Western Canada’s capital of health and happiness thinks you should get out of the house for a bit
Author Jacqueline Detwiler Photography Grant Harder
Average annual snowfall in
nearby Whistler, in inches
Global livability ranking in
2011 from The Economist
Year the first trading
post was established here
How the University of British Columbia’s Museum of Anthropology became one of the hottest tickets in Vancouver
Anthropology museums usually get short shrift in the visitor department. Kids would rather hit the zoo, while adults tend toward famous paintings they can talk about at dinner parties. The University of British Columbia’s Museum of Anthropology, however, has dodged that problem. Ask a Vancouverite for the best cultural destination to take out-of-town guests to, and they’ll almost always recommend this imposing glass-and-cement edifice, which overlooks the churning sea at Point Grey.
Built in the mid-1970s by iconic Canadian architect Arthur Erickson, the museum’s 40,000-square-foot building is a Modernist twist on traditional wood-beam structures, and in 2010 it was endowed with a reflecting pool intended to inspire, um, reflection. Highlights of its collection include totem poles from the Haida, Oweekeno, Gitxsan and Nisga’a peoples; traditional Haida houses; and a sculpture of an enormous, nightmarish raven in a rotunda (pictured, Corbis). Everyone loves this raven. It’s scary. It’s cool. Makes for awesome Instagrams. It’s also on the back of the Canadian $20 bill.
See? This place is so much better than the zoo.
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The inside scoop from those in the know
Communications Lead, University of British Columbia
There’s a local band up here, Brickhouse, that plays regular gigs in town. They’re my (and many other people’s) favorite band, and they’ve been at it for 12 to 15 years, so a pretty long time. The singer is great, and they play very accessible music: blues and rock.
Chef, Hawksworth Restaurant
I love spending the day on the slopes. My favorite Whistler run is Whistler Bowl to Tiger’s Terrace. On Blackcomb, it’s Bark Sandwich all the way to Tiger’s Terrace. After I’ve tired myself out, I head to the laid-back lounge at Nita Lake Lodge and roast s’mores by the lakeside fire-pit.
Sales Associate, Barefoot Contessa Boutique
The weather can be dreary here, so sometimes you need triple-baked mac ’n’ cheese and brownies. I get them at Burgoo. I also love the Alibi Room, which is at the edge of Gastown. It’s got a ton of beers on tap, and I could eat their chickpea-battered fried chicken all day.