Vancouver, Virtually

For the second stop on our virtual tour we’re heading west to Vancouver. Vancity is just waiting to be discovered – from your living room. This west coast mecca is known for its mix of culture and nature, much of which has been transferred to your screen. We know it’s not the same as experiencing it in person, but the bright side is you won’t need to pack your rainboots!

So get comfy, grab a coffee (let’s make it something artisanal, to get in the mood) and check out what Vancouver has to offer.

A Taste of Nature

A little north of Vancouver locals can (in normal times) escape to Grouse Mountain for a ski or hiking weekend. There is usually plenty of action on the mountain, but things are quieter for the time being. If you’re looking for some soothing nature eye-candy, hop on to one of their many webcams, where, if you’re patient enough you might spot grizzly bears Grinder and Coola through the Bear Pond Cam. Or have a look at the amazing Eye of the Wind, a massive 1.5 megawatt wind turbine – the first in North America at such a high altitude – through the Chalet Cam (hint: choose to watch “yesterday’s time lapse” to see one full day pass by in one minute).

 

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Generation V(irtual)

By now Douglas Coupland is a household name that has gone well beyond his infamous novel Generation X. He’s Canadiana to the core, and his art has jumped from the page to the wall. The Vancouver Art Gallery has put online a fantastic virtual tour (through Google street view) of one of his celebrated exhibitions which I’ve recently “walked” through close to a dozen times. Am I a little obsessed? Maybe.

The Art Gallery has also created a vimeo channel chock full of artist talks and other content.

 

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Meanwhile, the Museum of Anthropology has created a #MOAfromhome page where you can explore their impressive collection online.

Listen In

These days, one of the things I miss most is going to concerts. Though I have no doubt we’ll all be headbanging and moshing again soon (I just dated myself there, didn’t I?), the music hasn’t stopped. Online concert site Side Door is offering a… well a virtual side door entrance to concert-going. The shows are limited in numbers to keep the intimacy as much as possible: you can see other audience members while enjoying the main attraction.

The site was co-founded by JUNO winner and Polaris prize nominee Dan Mangan, and on November 21 he’s hopping online to give an all covers concert (spoiler: there’ll be a Weezer song in there). The tickets to these e-shows are very reasonable, but even so Mangan has 30 free tickets waiting for anyone who might not be able to cover the cost. What a mensch!

A View from The Top

Ok, this is seriously cool. Do a glacier tour, a panoramic flight over Vancouver and more through these virtual reality videos from a small propeller plane. Look around by scrolling across the image – the cameras are 360 degrees. Even in normal times, I’d probably avoid tiny propeller planes, but I’m feeling very brave from my couch.

 

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Non-Virtual Visits

As of December 11, our Canadian train will once again operate between Winnipeg and Vancouver, once a week. For those choosing to visit non-virtually (IRL), remember to read through our health and safety measures, and please stick to safe activities where social distancing is always possible.

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