Hot Ticket: Indian Summer Festival
Mother Nature may have had a hand in it, but when it comes to the recent shift in the weather, Indian Summer Festival artistic director Sirish Rao is taking full credit.
“It’s because of the title of the festival,” he says with a laugh.
“The Indian Sleet and Snow Festival just doesn’t have quite the same ring.”
But this weekend’s heat won’t only be felt outdoors.
Festival goers can warm up with all-day wellness workshops including yoga, meditation and Ayurveda, Bollywood dance lessons and films featuring Sharmila Tagore – India’s Liz Taylor – then dine under the stars at an exclusive dinner in a secret location with celebrity chef Vikram Vij.
The fest also features top Indian authors and thinkers, including international human rights expert Miloon Kothari, leading feminist and historian Urvashi Butalia and highly acclaimed journalist and India Today editorial director M.J. Akbar.
“More and more our futures are being defined by political events all over the globe and we have to start understanding that,” says Mr. Rao.
“We have to be part of that dialogue.”
Try out the latest paddling gear, learn how to kayak, and find out how, and more importantly why, people stand-up paddle – or “SUP” – at MEC Paddlefest.
“I like the simplicity of it. You have your board, you have your paddle and some basic safety equipment, you stand up and off you go,” says MEC’s Adam Hoogeveen, who says the odd-looking sport likely originated in Hawaii, where surfers would paddle around on flat water days, and has since taken off along the West Coast.
“It’s also a lot easier than some people might think, it’s a really good core workout, and rather than sitting down in a boat, you are standing up, so you get a unique vantage point.”
Paddlers can also learn about everything from kayak sailing to camp cooking at land clinics, then hit the water for paddling workshops and guided tours, or swap the old for the new at the PaddleSwap.
Got a tyke in tow? Older kids can take a kayaking clinic, while littler paddlers can enjoy an on-the-water “pony ride.”
Catch lower-case Canadian musician legend k.d. lang as she revisits her alt-country roots and performs some of her biggest hits – including her stunning take on Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah – with her band, the Siss Boom Bang (at the Commodore Saturday and Sunday, ticketmaster.ca).
Dukes of September Rhythm Review
For more classic sounds, don’t miss The Dukes of September Rhythm Review – a supergroup made up of rock veterans Donald Fagen, Michael McDonald and Boz Scaggs (at the Orpheum Saturday, ticketmaster.ca). Want music with serious star power? See Hollywood heavyweight Kevin Costner perform a free show with his band, Modern West, at Sun Peaks Saturday (sunpeaksresort.com).
Dancing on the Edge Festival
See dance that has blissfully little to do with celebrities, judges or Paso Doble at the Dancing on the Edge Festival, this year featuring Montreal’s Fortier Danse-Création, Toronto’s Adelheid Dance Projects, Vancouver’s 605 Collective, MOVE: the company, Tara Cheyenne Performance and more (dancingonthedge.org). Can’t sit still? Take a free lesson then show off your spiciest moves at Sunday Afternoon Salsa at Robson Square (through August 26, sundayafternoonsalsa.com).
Give yourself some serious summer chills at Pacific Cinémathèque, where they’re screening nine spine-tingling classics by Alfred Hitchcock – among them Psycho, Rear Window, Vertigo and North by Northwest – as well as two French rarities and the director’s complete works for TV (until August 11, cinematheque.bc.ca).
Tour de Delta
Get your legs pumping at Tour de Delta, one of B.C.’s most popular cycling races – or fuel up on pancakes then cheer on the competitors as they fly alongside Delta farmlands (through Sunday, tourdedelta.com). For more pedal power, don’t miss BC Super Week races across the Lower Mainland (through July 15, bcsuperweek.ca) or the Granfondo Axel Merekx Okanagan (Sunday, granfondoaxelmerckx.com).
Strip down to your bare essentials without getting arrested at the Underwear Affair, a 10k run or 5k walk for cancers below the waist (Saturday, uncoverthecure.org). Or take it all off at Wreck Beach Day, where you can enjoy sandcastle building, body painting, kite flying, a hula hoop contest – and ocean breezes in all kinds of unfamiliar places (Saturday, wreckbeach.org).
Subaru Vancouver International TriathlonSoak in beautiful views as you test your swimming, running and cycling mettle at the Subaru Vancouver International Triathlon, named one of the “Top 10 Urban Triathlons on the Planet” by Triathlete Magazine (at Spanish Banks Sunday, triseries.ca). For a little lower velocity fitness, twist yourself into a pretzel for people in need at Victoria’s first-ever Yogathon, a fundraiser for the Victoria Cool Aid Society (Saturday, coolaid.org).
Theatre Under the Stars
Make the most out of the long summer nights at Theatre Under the Stars, this year featuring Titanic: A New Musical and the Music Man (through August 18, tuts.ca). Care for a musical that’s devilishly funny? Check out Altar Boyz – a boy-band send-up that including lyrics such as “Girl, you make me wanna wait” and “Jesus called me on my cellphone” (at the Revue Stage until Sept. 1, artsclub.com).
Get politically incorrect as outspoken TV host, commentator and stand-up comedian Bill Maher – who just last week landed in hot water for referring to the Republican Party as “the Party of the Apes” – brings his button-pushing brand of humour to Victoria (at the Royal Saturday, ticketmaster.ca).
Summer Okanagan Wine FestivalPack your weekend to-do list with champagne breakfasts, winery tours, hillside barbecues, gourmet winemaker dinners, outdoor concerts, glitzy galas and more at the Summer Okanagan Wine Festival (until July 16, thewinefestivals.com), or enjoy barbecues, mid-mountain serenades, a farmers market and painting workshops at the Sun Peaks Wine and Culture Festival (through Sunday, sunpeaksresort.com). Care to sip for a cause? Join the Cowichan Valley Grape Escape – a two-day, all-level bike tour for multiple sclerosis (cowichanvalleygrapeescape.com).
Whistler Celebration of Arts
Discover Whistler’s creative side at the Celebration of Arts Weekend, which comes with an art walk, roving musicians, walking tours, art demos and a local artists’ Paint-Off, as well as free live music by Pacifika and Vancouver chanteuse Jill Barber (whistler.com). Want arts minus the steep climb? Hit the Harrison Festival of the Arts (until July 15, harrisonfestival.com).