Opinion Column

Vancouver's 'No Fun City' reputation a misnomer 0

Rachel Healy

By Rachel Healy, 24 hours Vancouver

Illuminate Yaletown 2012, an entertainment-filled street party on Mainland St. between Davie st. and Nelson St.,featuring brilliant and breathtaking light installations from local artists, pixel mapping with live DJ performances, interactive installations and much more as part of the City and Slope Winter Festival. CARMINE MARINELLI/24 HOURS FILE PHOTO)

Illuminate Yaletown 2012, an entertainment-filled street party on Mainland St. between Davie st. and Nelson St.,featuring brilliant and breathtaking light installations from local artists, pixel mapping with live DJ performances, interactive installations and much more as part of the City and Slope Winter Festival. CARMINE MARINELLI/24 HOURS FILE PHOTO)

A bus shelter advert outside the Queen Elizabeth Theatre for the ongoing Vancouver Comedy & Arts Festival recently caught my eye on my daily commute.

It showed Vancouver’s stunning cityscape with the words “No Fun City” underneath — the “No” scribbled out and “HA HA HA” penciled in on top.

It got me thinking about the city’s unfortunate rep, and how I believe it couldn’t be further from the truth.

Of course, the tourist books don’t mention the ‘NFC’ slander when waxing lyrical about all that beautiful B.C. has to offer, but it’s been scoffed about in many conversations since I arrived here.

Seemingly jaded locals seem to simply shrug their shoulders with a resigned air of: ‘Whatcha gonna do?’ when these three little damaging words slip off the tongue. Bright-eyed newbies like myself are baffled as to how or why this rumour started in the first place?

All you have to do is look around at the huge lineups on every corner on any given night to see how much fun the average Vancouverite is having.

Yes, such iconic hangouts as the Waldorf Hotel and smaller theatres may be sadly closing their doors, but look beyond the neon signs downtown and you’ll find such gems as the Commodore Ballroom, the Vogue and Orpheum theatres, Celebrities and BC Place lit up and buzzing just a few blocks apart.

This month alone we’re spoilt for choice with Dine Out Vancouver, free ice-skating in Robson Square, the Chinese New Year parade, B.C.’s first Family Day, wine and food festivals. There’s even a Hot Chocolate Festival on Valentine’s Day … what more could you ask for.

I’ve been to party cities like London, Amsterdam, Ibiza and of course, whatever-happens-in-Vegas-please-stay-in-Vegas, but in my seasoned opinion Vancouver outshines them all.

Entertainment publications and websites such as XtraWest, Vancouver Is Awesome and Vancity Buzz, to name but a few, are in abundance with all the hard work of where to go and what to do done for you. You don’t even have to get off the couch to see what’s on (although that’s the underlying intention).

Heck, just last week Tourism Vancouver’s free Visit Vancouver app won international acclaim for shining light on the city, and TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) is leaving sunny California for the first time in 30 years to come here in 2014 — and the world’s greatest thinkers can’t be wrong about us, right?

 

 

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Is Vancouver a 'No Fun City'?

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