Improv Comedy: It’s Good for You.

by James  Twaites

Maybe you’ve heard of improv.  Maybe you haven’t.  Here’s the gist:  people make up plays as they perform them live in front of you.  It’s pretty great, and I recommend it.   Getting out to the theatre for your “cultural education” can feel like hard work, and it feels easier (and cheaper) to stay at home and watch six consecutive episodes of  —insert running sitcom—.  Although —insert character— is oh-so relatable and funny, it’s no substitute for getting out there and experiencing theatre.

This is why improv is a good culture fix; it isn’t homework.  No one will make you watch it, you aren’t expected to take away a life lesson or gain a better understanding of your place in the universe.  Granted, sometimes good improv is transformative, but it’s not why people go to see it.  We go to see danger.  Like a tightrope walking act or a roller-coaster, improv gives the sensation that something could go wrong at any time (and it does).  When groups of people make up stories on the spot, sometimes it doesn’t work.  Here’s the thing, that is what makes it interesting.  You see the players adjust in real time to the unexpected, and like a good game of sports, the outcome is discovered by the audience and the players together.

“Enough talk”, I hear you say.  “When and where does this happen?”

I’m glad you asked.  Here are some cool improv crews and events that run in Vancouver.

Grad School Improv

Grad School Improv is a collection of current and past UBC improvisers who perform at Seven Dining Lounge (53 West Broadway) from 8:00pm-10:00pm  every Sunday for only $4! That’s less than a grande mocha! Every week you’ll see a collection of fun games, scenes, and some bigger long-form pieces.

10 Speed

10 SPEED is a monthly improv show that features Vancouver’s finest improv groups doing 10-minute sets on the first Tuesday of every month. If groups exceed their allotted ten minutes, hosts Tom and Devin disrupt their sets in boorish, uncouth ways.  In the past, disruptions have included live crabs, flying sharks, burlesque dancers, and pizza-eating dogs. The show makes it home at the China Cloud Theatre – 524 Main Street.

Instant Theatre

Instant Theatre also runs its shows Sunday nights, starting at 9:00pm at the Havana Theatre (1212 Commercial Drive).  Shows are $8, and extra great.  Instant Theatre has popularized several show formats including STREETFIGHT and CAGEMATCH.  Don’t worry, they aren’t as scary as they sound.  Instant Theatre is better known for its classes and workshops.  Check them out online and enroll if you’ve ever wanted to give it a try!

The Sunday Service

This weekly show features two halves of fast paced, absurd and hilarious improv  The first half is a mix of classic/reinterpreted short form games, performed in the group’s unique style. The second half is Long form story-telling improv combining high energy scene work, characters, and interwoven stories.  This happens every Sunday at 9pm at The Fox Cabaret, 2321 Main Street.  It’s $7 bucks, which is the best value for entertainment you’ll ever get.

They’re all good.  Pick one at random.  No wrong answers.  Go do it.  It will be fun, and when September rolls around, come see UBC IMPROV on campus every other Friday at 7:00 in Scarfe 100.  Go watch some improv, it’s fun, and it’s good for you.

10 Fun Things to Do in Vancouver for FREE

by Ahmadreza Farsaei

Have you recently moved to Vancouver? Are you an international student? Do you want to find more information about Vancouver? If your response to any of the previous questions is “Yes”, then I strongly recommend the followings. They are not only fun but also will expand your knowledge about one of the most beautiful cities in the North America.

  • Visit Granville Island

o   Once home to some serious industry (hence its former name, Industrial Island), Granville Island is now one of the best places for families to experience Vancouver.

  • Hang Out in Stanley Park

o   Stroll along the sea wall, picnic on the greens, smell the roses…it doesn’t get much better than Vancouver’s pride and joy.

  • Hike the Grouse Grind

o   The famous Grouse Grind hike is a must-do for outdoor enthusiasts. Your legs might hate you afterward, but the views at the top are incredible. Walking is free, though many hikers like to pay the $10 for the gondola ride down.

  • Walk around Canada Place

o   This is simply a great place to relax and watch the cruise ships glide into the city. Plus, the photo-ops are fantastic.

  • Visit the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver

o   Staying here might cost a pretty penny, but it doesn’t cost a cent to check out “the Grand Lady,” which has become a verifiable tourist destination for its distinctive history and architecture.

  • Window shop at Vancouver’s best shopping areas

o   Robson Street, Yaletown, and Commercial Drive…the city’s shopping neighborhoods give new meaning to “shop ’til you drop.”

  • Richmond Night Market

o   During the summer, this Chinese night market is free and definitely worth the trip to scope out (and dig into) fried squid, fish balls and Chinese knick-knacks.

  • Wander around Lynn Canyon

o   This is one of Vancouver’s most popular free activities. Hit the hiking trail, and be sure to brave the Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge for epic views.

  • Visit Vancouver’s free museums

o   The city’s handful of free museums (BC Golf Museum) and learning centers (Lynn Canyon Ecology Centre) offer a great way to spend the day without spending money.

  • Visit the beach

o   Vancouver’s quintessential beach experience presents views of the mountain, water, downtown core and forest – all absolutely free of charge.

Movies and TV Shows Filmed at UBC

We all know that our university is one of the best for a variety of reasons and one of those is that many of our favourite movies and TV shows were filmed on campus!

Location 1: Iona Building


UBC’s Iona building is disguised as a building at Harvard University the popular TV show Fringe, as seen in the picture above. Another TV show filmed in Iona building is Psych where the the building acts as a mental health facility.

Location 2: Chemistry Building D-Block


You’ve probably noticed that the Chemistry Building is a popular film location, but what exactly are they filming? TV shows Psych, Fringe, Supernatural, Caprica, Stargate Universe, and movie Kingdom Hospital are just a few. The image above is a shot of two characters of Caprica on their way to court.

Location 3: Chan Centre


UBC’s beautiful Chan Centre was featured in several movies such as Battlestar Galactica, seen in the image above. Other movies include, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, Kyle XY, Antitrust, Human Target, Bionic Woman, and more!

Location 4: Walter C. Koerner Library


Walter C. Koerner library was featured in both TV shows and movies! Some examples are The L Word, Smallville, Battlestar Galactica (seen above), The Butterfly Effect, and 88 minutes. So the next time you find yourself studying away in Koerner, just know that you may be sitting on the same chair that Ashton Kutcher sat on.

Location 5: Irving K. Barber Learning Centre


Irving has been featured in the hit TV show Fringe as a Boston Federal Building, Massachusetts Port Authority, and a part of Harvard University. It’s also features in Emily Owens, M.D. as the exterior of Dever Memorial Hospital. You might also have recognized the foyer of the library in Human Target, as seen in the image above.


Location 6: The Buchanan Towers


The Buchanan Towers have also been a popular film site in the recent years. X-Men Origins: Wolverine, seen above, along with Supernatural, Fringe, The 4400, and the Exorcism of Emily Rose were all filmed in or outside Buchanan!


Location 7: Rose Gardens


The UBC Rose Gardens have been a popular site for filming in both the summer and the winter. For example, lat summer Tomorrowland, featuring George Clooney was being filmed by the Rose Gardens. Other movies and TV shows include The 4400, Battlestar Galactica featured in the image above, Martian Child, Stargate Universe, and The King of Fighters.

by Shazia Damji

TED talks are coming to Vancouver!

The Vancouver move, my favorite talk & the 20 most popular talks

For the last few years TED has become a regular talking and reference point for me with all the new and innovative ideas being shared by extremely talented people. I’m especially excited for the conference this year (in March) because it is being held in my home town of Vancouver! In celebration, I want to share the reason why TED decided to move, some popular talks that anyone new to TED can watch to learn what all the hype is about and share my personal favorite talk.

TED has spent five years in Long Beach, but have decided to try a new space in Vancouver, a city that’s itself an inspiration — cosmopolitan, energetic, innovative, yet with unrivaled natural beauty, surrounded by mountains and water. The conference will be held in the recently completed convention center because it is a truly spectacular meeting space in a beautiful, peaceful corner of the city. TED isn’t moving to accommodate more people — in fact they’re slightly reducing audience size. Vancouver was chosen because it is a venue that can do even more to inspire creative thinking and dynamic ideas.

So what is TED all about? Well with over 1600+ posted talks, each representing an idea worth spreading, it can get fairly daunting. So below are the 20 most-watched talks as of December 2013 which anyone new can use as starting point to see what it’s all about. What really makes this list so incredible is the fact that it spans so many areas of interest, from education to happiness, statistics to creativity, tech demos to illusions. This list revels in the wonders of the human brain, as well as in the incredible creatures of the deep sea, and far beyond.

Sir Ken Robinson says schools kill creativity (2006): 23,510,221 views
Jill Bolte Taylor‘s stroke of insight (2008): 14,343,197
Simon Sinek on how great leaders inspire action (2010): 14,228,854
Brene Brown talks about the power of vulnerability (2010): 12,703,623
Amy Cuddy on how your body language shapes who you are (2012): 12,682,694
Pranav Mistry on the thrilling potential of SixthSense (2009): 12,068,105
Tony Robbins asks why we do what we do (2006): 10,425,014
David Gallo‘s underwater astonishments (2007): 10,266,221
Mary Roach on 10 things you didn’t know about orgasm (2009): 9,435,954
Daniel Pink on the surprising science of motivation (2009): 9,176,053
Pattie Maes and Pranav Mistry demo SixthSense (2009): 8,363,339
Dan Gilbert asks: Why are we happy? (2004): 7,788,151
Hans Rosling shows the best stats you’ve ever seen (2006): 7,685,726
Elizabeth Gilbert on nurturing your creative genius (2009): 7,593,076
Steve Jobs on how to live before you die (2005): 7,223,258
Susan Cain shares the power of introverts (2012): 6,807,240
Keith Barry does brain magic (2004): 6,371,778
David Blaine reveals how he held his breath for 17 minutes (2010): 6,359,084
Pamela Meyer on how to spot a liar (2010): 6,256,589
Arthur Benjamin does mathemagic (2005): 4,951,918

And finally, my personal favorite TED talk, “If I should have a daughter …” by poet Sarah Kay. Her poems rip at my heart strings and inspire me to be a more creative human being. Sigh. I love her. A little about her: A performing poet since she was 14 years old, Sarah Kay is the founder of Project VOICE, an organization that uses spoken word poetry as a literacy and empowerment tool.

I hope this blog and the upcoming TED talks in March inspire you too.

by Liam Loxton

The Clothesline Project

T-shirt donations are being sought for Clothesline 2014. Please bring donations to The SASC – SUB #249M during centre hours.

Bearing witness to the impacts of violence

What is the Clothesline Project?

The Clothesline Project was started by a group of women in the United States in 1990. Historically, it was a vehicle for survivors of violence to express their emotions by decorating a shirt. They then hung the shirts on a clothesline to be viewed by others as testimony to the problems of violence against women.

As The AMS Sexual Assault Support Centre (SASC) supports male, female, and trans* survivors, our clothesline is not restricted to only women’s experiences of violence. Through the project, survivors are invited to express their feelings about the physical, emotional, and/or sexual violence that they have survived.

Friends/family/loved ones of survivors, and anyone concerned by the levels of violence in our society are also invited to decorate a shirt.

Clothesline 2014 will be hosted during the week of March 3rd-8th between the hours of 11-3 outside in the space between The SUB and Brock Hall. Please join us and bring your friends!

Creating a shirt. We would like each shirt to reflect an individual’s personal experience or sentiment. You may include memorabilia, dates, or images. The AMS Sexual Assault Support Centre will provide paint, shirts, and other materials. Shirts will be hung on the clothesline to be displayed and to bear witness.

30 Uses for Bobby Pins (as borrowed by WiseBread)

Though this article is geared more towards females, males generally know that the elusive bobby pin tends to marks a females territory. Yes, they tend to be everywhere and probably annoy you when you see them – but there are uses for both males and females outside of their usually purpose of styling hair! They can be quite handy 🙂

Here is what WiseBread suggests:

1. Nail Holder
Do you always hit your thumb when you’re hammering a nail? Well, say goodbye to those old (and painful) experiences when you use bobby pins! Take a bobby pin and clip it onto the nail. As you hammer, you can secure the nail without getting your precious digits too close.

2. Toothpaste Clip
If you’re like me, you never get all the toothpaste out of the tube. With a bobby pin, you can keep the empty part empty and slowly move the pin up to get the most toothpaste for your buck!

3. Fish Hook
My dad would love this little bobby pin hack: if you’re in a pinch and fishing, bend your bobby pin into a makeshift hook.

4. Pitting Cherries and Olive
This hack is one of my favorites, as I hate to pit olives! Bobby pins are the perfect size to get around the pits in cherries and ripe olives, especially fresh ones. Just push the ends in, making sure that the ends are on either side of the pit. Push until the ends pop out the other side of the cherry or olive. Grab the ends and pull them all the way through, bringing the pit along with it.

5. Bodkin
A bobby pin is a great substitute for a bodkin. Slip the closed end of the bobby pin through the slit, and then slide the thread straight into the bobby pin. The bobby pin serves to help hold the slit open.

6. Smoking
If you have one cigarette left and you don’t know when you’ll get another pack, use a bobby pin to smoke that thing down to the filter. If you’re smoker in this economy, you can’t afford not to!

7. Tape Roll Marker
I can never quite tell where the roll of clear tape ends, and it takes me a couple minutes to peel the end off of the roll itself. When you’re done using your clear tape, pin it so that you won’t spend the extra time and frustration searching and peeling every time you use it!

8. Hair Styler
The traditional use for a bobby pin is still a good one! Bobby pins can keep your hair looking magnificent in French twists, bouffants, and more. Keep a couple in case your original pins fall out, and you’ll be golden.

9. Nose Plug
This hack won’t work for everyone, but for some a bobby pin will be the difference between keeping water (or smells) out of one’s precious little nose. One’s sense of smell is key, so protecting that nose during a particularly bad trash day or during a swim is super important!

10. Zipper
Zippers are definitely prone to breaking. If that happens on the go, grab a bobby pin and thread it onto the broken part of the zipper.

11. Jewelry
Bobby pins strung on wire or string can be a unique accessory choice — not to mention, a very inexpensive way to show you’re fashion forward. Check out some ways of making bobby pin jewelry here! (See also: 10 Places to Find Affordable Accessories)

15. Hem Helper
If a hem starts coming undone while you’re out and about, a bobby pin can hold it in place until you can sit down and hem it up properly.

13. Nail Art
Love to get detailed when you’re painting your finger or toenails? Let bobby pins help you out! Use the tip of a bobby pin to get those unique nail details when doing patterns like animals, flowers, or stripes. It’s like a professional helped you…but way cheaper.

14. Lock Picker
If you’re like me, you tend to lock yourself out of your own home.

15. Earring Bling
We’ve established that bobby pins are great for jewelry, but you can get even more creative when it comes to earrings. Paint your bobby pins, glue charms to them, and then affix them to an earring base for the most unique look ever!

16. Sew Helper
Instead of straight pins, bobby pins will hold two pieces of fabric together while you sew or put a pattern together

17. Bag Clipper
Instead of buying those giant clips, use bobby pins to keep chips and other baggies closed and their contents fresh.

18. Opening Plastic Seals on Food Jars
I don’t have long nails, and I don’t like to use knives (dangerous!), so opening plastic seals on things can be tough for me…until now!

19. Screwdriver
If you don’t have a screwdriver handy but need to get something unscrewed, a bobby pin will do the job (not quickly, but it’ll work.)

20. Resetter
If you need to reset one of your electronics, you’ll typically need a small pointy object. A bobby pin will do just fine.

21. Diving Practice
Apparently, divers throw bobby pins into pools and go after them to perfect their dives. If you’re training or just looking for a fun pool activity, this hack might be for you!

22. To Short Circuit Electronics
Yes, you can short circuit something using a bobby pin. It’s important to be careful and know that you’re ruining the pin when you attempt to short out an electronic device or outlet!

23. Crystal Holders
Are you really into crystals and want to wear them around town (or at least, not lose them)? Bending a bobby pin into a crystal holder will help you take your crystal from knick-knack to bona-fide jewelry art. For directions on how to make your own talismans, go here!

24. Thread Spool
Wrap thread around a bobby pin to use as a makeshift spool. This tip is great for travel (as many of these bobby pin tips are), and also great if you’re keeping lots of thread together in a sewing basket.

25. Fitting a T-Shirt
If you’re stuck with a baggy tee, use a bobby pin to make the shirt more fashionable and fitted. Simply bunch excess fabric and pin it up. Whatever you’re wearing, you’ll be able to look like a million bucks! (See also: No-Sew Ways to Update Your Wardrobe)

26. Anti-Clogging Device
A bobby pin can easily get inside of a drain if you’re trying to dislodge any hair or other debris. It’s also cheaper and faster than a plumber.

27. Crevasse-Cleaner
Extra putty in a wall or a painting imperfection? Use a bobby pin to clean crevasses that brushes, fingers, and other tools can’t get into.

28. Makeshift Chain
Much like safety pins, bobby pins can make you a pretty strong chain in a pinch. Unlike safety pins, bobby pins you can string together much more quickly for things like necklaces and decorations.

29. Clothespin
For smaller garments, hanging clothes with bobby pins is just as easy as a normal clothespin, but cheaper and more space-efficient. Of course, if you’re drying a comforter, bobby pins aren’t going to cut it. Socks, washcloths and shirts, however, are the perfect size for the bobby pin clothespin!

30. Toothpick
If you need to sample some food but don’t want to touch the samples (or don’t want the samples to be touched by you!) a bobby pin will work just like a toothpick, and sometimes better! Use the pin’s ends as pincers or just stab that piece of food, and you’ll be sampling in style.

by Kaity Lalonde


Are you confused about taxes? Do you want to learn how to file your income tax return and give back to the community? Join UBC TACS!

UBC Tax Assistance Clinic for Students (UBC TACS) is a student-run organization that assists students and low-income individuals in tax return preparation from late February to the end of March. We are currently looking for student supervisors and volunteers to help our 1700+ clients file their income tax returns.

Applications are open to students from ALL faculties who are interested in learning more about filing personal income tax returns and are passionate about giving back. No experience in tax is required and training will be provided. This year, the clinic runs from February 25 to March 31, 2014.

– Gain volunteer hours 
– Develop stronger communication, management, problem-solving, and leadership skills 
– Gain relevant tax and accounting experience 
– Have the opportunity to network with professionals in the accounting industry 
– Certificate of recognition from the Canada Revenue Agency upon successful completion of the program 
– Receive first-hand training from the Canada Revenue Agency
– Meet new people!

Deadline for supervisor applications are Friday, January 10, 2014 at 11:59 PM

Deadline for volunteer applications are Thursday, January 16, 2014 at 11:59 PM

Visit for applications and details.

Facebook Event page:

Feel free to email us at with any questions!

Residence Advisor Recruitment

Looking for an involvement opportunity next year? We are actively recruiting students to be Residence Advisors. Many RAs tell us this was an amazing experience and most re-apply. Highlights of the job include: community building, teamwork, and experience with event planning, project management as well as personal development. We’re looking for hard-working, outgoing, and responsible staff members to help enhance the residence life experience for other students. If you want to be part of providing a place that helps students succeed, while having fun, we want to hear from you.


1. Be a registered UBC student and meet the requirements to live in the assigned residence area.
2. Live in assigned staff accommodation, and are not permitted to share their staff accommodation with another person, unless they have received prior written authorization from the Assistant Director Residence Life.
3. Take part in the residence meal plan if the assigned residence area requires participation in a meal plan.
4. Maintain an academic standing of 65%.
5. Any other proposed employment or extra-curricular activity must be discussed with and approved by the Residence Life Manager before the Residence Advisor can commit to it. Five to ten hours per week of additional employment and/or extra-curricular involvement is a guideline.
6. Prior to signing an Advisor Employment Contract, any proposed time away from residence (including academic practicums, placements, field school, etc.) must be discussed with and approved by the RLM.
7. Residence Advisors must provide a Criminal Record Search to document that no relevant criminal record exists.
8. An Advisor may reapply for a position in Residence Life in subsequent years. Each applicant will participate in a returner-hiring process. Previous employment does not guarantee a future position with the department.

For the period of mid-August 2014 through May 2, 2015 only.

For the term of appointment, the Residence Advisor receives $7,120.

More information including job description and how to apply can be found here:

Holiday Gift Ideas

It’s that time of year again and just like every other year, you are stressing out as the days count down to the holidays and you realize that you still haven’t gotten any gifts yet! It may be because you haven’t had the time, but most of the time it is because you don’t know what to buy!! Well not to worry, this year you have me! So without further ado, here are some holiday gift ideas to tell the people who are the most important to you, just how important and special they are to you. 🙂

The ‘rents

Remember those handmade crafts you used to make when you were younger?

At this age, everything starts getting super nostalgic and chances are your mom thinks that you are growing up way too fast. Remind her that you are and will always still be her baby by making her a sentimental gift such as a scrapbook, a picture frame or a beautiful card. What is key is the time warp back to the past.

Or, keep the ones you love safe and warm with scarves, mittens, gloves, tuques, ear muffs, socks, slippers, pj’s, slipper booties etc. Does your mom have a favourite color or has always had an unusual obsession for cats, cupcakes, flowers, dogs, etc.? …if all else fails, go with the holiday print.

Same concept as mom! Go with sentimental, or was there that one kitchen appliance that he’s always wanted? Anything that needs to be replaced? Does your dad love sports? Does he need something to pimp up his new car? or what about that amazing wine, whiskey, or scotch that he’s been dying to try? If all else fails, bake dad an amazing cake. Even when he’s reaching his 60’s, food will always be the way to a man’s heart.

The sibs

SisterChances are, your sister probably provided you with a wish list. But if she hasn’t try buying some new clothes, jewellery, etc. Have a spa date after a long day of work for the both of you. Anything that involves sisterly bonding time would be a great gift. Take her to that movie she’s always wanted to see. Does she play sports? What about tickets to the hockey game? Does she need new sports equipment? Sport teams will be starting up practice again next season, why not let her start up the season with that new pair of soccer cleats? You get the idea… if all else fails? Gag gifts are the way to go! Anything from inside jokes you shared or any silly things that remind you of her from childhood would be perfect!

What’s that new video game that came out this season?! Better find out because chances are, if your brother owns a video game console, then he would probably be interested in the newest top hit. Does he have a favourite band? Cds, and vinyl disks are starting to become a big thing now that the hipster movement is taking over. Tired of seeing him wear the same t-shirt and jeans every day? Buy him some new clothes! (or a gift card to his favourite store! if he doesn’t have a favourite store try, american eagle, R & W Co., le chateau, mexx, h&m) Is he into sports? Try getting him tickets to the next big game! Does he play any sports? You could always get him new equipment, chances are that his old equipment is almost worn out after those intense rough games.

The best friend
The reason why they’re your best friend is because this special person shares the same interests as you! Chances are, what they like is probably very similar to things that you like! Start thinking of inside jokes you two share together, things you’ve done together, places you have gone to together. Anything that reminds you of them is definitely a good place to start. If they’re your best friend, chances are they have already mentioned things that they needed, things that they lost or broke, well here’s where you can come in! Replace these things by getting them a new one! Go that extra mile and personalize this item, whether it is their favourite colour, icon, style….. Anything!
If all else fails, get them something that you guys enjoy together!

The boss
Try a gift card a nice restaurant (cactus club, the keg, milestones) or something they can put in their office. A nice Bootle of wine that they could enjoy with their special someone would be a great ption was well!

The miss
The way to a girl’s heart is jewellery! Was there a necklace or earrings that she’s been eyeing for a while? If not try pandora or tiffanys or blue ruby, keep your girl warm during the winter season with a nice knit infinity scarf, a hipster toque or some fingerless gloves! Or for something really useful, get some magnetic finger gloves which cover your fingers to keep you warm and allow you to type on your touchscreen phone at the same time!
Girl’s also love clothes! Don’t know what to get her? Buy her a gift card and take her shopping! (Aritzia, victoria’s secret, bcbgmaxazria, le chateau.)
If you’re really looking to impress, buy her an full outfit and jewellery for your next fancy night out!

The boyfriend
Your man loves you and will definitely love anything you pick out for him because he wants you to be satisfied every time you look at him! Is there that one thing in his closet that needs to go? Is there something that you would love to see him in? For classy men try a silver wristwatch (guess, ) or a new suit tie that he could wear for the next date.

Keep him cozy with a nice scarf and mittens ( burberry, mexx, le chateau) on those cold date nights.
Perhaps he needs a new wallet because his old ones worn out. (Guess, calvin klein)
A new scent goes a long way! Try jean paul gautier, givency,or ralph lauren)

Here are just a couple of ideas to get you thinking. Don’t be afraid of personalizing your gifts to make them more meaningful for your loved ones. I hope this helped! Shop away everybody!!
Happy holidays !

by Chloe Lam

Top 10 things to do during December in Vancouver

Staying around Vancouver for the holidays? You may be far from your family and your closest friends, but that doesn’t mean you will have less to do this holiday season! Finally exam-free, you are now able to explore this city during the greatest time of the year. Here are the top 10 things to do during December in Vancouver:

1. The Peak of Christmas at Grouse Mountain: 8,000 square foot outdoor ice skating pond, Santa’s workshop and much more all a top the peak of Vancouver.

2. The Vancouver Christmas Market: Celebrating the rich and unique German culture with all who enter through the gates, the Vancouver Christmas Market is a showcase of traditional German crafts, delicious food, and entertainment for all ages.

3. Skating at Robson Square: The Robson Square Ice Rink is a family favorite for the holiday season! Just beware that it may get a little crowded.

4. Bright Lights at Stanley Park: This year marks the 16th year of Bright Nights at Stanley Park. During the holiday season Stanley Park’s forest is adourned with 2 million lights transforming Vancouver’s crown jewel into a wonderful holiday winter wonderland.

5. Canyon Lights at Capilano Suspension Bridge: CLIFFWALK, the park’s latest attraction and a hit with guests since it opened in June, brings an exciting new holiday thrill during the winter chill. The narrow 700-foot cliff-side walkway, split into ascending and descending staircases and viewing platforms takes guests along the colour-washed cliff-face, through an enchanting light display high above the rushing waters of Capilano River.

6. Karaoke Trolley Tour: Join The Vancouver Trolley Company and sing your favourite holiday carols while visiting two of Vancouver’s most spectacular light displays.

7. VanDusen Garden Festival of Lights

8.Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony at Jack Poole Plaza: This is the largest tree lighting ceremony in Western Canada, with a 50-foot Rockefeller-style Christmas tree that illuminates the dreary winter nights.

9. Woodward’s Windows: In the 60s & 70s in Vancouver, Christmas meant heading down to the Woodward’s Department Store with your family or sweetheart and seeing the display windows come to life with Santa, his elves, “The Lamplighter”, teddy bears and more. When Woodwards’ closed in 1993, Canada Place purchased the windows and since then they have been a part of the holiday magic at Canada Place adding nostalgia and romance to Christmas in Vancouver.

10.Christmas in Kerrisdale: Head to one of South Vancouver’s great neighbourhoods and soak in the sights and sounds of Christmas.

by Tina Gao