Surrey Youth Fest 2014: Fall Outdoor Festival in Cloverdale

August 20th, 2014 @ 1:44pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

The second Surrey Youth Fest of the year is coming up September 20th at the Cloverdale Recreation Centre. Surrey’s largest celebration for youth will have a breakdance battle, BMX demos at the new undercover skate park, live bands, and much more.


What: Surrey Youth Fest 2014: Fall Outdoor Festival in Cloverdale
Where: Cloverdale Recreation Centre, 6188 176th St, Surrey
When: Saturday September 20, 2014 doors open at 2:00pm

Breakdance Battle

SYB Vol. Two – 2 on 2 Bboy Battle, Footwork Battle & Top Rock Battle. 18 and under, free to enter, sign up here.

New Skatepark

Watch sponsored skateboard and BMX demos, compete in mini jams – like the longest manual and highest ollie – or play basketball in the outdoor court. All wheels are welcome!

Live Bands

Mainstage featuring local youth bands and entertainment: Line-up coming soon! Look for participants of the Band-Aid youth musician development Workshop. Band-Aid is a way to start an ongoing creative and supportive culture among Surrey’s young bands and musicians. The City of Surrey, through Youth Services and the Surrey Arts Centre, will provide Band-Aid participants with performance opportunities at Surrey Youth Fest.

Enjoy all of the above along with sumo wrestling, water walking, a photobooth, food trucks, DJ Deth Klown, an adrenaline obstacle course, and giveaways.

Free Shuttle

The free shuttle will doing pick ups and drop offs at community centres around Surrey all night long. A full schedule is available online and stops include South Surrey Rec Centre, Newton Rec Centre, Clayton Heights Secondary, Don Christian Rec Centre, Bridgeview Community Centre, Chuck Bailey Rec Centre, North Surrey Rec Centre, Guildford Rec Centre, Fraser Heights Rec Centre, and Fleetwood Community Centre.

Follow Surrey Youth Fest on Facebook for event information. Miss604 is a proud media partner of Surrey Youth Fest.

Summer PlayDays: Movie Night and Concert

August 20th, 2014 @ 9:14am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

All season long, the waterfront plaza at the Richmond Olympic Oval has been the site of free family fun, hosting Summer PlayDays with outdoor games, fitness classes, live music, boot camps and BBQs. The culmination of this fun activity series will be on August 31st with more live music, great food, a free screening of Disney’s latest animated classic, Frozen, and a free concert with Jordan Klassen and Kytami.


What: Summer PlayDays: Movie Night and Concert
Where: Richmond Olympic Oval Plaza, 6111 River Road
When: Sunday, August 31, 2014 from 4:00pm to 10:00pm

Ample free parking will be available at the City of Richmond’s Works Yard (5599 Lynas Lane). Bus shuttles will be running from 3:30pm until 10:30pm between the Works Yard and the Richmond Olympic Oval. Additional parking can be found at the WorkSafe BC parking lot.

Bring a blanket or lawn chair to enjoy the shows and space is limited so be sure to get there early. The Richmond Food Bank Society will be on site and the first 200 people to visit their booth will receive a coupon for a free bag of popcorn. Attendees are encouraged to bring a non-perishable food item or make a cash donation.

Throughout the evening, performers include jugglers Mike Battie and Yuki Ueda and there will be plenty of fun for the kids including bouncy castles, the Richmond Art Truck, Tumble Bus, Cartwheels Inc. gymnastics zone, ping pong and more.

Delicious food will be available including BBQ hamburgers and hotdogs, Asian cuisine from All About the Grill, Cravings Kettle Corn, Tin Lizzy Donuts and Rocky Point Ice Cream.

“Violinistextremist” Kytami will perform at 5:45pm and Jordan Klassen will go on at 7:00pm. The screening of Frozen will follow at dusk.

Summer PlayDays is presented by the City of Richmond and the Richmond Olympic Oval. It’s also part of Richmond Days of Summer, which is presented by Vancouver International Airport. Miss604 is a proud media partner of the Summer PlayDays: Movie and Concert on August 31st.

Win a VIP Experience

Summer PlayDays is offering up a VIP movie and concert night experience to one lucky Miss604 reader and their guest. They will enjoy two comfy seats in Adirondack chairs, two bags of kettle corn, and a $25 voucher for the food trucks. Here’s how you can enter to win:

  • Leave a comment on this post (1 entry)
  • If you have played in Richmond this summer, post a #SummerPlayDays / Richmond-themed photo on Instagram tagging @Miss604 and @FunRichmond in the caption. (1 entry)
  • Post the following on Twitter (1 entry)
RT to enter to win a VIP #SummerPlayDays movie/concert night experience from @FunRichmond @Miss604

I will draw one winner at random from all entries at 12:00pm on Tuesday, August 26, 2014. Follow #SummerPlayDays on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram for more information.

Leading up to the movie and concert night, everyone is invited to drop by the Games Zone on the waterfront plaza Wednesdays through Sundays in August (except for August 30) from 11:00am to 4:00pm. Free games and gear are available so you can play bocce, badminton, croquet, chess, checkers, ping pong, volleyball and more. Fitness buffs can get in an end-of-the-week workout by taking part in free Boot Camp classes on the plaza from 6:45pm to 7:45pm on Fridays through August 29.

Vancouver Icons: The English Bay Slide

August 19th, 2014 @ 4:10pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

If I had a band, I think the English Bay Slide would be a pretty fun name. It could refer to a new, funky dance move or it could reference a great source of summer fun in Vancouver. All kidding aside, the slide in English Bay, proudly waving the Canadian flag each summer season, is a mainstay at the city’s First Beach and it’s also today’s Vancouver Icons photo feature:

1946: English Bay. Archives# CVA 586-4569.

There has been a slide in some form another at English Bay since the time of the English Bay Pier, about 100 years ago. The pier was demolished in 1938 but photos of rafts with slides remain from the 1940s, through the 1960s (according to my dad who grew up in Vancouver), the 1980s, and today. When this structure is pulled out from its winter mooring near Granville Island, you know summer is on the way.

1930s – Archives item# Be P73.2.

The Vancouver Park Board informed me that the raft and slide are referred as The Queen Mary, and it is removed a day or two after Labour Day each summer, returning a week or so after the May long weekend.

English Bay, Vancouver
Photo credit: Blake Read on Flickr

Waiting for the Crowds
Photo credit: David J Greer on Flickr

Pontoon / slide at English Bay, Vancouver
Photo credit: threefishsleeping on Flickr

EnglishBeach-20110622 (8 of 16)
Photo credit: Ned Tobin on Flickr

English Bay Slide
Photo credit: Tyler Ingram on Flickr

Let's go on the waterslide
Photo credit: Percy on Flickr

Celebration of Light 2010: Spain
Photo credit: John Bollwitt on Flickr

English Bay Slide
Photo credit: Tyler Ingram on Flickr

The Dog Days
Photo credit: Clayton Perry on Flickr

Previous Vancouver Icons posts: 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.

Southsiders 3 on 3 Outdoor Soccer Tournament

August 19th, 2014 @ 1:44pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Doolin’s Irish Pub, on the bustling corner of Nelson and Granville is downtown Vancouver, will host the Southsiders 3 on 3 Outdoor Soccer Tournament on August 30th. This all day, all ages event will benefit Athletics for Kids and set you up for a full day of community soccer fun ahead of the Vancouver Whitecaps FC vs Portland Timbers match at BC Place in the evening.


Southsiders 3 on 3 Outdoor Soccer Tournament

Where: Doolin’s Parking Lot (Nelson at Seymour, Downtown Vancouver)
When: Saturday, August 30, 2014 from 12:00pm to 7:00pm
What: Show up ready to play, enjoy the beer garden, and order from the specialty take-out menu from Doolin’s. Portland Timbers supporters have also been invited to participate. Families are welcome in the event area, but the beer garden is 19+. Matches will be played on blacktop and the entry fee is $20 per team. The round robin begins at 1:00pm and finals will be concluded by 5:00pm. Rain or shine, they will be accepting a maximum of 12 teams.

The Vancouver Southsiders is Canada’s oldest and largest supporters club. Founded in 1999, they are known for their awesome atmosphere at Whitecaps games but also for their charity and community outreach. John and I have also been proud members of the Southsiders for the last three years.

Athletics for Kids‘ overarching goal is to be there to assist any BC child in their dream of playing amateur sports. The organization continues to grow and thrive, and through its history has helped over 2500 BC kids get active in sporting activities. Athletics for Kids wants all kids to have the opportunity to play.

Follow the Southsiders on Twitter and Doolin’s on Twitter for more information and head down to Doolin’s on August 30th to join in the fun.

5 Stanley Park Trails You Should Explore

August 19th, 2014 @ 10:14am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

The Seawall is one of Vancouver’s claims to fame. It provides a smooth path for walkers, joggers, strollers, rollerbladers, and cyclists to circumnavigate the city’s crown jewel, Stanley Park, while providing views from sunrise to sunset. However, there’s a whole lot to be explored and appreciated under the park’s 1,001 acre canopy so I’d love to introduce a few of our favourite trails which are a part of an elaborate, winding and scenic forest network.

5 Stanley Park Trails You Should Explore

Stanley Park Photowalk Stanley Park Photowalk Stanley Park Photowalk

Getting Started

Every Stanley Park trail is on Google Maps including Google Street Views so you can check out the paths before you go. I have marked five trails on the map below and while there are many others that connect (I have marked some feeder trails in light blue) I decided to start with these five because they’re a good introduction to the variety of terrain in the park.

Recommended trails are marked. Other blue trails are optional feeder routes. All other trails in grey.

1. Cathedral Trail

Location and Trail Features: The Cathedral Trail is a good starting point from Second Beach and Lost Lagoon. You can walk or cycle in along Lost Lagoon, or park at Second Beach, and enter the woods along Cathedral’s new boardwalk. This elevated trail allows for streams to flow underneath instead of cutting it off with a muddy gravel trail. It’s a nice new addition and a good way to start your trek.

Along Cathedral you’ll find dozens of uprooted trees from the windstorm of 2006 (where gale-force winds reached 119km/h) and it’s fascinating to see how the forest has reclaimed them. There is a small pond with ducks, interpretive signs, and an alligator made of a fallen log that I believe has lost its shape in recent years (see photo below from 2011).

Cathedral leads you right to the spot of the Seven Sisters of Stanley Park before turning into the Bridle Path. You can turn around (making for a 10-15 minute round trip) or continue up Bridle which runs all the way up the park, parallel to the causeway, peaking at Prospect Point.

Stanley Park Photowalk

Stanley Park Photowalk

Stanley Park Photowalk

2. Lovers Walk

Location and Trail Features: Lovers isn’t a main trail that we take all the time but it’s a nice, wide connecting route with nurse logs, towering cedars, huckleberries, and no sound of traffic from the causeway piercing through like it does on some other forest trails. I also like lovers because of the two trees in the photo below, which look like they are embracing.

3. Beaver Lake

Location and Trail Features: You definitely have to use other trails to get to this one but Beaver Lake offers its own unique take on Stanley Park. Peel away from the evergreens, stumps, mulch, and ferns and enjoy this overgrown wetland with and ducks passing through. While lush and green in spring and summer, I love Beaver Lake in the fall when the foliage starts to change for the season and the brush parts to reveal the open water.

Talaysay Tours Talaysay Tours

Autumn in the Park

4. Avison Trail

Location and Features: Avison is a nice little diversion from the Seawall but be aware, it is almost all uphill as it leads you from sea level, under the Lions Gate Bridge, and all the way up to Prospect Point. It gives you some unique views, like that of the bridge’s underbelly, and if you’re in need of an emergency ice cream cone you’ll find it at the Prospect Point Cafe, a nice reward at the top of the trail.

Avison Trail Namesake: Henry Avison, Stanley Park Superintendent 1888-1895, the first employee of the Vancouver Park Board. He cut Stanley Park’s first trails and was its first zoo keeper, designed the park’s first gardens, and lived in a lodge by its entrance.

Stanley Park Photowalk

Stanley Park Photowalk

5. Merilees Trail

Location and Features: You can either enter the Merilees Trail from the bottom at Third Beach, or from two places up top along Stanley Park Drive just south of Prospect Point. The Merilees Trail is lined with lush leafy greenery, flowers, and berry bushes that have all found their way to the sunlight after the big wind storm of 2006 clearcut the area. Depending which way you enter the trail, you’ll have a steep climb or a steep decline on loose gravel so pay attention to your footing.

There are some picnic tables that get a lot of sunlight during the day and that lookout over the water, which make for a nice pit stop. Merilees also splits off into the Siwash Rock Trail, which is a worthy diversion thanks to the beautiful lookout on the cliff in front of the actual Siwash Rock. You’ll be high above the Seawall, looking out at West Vancouver, English Bay, Point Grey and Kitsilano.

Merilees Trail namesake: Harold Merilees. General Manager of Tourism Vancouver in the 1960s and was known as “Vancouver’s first great ad man”.

WestCoast Air Sea Plane Tour

Merilees Trail Stanley Park

Bonus! The Reservoir Trail doesn’t really lead anywhere but I love it for its history. There actually used to be a reservoir in Stanley Park, providing water to downtown Vancouver. Stay tuned for more Stanley Park trail tips and check out my series with the Stanley Park Ecology Society to learn more about their work in the park.

Homegrown e-Cookbook: Late Summer Nights

August 18th, 2014 @ 12:14pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

latesummernightsThere are certainties in life such as death, taxes, and that you’ll find photos of other people’s food on Instagram. Based in Victoria, Steffani Cameron is one of said sharers of food photos; however her descriptions, sharp photography, and lessons about shopping local added so much substance to her online postings that she was compelled to reach beyond social media and write a cookbook.

Known as SnarkySteff on her Twitter and Instagram accounts, Steff’s writing style is blunt, bold, and refreshing, which is exactly what you’ll find with her recipes in her new e-cookbook Smutty Eats: Late Summer Nights. From salads, mains, sides and soups, dips and spreads, to snacks, it’s a no-nonsense guide to eating well at home with fresh, local ingredients.

Steff has been blogging since 2004, on Twitter since 2008 (formerly known as SmuttySteff), cooking since she was 5 years old, and she to used teach teen cooking camps. Her online following has been asking her to share recipes for a long time, and some have even encouraged her to open a restaurant. She figured the cookbook would be “the lesser of two evils” and so she self-published this summer.

“As I got into it I started feeling more and more political about it, like how cooking is a political action now. I mean, we fetishize restaurants, we turn chefs into celebrities, and all this kind of shit when you know, really, you can do it at home. You don’t need to go spend all of this money.”

“Real food doesn’t need to be complicated. I’m a lover of rich and decadent flavours, but also bright, crisp contrast. I’ve picked a variety of recipes I hope make your late summer harvest nights special yet simple.” ~ Late Summer Nights

Steff and I have been friends for a few years now, and naturally we met through the blogging and social media scene in Vancouver. She’s been living in Victoria for the last two years and I had to ask if the change of scenery helped inspire her cooking.

“Even the first year when I moved [to Victoria] and money was tight, I found myself making different choices as often as I could.”

“I can’t buy packaged bacon anymore because I’ve been spoiled by the quality that’s offered here. Everybody’s doing their own bacon from some local pig and they’re curing it themselves, and it’s different at every store. It’s never wet or bloody or anything like that. I mean it’s night and day from what I used to eat in Vancouver.”

Steff encouraged me to look up some figures on Vancouver Island’s food resources over the last few decades. I found a report out of the University of Victoria that says 50 years ago, Vancouver Island produced 85% of its own food. Today, island farms produce about 5% of all of the food consumed (MacNair, 2004).

“I think that what’s happening in Victoria is a lot of people in my generation, in your generation, are coming back and starting farms, starting artisan meat shops and they’re really trying to use the best of local product. And I don’t know if it’s the restaurants putting it on the public or if the public has demanded it but one way or the other it seems like it’s more authentic than what’s going on in other cities. Everybody’s just really invested in trying to have a local food scene that’s strong again.”

In Smutty Eats: Late Summer Nights you’ll find recipes for Bacon & Egg Salad, Drunken Gazpacho & Parmesan Toast, Cocoa-Chilli Pulled Pork, and Salted Chocolate Popcorn with Honey & Coconut Oil among others.

Bacon & Egg Salad by Steffani Cameron

Steff said they were inspired by her own ideas of what she wanted to eat. She would go to the internet, do searches, look for recipes, and when she found no results or something close enough to what she was looking for, she would give it a try.

One of the recipes was inspired by a restaurant dish, from a place that had closed down. Through trial and error she was able to replicate the dish and once again enjoy its flavours. She takes risks, they pay off brilliantly, and she’s now sharing them with the world.

“If you go and look at the recipes they’re just written differently because I am so conversational in the style and then I’m telling the reader so much about why I’ve chosen that dish, throwing in weird little tips along the way. It’s a really big departure in some ways from other cookbooks so I wasn’t sure if there would be an audience for that.”

Within days of releasing the book, Steff’s received encouraging feedback and has found that people really appreciate not only her cooking style, but her writing. “Cooking is fun. It tastes good, it should be rewarding, it should be good for your soul, it should be a creative outlet.”

Check out Smutty Eats: Late Summer Nights for yourself, it’s available now on Amazon for $6.49CAD.

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

August 18th, 2014 @ 10:14am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Over the weekend Scott Graham nominated me for the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge by dumping a bucket of water on his head and calling me out in his online video. The rules for this viral campaign are simple: Accept a nomination by filming your own dousing and nominating up to three others to do a same, or donate $100 to ALS related causes in your area. This campaign has been so popular that celebrities and sports stars are nominating each other and we now have videos of Lady Gaga, Justin Timberlake, and even Bill Gates getting soaked for the cause.

One might ask, does ALS get support even if the ice bucket challenge is completed? Yes, it does. While the campaign has been called “Slacktivism” meaning you’re supporting a cause pretty much by clicking “Like” button or dumping water over your head (and not actually donating to the cause), according to the CBC: “The ALS Association said Monday it has received $15.6 million in donations since July 29, an eight-fold spike over the $1.8 million donated during the same period last year. The association said this summer’s donations have come from existing donors as well as more than 300,000 new donors.”

You may have grown tired of watching people get dumped with buckets of ice cube-filled water but it’s actually really great to see a cause get so much attention and support.

Last week I was locked in a kennel at the SPCA, last November I spent the night in an alley in support of Covenant House, and I have also rappelled down the side of a downtown skyscraper for Easter Seals.

I am normally up for doing something kooky in support of a great cause. However, I only have 24 hours to accept Scott’s challenge and I’m tied to my desk writing and transcribing audio. That being said, I accepted Scott’s challenge and while I won’t be dumping a bucket of ice over my head, I have donated $100 to the ALS Society of BC.

ALSBCThe ALS Society of BC raises funds for both research and to provide direct services and support to those currently living with ALS.

Until a cure is found, the Society provides patient services to improve the quality of life of those diagnosed with this disease by offering an extensive equipment loan program, support groups, and educational materials.

Patients are referred to the Society by neurologists and other healthcare professionals, particularly those at the ALS Centre at G.F. Strong Rehabilitation Centre. Working together as partners, G.F. Strong team and the Society are dedicated to enhancing each patient’s quality of life. There is no cost for ALS patients to register or to access our services.

For more information, follow ALS BC on Twitter, Facebook and consider participating in some ALS BC events next year like the Peoples Drug Mart Walks for ALS in BC & Yukon.

Metro Vancouver Garlic Festival

August 18th, 2014 @ 9:14am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Sharing Farm is proud to present its 6th Annual Garlic Festival, the largest in Metro Vancouver. Taking place August 24th, this free event will have fun for the whole family along with cooking demos, great food, exhibitors, live entertainment and more – including garlic ice cream.

Photo credit: The Sharing Farm

New this year is the addition of Graphic Illustrator Sam Bradd. Through the magic of art, draw two important questions: What does a healthy and well-fed community look like? What does garlic mean in your home?

Over 1,000 pounds of fresh garlic will be available for sale with farm fresh produce, Steveston Pizza will have a special creation cooking up in the cob oven, Earnest Ice Cream will supply the garlic ice cream, 4Cats Art Studio will have a garlic-theme community painting, there will be an expanded area for kids, music, and farm tours.

Stop by the Garlic Festival at Terra Nova Park (2631 Westminster Hwy, Richmond) between 10:00am and 3:00pm on Sunday, August 24, 2014. Parking and bike valet are free. Admission is by donation to Sharing Farm.

The Sharing Farm grows food to feed Richmond families in need. The Farm is run by community members for community members, and is dedicated to providing fresh, healthy, local produce to our less fortunate neighbours. The Sharing Farm operates on a tiny budget, but thanks to the generosity of our over 1,000 yearly volunteers and the devotion of a small core of part-time staff, the Farm is able to provide thousands of pounds of fruits and vegetables every year to community meals throughout the city and the Richmond Food Bank.

Find out more about the festival and The Sharing Farm by following along on Twitter and Facebook.