Travel to Vancouver, Canada

Vancouver's Aquabus mini-ferries shuttle between Granville Island and the downtown peninsula, giving easy access to theaters, restaurants and clubs, January 4, 2010. (Erika Schultz, Seattle Times, MCT / January 4, 2010)

SEATTLE — Vancouver, British Columbia, in the summer has a civic calendar crowded with open-air arts festivals. In the autumn, the weather shifts and the cultural action moves indoors, but there's still plenty for visitors to enjoy in this arts-savvy Canadian city.

Whether you are planning an adult weekend getaway or a family trip, a full slate of music, dance, comedy, theater and visual-arts events await. Many arts venues are in the downtown area, or can be easily reached by car or by Vancouver's excellent transit system, which includes frequent buses and the SkyTrain.

Here's a sampling of current and upcoming performances and arts events.

—Neon Dreams

Learn about the city's gritty and glamorous past by taking in the "Neon Vancouver/Ugly Vancouver" exhibit at the municipal Museum of Vancouver in Vanier Park.

The show displays gems from the museum's historic photo collection of vintage neon signs, from the outsize, to the outlandish, to the outrageous.

Among the other exhibits is " Vancouver's Bhangra Story," an interactive exhibition that chronicles music, dance and politics in the South Asian community in Vancouver.

Museum of Vancouver, 1100 Chestnut St., Vancouver; $8-$35. 604-736-4431,

—First Nations art

The downtown Vancouver Art Gallery, the city's largest visual-art venue, opened a display on Oct. 29 of 170 pieces gathered from the prestigious Audain Collection.

Focused mainly on British Columbian artists, "Shore, Forest and Beyond" features vintage ceremonial objects from First Nations tribes. It includes works by the province's most distinguished painters, including post-Impressionist favorite Emily Carr.

On view from the collection also are some masterful paintings by such famed Mexican modernist artists as Diego Rivera, Jose Clemente Orozco and David Alfaro Siqueiros.Also at the gallery: works from the permanent collection, and a show titled "The Distance Between You and Me: 3 Artists from Vancouver, Los Angeles and Guadalajara."

Vancouver Art Gallery, 750 Hornby St., Vancouver; $6.25-$17.50, 604-662-4700,

—Dance on the edge

Vancouver's thriving modern-dance scene takes center stage during the biennial "Dance in Vancouver" fest (Nov. 23-26) which celebrates leading local choreographers and companies.

Over this four-day event at the Dance Centre, you can check out moves by such cutting-edge troupes as Wen Wei Dance, the 605 Collective, the plastic orchid factory and MACHiNENOiSY.

Dance Centre, 677 Davie St., Vancouver; $18-$20 604-606-6420 or

—Arts & crafts crawl

One of Vancouver's most popular open-studio art jamborees, the free, annual Eastside Culture Crawl welcomes some 10,000 visitors to wander through 300-plus artists' studios in a hip East Vancouver,