5 Things to Do in Vancouver This Week (May 15-21)

Including a youth-led multidisciplinary festival, a Canadian horror film premiere and a fairytale-inspired high tea.

Your weekly roundup of the top events in the city, including art exhibitions, local theatre, restaurant openings, concerts, film, markets and other to-dos we think you’ll love. If you have a Vancouver event you’d like to submit for consideration, send an email to kdonaldson@canadawide.com.

1. Have a Fancy Fairytale-Inspired High Tea For a Good Cause 

May 20-21

This weekend get fairytale fancy and spill the tea for a good cause. Launching May 20th from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and going every weekend til October, enjoy a whimsical high tea experience at The Westin Bayshore’s H Tasting Lounge that takes inspiration from ‘Neverland’ and childhood fairytale lore. Here’s what to expect: an adorable little golden ferris wheel delivering bite-sized pastries from pastry chef Martha Ebro, a deluxe 10-dish gourmet lineup with fantastical dishes like ‘Pixie Dust’ (cotton candy, freeze-dried berries and edible gold) and ‘Under the Salish Sea’ (West Coast spot prawns, savoury tartlet, calamansi aioli and rainbow kelp tuile). If you need more convincing beyond “eating fancy cotton candy for breakfast” there will be five curated Champagnes and loose leaf teas by o5 Rare Teas and Tealeaves. The best part? You’ll be chugging tea and eating fancy finger foods for a great cause, with partial proceeds going to the Make-a-Wish Foundation.  Come get loose on loose leaf and live your Alice in Wonderland tea party fantasy. Reserve your tea-time on Tock.

WhenMay 20-21
H Tasting Lounge
$72 (minimum 2-guest requirement)
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2. Enjoy youth-led experimental art performances at this year’s IGNITE! Festival 

May 17-20

This year, IGNITE! Festival celebrates its 21st anniversary with a youth-led extravaganza featuring local emerging playwrights, multidisciplinary artists, and performers aged 13-30. From captivating theatre performances and mind-blowing VR experiences to poetic musings and dazzling drag shows, there’s something to ignite everybody’s imagination. Don’t miss the visual arts exhibition and merch sale, where you can sip on a drink, marvel at the artwork, and even purchase your favourite pieces. The 4-day fest kicks off opening night with poetry and the premiers of 3 one-act plays. The following day you can see several short films and close the evening with some live music. May 19th is all about dance, movement, mixed media and more music. And the last day features the Telling It Bent showcase (the frank theatre’s writing workshop for queer, trans, Two Spirit, and questioning BC youth, ages 14 to 25) and a voguing performance—and to cap it off, a drag show.

WhenMay 17-20
Various venues
From $10
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3. An Electrifying Musical Stage Adaptation of The Lightning Thief

May 18-28

If you’re a fan of the best-selling novel by Rick Riordan and also happen to love musicals, don’t miss out on The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical, storming into Vancouver’s Norman & Annette Rothstein Theatre this week. Here’s what to expect: Percy Jackson, the half-blood son of a Greek god, singing and dancing his way through a thrilling quest to recover Zeus’s stolen lightning bolt and prevent an epic war among the gods. Also expect: a lively 5-piece orchestra and cool stage effects like lightning, sound, and giant puppets (!). Recap: singing, mythology, live orchestra, cool stage lightning, big puppets… what are you waiting for?

WhenMay 18-28
JCC Norman & Annette Rothstein Theatre
From $18
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4. Get Spooked With Canadian Horror Film Dark Nature

May 19

Looking to be scared whilst admiring Canada’s majestic landscape? Dark Nature, the debut feature film by Metis writer/director Berkley Brady, hits theaters in Vancouver and across North America on May 19th. Join Joy, a survivor of domestic abuse, as she embarks on a weekend retreat in the Canadian Rockies with her friend Carmen and a therapy group led by the mysterious Dr. Dunnley. As the line between reality and illusion blurs, Joy begins to suspect that her attacker is stalking her, only to discover that the group is about to face an even more horrifying threat from their past. If this didn’t scare you off, I’ll see you there? (I’ll be at the matinee… I’ll need to chase it with a Pixar or something after!) Here’s the trailer if you want to see a sneak peek.

WhenMay 19
Various theaters
From $15
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5. Enjoy a Night of Drag and Burlesque at Show Your Teeth 

May 20

Get ready to unleash your wild side at the highly anticipated second edition of Show Your Teeth! presented by Twisted Tassels. This year’s stellar lineup includes internationally acclaimed headliner, Johnny Nuriel, known for their surreal appeal and awarded “Mr. Nude Portland” twice along with other top-notch performers like Carmen Caliente, EmpeROAR Fabulous, Rye, Honey Lustre, Mx Bukuru, Scarlet Delirium, All The Way Mae, and the fabulous host Sparkle Plenty—this is the kind of night FOMO was invented for. Let’s bring down the house with glitter, glamour, and our toothy grins!

WhenMay 20
York Theatre, the Cultch
From $45
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