Visitors to Vancouver should be aware that there is a Cultural Olympiad running from January 22nd to March 21st. There will be over 600 shows and the details can be found at www.vancouver2010.com . Amongst the shows will be performances of Mahler’s Eighth Symphony, Robert Lepage’s The Blue Dragon, and John Adam’s Opera Nixon in China.

However, although this is the major cultural event running during both the Winter Olympics and the Paralympics, there are many smaller events that are also worth seeing.

Lunarfest runs from January 22nd to February 28th  . Hundreds of beautifully lit lanterns will haunt the 700 block of Granville Street in Vancouver to celebrate the Lunar New Year. A similar experience can be enjoyed between February 9th and February 28th at the City Hall Plaza in Richmond.

The Made in Vancouver Festival runs between February 13th and February 27th on Hamilton and Mainland Street in Yaletown. From noon to midnight the local busking talent will entertain the crowds. Details can be found at www.iheartvanart.com

The Talking Stick Festival (www.fullcircleperformance.ca) celebrates First Nations dance and drumming. It will be interesting to contrast this festival with the Vancouver International Dance Festival (www.vidf.ca) which will include dancers from Denmark and New Zealand.

julian200Julian has written articles on Middle Eastern and European architecture for the US magazine Skipping Stones. He has written travel articles that were published in The Toronto Globe and Mail, Fate Magazine, National Catholic Register, and Northwest Travel. Julian has also written articles for the In The Know Traveler, Go Nomad, InTravelmag, and Go World Travel websites. He has also taken many photographs that have appeared in travel guides by National Geographic, Thomas Cook and The Rough Guides. Examples of his work can be found at http://www.photographersdirect.com/sellers/details.asp?portfolio=13734