Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards 2015

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

Vancouver Magazine hosted their annual Restaurant Awards earlier this week, recognizing top chefs and top eateries across the city and beyond. Now in its 26th year, the awards had 17 judges who ranked winners in 50 categories. The results are all posted online and here are just a few of the distinguished recipients:

Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards 2015

vanmagrestaurantawards2015RESTAURANT OF THE YEAR
Ask For Luigi (305 Alexander St, Vancouver)
CHEF OF THE YEAR
Vikram Vij
BARTENDER OF THE YEAR
Lauren Mote
PASTRY CHEF OF THE YEAR
Thomas Haas
SOMMELIER OF THE YEAR
Bryant Mao, at Hawksworth
GREEN AWARD
Ned Bell, Yew at Four Seasons
BEST PRODUCER
Vancouver Island Salt Co.
INGREDIENT OF THE YEAR
Octopus
UPSCALE DINING
Hawksworth (801 W Georgia St, Vancouver)
CASUAL DINING
Ask For Luigi (305 Alexander St, Vancouver)

BEST CHINESE UPSCALE
Dynasty Seafood (777 W Broadway #108, Vancouver)
BEST CHINESE CASUAL
Bao Bei Chinese Brasserie (163 Keefer St, Vancouver)

DIM SUM Chef Tony Seafood (101-4600 Number 3 Road, Richmond)
STEAK HOUSE Hy’s Encore (637 Hornby St, Vancouver)
PIZZERIA Nicli Antica Pizzeria (62 E Cordova St, Vancouver)
BEST OF THE AMERICAS Tacofino Commissary (2327 E Hastings St, Vancouver)

Cactus Club Coal Harbour
Photo credit: globetrekimages on Flickr

BEST OF DOWNTOWN Cactus Club Cafe Coal Harbour (1085 Canada Place, Vancouver)
BEST OF THE WEST END Kingyo (871 Denman St, Vancouver)
BEST OF YALETOWN Homer St. Café and Bar (898 Homer St, Vancouver)
BEST OF GASTOWN &CHINATOWN Bao Bei Chinese Brasserie (163 Keefer St, Vancouver)

CASUAL CHAIN Cactus Club Cafe
FOOD CART Tacofino
SEAFOOD Blue Water Cafe + Raw Bar (1095 Hamilton St, Vancouver)
COFFEEHOUSE Revolver Coffee (325 Cambie St, Vancouver)

Congratulations to all of the winners and honourable mentions! They are the reason that Vancouver has such a vibrant and diverse dining scene. View all of these results and many more online and follow Vancouver Magazine on Facebook for more information.

Things to do in Vancouver This Weekend

April 23rd, 2015 @ 4:04pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Surrey’s Party for the Planet (sponsored by Miss604) is happening on Saturday, with concerts, activities, and free fun for the whole family. There will be 3 stages for live entertainment, food vendors, and much more right in the heart of Downtown Surrey. Stop by between 10:00am and 6:00pm to join in the fun for BC’s largest Earth Day celebration.

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

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 24, 2015
Sponsored by Miss604: Friday Late Night Movies at the Rio Theatre
FUSE at the Vancouver Art Gallery
Reinvention of Disco
Galley Gachet Opening: Un Quiet Bodies
Kyle Bottom’s Comedy Bucket
L’Arche Vancouver: The Art Together Project
5th Annual LitFest New West
Love, Lust & Lace-Remount
The Chan Centre: Masque: musica intima
The Lovers Cabaret Presents: Syn at Fox Cabaret
Just Between Friends Sale
Verses Festival: That One Thing You Said: An Exhibit of Visual Poetry
Saturday, April 25, 2015
Sponsored by Miss604: Surrey Party for the Planet
Crafty Affaire Spring Market in South Surrey
The Cinematheque’s 2015 Poster Sale
Blog Mastery Conference
Terminal City Rollergirls Roller Derby
Isabella Rossellini on Stage at the Vancouver Playhouse
5th Annual LitFest New West
Burnaby Golf Festival
Keep Vancouver Spectacular
Workout to Conquer Cancer
E-Waste Challenge at Willowbrook
Refresh Spring Market in Squamish
Rhodes to Wellness – Open House & Wellness Fair
Pop-Up City Hall at Earth Day Festival
Vancouver Opera Presents: Sweeney Todd
Neworld Theatre: Bite of the Underground Variety Show
Just Between Friends Sale
Verses Festival: That One Thing You Said: An Exhibit of Visual Poetry
Royal City Musical Theatre Presents: My Fair Lady
Firehall Arts Centre Presents: Proud

Sunday, April 26, 2015
Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival: Picnics
Daffodil Dash – Run To Fight Cancer
Vancouver Opera Presents: Sweeney Todd
Baker’s Market at Moberly Arts & Cultural Centre
EAT Vancouver
Just Between Friends Sale
Verses Festival: That One Thing You Said: An Exhibit of Visual Poetry
Royal City Musical Theatre Presents: My Fair Lady

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.

10 BC Parks to Visit For Camping Season

April 23rd, 2015 @ 1:44pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

10bcparkscampingCall it a wish list, bucket list, or a “I must camp there again” list but I’ve been eyeing the BC Provincial Parks website lately and my urge to unroll my sleeping bag and toast s’mores by a campfire has been rising. When I was young we used to go on a week-long camping trip every single summer and by the time I was 10 I could name more BC Parks campgrounds than I could streets in Downtown Vancouver.

With the reservation system up and running for the summer, and the evergreens calling, I have put together a list of 10 BC Parks to Visit For Camping Season:

1. Wells Grey

Helmcken Falls
Helmcken Falls at Wells Grey Provincial Park. Photo credit: et_al_ on Flickr

The farthest from Vancouver, I had to include Wells Grey even though I haven’t been there in 20 years. With 540,000 hectares in the Cariboo Mountains it has volcanoes, waterfalls, mineral springs and glaciers. It has something to offer every outdoor interest: lush alpine meadows, excellent birding and wildlife viewing opportunities; hiking for every ability, ranging from a few minutes on a level trail to many days with a map and compass; boating, canoeing and kayaking.

2. Birkenhead Lake

Birkenhead Lake and surrounding mountains from the Goat Lookout Trail in Birkenhead Lake Provincial Park near Pemberton, BC
Photo credit: Ryan Van Veen on Flickr

The park was expanded by 684 hectares in 2008 to include more of the alpine headwaters of the western side of the Sockeye Creek watershed. The park protects important habitat for a variety of wildlife, including spotted owls, mountain goats, black bears and grizzly bears. Old growth forests, subalpine and alpine environments, large and small lakes all contribute to the park’s diversity.

3. Alice Lake

Alice Lake Reflection
Photo credit: James Wheeler on Flickr

A favourite family park along the Sea to Sky, Alice Lake is surrounded by towering mountains, dense forests and grassy areas. There are four fresh water lakes that dominate the landscape and make swimming and fishing very enjoyable pastimes. The trail around Alice Lake is a popular one for an evening stroll and for the more adventurous there is the Four Lakes Trail.

4. Moyie Lake Provincial Park

Moyie Lake
Photo credit: Calypso Orchid on Flickr

Located 20 kilometres south of Cranbrook off Highway 3/95, Moyie Lake Park day-use area, boat launch and 111 site campground provides the only public access to the deep blue mountain waters of Moyie Lake. This vacation friendly park features 1300 metres of developed sandy beach backed by a large grassy area. Swimming, wind surfing, sailing, boating, wildlife and bird viewing along with an adventure playground and hot showers are on site.

5. Miracle Beach Provincial Park

Miracle Beach Provincial Park 1419
Photo credit: kleinmantara on Flickr

Located on the waterfront midway between Courtenay and Campbell River, a broad sandy beach on the ocean is the main attraction at Miracle Beach, which also features spacious private campsites, group camping facilities, a playground for the kids, hot showers, a large picnic area overlooking the water and a series of lovely trails winding through lush forest. At low tide, the beach features rich tide pools, perfect for observing a variety of marine life.

6. China Beach/Juan de Fuca

China Beach-Juan de Fuca Trail
Photo credit: lux_288 on Flickr

China Beach Campground is a part of Juan de Fuca Provincial Park and the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail, which follows 47 kilometres of wilderness stretching along the western shoreline of the southern Island. The China Beach campground is just off Highway 14 and features amazing beaches and day use areas a short 1km hike away.

7. Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park

Rathtrevor Beach Sunrise
Photo credit: Glendon Rolston on Flickr

We talk a lot about sunsets on the west coast but in Parksville on Vancouver Island, particularly at Rathtrevor Beach, you’ll wake up to spectacular sunrises. The park features majestic old growth trees and an inviting, wide sandy beach with campsites nestled amongst mature Douglas fir trees. At low tide the ocean recedes almost a kilometre, providing an ideal place for visitors of all ages to play in the sand and explore the shoreline. When the tide rolls in over the sun-baked sand, the warmed water is unbeatable for swimming and salt water fun.

8. Porpoise Bay

Porpoise Bay Fog 3
Photo credit: Ken McMillan on Flickr

Porpoise Bay Provincial Park on the Sunshine Coast offers many opportunities for coastal fun and is a favourite family park. This park is characterized by second-growth forest, open grassy areas and sandy beaches, and is an excellent base camp for paddlers exploring the Sechelt Inlet.

9. Shuswap Lake Provincial Park

2012-07-25 Scouts Ruckell Point Shuswap Summer Camp 116
Photo credit: Chris Hutchcroft on Flickr

A very popular destination, the park operates at capacity from early July to Labour Day (early September). Situated on the old delta of Scotch Creek, it has one kilometre of sandy, pebble beach, and includes the whole of Copper Island. The park also offers a large grassy play area, an adventure playground, a large boat launch, and a self-guiding nature trail. Supplies, groceries, and many recreational opportunities including bumper boats, mini-golf driving range, go-carts, para-sailing, horseback riding, whitewater rafting, boat and jet-ski rentals are offered by near-by businesses.

10. Saltery Bay

Riding out of Saltery Bay Provincial Park
Photo credit: Milestone Rides on Flickr

Lush forests with large, old trees create a quiet setting for the campground at Mermaid Cove. At low tide, the rocky shoreline often has tidal pools with starfish, sea urchins, small fish and crabs. Scuba diving provides a close-up look at the abundant marine life and a 3-metre bronze mermaid statue. From the shore, orcas and sea lions can sometimes be seen.

If you’re looking to stay close to home, here are the closest BC Parks available for camping, within a 90 minute drive of Vancouver: Sasquatch Park; Golden Ears; Cultus Lake; Rolley Lake; Porteau Cove; Alice Lake.

You can read about more camping locations (from all parks services) in this post, and click here to find out about camping in north west Washington State.

Vancouver Icons: Fort Langley Community Hall

April 23rd, 2015 @ 10:14am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

The Fort Langley Community Hall might not be located in Vancouver, but with its countless television and film appearances, and being a popular venue for events and gatherings throughout all seasons, it’s today’s (Greater) Vancouver Icons photo feature:

Fort Langley Mansion
Photo credit: Jerry Meaden on Flickr

Located at 9167 Glover Road, the Fort Langley Community Hall has been used in shows like Once Upon at Time, Bates Motel, Fringe, and Supernatural, motion pictures, TV movies, and commercials. It was designed by architect Archibald Campbell Hope and built in 1931. The Fort Langley Community Improvement Society was founded by the Fort Langley Women’s Institute in 1924, in order to build the community hall.

fortlangleycommunityhall2
1931: Community Hall still under construction. Langley Centennial Museum Object ID 0932.

fortlangleycommunityhall
1931: Langley Centennial Museum Object ID 1175.

The hall is maintained by a volunteer Board of Directors and is used as an event space, wedding venue, and for the Fort Langley Library. Inside its elegant ballroom is party space, complete with a stage and a horse hair sprung wooden ballroom floor hosted its inaugural ball in March of 1931.

DSC_0120
Photo credit: v chung on Flickr

DSC_0561
Photo credit: yougotmeliftedshifted on Flickr

Sean & Laura's Wedding
Photo credit: Rachel Patterson on Flickr

Fort Langley Hall
Photo credit: Kalev Hunt on Flickr

Fort Langley Community Hall
Photo credit: on Flickr

Community Hall in Fort Langley
Photo credit: Ramjheetun on Flickr

Fort Langley Hall
Photo credit: Andrew on Flickr

Other Vancouver Icons posts: Christ Church Cathedral, Waterfront Station, Pacific Central Station, Randall Building Mural, East Van Cross, Robert Burns Statue in Stanley Park, Vancouver Maritime Museum, Flack Block, The Drop, Prospect Point Lighthouse, Engagement, Ovaltine Cafe, The English Bay Slide, Freezing Water #7, Cleveland Dam, Heritage Hall, School of Theology Building at UBC, Gate to the Northwest Passage, St Paul’s Hospital, Capilano Lake, Stawamus Chief, Nine O’Clock Gun, Malkin Bowl, Search, Vancouver Rowing Club, Echoes, Point Atkinson Lighthouse, English Bay Inukshuk, Hollow Tree, Hotel Europe, Lions Gate Bridge Lions, LightShed, Granville Bridge, 217.5 Arc x 13′, Canoe Bridge, Vancouver Block, Bloedel Conservatory, Centennial Rocket, Canada Place, Old Courthouse/Vancouver Art Gallery, Dominion Building, Science World, Gastown Steam Clock, SFU Burnaby, Commodore Lanes, Siwash Rock, Kitsilano Pool, White Rock Pier, Main Post Office, Planetarium Building, Lord Stanley Statue, Vancouver Library Central Branch, Victory Square, Digital Orca, The Crab Sculpture, Girl in Wetsuit, The Sun Tower, The Hotel Vancouver, The Gassy Jack Statue, The Marine Building, and The Angel of Victory. Should you have a suggestion for the Vancouver Icons series please feel free to leave a note in the comments. It should be a thing, statue, or place that is very visible and recognizable to the public.

Honda Happiness Contest

April 23rd, 2015 @ 9:14am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Presented by Honda:
HondaLogoHonda Happiness Contest
The Honda Happiness social media contest is running now through to Sunday, May 10, 2015. Honda wants to take you to your happy place in BC, so they’re inviting you to tell everyone about it on Twitter for a chance to win $1,000 to get you there.

  • Post on Twitter account about your happy place in BC
  • Include #HondaHappiness in the post
  • Follow @HondaCanada on Twitter

Here is a sample tweet that you can complete and post:
“_____________ is my Happy Place in BC because ____________ #HondaHappiness”

My Happy Place

I think I’ve literally used the words “Happy Place” every single time I have described Salt Spring Island ever since John and I first visited together in 2008 and fell head over heels in love with this beautiful gulf island.

saltspringtourmiss604

We’ve spent summer and winter weekends there ever since, at Hastings House, during the Glowtini or Chefs Across the Water event, or exploring Ruckle Park.

Ruckle Provincial Park Salt Spring Island Tour

The island has peaceful pastures and lush, mossy forests, as well as mountain peaks, beaches, markets, farms, and the friendliest (and most creative) people you’ll meet. We’ll spend an entire day going for a hike, visiting the market, stopping by the craft brewery, then relaxing in front of the fireplace in our hillside room above the harbour, where light from the sunset dances around twisted arbutus trees. Salt Spring Island is definitely our happy place in BC, what’s yours?

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: http://my-honda.ca/happiness.

Disclosure: cmp.ly/3

This post is sponsored by Honda Canada.

YWCA Women of Distinction Awards: Vote Now for Connecting the Community

April 22nd, 2015 @ 3:46pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

The 2015 YWCA’s Women of Distinction Awards are coming up on Tuesday, May 26th, 2015 at the Vancouver Convention Centre and voting is now open for the 6th annual Connecting the Community Award, presented by Scotiabank.

YWCA Women of Distinction Awards

Vote Now for Connecting the Community Award

In addition to the category in which she was nominated, all individual finalists are eligible for a 12th category called Connecting the Community. This award provides an opportunity for Women of Distinction finalists to gain recognition through social media, as well as raises awareness for YWCA Metro Vancouver’s programs. The recipient of this award will be determined via on-line vote. Each finalist selects a YWCA program area that she identifies the most with and submits a quote as to why. Click here to read about the finalists, the YWCA programs they have chosen, and to vote.

Voting ends on May 15th at noon. The nominee with the most votes will receive the Connecting the Community Award. The recipient will be announced at the Awards event on May 26th and Scotiabank will donate $10,000 to her chosen YWCA program area in her honour.

YWCA Women of Distinction Awards Nominees

Congratulations to all of the nominees in the following categories:

Business & the Professions
Kathy Butler
Wendy Chu
Lawrie Ferguson
Lianna Mah
Kristi Miller
Michelle Osry
Michelle Pockey
Katie Schaeffers
Laurie Schultz
Jennifer Traub
Sheila Tucker

Arts, Culture & Design
Julie Blue
Jennifer Cutbill
Jacqueline Dupuis
Diana Kaarina
Ramona Luengen
Emily Molnar
Bonnie Nish
Marlie Oden
Myriam Steinberg

Community Champion
Kristal Barrett-stuart
Michaela Davies
Tarah Ferguson
Barbara Fitzgerald
Heather Mackenzie
Claire Robson
Laura Saimoto
Barb Snelgrove
Cheryl Young

Outstanding Workplace
Aritzia
Clio
Goldcorp Inc.

Environmental Sustainability
Tzeporah Berman
Maureen Cureton
Marcia Smith
Victoria Smith

Health & Wellness
Paola Ardiles
Jan Christilaw
Vivian Eliopoulos
Sally Thorne

Technology, Science & Research
Alma Barranco-mendoza
Liisa Galea
Meredith Powell
Dominique Weis

Education, Training & Development
Natacha Beim
Wendy Gilmour
Jennifer Kirkey
Joanne Melville
Sandra Singh
Corey Zylstra

Entrepreneurship
Alexandra Greenhill
Judi Hess
Debra Saimoto
Parise Siegel
Lisa Tuningley

Young Woman of Distinction
Selin Jessa
Zoya Jiwa
Patricia Louie
Suneet Maan
Jenna Reed-cote

Get Your Tickets

The 32nd Annual Women of Distinction Awards is 75% sold out! Join YWCA Metro Vancouver on May 26th to pay tribute to the inspiring finalists and to celebrate our Women of Distinction Awards recipients.

Early Bird/Until April 26: $225 per person
As of April 27: $250 per person (10 seats per table)
Order online or call (604) 895-5768

Follow the YWCA of Vancouver on Facebook and Twitter for more information along with the YWCA Women of Distinction Awards @YWVanWODA on Twitter. And be sure to VOTE for the women you would like to see receive the Connecting the Community Award.

Miss604 is a proud sponsor of the YWCA Women of Distinction Awards for the 6th year!

YWCA Metro Vancouver is dedicated to achieving women’s equality. Their mission is to touch lives and build better futures for women and their families through advocacy and integrated services that foster economic independence, wellness and equal opportunities.

Vancity Member Day at Science World Giveaway

April 22nd, 2015 @ 1:44pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Vancity Member Day is coming up at Science World, where members can get great deals on admission and enjoy Green Month programming.

SW-VancityMemberDay-1

Vancity Member Day at Science World

In celebration of Earth Day (on April 22nd) the first 422 Vancity members to visit Science World on Vancity Member Day on Saturday, May 2 will get in for free. Additional members and their guests will receive 50% off admission (savings of $11.25 for adults).

Where Science World (1455 Quebec St, Vancouver)
When Saturday, May 2, 2015 from 9:30 am to 6:00pm
Admission Simply present your Vancity MEMBER CARD® debit card or Vancity enviro™ Visa (your guest does not have to be a member).

Vancity Member Day is part of Green Month at Science World from April 22, 2015 to May 22, 2015, featuring exhibits and activities that celebrate environmental awareness in a fun and interactive way.

Green Month at Science World (presented by Vancity) is an opportunity for everyone to learn more about creating a sustainable future in a fun and interactive way. Vancity’s community partners will also be sharing their work and commitment to sustainability initiatives on May 2nd outside Science World including:

  • Free bike tune-ups provided by Pedal Energy Development Alternative
  • Free bike valet provided by BEST Bicycle Valet
  • Free recycling drop-off stations for hard-to-recycle items (ex. Batteries, cell phones, light bulbs and electronic toys) provided by Green Chair Recycling.

RSVP for the event on Facebook and make a plan to take the family to Science World on May 2nd to join in the fun.

Win a Prize Pack

To celebrate Vancity Member Day at Science World, I have prize pack (valued at $300) to give away that includes:

EXPLORE: 1 Family Day pass to Science World – 2 adults, 2 children
ENJOY: Vancity swag pack (travel mug, lunch tote, glass water bottle, Just Potters mug)
EAT: Choice of one Salad Box (Summer Box) from Fresh Roots ($150 value) or one Beasty Box from Urban Digs Farm ($175 value)

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 #VancityMemberDay @Vancity @ScienceWorldca prize pack from @Miss604 http://ow.ly/LYNGd

I will draw one winner at random from all entries at 12:00pm on Wednesday, April 29, 2015. Follow Vancity on Twitter and Facebook for more information.