Posted in Arts, Top Arts

20 things to see and do over the break

From movies to the best ’gramable spots and vegan eats, here are what will keep you busy over the break. Plus, the hottest summer concerts to plan for.

Olive and Ruby should be near the top of your list of places to check out if you're looking for the perfect Instagram post.
Olive and Ruby should be near the top of your list of places to check out if you're looking for the perfect Instagram post.
Image Credits: The Georgia Straight

Five must-see summer concerts – Grace Rose

1. Lady Gaga – August 1

Mother Monster is back, embarking on her latest world tour, and kicking it off right here in Vancouver. Since her last album was filled with some cool alt-rock, country vibes, it’ll be a show to remember. Gaga is an incredible performer, so this show is bound to be an amazing time.

2. J. Cole – July 18

If you’re looking for some good hip-hop and rap with a unique message and vibe, then you definitely need to check out this show. His last record 4 Your Eyez Only has been met with critical acclaim and Cole is an incredible lyricist. It’s definitely worth checking out.

3. Postmodern Jukebox – June 30

Have you ever wondered what a Beyoncé song would sound like if she was a Motown singer from the 1960s? Or a Britney bop as a 1930s swing hit? Well, if you haven’t (or have), Postmodern Jukebox has done it for you! They’re coming to Vancouver as a part of the Vancouver Jazz Festival and is definitely worth checking out. The tickets are a little on the expensive side, but well worth the splurge.

4. Jojo – May 13

If you were a child during the 2000s, or a fan of Disney music, then you most certainly belted “Too Little Too Late” at the top of your lungs at some point. Now, you have a chance to do that with the singer herself! If you’re ready for some killer vocals, her show is a must-see.

5. Ed Sheeran – July 28

The British King of Swoony Romance songs is coming to Vancouver and is ready to sing some of his latest hits. With great lyrics and unique melodies, Sheeran is bound to put on a good show. His concert is definitely worth checking out to beat the summer heat!

Five must-eat vegan restaurants – Eva Zhu

1. Meet on Main / Meet in Gastown

Meet serves up vegan and gluten-free fare on Main Street and in Gastown. I went there recently with a couple of friends and fell in love with the atmosphere — especially the handmade video game character artwork that’s for sale on the walls. Some of the best dishes on the menu are the burgers, mac and cheese, and deep-fried sweet-chili cauliflower.

2. Eternal Abundance

If you’re looking for a more natural place to go get lunch, Eternal Abundance on Commercial Drive is right up your alley. Half of the store sells fresh produce, and the other half has a seating area with a cafe. Their menu features fresh smoothies, juices, juice shots, hot drinks, and food items ranging from waffles to salads to pasta. You might find yourself sitting here for hours because the atmosphere is just that fabulous.

3. The Arbor

The Arbor (on Main Street) is a brightly lit, almost all white, quaint little restaurant that sells vegan comfort food. Whether you’re looking for spaghetti with “meatballs,” mac and cheese, or broccoli popcorn, they’ve got it. There are also delicious iced teas and cocktails on the menu.

4. Sweet Cherubim Organic and Natural Food Store, Bakery, and Restaurant

Just a few doors down from Eternal Abundance is this bakery and restaurant that sells cakes, cookies, wraps, and amazing Indian food. Not everything is vegan, so it’s important to ask the owners. If you’re going there for lunch, try the vegan samosas and spring rolls.

5. Chomp Vegan Eatery

Unlike the other four entries on this list, Chomp is in Port Moody. It has organic vegan items on the menu from sliders to pizza. They also have in-house made vegan cupcakes, which are drool-worthy. Their portions are smaller, so if you have a big appetite, it’s probably not the place for you.

Five most Instagram-worthy spots in Vancouver – Victoria Lopatka

1. Bloedel Floral Conservatory (4600 Cambie Street, Vancouver)

The Bloedel Conservatory is the perfect photo location for the outdoor photographers living in rainy Vancouver. It boasts a huge variety of tropical, subtropical, and desert plants and birds. See if you can find the blue-winged macaws and the talking sulphur-crested cockatoo.

2. The Woodward’s Building (128 West Cordova, Vancouver)

The Woodward’s building is a lesser-known photography spot in Vancouver. The historic building was redesigned by Gregory Henriquez and re-opened in 2009. The 40-floor, rust-colored building is perfectly suited to its Gastown neighborhood and has tons of curves, corners, windows, and arches that will delight the eye of your camera and your followers. Look for the giant metal W.

3. Olive & Ruby (2839 W Broadway, Vancouver)

If Olive & Ruby hasn’t shown up on your Instagram home page, you need to start following some different people — or perhaps just their aesthetic Instagram account! The café is named after the creator’s daughters, and if you like plants, acai bowls, hanging wicker furniture, and marquee signs, it’s a must-visit photo location.

4. Murals on Main Street (2111 Main St, Vancouver / 5 E 8th Ave, Vancouver / 2902 Main St, Vancouver)

If you enjoy street art and grand wall-to-wall murals, Main Street should be your next photo destination. Thanks to the mural festival last year, Main Street and the surrounding Mount Pleasant area is home to over 40 murals. Most notable include the City Centre Motor Hotel, Hootsuite Media Inc., and the 49th Parallel murals, but there’s everything from underwater scenes to wild animals to swirly fonts, all waiting for your camera lens.

5. Whytecliffe Park (7102 Marine Drive, West Vancouver)
Sea lions chilling on the rocks? Sailboats bobbing on the water? Lilac and orange sunsets? Sounds like a perfect Instagram picture. This location is great on a sunny day or a cloudy, rainy, typical Vancouver day, so get going #NatureLovers!

Five films to see before summer begins – Sera Akdogan

1. Power Rangers

Relive your childhood and see a modern theatrical rendition about those colourful teenage superheroes that most ‘90s kids will remember. While only somewhat kid-friendly (it’s rated PG-13 because it’s a tad more violent than the TV series), this action-packed film is appropriate for both adults and children alike — especially with its multicultural cast, and LGBTQ and autistic characters.

2. Life

Life is a thrilling tale about a crew of scientists aboard the International Space Station who come across a new life form on Mars. Their greatest discovery quickly turns into their greatest fear when they realize that this new life form is actually life-threatening. Whoa. Part of me just wants to see this film because it has Ryan Reynolds and Jake Gyllenhaal as lead characters. While these equally talented actors may look good in space suits, it’s worth seeing for the blend of sci-fi and horror genres.

3. Boss Baby

Boss Baby definitely gives me PG Stewie Griffin vibes. It’s about two brothers — one, a pompous baby genius, and the other, a resentful seven-year-old — who team up to save the world. Alec Baldwin as Boss Baby seems hilariously perfect, and animated films are fun for adults, too!

4. Ghost in the Shell

Okay, so maybe Scarlett Johansson should not have been cast as the lead in a Japanese anime remake. Still, Ghost in the Shell looks ridiculously cool: it’s set in a futuristic city in which technological advancement has made cyber brains and prosthetic bodies possible. While cyber brains allow for infinite connectivity networks, they are also highly susceptible to hackers. That’s where Johansson’s cyborg character comes in — the robotic heroine’s role is to ultimately weed out these hacking criminals and protect her humanity in the process. Cyborgs and sci-fi? I’m into it.

5. The Zookeeper’s Wife

If you like animals and history, then this film is for you. It’s based on Diane Ackerman’s book of the same name, which tells the story of the resistance in Warsaw during Nazi occupation. This film is worth seeing for its message about compassion and kindness for all sentient beings. Also, it’s based off of a true story.