Win Free Tuition for CircusWest

August 28th, 2014 @ 3:14pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Combine fitness, performance art skills, and good old fashion play with CircusWest this fall as they launch their new program for the season for kids and adults alike.

Photos courtesy of CircusWest

CircusWest is Vancouver’s circus performing arts society – a comprehensive circus arts centre for all ages. Located in the historic Garden Auditorium on the PNE grounds in east Vancouver, CircusWest offers children, teens, and adults an opportunity to explore Circus Arts in an encouraging, non-competitive environment. CircusWest’s programs encourage respect for oneself and others and provide an environment to learn responsible risk-taking. As a collaborative community in which everyone can develop skills, find their artistic voice, and realize their potential, CircusWest is a creative space where individuals can dream big, push limits, and defy gravity – all while having fun.

Programs include: CirKids (ages 3 to 19); Camps (spring break and summer); CATS Circus Arts Training Sessions (drop-in practice); Adult & Teen (classes for ages 13 and up); birthday parties (kids, teens, and adults); and workshops (for groups, companies, team-building).

Not sure what class may be for you? CircusWest is offering an Intro to Circus Fun Night on September 10th from 8:00pm to 9:30pm, where you can try your hand at a variety of circus skills and equipment on this safe and fun filled night. Please note, that some of the more popular classes may fill up by this date, so sign up in advance if you know which class you want to take.

CircusWest’s classes make for perfect training to help build and maintain core strength, balance and flexibility while providing a unique way of artistic expression. There are classes offered for all ages in a supportive, non-competitive environment let by highly experienced coaches.

Win Free Tuition

CircusWest has partnered with Miss604 to give away tuition* for a 6-week Adult & Teen class (September 15 to October 26). The winner can choose from a variety of classes including trampoline, tissue (aerial silks), main a main (handstands), acrobatics, aerial hoop & trapeze, intro to jazz & modern, strength & flexibility, swinging trapeze and partner acro.

Here’s how you can enter to win:

  • Leave a comment on this post (1 entry)
  • Post the following on Twitter (1 entry)
RT to enter to win @CircusWest 6-week class tuition from @Miss604

I will draw one winner from all entries at 12:00pm on Wednesday, September 3, 2014. The winner drawn can either sign up for themselves or gift this prize to a loved one (for example a parent can sign up their child, provided the child is 13 years or older). Follow CircusWest on Twitter and Facebook to learn more about their programs and special events.

*Must be 13 years and up to participate in Adult & Teen classes. The winner will be required to pay for Gymnastics BC insurance ($20) and CircusWest annual membership ($15). Prize includes a quality class of $155-200 in value for a 6-week class September 15 to October 26, 2014.

5 Vancouver Hyperlapse Videos

August 28th, 2014 @ 11:48am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Two days ago Instagram introduced Hyperlapse, a new app that allows users to create speedy timelapse videos with their phones:

hyperlapseTraditionally, time lapse videos depend on holding your phone or camera still while you film. Hyperlapse from Instagram features built-in stabilization technology that lets you create moving, handheld time lapses that result in a cinematic look, quality and feel—a feat that has previously only been possible with expensive equipment. We designed Hyperlapse to be as simple as possible. You don’t need an account to create a hyperlapse. Instead, you open up straight to the camera. Tap once to begin recording and tap again to stop. Choose a playback speed that you like between 1x-12x and tap the green check mark to save it to your camera roll. You can share your video on Instagram easily from there.

5 Vancouver Hyperlapse Videos

Vancouverites have been quick to add Hyperlapse to their app collections and film the city around them. Here are just a few early Hyperlapse videos of Vancouver that locals have captured this week.

Hyperlapse from Instagram is available only for iOS devices in Apple’s App Store right now.

Rifflandia Festival in Victoria

August 28th, 2014 @ 10:37am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

The Rifflandia Festival will take over Victoria clubs, bars, public spaces and parks from September 11th to September 14th as this mega music event welcomes acts like Girl Talk, Serena Ryder, Dragonette, The Skatalites, Dear Rouge, Head of the Herd, Jon and Roy, Rich Aucoin, We Hunt Buffalo, and dozens more.

Rifflandia Festival Artists

Death Cab for Cutie, Girl Talk, Serena Ryder, Dragonette, Del the Funky Homosapien, Kool Keith The Beatnuts, Choir Choir Choir, LIINKS, Miami Nights 1984, Neon Steve, Oliver Swain’s Big Machine, Ratking, The Roper Show 222, Annie Becker, Bocce Avocado, Chet, The Franklin Electric, GI Blunt, Kate Kurdyak, Lola Parks, MF Jones, The New Groovement, Paperboy & the Messengers, Raleigh, Ruby Karinto, Shaprece, The Shilohs, DJ Stallion Thieves, DJ Trever, The Wild Romantics, Willhorse, DJ Wood… just to name a few!

Since 2008, Rifflandia has become a city-wide music fest in our province’s capital with an impressive concert lineup, theme days like Nautical Friday, Save The Day Saturday and R&R Sunday, and a collection of three creative festivals (Thinklandia / Artlandia / Makelandia) all rolled into one. There’s also a charity component with $2 from every Rifflandia ticket sold going to War Child making it a very worthy (and fun) reason to hop a ferry to Victoria for the weekend.

Rifflandia Venue Map

Single day tickets and festival passes are available online or in person at Royal McPherson Box Office, Lyle’s Place, and Ditch Records. Follow Rifflandia on Twitter and Facebook for more information. Some venues are open to children (12+) so whether you’re looking for weekend fun with the family or your favourite band is playing your favourite Victoria club, there’s something for everyone.

Gastown BBQ & Chili Festival

August 28th, 2014 @ 9:14am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Vancouver’s cobblestone streets will be dripping with sweet and smoky sauce this weekend as the Gastown BBQ & Chili Festival takes place Saturday, August 30th and Sunday, August 31st. Carrall Street will be closed to traffic and the neighbourhood will turn into a festival space complete with live music, picnic tables, and some of the city’s best barbecue.

Photo courtesy of Gastown BBQ & Chili Festival

Gastown BBQ & Chili Festival

Entertainment includes Bend Sinister, The Sheets, and The Deep End while the following restaurants participate in the BBQ & Chili cook-off:

The Blarney Stone, Chill Winston, The Irish Heather, TUC Craft Kitchen, Lamplighter, Peckinpah, Gringo, The Hastings Warehouse, Calabash, The Charles Bar, Deacon’s Corner, Railtown Café.

The festivities will take place on the 200 block of Carrall Street, between Water St (Gassy Jack statue of Maple Tree Square) and Cordova Street (passing by the entrance to blood alley). The entire street will be closed to vehicular traffic. Large tents and barbecues will line the street which will be filled with picnic tables, a beer tent, restaurant patios, and a large musical stage hosting live music all weekend long.

Visitors can enjoy a wing eating competition, brisket, chili, pig roasts, dancing, music, appearances by Jason Garrison (NHL), Georgia Simmerling (Canadian Ski Cross Team), Angus Reid (BC Lions), Jordan Harvey (Whitecaps) and more. This year’s festival will be in support Athletics for Kids.

Food stations will be open both days from 12:00pm to 5:00pm. Saturday’s festivities will run from 12:00pm to 5:00pm and Sunday’s from 12:00pm to 10:00pm finishing up with Bend Sinister’s performance at The Blarney Stone. View the event schedule online and follow The Blarney Stone on Twitter for more information.

Westham Island Herb Farm: A Day at the Farm

August 27th, 2014 @ 10:29am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

The Westham Island Herb Farm hosts their 9th annual A Day at the Farm event on Saturday, September 6, 2014 from 10:00am to 4:00pm.

Squash & Pumpkin Season Basket of fresh garlic
Westham Island Herb Farm bounty. Photo credit: Ann Hung & Eric Flexyourhead on Flickr

Organized by the Delta Farm and Wildlife Trust A Day at the Farm is a great way for the entire family to learn about farming and agriculture in Delta. Go for a ride on a hay wagon tours, meet a dairy farmer, learn about chickens, see how crops grow in the region, watch draft horses plough, and listen to live music.

The goal is to give Lower Mainland residents the opportunity to reconnect with where their food is grown while also learning about how the island’s habitat is home to many wildlife species.

Fog and reflection on Westham Island
Photo credit: Patricia Meyer on Flickr

Now for a bit of a geography lesson: Starting in New Westminster and heading west, the Fraser River first splits around Lulu Island (Richmond) and Annacis Island. The north arm waves around Mitchell Island and then Sea Island (YVR Airport) and Swishwash Island before touching down in the Salish Sea (Strait of Georgia).

The south arm passes Deas Island (which is actually attached to the land), Kirkland Island, Gunn Island, Barber Island, Duck Island, Shady Island and finally Westham Island before it hits the sea. Westham Island is home to several farms, a winery, the Alasken Nation Wildlife Area and the George C. Reifel Bird Sanctuary.

Westham Island Herb Farm is open daily to the public, from 9:00am to 5:00pm, between May and October. All of their produce is grown by them or their neighbours in Delta soil or from other agricultural areas of British Columbia. Explore this area during A Day at the Farm on September 6th and follow the Westham Island Herb Farm on Twitter and Facebook to learn more about what they do and their upcoming events heading into a new season.

VIFF 2014: BC Film Spotlight

August 26th, 2014 @ 6:14pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

The Vancouver International Film Festival (“VIFF”) is known for showcasing local, Canadian, and international film talent and this year homegrown talent is front and centre as VIFF has just confirmed 13 features for the BC Spotlight program.

Sonja Bennett of Vancouver and James Caan in Preggoland.

Launched in 2013, this showcase of British Columbia productions earned the highest attendance ratings in VIFF’s history. The dedicated promotional microsite received over 10,000 unique visitors in just two weeks, while the #MustSeeBC campaign generated over 100,000 social media impressions.

About #MustSeeBC: VIFF will offer two significant BC Spotlight cash awards. The Best BC Film award includes a $10,000 development bursary provided by the Harold Greenberg Fund (The Fund). Meanwhile, the BC Emerging Filmmaker award consists of a $7,500 cash prize sponsored by the Union of BC Performers/ACTRA and ACTRA Fraternal Benefits Society plus a $10,000 equipment credit supplied by William F. White. (Films must be signatory to a UBCP/ACTRA agreement to be eligible.) Winners of these awards will be determined by the members of the BC Spotlight jury.

Last year’s #MustSeeBC winner was Leap 4 Your Life, which was sponsored by Miss604, and I’m proud to once again sponsor a BC film this year.

2014 BC Film Spotlight Films

Preggoland (Director Jacob Tierney) Screening sponsored by Miss604
35-year-old Ruth (Sonja Bennett, who also penned the uproarious screenplay) fakes being pregnant to fit in with her child-rearing friends. This latest comedy from Jacob Tierney (The Trotsky) will have you cringing in between fits of uncontrollable laughter as Ruth’s web of lies becomes increasingly tangled. The road to acceptance has never been so baby-bumpy and this local comedy will have you laughing until you birth. Sorry, burst.

Black Fly (Director Jason Bourque)
Jake Henson (Dakota Daulby) is a troubled teen haunted by the deaths of his parents—his father in a hunting accident and mother by suicide—who escapes an abusive uncle to reconnect with his older brother Noel (Matthew MacCaull). In director Jason Bourque’s taut thriller, their reunion on an isolated island on the BC coast shows that even though blood is thicker than water, it’s still blood. And it’s messy as hell.

Bloody Knuckles (Director Matt O’Mahoney)
After having this hand lopped off by a gangster he’s offended, a brash underground cartoonist watches the disembodied appendage return to life and become a reanimated avenging angel/defender of free speech. Deliriously irreverent, wantonly vulgar and perversely gory, Matt O’Mahoney’s splatter horror flick is one of the year’s most gonzo genre offerings and “signals an underground spirit thriving in Vancouver…”—Spectacular Optical

The Boy From Geita (Director Vic Sarin)
Born with albinism, young Adam is ostracized in his Tanzanian village and violently assaulted by witch doctors who believe that his limbs possess mystic properties. A Canadian born with the same condition hears of Adam’s plight and takes action. “Harrowing and poignant… Vic Sarin’s [documentary], with its searing images, is both ode to human resilience and ingenuity, and indictment of human cruelty and stupidity.”—Globe and Mail

Everything Will Be (Director Julia Kwan)
Director Julia Kwan documents the pivotal changes affecting the culture and economy of Vancouver’s Chinatown, one of the oldest in North America. With humour and sympathy, Kwan introduces us to residents who see their way of living eroding and to others who welcome the transition, including contentious real estate consultant Bob Rennie.

Just Eat It: A Food Waste Story (Director Grant Baldwin)
As a society, we devour countless cooking shows, culinary magazines and foodie blogs. We love food and yet—thanks to our expensive obsession with expiry dates, perfect produce and portion sizes—we throw nearly half of it in the trash. Attempting to live waste-free, filmmakers Grant Baldwin and Jen Rustemeyer subsist on discarded food for six months. Their documentary charts this experiment’s shocking revelations. Winner, Emerging Artist Award, Hot Docs 2014.

Martin’s Pink Pickle (Director René Brar)
A boy follows his girlfriend to Hope, an ironically named small town where his dreams die a slow death. However, his settled lifestyle is disrupted by a trip back to the city for a medical appointment, where he and a friend become stranded for 24 hours. René Brar tells the story of two troubled kids who never really grew up while examining the complex nature of relationships.

The Pristine Coast (Director Scott Renyard)
Wild fish populations in BC have been declining since the late 70s, roughly the same time the open net fish farm industry began to grow fish in marine waters. Focussing on the research of biologist Alexandra Morton, filmmaker Scott Renyard links the crash of many fish species on Canada’s West coast to diseases spread from fish farms in this persuasive and urgent call to action.

Sitting On the Edge of Marlene (Director Ana Valine)
Ana Valine’s darkly comic drama centres on mother/daughter con artists who just can’t catch a break. Seen through the eyes of 16-year-old Sammie (Paloma Kwiatkowski)—who lives with her pill-popping, alcoholic mom Marlene (Suzanne Clément)—this bittersweet journey leads us through dysfunction, love and addiction, before culminating with an unusual deliverance for this compelling pair. Winner, Best Director, Leo Awards 2014.

Songs She Wrote About People She Knows (Director Kris Elgstrand)
Carol (Arabella Bushnell) has a unique way of dealing with her frustrations with family, friends and co-workers: writing brutally honest songs (that frequently feature threats of violence) and leaving them on their voicemail. Carol’s creative catharsis has some immediate and unexpected consequences in this hilarious, offbeat comedy from writer-director Kris Elgstrand.

Turbulence (Director Soran Mardookhi)
Writer-director Soran Mardookhi brings us the moving story of Sherzad (Kamal Yamolky) and his estranged young daughter, Jina. A former electrical engineer in Iraqi Kurdistan, he’s now trying to make a new life for himself in his adopted home of Canada. Jina (Camillia Mahal) numbs her harrowing childhood memories with drugs. But even among other misfits, she has a hard time fitting in…

Two 4 One (Director Maureen Bradley)
Maureen Bradley’s debut feature is a bittersweet romantic comedy with a transgender hero in an unimaginable predicament. Oddball couple Miriam and Adam have an ill-advised and pivotal one night stand that sees them both wind up pregnant. Engagingly shot by Amy Belling, watch for standout performances from Gavin Crawford (This Hour Has 22 Minutes), Naomi Snieckus (Mr. D) and Gabrielle Rose.

Violent (Director Andrew Huculiak)
Best known as the drummer for Vancouver-based We Are the City, Andrew Huculiak makes his directorial debut with this beautiful, atmospheric film shot in Norway and inspired by the band’s latest album. It stars newcomer Dagny Backer Johnsen as a young woman who, after enduring a catastrophic event, loses herself in memories of the people who loved her most.

The 33rd annual Vancouver International Film Festival will run from September 25th to October 10th and will also feature 20 short films from British Columbia directors. The full program, with hundreds of titles, will be released in September with tickets going on sale September 4th. Passes and packages are available online now. Follow VIFF on Twitter and Facebook for the latest information and schedule updates.

Summer of Bear Discovery at Grouse Mountain

August 26th, 2014 @ 10:05am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Once reaching the lodge at Grouse Mountain, by SkyRide or after completing the Grouse Grind, there’s one thing most people do: check in on the bears.

Grinder and Coola are both orphaned grizzlies who were found in 2001 in different parts of BC and they now live in a refuge atop Grouse Mountain. Ranger talks inform you of their history and grizzly bear facts, while the pair can be found playing in the pond, play fighting, or hanging out in the shade of a Douglas Fir.

This summer, Grouse Mountain introduced a new way to hang out with Grinder and Coola where you can have Breakfast with the Bears.

Breakfast with the Bears
Photo courtesy of Grouse Mountain

Summer of Bear Discovery at Grouse Mountain

When you book a Breakfast with the Bears experience you can enjoy early access to Grouse Mountain, watch and participate in Grinder and Coola’s morning feeding, and learn all about grizzlies and bear conservation from an experienced wildlife ranger.

After the bears have their breakfast, you can sit down in the Grizzly Lookout Cafe for yours. This new yurt-like structure provides an elevated view of the refuge from a deck.

Breakfast with the Bears Menu

Continental Selections
Candied and Smoked Salmon
Red Onions, Capers, Crème fraîche
Brown, White, Multigrain and Gluten Free Breads
Assorted Muffins & Pastries – including Bear Claws
Assorted Cereals and Granola, “Beary” Yogurt
Milk and Honey
Forest Apple Crumble
Fresh Cut Fruit Salad and Coastal “Bearies”
Hot Selections
Coola Pancakes
Honey Butter, Grouse Mountain Syrup
Grinder “Bearioche” French Toast
West Coast “Bluebeary” Preserve
Scrambled Eggs
Braised Beef and Root Vegetable Hash
Bratwurst and Smoked Bacon
Hash Browns

Breakfast with the Bears is available between 8:30am and 10:30am on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays in July, August and September. Additional dates may be added to meet demand.

Regular prices include Alpine Experience ticket. For member price, guest must have a valid Grouse Mountain Annual Local’s Pass. The Alpine Experience includes all of the other fun you can have when you’re up Grouse, including the Lumberjack Show, and Birds in Motion. Zipline experiences are separate but also a very fun way to spend a day on the mountain with the family.

Win Breakfast with the Bears

If you would like to experience Breakfast with the Bears on Grouse Mountain with Grinder and Coola, I have a family pass to give away (2 adults + 2 children/youth). Here’s how you can enter to win:

  • Leave a comment on this post (1 entry)
  • Like, comment on, or share this post on Facebook (1 entry)
  • Post the following on Twitter (1 entry)
RT to enter to win Breakfast with the Bears at @GrouseMountain #BearDiscovery from @Miss604

I will draw one winner at random from all entries at 9:00pm on Sunday, August 31, 2014. Follow Grouse Mountain on Twitter and Facebook for more information.

We Heart Local Awards 2014: Nominations Open

August 25th, 2014 @ 4:14pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

We Heart Local is the best way to find local food, making it easy for consumers who are looking for local options, and the program is currently hosting its second annual We Heart Local Awards.

We Heart Local Awards 2014

Anyone living in BC can nominate and vote for their favourite grower, producer, or business in any of the following 15 categories:

Favourite Farmers’ Market
Favourite Store to Buy Local
Favourite Local Seafood Supplier
Favourite Local Cheese Maker
Favourite Local Sweet Treat
Favourite Local Advocate
Favourite Local Winery
Favorite Local Brewery
Favorite Local Food Truck
Favourite Local U-Pick Farm
Favourite Local Meat or Poultry Supplier
Favorite Local Orchard/Fruit Supplier
Favourite Local Restaurant or Chef
Favourite Local Florist or Nursery
Favourite Local Greenhouse or Veggie Grower

Nominations are now open until September 1st and voting will then take place between September 2nd and September 16th. Some of last year’s winners include Comox Valley Farmers Market (Favourite BC Farmers Market); Edible Vancouver Magazine (Favourite Local Advocate); Howe Sound Brewing (Favourite Local Brewery); Krause Berry Farms (Favourite Local U-Pick Farm); and Nature’s Pickin’s (Favourite Store to Buy Local) just to name a few.

Buy Local. Eat Natural!

“Everyone has a favourite local winery, farmers’ market, cheese maker or a store that carries locally grown food and products,” says Nancy Gourlay of Little Qualicum Cheesworks, runner up Favourite Local Cheese Maker in the 2013 We Heart Local Awards.

“The We Heart Local Awards provides a platform for people in BC to tell each other about their favourites and to draw attention to the fantastic locally grown and produced food and agriculture we have here in BC!”

We Heart Local is a program designed to provide greater consumer recognition for businesses and restaurants across BC offering local products or ingredients. The We ♥ Local symbol next to a food item, menu item, recipe, or establishment provides a clear assurance to consumers that they are buying local.

Be sure to get your nominations in this week and then follow the program online, on Facebook, Twitter #WeHeartLocal and on Pinterest. You can also get the free app to find the nearest suppliers and producers in BC.

The We Heart Local Awards is a partnership between the BC Agriculture Council, the BC Ministry of Agriculture, Global TV, Taku Resort & Marina, The BC Association of Farmers’ Markets, The BC Dairy Association, LOCO BC, the BC Restaurants and Foodservices Association and Edible Vancouver and Wine Country.

Update: Contest Alert!

There are only a few days left to nominate a grower, producer or business for the We Heart Local Awards so to get the word out I am giving away a We Heart Local gift bag. This prize pack contains a We Heart Local bag, an apron, cutting board, iPhone case, and a cookbook: Farm Fresh Recipes: from the Missing Goat Farm.

Here’s how you can enter to win:

  • Comment with the name of a BC grower, producer, winery, or brewery (1 entry)
  • Post the following on Twitter (1 entry)
RT to enter to win a #WeHeartLocal prize pack from @Miss604 @EatLocalNatural

I will draw one winner at random from all entries at 12:00pm on Tuesday, September 2, 2014.


This post is sponsored by We Heart Local and the We Heart Local Awards