June 8, 2023 edition - Bank-breaking booze


It’s no secret; going out to drink in Vancouver is an expensive hobby.

Especially when you’re enjoying the night, the libations, and the company so much that you’ve somehow found yourself on your fourth or fifth cocktail, next month’s rent be damned.

Do that around this city even a few times a month and suddenly you’re funneling funds out for fancy drinks faster than even the most grind-core hustle-mindset side-gig savant could possibly bring in.

And it’s not like having just one is ever an option… or is that just us?

How many drinks do you usually have on a night out?

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Vancity calling: how Rascalz made history

In the early ’90s, the Vancouver Art Gallery was a central hangout for young hip-hop heads and skateboarders in the city. As Rascalz’s co-founder Red1 remembers it, everyone would play music on their boom boxes and skate around at the landmark on Georgia and Howe. The two cultures, he tells the Straight, meshed together easily.

“The energy is the same and the expression is almost the same,” Red1 says. “You’re doing it on a board, some guys are doing the mic. But the individuality and originality—there was some synergy there.”

Skateboarding was what Red1 and Rascalz producer DJ Kemo first connected over when they met at their East Vancouver high school in 1990, their bond solidified soon after through shared interests in hip-hop and its local pockets. The two would eventually join up with Misfit, Dedos, and Zebroc to form Rascalz.


Celebrate National Indigenous History Month at Talking Stick Festival 2023

Join the festivities as Talking Stick Festival 2023 kicks off National Indigenous History Month on now until July 2. The festival features a diverse mix of ceremony, storytelling, dance, and music, paired with a fashion show curated by a local designer.

Other highlights include a roundtable discussion, a gala, a 4D immersive audio performance, a burlesque show, and much more. Headliners for the month-long celebration include musician Logan Staats and DJ KOOKUM, plus singer-songwriter, activist, and storyteller Pura Fé. The festival celebrates diversity and inclusivity, welcoming Two-Spirit and Indigiqueer artists, and promises vibrant entertainment.


Stop the Sweeps documentary shows community resistance to decampments

In April, the Hastings decampments saw police and city workers tearing down tents and throwing out unhoused people’s possessions, despite knowing that there was nowhere for them to go.

But as a new documentary from filmmaker Ryan Sudds shows, there’s been a lot more going on behind the scenes than the public may realize—both from the city and police in enacting the sweeps, and also from a community that is fighting back against constant displacement.


Culturally Defined’s first dance studio finally feels like home

Culturally Defined dance studio’s founder Chris Wong didn’t take his first dance class until he was 20 years old.

Wong moved to Canada from Hong Kong when he was 12. He had trouble fitting in culture-wise, and also had to deal with his parents separating as they moved.

He attended a dance class with one of his best friends, Stu, who suggested it as a way to try something new and practice self-expression. The majority of the class were semi-professional dancers and Wong got, in his words, “pretty destroyed,” but it inspired him to keep going.


The Concord Pacific Dragon Boat festival is set to hit False Creek June 24-25, and it’s bigger than ever.

Kick off summer and catch the TD Main Stage’s 100% local music lineup with headliners Dear Rouge and SABAI. Make it a day on False Creek with almost 200 teams battling it out on the water for medals, cultural pavilions, food trucks, and the city’s biggest outdoor patio!


POP EYE: It’s not the crowd that’s the problem, it’s you

Mitski leaps to and fro across the stage of Deer Lake Park. The sun is setting on a cool summer night, and her infamous door looms as a backdrop to the acrobatic performance she somehow manages, even while belting out hauntingly cryptic lyrics.

As the colours shift on stage, so too do they in the tiny rectangles of the hundreds of phones held aloft to record the artist’s every move. It looks as though about one in three zoomers have been holding their phone skyward for the past hour.

You see all this, the endless sea of screens, and you think: what is wrong with this crowd?

Vancouver International Jazz Festival

Don’t miss the 2023 Vancouver International Jazz Festival from June 23 until July 2. With more than 140 shows, including 50 free performances at venues across downtown and Granville Island.

Visit CoastalJazz.ca for tickets and show information.


The downside of going all in on cocktails in Vancouver is there's a steep price to pay

Painful as it is to admit, things have gotten so out of hand that it might finally be time to stop drinking. At a certain point you have to accept that it’s part of a lifestyle that’s killing you.

Financially, that is.

Where this finally hit home, writes Mike Usinger, was on a recent gloriously sun-baked Saturday night just off Main Street in Mount Pleasant.

🗓 Events & things to do


  • Talking Stick Festival 2023: North America’s premiere festival celebrating Indigenous arts and culture, Talking Stick Festival 2023 runs from June 1 to July 2. A variety of performances will wow audiences in film, theatre, dance and music. | To July 2 | Free and ticketed | Various venues*

  • Botanical Drawing and Painting Flowers: Instructed by artist Katharine Dickinson, her demonstrations will guide you through exercises on capturing a flower's identifying features through line, shape, structure and form, and observing critical angles and accurate proportions. | June 14, 21, 28 | $198 | VanDusen Botanical Garden

  • Arrieta Art Studio offers paint nights, linocut, needle felting, and more. All ages and abilities welcome! Apply gs25 at checkout to receive 25% off all regular workshops. Register for workshops now.*

  • Golden Summer Getdown: Check out this rock and roll showcase featuring headliner Myles From Home with special guests Kandy Roar and Summer's Brother. | June 8 | $15 | The Cobalt

This week/weekend

  • Japan Market Summer Festival: Japan Market is back at Vancouver Art Gallery North Plaza this weekend, with 70+ vendors expected, including some delicious Japanese food stalls. | June 9-10 | $5 | šxʷƛ̓ənəq Xwtl’e7énk Square, Vancouver Art Gallery

  • Her Ladyship Sketch Comedy Show: Enjoy an evening of laughs with Her Ladyship, an all-women Vancouver-based sketch comedy group. | June 9-10 | $25 | The Nest

  • Queen: It's a Kinda Magic: Catch this rock spectacular with big sound, big screens, crazy lighting, and outlandish costumes for a night of non-stop rock anthems. | June 11 | $59+ | Vogue Theatre

  • Nosh Foodie Fest: This kid-friendly, free outdoor event will feature a wide variety of food trucks, a Good Eats Market, artisanal goodies, and a complimentary tasting lounge. | June 10 and 11 | Free | Capilano Mall

  • Steveston Spot Prawn and Seafood Celebration: Celebrate coastal culture with a variety of events and activities, including demonstrations from professional chefs at the Tourism Richmond culinary stage at Fisherman’s Wharf. | June 10 and 11| Free | Fisherman’s Wharf

  • The Lonsdale Farmers Market is back for another great season! Every Saturday at the Lonsdale Quay 9am-2pm.*

  • VSO hosts 100 free concerts in their Day of Music around the Lower Mainland. | June 10 | Free |

Next week

  • Loveless: The Boston-based indie-rock band Loveless is performing at the Hollywood Theatre with Honey Revenge on Tuesday. | June 13 | $37 | Hollywood Theatre

  • On Friday, Jun. 16, drag performers will transform Britannia Mine Museum’s historic Mill into the Province’s biggest drag runway. Click here and book today!*

  • June 17, 1-6pm, sample the finest craft beverages in the Valley on the Langley Poker Run. Great drinks, great people, great prizes! Tickets and information here.*

Later this month

  • Comedian, actress, author, and mental health advocate Maria Bamford (Lady Dynamite) is headed to the Rio Theatre on Jun. 27 for two shows! Tickets are going fast, grab yours at RioTheatreTickets.ca.*

Next month

  • The Fort Langley Jazz & Arts Festival is back with a stellar lineup over four days, Jul. 20-23. The Cool Blues Show, presented by the Straight, is headlined by Ruthie Foster, The Harpoonist and the Axe Murderer, Five Alarm Funk, and more.

  • The 35th annual Dancing on the Edge festival, Jul. 6-15 features over 30 live performances, presenting some of the most sought-after contemporary choreographers from across Canada, and delivering innovative and spellbinding works.*

  • Catch American metalcore band Wage War's The Manic Tour with Zero, Within Destruction, and AVOID Jul. 6 at Harbour Convention Centre. Get your tickets today!*

Find more things to do around the city in our events listings.

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