Culture: Urban Legends

Macbeth, cute mammals, enticing melodies, the Mediterranean and Her Majesty: these events will heat up summer. Event // Night at the Aquarium

Night at the Aquarium | BCBusiness

Macbeth, cute mammals, enticing melodies, the Mediterranean and Her Majesty: these events will heat up summer.

Event // Night at the Aquarium

For many Vancouverites with active social calendars, the Vancouver Aquarium’s annual gala rates among the year’s best events. Set against a backdrop of exotic fish, reptiles and fauna, the night progresses swimmingly for attendees as they move between food and wine stations scattered throughout the aquarium. Although this year’s menu was not released at press time, last year it featured Ocean Wise seafood from the likes of Blue Water Café + Raw Bar and The Boathouse. For your chance to relive a school-day field trip (this time with a glass of wine), stop by the dolphin or otter habitats to see some of the most entertaining inhabitants of B.C.’s waters. Or place a bid at the silent auction; last year’s prizes included an 11-day Antarctic adventure for two. One hundred per cent of the evening’s proceeds go to education, research and conservation activities organized by the aquarium. Vancouver Aquarium, June 21.


Image: David Cooper

Theatre // Bard on the Beach

The familiar sight of tents beside the water in Vanier Park can only mean one thing: the return of B.C.’s favourite Shakespearean celebration. The four-month festival allows anyone with an appreciation for the Bard to experience his legendary iambic pentameter performed live. The Taming of the Shrew, The Merry Wives of Windsor and King John are all on this year’s playbill, but to see one of Will’s most famous tragedies, snap up a ticket for Macbeth. The Scottish Play, as it’s otherwise known, features some of the playwright’s most famous themes; witchcraft, jealousy, power and fate all play a role in the 400-year-old story. The experience extends well beyond the stage, so be sure to arrive pre-performance to take in the Bard Village and wander the festival grounds. For afternoon performances picnics are a common sight, so come prepared with enough food and drink to last an entire, memorable afternoon of timeless theatre. Vanier Park, May 31 to September 22.


Image: Alexandr Gerchikov


Festival // Vancouver Greek Summerfest

From moussaka, roast lamb and loukoumades (a Greek dessert) to live performances by Greek singers and dancers, this annual event brings the flavours and customs of the Mediterranean to the West Coast. Since its inception in 1987, the volunteer-run festival has grown from a small weekend celebration to a 10-day event that attracts over 40,000 visitors to east Vancouver. Open to the public and priced right (admission is free), face-painters and quirky performances are sure to keep the entire family entertained. Opa! Greek Orthodox Community of East Vancouver, June 28 to July 8.


Image: Larry Marano/Getty

Music // TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival

On June 22, the revered TD International Jazz Festival kicks off its 27th year. Established by the Coastal Jazz and Blues Society, a community non-profit organization focused on promoting the arts, the festival will once again bring some of the best in jazz, blues and folk music to the West Coast. The festival is made up of two distinct series: the Marquee Series and the Vogue Theatre Series, both of which include performances that will occur at venues across the city. Headliners include must-see, 10-time Grammy award winner George Benson as well as rising folk stars The Avett Brothers, who will play at Vancouver institutions like the Vogue Theatre and the Orpheum. Various Vancouver venues, June 22 to July 1.



Art // Queen Elizabeth II by Cecil Beaton: A Diamond Jubilee Celebration

Image: V&A Images/Royal BC Museum

As our capital city celebrates its 150th birthday this August, Queen Elizabeth II celebrates her Diamond Jubilee year: her 60th as Britain’s reigning monarch. In a tribute to both celebrations, Victoria’s Royal BC Museum is showing a special guest exhibit by photographer Cecil Beaton (1904-1980), which includes rarely seen photographs of the Queen throughout her life, depicting her as a princess, monarch and mother. The five-part exhibit follows changes in Beaton’s style of work, as well as changes to his most famous subject – Her Majesty herself – providing a multi-dimensional portrait of both artist and subject. Anyone with an interest in photography, our country’s Commonwealth roots or those simply curious about the woman who’s known, these days, as Will’s Granny, won’t want to miss it. Royal BC Museum, June 1 to September 3.