Even through the wind and rain that is shaking the last rust-coloured leaves from the trees, Vancouver’s beauty is hard to ignore. Along puddle-soaked paths and umbrella-covered sidewalks, local photographers with everything from smartphones to professional cameras have shared their images with the Miss604 Flickr Pool and #Photos604 on Instagram over the last week. Here are just a few of my favourites:
The holidays are about spending time with family and friends, and what better way to enjoy a night out in the city than to catch a show at the Stanley Theatre? The Arts Club presents Mary Poppins from December 5th until January 4th bringing P.L. Travers’ writings and the popular Disney movie to life on stage.
The Arts Club Presents Mary Poppins
Practically perfect in every way, the tale of everyone’s favourite magical nanny will sweep you off your feet.
Watch Mary Poppins (Sara-Jeanne Hosie) fly over the rooftops of London once again this holiday season and feel like a kid again. Remember, anything can happen if you let it. This family musical based on the writings of P.L. Travers and the popular Disney film features the unforgettable songs “A Spoonful of Sugar,” “Chim Chim Cher-ee,” “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious,” plus some catchy new ones. Practically perfect in every way, the tale of everyone’s favourite magical nanny will sweep you off your feet. Original music and lyrics by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman
Book by Julian Fellowes. New songs and additional music and lyrics by George Stiles and Anthony Drewe. Co-created by Sir Cameron Mackintosh.
Disney and Cameron Mackintosh’s Mary Poppins will be on the Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage (2750 Granville St, Vancouver) from December 5th, 2014, to January 4th, 2015. Tuesdays through Saturdays at 7:00pm, and Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays at 1:00pm. Tickets start at $29, inclusive of taxes and fees. Call the Arts Club Box Office at (604) 687-1644 or book online.
The Arts Club has offered up two pairs of tickets (value $144 each) to the December 10th performance at 7:00pm for me to give away. Here’s how you can enter to win:
- Leave a comment naming your favourite Mary Poppins song (1 entry)
- Post the following on Twitter (1 entry)
Follow The Arts Club on Facebook and Twitter for more information about Mary Poppins on stage and other performances this season. I will draw two winners at random from all entries at 12:00pm on Wednesday, December 3, 2014. Each winner will receive a pair of tickets to the December 10th performance exclusively.
St Paul’s Hospital will shine bright again this season as Lights of Hope illuminates Burrard Street starting November 27th. With 10 kilometers of string lights and more than 100,000 bulbs, this display is to dazzle and also inspire passersby to donate to St Paul’s in recognition of their support for our community.
Lights of Hope at St Paul’s Hospital
Lights of Hope has been going strong since 1998 and this year it will kick off with an outdoor celebration on Thursday, November 27th from 6:30pm until 8:30pm. The display will be lit between 6:30pm and 7:00pm and fireworks will help ring in the season with an extra burst of colour.
St Paul’s Hospital is located at 1081 Burrard in Vancouver and Lights of Hope will be shining everyday from dusk to dawn until January 12, 2015. To make a donation towards the campaign’s goal to raise $2.5-million visit the Lights of Hope website and follow St Paul’s on Twitter and Facebook for more information.
Lougheed Town Centre is gearing up for the holiday shopping season now that Santa arrived last Saturday. It all starts with Black Friday on November 28th when doors will open at 7:00am and the first 200 people to visit Guest Services will receive a gift card up to a $200 value. Throughout the month of December, there will be live entertainment and holiday promotions to keep your spirits high.
Enjoy “Feel Good Friday” lunch deals and live music from 12:00pm to 2:00pm on Fridays, entertainment from DJs, a saxophone player, stilt walking violinist, and Christmas carollers on various days from December 5th until December 21st, and a “Guaranteed Snowfall” daily at 11:00am, 1:00pm, 3:00pm, 5:00pm, and 7:00pm.
On Mondays (until December 15th) get free digital photos with Santa and enjoy a “shop while you wait” system so you can avoid waiting in line. Santa’s hours and photo prices are available online.
Shop at Hudson’s Bay, London Drugs, Walmart Supercenter, Sport Chek, Footlocker, H&M, Body Shop, The Children’s Place, Aldo, and over 100 other shops and services.
At any time of year you can take advantage of Lougheed’s free gift wrapping service (for gifts purchased at Lougheed), stroller/wheelchair rental, electric vehicle charging station, bottle warming station and emergency infant supplies, the family lounge, a holiday wireless lounge, children’s play area, and more.
Lougheed Town Centre Giveaway
To make the very best of your holiday shopping experience, Lougheed Town Centre is offering up a $100 gift card (valid at all retailers in the shopping centre) and a Santa Photo Package (includes a photo spend up to $25) for one lucky Miss604 reader. Here’s how you can enter to win:
- Leave a comment on this post (1 entry)
- Post the following on Twitter (1 entry)
I will draw one winner at random from all entries at 12:00pm on Sunday, November 30, 2014. Follow Lougheed Town Centre on Twitter and Facebook for more information about their holiday deals, hours, entertainment, and special offerings. Lougheed Town Centre is located at 9855 Austin Ave in Burnaby and is accessible from the SkyTrain Millennium Line’s Lougheed Town Centre Station.
Our first trip to the Rose City in September was successful, despite the outcome of the soccer match we were in town to support. We walked to Providence Park for the aforementioned game, took the Tri-Met Max streetcar to Washington City Park, the Japanese Gardens, and the International Rose Test Garden. Craft beer was enjoyed along with food truck fare, pub favourites, French bistro brunches, and tax-free shopping. Of course every successful trip needs a solid home base and ours was at the Westin Portland.
Staying at the Westin Portland
We pulled up to the front on Southwest Alder Street, sent the car away with the friendly valet, and were greeted by the Westin’s sweet white tea aroma as we opened the double doors into the lobby. On the right, the contemporary Lobby Lounge’s tall windows illuminated the regal space filled with gold and blue furniture, wood-panelled walls and a corner I made note of for later where we would sip cocktails.
After checking in with the front desk, and hearing about their Green Choice option that lets you decline housekeeping for a day in exchange for points or vouchers for the hotel’s Daily Grill restaurant, we made our way up the elevator to our Studio Suite.
The room was bright and spacious, with a decor that mixed textured fabrics, metals, and warm colours. On one side the fluffy and inviting Heavenly Bed, and on the other a sitting area where an orchid leaned gently over a thoughtful bottle of bubbly that had been delivered for John’s birthday — the real reason for the trip, the soccer match, and the experience of the new-to-us city.
The bathroom was stocked with amenities, from cotton swabs and conditioner to a loofa by the bathtub, which was next to the rain shower stall. The desk in the room had every plug and hookup we could have asked for right on the table top so that we didn’t have to go digging around on the ground and behind furniture to find an outlet.
The room looked out on one of Portland’s famous food cart pods located between SW Alder, SW Washington, 9th Ave and 10th Ave where dozens of food trucks served their street-side fare, giving us inspiration for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
Being so comfortable, and with every amenity we required, we could have stayed in the room longer than we did each day, lounging in our robes in the morning while planning our next move in the city.
While it was tempting to lay in the pillowy soft comfort of the signature Westin Heavenly Bed from sunrise until sunset, the Westin Portland’s location was ideal for starting out on foot to explore the city or to loop around the block and purchase a $5 streetcar day pass from a kiosk on the sidewalk that could take you all corners of the city.
This boutique Westin felt luxurious without being over the top to the point where amenities and technology seemed superfluous — it also reminded us of staying at the Magnolia Hotel in Victoria, which we adore.
Coming Up in Portland This Season
It’s safe to say that Portland is so hot right now. Everyone wants to experience its culinary culture, craft beer scene, arts, and much more so if you’re planning a trip to Portland this season, here are some upcoming holiday events:
- Centennial Holiday Exhibit: Christmas Past, Present and Future at the Pittock Mansion, through to December 31st. Pittock Mansion also offers some of the best views of the city on a clear day.
- Polar Express Train Ride on the Mt Hood Railroad through to December 28th.
- Festival of Lights at the Grotto through to December 30th.
- Winter Wonderland at the Portland Raceway through to December 28th.
- And more …»
The Westin Portland is also offering a holiday shopping package that includes a $50 Nordstrom gift card for each night you stay, with rates starting at $239/night and complimentary 4:00pm checkout. Visit their offers page online for details.
Holiday Open House at Township 7 Vineyards
Where: Naramata Bench/Okanagan Valley Wine Shop 1450 McMillan Ave, Penticton
When: Saturday, December 6th, 2014 from 11:00am to 5:00pm
Details: The Okanagan wine shop is surrounded by 7 acres of vines on the picturesque Naramata Bench with views of both Lake Okanagan and Skaha Lake.
Visit Township 7 and the other charming businesses and galleries in Penticton as they ferment a holiday tradition like no other. Enjoy a full day of fun at Township 7’s annual Christmas Open House celebration and enjoy festive goodies while they light up the vines. The holiday celebration will have wine tastings, treats from My Chocolate Crush, special holiday gift packages, and live Christmas music by Misty Knol. Pick up the perfect presents or gift cards stocking stuffers for your wine enthusiast friends and family, then head to Downtown Penticton for the 17th Annual Santa Claus Parade & Christmas Light Up.
Where: 21152 16th Ave (at 212th St) in Langley
When: Sunday, December 7th, 2014, 11:00am to 5:00pm
Details: Celebrate the holiday spirit in wine country — without leaving the city — at Township 7’s South Langley winery. There will be wine tastings in the cozy barrel cellar tasting room, handcrafted treats by White Rock Chocolates, special holiday gift packages, and live Christmas music.
This event is also a fundraiser in support of the Langley Christmas Bureau. Bring a new unwrapped gift for donation to the charity and receive a complimentary wine tasting.
Up in the crisp North Shore mountain air, with the aroma of evergreens and a rushing river below, the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park will light up with thousands upon thousands of twinkling lights for the 9th year of Canyon Lights. Featuring the world’s tallest living Christmas tree, a 250 year old Douglas-fir standing at 46.4m (152 feet) tall, Canyon Lights at Capilano Suspension Bridge offers a festive experience for families from near and far.
The entire Capilano Suspension Bridge Park, including the Cliffwalk and the Treetops Adventure, will sparkle amongst the trees. Warm up in the comfort of the new Winter Pavilion with a cup of hot chocolate and a gingerbread cookie, do a scavenger hunt around the historic park, and sing along with carollers.
Canyon Lights will take place Saturday, November 29, 2014 through to Saturday, January 3, 2015. The park will be open from 11:00am to 9:00pm daily with holiday activities from 4:00pm to 9:00pm. Closed on Christmas Day, December 25th. Admission is $65.00 for a family (two adults, two children – includes memberships for BC residents) or $32.95 for adults, $12.00 for children (6-12).
Partial proceeds from admission will be donated to the BC Professional Fire Fighters’ Burn Fund. Capilano Bridge will also continue hosting its Twelve Nights of Christmas for local charities including Canuck Place, Special Olympics BC, Big Brothers, Big Sisters, North Shore Neighbourhood House, Easter Seals and Kids Up Front.
Canyon Lights Giveaway
Once again this year I have an awesome prize package up for grabs that includes:
- A family Pack of passes to Canyon Lights (2 adults, 2 kids)
- Four hot chocolates
- Four baseball caps
- Two Capilano Suspension Bridge umbrellas
Here’s how you can enter to win:
- Leave a comment on this post (1 entry)
- Post the following on Twitter (1 entry)
I will draw one winner on Friday, November 28, 2014 at 12:00pm. Capilano Suspension Bridge Park is located at 3735 Capilano Road, North Vancouver. Follow on Twitter and Facebook for more information about Canyon Lights and year-round activities.
The 2015 Hope in Shadows calendar is now for sale and you can scoop one up from your local vendor, located on a bustling street corner in Vancouver.
There are a few layers to the Hope in Shadows project, starting with the photographs that go in the calendars. Hope in Shadows, based in the Downtown Eastside, grew out of the work of a group of Pivot Legal Society volunteers who began working with the Downtown Eastside community in 2000 and in 2003, Pivot hosted the first Hope in Shadows photography contest in 2003.
“Single-use film cameras were distributed to people in the neighbourhood. Participants took pictures of their friends, their families, and the places in the community that mattered most to them. The top photos became the first Hope in Shadows calendar. From the very first year, the community was eager to get involved with the project, and since then Hope in Shadows contest participants have captured over 30,000 images of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. Winning photos are chosen by a panel of artists from inside and outside of the community, and through a community vote. Contest winners and photo subjects are invited to share the stories behind the captivating images, and a selection of winning images is featured in the annual calendar.”
The Hope in Shadows calendar is then sold through our vendor program, which provides opportunities for residents to earn an income, gain and practice skills, and act as ambassadors for their community. Every season, Hope in Shadows works with over 200 low-income people who sign up to sell the calendar. Vendors earn $10 dollars for each $20 calendar sold. Since the first calendar was published in 2003, vendors have sold over 75,000 copies.
I spoke with Project Director Paul Ryan a few years ago and he told me that selling calendars is a stepping stone for a lot of people. “It helps them gain self-esteem and build confidence. It’s a way that they can feel good about earning money again.” Some of the vendors use the program to compliment a low-income for their household as well, especially with the holidays around the corner.
A full list of vendor locations is available online including high traffic areas in Downtown Vancouver, Granville Island, and a few spots in Victoria, BC. You can also purchase a calendar online. Follow Hope in Shadows on Twitter and Facebook for more information.