The craftspeople at Bastion Gallery Fast Frames encase art pieces, memorabilia, and photographs in custom-designed frame, mat, and glass combinations. They perform all framing services in-house to ensure quality work with a quick turnaround time. The gallery's team also manages an art gallery exhibiting vibrant abstracts, acrylic landscapes, and crisp photography, perfect for adorning the bare walls of a Batcave.
In the verdant Cowichan Valley, Pacific Northwest Raptors cares for a diverse flock of birds of prey—owls twist their heart-shaped heads curiously, and hawks look on with eyes like copper coins. The staff provides them a safe habitat while educating the public about their habits, hunting methods, and favourite brands of feather cosmetics. Eagles and falcons ride warm zephyrs overhead daily, searching for prey high over the canopy when they aren’t perched back at the centre.
Avian experts demo the birds’ skills during walks, which include the opportunity for patrons to have a hawk or owl land on a gloved hand or already impressive jaw line. Intensive workshops and week-long falconry courses let guests settle in with the animals beneath the towering trees, which hush each other liltingly in the wind. Regular family events at the centre facilitate bonding with the regal raptors, many of which are trained in film work and pest control.
Dev and Joanne McIntyre first began to experiment with winemaking after moving to the Mt. Lehman area in 1984. They tended to their small backyard vineyard and carefully tracked how different grapes grew and developed in the region's distinctive climate. After sharing these data and collaborating with fellow viticulturalists, Dev and Jo narrowed the list of possibilities down to a few specific varietals, which they felt could ripen evenly along the relatively cool and precipitation-prone coastline.
When they purchased Salt Spring Vineyards in 2008, they set about growing some of these grapes, also opting to fashion pleasantly sweet wines from organic apples and locally grown blackberries. Although their very first experiments occasionally had to be recycled as wine vinegars, grape jellies, or aperitifs for pampered houseplants, they continued to hone their craft with each and every harvest. Currently, the selection boasts a range of styles, including a crisp, dry pinot gris and an unctuous cabernet libre that balances its dark fruit flavours with firm tannins. As a demonstration of their commitment to the environment, Dev and Jo also adhere to sustainable growing practices and avoid using any herbicides or pesticides in their fields.
Though self-professed foodie Michelle Ng proudly admits to ordering takeout 20 times a week, it wasn’t until she started striking up conversations with the chefs behind her favourite dishes that she got a sense of the depth and diversity of Vancouver’s food scene. Now, on her walking tours, Michelle strives to impart the weight of the local food lore she has gleaned during countless conversations with food-truck owners, chefs, and restaurateurs. In an effort to showcase the city’s cultural diversity, she prioritizes truly authentic international cuisine. “It’s not fusion, it’s not dumbed down—these dishes are what you’d get if you had them in their native country,” she says. And because there's no need to walk very far to sample those dishes, she’s found Vancouver to be the perfect city for hoofing it between each dining destination. At each tour’s conclusion, guests walk away not only with full bellies, but with recipes and tips for recreating their favourite dishes at home, and a bonus of any paper napkins they manage to smuggle out whole.
Rustic wood cabins interconnected by wooden walkways stand amid a network of fountains, mountain streams, and small waterfalls. Dense forest and blooms of emerald ferns spread out in all directions. The train whistle and drum beats echo through the trees. At Klahowya Village in Stanley Park, natural scenery opens up to authentic representations of British Columbia's First Nations and Métis cultures through its attractions, performances, and artisan marketplace. As guests arrive, knowledgeable First Nations guides in native dress usher guests into the park, where they can start by taking in the sights or boarding the miniature covered Spirit Catcher train for storytelling journeys past forest tableaus.
Young dancers and actors in traditional dress stage cultural performances every Friday through Sunday throughout the summer, and coffee by Spirit Bear Coffee Company keeps visitors warm year-round. In the indoor marketplace, First Nations and Métis artisans proffer pieces of handmade visual art, jewellery, apparel, and other crafts. The nonprofit Aboriginal Tourism Association of British Columbia operates the park as part of its aim to create a sustainable and educational showcase of Aboriginal culture for visitors and local residents.
Rain or shine, for 362 days out of the year, Vancouver's streets teem with Big Bus's fleet making their daily stops around the city's sites. Customers pile aboard for 90-minute hop-on, hop-off tours that trek down a route that wends past Vancouver's most compelling attractions, enabling guests to create flexible sightseeing outings that proceed at a convenient pace. Tour captains ferry passengers past 22 city landmarks, such as Stanley Park, Granville Island, and Gastown, letting passengers spring out of their seats before picking up ticket-holders and tumbleweeds eager to make their way across the city. Champions of making the city accessible to visitors from around the globe, Big Bus tours are available in seven languages, including English and German.
Drawing inspiration from a centuries-old German tradition, wherein people would warm away their winter blues and welcome the holiday season with uproarious festivities, the Vancouver Christmas Market fills the night air with mirth. Rows of lighted evergreens and more than 45 wooden huts lined with pine branches and twinkling lights spread out under the sky, allowing guests to duck in and examine European-themed, often handcrafted, wares. In addition to traditional German foods—bratwurst, fruitcake-like stollen, and mugs of hot mulled glühwein—the huts also house vendors slinging all manner of gifts and decorations. Woodcarvings, knitted scarves, and ornate beer steins perfectly slip into stockings, populate the space beneath a Christmas tree, or serve as spot-savers in the local hot tub, and delicate glass ornaments or nutcrackers help bring Christmas cheer into homes.
While guests peruse the collection of edible and giftable goods, they can also enjoy the sights and sounds of performances by traditional European choirs and dance troupes. At the on-site Kids' Market, a variety of age-appropriate activities entertain younger children, including a festive carousel, chocolate-lollipop-decorating stations, and gingerbread mascots.