Runaway to Vancouver


‘Runaway’ to Vancouver with Jon Bon Jovi

article by Dean Nelson @GayWhistler

Vancouver has a new beat in town with an exciting new concept concert – Urban Forest Concert with a star studded line up including Jon Bon Jovi, Robby Krieger of the DOORS, and Canadian artist Andrew Cole & guests.

Vancouver has long been known as the emerald jewel of Canada’s crown. Breath taking cityscapes, lush green forests and dramatic ocean and mountain views. Local concert producer, Dennis MacDonald of Paper Rain Performances and brain child of the Urban Forest Concerts, is transforming the outdoor concert experience to a brand new elevation.

The concert will take place at Stanley Park with a dramatic backdrop of the downtown city lights and Coal Harbour. Hundreds of live trees are being brought in to dress the stage and will be donated to the city of Vancouver as part of the concert’s environmental giving back commitment in helping to rebuild some of the wind blown damage to the park.

Runaway with Jon Bon Jovi to Vancouver

In my quest for seeking an Urban Forest experience I thought I would runaway and see what kind of adventures could be found within Vancouver but beyond Stanley Park. My first stop of inspiration was to MOA – the Museum of Anthropology. Vancouver is founded on the unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations. At the iconic MOA building located in the forest at UBC – University of British Columbia, I learned how the First Nations embraced and lived with harmony with their environment. No doubt this is part of the inspiration of the Urban Forest Concerts to celebrate the natural beauty and respect it. My friends and I spent hours taking in all of the First Nation’s treasures and heritage and had a much better understanding of the importance of the cedar tree and the role it played in this culture.

After wondering the gallery and the outside grounds we made our way down the road to our next stop of inspiration.  The Nitobe Japanese Memorial Gardens are truly breath taking.  The calmness and tranquility of the garden and the quiet chatter of the babbling brooks.  We breathed in the fresh urban forest air with a light hint of cedar and the smell of moss.  It was the perfect place to just unwind and regroup from a hectic day in the city.  Who knew we had such beautiful spaces within our city to recharge and get back to nature?

If you have been thinking about heading to Vancouver, this is a great time to visit.  The US Exchange is approximately 30 cents on the US dollar… which means, Canada is essential 30% off (US$1.00 = approx. CDN$1.30).  There are many incredible things to see an do in Vancouver including some new attractions such as “Fly Over Canada” at Canada Place / Cruise Ship terminal. This is a five senses virtual flight experience that will have you in total awe.  Be a Rock Star! Scenic Crush is a “once in a lifetime” kind of experience where you can drive an exotic car like a Lamborghini Gallardo, Ferrari F430 Spider, Audi R8, Porsche 911 Turbo or a Nissan GT-R on one of the world’s most scenic highways – the Sea To Sky, highway 99 North of Vancouver.  My friends at WINQ magazine took one of these beauties out for a spin and had a total rage.

Wanting to taste some home grown award-winning culinary delights and spirits?  Off the Beaten Track Tours has something just for you.  They have some of the best foodie tours in the city where you feel like a VIP and get toured around to some of Vancouver’s hottest spots, hidden gems and the city’s burgeoning distillery scene.

So what are you waiting for?  Come Runaway to Vancouver with me!


Jon Bon Jovi an Urban Forest Concert visit
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