July 9 edition: We rode Playland’s new roller coaster

Plus: Kits Pool, Best of Vancouver, and Theatre Under the Stars

Hi there. Are you ready to exercise your democratic rights? 

Best of Vancouver voting is now open, meaning this is the beginning of these emails reminding you of that fact. Click the image or follow this link to vote now

A Best of Vancouver 2024 graphic, with the logo in front of a suset photo of Vancouver

Polls are open for the next two weeks, closing on July 21, so make sure to click those boxes and make your voice heard. If you want everyone to know that your favourite band, barber, and beach are truly the best the city has to offer—your time is now. May the best everything win!

— V.
Associate Editor


I rode the new ThunderVolt at Playland

A yellow steel launch coaster at the PNE.

There exist whole hordes of people who deeply love roller coasters: coasterheads who repeatedly ride the biggest, bumpiest, twistiest amalgamations of wood and steel to ever be safety certified by a team of expert engineers. Does Playland's new launch coaster, ThunderVolt, live up to that hair-raising standard? Our intrepid contributor Vicki Duong went to find out—having never ridden a roller coaster before in her life. What could go wrong?


Kits Pool will actually be open this summer after all

A shot of Kits Pool with the sea and city in the background

In the cast of characters that make up Vancouver’s public infrastructure, Kits Pool is a main character. After an extended period that saw Kits Pool deemed too unsafe to open this year, set to open this May, and then shuttered again, the latest twist is that the grand ol’ dame of Rain City pools will be open in August after all! Relatedly, did you know Montreal has 63 outdoor pools? We have, uh, three.

*sponsored listing


Here's why you can't miss Whistler's Summer Concert Series

Whistler Summer Concert Series is free, and it's awesome. From headlining acts including Bahamas, Ocie Elliott and Boy & Bear to trending artists Ryan Harris, Boo Seeka and Kim Churchill Whistler has your summer playlist ready to roll.

  • Sunday, August 4: Taylor James, Ryan Harris, Gone Gone Beyond and Bahamas

  • Thursday, August 8 : Astrocolor

  • Friday, August 9: The Suffers

  • Thursday, August 15: Fort Knox Five

  • Friday, August 16: Colin James

  • Thursday, August 22: Trans-Canada Highwaymen

  • Friday, August 23: Ocie Elliott

  • Thursday, August 29: Drag in the Mountains

  • Friday, August 30: Boy & Bear with special guest Boo Seeka

  • Sunday, September 1: Little Biggs Band, JennaMae and The Groove Section, Cat Madden, Kim Churchill


School of Rock is about the search for something genuine

A white man looking disgruntled is surrounded by five teens in school uniform pulling faces

When Colin Sheen took on the role of fast-talking music teacher Dewey Finn in School of Rock, he realized something: some roles are so iconic, it’s hard to imagine anyone else playing them. “When I told people I was doing this, they didn’t say ‘You’re playing Dewey Finn,’” he recalled. “They said, ‘You’re playing Jack Black.’” So he dug into what made the character unique—and an earnest love for the talented kids stood out. Especially when they’re all better at guitar than he is.

  • Ballet BC is putting a recent $2 million donation into better pay for its dancers 

  • Beaucoup is teaming up with Broadway Across Canada for Frozen-themed treats

  • Theatre Under the Stars presents a pair of Broadway blockbusters - CATS and School of Rock - this July and August in Stanley Park!*

  • The Create! Eastside Arts Festival engaging arts event features art workshops, live mural painting, live music and dance performances across Vancouver’s Eastside July 22-28.*

*sponsored listing


There's More to My Story

Meet Mae, an employee at Family Services of Greater Vancouver, who bravely shares her story of childhood abuse. Discover how access to counselling has transformed her life and why she believes in supporting these life-changing services for others. Read Mae's story and share yours at #MoreToMyStory.


Crys Matthews holds nothing back

A Black woman wearing glasses plays guitar outdoors

On the surface, Crys Matthews’ music sounds like familiar country Americana. But the lyrics are deeply personal and political: detailing her experiences as a Black queer woman from North Carolina. “I check so many boxes myself,” she says. “There’s a lot of legislation that affects me and my happiness in this world pretty intensely, almost every single day.” We caught up with the songsmith ahead of her set at the Mission Folk Festival.

*sponsored listing


New Mexican joint Barra Gitano makes mezcal the star

A neon sign for Barra Gitano agaisnt a brick wall

West Enders, rejoice: there’s a hot new place for late-night eats and treats. Barra Gitano, from the team behind Ophelia and Monarca, has opened its doors in Davie Village. The late-night menu is stuffed with light bites—and heavy on the drinks, including a spicy pineapple mezcalita. Salud!

*sponsored listing


CREATE! Eastside Arts Festival expands to week-long celebration of Eastside Arts offerings

CREATE! Eastside Arts Festival features arts workshops, live mural painting, and live music, dance, and comedy in Eastside Arts District studios, breweries and venues, from July 22-28, 2024. The summer festival returns to Strathcona Park, on July 27 with arts workshops, public art, beer garden, art shop, and live music.


Invisibles y desechables (Invisibles and Disposables) provides a glimpse into the lives of temporary foreign workers. (July 9 to September 6 @ Douglas College, New Westminster)

Eight-piece rock band The Revivalists will see “All My Friends” down at the front. (July 10 @ Vogue Theatre)

Catch a free triple feature of Alanis Obomsawin documentaries. (July 10 @ The Cinematheque)

Think you could write a summer blockbuster? Think a troupe of improvisers can? (July 11 @ The Improv Centre) 

Flamenco and tango join forces for a night of drink and dance. (July 11 @ The Pipe Shop, North Vancouver) 

Mackin House hosts a scavenger hunt for Historic Places Day. (July 11 to 14 @ Mackin Heritage Home and Toy Museum, Coquitlam)   

It’s the fifth year of the Vancouver Classical Guitar Festival! (July 11 to 14 @ BlueShore Financial Centre for the Performing Arts, North Vancouver) 

Want to know what else is happening in Vancouver? Check out our events listings.

That’s it!

Thanks for reading us today. If you found something useful, consider forwarding this newsletter to another Vancouverite.

And before you go, let us know:

What did you think of today's newsletter?

Login or Subscribe to participate in polls.

• Did a friend share this with you? Sign up for free.

• Want to advertise to locals? Contact our team.

• Have a crazy or cool story to share? Drop us an email