Win a Lougheed Town Centre Gift Card

April 20th, 2015 @ 1:44pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Lougheed Town Centre is celebrating playtime with the launch of its new indoor playground. Now open at centre court, the eco-friendly playground is recommended for ages 5-12 and is designed to look and feel like an outdoor activity centre complete with a synthetic lawn.

Image courtesy of Lougheed Town Centre

The playground’s manufacturer, Landscape Structures, strives to foster active and healthy children in relation to a hearty environment. With a focus on developing products out of recycled or reclaimed industrial and post-consumer waste, Landscape Structures builds playgrounds with the concept of ‘continuous play’ in mind. This approach treats playgrounds as social spaces and encourages decision-making, interaction and cooperation among kids, rather than isolating them on independent slides and swing sets.

Win a Lougheed Town Centre Gift Card

cartersoshkosh“Coupled with the recent introduction of world-renowned children’s apparel retailer carter’s | OshKosh, the new playground helps create a modern family-friendly shopping experience,” says Sara Park, Marketing Manager for Lougheed.

To celebrate this latest addition to the Lougheed family, I have $50 carter’s | Osh Kosh gift card to give away, valid only at Lougheed Town Centre. 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 $50 carter’s | Osh Kosh @LTCshopping gift card from @Miss604

Follow Lougheed Town Centre on Twitter and Facebook for more information about their retailers, 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. It consists of 140 stores including H&M, Walmart, London Drugs, Safeway and Hudson’s Bay, and more!

I will draw one winner at random from all entries at 12:00pm on Friday, April 24, 2015.

Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 Photos, Guide

April 20th, 2015 @ 11:14am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 (“WFC2″) hosted their inaugeral home match at UBC’s Thunderbird Stadium yesterday, resulting in a 1-1 tie with Toronto FC 2. Whitecaps FC 2 is the Whitecaps’ own United Soccer League (“USL”) team and over 3,200 fans came out to cheer them on, including John and I as we were given access to document the day. There was plenty of sunshine, family fun, and action on the pitch — it was the perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

WFC2 Inaugural Home Match WFC2 Inaugural Home Match

Whitecaps FC 2 Inaugural Match Photos

Families and supporters alike appeared to have a great time at the match. There was a band playing, parallel lineups at the balloon twisting and face painting stations, food truck fare, photos with Spike, and autographs from the Whitecaps’ captain Pedro Morales — about which I overheard a little girl gushing to her family after the match when we were at a restaurant nearby.

WFC2 Inaugural Home Match

WFC2 Inaugural Home Match WFC2 Inaugural Home Match Whitecaps FC 2

Seating at WFC2 matches is general admission; however, there are designated areas. The family friendly area is located in the north side of the grandstand and the supporter area is located in the south side of the grandstand. When play began, members of Vancouver Whitecaps supporter groups Curva Collective, Raincity Brigade, and the Southsiders chanted and sang anthems, creating an even more festive atmosphere.

WFC2 Inaugural Home Match

WFC2 Inaugural Home Match WFC2 Inaugural Home Match WFC2 Inaugural Home Match

WFC2 Inaugural Home Match WFC2 Inaugural Home Match

WFC2 Inaugural Home Match

WFC2 Inaugural Home Match

WFC2 Inaugural Home Match

WFC2 Inaugural Home Match

WFC2 Inaugural Home Match WFC2 Inaugural Home Match
All photos by John Bollwitt for

The average attendance for USL games in 2014 was 3,114 so this was a great showing for Vancouver.

A Guide to Whitecaps FC 2

A little bit of league history and a team guide thanks to the WFC2 FAQ online:

The United Soccer League (USL) is a professional soccer league based in North America. It’s currently the third tier of soccer in North America, but is considered to be the strongest men’s professional soccer league on and off the field below and in support of Major League Soccer (“MLS”).

In 2013, USL began a groundbreaking, multi-year partnership with MLS that featured individual team affiliations, inter-league play, and the opportunity for MLS clubs to field a second team in USL. From the perspective of MLS teams, the goal is to aid the development of young players by providing them more minutes in a competitive club environment.

MLS has mandated that each of its clubs either start their own team or reach an affiliation agreement with an existing USL club by 2015. Whitecaps FC are the seventh MLS side to officially launch a USL team for the 2015 season. The others are LA Galaxy (LA Galaxy II); Real Salt Lake (Real Monarchs SLC); Seattle Sounders FC (Sounders FC 2); Portland Timbers (Timbers 2); Montreal Impact (FC Montreal); Toronto FC (Toronto FC II).

With Whitecaps FC 2, there are now a total of 24 teams confirmed for 2015. In addition to the MLS clubs, other expansion teams include Austin Aztex, Charlotte Independence, Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC, Louisville City FC, Saint Louis FC, and Tulsa Roughnecks FC. In 2015, each team will play 28 matches (14 home, 14 away) and have the opportunity to qualify for the USL playoffs.

Prior to joining MLS in 2011, the ‘Caps spent a total of 11 seasons in the USL (between the USL A-League and USL First Division), winning league championships in 2006 and 2008. They also previously operated a U-23 PDL team and a W-League side.

Whitecaps FC 2 will feature first-team players from Vancouver’s MLS team, players signed to USL contracts by Whitecaps FC 2, and players from Vancouver’s Residency program. USL allows teams to carry as many as five Academy (aka Residency) players on their roster. Among the MLS players who have already featured this season are goalkeepers Marco Carducci and Paolo Tornaghi, defenders Christian Dean, Tim Parker, and Ethen Sampson, midfielders Kianz Froese and Ben McKendry, and striker Caleb Clarke (who scored the goal for WFC2 on Sunday).

Whitecaps FC 2 Tickets

Tickets and family packs are available now for all WFC2 home matches. Single tickets are $15 and family packs (family season passes) start at $199. Group tickets are just $11.

The next home match is Sunday, April 26, 2015 at UBC Thunderbird Stadium against Sounders FC 2, followed by OKC Energy on May 17th, Real Monarchs on May 24th, and Arizona United SC on May 31st. Find the full schedule online (through to September 2015) and be sure to get your tickets!

Port Mann Bridge Demolition Video

April 20th, 2015 @ 8:38am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

The old Port Mann Bridge has been closed since 2012 and over the last three years, it’s been carefully dismantled, piece by piece as traffic flows by on the newer, wider replacement.

Port Mann Bridge.
2010 – Photo credit: jasonsanders on Flickr

Aerial Photos from News1130 Air Patrol
2013 – Miss604 photo

The old Port Mann is almost gone now. @DriveBC
2014 – Miss604 photo

Port Mann Bridge Demolition Video

Last week some of the final pieces of the Port Mann, that spanned the Fraser River since 1964, were blasted down and captured in this video:

Explosives were used to carefully bring down the last girders on the Surrey side of the old Port Mann bridge. The work went smoothly and exactly as planned. The three 70 meter long (225 feet), 600 tonne girders were dropped onto the ground where they will be cut and removed for recycling. The demolition was part of ongoing dismantling work to remove the original Port Mann Bridge. Bridge demolition work is expected to continue through 2015 [Source: Vancouver Sun].

FIFA Women’s World Cup Trophy Tour

April 19th, 2015 @ 7:44pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

This summer Canada, and Vancouver, is hosting the FIFA Women’s World Cup and with just 50 days to go the excitement is building. Leading up to kickoff on June 6th, Canadians can get up close and personal with the FIFA Women’s World Cup™ trophy ahead of the largest live spectator sporting event in our country’s history.


FIFA Women’s World Cup Trophy Tour

The FIFA Women’s World Cup™ Trophy Tour by Coca-Cola launched its two-month, 12-city tour earlier this month in Ottawa. Travelling from coast-to-coast in celebration of soccer and women in sport, the tour will include several interactive and engaging elements, as well as surprises along the way – all in the spirit of setting the stage for the biggest FIFA Women’s World Cup to-date.

Fans will get a taste of the tournament at the custom-designed Fan Experience where they can go head-to-head with the Coca-Cola Robot Goalie, record a cheer for their favourite team, hang out in the FIFA locker room, play 16-person foosball or learn a trick or two from expert freestylers. The experience takes guests through the winner’s tunnel, which leads the way to the trophy display where fans will get their photo with the real FIFA Women’s World Cup™ Trophy. Afterwards, guests will cap off their experience with a perfectly served, limited edition aluminum bottle of ice-cold Coca-Cola.

Free reserved tickets are available online for trophy tour events.

Trophy Tour Dates

April 1, 2015: National kick-off Ottawa, ON
April 3-4, 2015: Ottawa, ON
April 9-12, 2015: Montreal, QC
April 15, 2015: Quebec City, QC
April 18-19, 2015: Halifax, NS
April 24-26, 2015: Moncton, NB
April 28, 2015: Kingston, ON
April 30, May 1 & 3, 2015: Toronto, ON
May 6, 2015: Hamilton, ON
May 8-10, 2015: Winnipeg, MB
May 16-18, 2015: Edmonton, AB
May 22-24, 2015: Calgary, AB
May 29-31, 2015: Vancouver, BC

The FIFA Women’s World Cup is the first major sporting event in Canada to be hosted from coast to coast, with matches to be played in Vancouver, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Ottawa, Montréal, Québec and Moncton. Follow FIFA Women’s World Cup on Facebook and Twitter and follow Canada Women’s National Team soccer updates on Facebook and Twitter with tag #CANWNT.

SPES Saturday: Vancouver Bird Week 2015

April 18th, 2015 @ 10:14am (PT) by Guest Author

SPESLogoFourLineThis post has been contributed by Dan Straker, Urban Wildlife Coordinator with the Stanley Park Ecology Society (“SPES”). I have been following SPES since I moved into the West End a decade ago and I have been a member for three years. I wanted to offer the team an opportunity to share their news, events, and work so I have created “SPES Saturday” where they contribute and share stories with my audience once a month.


Vancouver Bird Week is for the Birds

International Migratory Bird Day is coming up on May 9th which reminds us just how important migratory birds are to our environment. But why only celebrate for one day when you can celebrate for a whole week? Whether you are a bird nerd or just bird curious, celebrate Vancouver’s third annual Bird Week from May 2nd to May 9th with great events and activities in locations all around Vancouver. Vancouver Bird Week has walks, talks, art workshops, a film screening, planting events, and great activities for free and open to all ages. Visit the Vancouver Bird Week website for information on events and activities.

BirdersAn evening presentation series is hosted by Vancouver Public Library, Central Branch on May 2nd, May 8th, and May 9th. Topics will include an introduction to birds and birding, the fascinating mating behaviours of sandpipers, plus specific events related to owls and ducks living in cities.

There will also be a screening of “Birders: The Central Park Effect” at SFU’s Goldcorp Centre for the Arts on May 6th. All evening events start at 7pm, are free and first come first served.

As well as all of the other walks and events, for those of you with little ones, there will be a number of art workshop activities at Hillcrest and Roundhouse Community Centres throughout the week.

Vote for Vancouver City Bird

This year the City of Vancouver is also holding its second City Bird competition that runs from April 15th – May 9th, pitting four birds in an election to see who will become Vancouver’s City Bird for 2016. Currently, the black-capped chickadee reigns as last year’s City Bird and will be featuring on resident’s parking decals and promotional buttons. The nominees selected for this year are the barn swallow, barn owl, peregrine falcon, and western grebe. The nominees have been chosen based on the theme of “rare gems”, in other words, birds that were once more common in the lower mainland but are now endangered.

Learn more about the City Bird competition and vote online. The winning bird will be announced on May 9th following the final Bird Week event at the Vancouver Public Library Central Branch.


Maybe you are wondering, why should I care about birds, anyway? Vancouver is known for its awesome diversity and abundance of birds. It is a major stop-over on the Pacific Flyway, traversed by more than a billion migratory birds every year. Vancouver itself supports over 250 species of birds year round and has four, count them, four internationally designated Important Bird Areas that surround it. Vancouver Bird Week is all about raising awareness for birds and their value to our environments and ourselves. It is part of a larger initiative called the Vancouver Bird Strategy — adopted by the City of Vancouver in January 2015 — which seeks to create the conditions for native birds to thrive in Vancouver through a number of targeted actions – and you can help! Come out to Bird Week and find out how.

Bird Week is organized as a collaborative effort of many local non-profits and other agencies working in partnership with City of Vancouver and Vancouver Park Board. Stanley Park Ecology Society is proud to have played a key role in coordinating the events for Vancouver Bird Week and hopes that you will participate and take some time to learn about birds in your city.

About the Guest Author:

This post has been contributed by Dan Straker, on behalf of the Stanley Park Ecology Society. If you want to support a non-profit organization that makes a difference for wildlife and people in Stanley Park, please make a donation or become a member of SPES. For more information visit the Stanley Park Ecology Society website. Follow SPES on Facebook and Twitter for the latest updates.

Things to do in Vancouver This Weekend

April 17th, 2015 @ 10:14am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

There’s a lot going on this weekend in Vancouver, with Saturday being the busiest day of the month in terms of events, festivals and activities. Temperatures are expected to soar, giving us a taste of summer with a cool April breeze.

Fisherman's Wharf, Vancouver BC
Photo credit: Carol Nixon on Flickr

Things to do in Vancouver This Weekend

Events that run for longer than three days in a row are highlighted in green below.

Friday, April 17, 2015
Sponsored by Miss604: Friday Late Night Movies at the Rio Theatre
A Man A Plan Japan – Multimedia Show, Vancouver
Grand Opening of Broadway Youth Resource Centre
Annual Spring Fashion Show at Hycroft
A-Grade by Andy Garland, Produced by Star Star Theatre
North Shore Writers Festival
Ballet Kelowna Spring Tour, Coquitlam
Laila Biali & The Radiance Project Album Release Concert
Dialog on Again: What We Know About the Aging Brain and Preventing Dementia
Camilo the Magician at the Granville Island Revue Stage
Wild About Vancouver Outdoor Education Festival
R2R: International Film Festival for Youth
Verses Festival: That One Thing You Said: An Exhibit of Visual Poetry
Carousel Theatre: The Adventures of Robin Hood
Royal City Musical Theatre Presents: My Fair Lady
The Cultch Presents: The Duchess a.k.a. Wallis Simpson
Firehall Arts Centre Presents: Proud

Saturday, April 18, 2015
Surrey Vaisakhi Parade/Khalsa Day
Vancouver Stealth Lacrosse Game
Record Store Day
Vancouver Retro Gaming Expo in New Westminster
Shogi Event with Professional Player Madoka Kitao from Japan
Waterkeeper Gala Vancouver
North Shore Writers Festival
Re-Fashion Vancouver
Vancouver Heritage Foundation: Vancouver Special Tour
VanDeca Presents: Cabaret On The Keys
Voices and Strings at The Orpheum Annex
Flawless: A Beyonce Inspired Art Show and Fundraiser
Vancouver New Music: Voices and Strings
Vieux Farka Touré at Fortune Sound Club
Festival of Volunteers at Brentwood
The Feast Worldwide Vancouver
Eleven09 Live at The Rio with Patrick Maliha’s Vanity Project
Centre A’s 16th Anniversary Gala & Live Art Auction
BCATW 2015 Symposium – Ecotourism: Tread Softly, Write with Impact
Mommy & Me Mini Session Charity Event
Cloverdale Kids Swapmeet
Electronics Recycling Pop-Up on Davie
River Market Artisan Fair
Royal City Farmers Market
Camilo the Magician at the Granville Island Revue Stage
Rumble Theatre Presents: Indian Arm
Wild About Vancouver Outdoor Education Festival
A-Grade by Andy Garland, Produced by Star Star Theatre
Verses Festival: That One Thing You Said: An Exhibit of Visual Poetry
Carousel Theatre: The Adventures of Robin Hood
Royal City Musical Theatre Presents: My Fair Lady
The Cultch Presents: The Duchess a.k.a. Wallis Simpson
Firehall Arts Centre Presents: Proud

Sunday, April 19, 2015
Whitecaps FC2 Match at UBC
Pop-Up City Hall at the Downtown Library
Spring blossoms – Painting pARTy
Stanley Park’s Secrets Historical Walking Tour
Lost & Found: Bert Bush’s Accidental Archive
8th annual Nifty for Fifty Sale
Cinema Sunday at The Cinematheque: Pee Wee’s Big Adventure
Baker’s Market at Moberly Arts & Cultural Centre
Wild About Vancouver Outdoor Education Festival
A-Grade by Andy Garland, Produced by Star Star Theatre
Verses Festival: That One Thing You Said: An Exhibit of Visual Poetry
Carousel Theatre: The Adventures of Robin Hood
Royal City Musical Theatre Presents: My Fair Lady
Firehall Arts Centre Presents: Proud

Check out the full April event listings here and if you have an event to include, please send it in by email for a free listing. Follow Miss604 on Twitter for more daily updates.

Finding #HondaHappiness

April 17th, 2015 @ 8:06am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Presented by Honda:

Over the last few years I’ve had the opportunity to drive Honda’s full fleet of vehicles, from the peppy, family-friendly Odyssey to the much-bigger-than-it-seems Honda Fit. With all of my Honda experiences, from Mount St Helens to Sasquatch Park I thought it would be a good time to hear from someone else about how Honda has brought them happiness.

#FitWhatever Adventure with the Honda Fit

Finding #HondaHappiness

“We did a 5 week road trip down the Oregon and California coast for our honeymoon in 2007,” Kristi Ferguson told me after I put the call out on social media to find a Honda owner. Kristi is a a wife, mum and marketing professional from Greater Vancouver who loves exploring BC wife her family, in her trusty Hondas.


“We also took our 1997 CR-V down during record temperatures in California. There were cars all over the road stopping from the heat, but our CR-V kept on trucking!” Kristi told me that when her family got home from the California trip they knew it was time for a new vehicle — and they knew just what to get. “We purchased a 2008 CR-V, without looking at any other vehicles, which we still have today. It’s an awesome vehicle for commuting, great on gas.”

After replacing their CR-V in 2008, they added an additional vehicle to their family lineup when they purchased a 2014 Honda Odyssey. “Honestly, we don’t even look elsewhere now. When we need a new vehicle, we go straight to Honda, as we know we’ll be happy with the vehicle.”

Happiness comes with a Honda!

HH-Pressboard-225x187Where’s your happy place in BC? The local mountains? The big hockey game with your family? Or your yoga studio at sunrise? Tell us about yours on Twitter and share a photo if you like! You’ll be entered for a chance to WIN $1,000 towards your happy place. Just make sure you include #hondahappiness and follow @hondacanada. Contest runs April 17 – May 10, 2015. For full contest details visit:


This post is sponsored by Honda Canada.