Itinerary: O Canada!

Go ahead, grill hot dogs and burgers. Fly the Stars and Stripes. This weekend, see fireworks, if you must. But for the record, today is Canada Day.

Formerly known as Dominion Day, July 1 is the date that big nation to the north commemorates the confederation of multiple provinces into the Dominion of Canada in 1867. So for the next few days, go against the grain. Swim against the tide. Enjoy some treats from the land of hockey, maple leaves and Alanis Morissette. Celebrate with some of the estimated 400,000 Canadians living in the Los Angeles area.

To make your Canadian experience complete, some ex-pats recommend also drinking Molson beer, ordering Canadian bacon on your pizza, driving with your headlights on and paying for everything with silver dollars.


What's more Canadian than hockey? Grab up your stick and join one of the pick-up games at the Iceoplex (8345 Hayvenhurst Place, North Hills. [818] 893-1784) that happen Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11:45 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. Or, if you prefer to watch from a lounge, there's local league play most evenings starting at 7:15 p.m. The rink also offers hockey lessons.

For years the training spot for the L.A. Kings (they may move next season), Iceoplex is undeniably one of the the coolest spots in the Valley during the summer.

The rink also has lots of public ice time on the weekends: Friday, 8:30-11:30 a.m., 1:30-5:15 p.m. and 7:30-9:45 p.m.; Saturday, 1-4 p.m. and 7:30-9:45 p.m.; Sunday, 1-4:30 p.m. (Admission $7; ages 12 and younger, $6; seniors, $4. Skate rental, $2.75.)


He can drive that Union Jack-covered Jaguar all he wants, but do not be fooled. Mike Myers was born in Canada. Scarborough, Ontario, to be precise. So go if you haven't, go see "Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me" and listen very carefully to that accent.

Or rent some Canadian movies, like "Strange Brew" (1983), starring Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas (Canucks, both) as those hoser McKenzie brothers, or Michael Moore's "Canadian Bacon" (1995), about an attempt to start a cold war with Canada. Or try the Paul Newman hockey movie "Slap Shot" (1977).


Kick back in the evening with Sue Medley, a two-time Juno award (Canada's version of the Grammys) winner. She plays pop-rock-roots at Rusty's Surf Ranch (256 Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica, [310] 393-7386) at 10:30 p.m. Medley, whose debut album went gold in Canada, has toured with the likes of Bob Dylan, Lyle Lovett, Dwight Yoakam and John Mellencamp. Medley will be followed by the heavy-pop quintet Rhino Party from Toronto at 11:30 p.m.


Enjoy a pancake breakfast with--what else?--maple syrup. Then hike the Bay Tree Trail, where you might even see some maple trees. From the dirt section of Mulholland, take the Temescal Fire Road south, head left on the Backbone Trail for a quarter mile, and the Bay Tree Trail descends steeply to your left. A creek through the canyon keeps the area green, and at the bottom keep an eye out for maple groves.


End the long weekend by tuning into "Power Play," a drama about former sports agent Brett Barker (Michael Riley) who's become the general manager for a hockey team in his blue-collar home town, Hamilton, Ontario. There's plenty of ice-time, but also lots of personal issues, like how Barker deals with his daughter, his long-distance girlfriend, not to mention the team's owner and coach. It's at 9 p.m. on UPN.

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