Vancouver’s evening social calendar is filled with a variety of events. Local theater ranges from productions by cutting-edge companies to a Shakespeare festival. There’s also top-notch opera, a popular symphony, and folk, film, and jazz festivals that draw people from all over the world. For a late-night crowd, there are the bars, lounges, pubs, clubs, and cafes—lots of them—for every taste, budget, and fetish.
For the best overview of Vancouver’s nightlife, pick up a copy of the weekly “Georgia Straight” (www.straight.com). The Thursday edition of “The Vancouver Sun” contains the weekly tabloid-format entertainment section “Westcoast Life.” The monthly “Vancouver” magazine (www.vanmag.com) is filled with listings and strong views about what’s really hot in the city. Or get a copy of “Xtra! West” (www.xtra.ca), the free gay and lesbian biweekly tabloid, available throughout the West End. The Alliance for Arts and Culture (100–938 Howe St.; tel. 604/681-3535; www.allianceforarts.com) is also a great information source for all performing arts, literary events, and art films.
Ticketmaster (tel. 855/985-5000; www.ticketmaster.ca) has an outlet at the Tickets Tonight booth in the Tourism Vancouver Visitor Centre, where you can find half-price tickets (200 Burrard St.; tel. 604/684-2787 for recorded events info; www.ticketstonight.ca). The Touristinfo Centre is open daily from 8:30am to 6pm.
Thanks to the number of resident moviemakers (both studio and independent), Vancouver is quite a film town. First-run theaters show the same Hollywood movies seen everywhere in the world, but for those with something more adventurous in mind, plenty of options can be
Attendance at the Vancouver International Film Festival (tel. 604/685-0260; www.viff.org) reaches about 150,000, plus the celebs who drop in. This highly respected October event screens nearly 250 new feature-length films and 150 short films, representing filmmakers from 80 countries. Asian films are particularly well represented.
Since 1972, the Pacific Cinematheque (1131 Howe St.; tel. 604/688-8202; www.thecinematheque.ca) has featured classic and contemporary films from around the world. Screenings are organized into themes, such as “Jean-Luc Godard’s Early Efforts,” film noir, or the “Hong Kong Action Flick: A Retrospective.” Schedules are available in hipper cafes, record shops, and video stores around town, and on the website. Annual membership, required to purchase tickets, is C$3.
In addition, a gargantuan screen at the OMNIMAX Theatre at Science World (tel. 604/443-7443; www.scienceworld.ca) features flicks about empty, wide-open spaces, outer space, and colorful coral reefs.