Vancouver Neighbourhoods: Granville Street

Atmospheric Granville Street. (Tourism Vancouver/Nelson Mouellic)

Located in the heart of Vancouver, Granville Street is considered the city’s main entertainment district. Lined with countless restaurants, bars and nightclubs whose neon signs spark to life as darkness falls, the strip pulses with activity during weekends. As a main thoroughfare, Granville Street is easy to get to, whether your pleasure lies in shopping by day or shimmying on the dance floor at night.

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Vancouver Neighbourhoods: Granville Street

Gym Class Meets Nightclub: Fitness Rave Comes to Granville Street, April 26

Image sourced from be-livefitness.com

Image sourced from be-livefitness.com

Chances are you’ve never been to a gym class quite like this.

Flashing lights. Pounding music. Hundreds of sweaty bodies. No, it’s not another club night on Granville Street – it’s Vancouver’s latest fitness craze.

A new form of getting fit has made it’s way to the city: the fitness rave. It’s the brainchild of a local training company called BeLive Fitness, which borrowed the concept from cities like New York and San Francisco.  The idea: turn exercise into a social experience; get people out of the gym and into a nightclub; turn up the music, turn down the lights and rave your way to better health.

BeLive Fitness has already earned a cult following with it’s regular fitness raves at the Caprice nightclub on Granville Street. Held in the early evening on weekday nights, the events regularly sell out, drawing a diverse crowd of hundreds of fitness and music aficionados looking for something different.  Continue reading:
Gym Class Meets Nightclub: Fitness Rave Comes to Granville Street, April 26

Party in Space: “Space Cruise” Coming to Vancouver’s Granville Street

You may find astronauts like these on your Space Cruise. Photo credit: Ahmad Hashim | Flickr

You may find astronauts like these on your Space Cruise. Photo credit: Ahmad Hashim | Flickr

Are you ready to board a cruise ship to another galaxy?

Throughout April, downtown Vancouver’s FanClub is transforming itself into a “Space Cruise.” Confused?  Don’t worry – This requires a little explaining.

Space Cruise, according to event organizers, is a “charmingly campy Caribbean cruise meets Star Trek, with a hint of Cirque du Soleil and more than its share of sexy.”  Think of it as interactive theatre for grownups, staged inside a cavernous nightclub on Granville Street.

Step inside the doors of the FanClub and you’ll find all the trappings of a cruise ship. Your cruise hostess will help you to your seat and prepare you for the voyage ahead. Meanwhile – mainly to add to the general absurdity – burlesque dancers will take the stage, while a live band rocks away in the background.  And did I forget to mention there’s a trapeze artist as well, swinging from the ceiling in a skimpy outfit?

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Party in Space: “Space Cruise” Coming to Vancouver’s Granville Street

Giant $1.2-Million Chandelier Proposed for Granville Street Bridge

An artist's rendering of the new project.

An artist’s rendering of the new project.

It’s definitely not the first place you’d think of putting an elegant, 18th-century-style chandelier.

The underside of the Granville Street Bridge at Beach Avenue may soon be home to a rather unique lighting fixture: a $1.2-million, spinning chandelier measuring more than five metres tall.

The unusual piece of public art has been proposed by the developer of nearby Vancouver House, the 52-storey futuristic high-rise going up near the Howe Street on-ramp to the bridge.  The chandelier would be made out of a special hard-plastic polymer, designed to mimic the look of crystal, with glowing LED lights inside, according to an article in the Vancouver Sun.

But there’s more.   Continue reading:
Giant $1.2-Million Chandelier Proposed for Granville Street Bridge

Looking for a quirky brunch? Vancouver’s Unconventional Brunches

Photo credit: Cannibal Cafe

Photo credit: Cannibal Cafe

Morning people in Vancouver have even more reason to rise and shine with the increasing variety of unconventional brunches available.

I’m a morning person. Given a choice, I’m happier to linger over a long, chatty brunch than to wile away the night over dinner. Luckily many of my friends are part rooster too and don’t mind my regular Saturday 8:30 am texts initiating brunch dates.

I’ve eaten in many an egg-fry across Vancouver. I’m just as happy with an Ovaltine $3.49 special as I am with a Pan Pacific breakfast buffet. I just need a few key ingredients: good friends, the ability to go slow and an egg or two medium poached.

I’m always on the hunt for quirky morning dishes that are just too much effort to make from scratch at home. Enter breakfast poutine, breakfast pizza and the fish and chip benny (I’m not kidding). Below you’ll find my picks for offbeat brunches around Vancouver. Continue reading:
Looking for a quirky brunch? Vancouver’s Unconventional Brunches

New Proposal for Vancouver Art Gallery Leaked on Social Media

Credit: Tony Osborne Architects

Credit: Tony Osborne Architects

A brand new vision for the Vancouver Art Gallery has been leaked online by a local architect.

The grandiose proposal calls for using two square blocks of city-owned land along the north end of the Granville Street Bridge, between Seymour and Howe Streets. (The area is currently occupied by a pair of circular off-ramps, which are slated to be demolished.)

The architect, Tony Osborn, calls his proposal Welcome Mat, a reference to the fact that the site represents an entrance to downtown.  His plans consist of several stories of gallery space, a theatre, cafes and a rooftop public plaza.  The entire structure would arch over Granville Street at the approach to the Granville Street Bridge.

Speaking in the Georgia Strait, Osborn said that he wanted to “reposition the entire site as something people want to flock to instead of stray from.”  He also noted that the city sorely needs a large civic plaza and that the new Vancouver Art Gallery could incorporate that.

While the plan is ambitious and has attracted plenty of support online, it hasn’t officially been considered by the Vancouver Art Gallery itself.  Instead the gallery’s main focus remains on building a brand new facility (at a cost of up to $500 million) on the so-called Larwill Park site – a city-owned bus parking lot next to the Queen Elizabeth Theatre.

Of course, the Vancouver Art Gallery’s search for a new home has already stirred up plenty of competing plans.   Continue reading:
New Proposal for Vancouver Art Gallery Leaked on Social Media

Free live music at New Orleans-style FanClub on Granville Street

Photo credit: Vancouver FanClub

There aren’t many places in Vancouver where you can here a really good live version of Marvin Gaye’s I Heard it through the Grapevine on a random afternoon – and even fewer where you can hear it for free.

Without much fanfare, what may be Vancouver’s best new venue for live music opened on Granville Street recently.  FanClub – operated by the owners of the city’s beloved (and currently closed) Yale blues bar – occupies a New Orleans-style music hall space on the corner of Granville and Nelson Streets.  French doors lead into a bar room with soaring, 30-foot ceilings, a second-floor wrought-iron balcony and – front and center – a huge stage for showcasing local and out-of-town talent.

Most nights of the week, FanClub features ticketed performances by blues, roots, rock and jazz musicians, as well as DJs spinning house music until the late hours.  But – for live music lovers on a budget – FanClub also offers free shows: often in the early evenings on weekdays and all day on Saturday.

I stopped by over the weekend for the Saturday jam session, a sort of open mic that attracts dozens of bands from throughout the Lower Mainland for their 15 minutes of fame.  By 3 p.m., the room was packed and buzzing with more energy than lots of late-night venues on Granville Street. Continue reading:
Free live music at New Orleans-style FanClub on Granville Street