BEST OF VAN­COU­VER

AN AWE­SOMELY IN-DEPTH GUIDE TO OUR CITY’S FAVOURITE THINGS

The Georgia Straight - - Front Page - | Il­lus­tra­tion by Ja­son Harper

Some­times, it seems there just isn’t enough time in the day for many of us. With school, work, com­mut­ing, and fam­ily du­ties—not to men­tion the high cost of hous­ing and re­lent­less tax­a­tion—it can feel like the fun is be­ing sucked out of our lives in Van­cou­ver. We’re like ham­sters on a wheel, run­ning ever faster just to stay in the same place.

This year, there are elec­tions tak­ing place in mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties across the re­gion, but it’s hard to keep up with who’s run­ning when there are so many can­di­dates. Some of us might like to re­lax and watch more Canucks games this sea­son, but that’s not pos­si­ble if you’re work­ing two jobs to make ends meet. Oth­ers, no doubt, want to see more screen­ings at the Van­cou­ver In­ter­na­tional Film Fes­ti­val, which re­mains one of the mar­quee events on the city’s cal­en­dar. It’s hard to be­lieve that VIFF is ap­proach­ing mid­dle age, but if you think of it in an­other way, this smor­gas­bord of cin­ema is just reach­ing its prime.

In this year’s Best of Van­cou­ver is­sue, our 23rd, we’re fea­tur­ing no short­age of Van­cou­ver res­i­dents and or­ga­ni­za­tions that can also be con­sid­ered to have reached their prime. Our an­nual on­line bal­lot elic­its a mas­sive re­sponse every year—in fact, the num­ber of votes ex­ceeds those that will be cast in quite a few lo­cal elec­tions tak­ing place across the prov­ince on Oc­to­ber 20.

The win­ners of our elec­tion are listed in read­ers’-choice boxes through­out this is­sue in broad sub­ject ar­eas rang­ing from city life to food and drink, and from life­style to me­dia, arts, and cul­ture. When you come across these lists, re­mem­ber that these are the peo­ple’s choices.

And the Straight is 100 per­cent for the peo­ple—to para­phrase one of our lo­cal may­oral can­di­dates.

But the Straight is also pop­u­lated by writ­ers with their own takes on what’s best about our city. The Best of Van­cou­ver is not merely pop­ulism run amok. For them, there’s con­sid­er­able thought that goes into high­light­ing what’s worth cel­e­brat­ing and cher­ish­ing.

In the fol­low­ing pages, you can read their re­flec­tions on what in­spires, amuses, en­cour­ages, en­thralls, shocks, and even ap­palls them about liv­ing in our vil­lage by the sea.

These writ­ers rec­og­nize that peo­ple don’t al­ways have the time to ex­plore every neigh­bur­hood or sam­ple cui­sine that came from recipes de­vel­oped a half a world away. On oc­ca­sion, they just want to read about them.

So set aside a few min­utes, grab a cup of java or tea, and for­get about all your stresses as you take in this year’s edi­tion of the Best of Van­cou­ver.

NEWS & POLITICS

BEST PO­LIT­I­CAL CIVIL WAR

The NPA blood­bath was a sight to be­hold this year. First, for­mer Con­ser­va­tive MP Wai Young de­clared that she had no faith in the process, so she didn’t even seek the party’s may­oral nom­i­na­tion. Coun. Hec­tor Brem­ner jumped in, only to be told that he hadn’t been green-lit to put his name be­fore the mem­ber­ship. The even­tual win­ner of the NPA may­oral nom­i­na­tion, busi­ness­man Ken Sim, now risks go­ing down to de­feat be­cause tra­di­tional NPA vot­ers have mi­grated to Brem­ner’s Yes Van­cou­ver and Young’s Coali­tion Van­cou­ver. Nei­ther party would have ex­isted had these can­di­dates been per­suaded to re­main inside the NPA tent by the party board. At the start of the year, it looked like the NPA di­rec­tors had this elec­tion in the bag. By Oc­to­ber 20, we’ll know if they’ve blown it big­time. If so, it will be the NPA’S fourth straight loss since 2008. And you thought the Canucks were bad.

BEST DOU­BLE-DOG DARE YA Van­cou­ver may­oral can­di­date Hec­tor Brem­ner made a first-class dare in this year’s elec­tion sea­son. Re­jected by the Non-par­ti­san As­so­ci­a­tion as an ap­pli­cant for the NPA’S may­oral con­test, Brem­ner left and formed his own party, Yes Van­cou­ver. Asked if there was a chance he would go back and run for city coun­cil with NPA may­oral pick Ken Sim’s team, Brem­ner didn’t hes­i­tate with an an­swer. “If Ken [Sim] would face a [NPA] runoff against us,” Brem­ner said. “You know, we were un­fairly ex­cluded from the race.” Sim would not com­ment on that is­sue.

BEST SIGN THAT VAN­COU­VER’S NEXT MAYOR MIGHT BE A NERD These days, nerds have be­come hip. It’s ev­i­dent all over the place, and not just on The Big Bang The­ory. The Storm Crow Ale­house brags that it’s the city’s hottest nerd bar. Later this month, Fan Expo Van­cou­ver will bring hordes of geeks to the Van­cou­ver Con­ven­tion Cen­tre, some in cos­tumes, in a cel­e­bra­tion of sci-fi shows like Bat­tlestar Galac­tica. But the big­gest test of the city’s nerdi­ness will come on Oc­to­ber 20, when an SFU elec­toral-sys­tem re­searcher and for­mer MP, Kennedy Ste­wart, will find out if he’ll re­place Gre­gor Robert­son as Van­cou­ver’s next mayor. Last year, Ste­wart coedited a book with Con­ser­va­tive MP Michael Chong and Scott Simms called Turn­ing Par­lia­ment Inside Out: Prac­ti­cal Ideas for Re­form­ing Canada’s Democ­racy. Ste­wart’s chap­ter is en­ti­tled “Em­pow­er­ing the Back­bench: The Story of Elec­tronic Pe­ti­tions”. In politics, things don’t get any nerdier than this. In light of the cur­rent ma­nia around nerds, it’s sur­pris­ing that Ste­wart’s cam­paign isn’t cap­i­tal­iz­ing on this with T-shirts pro­claim­ing that Van­cou­ver needs a geeky mayor to solve its most wrench­ing so­cial prob­lems. Enough of those pretty-boy politi­cians. Justin, Gre­gor, and Barack are so passé. And ev­ery­one knows that Trump is plain ob­nox­ious. But Kennedy Ste­wart: hey, that’s some­one who’s a lit­tle dif­fer­ent from the norm. SE­COND-BEST SIGN THAT VAN­COU­VER’S NEXT MAYOR MIGHT BE A NERD

Shauna Sylvester is an­other book­ish SFU pol­icy wonk run­ning to re­place Gre­gor Robert­son. The pro­fes­sor of pub­lic prac­tice is not quite as nerdy as Ste­wart, and it’s in­con­ceiv­able to think of her show­ing up look­ing like an X-files char­ac­ter at Fan Expo Van­cou­ver. But she still has a geeky side when it comes to re­search­ing so­lu­tions to the climate cri­sis. And she once su­per­vised a group of stu­dents who compiled a “Green History of Van­cou­ver Timeline” us­ing Timeglider soft­ware. It high­lighted ev­ery­thing from the cre­ation of Har­land Bartholomew’s orig­i­nal town plan to the es­tab­lish­ment of the Agri­cul­tural Land Re­serve and Green­peace to the pro­tec­tion of Metro Van­cou­ver’s wa­ter­sheds from log­ging in­ter­ests. That’s kind of nerdy.

BEST SIGN THAT THE NEXT MAYOR MIGHT ANTHROPOMORPHIZE IN­FRA­STRUC­TURE

Coali­tion Van­cou­ver can­di­date Wai Young is wag­ing a war on “ide­o­log­i­cal bike lanes”. Hmmm… We never knew that civic in­fra­struc­ture had a po­lit­i­cal dis­po­si­tion un­til now. What’s next? Ide­o­log­i­cal com­mu­nity cen­tres? Ide­o­log­i­cal sew­ers? Or our favourite: ide­o­log­i­cal heat­ing and ven­ti­la­tion sys­tems? Don’t you just love it when po­lit­i­cal can­di­dates ascribe hu­man char­ac­ter­is­tics to con­crete bar­ri­ers? Thanks, Wai.

BEST EX­AM­PLE OF CITY HALL FIGHT­ING CITY HALL

The City of Van­cou­ver can­not al­ways be taken at its word. It says one thing and does the other. It claims to sup­port build­ing new rental homes but acts like it does not. The cir­cum­stances sur­round­ing a rental de­vel­op­ment in Mar­pole may be the best ex­am­ple. On ac­count of lot frontage that was 42 inches short of qual­i­fy­ing for a cer­tain floor-space ra­tio, city hall took its own board of vari­ance to court to stop the de­vel­op­ment of a four-storey rental build­ing at 308 West 62nd Av­enue. Never mind that the board of vari­ance has the author­ity un­der the Van­cou­ver Char­ter to

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de­cide ap­peals to de­ci­sions by the city’s plan­ning depart­ment. For­tu­nately for the prop­erty owner, the court ruled against the city, al­low­ing the rental project to pro­ceed.

BEST POWER FOR RENT CON­TROL THE CITY DOESN’T USE

When it comes to land­lords and renters, have you ever won­dered on whose side the City of Van­cou­ver re­ally stands? Nathalie Baker, a lit­i­ga­tor spe­cial­iz­ing in mu­nic­i­pal law, seems to have a spot-on ex­am­ple. Ac­cord­ing to her, the city has the author­ity un­der the Van­cou­ver Char­ter to en­ter into hous­ing agree­ments with de­vel­op­ers of rental hous­ing. Sec­tion 565.2 of the char­ter pro­vides that these agree­ments can in­clude terms on “rents that may be charged and the rates at which rents may be in­creased over time”. But Baker notes that the city doesn’t use this par­tic­u­lar sec­tion. The re­sult is that de­vel­op­ers get to charge prac­ti­cally what­ever they want.

BEST PLACE TO OB­SERVE THE SPEED LIMIT

The West Van­cou­ver Po­lice Depart­ment has one of the light­est work­loads of any law-en­force­ment agency in Canada. Sure, there’s the oc­ca­sional fraud case and some­times they have to re­spond to do­mes­tic dis­putes in Canada’s rich­est com­mu­nity (av­er­age house­hold net worth: $4.5 mil­lion). But what re­ally keeps the West Van cops busy is im­pound­ing speed­ing ve­hi­cles on the Up­per Lev­els High­way. On one Mon­day night in Fe­bru­ary, three of them were hauled away, in­clud­ing one that was clocked at 187 kilo­me­tres per hour. In­ci­dents like this get the happy drops flow­ing in TV news­rooms be­cause they at­tract larger au­di­ences. Who doesn’t love see­ing some young punk los­ing his Lam­borgh­ini for a while af­ter dis­re­spect­ing the rules of the road? Es­pe­cially when the cops are so ea­ger to show the

of­fend­ing ve­hi­cle in the im­pound lot. But the les­son is clear to mo­torists. Don’t put your pedal to the me­tal in the re­gion’s sleepi­est burgh un­less you want to rely on Tran­slink to help get you around in the fu­ture.

BEST REA­SON NOT TO CON­SUME CANNABIS BE­FORE GET­TING BE­HIND THE WHEEL

At the Ge­or­gia Straight’s re­cent Grass­roots Expo, for­mer traf­fic cop

(and court-rec­og­nized ex­pert in po­lice radar) Grant Gottge­treu was asked about drug-im­paired driv­ing. He boldly pre­dicted that the B.C. gov­ern­ment will even­tu­ally al­low of­fi­cers to dish out im­me­di­ate road­side pro­hi­bi­tions to those sus­pected of be­ing high on cannabis while be­hind the wheel. That will avoid the has­sle of hav­ing to drag peo­ple back to po­lice sta­tions to de­ter­mine if they’re truly stoned. But there’s a prob­lem

with IRPS, as they’re also called. They’re at­tached to peo­ple’s driv­ing records, which means this in­for­ma­tion is avail­able to law-en­force­ment of­fi­cers who merely punch li­cen­ce­plate in­for­ma­tion into a data­base. Gottge­treu ex­plained at the con­fer­ence that U.S. bor­der agents have ac­cess to these types of data­bases. That means any­one with an IRP for driv­ing high could be pre­vented from en­ter­ing the United States for life with­out even be­ing con­victed in a court of law. Ouch!

BEST B.C. CANNABIS TWEETER The hon­our goes to Kirk Tou­saw. The lawyer for all things cannabis un­der­stands that Twit­ter has be­come an ideal pub­lic fo­rum for re­spond­ing in a con­cise way to the news of the day. And there’s no short­age of cannabis news as the coun­try heads to­ward le­gal­iza­tion on Oc­to­ber 17. Fol­low him @kirk­tou saw. You’ll learn a great deal, and not just about cannabis.

MOST AMUS­ING CANNABIS TWEETER WHO USED TO LIVE IN VAN­COU­VER

That’s easy. It’s Tommy Chong. The world-fa­mous stoner, co­me­dian, and direc­tor reg­u­larly skew­ers Don­ald Trump, to the de­light of his 480,000 fol­low­ers. “I do en­joy trolling the Don­ald,” Chong de­clared in May. “So ob­vi­ous and so evil.” Fol­low him @tom­my­chong and find out why he thinks Agent Orange is go­ing to end up in the crow­bar ho­tel. BEST REA­SON TO HOPE OUR HISTORY CAN CHANGE AMER­ICA The dan­ger­ous syn­thetic opi­oid fen­tanyl ar­rived in B.C. in 2013. Since then, fa­tal over­doses have soared, from 333 across the prov­ince that year to more than 1,450 in 2017. Van­cou­ver ex­pe­ri­enced an epi­demic like this once be­fore. Though not as se­vere, a drug cri­sis in the 1990s killed thou­sands in Van­cou­ver. The city re­sponded in in­cred­i­ble ways, es­tab­lish­ing North Amer­ica’s first sanc­tioned su­per­vised-in­jec­tion fa­cil­ity, In­site, and suc­cess­fully re­duc­ing over­dose deaths. The Ge­or­gia Straight’s Travis Lupick asked him­self what lessons from that cri­sis of the ’90s could be ap­plied to save lives to­day as he wrote the book Fight­ing for Space: How a Group of Drug Users Trans­formed One City’s Strug­gle With Ad­dic­tion. It shares the sto­ries of Down­town East­side ac­tivists

like the Port­land Ho­tel So­ci­ety’s Liz Evans and Mark Townsend, and the Van­cou­ver Area Net­work of Drug Users’ Bud Os­born, Ann Liv­ingston, and Dean Wil­son, re­count­ing how they marched in the streets to de­mand that the gov­ern­ment re­spond with the ur­gency that was re­quired. Lupick won the Ge­orge Ryga Award for So­cial Aware­ness in Lit­er­a­ture and has gone on to tour parts of the United States where harm-re­duc­tion ad­vo­cates are be­ing in­spired by Van­cou­ver’s ex­pe­ri­ence. BEST UN­EX­PECTED LO­CAL BEST­SELLER Who would have guessed that a primer on 19th-cen­tury leg­is­la­tion could be­come one of B.C.’S most pop­u­lar lo­cal books of the year? Ed­u­ca­tor Bob Joseph wrote

21 Things You May Not Know About the In­dian Act: Help­ing Cana­di­ans Make Rec­on­cil­i­a­tion with In­dige­nous Peo­ples a Re­al­ity

to help Cana­di­ans bet­ter un­der­stand what led to cultural geno­cide, the res­i­den­tial-school sys­tem, and other hor­rors in­flicted on First Na­tions. Joseph, a mem­ber of the Gwawaenuk Nation, lays it out in crisp, clear prose in a small book that can fit in some­one’s back pocket. Ac­cord­ing to the Read Lo­cal B.C. web­site, 21 Things You May Not Know About the In­dian Act

has re­mained a B.C. best­seller for 24 weeks. Per­haps this will en­cour­age pub­lish­ers to pro­duce sim­i­lar books on laws that kept South Asians and Chi­nese from mov­ing to Canada, as well as other leg­is­lated acts of white supremacy in Cana­dian history. “The legacy of the res­i­den­tial school sys­tem con­tin­ues to im­pact In­dige­nous peo­ple, fam­i­lies, and com­mu­ni­ties,” Joseph writes in his book. “On its doorstep we can lay the re­spon­si­bil­ity for the high poverty rates, the large num­ber of In­dige­nous chil­dren in foster care, the dis­pro­por­tion­ate num­ber of In­car­cer­ated In­dige­nous peo­ple, and the hun­dreds of miss­ing and mur­dered In­dige­nous women.” BEST JUS­TI­FI­CA­TION FOR MOV­ING TO MAR­POLE Van­cou­ver’s 2019–22 cap­i­tal plan in­cludes plenty of good­ies for what has tra­di­tion­ally been seen as the city’s only West Side neigh­bour­hood with an East Side feel. If vot­ers ap­prove the cap­i­tal plan on Oc­to­ber 20, the city will spend $23.8 mil­lion re­new­ing the li­brary branch near Granville Street and West 67th Av­enue. As part of the up­grade, the city is adding so­cial hous­ing and a 69-space child­care cen­tre. There’s also $15 mil­lion ear­marked for an out­door pool in Mar­pole. Plus, an­other $36.7 mil­lion will be in­vested in the Mar­poleoakridge Com­mu­nity Cen­tre in Oak Park. Con­sider it hush money for those an­gry NIMBYS who didn’t want tem­po­rary mod­u­lar hous­ing for the home­less in that part of town. Change is com­ing. And won’t it be won­der­ful know­ing that those for­merly home­less peo­ple will have spank­ing new recre­ational and read­ing rooms in that part of the neigh­bour­hood? BEST WAY TO PESTER THE FEDERAL GOV­ERN­MENT For the du­ra­tion of 2018, Dan Small has been on a one-man mis­sion. The co­founder of North Amer­ica’s first su­per­vised-in­jec­tion fa­cil­ity, In­site, has ob­sti­nately pushed the federal gov­ern­ment to con­vene a royal com­mis­sion for a de­tailed ex­am­i­na­tion of Canada’s opi­oid epi­demic and the root causes that have con­trib­uted to a sharp rise in over­dose deaths. Small, a med­i­cal an­thro­pol­o­gist and ad­junct pro­fes­sor at UBC, be­gan his ef­forts with a let­ter to the Prime Min­is­ter’s Of­fice. From there, he was re­ferred to Canada’s health min­is­ter. Her of­fice sug­gested that Small di­rect his re­quest to the gover­nor gen­eral’s of­fice, so he did. If a royal com­mis­sion is even­tu­ally es­tab­lished to in­ves­ti­gate the causes of Canada’s opi­oid epi­demic, it will likely fo­cus on the years that for­mer prime min­is­ter Stephen Harper and the Con­ser­va­tive party held power in Ot­tawa. “We need a royal com­mis­sion that ac­count­ably in­ves­ti­gates our nation’s val­ues as they have im­pacted, and con­tinue to im­pact, so­ci­etal ap­proaches to opi­oid use,” Small con­tin­ued. “A royal com­mis­sion would al­low us to look back­wards at the mis­takes we’ve made.” BEST REA­SON TO GO TO WAR WITH YOUR NEIGH­BOUR To chil­dren vis­it­ing a zoo, pea­cocks are big, colour­ful an­i­mals that elicit fas­ci­na­tion. But to some res­i­dents of Sur­rey, B.C., the bird’s re­splen­dent plumage isn’t so im­pres­sive. A num­ber of pea­cocks have ap­par­ently roamed wild in Sur­rey for some time, cre­at­ing noise and, in some res­i­dents’ yards, a good deal of ex­cre­ment. In May 2018, one home­owner be­came so frus­trated with the an­i­mals that he cut down a tree on his prop­erty where pea­cocks were roost­ing. That at­tracted the ire of some neigh­bours, who said they en­joyed hav­ing the siz­able peafowl around. With more than 100 of the an­i­mals oc­cu­py­ing the Sur­rey neigh­bour­hood of Sul­li­van Heights, ten­sions sim­mered among res­i­dents. Then, in June, things came to a boil when a city by­law of­fi­cer claimed to have been as­saulted af­ter re­spond­ing to a re­port of some­one feed­ing the pea­cocks. “It’s a very in­tense sit­u­a­tion on all sides,” Sur­rey’s pub­lic-safety man­ager told me­dia. “The com­mu­nity is def­i­nitely di­vided on this is­sue. BEST NAME FOR A NEW PO­LIT­I­CAL PARTY No, it’s not Yes Van­cou­ver or Coali­tion Van­cou­ver. This hon­our goes to Proudly Sur­rey, which is the brain­child of for­mer B.C. Green party leader Stu­art Parker and Fleet­wood res­i­dent Dean Mcgee. It un­abashedly bor­rowed Bri­tish Labour Party Leader Jeremy Cor­byn’s slo­gan, “For the Many, not the Few”, to ad­vance a vi­sion of so­cial jus­tice that’s not been ar­tic­u­lated be­fore by politi­cians south of the Fraser River. Cor­byn him­self mod­i­fied the fi­nal line of Percy Bysshe Shel­ley’s fa­mous poem “The Masque of An­ar­chy”, which in­cluded this stanza: “Rise like lions af­ter slum­ber/ In un­van­quish­able num­ber!/shake your chains to earth like dew/which in sleep had fallen on you/ye are many, they are few!” Proudly Sur­rey is urg­ing res­i­dents to sup­port its vi­sion of be­com­ing “Masters in our Own Do­main”, which in­volves pulling out of Tran­slink and re­ject­ing provincewide teacher bar­gain­ing in favour of ne­go­ti­at­ing its own con­tracts. Proudly Sur­rey also pledges to in­vest in arts “like no pre­vi­ous ad­min­is­tra­tion”, mak­ing this an eco­nomic en­gine of

the city. Imag­ine that. A po­lit­i­cal party that puts cul­ture at the top of its agenda. In Sur­rey, no less.

BEST VAN­COU­VER VER­SION OF JEREMY COR­BYN

This hon­our goes to Der­rick O’keefe, who is run­ning for city coun­cil with the Coali­tion of Pro­gres­sive Elec­tors. A ten­ants’-rights ac­tivist and ar­dent pro­po­nent of a rent freeze, O’keefe shares some of Labour Leader Jeremy Cor­byn’s views about the Mid­dle East. Think of O’keefe as the city’s friendly left­ist. He smiles more eas­ily than Cor­byn and has a quick wit. O’keefe writes well­re­searched ar­ti­cles and books. And un­like many politi­cians, he ea­gerly picks up a plac­ard and par­tic­i­pates in protests against mil­i­tarism and im­pe­ri­al­ism. If he’s elected to coun­cil, the NDP gov­ern­ment in Vic­to­ria will soon re­al­ize that it will be fac­ing new de­mands for so­cial jus­tice from an elected of­fi­cial. He’s not one to sim­ply ask for what the prov­ince is pre­pared to give. In­stead, O’keefe seeks what he thinks the prov­ince ought to pro­vide. So do his fel­low COPE can­di­dates for coun­cil, Anne Roberts and Jean Swan­son, who also have things in com­mon with U.K. politi­cian. But O’keefe’s the only one of the trio who had lunch with Cor­byn in Bri­tain’s par­lia­men­tary cafe­te­ria be­fore he en­tered politics.

CITY LIFE

BEST NEIGH­BOUR­HOOD TO ES­CAPE THE CROWDS

Mellow and low-key, Dun­bar some­times seems like it’s frozen in time— un­like so many other parts of the city. Re­fresh­ingly de­void of chain stores, chain restau­rants, and even chain movie the­atres, this patch of the West Side is an ex­cel­lent spot for those who just want to get away from it all. Grab a bag of pop­corn at a sin­gle-screen cin­ema house. For lovers of cook­books, the Dun­bar li­brary branch is an ideal des­ti­na­tion. Se­ri­ous read­ers can head south on Dun­bar Street to Lawrence Books, where B.C. ti­tles from by­gone eras are avail­able at bar­gain prices in its nar­row aisles. And while the new and im­proved lo­cal Stong’s Mar­ket has all the deli de­lights found in mod­ern gro­cery stores, it hasn’t lost its quaint touch. For proof, check out the his­tor­i­cal images on the wall in its cof­fee shop.

BEST WAY TO LOSE THE WILL TO LIVE

Visit Van­cou­ver’s prop­erty-list­ings web­sites.

BEST WAY TO SPEND A FEW EX­TRA HOURS WITH YOUR PHAR­MA­CIST

For a year or so now, pa­tients of Pier Health Re­source Cen­tre, a phar­macy in the Down­town East­side, have made reg­u­lar out­ings with clinic staff. Pier’s direc­tor, Bobby Mil­roy, says the trips to Metro Van­cou­ver’s great out­doors are all about men­tal health—and not only the men­tal health of his pa­tients, many of whom strug­gle with ad­dic­tion. Mil­roy notes the trips have also proven to boost the spir­its of his staff. “This gave me a chance to get out in na­ture and just re­lax,” he says. Mil­roy gives all credit for the pro­gram to one of his pa­tients, Alex Gibb. “One can eas­ily be­come com­pla­cent or fall into a rou­tine or neg­a­tive rut,” Gibb tells the Straight. “So it’s good to change your en­vi­ron­ment .... It trig­gers pos­i­tive things within your­self.” Mil­roy adds that a few hours fishing on the Capi­lano River or a hike up the North Shore moun­tains is just what the doc­tor or­dered. BEST CHANGE FOR CHANGE’S SAKE

Lit­tle things can make a big dif­fer­ence in peo­ple’s lives. Take the case of par­ents who need to change chil­dren’s di­a­pers in pub­lic. Not all wash­rooms are equipped with di­a­per-chang­ing ta­bles. Van­cou­ver park com­mis­sioner Erin Shum, who is a new mom, wants to change that by hav­ing all wash­rooms op­er­ated by the park board in­stalled with these con­trap­tions. Shum has also sug­gested that all City of Van­cou­ver wash­rooms should have the same.

BEST AD­MIRABLY PRO­GRES­SIVE APOL­OGY

Blame Don­ald Trump and the MAGA red-hat horde (look­ing at you, Kanye!), but, in­creas­ingly, we’re in a world where apol­o­giz­ing is a lost art. Why ad­mit you’ve messed up when it’s easier to re­turn fire on Twit­ter? A big hats off, then, to Red Truck Beer Com­pany for re­spond­ing to crit­i­cisms that its Red Truck Con­cert Se­ries this year was some­thing of a sausage party. When the lineup for the 2018 edi­tion of the three-week­ends-in-sum­mer fes­ti­val was an­nounced, lo­cal artists—in­clud­ing Juno Award– winning Jill Bar­ber—ques­tioned why al­most all the acts were men. (The head­lin­ers were Cole­man Hell, Allen Stone, and Michael Ray, the un­der­card al­most ex­clu­sively dude.) Rather than ig­nore the is­sue, Red Truck showed that it was ac­tu­ally lis­ten­ing. It re­leased a state­ment on Face­book that started with an apol­ogy for the lack of di­ver­sity, then in­cluded: “We have rec­og­nized our fail­ure to be ad­e­quately sen­si­tive and proac­tive with re­gards to the is­sues of di­ver­sity and in­clu­sion in our pro­gram­ming.” This was fol­lowed by the an­nounc­ing of sup­port for Girls Rock Camp Van­cou­ver and a pledge of “We prom­ise to do bet­ter.” Dif­fi­cult as it is these days to keep the faith, some­times there are folks who seem gen­uinely de­ter­mined to make the world a more eq­ui­table place.

BEST NEW PLACE TO TAKE AN OUT­DOOR LUNCH BREAK DOWN­TOWN

The Van­cou­ver Pub­lic Li­brary cen­tral branch’s newly opened rooftop gar­den is an oa­sis amid the roar of the ur­ban core. Grab a book from one of the lower floors and head up to the tiled, leafy pa­tio, high above the busy streets, with your lunch bag and ther­mos. At 7,400 square feet, de­signed by land­scape ar­chi­tect Cor­nelia Hahn Ober­lan­der, the ex­pan­sive new deck—com­plete with ta­bles and chairs—will make go­ing back to work a lit­tle harder.

BEST REA­SON TO AP­PRE­CI­ATE THE RAIN

Have you ever had to sit on a bus on a steam­ingly hu­mid day that’s full of men who haven’t show­ered in a week, aren’t wear­ing de­odor­ant, and have just ex­er­cised? Think you haven’t? Well, if you’ve been in this city for any rain­less stretch that has spanned more than a few days, you might as well have. Think of the rain as the shower that keeps the city not only clean and green but also smellable.

BEST PLACE FOR VAN­COU­VERITES TO STARE DEATH IN THE FACE

B.C. is pretty spoiled when it comes to sus­pen­sion bridges, but the new Cloudraker Skybridge in Whistler may be the scari­est one to cross. The long, swing­ing struc­ture stretches 130 me­tres from Whistler Peak to the West Ridge, of­fer­ing heart-pound­ing views of Whistler Bowl be­low. You can def­i­nitely feel that sucker mov­ing once the wind picks up, cre­at­ing a thrilling and ter­ri­fy­ing ex­pe­ri­ence once you’ve made it far enough to re­al­ize that turn­ing back would take as much ef­fort as just cross­ing the damn thing. Wanna keep your adren­a­line up? Make a pit stop at the Sea to Sky Gon­dola—and maybe Whistler Bungee—on your drive back to Van­cou­ver.

BEST NEW DANCE SPACE Left of Main

211 Keefer Street

What hap­pens when a small in­die dance com­pany takes on the dream of ren­o­vat­ing a 1,500-square-foot, 100-year-old aban­doned dim-sum restau­rant in Chi­na­town? A much­needed af­ford­able stu­dio opens up not just for lo­cal re­hearsals, but for in­o­va­tive, in­ti­mate per­for­mances. Plas­tic orchid fac­tory staged its 10thanniver­sary show, i miss do­ing noth­ing, here in the sum­mer, a piece that rev­elled in its set­ting, with the Chi­na­town street noise and the nat­u­ral play of sun­light through the win­dows. Novem­ber 13 to 24, dumb in­stru­ment dance stages Pub­lic & Pri­vate, a work ac­com­pa­nied by thun­der­ous live taiko drum­ming. At the same time, Left of Main stu­dio is now head­quar­ters and of­fice space for not only plas­tic orchid fac­tory but MACHINENOISY and Tara Cheyenne Per­for­mance. Funded by ev­ery­thing from a city cultural-in­fra­struc­ture grant to Cana­dian Her­itage cul­tur­alspaces fund­ing, the four-year project proves that artists re­ally can cre­ate their own spa­ces and come up with af­ford­able so­lu­tions—and, un­think­ably, that dancers can also be de­vel­op­ers.

LGBT COM­MU­NITY’S BEST BE­HIND-THE-SCENES PUB­LI­CIST As the for­mer cochair of Vi­sion Van­cou­ver, Paul Nixey helped elect Canada’s most Lgbt–friendly mayor, Gre­gor Robert­son. Nixey has also ad­vised Canada’s most LGBT– friendly Lib­eral MP, Hedy Fry, as she’s ad­vanced many measures to bring about greater equal­ity, re­gard­less of a per­son’s sex­ual ori­en­ta­tion. But what many peo­ple don’t know is that Nixey also qui­etly pro­motes im­por­tant health ini­tia­tives ben­e­fit­ing the LGBT com­mu­nity by con­tact­ing me­dia out­lets to keep these is­sues in the pub­lic eye. This in­cludes ex­panded ac­cess to pre-ex­po­sure pro­phy­laxis and post-ex­po­sure pro­phy­laxis (known as PREP and PEP), which re­duce trans­mis­sion of HIV. He also tried to am­plify the voices of young folks at Youthco to have their views heard on sex ed­u­ca­tion. Van­cou­ver is a world leader in measures to make a city a wel­com­ing, healthy, and safe place for LGBT peo­ple, whether in the schools, at park-board fa­cil­i­ties, or in var­i­ous med­i­cal cen­tres. Nixey is one of the rea­sons why. BEST NAME CHANGE OF A CIVIC SITE/AS­SET

Strath­cona’s Keefer Street Pedes­trian Over­pass—which con­nects Ray­mur Av­enue to Keefer over the rail­way tracks—is be­ing re­named the Mil­i­tant Mothers of Ray­mur Over­pass as part of a re­cent city ini­tia­tive to hon­our con­tri­bu­tions by Van­cou­ver cit­i­zens. In Jan­uary 1971, mothers who had de­manded the rail­road cease op­er­a­tions dur­ing the hours their chil­dren would be cross­ing the tracks to get to and from the school near­est to Stamps Place Hous­ing—a so­cial-hous­ing com­plex that opened in 1968—took mat­ters into their own hands when the city and school board stalled and the rail­road re­neged on its prom­ise to do so. Twenty-five of them risked their own safety (and some were ar­rested) by sit­ting upon and then camp­ing on the tracks un­til the var­i­ous par­ties agreed to build an

over­pass, which was com­pleted later that year.

BEST EV­I­DENCE THAT YELLING INTO THE EMPTY VOID OF THE IN­TER­NET PRO­DUCES FAST AND EF­FEC­TIVE RE­SULTS

De­spite what your par­ents and em­ployer have been re­peat­edly telling you, com­plain­ing on the In­ter­net isn’t a com­plete waste of time and, in fact, does get shit done—if said shit in­volves get­ting B.C. na­tive and bawdy box-of­fice star Seth Ro­gen onto the air­waves of our re­gional tran­sit author­ity, that is. Take it from the Van­cou­verites who took to so­cial me­dia in May to pro­pose Ro­gen as the voice of Tran­slink af­ter a Visa-backed cam­paign with Mor­gan Free­man was axed. The sug­ges­tions seemed only half-se­ri­ous at first, but, two months later, Ro­gen was ad­vis­ing pas­sen­gers to keep their feet off the seats of Sky­trains. Never stop be­liev­ing (and tweet­ing), kids.

BEST PLACE TO SMELL A ROT­TING CORPSE

If you don’t want to spend your golden years in the B.C. Pen­i­ten­tiary, your best shot at in­hal­ing the scent of rot­ting flesh comes from a trip to the Bloedel Con­ser­va­tory. This year, Un­cle Fes­ter—the green­house’s Ti­tan arum (or “corpse flower” to the grue­some)—sur­prised ev­ery­one by bloom­ing four years early, re­leas­ing a stench that drew hun­dreds to the doors of the dome. There’s no ac­count­ing for cu­rios­ity.

BEST PLACE TO WATCH REAL-LIFE FROG­GER

Be­fore you start screech­ing about global warm­ing, peak oil, and the in­dis­putable fact that Gre­gor Robert­son looks kinda hot in span­dex

rid­ing shorts, rest as­sured we’re on your side. As long as it’s not rain­ing like mon­soon sea­son in Mum­bai, we bike to work. That has given us valu­able per­spec­tive on why peo­ple hate cy­clists in this city. Criticize mo­torists all you want, but you don’t see four out of five of them run­ning stop signs, roar­ing through red lights, and rip­ping through oc­cu­pied cross­walks. The vast ma­jor­ity of cy­clists, on the other hand, seem to think the rules of the road don’t ap­ply to them. It’s on the False Creek sea­wall in front of Sci­ence World where things are at their worst. The city has made a noble ef­fort to get cy­clists to pay at­ten­tion to the new des­ig­nated cross­walks in­clud­ing set­ting up yield signs and in­stalling bar­ri­ers. But de­spite said cross­walk be­ing per­pet­u­ally busy with young fam­i­lies, tourists, and as­sorted oth­ers, eight out of 10 twowheeled id­iots roar right through it with­out even slow­ing down. That forces those on two legs in­stead of two wheels to weave their way through the traf­fic like they’re cross­ing the street in Saigon. Dear cy­clists of Van­cou­ver: if you re­ally want to make the world a bet­ter place, start by look­ing at your­self.

BEST FAKE SIGN

Com­mer­cial Drive’s Dude Chill­ing Park—site of mul­ti­ple sign thefts and Jimmy Fal­lon jokes—saw a ri­val sign in­stalled by a group of ded­i­cated pranksters. Riff­ing on the art project turned bona fide lo­ca­tion, or­ga­niz­ers for Van­cou­ver’s an­nual Dyke March in­stalled a sign for Dyke Chill­ing Park in the same area. Al­though it has since been re­moved, a pe­ti­tion is still cir­cu­lat­ing on­line for its per­ma­nent place­ment—a move that or­ga­niz­ers say will hon­our the LGBT com­mu­nity in Mount Pleas­ant.

BEST CALLING-OUT OF LO­CAL TRAN­SIT RID­ERS’ GROSS­EST HABITS

Af­ter Van­cou­ver-bred Hol­ly­wood star Seth Ro­gen did a guest spot voic­ing an­nounce­ments on Tran­slink ser­vices, he went on the Tonight Show With Jimmy Fal­lon and chat­ted about it. Which recorded an­nounce­ment shocked Ro­gen? Ask­ing rid­ers not to clip their toe­nails. In the wise words of Jimmy Fal­lon’s Sara: “Ew!”

BEST SHINE OF RAIN­BOWS Rain­bow cross­walks and Pride cel­e­bra­tions serve nu­mer­ous pur­poses. They of­fer vis­i­bil­ity for LGBT peo­ple who may oth­er­wise not be rep­re­sented; they help to re­in­force the idea that LGBT peo­ple are ev­ery­where, not just in spe­cific ar­eas; and they’re up­lift­ing in so many ways. That’s why it’s great to see that Burn­aby held its first Pride fes­tiv­i­ties, and White Rock, Co­quit­lam, and Sur­rey joined the rain­bow-cross­walk party. As for van­dal­ism and de­face­ment of cross­walks: well, that just re­in­forces why they need to be there in the first place.

BEST YEAR TO BE QUEER

When it comes to out LGBT history in this city, it’s only a few decades old. But with nu­mer­ous LGBT or­ga­ni­za­tions cel­e­brat­ing mile­stone an­niver­saries, it’s an en­cour­ag­ing in­di­ca­tion of how far things have pro­gressed. Among those cel­e­brat­ing this year were Out on Screen, Qmu­nity, AIDS Van­cou­ver, Lit­tle Sis­ter’s Book and Art Em­po­rium, Pride in Art So­ci­ety, and the Van­cou­ver Pride So­ci­ety, just to name a few. So the City of Van­cou­ver of­fi­cially de­clared 2018 as the Year of the Queer. Cheers to all the hard work by lo­cal in­di­vid­u­als, or­ga­ni­za­tions, and busi­nesses, and here’s to many more years to come. BEST REA­SON FOR VAN­COU­VER’S DUDES TO DITCH THE CARGOS AND SPORTS­WEAR

Van­cou­ver may not ex­actly be known for its trend­set­ting styles, but a cou­ple of open­ings in Yale­town are giv­ing the city’s guys one less ex­cuse to reach for the sweat-wick­ing T-shirts and cargo shorts. Ex­hibit A: Emile Cloth­ing Co., a men’scloth­ing bou­tique that stocks qual­ity Euro­pean la­bels and tailored yet ca­sual and af­ford­able pieces like

merino-wool crew­necks and cropped trousers. And then there’s Surmesur, a made-to-mea­sure menswear store from Mon­treal that of­fers cus­tom shirts and suits. Add the In­dochino flag­ship into the mix, and it’s fair to say that Yale­town has be­come the gen­tle­men’s fash­ion des­ti­na­tion.

BEST PLACE TO SHOP JA­PANESE HAND­MADE GOODS OUT­SIDE OF JA­PAN

Van­cou­ver’s fas­ci­na­tion with beau­ti­ful, hand­crafted Ja­panese ob­jects shows no signs of dis­si­pat­ing with the launch of Out & About, a bou­tique in Gas­town that of­fers a won­der­fully cu­rated se­lec­tion of ceram­ics, sta­tionery, can­dles, and more—the ma­jor­ity of them de­signed and pro­duced in the Land of the Ris­ing Sun. Along­side the min­i­mal­ist drip ket­tles, gor­geous glass jew­ellery, and re­cy­cled­cot­ton socks, you’ll also find stacks of stun­ning de­sign books and cof­feetable tomes, mak­ing Out & About one of those one-stop, has-a-lit­tle-bit-ofevery­thing shops in which—de­spite its mod­est size—you can ex­pect to spend hours.

BEST REAL SIGN

Hav­ing a bad day? Drive down Sey­mour Street to check out the Pent­house Night Club mar­quee sig­nage. Dis­play­ing top­i­cal one-lin­ers, in­clud­ing “Poles more re­li­able than CNN pre­dic­tions,” “Rare Poké­mon inside,” and, our per­sonal favourite, “Less fake news, more fake boobs,” the sign boasts bet­ter jokes than some lo­cal standups.

BEST POP-UP BIKE STORE

Tak­ing the plunge on a cus­tom-made bike at a store usu­ally means a wait­ing pe­riod of a week or more. For those

into in­stant grat­i­fi­ca­tion, there’s no bet­ter place to find a freshly as­sem­bled ride than on Union Street a block west of Main, some­times un­der the viaduct and some­times at the Mur­rin Sub­sta­tion. Sure, the hours are a bit spotty—there were times this past sum­mer (usu­ally af­ter a po­lice visit) when the on-site tech­ni­cians would dis­ap­pear for days. But when things are busy, they are super busy. Work typ­i­cally starts around 9 a.m., when a rag­tag crew starts break­ing down what, weirdly looks like per­fectly good bikes into ran­dom parts. Those parts are then as­sem­bled, mix-and­match-style, into new bikes over the course of the day—un­be­liev­ably, in broad day­light. The new rides are quickly spray-painted right be­fore they are ready to roll. That’s ei­ther be­cause ev­ery­one loves a shiny new bike or so the poor guy who just had his Gestalt X10 boosted from his Yale­town lux­ury condo bike lock­ers can’t ac­cu­rately iden­tify the Franken­stein atroc­ity of which his prized pur­chase has just be­come part. Look for the blue tarps on the side of the street— es­pe­cially if your bike has just been heisted. And re­mem­ber to bring cash, be­cause some­times the last thing you want to do is give a stranger your credit-card num­ber. BEST PLACE TO GET TIN­NI­TUS Ever won­dered why the down­town core is plagued by ear-bust­ing horns at noon every day? Spoiler: it’s not the cruise ships. The Her­itage Horns, as they are known, were de­signed in 1967 to play the first four notes of the Cana­dian na­tional an­them every day at 12 p.m. Orig­i­nally placed on the roof of the B.C. Hy­dro Build­ing at Bur­rard and Nel­son streets, they were moved in the 1990s. Canada

Place Cor­po­ra­tion fixed them up and at­tached them to the roof of the Pan Pa­cific Ho­tel, where they’ve been sound­ing every day since 1994. The horns are so noisy that the blast trav­els through down­town and be­yond the North Shore—which, to be hon­est, is prob­a­bly about as loud as the sub­woofer at the back of Celebri­ties.

Ware­house was abuzz again In SPY BEST early ON back LO­CA­TION with at AC/DC the Au­gust, in the Stu­dio town, Bryan ru­mour FROM Van­cou­ver record­ing Adams–owned in that WHICH Gas­town, AC/DC once TO was where made made the its the past ru­mour leg­endary three par­tic­u­larly hard-rock al­bums. What band juicy was the AC/DC pos­si­bil­ity singer that Brian both John­son long­time and drum­mer Phil Rudd—who’d both been fa­mously ab­sent dur­ing the band’s last tour—were back in the lineup. (John­son, suf­fer­ing from hear­ing prob­lems, had been re­placed by Axl Rose, while Rudd had lost his spot be­hind the drum kit af­ter run­ning afoul of the law back in Aus­tralia.) The gos­sip caught fire when pa­parazzi-style pho­tos of the ex-mem­bers, taken by lo­cal shut­ter­bug Glenn Slavens, were pub­lished in the Ge­or­gia Straight. Lucky for Slavens, his friend Crys­tal Lam­bert has an apart­ment with a bird’seye view of the Ware­house’s out­side deck, which is where the AC/DC mem­bers were spot­ted hang­ing out, smok­ing cig­a­rettes, and sip­ping some­thing from white cof­fee mugs. Ru­mours of an un­ex­pected new AC/DC al­bum in the works drew head­lines world­wide. “Let There Be Rock”, in­deed. BEST REA­SON TO DO­NATE CLOTHES TO CHAR­ITY

If the idea of help­ing to save the Earth is too big for you to han­dle, cut­ting down on waste is a good place to start. Be­ing mind­ful about wan­tonly throw­ing away clothes is a good ex­am­ple. Ac­cord­ing to a Metro Van­cou­ver staff re­port, about 20,000 tons of un­wanted clothes end up in dumps in the re­gion each year.

BEST EX­AM­PLE OF CLASS SEG­RE­GA­TION

It can be ar­gued that “poor doors” are the per­fect ex­am­ple of the di­vide be­tween the haves and the have-nots. As the term de­notes, poor doors are en­trances in res­i­den­tial build­ings used by peo­ple of hum­bler means. In Van­cou­ver de­vel­op­ments, it is com­mon to have sep­a­rate en­trances for so­cial-hous­ing res­i­dents and condo own­ers. City coun­cil doesn’t seem to mind at all. For ex­am­ple, on July 31 this year, coun­cil ap­proved a 30-storey high-rise project at the south­east corner of Burn­aby and Thur­low streets. Condo res­i­dents will come in through the lobby on Burn­aby Street, and peo­ple in so­cial hous­ing will en­ter through an­other pas­sage on Thur­low Street. De­vel­oper plans have even called for chil­dren’s play ar­eas to be seg­re­gated.

BEST PLACE TO GO INSIDE THE PARQ CASINO IF YOU DON’T GAM­BLE

Parq Van­cou­ver, the glitzy new ho­tel re­sort–casino–din­ing des­ti­na­tion hy­brid, opened one year ago. Most peo­ple visit the en­ter­tain­ment com­plex in hopes of winning some money; oth­ers check in be­cause they are tourists who can af­ford Van­cou­ver’s ex­pen­sive lodg­ing rates. But for those who don’t gam­ble and aren’t in­ter­ested in up­scale com­fort food, there’s a charm­ing lit­tle spot you can check out. Tucked away in D/6 Bar and Lounge on the sixth floor is a large book­shelf. If you push hard enough, it swings open and leads you into a speakeasy. The hid­den space is usu­ally a venue for pri­vate book­ings, but when it’s not taken, it can be an in­trigu­ing place in which to hang out. BEST LOW-RISE TOWER OF BA­BEL A strata dis­pute shows that there is still a lot of work to be done in terms of build­ing har­mony in mul­ti­cul­tural set­tings. In Oc­to­ber this year, the B.C. Hu­man Rights Tri­bunal is sched­uled to hear a com­plaint by a num­ber of cur­rent and for­mer own­ers at a Rich­mond town­house com­plex about the lan­guage used to con­duct strata-coun­cil meet­ings. The meet­ings, ap­par­ently, are not held in English be­cause it might sound for­eign to some peo­ple of Chi­nese her­itage. Rather, ac­cord­ing to the com­plaint, strata busi­ness is con­ducted in Man­darin, which some speak­ers of English and other lan­guages can­not un­der­stand.

BEST CULTURAL NAV­I­GA­TOR

Who can seam­lessly in­ter­act with peo­ple from a mul­ti­tude of coun­tries while avoid­ing the type of faux pas that would trip up the best of us? There are a few can­di­dates, in­clud­ing the mayor’s direc­tor of com­mu­nity re­la­tions, Naveen Girn, and Vi­sion Van­cou­ver coun­cil­lor Ray­mond Louie. But this year, our choice for the city’s best cultural nav­i­ga­tor is Win­nie Cheung, a for­mer ex­ec­u­tive direc­tor of in­ter­na­tional ser­vices at UBC and a long-time cham­pion of in­ter­cul­tural un­der­stand­ing. The Hong Kong–born Cheung’s mis­sion in re­cent years has been to bring about a Mu­seum of Mi­gra­tion so that sto­ries and heir­looms of im­mi­gra­tion across the Pa­cific Ocean can be shared with Cana­di­ans and tourists alike. Cheung, ex­ec­u­tive direc­tor of the Pa­cific Canada Her­itage Cen­tre–mu­seum of Mi­gra­tion So­ci­ety, doesn’t seek the lime­light. She just gets things done. Pay at­ten­tion to this ini­tia­tive. We’re likely to hear a great deal more about it in the years to come.

EN­TER­TAIN­MENT

BEST WAY TO GET THE LED OUT Other than that one time back in 2007 when he took part in a Led Zep­pelin re­u­nion as a trib­ute to leg­endary record exec Ah­met Erte­gun, Robert Plant has al­ways ar­gued against the idea of “get­ting the band back to­gether”. The singer has scoffed at the idea of tour­ing with sur­viv­ing band­mates Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones— and a re­place­ment for late Zep­pelin drum­mer John Bon­ham, most likely his son, Ja­son—even though such an un­der­tak­ing would cer­tainly boost his bank ac­count by sev­eral mil­lion dol­lars. But much to the de­light of diehard Zep fans ev­ery­where, Plant is not averse to rekin­dling the spirit of the band while on-stage with his cur­rent group, the Sen­sa­tional Space Shifters. Dur­ing their thrilling jazz-fest show at the Queen El­iz­a­beth Theatre last June, Plant pep­pered the set with half a dozen tunes from his old band’s hey­day, and the Zep­starved crowd re­sponded with a whole lotta love.

BEST REA­SON NOT TO BLAME IT ON THE RIO

It took seven months of hard-core fundrais­ing ef­forts, but the op­er­a­tors of the Rio Theatre man­aged to raise the nec­es­sary moun­tain of dough to pur­chase the $7.9-mil­lion prop­erty af­ter the East Van­cou­ver site at Broad­way and Com­mer­cial Drive was put up for sale in Jan­uary. Thanks to more than 190 com­mu­nity mem­bers, a grant from the City of Van­cou­ver, a mort­gage from Vancity Credit Union, and celebrity sup­port from the likes of Ryan Reynolds, Seth Ro­gen, and Kevin Smith, the deal was com­pleted ear­lier this month. And how did they cel­e­brate? By hold­ing free screen­ings of The Big Le­bowski, of course.

BEST REA­SON TO BEAT UP VAN­COU­VER

The first Deadpool spent $40 mil­lion on film­ing in B.C. Deadpool 2 then spent more than $100 mil­lion on pro­duc­tion here. Be­sides a gi­nor­mous thank-you to Van­cou­ver’s home­town star Ryan Reynolds, need we say any­thing else?

BEST NEW DOC­U­MEN­TARY VENUE

The fu­ture of the Hol­ly­wood Theatre has been un­clear since the art-deco

Kit­si­lano venue, which opened in

1935, closed in 2011. On July 24, the

City of Van­cou­ver ap­proved plans to re­de­velop the site as an arts cen­tre.

Thanks to a cam­paign by the Hol­ly­wood Cin­ema Net­work, com­prised of lo­cal film-in­dus­try or­ga­ni­za­tions and pro­fes­sion­als, doc­u­men­tary screen­ings will be fea­tured at the venue in ad­di­tion to live mu­sic and arts per­for­mances. Hap­pily, the show must go on. BEST LO­CAL WAY TO RE­LIVE THE VIBE OF A LONG-GONE GUI­TAR HERO

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has been slagged many times for re­fus­ing to in­duct cer­tain artists that have had a pro­found ef­fect on mu­sic lovers. For some bizarre rea­son, the much-bal­ly­hooed in­sti­tu­tion in Cleve­land has con­tin­ued to over­look such leg­endary gui­tar heroes as Link Wray, Johnny Win­ter, and Rory Gal­lagher. They’ve all passed away, un­for­tu­nately, but in the case of Gal­lagher, at least, there’s still a way to ex­pe­ri­ence what he was all about in a live set­ting. The Ir­ish Strat­slinger’s for­mer rhythm sec­tion of bassist Gerry Mcavoy and drum­mer Ted Mckenna has hooked up with gui­tar wiz­ard Davy Knowles to form a group called Band of Friends that per­forms Gal­lagher’s rowdy old tunes for the faith­ful. Lucky for Van­cou­ver’s most de­voted Gal­lagher fa­nat­ics, the trio’s itin­er­ary in­cludes a stop at the Fox Cabaret on De­cem­ber 14. Luck­ily, as well, that’s a Fri­day night.

BEST NEW THEATRE VENUE Up­stairs at the Pent­house Night Club

1019 Sey­mour Street

It has housed a steak club, a box­ing ring, punk-rock con­certs, and, of course, strip­pers; now the sto­ried Pent­house Night Club is about to bring you plays by the likes of Samuel Beck­ett and John Pa­trick Shan­ley. Seven Tyrants has launched a full sea­son in a new 45-seat black-box theatre in the sto­ried club’s up­stairs. How lofty has the loft be­come? There will even be a new Shake­speare adap­ta­tion by Cam­yar Chai de­but­ing there next spring. Un­der the um­brella name of Tyrants Stu­dios, the Seven Tyrants Theatre joins the ad­ja­cent lounge stage, which has been host­ing com­edy nights and con­certs since May.

BEST WAY TO GET YOUR HOR­ROR ON THIS HAL­LOWEEN

If you’re a fan of hor­ror films—es­pe­cially the stylish, old-school ones from the 1970s—then the Cine­math­eque is the place to be dur­ing the last week of Oc­to­ber. The down­town Van­cou­ver movie house is pre­sent­ing the se­ries “Don’t Lose Your Head!”, which fea­tures screen­ings of three of Ital­ian fear­mon­ger Dario Ar­gento’s finest works. Be­tween Oc­to­ber 26 and 31, lo­cal fright-flick fa­nat­ics can check out restora­tions of Ar­gento’s The Bird With the Crys­tal Plumage (1970), Deep Red (1975), and Sus­piria (1977). On Hal­loween night, the screen­ing of Sus­piria will in­clude a cos­tume party, cash bar, and a spe­cially chore­ographed, Goblin-scored bal­let by Dancin­ema. As Count Floyd would say “That’s scary stuff, kids!”

FOOD & DRINK

BEST SLICE OF MOROCCO IN VAN­COU­VER If you go to Paris, Moroc­can cul­ture is on dis­play all over the place. Moroc­can mint tea with sugar is poured from on high by servers in many neigh­bour­hoods. A bright tra­di­tional dress with hood and long sleeves, called a djellaba, isn’t hard to find in stores cater­ing to Moroc­can clien­tele. And the sounds of North African clas­si­cal mu­sic waft through many restau­rants. But it was only this year that Van­cou­verites could ex­pe­ri­ence a true taste of Mar­rakesh in an up­scale eatery cater­ing to those with a love of tagines served pip­ing hot un­der the cone-shaped Moroc­can earth­en­ware of the same name. Mimo Bucko’s Moltaqa (51 West Hast­ings Street) is un­like any­thing else in the city’s din­ing scene. And, yes, his servers will pour sweet­ened Moroc­can tea from on high with­out splash­ing a drop, just like they do in Paris.

BEST PLACE TO SEE PI­CASSO

The 75-seat Bodega on Main is like tak­ing a trip to Spain. The walls are fes­tooned with pho­tos cel­e­brat­ing life in the coun­try that Spa­niards some­times re­fer to as La Piel de Toro. But what stands out for any­one glanc­ing up at the south wall are the eyes of Pi­casso—in­tense and filled with in­tel­li­gence. He’s still the most fa­mous per­son from Málaga. Oh, and if you want to see some of his art, head off to Oakridge Cen­tre’s West Gallery, where it’s on dis­play along­side the work of Sal­vador Dalí un­til Oc­to­ber 14.

BEST REA­SON FOR CHOCO­LATE LOVERS TO JUMP FOR JOY

Wild Sweets

2145–12191 Ham­mer­smith Way, Rich­mond

Lo­cal choco­late mak­ers Do­minique and Cindy Duby are among the best choco­late mak­ers in the world. Most choco­late shops are “melters”, mean­ing they pur­chase their key in­gre­di­ent from global in­dus­trial man­u­fac­tur­ers. The Dubys, pioneers in the molec­u­lar-gas­tron­omy move­ment, call their process “bean to bar”: they make their own choco­late right on­site, us­ing co­coa beans they source from di­rect-trade farms all over the world, in­clud­ing Costa Rica, Ecuador, and Mada­gas­car. In fact, Wild Sweets is the only sci­ence-based bean-to-bar choco­late maker in Canada. The com­pany col­lab­o­rates with UBC in re­search into the in­ten­sive pro­ce­dure. You can visit their fac­tory to watch or even book a ses­sion

at its lab for a bet­ter un­der­stand­ing of where choco­late comes from and what goes into cre­at­ing the world’s most pop­u­lar treat.

BEST SIGN THAT VAN­COU­VER HAS ITS EAT­ING-AND-DRINK­ING PRI­OR­I­TIES IN OR­DER

When the City of Van­cou­ver an­nounced ear­lier this year that a plas­tic-straw ban would go into ef­fect in 2019, many en­vi­ron­men­tally minded lo­cals re­joiced. But then came the ques­tions: what will this mean for peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties who rely on such tools to eat and drink? And how will we con­sume our bub­ble tea—the beloved Tai­wanese bev­er­age that, thanks to the in­clu­sion of tasty top­pings like tapi­oca balls, grass jelly, and pud­ding, of­ten re­quires the use of an over­sized straw? The city has yet to of­fer an­swers to ei­ther in­quiry, though it’s nice to see that Van­cou­verites have their pri­or­i­ties in or­der. Now does any­one know where one can go to buy a stain­less-steel straw?

BEST NEW PNE FOOD

For the first time, the 2018 fair fea­tured a Granny Smith ap­ple smoth­ered in thick caramel sauce then dipped in whole, dried crick­ets. The Sweet Mind Candy Co. crew got the idea af­ter see­ing the over­whelm­ingly pos­i­tive re­sponse to the pre­ced­ing sea­son’s cricket burger at Gourmet Burger. The crunchy candy ap­ples will be back next year.

BEST NEW VEG­E­TAR­IAN TREAT IN­SPIRED BY THE PNE

Veg­gie corn dog

Colony North­woods (2100 Dol­lar­ton High­way, North Van­cou­ver)

Why should car­ni­vores get all the deep­fried fun? The newly opened Colony North­woods bar has launched a veg­gie corn dog, bat­tered in-house and served with ketchup and mus­tard. BEST THING TO EAT IF YOU’RE NOT ON A GLUTEN-FREE DIET

No dis­re­spect to those who have to (or choose to) main­tain a gluten-free diet, but this is what you’re miss­ing out on: Lee’s Donuts. Specif­i­cally, the honey-dip dough­nut from the ven­er­a­ble Granville Is­land Mar­ket ven­dor. It’s like a slice of heaven when you get your hands on one of these freshly made treats, iden­ti­fied by its warm and flakey ex­te­rior, with a cloud­like in­te­rior. They’re so sweet and de­li­cious, you can’t re­ally blame non–gluten-free folks for rav­ing about these deep-fried good­ies.

MOST WEL­COME RE­BOOT OF A WEST END HANG­OUT

With all the neigh­bour­hood-favourite eater­ies shut­ting down due to re­de­vel­op­ment, it’s al­ways heart­en­ing to hear that an es­tab­lish­ment is find­ing ways to rein­vent it­self and con­tinue on, even if in slightly dif­fer­ent

forms. One of the most en­cour­ag­ing was in the West End when the un­cer­tain fu­ture of Ham­burger Mary’s

Diner finally found foot­ing and it was re­born as Mary’s on Davie. It re­vi­tal­ized the Mary ol’ so­cial heart of the Davie Vil­lage, aside the Jim Deva

Plaza and the rain­bow cross­walks.

With new own­er­ship, a re­vamped menu of burg­ers and milk­shakes, and fresh pink-and-turquoise dé­cor, the party is back in full swing to keep the LGBT com­mu­nity spirit go­ing strong. Be­cause, af­ter all, isn’t ev­ery­one a lit­tle Mary? BEST RE­MINDER THAT METRO VAN­COU­VER HAS SOME OF THE WORLD’S BEST CHI­NESE FOOD Re­peat­edly, in­ter­na­tional crit­ics and din­ers have praised Metro Van­cou­ver for the qual­ity and di­ver­sity of our Chi­nese culi­nary es­tab­lish­ments. The lat­est ex­am­ple came on June 4 when the New York Times ran an ar­ti­cle by writer Taras Grescoe en­ti­tled “The Best Asian Food in North Amer­ica? Try Bri­tish Columbia”. Grescoe mostly ex­plored the world of Chi­nese cui­sine on of­fer, pri­mar­ily fo­cused on Rich­mond. Now ex­cuse us as we run out to grab a bite of har gow and siu mai. BEST FILIPINO DIN­ING TREND THAT’S CATCH­ING ON WITH THE MAIN­STREAM No­body needs serv­ing dishes, cut­lery, or plates when they go to a boo­dle fight. Le­gend has it that Philip­pine sol­diers be­gan the prac­tice of din­ing com­mu­nally with all the food spread on a layer of banana leaves. When they said “dig in” they meant it lit­er­ally—with their hands. Now, boo­dle fights are a sta­ple in sev­eral Lower Main­land restau­rants and they’re be­com­ing in­creas­ingly pop­u­lar with peo­ple who don’t trace their

There was a new voice in the Leg­isla­tive Assem­bly of Bri­tish Columbia last March. A very new voice, in fact. One that only man­aged a few squeaks and gib­ber­ish but which was still heard. It be­longed to Dev Juno Chan­dra Her­bert, who was only 13 months old when he took a seat in the leg­is­la­ture. Baby Dev was in Vic­to­ria with his fa­ther, Spencer Chan­dra Her­bert, who is the NDP MLA rep­re­sent­ing Van­cou­ver–west End. Chan­dra Her­bert brought his son to work to il­lus­trate a change in cham­ber rules that now al­lows MLAS to sit with chil­dren two years old and younger. “MLAS voted to change the rules to make the Leg­is­la­ture more friendly for MLAS with ba­bies to­day,” Chan­dra Her­bert wrote on Face­book along­side a photo of Dev look­ing slightly con­fused by the whole af­fair. “In­fants un­der two in the care of their par­ent are now wel­come on the floor and com­mit­tee rooms of the leg­is­la­ture.”

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