Polar Bear Swim: White Rock Pier

December 27th, 2014 @ 2:04pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

If you’re looking to participate in a Polar Bear Swim that isn’t over at the 95th annual event in English Bay this year you can participate in the 45th annual White Rock Polar Bear Swim.

2013 Polar Bear Swim in White Rock, BC
Photo credit: Tyler Ingram on Flickr

White Rock Pier Polar Bear Swim

Register for the White Rock Pier Polar Bear Swim starting at 10:00am on January 1, 2015 at White Rock beach (14790 Marine Drive) and plunge into Semiahmoo Bay to start your new year. Gathering by the legendary White Rock, just east of the White Rock Pier, the swim will begin at 12:00pm and participants are encouraged to dress in costume. The event will feature live music, coffee, hot chocolate, and food vendors for spectators and participants.

Follow Tourism White Rock on Twitter and Facebook for more information about the 45th annual White Rock Polar Bear Swim.

Polar Bear Swim: Vancouver English Bay

December 27th, 2014 @ 1:54pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

The Vancouver Polar Bear Swim returns to English Bay for the 95th year on January 1, 2015.

Vancouver Polar Bear Swim 2011
New Year’s Day 1939 + 2011. Archives# CVA 371-836 + Photo credit: Michael KalusMichael Kalus Print

It was in 1920 that Peter Pantages created the club and the brisk ocean dip has been a New Year’s tradition ever since. Peter’s family still carries on the tradition of the Polar Bear Swim Club today.

Polar Bear Race lineup
Polar Bear Swim 2012. Photo credit: bcbusinesshub on Flickr

Around the 1950s, the participation was approximately 250 to 300 swimmers. Today, anywhere from 1,000 to 2,000 swimmers participate (record to-date 2,550 in 2014) and 5,000 to 10,000 spectators come out to cheer them on.

Vancouver Polar Bear Swim

The swim generally takes place at 2:30pm on the first day of each new year. Costumes and the Peter Pantages Memorial 100 yard swim race are the highlights of this event. To be a club member you must register before the swim, and membership is free. Prizes are drawn from all registrations.

Register in front of the English Bay Bathhouse between 12:30pm and 2:30pm on January 1. The Greater Vancouver Food Bank will be accepting donations of non-perishable food or cash. It is advised that you leave your dog at home, do not drink alcohol (it accelerates hypothermia), and do not stay in the water any longer than 15 minutes. More tips can be found on the Park Board website.

Things to do in Vancouver This Weekend

December 26th, 2014 @ 1:42pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

If you couldn’t get to one of Vancouver’s many holiday attractions before Christmas, fear not! Many are open this weekend and through to early January. Here’s a list of events and activities that you can enjoy over the next few days:

Lost Lagoon Christmas Tree
Photo credit: on Flickr

Things to do in Vancouver This Weekend

Friday, December 26, 2014
Ellie King’s Sleeping Beauty, Surrey Arts Centre
CONTACT Winter Festival at BC Place
Vancouver TheatreSports Year in Review
Surrey’s Winter Ice Palace in Cloverdale
Pacific Theatre: It’s a Wonderful Life Radio Show
Carousel Theatre Presents: James and the Giant Peach
Karaoke Christmas Lights Vancouver Trolley Tours
Festival of Lights at VanDusen Garden
Bright Nights in Stanley Park Christmas Train
Canyon Lights at Capilano Suspension Bridge
The Arts Club Presents: Mary Poppins
Free Skating at Robson Square Ice Rink

Saturday, December 27, 2014
Free Family Days at the Contemporary Art Gallery
Shotgun Album Release w/ Milkers Wanted & Special Guests
CONTACT Winter Festival at BC Place
Ellie King’s Sleeping Beauty, Surrey Arts Centre
Vancouver TheatreSports Year in Review
Surrey’s Winter Ice Palace in Cloverdale
Pacific Theatre: It’s a Wonderful Life Radio Show
Carousel Theatre Presents: James and the Giant Peach
Karaoke Christmas Lights Vancouver Trolley Tours
Festival of Lights at VanDusen Garden
Bright Nights in Stanley Park Christmas Train
Canyon Lights at Capilano Suspension Bridge
The Arts Club Presents: Mary Poppins
Free Skating at Robson Square Ice Rink

Sunday, December 28, 2014
Stanley Park Walking Tour: Stanley Park Secrets
12 Bars of Christmas Pub Crawl Series
Vancouver Adapted Music Society Christmas Concert
Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Jersey Lily at Jericho Arts
Ellie King’s Sleeping Beauty, Surrey Arts Centre
Vancouver TheatreSports Year in Review
Surrey’s Winter Ice Palace in Cloverdale
Pacific Theatre: It’s a Wonderful Life Radio Show
Carousel Theatre Presents: James and the Giant Peach
Karaoke Christmas Lights Vancouver Trolley Tours
Festival of Lights at VanDusen Garden
Bright Nights in Stanley Park Christmas Train
Canyon Lights at Capilano Suspension Bridge
The Arts Club Presents: Mary Poppins
Free Skating at Robson Square Ice Rink

View the full monthly event list to plan ahead at any time. Follow me on Twitter and Facebook for frequent updates about local events and community happenings.

Vancouver Photos of the Week

December 24th, 2014 @ 9:30am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Millions of twinkling lights, shopping streets decked out with garlands and ornaments, attractions and events with hot chocolate in hand, and time spent with loved ones young and old. This is the very last photo roundup of 2014 so I’ve decided to pick out the most festive images shared with the Miss604 Flickr Pool and #Photos604 on Instagram over the last week:

Vancouver Photos of the Week

VanKiss: Davie Street Tonight in Vancouver: An Oakridge Center Christmas
Photo credit: Philip Tong & Rikki / Julius Reque on Flickr

Steveston Village Panorama
Photo credit: Gemy on Flickr

Wonderland.
Photo credit: Nattawot Juttiwattananon on Flickr

Illuminations at Heritage Christmas
Photo credit: Ann Hung on Flickr

Selfie Silhouette - Enjoying the night view of the Lions Gate Bridge
Photo credit: Winson Tang Photocreative on Flickr

Festive Granville Island ~ Vancouver, BC
Photo credit: SeaSide Signs ~ Vancouver, BC on Flickr

IMG_8526
Photo credit: Gemy on Flickr

Harbour Centre's Christmas Tree Snow Family Accommodations
Photo credit: Demelo Photography & Philip Tong on Flickr

A photo posted by Stephanie Van Reeuwyk (@snv85) on

Totem Christmas
Photo credit: Jerry Meaden on Flickr

Watch Your Step Don't Swing the Bridge
Photo credit: Brigitte Mueller & Brigitte Mueller on Flickr

Vancouver Christmas Lighting
Photo credit: Ann Hung on Flickr

Vancouver Holiday Lighting at Vancouver Convention Centre
Photo credit: TOTORORO.RORO on Flickr

Christmas at Waterfront
Photo credit: Demelo Photography on Flickr

Van Christmas Tree, Van Christmas Tree...
Photo credit: Lisa Nixon on Flickr

As always, please click through on these images to view more work from the photographers and feel free to share your own photos with the Miss604 Flickr Pool or with the tag #Photos604 on Instagram. View all photo collections here.

15 Photos of Vancouver in 1915

December 23rd, 2014 @ 9:44am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

There is just over a week left in 2014 and as we look back at the year we just had, and look forward at what might come in 2015 — and we all still await hoverboards as shown Back to the Future‘s version of 2015 — I thought I would time hop back to Vancouver in 1915 to see what life was like 100 years ago.

15 Photos of Vancouver in 1915

In 1915 Vancouver saw the last spike of the Canadian Northern Railway (running from Quebec to Vancouver) driven at Basque, BC, near Ashcroft; the Vancouver Millionaires win the Stanley Cup in the Denman Arena, led by the scoring of Cyclone Taylor; the first Georgia Viaduct opened; the North Shore’s Marine Drive was opened by Premier Richard McBride; former US President Teddy Roosevelt and his wife visited Vancouver; and more. [Source]

englishbay1915
English Bay. Archives# CVA 1376-109.


Wooden road and sidewalk in Kerrisdale. Archives# CVA 660-329. John Davidson photo.


Car on the Georgia Viaduct, Sun Tower in the background. Archives# CVA 99-18.


Nelson Street, Downtown Vancouver. Archives# Str P181.2.


Vancouver Rowing Club in Coal Harbour, Denman Arena in the background. Archives# CVA 99-1029.


A parade on Hastings, looking east from Carrall. Archives# CVA 371-1022.


Hastings Street viaduct, BC Sugar Refinery in the distance. Archives# SGN 1125.


29th Vancouver Battalion marching on Pender Street at the C.P.R. crossing. Archives# Mil P98. Stuart Thomson photo.


Passengers boarding a North Vancouver ferry. Archives# SGN 1124.


A sea plane on the water in Coal Harbour. Archives #Air P73.2.


Portion of fire damaged section of Connaught Bridge [Cambie Street Bridge, collapsed in False Creek]. Archives# SGN 996.1.


University Avenue (4th Ave) Diversion. Archives# CVA 371-819.


Residences in the 4100 block of West 12th Ave. Archives# SGN 353.

Touring car at Hollow Tree in Stanley Park. Archives# CVA 677-75.

Capilano Suspension Bridge. Archives# CVA 660-276. John Davidson photo.

Sea to Sky Gondola Photos

December 23rd, 2014 @ 8:14am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

It was a big year for tourism is Squamish, which already has a the title of being Canada’s Outdoor Recreation Capital. In May this past year, the Sea to Sky Gondola opened to the public, offering new views and activities over 880 meters above sea level. Looking out at Howe Sound and the Stawamus Chief, the Sea to Sky Gondola’s Summit Lodge offers services, amenities, and craft beer after you’ve enjoyed your stroll, hike, or snowshoe. Many people have enjoyed this latest attraction and I’ve found photos that illustrate this beautiful new destination.

Sea to Sky Gondola Photos

Sea to Sky gondola base
Photo credit: Ian Fisher on Flickr

Sea to Sky Gondola Sea to Sky Gondola
Photo credit: Miss604

Squamish And The Howe Sound
Photo credit: Conrad Olson on Flickr

Sea To Sky Panorama
Photo credit: Bill Kwok on Flickr

Squamish Village Today at the Chief Viewing Platform - Sea to Sky Gondola - Squamish
Photo credit: Ann Hung & Patrick King on Flickr

The Chief Overlook Viewing Platform (Sea to Sky Gondola)
Photo credit: TOTORORO.RORO on Flickr

Sky Pilot Suspension Bridge (Sea to Sky Gondola)
Photo credit: TOTORORO.RORO on Flickr

Summit Lodge Viewing Deck (Sea to Sky Gondola)
Photo credit: TOTORORO.RORO on Flickr

Sea To Sky Gondola with Summit Lodge
Photo credit: Ann Hung on Flickr

Busy day at the Sea to Sky Gondola
Photo credit: Ruth Hartnup on Flickr

Sea to Sky Gondola Outtakes Squamish British Columbia Canada
Photo credit: kris krüg on Flickr

Sea to Sky Gondola Outtakes Squamish British Columbia Canada
Photo credit: kris krüg on Flickr

Sea to Sky Gondola, October 2014
Photo credit: Clive on Flickr

Sea to Sky Gondola
Photo credit: Pat (Cletch) Williams on Flickr

Trip 14-0810 Sea-to-Sky Gondola 01
Photo credit: McKay Savage on Flickr

Follow the Sea to Sky Gondola on Facebook and Twitter for information about their winter season.

Win a Winter Prize Pack from Rexall and Air Miles

December 22nd, 2014 @ 1:30pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

The holidays are here, which in Vancouver means damp weather, shopping crowds, ice skating, and gathering with friends and family for drinks, games, meals, and good times. Unfortunately this is also prime cold and flu season which is why Rexall has offered up a Winter Prize Pack for one Miss604 reader to navigate the holidays in good health.

Win a Winter Prize Pack from Rexall and Air Miles

The prize pack from Rexall along with Air Miles, which you can now collect in-store, includes $60 worth of Be Better products and accessories:

  • Be Better Argan Oil Body Wash
  • Be Better Argan Oil Hand and Body Lotion
  • Be Better Argan Oil Hand Soap
  • Be Better Argan Oil Balm
  • Be Better Argan Oil Lip Balms
  • Be Better Argan Oil Night Cream
  • Be Better Sunscreen
  • Body Loofah
  • Cotton Moisture Lock Gloves

Rexall

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 a Winter Prize Pack from @RexallDrugStore @AirMiles @Miss604 http://ow.ly/Gjjjx

Rexall has almost 40 stores all around BC with 3 in Downtown Vancouver. Follow Rexall on Twitter and Facebook along with Air Miles on Twitter and Facebook for more information about their offers this season.

I will draw one winner at random from all entries at 12:00pm on Monday, December 29, 2014.

Family Friendly New Year’s Eve Events in Vancouver

December 22nd, 2014 @ 9:33am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

It’s always fun to ring in the New Year with the ones you love, and if your nearest and dearest are too young to head to the hottest club party or themed ballroom bash, here are a few family-friendly options for saying goodbye to 2014 and welcoming 2015 all together:

Family Friendly New Year’s Eve Events in Vancouver

The Centre Of Attention
Photo credit: Wayneson Chan on Flickr

Robson Square

Where Robson Square Ice Rink, Lower Plaza (Robson between Hornby and Howe)
When December 31st from 4:00pm to 8:00pm with an early countdown at 7:30pm.
Cost Free
Details Ice skating, kid’s crafts (build your own noise maker), live music from Rumba Calzada, early countdown, then 8:30pm to 10:30pm The Freshest DJ’s spin for those who stick around to ice skate.

Grouse Mountain

Where Grouse Mountain
When December 31st from 5:00pm to 9:00pm
Cost Tickets are required to take the SkyRide up to then enjoy the included activities up top. Access to New Year’s Eve festivities is included with your Annual Local’s Pass, Y2Play or Winter Season Pass.
Details Entertainment and fun for all ages, with ice skating outdoors, a live DJ, fire dancing performances, a scavenger hunt, and along with a special 9:00pm early countdown. Dick Clark’s New Year’s Eve broadcast with Ryan Seacrest will be playing in the Theatre in the Sky until 10:00pm.

Mount Seymour

Where Mount Seymour Family First Night
When December 31st from 6:00pm to 9:00pm
Cost $15 per person (children two and under are free), includes tobogganing. Add-ons: $10 Snowtubing, $20 Chocolate Fondue Tour.
Details Enjoy tubing and tobogganing, live entertainment on the main stage by children’s performers, a magic show, a fire spinning routine, a daring highline balancing act or venture into the woods with your family on an intriguing Snowquest.Cozy up to the warmth of Mt Seymour fire pits and indulge in fresh hot apple cider and s’mores. Fireworks finale is at 9:00pm.

Bright Nights in Stanley Park

In case you missed the impressive holiday light display and Christmas train in Stanley Park, Bright Nights will be open on New Year’s Eve from 3:00pm to 10:00pm.

Ice Skating in Surrey

While there isn’t an early countdown or fireworks planned, the whole family can get together for a skate at the Winter Ice Palace in Cloverdale or the Snowflake Skate in Newtown, both open 12:00pm to 4:00pm on December 31st.