The members of Instant Theatre founded the Vancouver International Improv Festival to not only bring performers from across the globe together, but to also spotlight fresh comedy around the corner. Improvisers from faraway lands such as Toronto, Los Angeles, New York, and Seattle share the stage with Vancouver natives, performing in their own troupes and mixing into ad-hoc ensembles for memorable sketches. The week culminates with a super-group performance by the International Ensemble—a group of participating artists that forms for one week only to tackle new forms and forge new collaborations.
A dragonboat sounds like a boat that shoots fire—but it's actually a traditional Chinese paddleboat, one of the many that members can row at False Creek Racing Canoe Club. Founded more than two decades ago, the club now boasts a fleet of outrigger canoes and flatwater kayaks and canoes that are ideal for days when big waves are away auditioning for surfing movies. While the club is members-only and does not rent to casual paddlers, novices can learn the ropes in introductory programs for kids and adults while experts can join official boating teams.
Shane Kelley knows her way around cameras. Kelley parlayed her stint as one of the first female photojournalists at large Canadian daily newspapers the Toronto Sun, the Toronto Star, and Montreal Gazette into assignments for Time, People, Newsweek, the Just for Laughs Montreal International Comedy Festival, and the actual sun. Now as the talent behind Shane Kelley Photography, she leads students through hands-on workshops and immortalize images at affairs ranging from sporting events to live entertainment performances.
Vancouver Water Adventures equips maritime adventurers with wet suits, life jackets, and personal watercraft for exploring the waterways of False Creek and English Bay. The staff stocks a fleet of jet skis, paddleboards, and kayaks, which riders can paddle past beaches and along inlets. In addition to soaking up scenic ocean views and spying on local wildlife, guests can accompany skilled guides on jet ski tours to the area's most impressive sights. Those operating machines must have a valid driver's licence, and all passengers must be at least 6 years old without factoring in alternate theories of relativity.
Backyard Vineyards takes its name literally—it is located less than an hours drive from Vancouver. True to the laid-back atmosphere suggested by the name, visitors are welcome to lounge in the vineyard's covered gazebo and take in views of grape vines or visit the tasting room and shop, open 7 days a week.
When doctors told Joey and Darryl Simon that their son Jet’s premature birth could result in learning disabilities, the couple immersed him in the world of art as a means of helping him overcome any educational obstacles. Their tutelage and care paid off, resulting in an impressive array of paintings from their child at a very young age. Jet’s talent and creativity inspired his parents to establish 4Cats Arts Studio in hopes of unleashing the inner artists of other children as well as adults. The Simons accomplish this mission through hands-on sessions in mixed media, painting, and Artist Focus classes, which concentrate on the histories and styles of certain artists, such as Picasso’s cubism and Andy Warhol’s self-portraits of soup cans.