Prior to the Pride flag-raising ceremony at Vancouver City Hall on July 28, a panel discussion held in the Council Chambers highlighted the plight of LGBT refugees to Canada and what can be done to help them.

Two LGBT refugees spoke at the event, but several more added their voices by expressing themselves through a group art project called "Seeking Protection Is Not a Crime".

As a result of a SkyTrain shutdown that left thousands of passengers stranded on July 21, TransLink announced that it would offer a free day of transit on B.C. Day to “show appreciation for customers”.

Well, folks, our day to save $2.75 is just around the corner—on Monday (August 4)—so we’ve rounded up a few ways to help you make the most of the free transit.

Today (August 1) the Vancouver Aquarium issued an open letter highly critical of a park board decision to ban captive whale and dolphin breeding.

Several sections go beyond addressing policy and criticize the park board on a borderline-personal level.

In a telephone interview, Vision Vancouver commissioner Niki Sharma told the Straight that her attention was caught by one line in particular.

What’s in Your Fridge is where the Straight asks interesting Vancouverites about their life-changing concerts, favourite albums, and, most importantly, what’s sitting beside the Heinz Ketchup in their custom-made Big Chill Retropolitan 20.6 cubic-foot refrigerators.

On the grill

Cary Pratt

Who are you

Well, for all intents and purposes of this interview, I am Cary Pratt from Prairie Cat. Vancouver- (currently) based solo musician who is fortunate to play/record with, on, in or around some of the finer musical acts this city has to offer. If you go to shows in Vancouver or listen to CBC, you have probably heard me at some point, on some songs, doing something.

Who has been the worst premier of British Columbia in the past three decades?

Insights West asked 815 B.C. adults this question in a new survey.

Christy Clark and Gordon Campbell topped the poll, with 25 percent of respondents singling them out.

Glen Clark was the worst premier for 18 percent. Bill Vander Zalm was the pick of 13 percent.

Insights West also asked respondents to select the best premier since 1986.

Mike Harcourt was the best premier for 19 percent, while Gordon Campbell was chosen by 13 percent and Bill Vander Zalm by 11 percent.

Eight percent picked Christy Clark as the best premier.

Couldn't make it out last night? You missed American folk singer-songwriter Josh Ritter at the Commodore. Kali C. was there and caught a moment of the show on Instagram. Here’s your concert pic of the morning. Josh Ritter at the Commodore Ballroom on July 31, 2014. Thanks Kali.

Like Halloween, when the early October fogs start to roll in, and Kanye West when he isn’t cancelling his shows the day they are supposed to happen, it’s starting to feel like it’s almost here.

Yes, we’re talking about the Squamish Valley Music Festival, taking place August 8 to 10 at the Logger Sports Grounds and Hendrickson Fields. In anticipation of the big event—headlined by Eminem, Bruno Mars, and Arcade Fire—we’re spending the next few weeks rounding up local artists who’ll be playing the open-air party, and getting them to answer some important questions.

The 22nd annual Salmon Arm Roots & Blues Festival takes place at the Salmon Arm Fairgrounds from August 15 to 17. The festival is the largest music festival in B.C.’s Interior.

This year’s festival will be headlined by Mavis Staples, an iconic American R&B and gospel singer. She is best known for her family’s band, the Staple Singers, but has forged an admirable career as a soloist as well. In 2010, her 13th studio album, You Are Not Alone, won the Grammy Award for Best Americana Album.

Johnny Carson: “It was so hot today…”

Audience: “How hot was it?”

Johnny: “It was so hot today…that even the chalk art on the sidewalks was well done!”

[Audience laughter. Drum roll from band. Ed McMahon coughs. Cut to commercial.]

Early Music Vancouver presents a performance of G.F. Handel’s Il Trionfo del Tempo at UBC’s Chan Centre for the Performing Arts (6265 Crescent Road) on August 7 at 7:30 p.m.

Il Trionfo del Tempo features the Pacific Baroque Orchestra directed by Alexander Weimann. The performance features sopranos Amanda Forsythe and Krisztina Szabó, alto Reginald L. Mobley, and tenor Colin Balzer.