Musical contributions from Vancouver include performers of classical, folk and popular music. The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra is the professional orchestra based in the city. The Vancouver Opera is a major opera company in the city. The city is home to a number of Canadian composers includingRodney Sharman, Jeffrey Ryan, and Alexina Louie.
The city produced a number of notable punk rock bands, including Marianas Trench (band), Theory of a Deadman, and D.O.A.. Other early Vancouver punk bands included the Subhumans, the Young Canadians, thePointed Sticks, and UJ3RK5. When alternative rock became popular in the 1990s, several Vancouver groups rose to prominence, including 54-40, Odds, Moist, the Matthew Good Band, Sons of Freedom andEconoline Crush. Recent successful Vancouver bands include Gob and Stabilo. Today, Vancouver is home to a number of popular independent bands such as The New Pornographers, Japandroids, Destroyer, Tegan and Sara, and independent labels including Nettwerk and Mint. Vancouver also produced influential metal bandStrapping Young Lad and pioneering electro-industrial bands Skinny Puppy, Numb and Front Line Assembly; the latter’s Bill Leeb is better known for founding ambient pop super-group Delerium. Other popular musical artists who made their mark from Vancouver include Bryan Adams, Sarah McLachlan, Heart, Prism, Trooper,Chilliwack, Payolas, Images in Vogue, Michael Bublé, Marianas Trench (band), Stef Lang and Spirit of the West.
Larger musical performances are usually held at venues such as Rogers Arena, Queen Elizabeth Theatre, BC Place Stadium or the Pacific Coliseum, while smaller acts are held at places such as the Commodore Ballroom, the Orpheum Theatre and the Vogue Theatre. The Vancouver Folk Music Festival and theVancouver International Jazz Festival showcase music in their respective genres from around the world. Vancouver’s Chinese population has produced several Cantopop stars. Similarly, various Indo-Canadian artists and actors have a profile in Bollywood or other aspects of India’s entertainment industry.
Vancouver has a vibrant nightlife scene, whether it be food and dining, or bars and nightclubs. The Granville Entertainment District has the city’s highest concentration of bars and nightclubs with closing times of 3am, in addition to various after-hours clubs open until late morning on weekends. The street can attract large crowds on weekends and is closed to traffic on such nights. Gastown is also a popular area for nightlife with many upscale restaurants and nightclubs, as well as the Davie Village which is centre to the city’s LGBT community.
Drinking in Vancouver
Echoing its local food movement, Vancouverites have had a growing affinity for regional libations in recent years. It’s safe to say that wine from the Okanagan Valley kick-started the trend, closely followed by smaller operators in the Fraser Valley, on Vancouver Island and in Richmond. Not to be outdone, regional beer makers have caught up in recent years and the city is now packed with lip-smacking brews from dozens of producers across the province. But if wine is the foundation of Vancouver drinking and beer has risen to join it, what’s the next big thing? Craft distilleries are now popping up across the region and Vancouver
is becoming a capital of great and innovative cocktail makers.
B.C.’s Top Table Wines
A four-hour drive from the city brings you to the rolling, lakeside hills of the Okanagan, home to one of Canada’s top grape-growing regions. Luckily you don’t have to drive that far for a sip: the tipples created by the area’s 100 or so wineries – including celebrated producers like Quail’s Gate, Mission Hill and Sumac Ridge – are readily available in Vancouver bars and restaurants. Ask you server for some recommendations. And don’t forget the province’s other, smaller wine regions: Vancouver Island and the Southern Gulf Islands are home to some popular wineries, while closer to the city – and easily visited on a day out – Richmond and the Fraser Valley have their own smattering of producers. Wherever you end up drinking, save time for a sip of icewine. A sweet dessert tipple produced from grapes frozen on the vine, it’s one of B.C.’s signature drinks. For more information on the region’s wine industry, visit www.winebc.org.
Where to drink: Time your visit for the annual Vancouver Playhouse Interna-tional Wine Festival (www.playhousewinefest.com) or head to wine-loving local spots like Salt Tasting Room (www.salttastingroom.com), Brix Restaurant & Wine Bar (www.brixvancouver.com) or UVA Wine Bar (www.uvawinebar.ca).
B.C. is one of North America’s top emerging craft beer regions, with distinctive, lip-smacking beverages in production at small facilities across the province – many of these beers are available at bars throughout Vancouver. Next time you’re in a city pub, ask for a regional brew: you might find yourself enjoying a concoction from Crannóg Ales, Nelson Brewing, Phillips Brewing or Storm Brewing. Also try a Honey Lager or Maple Cream Ale from Granville Island Brewing, Canada’s first microbrewery. This Vancouver beer maker’s products are available on tap around the city – or you can head to its facility on Granville Island for a brewery tour. Several city bars also produce their own beer on site, including Steamworks (www.steamworks.com), Yaletown Brewing Company (www.drinkfreshbeer.com) and Dockside Brewing Company (www.docksidebrewing.com).
Where to drink: Time your visit for the annual Vancouver Craft Beer Week (http://cms.tourismvancouver.com/cms/pages/content/http:www.vancouvercraftbeerweek.com) or down a few brews from B.C. (and beyond) at Bitter Tasting Room (bittertastingroom.com); Irish Heather (); and The Bimini Public House (www.donnellygroup.ca). And look out for guest B.C. casks at many bars around the city.
After its wine and beer revolutions, the latest tipple to hit the big time in Vancouver is the cocktail. A new generation of innovative young mixologists – each with a reverence for the classics as well as a drive to try something new — has risen through the ranks of the city’s bar scene, with many now opening their own bars (or transforming existing drinks menus) across the city.
Where to drink: Pull up a stool at the bars in the Opus Hotel (www.opushotel.com), Pourhouse (www.pourhousevancouver.com); George Lounge (www.georgelounge.com), Yew Restaurant (www.yewrestaurant.com) and Hawksworth Restaurant (www.hawksworthrestaurant.com) or learn a few tricks of the trade at The Diamond (www.di6mond.com). Time your visit well and you can also partake of the annual Tales of the Cocktail touring festival (www.talesofthecocktail.com).
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