Mavis Staples and Allen Toussaint
Soothe your soul with the unforgettable music of Grammy-winning gospel singer Mavis Staples, as well as musician, composer, producer and New Orleans R&B legend Allen Toussaint – who has worked with stars from Sir Paul McCartney to Elvis Costello (Sunday, chancentre.com).
Neon Vancouver/Ugly Vancouver
Explore Vancouver's neon history at Neon Vancouver/Ugly Vancouver, a new exhibit at the Museum of Vancouver where you can check out classic signs from Regent Tailors, Owl Drug, the Drake Hotel and more – and learn about the anti-neon crusade that nearly abolished the glowing beacons from our urban landscape (until August 12, museumofvancouver.ca).
Whistler Readers and Writers Festival
Mountain-loving bookworms can get the best of both worlds at the 10th annual Whistler Readers and Writers Festival, where you can catch readings by top scribes including Miriam Toews, Scottish poet John Glenday, spoken word artist Barbara Adler and more. Feel like putting pen to paper? Don't miss the fest's many panels and workshops, then refuel your body and mind at the Lit Grit Tribute Breakfast (through Sunday, theviciouscircle.ca).
Vancouver Home and Design Show
Learn how to dress up your digs at the Vancouver Home and Design Show, where you can check out the latest design trends, stroll through a renovation gallery, shop for sleek new furnishings, pick up tips on cooking like a pro and meet design stars from Extreme Makeover: Home Edition and Disaster DIY. Just make sure to catch Bryan Baeumler's "The Dos and Don'ts of Home Renovation" before you pick up that sledgehammer (vancouverhomeshow.com).
Fright Nights at Playland
Get a jump on Halloween – literally – at Fright Nights at Playland, where you can brave the Car-n-Evil Haunted House of Clowns, cower your way through a Haunted Mansion and rouse tortured souls in Darkness, then watch the Monsters of Schlock attempt a gruesome new Guinness World Record (until Oct. 31, pne.ca). Hair still not standing on end? Visit Vancouver's most ghostly locales on The Vancouver Trolley Company's Haunted Halloween Tour (until Oct. 31, vancouvertrolley.com), or wander a 10,000 square-foot House of Horrors riddled with zombies, ghosts and eerie scenes at Potter's Nursery in Surrey (until Oct. 31, pottershouseofhorrors.com).
If you didn't make it to this year's Vancouver International Film Festival, fear not: You can still catch the best of the fest as chosen by this year's audiences at VIFF Repeats, including the Harry Belafonte film Sing Your Song, the Donald Trump doc You've Been Trumped and Jill Sharpe's beautiful homage to Frida Kahlo, Georgia O'Keefe, and Emily Carr called Bone Wind Fire (until Oct. 18, viff.org). Can't keep it down? Give into the urge at Victoria Film Festival's quote-along screening of Pulp Fiction (Saturday, victoriafilmfestival.com).
Get in touch with your mycological side and learn what's growing under Stanley Park's forest floor at Mushrooms Galore: The Fungus Among Us, a guided walk by the Stanley Park Ecology Society (Sunday, stanleyparkecology.ca), or learn which fungi heal and which hurt at Demystifying Mushrooms (at Campbell Valley Regional Park in South Langley, metrovancouver.org). Want a full-on fungus-filled getaway? Enjoy guided walks, cooking demos and a local produce market at the Sunshine Coast Mushroom Festival at Pender Harbour (scshroom.org).
Love Lies Bleeding
Step into a dazzling world filled with drama, passion, defeat, love, and more than 150 costume changes – some of which happen right on stage – at Alberta Ballet's Love Lies Bleeding, choreographer Jean Grand-Maître's colourful homage to the music and raucous style of pop icon Elton John (Saturday, ticketmaster.ca); or catch great music and inspiring dance at 10x10x10, which has favourite Vancouver choreographers Noam Gagnon, Joe Laughlin, Su-Feh Lee and others pairing up with some of the city's most inventive composers, including John Korsrud, Leslie Uyeda and François Houle (Saturday, thedancecentre.ca).
See beloved Canadian singer, songwriter, producer and visual artist Chad VanGaalen, who is on tour with his pared-down, rock-minded album Diaper Island – his first since becoming a dad (at the Rio Saturday, ticketweb.ca). More quirky tunes? Don't miss experimental electronic band Gang Gang Dance at the Biltmore Saturday (ticketweb).
Diva on the Run
Lace up for a great cause at Diva on the Run, a 10K run and half marathon to benefit the nearly 4.5 million Canadians living with arthritis (Sunday, reflexionclinics.com). Or take a beautiful stroll in the fall evening air at Light the Night, a walk for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (starts at Lumberman's Arch Saturday, also in Victoria Oct. 22, lightthenight.org).