February 2006
TOP 20 REASONS TO FALL IN LOVE WITH VANCOUVER
  1. Weather - Vancouver's climate allows for year-round recreation. Ski the local mountains in the morning, ocean kayak in the afternoon.
  2. Gateway City - Vancouver is a gateway city to plenty of amorous destinations (Whistler, Vancouver Island and the Okanagan Valley).
  3. Stanley Park - This is the best park for rainforest walks, tandem biking on the Seawall and moonlit drives.
  4. Granville Island - Wander up Railspur Alley shopping for local artisan wares, then roam the Public Market in search of aphrodisiacs: figs, oysters, almonds, avocados and pine nuts.
  5. Romantic Walks - Enjoy a picnic at Lighthouse Park in West Vancouver, work up a sweat on the Baden-Powell Trail, or walk hand-in-hand on picturesque trails in Pacific Spirit Regional Park.
  6. Stunning Views - Soak up spectacular views of the city from Grouse Mountain, savour dinners in revolving restaurants, or venture high up in the forest canopy during "Treetops Adventure" at Capilano Suspension Bridge.
  7. Sweets - Satisfy your sweet tooth with frosted treats from Cupcakes, cinnamon gelato from La Casa Gelato and handmade truffles by Thomas Haas of Diva at the Met.
  8. Celeb-Spotting - Vancouver is a romantic escape for visiting celebrities filming in the city. Keep your eyes peeled when you're out in Vancouver's restaurants and bars, and you just might spot someone famous!
  9. Smarts - Impress your loved one with your high IQ. Pull up a chair at the coliseum-inspired Vancouver Public Library or pick up some rare tomes at various antiquarian bookstores around the city.
  10. North Shore Mountains - Reach new heights atop Vancouver's three local mountains - all within 20 minutes of downtown Vancouver - Cypress Mountain, Grouse Mountain and Mount Seymour.
  11. Gardens - Get lost on a garden trail at VanDusen Botanical Garden or become captivated by Asian culture at Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden.
  12. Sports and Recreation - Romance your man with a night of beer and wings at a lively sports bar or cuddle up to keep warm while you're out tubing, snowshoeing, skiing or skating.
  13. Great Coffee - Looking for a buzz? Vancouver runs on caffeine, so cozy up with your honey and a latte at one of Vancouver's favourite java joints: Murchie's, Caffé Artigiano (latte art is a specialty), JJ Bean or the Blue Parrot on Granville Island.
  14. Shopping - Butter her up with a vintage find from South Main Street, trendy home-furnishings from South Granville Street, or luxe items from Robson Street.
  15. Spas - Treat your special someone to a day of pampering at Yaletown's trendy skoah spa.
  16. Restaurants - Sample local oysters and bubbly at Joe Fortes Seafood & Chophouse, spicy fare at Ashiana Tandoori, or snuggle up by the fire at the luxurious Bacchus Lounge in the Wedgewood Hotel.
  17. Multicultural Experiences - Immerse yourself in a different culture. Soak up the sights and sounds of Chinatown, sniff spices and sample sweets at the Punjabi market, or stop for hearty Italian fare on Commercial Drive.
  18. Nightlife - Dance the night away at Vancouver legend, the Roxy, sample great Belgian beer and moule frite at Chambar Belgian Restaurant , or sip martinis and enjoy the "view" at Skybar surrounded by Vancouver's well-heeled crowd.
  19. Arts and Culture - Inspire a romance wandering the halls at the Vancouver Art Gallery , learning about totems at the Museum of Anthropology, or listening to smooth jazz notes at O'Doul's Restaurant in the Listel Vancouver Hotel.
  20. Hot Hotels - Celebrate a special occasion (or create one) in a memorable Vancouver hotel. Experience timeless romance at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, panoramic views at the Pan Pacific Vancouver, or old-world charm at the Sutton Place Hotel.
In This Issue
TOP 20 REASONS TO FALL IN LOVE WITH VANCOUVER
ROMANTIC OVERNIGHT ESCAPES
HUGS AND FISHES
ST. VALENTINE'S DAY MASSACRE
A WALK IN THE CLOUDS - ROMANCE ATOP GROUSE MOUNTAIN
OLYMPIC COUNTDOWN - PASSING OF THE FLAG EVENTS
WINTERRUPTION - NEW WINTER FESTIVAL HEATS UP GRANVILLE ISLAND
VANCOUVER ART GALLERY SHOWCASES TWO BC ARTISTS
GASTOWN GOES PREHISTORIC
GALS TAKE A GAMBLE
CALLING ALL OCEAN LOVERS
100 MILE RADIUS FROM RAINCITY GRILL

ROMANTIC OVERNIGHT ESCAPES
If you're looking for romance, Vancouver is the place to be. The month of February will be filled with candlelight, sparkling wine, fabulous food and chocolate. Enjoy hotels that go all out for a night to remember, restaurants heating up the city's sweetest aphrodisiacs and cellars brimming with delicious British Columbia wines. Make your reservations early, as hotels and restaurants book up quickly. The following are some suggestions to make your romantic stay in Vancouver extra special.

Rendezvous at Vancouver's Most Romantic Hotel
Consistently voted one of the city's top romantic boutique hotels, the Wedgewood Hotel knows how to deliver romance. The hotel has several Valentine's packages available for the weekend, but the one planned for the big day itself is the most extravagant. Enjoy one night's accommodation in a luxurious guestroom or suite with a bottle of chilled bubbly in your room upon arrival. Next, share a romantic Valentine's dinner for two in Bacchus Restaurant and Piano Lounge. The package also includes breakfast in bed the following morning plus complimentary valet parking. Package is priced from $620 CAD ($477 USD).
www.wedgewoodhotel.com

Romancing the Snow
Cold weather gives rise to plenty of snuggling opportunities. With this in mind, the Pacific Palisades Hotel is offering their new "Romancing the Snow" package. The package includes a one night stay in a South Beach suite, a mini chocolate fondue served with biscotti and fruit and delivered to the suite, two pairs of mittens and hand warmers, plus Vancouver All Terrain Adventures' "Snowshoe and Fondue under the Stars" excursion for two. This evening snowshoe tour takes place atop Mount Seymour and includes a moderate hike through the backcountry and a Belgian chocolate fondue served on a hand-carved snow table overlooking Vancouver's city lights. Package is priced from $365 CAD ($312 USD) per couple from January 1 to March 31.
www.pacificpalisadeshotel.com

An Entire "Month of Love" at Opus
Celebrate the month of love (and impress your partner) with a little over-the-top indulgence at the Opus Hotel. First, check into your deluxe courtyard room and toast with chilled French champagne by a warm fireplace. Next, savour a rich chocolate fondue in the romantic French bistro, Elixir. Return to your room for a l'Occitane honey bath, drawn by your own bath attendant - a luxurious end to an evening of romance. The following morning, a late checkout lets you linger over breakfast in bed. Package price starts at $515 CAD ($396 USD).
www.opushotel.com

Comfort Inn Delivers Great Value, Cupid-Style
The Comfort Inn Downtown is offering a romance package at great value. The package includes one night's accommodation with an in-room Jacuzzi, handmade chocolate truffles, sparkling wine, a spa bath package from Escents Aromatherapy, cozy bathrobes in the room plus complimentary parking and continental breakfast the next morning. Package is a steal at only $179 CAD ($138 USD).
www.comfortinndowntown.com

HUGS AND FISHES
February 11
No kids, no crowds - just you, a few other couples and 60,000 amazing marine animals. This year do something really different with your Valentine at the Vancouver Aquarium's adults-only sleepover. Enjoy taking Sushi 101 with a complimentary glass of wine; have fun playing a unique version of "Do You Know Your Partner?", then bed down next to the beluga whales. In the morning, enjoy a sit-down hot breakfast and a tour of the Aquarium as it awakens for a new day. In addition, there will be a cash bar until bedtime, cheese samplings and a chocolate buffet. Cost is $120 CAD ($92 USD) per person and pre-registration is required.
www.vanaqua.org

ST. VALENTINE'S DAY MASSACRE
A dark alley... some desperate characters... it all leads up to one thing: a ruthless improvisational Vancouver TheatreSports tournament - the St. Valentine's Day Massacre at the New Revue Stage on Granville Island. Don't miss the Vancouver team finals on Valentine's Day. Choose your favourite team, cheer them on through the night, enjoy complimentary Valentine's chocolates and be entered to win a two-night vacation at Sun Peaks Resort. The competition heats up on the ultimate day of reckoning - February 19, when the champion and overall winner will be crowned after the final match.
www.vtsl.com
A WALK IN THE CLOUDS - ROMANCE ATOP GROUSE MOUNTAIN
Valentine's Day at Grouse Mountain has become a romantic tradition for those in the know. Couples can skate hand-in-hand atop a frozen pond and enjoy the warmth of hot chocolate sipped in front of a roaring fireplace. Later in the evening, enjoy a Valentine's tasting menu on the top floor of Grouse Mountain's Peak Chalet. Overlooking the sparkling lights of the city below, the stone and wood chalet offers a rustic elegance ideally suited to the occasion. Prices will be announced on the website soon.
www.grousemountain.com
COUNTDOWN VANCOUVER - PASSING OF THE OLYMPIC FLAG EVENTS
February 26 - March 1
There are less than 1,500 days until the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Vancouver! At the closing ceremony of the 2006 Olympic Winter Games in Torino, Italy, the Olympic flag will be passed to the Mayor of Vancouver, marking the beginning of Vancouver's tenure as an Olympic host city. Between February 26 and March 1, the City of Vancouver is holding several events to mark the occasion including the following.

Olympic Hand-over and Countdown Celebration Event
February 26
The City of Vancouver will host this event at Library Square in downtown Vancouver where residents and visitors can view the closing ceremonies of the 2006 Torino Games and the handover of the Olympic flag to Vancouver. A countdown clock will also be unveiled and turned on at the celebration. Other activities will include musical entertainment, face painting, inukshuk building workshops plus food kiosks serving up Italian and Canadian cuisine.

Flag Arrival and Flag-Raising Ceremonies
February 27 and 28

The Mayor of Vancouver and the VANOC team will return to Vancouver from Torino with the official Olympic flag on February 27. The flag will be raised at Vancouver City Hall at noon the following day, February 28.

Ceremonial Lighting Event
March 1

To conclude the four day celebration, a ceremonial lighting event will take place at the inukshuk in English Bay. The inukshuk is a prominent piece of public art that inspired the design of Ilanaaq, the official emblem of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. The Mayor of Vancouver and the CEO of VANOC will officially turn on the lights at a public ceremony that will include entertainment and refreshments for visitors and residents.

For more information, call 604-871-6842.
www.vancouver.ca/olympics

WINTERRUPTION - NEW WINTER FESTIVAL HEATS UP GRANVILLE ISLAND
February 24 - 26
There's a new festival on Vancouver's horizon, and it's slated to highlight a weekend in February with free entertainment, lively music, theatre and artistic events. Co-produced by Granville Island and the Coastal Jazz and Blues Society, Granville Island hosts the festival with free music and theatre on Saturday and Sunday at Performance Works. There will be an outdoor music stage in Railspur Alley, free activities for kids (including stilt walking, juggling and instrument making workshops), tasty food events in the market, music in the Granville Island Brewery, buskers all over the island, guided studio walking tours to visit artisans on the island, plus free Theatresports family matinees. Full details will be available on the website soon.
www.granvilleisland.com
VANCOUVER ART GALLERY SHOWCASES TWO BC ARTISTS
The Vancouver Art Gallery is showcasing two new exhibits this January, and both feature BC artists. From simulations of northwest coast Aboriginal masks constructed entirely out of Nike athletic shoes (Brian Jungen) to beautiful coastal BC landscape paintings (Takao Tanabe), you don't want to miss this spring's exhibits.
www.vanartgallery.bc.ca

Takao Tanabe
January 21 - April 17

Born in BC in 1926, Takao Tanabe has been an important figure in Canadian painting for more than fifty years. His works include rich abstract expressionist images from the fifties, hard-edged abstractions during the sixties and, since the seventies, a return to subject matter from the natural world - in particular, the coastal landscape of BC.

Brian Jungen
January 28 - April 30

Vancouver-based artist Brian Jungen transforms common, pre-fabricated materials into highly symbolic sculptures and installations. The exhibit brings together Jungen's early drawings, his acclaimed works made from reconstructed Nike runners and cut-up patio chairs, as well as new works made specifically for this exhibition.

GASTOWN GOES PREHISTORIC
More than 100 prehistoric fossils, including 11 complete dinosaur skeletons, and two "live" dinosaurs were unveiled in Gastown at the opening of "Dinosaurs in Gastown", a new exhibition at Storyeum. Vancouver is one of only two stops for this exhibit in North America (the other was Montreal in 2005). "Dinosaurs in Gastown" takes audiences on an exploration adventure of reptile, plant, bird, insect and fish fossils from the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods, 65 to 200 million years ago. The exhibit also features dinosaur videos and two life-size moving animatronic dinosaurs that give audiences an up-close look at what it was like to face a three-horned Triceratops or a Tyrannosaurus Rex.
www.storyeum.com
GALS TAKE A GAMBLE
February 04
Ladies can take a breather from family obligations and grab their gal pals to head west for a "high stakes" experience with the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver's "Poker & Pajama Party" package. Gals can leave the boyfriends, husbands and kids at home and get ready to "hold 'em" - Texas style - with their very own ladies-only event that includes professional poker lessons (poker table and chips provided), up to four-hours of playtime and one night's accommodation. The package is available for one night only, Saturday February 4, with rates starting at $99 CAD per person ($76 USD), based on double occupancy.
www.fairmont.com
CALLING ALL OCEAN LOVERS
British Columbia is known for its fresh, high-quality seafood. So if you love seafood - and the oceans - choose "Ocean Wise" when dining out in Vancouver. Ocean Wise is a Vancouver Aquarium conservation program created to help restaurants and their patrons make environmentally-friendly seafood choices. To be sure you're making the most responsible seafood choices, look for the Ocean Wise symbol (left) on menus at participating Vancouver restaurants. It's your assurance that a seafood dish has been guaranteed ocean-friendly by the Vancouver Aquarium. Now you can enjoy a great meal - knowing you are doing your part to protect our oceans.
www.vanaqua.org/conservation/oceanwise
100 MILE RADIUS FROM RAINCITY GRILL
This January, Raincity Grill's Chef de Cuisine Andrea Carlson will create a "100 Mile Tasting Menu" using only ingredients that can be found within a 100 mile radius of Vancouver. Motivated by articles written by Alisa Smith and James MacKinnon, chronicling their year living on a "100 mile diet", Carlson decided to create a menu using ingredients produced within 100 miles of where she lives and works. The menu will be unveiled in February and promises to be a great way to sample local cuisine.
www.raincitygrill.com

For further information, please contact:
Kate Colley Lo
Manager, Travel & Trade Media Relations
Phone: 604.631.2870
kcolley@tourismvancouver.com
Emily Armstrong
Travel Media Specialist
Phone: 604.631.2873
earmstrong@tourismvancouver.com
Wendy Underwood
Trade & Travel Media Specialist
Phone: 604.631.2859
wunderwood@tourismvancouver.com
Tourism Vancouver