Vancouver in Bloom

New activities are springing up in Vancouver By: Janeen Christoff
The 4-D FlyOver Canada experience virtually takes visitors around the country. // © 2013 FlyOver Canada
The 4-D FlyOver Canada experience virtually takes visitors around the country. // © 2013 FlyOver Canada

This year, Vancouver is soaring into spring with the debut of FlyOver Canada, a new $15 million attraction that incorporates virtual flight-ride technology with Canadian scenery. The first of its kind in the country, FlyOver Canada takes place in Vancouver’s former IMAX theater. Up to 60 guests are safely strapped into their seats and elevated in front of a 60-foot wide, sphere-shaped screen before embarking on a virtual 4-D experience across the country. Created by Rick Rothschild, a former Disney Imagineer and the creative director of Disney Parks’ Soarin’ Over California attraction and Dave Mossop, director of Whistler-based Sherpas Cinema, the adventure showcases a mix of seasons, magnificent landscapes and vibrant colors, enhanced by wind, scents, mist and sound.

Visitors to Vancouver will also find that spring is in the air with the blooming of cherry blossoms, and visitors can take in their beauty at the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival, a celebration of the city’s more than 37,000 blossoming cherry trees. Highlights of the eighth annual festival include musical performances, artist demonstrations, guided walks and bike tours. The Cherry Blossom Umbrella Dance will also return for its second year on April 13, during which hundreds of vibrant umbrellas descend upon the Vancouver Art Gallery for a flash mob choreographed by Bollywood dance superstar Shiamak Davar.

Those who prefer to celebrate spring with culinary indulgences can head to False Creek for the Chef’s Table Society of B.C.’s seventh annual Spot Prawn Festival. The event honors the spot prawn, which is one of the region’s most prized and sustainable foods. Located at False Creek’s Fisherman’s Wharf, the festival invites visitors and locals to meet some of Vancouver’s top culinary talent, observe cooking demonstrations, soak up live entertainment and enjoy local wines as well as the guest of honor — with a spot prawn boil.

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