Need something to do this long weekend? Here are five Galentine's-, Palentine's-, and single-friendly events to add to your agenda.
February 14 at various locations
True story: the tradition of proposing with a diamond engagement ring was created as a marketing campaign by high-end jewellers De Beers to raise their stock prices.
Another true story: our Valentine’s Day tradition of giving gifts and missives was very likely established by greeting-card companies to rake in some cash between Christmas and Easter. What does it mean? Love has been co-opted by capitalism. Tom and Gary’s Decentralized Dance Party (DDP), however, is heroically attempting to #SaveLove.
Founded in 2009 by Vancouverites Gary Lachance and Tom Kuzma, the DDP has successfully thrown 73 gigantic parties across North America and Europe, connecting hundreds of thousands of people in flash-mob-esque dance celebrations. The pair carry a giant radio transmitter, and broadcast on a particular frequency.
Handing out hundreds of boomboxes and encouraging participants to bring their own FM–enabled electronics, Lachance and Kuzma amass a huge crowd that travels around the city, clothed in outrageous costumes and throwing some serious shapes. Perfect for fun-loving couples—or, more importantly, for singles on the hunt—the DDP might not only #SaveLove but spark it, too.
February 14 at 154 East 10th Avenue
For many of us, the word prom typically conjures up images of poorly decorated gymnasiums, cringe-worthy photos taken with your no-longer-on-speaking-terms-with ex, and reaching embarrassing levels of vodka-wasted before the clock strikes 10.
Vancouver’s annual People’s Prom, however, is none of these things. (Well, we can’t promise anything regarding the vodka part.) Billing itself as “the prom you never had in high-school”, the event is open to people of all gender identities, backgrounds, and sexual orientations—and the best part is that no dates and awkward corsage-and-boutonniere exchanges are required.
Gather a group of friends or fly solo to the East Van spot, where you can flaunt your biggest, puffiest, and tackiest prom wear while breaking it down to beats from DJs Busy B, Sweet Anomaly, and more. Local glam king Ponyboy will serve as MC and an air-band competition is also on the agenda. Tickets are $20—with all proceeds benefiting actionand creative-resistance projects—at the door.
February 12 at the Biltmore Cabaret (2755 Prince Edward Street)
For nine years, Burgundy Brixx and the Purrrfessor have been dazzling audiences with glittery numbers and tantalizing moves as the stars and hosts of Kitty Nights Burlesque. This season, the duo has opted to host monthly reviews instead of weekly ones, which Brixx says has created opportunity for thematic shows that are bigger and more elaborate than ever.
Having dedicated entire evenings to artists like Prince and David Bowie, they’ve added another musician to their roster of rock-star tributes. This time, they’ll honour the trailblazing legacy and coveted vocal chops of Kate Bush. Known for her unmistakable range and status as one of the first solo female U.K. chart-toppers, guest vocalists and the Kitty Nights Hot and Heavy band will cover the songstress’s most loved tunes.
If you’re single and needing a night out to preemptively forget why Valentine’s Day continues to exist, there’s really no better way to stick it to that tiny, arrow-carrying, diaper-wearing man-child than by hollering along to “Wuthering Heights” or “Running Up That Hill” after a couple pints with your equally single cohorts.
February 14 at Storm Crow Tavern (1305 Commercial Drive)
Here's the problem with most Valentine's Day spots—they gear themselves to the kind of beautiful people whose lifelong dream is ending up on The Bachelor or The Real Housewives of Vancouver. What about those among us who dwell in our parents’ basements playing Dungeons & Dragons in baked-beans-stained underwear until 2 in the morning?
Thanks to the Storm Crow Tavern, we've got a place to fly our geek flags. Famously positioning itself as the kind of place where playing Magic: The Gathering is not only tolerated but actively encouraged, the Storm Crow doesn't care if your glasses are held together with a Band-Aid or your pants are sadly unaware that the flood's over. The place was founded, after all, with the idea that it would be "Like a sports bar for geeks". The usual array of board games will available on February 14, which means you don't have to bring Zombie Dice, League of Pirates, or Waterloo with you to have a good time.
But assuming that you've actually met someone in an online Carcassonne chat room and can't wait to impress them, get yourself primed for A Very Storm Crow Valentine's Day, where all elk, beef, and veggie burgers will heart-shaped, and two special cheesecakes will be on offer. Not only that, but instead of a hockey game or icky old When Harry Met Sally, the big-screen TVs will be showing such fabled love stories as Alien.
Best of all, you and your Valentine will finally be able to look at that out-of-place couple in the corner with the perfect teeth and matching New England Patriots' hoodies and know that everyone is thinking the same thing, namely "Who let the fucking freaks in?"
February 14 at Yuk Yuk’s Comedy Club (2837 Cambie Street)
In case you haven't noticed, women are making their presence known on the local standup scene like never before. And we think the rising talents on the roster of this new monthly laugh fest should offer up just the kind of uncensored, comedic bite to offset all that gross Valentine's sweetness floating around.
Check out Kathleen McGee, who brings a dark edge and a delightfully dirty mouth to the stage, or Jane Stanton, who's been known to kick off her act with the statement "I like drinking." Joining them on the night that's every single person's nightmare are Amber Harper-Young, Fatima Dhowre, and Kate Belton.
What you're unlikely to find at the Monthly, which promises to be about 20 times more enjoyable than the monthly bill, is anything that could be described as "romantic".