Best of Vancouver 2018: An introduction to the 23rd annual edition

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      Sometimes, it seems there just isn’t enough time in the day for many of us. With school, work, commuting, and family duties—not to mention the high cost of housing and relentless taxation—it can feel like the fun is being sucked out of our lives in Vancouver. We’re like hamsters on a wheel, running ever faster just to stay in the same place.

      This year, there are elections taking place in municipalities across the region, but it’s hard to keep up with who’s running when there are so many candidates. Some of us might like to relax and watch more Canucks games this season, but that’s not possible if you’re working two jobs to make ends meet. Others, no doubt, want to see more screenings at the Vancouver International Film Festival, which remains one of the marquee events on the city’s calendar. It’s hard to believe that VIFF is approaching middle age, but if you think of it in another way, this smorgasbord of cinema is just reaching its prime.

      In this year’s Best of Vancouver issue, our 23rd, we’re featuring no shortage of Vancouver residents and organizations that can also be considered to have reached their prime. Our annual online ballot elicits a massive response every year—in fact, the number of votes exceeds those that will be cast in quite a few local elections taking place across the province on October 20.

      The winners of our election are listed in readers’-choice boxes throughout this issue in broad subject areas ranging from city life to food and drink, and from lifestyle to media, arts, and culture. When you come across these lists, remember that these are the people’s choices.

      And the Straight is 100 percent for the people—to paraphrase one of our local mayoral candidates.

      But the Straight is also populated by writers with their own takes on what’s best about our city. The Best of Vancouver is not merely populism run amok. For them, there’s considerable thought that goes into highlighting what’s worth celebrating and cherishing.

      In the following sections, you can read their reflections on what inspires, amuses, encourages, enthralls, shocks, and even appalls them about living in our village by the sea.

      These writers recognize that people don’t always have the time to explore every neighburhood or sample cuisine that came from recipes developed a half a world away. On occasion, they just want to read about them.

      So set aside a few minutes, grab a cup of java or tea, and forget about all your stresses as you take in this year’s edition of the Best of Vancouver.