots across B.C., snowedincomedytour.com). For more big laughs, don’t miss favourite local actor and faux A&W employee Ryan Beil as he remounts Self Quest, a hilariously confusing journey of self-discovery he penned when he was 16 (Saturday, thecultch.com).
Winter Okanagan Wine Festival
The Thompson Okanagan orchards may be buried under snow and ice, but you can still taste the fruits of summer at the Winter Okanagan Wine Festival, where you can sample food and wine pairings by top eateries, wake up with a bubbly brunch, warm up with gourmet fondue, and take an icewine course that comes with fabulous homework (at Sun Peaks until Jan. 22, sunpeaksresort.com).
Vancouver Hot Chocolate Festival
For more mid-winter delights, don’t miss the Vancouver Hot Chocolate Festival, where you’ll find 50 different gourmet flavours – including Vanilla Chestnut, Blueberry with Chocolate-Covered Hazelnuts, Dark Chocolate Ganache, and even Vegan Dark Chocolate with Black Sesame Seeds – at 15 participating spots. All funds raised benefit the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre (until Feb. 14, cityfood.com/events/hotchocolate).