From 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on December 22, more than 100 local and indie vendors will crowd Last Chance Craft Fair, selling handmade crafts amid seasonal festivities at the Croatian Cultural Center. Last-minute buyers can browse seemingly endless rows of vendors showcasing jewelry, housewares, children’s items, and clothing.
Now that it has been fully restored, the Rio Theatre immediately recalls the splendour of its grand opening in 1938. Hiding behind the old-fashioned aesthetics, however, are a digital HD projector and surround-sound speakers that immerse filmgoers in an eclectic array of first-run blockbusters and cinema classics. Showing films again as of April 2012, the theatre’s movie selection ranges from sci-fi and horror to wholesome family films, though the program coalesces around a love for pop culture that the owners share with their most ardent fans.
Aside from the daily show times, cult classics—frequently in their original 35 mm form—screen at midnight on Fridays. Guests from all walks of life come out to these packed showings, where they can snack on popcorn made with real butter or win prizes for dressing in costume as their favourite character or key grip. The 420-seat theatre also hosts concerts and events throughout the year, including past performances by Janeane Garofalo and local musicians Bend Sinister.
Richmond Indoor Paintball lets competitive sharpshooters live out intricate battle strategies in 25,000 square feet of barricades, abandoned buildings, and streets made to look like a real town. Open year-round, the facility’s graffiti-splattered walls surround the field, and the beat-up old cars littered about offer cover. Players find only premium rental equipment, paintballs, and all elements of play kept feeling as though they were plucked straight from a video game. The space accommodates up to 60 guests from noon to midnight each day except Tuesday, when the facility closes for cleaning and community art-history lectures. Click here to view a virtual tour.
Starting out in 1980 with only four rafts, Hyak River Rafting has since acquired an armada of top-of-the-line vessels equipped to handle the orneriest river safely. During trips on British Columbia's most exciting rivers—the Chilliwack, Thompson, Chilko, Chilcotin, and Fraser Rivers—licensed guides lead river trips lasting from several hours to several days, during which participants learn to manoeuvre around the grasping tentacles of feral octopuses. On most trips, crew and guests get soaked as the water rages about them before more tempered waters allow them to take in the sights of rock-banked rivers populated by lush forests and curious wildlife.
For more than 45 years, Simon Fraser University has nurtured the talents of student-athletes who have gone on to achieve great things in either aspect of that role, producing Rhodes Scholars and Olympians alike. Since winning its first championship in 1972—swimming and diving in men's NAIA—the Clan has claimed victory in more than 50 National NAIA or CIS championships in such sports as skiing, women's basketball, and women's wrestling. Each year, rather than honouring its athletes as in other schools' age-old traditions—sending them off on an ice floe to fight the Soviets—SFU bestows an outstanding male and female each with a highland sgian dubh, a traditional Gaelic weapon that symbolizes courage, respect, and loyalty.
When the competitive career of two-time Olympian and five-time Canadian National Champion Anna Rice came to an end, she never considered hanging up her racquet. Instead, she became the program director at Badminton Vancouver. Here, she and her fellow instructors teach students of all levels the sport's ins and outs, from basic shots and strokes to refining footwork.
Lessons take place on the facility's 12 indoor courts, which are outfitted with the same brand of scuff-resistant Mondo flooring used in the Olympic games. Thirty-three-foot-high ceilings accommodate even the loftiest lobs, and anti-glare lighting ensures that players can’t blind their opponents via the strategic use of wristwatches. Along with lessons, the courts host camps, birthday parties, tournaments, and drop-in games.
The pro shop equips players with racquets, shoes, apparel, and other gear. Overlooking the courts, The Mezz Cafe & Lounge beckons to guests with sandwiches, pastries, specialty coffees, and the latest sports on big-screen HD televisions.