VANCITY LOVIN’: Valentine’s Day events

(Courtesy of D. Sharon Pruitt)

(Courtesy of D. Sharon Pruitt)

Whether you plan to celebrate it or not, it’s hard to ignore the fast approach of Valentine’s Day, with every storefront sporting the pink-and-red colour scheme and displaying heart-shaped everything. And as they say, if you can’t fight them – join them. After all, there is nothing wrong with an extra cause for celebration of love, whether it be romantic, familial, or the most important one of all – love for yourself. We here at Link Magazine put together a handy list of ideas for those who want to avoid the insane restaurant line-ups, and still treat themselves and their loved ones to a lovely Valentine’s Day date.

See some burlesque
Vancouver is home to some of the finest neo-burlesque performers in Canada, so why not celebrate this Valentine’s Day like a true Vancouverite? You even get a choice of performances: there is Valentine’s Rock’n’Roll Burlesque at the Blue Morris, and Burlesque Duos at the Rio Theatre. Burlesque is fun, sexy, and all about self-expression: what’s better to put you in Valentine’s Day spirit, regardless of your relationship status?

J’aime le cinéma français
We have been conditioned to think of anything French as incredibly romantic (in fact, French cuisine is the second most popular choice for Valentine’s dinner dates), but Jean-Luc Godard films truly live up to the name. And this isn’t just for couples: the magic of black-and-white French avant-garde cinema is just as enjoyable solo. Pacific Cinematheque is showing Godard films all month; there are no screenings on Valentine’s Day, but two Godard classics, Une Femme est Une Femme and Vivre sa Vie are playing all weekend.

(Courtesy of brehantodd)

(Courtesy of brehantodd)

Art lovers
You know that big building on Robson that you keep meaning to stop by and check out? Ever think of how art galleries are much more conducive to conversation and general romance than a movie theatre? Current and aspiring art lovers, you’re in luck: admission to the Vancouver Art Gallery is only $10 all throughout February. The gallery is currently displaying a large collection of works by Emily Carr, an artist who brought West Coast pride to Canadian art. It’s a great excuse to check out some great art, and every visitor gets a free Emily Carr print.

“If music be the food of love…”
Who said free concerts were a warmer-season exclusive? For the fifth winter, CBC Toque Sessions bring local and international talent to their Hamilton Street studio. On Valentine’s Day, the award-winning trio of musicians Blackie and the Rodeo Kings take the stage. The show starts at 7:30, but arrive early – let purposeful attendance be your advantage over couples on post-dinner downtown strolls.

Space can be romantic, just check out this heart nebula. (Courtesy of s58y)

Space can be romantic, just check out this heart nebula! (Courtesy of s58y)

Star-gaze
Thanks to the infamous West Coast weather, we rarely get to see the stars in the middle of winter. But the experts at the H.R. MacMillan space centre will make sure you get to star-gaze no matter what the forecast says on Friday. For astrology lovers out there, this event will combine both the astrological and astronomical perspectives on the night sky. Check it out! I bet the last time you were at the Space Centre was before they discontinued the laser shows…

Sweeten the deal
Okay, so we established that chocolate is not the most original Valentine’s gift idea. But what about Parmesan cheese hot chocolate? Or a chocolate-infused tequila cocktail? Try these exotic combinations, and many others at the fourth annual Vancouver Hot Chocolate Festival. They do say trying new things together helps spice things up; and on Friday, you can spice it up by sharing a cayenne pepper cocoa beverage.

And if you’re still not excited about Valentine’s Day,  just think of it this way…

cheap candy eve

(Courtesy of Scott Ogle)

Happy Cheap Candy Eve Valentine’s Day, Link readers!