Victoria Film Festival
Meet the man behind some of the most memorable films of all time, including Animal House, Trading Places, An American Werewolf in London, Michael Jackson’s Thriller video and more as Jon Landis gives a talk then joins a Quote-Along screening of his classic comedy The Blues Brothers at the Victoria Film Festival – which also comes with dozens of features, docs, shorts, schmoozes and an appearance by The Exorcist head turner Linda Blair (until Feb. 12, victoriafilmfestival.com).
Bobsleigh and Skeleton World Cup
Watch elite athletes from around the world reach breakneck speeds at the FIBT Viessmann Bobsleigh and Skeleton World Cup at the Whistler Sliding Centre – then bid adieu to your own Olympic hopes with hot chili, pulled pork, maple sugar treats and local brew in the festival area (Saturday, whistlerslidingcentre.com). Prefer life in the slow lane? Hit the Whistler Telemark Festival (Saturday, whistler.ca).
Be charmed by English-born, ex-Parisian Charlie Winston, the sandy-voiced, heart-on-sleeve singer-songwriter who grew up in a hotel run by his musician parents, rose to fame with the help of Peter Gabriel, and has since won hearts around the globe – but perhaps nowhere more than in France and Quebec (at the Commodore Saturday, ticketmaster.ca).
Contemporary Art Gallery
Catch three new shows at the CAG, including the first North American exhibition by metaphysics-minded Chinese artist Guo Fengyi, a feature-length animation by Frances Stark, and a site-specific work by Scott Massey that explores time and space (until April 15, contemporaryartgallery.ca). Then head for Presentation House Gallery, whose latest exhibit, C. 1983, looks at how Vancouver artists including Stan Douglas, Ken Lum, Ian Wallace and more approached photography in the ’80s (until March 11, presentationhousegallery.org).
Earlybird RV Show and Sale
Feeling a road trip coming on? Steer yourself towards the Earlybird RV Show and Sale, where you can check out the latest in motor homes, learn about everything from safe driving strategies to solar power systems, pick up on-the-road BBQ tips, and meet fellow free spirits who have traded their houses for the highway (at Tradex through Sunday, rvshowsbc.com).
Super Bowl Parties
Grab your closest buddies and watch the New York Giants take on the New England Patriots on some of the biggest screens in town – dude, we’re talking 40 feet or more – at Bro Jake’s Ultimate Football Party at Red Robinson Show Theatre, Jeff O’Neil’s Big Ass Football Party at the River Rock, and Canada’s Official Super Bowl XLVI Party at the Commodore Ballroom, which comes with NFL players, Seattle Seahawks cheerleaders and music by the Sheepdogs (Sunday, ticketmaster.ca).
While you’ve got that testosterone humming, experience wheeled vehicles, speed, noise and destruction – all at the same time – at the Maple Leaf Monster Jam Tour, featuring trucks with names like Grave Digger, Northern Nightmare and El Toro Loco. Make sure to show up early for the Party in the Pits, where you can get an up-close look at the trucks, meet the drivers, and mug for photos (Saturday, ticketmaster.ca).
Shen Yun Performing Arts
Travel from the Himalayas to tropical lakes, and from 3,000 B.C. to modern times with Shen Yun Performing Arts, an American company that performs traditional Chinese dance and music in spectacular fashion, and blends eastern instrumentation with western strings, percussion, woodwinds and brass (at the Queen E through Sunday, shenyunperformingarts.org).
Tine Thing Helseth
Catch fast-rising young Norwegian trumpeter Tine Thing Helseth – who, at 24, has already played Carnegie Hall in New York and the Royal Albert Hall in London – as she makes her Vancouver debut (at the Playhouse Sunday, ticketmaster.ca). For more music to your ears, catch Vancouver men’s choir Chor Leoni as they perform Luigi Cherubini’s rarely-heard Requiem in D Minor (at St. Andrew’s-Wesley United Saturday, chorleoni.org), or the renowned Lafayette String Quartet as they celebrate their 25th anniversary in Victoria (Phillip T Young Recital Hall, lafayettestringquartet.ca).
For performing arts of an entirely different sort, see one of history’s most powerful men get a major estrogen boost in Studio 58’s production of Julius Caesar, in which Brutus, Cassius, Octavius and Caesar are all played by women (at Studio 58 until Feb. 26, studio58.ca).
New Zealand Waitangi Day
Celebrate one of New Zealand’s biggest national holidays and help raise funds for the Rena oil spill cleanup at Waitangi Day Vancouver 2012, featuring kiwi music and DJs, favourite New Zealand foods, prize giveaways and more (at the Library Square Public House Saturday, ticketstonight.ca).
Stanley Park Ecology Tours
Find out how Stanley Park’s mix of trees, shrubs, herbs and animals has shifted since glaciation, through colonization, and into modern times at Recipe for a Forest, a woodsy guided tour by naturalist Murray Lashmar (Sunday, stanleyparkecology.ca). Or if you’ve got little nature lovers in tow, try Winter Birds, a guided tour about how our feathered friends survive winter cold and winds. Bring binoculars if you can; meant for kids 5-14 with parents (Saturday, stanleyparkecology.ca).