I’ve started a new monthly blog feature: a short roundup of things to do in Vancouver every month, highlighting some of my favourite events and activities in the Vancouver region that I feel are worthy of putting on your radar.

Neptoon Records Spring 2015 Record Convention: March 29

Neptoon Records is Vancouver’s oldest independent record store and a Mecca for vinyl collectors in the city. Twice a year they host a vinyl swap in a local community hall where record collectors from around the city come out in droves. This year they’re hosting their Spring 2015 Record Convention at the Croatian Cultural Centre on Sunday, March 29th from 11am-5pm.  Expect it to be busy and predominantly full of middle-aged dudes rummaging through the cardboard boxes trying to find that 180 gram vinyl Japanese release of that UK post-punk band that collaborated with Elvis Costello in 1981. It’s not all rarities, of course. Half the fun is the treasure hunt; you never know what you’re going to find. It’s $3 admission and worth the price for this vinyl junkie.

The Competition is Fierce: March 3-22

If you’re going to see one play this month, The Competition is Fierce will be the one you’ll be talking to your friends about for weeks to come. Promoted as a “sexy and violent futuristic satire”, they ask a lot from their actors over the two hour performance, and do the actors ever deliver. The concept is simple: in the not too distant future, two men, both named John, are fighting for a senior position at the same company, ultimately knowing that one day they’ll have to battle it out, literally. Without giving away anything, let’s just say there are a lot of daring surprises. Even the setting, at Shop Theatre, makes this play a unique experience. The theatre, which also houses a music studio, is located in a nondescript block of warehouses on E 2nd and Quebec. Everyone is led through a back hall and down a flight of wooden staircase into a white cube – a prison-like office, with two rows of seats along the perimeter. The floor in front of you is the stage. The actors perform literally inches away from your feet. It’s perhaps the most immersive can’t-look-away theatrical I’ve ever experienced and was exhiliarating from beginning to end. Tickets and info is available on their website. It’s more than worth the $25 price. Bonus: The cash bar serves Phillips beer.

CiderWISE – A Cider and Gluten Free Craft Beer Tasting: MARCH 21

Speaking of beer, I’ve been to enough CAMRA Vancouver craft beer events to know that they’re fun, they’re well-attended by local beer enthusiasts, and they’re well-organized. Not to mention, they only serve quality product. When I heard that they’re hosting their second annual CiderWISE, an afternoon of cider and gluten-free craft beer, my curiosity was piqued. If you like your cider dry, fermented, pungent, or aged in rum barrels, East Vancouver’s WISE Hall will be the place to be that Saturday afternoon. Tickets for CiderWISE are $25, which gets you a taster glass (to take home) and three 5oz tokens to taste the local and US ciders and gluten free craft beers. You can buy extra 5oz tokens for $2 cash. Knowing how much I love Merridale’s Scrumpy Cider and Sea Cider’s Rumrunner, it’ll be a dangerously good afternoon. Good thing I live within stumbling distance!

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