THROUGH MAY 9, VANCOUVER OPERA SEASON, BC. In April the company, under Guus Mostart’s artistic direction, will celebrate its 30th anniversary. The season’s productions include Bellini’s Norma, Massenet’s romantic tragedy Wertfter, and Lehar’s Merry Widow. (604)682-2871.


~W Janrouver. residents are fond ol ■ / savin#, is one of Hie few cities W in the world where you can go skiing and sailing on the same day.

How remarkable, then, that it should also he one of the few where, sitting outside a Neapolitan cafe, you can eavesdrop on an impassioned argument in Hungarian and see graffiti in Khmer.

More than any other city in the Northwest, Vancouver marches to a different drummer. The rest of Canada. on the other side of the Rockies, is as remote as Mexico. Seattle, just a I couple of hours’ driv e down 1-3. is deHI nitely another country, despite the I shared heritage of fishing and tall

trees. Vancouver’s chameleon identity is that ol home to the children of the dispossessed, whether they be Scottish Highlanders or Ilmong Iribcspeople.

To the sculptors and the screenwriters, the dancers, jugglers, retired war correspondents, and exiled aristocrats, to the drifters and dreamers who have settled here in such disproportionate numbers, this is as close to the Promised Land as it’s possible to gel.

—Irani Northwest Best Places 1990-1991 by David Ifrcnster and Stephanie Ining. Sasquatch Kooks, Seattle. SI5.95.

THROUGH MAY 30, MONTREAL SYMPHONY SEASON, Que. Charles Dutoit’s Orchestra symphonique de Montreal will perform Handel’s Messiah with the OSM choir in the Notre Dame Basilica, December 1921, under Georg Tintner. The Orchestra National de France will give a guest performance March 26. The season will close with the world premiere of Concerto for English

Horn by the OSM’s composer-in-residence, Denis Gougeon. (514) 842-9951.

Tl 1ROUGH JUNE 16, TORONTO SYMPHONY SEASON, Ont. Gunther Herbig has become music director designate, and Andrew Davis conductor laureate. Nov-ember 22-25 Davis and Elmer Iseler will conduct joint performances with the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, in the premiere of a work by Derek Holman. The orchestra of the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields will appear as guests March 31. (416) 5983375.

NOVEMBER 1-24, NATIONAL BALLET OF CANADA FALL SEASON, Toronto, Ont. Reid Anderson has been named artistic director. T he season opens wdth Giselle and closes with a Veronica Tennant 25th-anniversary tribute gala. As post-season productions the company will perform The Nutcracker. December 19—January 7, and The Nutty Nutcracker, a just-for-fun spoof of the Tchaikovskv warhorse, on New Year’s Eve. (416) 362-1041.

FEBRUARY 1-1L, QUEBEC CITY WINTER CARNIVAL, Que. Sports, cultural exhibits, parties, parades, fireworks, ice sculptures, canoe racing, and even a beach party highlight the world-famous Quebec winter celebration. (418) 626-3716.

Q ists win uebec Is the only really European city in \orth America; ils life is untouched by the tourIstS’who flood in in search of ihe picturesque. It Is as European as Poitiers, and only the citadel of Cartagena in Colombia can compare with it. From its cliff, the sight of the wide, forested river is stirring to the imagination.

The gray stone of the city has rudimentary colonial primness and harshness. The appearance is a mixture of the severe and gracious, and the trees are tall and fine.

Above all. old Quebec does not look excessively preserved or even preserved al all. There is no “ye olde" note in the tavernes, nor, for example, in the shabby little square on the quays

where the sailors’ church of \otre Dame des Victoires stands. The famous seminary of Laval, founded in 1061! and externally altered in 1820. is a fine classical object; but the most attractive thing is the intimacy of Quebec’s shops and restaurants. But if one comes away from Quebec with the impression that it is simply a picturesque spot that leads to the playground created in the Laurentians in the last thirty or forty years, one is quite wrong. The industrial region outside is full of life.

—from Al Home and Abroad by I. .S’. Pritchett. Xorth Point. $19.95.

FEBRUARY 2-11. WINTEREDDE, Ottawa, Ont. Speed skating, iceboating, outdoor curling, harness racing, snowshoeing, barrel-jumping, sleigh rides, and a snow’-sculpture display—all on the world’s longest man-made skating rink, the Rideau Canal. The Canadian Ski Marathon will he held February 10-11. (613) 239-5209.

MARCH 5-11, WORLD FIGURE-SKATING CHAMPIONSHIPS, Dartmouth and Halifax, NS. The championships themselves will be held at the Dartmouth Sportsplcx. The concluding Parade of Champions, on March 11, will be at the Halifax Metro Center. All-event tickets are sold out; single-event tickets will go on sale February 9. (902)451-1221.

MARCH 11-17, ARCTIC WINTER GAMES, Yellowknife, NWT. The 20th-anniversary edition of this annual competition, which is the largest event regularly held in northern Canada. It will feature traditional Inuit games, cultural exhibits, and performances. More than 1,200 athletes will compete in 17 sports, including curling, biathlon, hockey, and figure skating. New this year will be a two-day, 200-km ski marathon, spear-throwing, and dog mushing. (403) 873-5858.

For information: Canadian Government Office of Tourism, 235 Queen St., Ottawa, Ont. KlA OH6, Canada. (613) 954-3852.


“You can’t help but feel good”

“Everything is so pretty with the snow. En hiver - in winterOld Quebec City is perhaps even more enchanting... the grand chateau, les petites boutiques, and cosy cafes. If you wish, there’s superb skiing nearby, a winter carnival as well.

And a pres? There are dozens of gourmet restaurants so close. At ours, you can try reindeer or buffalo. And we have, we think, the best pastry chef in Quebec. Ah yes, but you know I think it’s the people that make all the difference. Quebecers, we enjoy life so much. How can you help but feel wonderful when you’re here?”

For high romance and haute cuisine in Quebec City, Montreal and Hull/Ottawa call Tourism Quebec: 1-800-445-7000 (Op. #402).


The World Next Door