Follow the link for a map of the venue as well as suggestions of where to visit in Vancouver:
The conference will take place in the World Art Centre at the Goldcorp Centre for the Arts, SFU Woodward’s. Located at 149 West Hastings Street, just east of Cambie Street, the facilities can also be accessed via the courtyard entrance off Cordova Street, where one can take in local artist Stan Douglas’ large double-sided photographic mural. The World Art Centre is on the second floor, Room 2555.
Most out-of town presenters have been booked into the Days Inn Vancouver Downtown, 921 West Pender Street, between Hornby and Burrard, and a 10-15 minute amble from SFU Woodward’s. The nights covered by the workshop (Aug 12/13-16 inclusive) have been pre-paid. Those who have indicated they are arriving earlier or staying later have been extended the discounted conference rate ($140 CAD + taxes), payable upon checkout. The hotel’s General Manager, Melissa Choe (604-681-4335; email@example.com), has a list of all arrival and departure dates, as well as contact emails.
Some participants will be staying at the Delta Vancouver Suites, 550 West Hastings at Seymour, and even closer to SFU Woodward’s. Please note that the accessible entrance is via Seymour Street.
Transportation to and from YVR
The Canada Line, the light-rail link built for the 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games, will whisk you from the airport to its downtown terminus, Waterfront Station, in approximately 25 minutes. At Waterfront, head for the Granville Street exit (you will be going against the flow of most of the traffic, and in the opposite direction of the way the train enters the station). This exit is closer to both hotels: the Days Inn is just two blocks west on Pender (facing south, away from the mountains, you will be turning right); and the Delta Suites is one block to the east on Hastings (facing north, towards the mountains, you will be turning right). The adult fare from the airport in peak periods is $9.00 CAD ($4 for two zones plus a $5 airport surcharge), $7.75 after 6:30 pm and on weekends; the ticket dispensing machines at the airport will automatically calculate the correct fare. (Single adult transit fares within Vancouver are $2.75; see the Translink website for more info and maps.)
Alternatively, you can grab a cab at the airport, which will cost between $40-50 with tip.
If you are driving, follow Highway 99 north, which will eventually turn into Granville Street. Once over False Creek and the Granville Street Bridge, exit onto Seymour Street. Turn left (west) at Pender Street, and follow this for three blocks, until you reach the hotel.
Depending on traffic, it can take between 40-60 minutes to get from the airport to downtown.
Sites and Attractions
For those who have a chance to explore Vancouver, here are a few recommendations:
1. Chinatown, Gastown and the DTES: Three of the city’s most historic neighbourhoods abut our conference venue. Travel south on Abbott to Pender Street to reach Chinatown, where among other things you can visit the Dr. Sun Yat Sen Classical Chinese Garden. Every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evening from 6:30-11 pm between June and September, Chinatown also hosts a night market in the 100-200 block of Keefer Street (for details of the bigger rival Chinese night market in Richmond, see below). Just north of SFU Woodward’s, along Water Street, are the shops, restaurants, and brick facades of Gastown. The Woodward’s building also adjoins Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, one of the poorest inner-city neighbourhoods in all of Canada, but also an equally vibrant community whose residents just happen to include members of the street homeless population, sex workers, injection drug users, mental health patients, working artists, activists, and a growing number of gentrifiers, especially since 2010.
2. Canada Place and Jack Poole Plaza: If you walk north along Hornby Street from the Days Inn hotel to the waterfront (only a few short blocks), you will come to Canada Place, site of Vancouver’s old (the one designed like a white cruise ship) and new (the one with the green roof) convention centres. Between them is Jack Poole Plaza, where the famously malfunctioning (and rather monolithic) cauldron from the 2010 Winter Olympic Opening Ceremonies remains. There is also an orca whale sculpture made out of Lego by Douglas Coupland. More inspiring is the view of Burrard Inlet and the North Shore Mountains beyond.
3. Stanley Park: You can follow the seawall (a divided pedestrian and bike path) west from Canada Place, through Coal Harbour, to Stanley Park, Vancouver’s justifiably famous oasis of green. There’s lots to do in the park (an aquarium, a petting zoo, cricket pitches, tennis courts, golf greens, picnic areas and playgrounds, a pool, various lookout points, restaurants and food concessions, and miles of well-signed trails). Alternatively, you can follow the seawall all the way around the park, pausing at the various beaches along the way. If you make it to English Bay, you may just wish to repair to the historic Sylvia Hotel for a well-deserved drink, or find a gelato along Denman Street, the main thoroughfare in the city’s West End. Finally, every summer Stanley Park’s Malkin Bowl is home to Theatre Under the Stars, the city’s annual open-air musical theatre venue. While a mix of professional and semi-professional performers, the productions are for the most part exceptionally good and the backdrop magical. This year for some reason TUTS is eschewing the classic musical repertoire in favour of the following offerings: Legally Blonde and Shrek. Bring insect repellent, warm clothing, and an umbrella; performances are held rain or shine.
4. Vancouver Art Gallery and Robson Street: The VAG occupies a city block between Howe and Hornby Streets east and west, and Robson and Georgia Streets north and south. Enter off Hornby Street. This summer’s main shows include a major retrospective of the visual and installation art of Douglas Coupland, and a survey of the sound art of Janet Cardiff and George Burres Miller. On the top floor, the gallery maintains a permanent display of Emily Carr’s paintings. Continue west along Robson Street to explore the city’s main shopping drag.
5. Granville Island: Just across False Creek from downtown is Granville Island. Reclaimed from historic First Nations tidal fishing flats and once filled with light industry (the remnants of which remain in its characteristic architecture), Granville Island is now the closest thing Vancouver has to a theme park. It’s still worth a visit, if only for the famous public market, featuring an abundance of fresh local produce and seafood, but also many other specialty shops. And there’s much more than just the food: artists studios and craft stores; several theatres and performance spaces; an indoor toy market and outdoor water park for kids; beer and spirits distilleries; and the Charles H. Scott Gallery at the Emily Carr University of Art and Design. For an extra bit of fun, pretend you’re von Aschenbach and approach the island via one of the little blue ferries that prowl False Creek, and available for embarking at the foot of Hornby Street, or at the Aquatic Centre, or in Yaletown (http://www.granvilleislandferries.bc.ca).
6. The Museum of Anthropology and Wreck Beach at UBC: Housed in an iconic, and newly-renovated and expanded, building designed by Arthur Erickson, UBC’s Museum of Anthropology is justly celebrated for its historical and contemporary collections of First Nations art and artifacts, and for the cultural and community sensitivity with which the material is displayed. The museum is also home to a major collection of ceramics, and regularly hosts locally curated and touring exhibitions from around the world. Depending on the weather and your own sense of adventurousness, you may wish to combine your visit to MOA with a trip to Wreck Beach, at the westernmost tip of UBC, and Vancouver’s only clothing-optional beach. If you do go, bring lots of sunscreen, and consider staying for the sunset, which prompts regular applause from its audience.
7. Bard on the Beach: Vancouver’s annual Shakespeare festival, Bard on the Beach, will be ongoing in August. Performances take place underneath tents in Vanier Park. This year’s offerings include A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Tempest, Cymbeline, and Equivocation, a new play by Bill Cain.
8. The North Shore: A short bus ride across the Lion’s Gate Bridge, or seabus trip across Burrard Inlet, brings you to the bedroom communities of West and North Vancouver, respectively. In the former, you can stroll in Ambleside Park and take in the views of the Vancouver skyline. In the latter, you can cross the Capilano Suspension Bridge, or take a gondola to the top of Grouse Mountain, or walk up the hill from the seabus terminal to visit the excellent Presentation House Gallery.
9. Richmond Summer Night Market: Just south of Vancouver, where the airport is, lies Richmond, which is now the main home of the city’s ethnic Chinese community. Among other things, various local and international authorities have pronounced Richmond as having, after Hong Kong, the largest and best concentration of Chinese restaurants outside of mainland China. The suburb also hosts a Summer Night Market every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evening at 8351 River Road, featuring more than 200 vendors selling amazing food and unique merchandise. There are also free exhibitions and performances.
10. Music, theatre, dance, and visual art: To find out what else is going on at The Dance Centre or the Vancouver East Cultural Centre or the Contemporary Art Gallery, or any other of the fine and performing arts venues around the city, pick up a copy of The Georgia Straight, Vancouver’s free weekly, when you arrive. They also have an on-line version with up-to-date listings and reviews at http://www.straight.com.
Restaurants (See Map for Locations)
Restaurants (a thoroughly subjective list of recommendations near the conference venue and hotels)
The Alibi Room (157 Alexander St.; http://alibi.ca; 604-623-3383): small plates and craft beer into the wee hours of the morning. Wheelchair accessible.
Bao Bei Chinese Brasserie (163 Keefer St.; http://www.bao-bei.ca; 604-688-0876): a fusion not just of east and west, but of pan-Chinese cuisine, this boîte also has a chicly retro décor and great cocktails. No reservations. Wheelchair accessible.
The Belgard Kitchen (55 Dunlevy Ave.; http://belgardkitchen.com; 604-699-1989): one of several food and drinks establishments to have opened recently in the historic Settlement Building adjacent Vancouver’s bustling port, Belgard features small share plates and is open late. Wheelchair accessible.
Chill Winston (3 Alexander St.; http://chillwinston.ca; 604-288-9575): a pub and cocktail lounge for the smart set, with a decent menu and the best outdoor patio in the neighbourhood. Wheelchair accessible.
Hawksworth (801 West Georgia St.; http://hawksworthrestaurant.com; 604-673-7000): in the newly renovated Georgia Hotel, just up Howe Street from the Days Inn, Hawksworth is an expensive but thoroughly delectable fine dining experience. Order from several tasting menus or à la carte. Wheelchair accessible.
L’Abattoir (217 Carrall St.; http://www.labattoir.ca; 604-568-1701): located in a brick and beam building that used to be the city’s first jail, this restaurant specializes in French influenced west coast plates and also serves specialty cocktails and has a superb wine list. Not wheelchair accessible.
Nicli Antica Pizzeria (62 East Cordova St; http://nicli-antica-pizzeria.ca; 604-669-6985): authentic Neapolitan pizzas cooked for 90 seconds in a wood-burning oven kept at 900°. No reservations. Wheelchair accessible.
Nuba (207-B West Hastings @ Cambie; http://www.nuba.ca; 604-688-1655): just a block from SFU Woodward’s, this Lebanese tapas joint serves fresh, flavourful food perfect for sharing, and at ridiculously low prices. Not wheelchair accessible.
Salt (Blood Alley; http://www.salttastingroom.com; 604-633-1912): one of Sean Heather’s many Gastown ventures (see also The Irish Heather), this restaurant specializes solely in artisanal cheeses, specialty charcuterie, and accompanying condiments. There’s also an extensive wine list, and diners share long galley tables. Wheelchair accessible.
Shirakawa (#115-12 Water Street; http://shirakawagastown.com; 604-336-6918): newly opened, this Japanese restaurant serves a selection of small plates, sushi, and grilled dishes, including—for those non-vegetarians—specialty Kuroge Wagyu beef from Japan. Wheelchair accessible.
* If you wish to venture further afield, try: the excellent Spanish tapas at Espana on Denman St. in the West End; fresh seafood at The Bluewater Caféor family-style Italian at La Pentola in Yaletown; modern Indian at Vij’s or superb farm-to-table plates at Farmer’s Apprentice in South Granville; refined local organic at Burdock & Co. and award-winning vegetarian at The Acorn on Main Street.