June 11 edition: Choco-live, choco-laugh, choco-love

Plus: Diva worship, circus cabaret, and hip-hop jazz


Hi there. My partner and I were recently in Malta (bear with me), and we visited an art exhibit about the history of women as snakes. A throwaway line—that St. Paul’s letters invented Eve’s association with the snake as “original sin”—led to us discovering that a random parish church in Valletta supposedly held St. Paul’s right wrist bone as a relic. 

My girlfriend became obsessed with viewing the “jackoff hand” of “the man who invented misogyny.” So, navigating the church’s erratic opening hours, we did! It was fine. But, as today’s newsletter ponders, perhaps there’s an easier way to give religious sexism the middle finger.

— V.
Associate Editor


The locals’ guide to summer in Vancouver

Garret "Gman" Louie sits on a blue chair, wearing a bucket hat, with large plants on either side

We’ve had a lovely weekend, which means it’s time to boldly declare that summer has arrived. But what’s good to do in Vancouver? We’ve asked half a dozen of the city’s coolest cats for their picks. From patios and pints to hidden beaches and breezy weekend trips, find some new favourite spots in our locals’ guide to summer.


Sex//Work: Strip clubs give religious experiences

A pole, lit up with spotlights, stands in the centre of a cross-shaped stage

Stripper and dominatrix Madelaine Horn knows the power of the divine feminine. “Some of the oldest records of temples were those in which sacred whores were worshipped as direct pipelines to spiritual goddesses,” she writes. “A strip club in today’s society serves the same purpose.” When did sex work move from holy to profane—and how can we reclaim it?

  • Michael Bublé watch: he’s becoming the first Canadian to judge The Voice

  • Commentary: Why is it easier to access MAiD than psilocybin?

  • The Michael Jackson HIStory Show at Kay Meeks Theatre June 27. See the spectacular tribute and full-scale production honouring the King of Pop, Michael Jackson. Get the full MJ concert experience with the electrifying Garth Field – plus a live band, choreographed dancers, authentic costumes and state-of-the-art production! Book now!*

*sponsored listing


The Dancing on the Edge Festival of contemporary dance returns for its 36th year

One of the most eagerly anticipated events in British Columbia’s contemporary dance scene, the Dancing on the Edge Festival (DOTE), returns to the Lower Mainland June 13-22. This year’s edition will once again deliver high calibre, exhilarating, innovative, and spell-binding dance works.

Featuring over thirty performances, DOTE audiences will be treated to world premieres, North American and Western Canadian debuts, and works-in-progress from some of the most sought-after contemporary Canadian choreographers.


Cirque Alfonse returns to Vancouver with spellbinding Barbu

Performers in black underwear strike gymnastic poses while a band plays behind

It’s somehow taken a decade for Cirque Alfonse to bring Barbu to Vancouver. The Quebec circus troupe is putting on a show like no other: a cabaret paying homage to the birth of circuses in Montreal at the turn of the 20th century. “Everybody’s doing everything in the show,” says artistic director and performer Antonie Carabinier-Lépine. It’s time to expect the unexpected.

*sponsored listing


This is the best metric to improve if you want to live longer

Measure and track your cardiovascular fitness level with a VO2 max test. VO2 max is one of the most powerful predictors of health and longevity. And the best part of VO2 max? It’s a trainable metric, which means you can improve your score and your fitness level with training. 

This is precision testing at its finest. Book now at Tall Tree Health.


Potatohead People aren’t trying to fit in

Two white men in front of a huge colections of records, both wearing sunglasses. One crouches, the other sprawls.

Potatohead People are hard to categorize. The producer duo is having a launch party for its genre-spanning latest record, Eat Your Heart Out, this week. “Some people think of us as like a hip-hop group, some people think of us as a jazz fusion thing,” muses Nate “AstroLogical” Drobner. But in the end, it doesn’t matter what people call them, he adds: “We’re not trying to fit in.” The pair are just trying to make some groovy beats.

  • What’s In Your Fridge: musician and composer Stephen Lyons

  • Honourary Vancouverite Neko Case announces a new memoir

  • The Funk Hunters are set to headline New West’s Uptown Live festival

  • The Vancouver International Jazz Festival returns June 21 - 30 with 150 shows, from a free Downtown Jazz Weekend to headlining acts like Killer Mike.*

  • North Shore Jazz, with Vancouver Jazz Festival, presents eight concerts, June 21-30, including an extraordinary vocal homage to Dave Brubeck, Luca Benedetti Trio and five free shows.*

*sponsored listing


Chocolatiers that think outside the box

A chocolate bar, with flower petals pressed into it

We all love big-box chocolates as much as the next person—but there are a growing number of small, independent chocolatiers in the city who are doing things their own way. Anya Levykh profiles three Vancouver-based chocolate makers who are doing sweet things with the sweet stuff.


(Un)Promised Land, which opened yesterday, explores colonization and broken promises. (To July 5 @ Pendulum Gallery)

Victoria’s drag clown Jimbo orchestrates a raunchy, wild circus show. (June 11 @ Vogue Theatre)

Smut Slam’s Great Expectations sees storytellers share saucy personal tales. Not safe for prudes. (June 11 @ Chill Pill Comedy)

Tejano trailblazers Incotable come to Vancouver for the first time on their 30 Aniversario tour. (June 12 @ Vogue Theatre)

She Plays Golf Festival has 10 days of programming for women who drive, chip, and putt. (June 12 to 22 @ various venues)

Dancing on the Edge Festival presents world premieres, Canadian debuts, experimental in-progress works, and more. (June 13 to 22 @ various venues)

Vancouver Symphony Orchestra joins forces with Indigenous artists for The Path Forward: a free concert, fashion show, and community celebration. (June 13 @ The Orpheum)

The Museum of Anthropology re-opens its now earthquake-proof doors. (June 13 @ Museum of Anthropology)

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

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