Top 6 Free Events at Winterruption Fest 2013 in Vancouver, Feb 22-24

Photo credit: Mazacote

Photo credit: Mazacote

February doldrums got you down?  Take a break from the blahs this weekend at Winterruption, the annual music, food and cultural festival on Granville Island, Feb. 22-Feb. 24

This is the eighth instalment of Winterruption, which draws thousands of people and this year includes a special celebration of Francophone culture, an outdoor street food festival with beer, a full weekend of live music at Performance Works, a Kids Zone and more.

Here’s a list of 6 can’t-miss free happenings at this year’s Winterruption:

Free French Wine TastingAny event combining “free” and “French wine” has to be a winner.  This tasting, part of the Francophone Festival, offers tipplers a sipping tour of France’s best, from rich Bordeaux to rustic Cotes-de-Rhones.  Feb. 22, 2 p.m.-5 p.m.; Liberty Wine Merchants; free.  

[ART]ifacts: The Granville Island StoryGranville Island is Vancouver’s center of artisan culture, with dozens of galleries and workshops turning out everything from fine jewelry to handmade brooms.  Join this guided, walking tour for a look at some of the island’s most enduring and innovative artistic landmarks and stories about the artists behind them.  Feb. 22-Feb. 24, 1 p.m. (tour is 45 minutes); starts at Kids Zone info booth; free. 

MazacoteThis six-piece Latin dance band is sure to help you thaw out from a long winter.  Playing salsa beats from Colombia, Puerto Rico and Cuba, Mazacote features Vancouver’s hottest players on trumpet, congas, piano, voice, bass and timbales.  Check out the full line-up of free music playing all weekend at Winterruption here.  Feb. 24, 3:15 p.m.-5:15 p.m.; Performance Works; free.  

The Mechanics and Material of Theatre MagicEver wonder how all that on-stage magic happens? This unique tour takes visitors behind the scenes at the Arts Club Theatre’s production and costume shop, where you can see how costumes and sets come together for some of the city’s biggest productions.  Feb. 24, 1:30 p.m.-2:15 p.m.; Arts Club Production Centre; free.  

Vive Vendredi Cooking DemosLearn the secrets of cooking French comfort food (and try some of the finished products) at these free demonstration in the Granville Island Public Market.  On the “carte” are lessons on making  bouillabaisse (the iconic fish soup), boudin blanc (a winter sausage) and pissaladiere (a pizza-like tart).  Feb. 22, noon, 1:30 p.m. and 3 p.m.; Public Market (opposite the Stock Market); free.  

Kids ZoneClowns with balloon animals? Not at Winterruption.  The over-the-top Kids Zone features towering stilt walkers, a roaming brass band that marches through the streets, sing-alongs, mask-making workshops and more.   All weekend; Kids Zone; free.  

Any other can’t-miss events at Winterruption? Let us know below. 

For more updates on Vancouver and beyond, follow me on Twitter @RemyScalza

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