Though Canada has traditionally been a hockey country, support for its national soccer teams continues to grow. The women's national team has been exciting fans coming off of a groundbreaking 2012 season, winning the Country's first summer Olympic traditional team sport medal since 1936. With this success, they have been awarded Team of the Year by the Canadian Press and CBC. The team continues to perfect their skills in the hopes of winning the 2015 FIFA Women?s World Cup Canada 2015 that their country will be hosting.
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.
Foreign, classic, and Canadian films light up the big screen at Pacific Cinémathèque, a 194-seat theatre recognized by the Vancouver Sun as the best art-house and foreign-film venue in 2009. Established as a film society almost four decades ago, the movie palace has since flourished into a polestar for under-the-radar films, showcasing lesser-known works and cinematic icons alike during single and double billings six nights a week. In an effort to enhance Vancouver's cinematic culture without transplanting the Hollywood sign to the top of One Wall Centre, the theatre is also home to several educational opportunities including a film reference library and the West Coast Film Archive, which preserves the legacy of independent filmmaking on Canada's west coast.
Dunbar Theatre keeps things simple: fresh popcorn, comfortable seats, a friendly staff, and one big screen. But in simplicity is something fresh. Those newly installed seats have enough room that audiences can stretch their legs, armrests raise for cuddling, and a balcony lets viewers change up their sightlines. Old-fashioned styles aside, the movie house stays up-to-date with recently upgraded projection technology and a sound system with the clarity of 10,000 Morgan Freemans. Located near UBC, the theatre is within walking distance of numerous diners and cafes, making it a date-night no-brainer.
The friendly filmwheelers at Fifth Avenue Cinemas screen an eclectic mix of mainstream hits and little-known independent flicks in their Burrard Street theatre. Your Groupon is good for two tickets plus a large serving of popcorn, blanketed in a rich coat of real butter and made from corn that contains no genetically modified organisms or evil-sauce. The theatre boasts snuggle-inducing "love seats," in which each armrest can be raised so you and your date or anthropomorphic dachshund can cuddle throughout the film. Upcoming flicks include Philip Seymour Hoffman's feature-film directorial debut, Jack Goes Boating, and Woody Allen's upcoming You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger.
Indie electropop duo Uh Huh Her lights up the stage with hypnotic, pulsating beats on a night that celebrates the release of its new album, Nocturnes, and draws attention to October’s National Breast Cancer Prevention Month. The pair’s dance-friendly vibe and swoon-friendly looks belie the sophistication of the melodies featured on their debut LP, a collaboration that draws from their former jobs as piano movers and diverse musical backgrounds. While ivory-tickler Camila Grey channels her classical training into soft and seductive synth phrases, Leisha Hailey keeps the rhythm with aggressive bass licks honed during her time in ‘90s indie duo The Murmurs. Supporting songsmith Jarrod Gorbel kicks off the night with a set of earnest tunes that will have punks pogo-ing in slow, poetic cadences while he recites lyrics of quiet lament tattooed across his arms.