Surrey City Centre Library Grand Opening
Help officially open the stunning new Bing Thom-designed Surrey City Centre Library at an all-day fest featuring live choirs, lion dancers, artwork unveilings by Gordon Smith and Liz Magor, kids performers, book signings, hip-hop and bhangra dancers, speeches and much more (Saturday, surreylibraries.ca). Want great architecture with decidedly smaller measurements? Join the Vancouver Special House Tour, where you can see five of the homes from the ’60s and ’70s, amazingly transformed (Saturday, vancouverheritagefoundation.org).
Catch the Vancouver opening of Breakaway – a Canadian-made film about a young Toronto Sikh who dreams of becoming a hockey star. The flick, which features Indian celeb Anupam Kher, Rob Lowe and Russell Peters, gets an afternoon promo party at the Bell Centre in Surrey with an appearance by Mr. Peters and live music by JoSH, Punjabi by Nature and Jassi Sidhu, then a red carpet premiere at the Scotiabank Theatre in Vancouver ( bellperformingartscentre.com, cineplex.com).
More sticks on the ice? Cheer on the Victoria Royals as the Western Hockey League returns to the province’s capital for the first time in 17 years. Their first opponents: the formidable Vancouver Giants (Saturday, victoriaroyals.com). For icy excitement on this side of the Strait, welcome back the Canucks as they take on the Anaheim Ducks Saturday and the San Jose Sharks Sunday, just eight months before they take the Cup ( ticketmaster.ca).
Get your dramatic fill at True Love Lies – Brad Fraser’s revisiting of two characters from his hit play Unidentified Human Remains and the True Nature of Love – or at Wicked Shorts, a collection of bite-sized pieces about love, life and dating that was a hit at the Fringe (at the Cultch, thecultch.com). Speaking of the Fringe, see the cream of this year’s crop at Pick of the Fringe, featuring fan choices as well as favourites from fests past ( vancouverfringe.com). And don’t miss Circle Mirror Transformation, a play about a small town drama group by fast-rising playwright Annie Baker – directed by Vancouver veteran Nicola Cavendish (until Oct. 22, artsclub.com).
VanDusen Botanical Garden
Celebrate the arrival of autumn at VanDusen Botanical Garden, where you can pick up compost and spring bulbs Saturday, check out the Alpine Garden Club of B.C.’s Fall Plant Sale, then welcome the change of the season at a First Nations-led Medicine Wheel Ceremony that’s followed by a tasty potluck Sunday ( vandusen.org). Want to keep that green thumb busy? Head for the new Treasured Bulb Sale at the UBC Botanical Garden, which features bulbs for beginners and collectors alike, as well as lessons on how to plant for success (Saturday, botanicalgarden.ubc.ca).
See some of the biggest names in indie music from Canada and beyond at the Olio Festival, this year featuring the Cave Singers, Braids, J Mascis, Malajube, Suuns, Besnard Lakes, the Pack A.D. and many more – as well as art, film, skateboarding, and a roast of Mayor Gregor Robertson ( oliofestival.com). If you’re Victoria-bound, catch many of the same acts, as well as De La Soul, Blackalicous, Cold War Kids, Giant Sand, Gomez and dozens more at the Rifflandia Festival ( rifflandia.com).
Still haven’t quite filled your musical tank? Catch Broken Social Scene with Ra Ra Riot at Malkin Bowl Saturday, and indie folk darling Bon Iver at the Orpheum Sunday ( ticketmaster.ca), or see Veda Hille paying homage to the False Creek Flats with architect and urban thinker Annabel Vaughan – part of the festivities for Vancouver’s 125th ( front.bc.ca). Speaking of big birthdays, wish a happy 20th to Pearl Jam, the politically-fueled grunge-era rockers who are celebrating with a double album, a documentary, and a stadium tour (at the Pacific Coliseum Sunday, ticketmaster.ca).
Vancouver Art Gallery Openings
Help the Vancouver Art Gallery mark more than 80 years in the biz at Autobiography of Our Collection, a selection of works from the gallery’s 10,000-strong collection, including pieces by the Group of Seven, Andy Warhol, Emily Carr, Brian Jungen and many more – along with stories about how they got there (until Feb. 12). And make sure to check out The Distance Between You and Me, an exhibit by three artists from Vancouver, Los Angeles and Guadalajara (until Jan. 22, vanartgallery.bc.ca).
Join Canada’s premiere ballet company and mark 60 years of fine dance with works by top choreographers including William Forsythe, Jerome Robbins, James Kudelka and Crystal Pite that explore artistic ground from insects to Johnny Cash (Saturday, balletbc.com). Or see that size really doesn’t matter at Dances For a Small Stage – happening for the first time in Burnaby ( shadboltcentre.com).
Snowbird RV Show and Sale
Check out the latest and greatest RVs, learn about everything from motor home safety to solar power, and hear from people who have made the highways and byways their homes at the Snowbird RV Show and Sale (at Tradex in Abbotsford, rvshowsbc.com).
Stories Along The Trail
Pack up the little ones and wander the lovely forested trails of Pacific Spirit Park, where you can hear stories from the frogs, birds, water and wind at Stories Along the Trail (Sunday, pacificspiritparksociety.org). For more fun au naturel, help plant 1,000 trees and shrubs, then enjoy free games and a BBQ lunch at the National Tree Day Planting Party at Sullivan Park in Surrey (Saturday, surrey.ca).
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