Fan Expo Vancouver 2015

March 26th, 2015 @ 11:14am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Fan Expo Vancouver, a pop culture convention for fans of comics, sci-fi, horror, anime, and gaming, returns to the Vancouver Convention Centre from April 3rd to April 5th, 2015.

fanexpovancouver2015

Fan Expo Vancouver 2015 Celebrity Guests

Carrie Fisher (Star Wars), William Shatner (Star Trek), Karen Gillan (Doctor Who, Guardians of the Galaxy), Stephen Amell, John Barrowman (Arrow), Shannen Doherty (Beverly Hills 90210), Chad Coleman (The Walking Dead), Brent Spiner (Star Trek), and many more including Jennifer Morrison who was added today.

Fan Expo Vancouver 2015 Highlights

  • One of the most famous vehicles in film history, the Back to the Future time machine will be displayed to help The Michael J. Fox Foundation in its fight against Parkinson’s disease.
  • Canada’s largest display of original Star Wars costumes will bring out the kid in everyone. Enjoy a daily Star Wars Kids Hour and embody your inner R2-D2, posing with Stormtroopers.
  • Fans will find a goldmine of pencillers, inkers and writers in this special area. From meeting rising stars, to pros working on the industry frontlines, this is a haven for comic book, graphic novel, limited edition print, and original art and sketch enthusiasts.
  • Check out Lunar Crow’s cosplay armour making workshop, build some Lego models, visit with some of the talented artisans behind Japan’s Lolita fashion craze, and get tickets for the official Fan Expo After Party on Saturday, April 4th at Rain Ultraclub.

Fan Expo Vancouver 2013

Fan Expo Vancouver 2013 Fan Expo Vancouver 2013 Fan Expo Vancouver 2013

Other than having the chance to talk to some celebrities last year, like John de Lancie and Billy Boyd, my favourite part of the expo was the exhibitors where I picked up some cool artwork and steampunk-inspired jewellery.

Dates, Times, Tickets

Friday, April 3, 2015 from 2:00pm to 8:00pm
Saturday, April 4, 2015 from 10:00am to 7:00pm
Sunday, April 5, 2015 from 10:00am to 5:00pm

Passes for single day, full weekend, and VIP experiences are available online now. Same day tickets can only be purchased at the box office.

Check the guest list online for the latest announcements and follow Fan Expo Vancouver on Facebook and Twitter for more information.

Best Buy Cuisinart Cooking Utensil Giveaway

March 26th, 2015 @ 10:09am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Easter is coming up and that means hot cross buns, chocolates, honey baked hams, roast lamb, and fresh fruit pies enjoyed around a table with family and friends. If you’re sitting at your desk, bookmarking and sharing the latest delicious-looking recipes for your spring supper table, BestBuy.ca wants you to browse on over to see their latest cooking appliances, bakeware and utensils to help you make the very best meals this season.

BBYCookware

I have partnered with Best Buy in the past to feature everything from their wearable tech and fitness gadgets, to robotic toys and mobile solutions. The kitchen section of BestBuy.ca is the next highlight as it features knife blocks, pots and pans, wine glasses, waffle irons, blenders and bakeware, and everything in between.

Best Buy Cuisinart Cooking Utensil Giveaway

I have a prize pack filled with Cuisinart Attrezzo utensils to give away that includes:

BBY-UtensilsCuisinart Attrezzo Can Opener
Cuisinart Attrezzo Slotted Turner
Cuisinart Attrezzo Slotted Spoon
Cuisinart Pasta Server
Cuisinart Attrezzo Skimmer
Cuisinart Solid Spoon
Cuisinart Attrezzo Nylon Ladle
and an Cuisinart Attrezzo Ice Cream Scoop for your desserts. All of these Attrezzo utensils have soft-grip handles, are made of stainless steel, and are dishwasher safe.

Here’s how you can enter to win:

  • Leave a comment naming your favourite Easter/Passover/spring dishes. Whether it’s something you like to cook, or that you like to eat at this time of year (1 entry)
  • Post the following on Twitter (1 entry)
RT to enter to win a Cuisinart Kitchen Utensil prize pack from @BestBuyCanada + @Miss604 http://ow.ly/KQhjA

I will draw one winner at 12:00pm on Monday, March 30, 2015. Follow Best Buy Canada on Facebook and Twitter for more information about their kitchen products.

Shane Koyczan Silence Is A Song I Know All The Words To Tour

March 25th, 2015 @ 3:14pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Shane Koyczan is more than the talented poet and writer who appeared in the Vancouver 2010 Olympics opening ceremonies, just as Canada is more than just hockey and fishing lines. He has been a TED speaker, has a video on YouTube with 15 million views, has opened for the Dalai Lama in Vancouver, and has written a libretto for Vancouver Opera and toured with David Suzuki — and that’s just in the last 2 years alone.

koyczanSet to head out on his cross country tour in support of his latest album Silence Is A Song I Know All The Words To, and the accompanying graphic novel, I talked to Shane about his work, his live shows, and the lives he touches with his powerful words.

“For the most part I just think that people connect a lot with what I do,” Shane told me over the phone last week from his home base in Penticton. His audience at live shows varies, and he said he’s always amazed at the demographic that ranges from very young to very old, to teenagers bringing their grandparents.

“It’s amazing for me. It means I’m reaching a lot of people and different people to so that’s always pretty special and incredible.”

You can catch him signing books and taking selfies with audience members after his shows, even though he admits, given the content he writes and performs, his performances can be exhausting. “It’s like here is my life, let me cut it open for you and bleed all over the stage.”

With several albums and books, the content of his shows doesn’t necessarily stay the same, with a set list for each stop. He explains that what he presents on stage is a reflection of how he’s feeling, and that’s the driving factor for picking which piece to bring forward. One night could be more politically driven, “depending on what Harper did that day,” he laughs, or if he’s feeling love, or if an anniversary of a death is coming up.

“You know there’s a lot of strength in vulnerability. Vulnerability is a stronger armour than the walls we put up that keep everybody else out there. It’s dangerous too though. I mean you’re stepping out there like alright, here it is, I’m ready to be destroyed. It can be very stressful a lot of times.”

“I use writing like anyone uses their creativity or imagination, I use it to cope with the things that are going on in my life.”

Something that sets Shane apart is that his words are often paired with a range of artistic expressions, whether that’s a graphic novel, animations, or music. Silence Is A Song I Know All The Words To was recorded with Cayne McKenzie (We Are The City) and Hannah Epperson and mixed by Aidan Knight.

“I love to collaborate with all kinds of artists, there’s always some artist that I’m working with, there’s always some visual component to what I do.” Shane grew up with comic books and movies, which were his escapes and places he went to when he needed to get away, and forget about the bullies in his life.

“I’m working on a new album now with my other band Short Story Long, and when you listen to the pieces that we put out, the music that we create isn’t like songs, they’re more like scoring a film. There’s always a lot of influence, visual influence or cinematic influence in what I’m doing.”

Shane’s spoken word poetry coupled with his emotional delivery and bold animations in his YouTube videos has translated into a large following both online, and at his live shows.

I asked him about who he’s truly hoping to reach and he replied, “the one person that’s closest to the ledge. The one person that is ready to give up. That’s my hope anyways. I think to me, a lot of what I do is just an exchange of empathy. It’s me being open and hoping that other people are going to be open back.”

You can catch Shane’s performance in Vancouver at the Vogue Theatre in Vancouver on Saturday, March 28th for an all ages performance, and tickets are available through Northern Tickets. He’ll then set out across Canada stopping with over a dozen shows from Cranbrook and Calgary to Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Toronto and Halifax through mid-April. Follow Shane Koyczan on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for more information.

British Pacific Properties: West Vancouver History and Giveaway

March 25th, 2015 @ 10:54am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

The Lions Gate Bridge is one of Vancouver’s most recognizable landmarks. Its green towers and suspension cables, adorned with brilliant bulbs, has been the main connection between West Vancouver and the rest of the Lower Mainland since 1938. Almost as well-known as its silhouette is its story, at least the part where the Guinness family is concerned. The family, of Irish stout fame, funded the construction of the bridge through a syndicate, British Pacific Properties, and forever changed the local landscape.

Lions Gate Bridge Just After Sunset
Photo credit: James Wheeler on Flickr

British Pacific Properties

British Pacific Properties (“BPP”), typically referred to as British Properties, is the well-known residential area situated on the North Shore of Burrard Inlet between the Capilano River and Howe Sound. Properties here, on West Vancouver’s south-facing slopes, are much sought after for their panoramic views and unique topography. The British Pacific Properties moniker is also synonymous with the company that has owned and been developing the land for more than 80 years.

lions gate1
Photo courtesy of BPP

Owned by the Guinness family, British Pacific Properties owns all the land in West Vancouver above the Upper Levels Highway from Taylor Way to Horseshoe Bay. Totalling some 4,000 acres, the land was purchased from the municipality during the Great Depression, when residents were unable to pay their property taxes and the local municipality was threatened with bankruptcy. In turn the Guinness family — led by the Rt. Honourable Walter Guinness, Lord Moyne — committed to funding $1 million in local municipal improvements over a five-year period and constructing the Lions Gate Bridge connecting West Vancouver to the city for the first time.

This purchase proved the catalyst for a whole new chapter in the area’s growth and development. In the 1930s, Lions Gate Bridge construction was a vital employment booster in exceptionally difficult economic times, while projects such as Park Royal (one of Canada’s first shopping centres) and Capilano Golf Club contributed significantly to growing and modernizing West Vancouver. Meanwhile, many of the neighbourhood’s early residential homes were defining a whole new West Coast architectural style.

PR sign guys
Photo courtesy of BPP

Also vital to the area’s evolution was the Guinness family’s decision to hire the Olmsted Brothers, a renowned firm of U.S. landscape architects responsible for such distinctive city landmarks as NYC’s Central Park and Montreal’s Mount Royal Park. Determined to create a remarkable subdivision featuring pleasant parks, winding, treed streetscapes and spectacular vistas, British Properties was designed as an exclusive sanctuary from the stresses of city living. This set the tone for the area’s future development while establishing the unique character and values of an emerging community.

Today, beyond residential development, BPP is a vertically integrated company that builds roads, trails, parks and public amenities. Over the years it has contributed more than 200 acres to the District of West Vancouver (at a value of more $100 million) and given to many different local endeavours, such as the West Vancouver Streamkeeper Society.

Aston Hill Aston Hill

One of BPP’s latest developments is Aston Hill, a limited collection of twenty residences featuring spectacular water views.

Win a West Vancouver Prize Pack

To promote its history and celebrate its continuing legacy, British Properties has offered up a West Vancouver prize pack for me to give away to one lucky reader.

This includes a copy of the hardcover book Lions Gate by by Lilia D’Acres and Donald Luxton that features some fantastic historical photographs, and a $150 gift card to The Beach House Restaurant located at Dundarave Park and recently voted Best North Shore Restaurant in the Georgia Straight’s Golden Plate Awards.

Here’s how you can enter to win:

  • Leave a comment naming your favourite place or space in West Vancouver (1 entry)
  • Post a photo of the Lions Gate Bridge on Instagram and follow/tag @BritishPacificProperties + @Miss604
  • Post the following on Twitter (1 entry)
RT to enter to win a $175 West Vancouver #BritishProperties prize pack from @Miss604 http://ow.ly/KNoYz

I will draw one winner at random from all entries at 12:00pm on Wednesday, April 1, 2015.

Dining Out for Life

March 25th, 2015 @ 10:14am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

When you dine out on Thursday, March 26th — for breakfast, lunch or dinner — you’ll have the opportunity to support members of your community through this year’s Dining Out for Life campaign. Participating restaurants will donate 25% of their food sales that day to registered not-for-profits Friends For Life and A Loving Spoonful, which assist living with HIV/AIDS right here in Vancouver.

DiningOutforLife2015

Dining Out for Life happens each year across North America, with funds raised going to each city’s own causes. Find a restaurant partner anywhere in the 604, from Whistler to White Rock and across the Lower Mainland. Participating restaurants include Ask for Luigi, Belgard Kitchen, Burgoo, Dockside, Forage, Mamie Taylor’s, Milestone’s, Nook, Trattoria, and dozens more.

All proceeds directly benefit the programs and services Friends For Life and A Loving Spoonful provide free-of-charge, including:

  • Over 110,000 meals per year delivered to those affected by HIV/AIDS in Metro Vancouver and surrounding regions
  • Nutritional counselling and meal planning
  • 60+ support therapies ranging from therapeutic massage to naturopathy, music therapy to yoga
  • End-of-life care to people in their own homes

On March 26th, get a group of friends together or plan a date night, and when you pay your bill you’ll know that it’s making a difference in someone’s life.

In 2011, the Public Health Agency of Canada estimated 71,300 people living with HIV/AIDS in Canada — with over 25% residing in British Columbia. Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside maintains the highest HIV prevalence in the Western world, reaching as high 27%. While new infection rates in BC have thankfully decreased, advanced therapies mean people with HIV/AIDS are living longer and the number of people who depend on the services of Friends For Life and A Loving Spoonful continues to grow.

Follow Dining Out for Life on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for more information.

15 Nostalgic Photos of Expo 86

March 24th, 2015 @ 2:44pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

It’s surprising how much I remember about Expo 86, given that I was only 6 years old when the World Exposition on Transportation and Communication took over Vancouver from May until October in 1986. I remember going to Guildford Mall to get our family photos taken for our season passes. I had found something to cry about and threw a tantrum so the pass I used for those eventful months featured a soggy, red-faced, woeful little girl. My brother convinced me that I’d have to cry every time I entered the Expo 86 gates so that they knew I was the rightful pass holder.

Expo 86 - The McBarge! expo Expo 86 - What Yaletown used to look like... kinda Expo 86 - Boom boats
Some of my family’s photos from Expo 86

I remember the gondola, the monorail on which I got lost as I boarded without my family. I watched the distance between us grow as the train left the station only to have us reunited on the next station’s platform.

I do have good memories of Expo 86 though. Getting my passport stamped at each pavilion, the unique little cars and boats that transported us over and around the fair grounds. The smell of the food wafting out of McBarge, the dance of the boom boats, riding Highway 86, and the enchanting theme song.

Here are a few images sourced from the City of Vancouver Archives, from the Ernie Reksten fonds, that just might bring back some fond memories for you too:

15 Nostalgic Photos of Expo 86


Archives# AM1551-S1-: 2010-006.395. © City of Vancouver


Archives# AM1551-S1-: 2010-006.394. © City of Vancouver


Archives# AM1551-S1-: 2010-006.392 © City of Vancouver


Archives# AM1551-S1-: 2010-006.509. © City of Vancouver


Archives# AM1551-S1-: 2010-006.409 © City of Vancouver


Archives# AM1551-S1-: 2010-006.496. © City of Vancouver


Archives# AM1551-S1-: 2010-006.401. © City of Vancouver


Archives# AM1551-S1-: 2010-006.435. © City of Vancouver


Archives# AM1551-S1-: 2010-006.396. © City of Vancouver


Archives# AM1551-S1-: 2010-006.453. © City of Vancouver


Archives# AM1551-S1-: 2010-006.387. © City of Vancouver


Archives# AM1551-S1-: 2010-006.385. © City of Vancouver


Archives# AM1551-S1-: 2010-006.495. © City of Vancouver


Archives# AM1551-S1-: 2010-006.422. © City of Vancouver


Archives# AM1551-S1-: 2010-006.397. © City of Vancouver

See also: The Best Old PNE Photos 1914-1980 »

Cherry Blossom Photo of the Day Raining Blossoms

March 24th, 2015 @ 1:44pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

During March and April I will be featuring a Cherry Blossom Photo of the Day, sourced from the Miss604 Flickr Pool and/or the #Photos604 tag on Instagram. You can barely walk a full block in the city without encountering a photographer capturing this pink blooms — or stopping yourself — so it’s the perfect time to start this series. Enjoy!

Rainy but Beautiful Spring in Vancouver
Lane near Buchanan Street and Rosser Street in Burnaby. Photo credit: Rochelle on Flickr

View more photography posts on Miss604 along with the Vancouver Photos of the Week – and be sure to tag your photos with #Photos604!

Surrey Party for the Planet 2015

March 24th, 2015 @ 11:14am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Party for the Planet, BC’s largest Earth Day event returns to Surrey City Hall on Saturday, April 25th with free family fun all day long.

Surrey Party For The Planet 2014
Photo credit: John Bollwitt for Miss604

Surrey Party for the Planet

Attended by over 25,000 last year, Party for the Planet is adding more activities and entertainment to the lineup this year with things to do both inside City Hall and outside on the plaza.

Surrey’s Party for the Planet, presented by TD, will showcase some of the most popular bands in Canada. Headlining the event is Five Alarm Funk. Five Alarm Funk’s high energy performances feature gruff funk vocals, psychedelic rock guitars, Balkan-inspired horns, intricate arrangements, and a few well timed explosions. The band will release Abandon Earth, their fifth studio album, on June 7th. The concept album, describing the destruction of planet Earth by a giant robot, is the culmination of 10 years of touring and the nine musicians’ love for high octane, delirium-inducing dance music.

The event will also showcase local band, Good for Grapes. The band recently wrapped up their third Canadian tour, supporting their new single “Skipping Stone”, which has received airplay on CBC and radio stations across the country. Good for Grapes has gained national traction on the strength of their debut album: a recording that captures their energetic stage presence, bombastic rhythms, and tight harmonies.

The YVR Global Stage will be located in Council Chambers, inside Surrey City Hall, and will offer environmental speakers and popular family entertainers including: children’s singer Charlotte Diamond, cartoon superstar Curious George and reptiles from Urban Safari Rescue.

Surrey Party For The Planet 2014
Photo credit: John Bollwitt for Miss604

Additional attractions at this year’s event will include: Sustainability House, a Birds of Prey Demonstration, Surrey’s Urban Farmer’s Market, the annual tree and native plant sale, rock climbing wall and the Salmon Parade.

Miss604 is a proud sponsor of Surrey’s Party for the Planet

Party for the Planet takes place Saturday April 25, 2015 from 10:00am to 6:00pm at Surrey City Hall Plaza, 13450 104 Avenue, Surrey. It is accessible by transit (Surrey Centre Station) and a bike valet will be on site.