Hot Ticket: Voices in the Park
Catch one of Stanley Park's biggest-ever concerts as music megastars including Sarah McLachlan, Bryan Adams, Stevie Nicks and Jann Arden take to the seaside stage to help raise funds for music education at Voices in the Park.
The concert is aiming to raise hundreds of thousands for the Sarah McLachlan School of Music, which provides free after-school music education to children facing tough social and economic circumstances.
"It's the thing that saved me when I was growing up," Ms. McLachlan says. "It was the one thing I knew I was good at, it gave me a sense of self worth and direction, and it really made me who I am today. And it's my hope that every child has that same opportunity."
Also on the bill for the Brockton Fields show are favourite locals including Hedley, Hey Ocean!, the Boom Booms and the Vancouver Men's Chorus, as well as Bass is Base's Chin Injeti and the Luke Doucet-Melissa McClelland duo Whitehorse.
But perhaps the most surprising guest is former U.S. president and saxophonist Bill Clinton, who offered to help out after Ms. McLachlan told him about the concert and the cause at a charity dinner – and shares the famed Canadian musician's belief in the importance of music and art education.
"If the world continues to be all about greed and me-me-me, then we're hooped," Ms. McLachlan says. "But if we can raise our children to be aware of what we can do to make the world a better place – and I really believe music has a hand in that – then I think there is hope for us all."
Voices in the Park happens in Stanley Park Saturday (voicesinthepark.com).
Out There: Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup
Head for your local ocean shoreline, lake, pond, river or stream, join a crew and help pick up the mess that we bipeds have left behind at the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup, which started with a small crew of Vancouver Aquarium volunteers nearly 20 years ago and has ballooned to more than 1,500 cleanups across the country.
The event aims to remove the dangerous detritus that humans leave behind before it contaminates water supplies and becomes a hazard for birds, fish and other marine life.
"It can entangle them, or they can ingest it and either choke and die, or falsely think they're full and not get the nutrients that they need," says program manager Jill Dwyer.
"Also depending on what the item is, it can leak toxic chemicals into the water."
Cigarette butts, drink containers, food wrappers, plastic bags and fishing line are the most common finds, but last year in B.C., the more head-scratching items included false teeth, an urn, a lawn mower and a fully decorated Christmas tree.
"And on different shorelines across the country, we have found enough things to have a whole wedding – so a wedding dress, an engagement ring, a bag of invitations, a cake topper," Ms. Dwyer says. "You just never know what you're going to find."
The kickoff in B.C. is Saturday at Iona Beach, where participants can find everything they need for the cleanup, as well as free t-shirts, coffee, burgers and more; hundreds of other cleanups are happening across the province.
Terry Fox Run
Follow in the footsteps of a Canadian hero and join thousands of runners across Canada and around the globe for the 32nd annual Terry Fox Run, happening in B.C. communities from Ucluelet to Fernie and from Vancouver to Fort Nelson. No entry fee and no minimum donation required (Sunday, terryfox.org).
Big on music, short on time? See some of the biggest names in indie rock, pop, roots and electronic music in a single weekend at Victoria's hipster-heavy Rifflandia festival, this year featuring Cake, Mother Mother, Dan Mangan, the Antlers, Reggie Watts, Sloan and dozens more (through Sunday, rifflandia.com). Want indie sounds on this side of the strait? Don't miss Hot Chip at the Commodore and Rich Aucoin at the Biltmore Saturday (ticketmaster.ca).
New Forms Festival
Catch interdisciplinary innovators long before they hit the mainstream – among them Actress, Dan Bell, Veronica Vasicka, KODE9, Von Bingen and many more – at the New Forms Festival, whose past performers have included Girl Talk and Junior Boys. Centre for Digital Media, Sept. 13-16 (newformsfestival.com). For innovation in animation, don't miss the tail end of the SPARK Animation Festival (at Vancity Theatre, viff.org).
Autumn Shift Festival
Welcome the shift in season – and in lifestyle – at the sustainability minded Autumn Shift Festival, a Main Street party that comes with tasty eats, kids activities and information about everything from urban gardening to green transportation (Saturday, mountpleasantbia.com). Then freshen up your fall wardrobe at Spend on Trend, a showcase of local designers (at Heritage Hall through Sunday, spendontrend.com).
Treasured Bulb Sale
As the daylight dwindles, think ahead to spring blooms at UBC Botanical Garden's Treasured Bulb Sale, where you can pick up everything from old standbys to rare specialties, as well as a wide selection of garlic. Free admission to those who arrive in "buried treasure" costumes; all funds go back to the garden (Saturday, botanicalgarden.ubc.ca).
Dance Centre Open House
Put on your dancing shoes and head for the Dance Centre's Open House, featuring free classes from ballet to swing and from butoh to belly dance, as well as workshops, open rehearsals and performances by Amber Funk Barton, Barbara Bourget, Flamenco Rosario, Dana Gingras and more (at the Dance Centre Saturday, thedancecentre.ca). More free family fun? Don't miss Place des Arts' Family Open House Saturday (placedesarts.ca).
Shaughnessy: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
See how the other half lives, and learn about the threats to some of Vancouver's most historic homes, on Heritage Vancouver's Shaughnessy: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly walking tour (Saturday, heritagevancouver.org). Or hear colourful tales of Vancouver's dearly departed – as well as the city's early bicycle industry – on a scenic Mountain View Cemetery Bike Tour, led by local history buff John Atkin (Saturday, vancouver.ca).
Contemporary Art Gallery
Experience an 18-piece sculpture by Nairy Baghramian, blood-sucking mosquitoes by inventive Shanghai artist Xu Zhen and a series of children's films by Geoffrey Farmer, Gareth Moore, Ulla Von Brandenburg and others as the CAG kicks off its fall season (through Nov. 11, contemporaryartgallery.ca). More fine art? Explore the ever-shifting notion of identity in the age of profile pics and photo sharing in Scenes of Selves, Occasions for Ruses at the Surrey Art Gallery (opening Saturday, surrey.ca/arts), then enjoy tack-sharp first nations humour at Carrying on "Irregardless": Humour in Contemporary Northwest Coast Art (at the Bill Reid Gallery, billreidgallery.ca).
Fraser Valley Food Show
Start packing on that winter layer at the Fraser Valley Food Show, a foodie nirvana that comes with demos by celebrity chefs, cooking competitions, cheese and wine seminars, a sausage making competition and an appearance by gardener and Real Housewife of Vancouver Reiko MacKenzie (at Tradex through Sunday, fraservalleyfoodshow.com). Feeling like a gastonome getaway? Hit Feast of Fields at Alderlea Farm and Café in Duncan (Sunday, feastoffields.com), or the O! Osoyoos Celebrates, a festival of food and wine that includes Lobster on the Beach and a Sparkling Sabre Brunch (osoyooscelebrates.ca).