It’s the shortest month of the year, but February in Vancouver is packed full of events.
You can depend on calendar staples: Valentine’s Day, Leap Year, Superbowl and The Academy Awards. Add to that signature regional events: Winter Pride LGBT Ski Week, Vancouver ComedyFest, Talking Stick Festival, Tales of the Cocktail and Playhouse International Wine Festival (pictured above). Don’t forget about February’s rich cultural celebrations: the city has a month-long program of film, talks, parties and performance in honour of Black History Month.
Get your eager mitts on the full list after the jump.
25 unmissable events in February 2012
1) Town | Black History Month | February 1 – 29 |
Black History Month, an opportunity to share the history, contributions and culture of Black Canadians, kicks off February 1 with the Pan Afrikan Slam at Calabash Bistro. Find the full program of film, cultural talks, parties and performance here.
2) Entertainment | PuSh International Performing Arts Festival | January 17 – February 4 | Never fear, lazy theatre buffs. There’s still a few days left to catch a PuSh show. PuSh breaks ground in the performing arts, enlivening theatre, dance and music with hybrid fun. PuSh’s widespread theatre cred attracts acclaimed local and international artists.
3) Food | Dine Out Vancouver 2012, January 20 – February 5 | Looking for fine dining on the cheap? Here’s your chance. Dine Out, if you haven’t been initiated, is the yearly festival where the city’s top restaurants offer three-course menus at discounted prices until February 5.
4) Family Event | CIBC LunarFest Vancouver | February 1 – 5 |CIBC LunarFest, a free family event, continues the Lunar New Year celebrations with five days of food, activities, kids’ workshops, theatre, and a phenomenal lantern display. The Lantern Aquarium installation is the favourite at this celebration of contemporary Asian arts.
5) Festival Event | WinterPride LGBT Ski Week |February 5 – 12 |
WinterPRIDE, ranked one of the top ten gay ski weeks on the planet by the UK’s Guardian newspaper, attracts up to 3,000 revelers every year. Festivities launch with a party at Whistler night club Buffalo Bill. After a week on the slopes, revelers thrown down for the Snow Ball—an all-night dance party that might be even more rigorous than the week’s powder-time.
7) Food Event | Vancouver Hot Chocolate Festival | until February 14 | The city’s most skilled chocolatiers have collaborated to offer sippers 50 rich hot chocolate variations at 15 participating cafes and restaurants.
8) Event | Vancouver International Boat Show | February 8 – 12 | Western Canada’s premier boat show sets sail at the newly renovated BC Place and Granville Island Maritime Market and Marina with all the vessels and accessories a recreational sailor might care to ogle.
9) Book Event | VPL’s Romance in the 21st Century | February 8 | Light your literary fire for Valentine’s Day with romance authors Kate Austin, Eileen Cook, R.G. Hart, Susan Lyons/Fox and Lee McKenzie as they dish on the industry, how they were published, how the romance genre is changing, and pretty much any other steamy tidbit you’d like to know. This VPL event is free.
10) Festival Event | City and Slope Festival | February 9-12 | Vancouver’s newest winter festival is a “four-day destination mountain and music festival that is set to take over Vancouver’s three local mountains and rock its downtown core.” From Canadiana-themed dance parties at Cypress to 24-hour skiing at Grouse, we can’t believe they didn’t think of this earlier.
11) Event | Illuminate Yaletown | February 10 – 11 | As soon as the sun sets, artists will switch on their contemporary light art installations throughout the streets of Yaletown. This free event is an easy way to add glow to a winter evening stroll.
12) Event | Tales of the Cocktail on Tour | February 12 – 15 |Toast Canadians’ contribution to the the cocktail at the Fairmont Pacific Rim-–convenient if your boozey exploration of contemporary bar tending culture leaves you in urgent need of a kip.
13) Food Event | Third Annual Cupcake Throwdown | February 16 |
Vancouver bakers will vie for cupcake supremacy while raising much needed funds for H.A.V.E. Culinary Training Society.
14) Event | Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival | February 10-18 | Calling all mountain men/maids and adrenaline junkies: The annual VIMFF Fest brings a diverse program of outdoor/mountaineering films to North Vancouver. This 9-day run beats the pants off Neeson’s recent blockbuster The Grey.
15) Event | Valentine’s Day | February 14 |Swoon. Smooch. Cuddle. Coo. Boycott? However you celebrate, February 14 is the commercial queen of hearts.
16) Event |Vancouver ComedyFest | February 15 – 25 | ComedyFest 2012 has the best line up yet, with cheeky talents like Golden Girl Betty White, Maragret Cho and award-winning dame of comedy Carol Burnette.
17) Food | Vancouver Foodster Tasting Plates | February 15 | Vancouver Foodster and Taste and Sip Magazine present foodie small plate speed dating on an itinerary of 9+ Vancouver restaurants.
18) Sports | Free Ice Skating at Robson Square | February 1 – 29 |
It’s still happening and it’s still free at Downtown Vancouver’s Robson Square.
19) Event | Lights Out! Canadian Painting from the 1960s | February 18 – April 29 | The Vancouver Art Gallery showcases the tumult of the 1960s with a bright, bold exhibit on 60s modernism and Vancouver’s role as a hub in the modernist stylistic debate: figuration versus abstraction.
20) Food | Blu Water Cafe & Raw Bar Unsung Heroes Festival | February 1 – 29 | Executive Chef Frank Pabst created the Unsung Heroes eight years ago to champion local coastal fisheries and protect commercially endangered species. Pabst introduces diners to fresh experiences and flavours using species found in abundance like jellyfish, anchovies, herring and geoduck.
21) Festival Event | Talking Stick Festival | February 20 – March 3 | The 11th Annual Talking Stick Festival provides a stage for vibrant performances from established and emerging Aboriginal artists. Expect live music, dance, theatre, multi-media, storytelling and performance art.
22) Entertainment | The 84th Academy Awards | February 26 |
Partake couch potato style or at a cocktail-happy Oscar party as Billy Crystal hosts this year’s star-studded soiree, which starts at 4:00pm PST. Best Picture favourites include Moneyball and The Artist. Fill out your own ballot here.
23) Event | BC Home and Garden Show | February 22 – 26 | A swarm of decorators, gardeners, designers and foodies will take over BC Place during this renowned lifestyle industry one-stop. The Home and Garden Show is the place to score tips and tricks on all home improvement endeavours.
24) Event | Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival | February 27 – March 4 | Every year, the wine festival chooses a theme region. This year’s region is “New World powerhouse: Chile.” The premier wine show in Canada will feature 181 wineries from 15 different countries. They’ll be serving more than 1,700 different wines to an estimated 25,000 attendees at 64 separate wine-themed events. Read the rest of Remy’s inside info here.
25) Event | Leap Year | February 29 | Introduced over 2000 years ago with the transition from the Roman Calendar to the Julian Calendar, Leap Year only happens once every four years, folks. While it’s good news for ladies who’d like to propose to their beaus, it’s not so hot for birthday boys and girls (Leap Year babies) who get gipped on the gifts.