City of Vancouver Food Scraps Program

October 22nd, 2014 @ 9:45am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

The City of Vancouver is celebrating the two year anniversary of the expanded city Green Bin program for food scraps recycling. This program allows residents to recycle all their food scraps and is now available to about 100,000 single family/duplexes households and 1,800 multi-unit residential buildings currently serviced by the City.


As of January 2015, a Metro Vancouver organics disposal ban on all food scraps comes into effect across the region. The regional ban will mean that food scraps will no longer be permitted in regular garbage. The City is also intending to make food scraps collection and diversion programs mandatory across all sectors of the City.

About The Green Bin/Food Scraps Program

To date, Vancouver households participating in the City’s Green Bin program have reduced the amount of garbage sent to the landfill by an average of about 40 per cent.

Recycling food scraps reduces the amount of garbage produced, cuts down on global warming pollution and creates a useful compost product for local gardens.

First introduced in 2010, the program allowed residents with City waste collection services to add uncooked fruit and vegetables to their Green Bin. In 2011, a pilot project was initiated to test an expanded program, allowing all food scraps and food soiled paper to be placed in bins, and included the proposed change in collection frequency.

The program was expanded in 2012 to all single family/duplex households and to 1,800 multi-unit residential buildings that receive waste collection service from the City. Since the switch to city-wide weekly organics pick-up and bi-weekly garbage pick-up, the City has seen compostable organics collected increase by approximately 64 per cent, and a 40 per cent decrease in garbage collected. That’s about 24,500 tonnes less garbage going to the landfill each year.

The City has also contributed funding to the Food Scraps Drop Spot Program through a Greenest City Grant that serves residents living in multi-unit residential building who don’t receive City collection service. As of July 1st, 2014, the program expanded to seven locations and has collected more than 120 tonnes of food scraps from 38,000 drops since the inauguration of the program in 2011.

Win a Zero Waste Holiday Prize Pack

To promote the organics disposal ban and information about food scraps recycling in the new years, the City of Vancouver and I both have a Zero Waste Holiday prize pack to give away that contains:

  • Family pass (2 adults, 2 children under age 17) for the Bright Nights Christmas Train in Stanley Park
  • Family pass (2 adults, 2 children under age 18) for the Festival of Lights at VanDusen Gardens
  • 2 reusable shopping bags
  • A water bottle
  • “Zero Waste Home” book

There are three ways that you can enter to win:

  • Take the Food Scraps 101 Quiz and you’ll be entered in the City’s draw.
  • Take the Food Scraps 101 Quiz and leave a comment back here with your score to be entered in my draw.
  • You can also post the following on Twitter to enter to win:
RT to enter to win a @CityofVancouver Zero Waste Holiday prize pack from @Miss604 #FoodIsntGarbage

Both my draw and the City of Vancouver’s draw will take place on November 5, 2014. I’ll draw my winner at 12:00pm that day. The winner of my prize pack is not eligible to win the City of Vancouver’s prize as well.


This campaign is sponsored by the City of Vancouver's Food Scraps program.

3 Halloween Walking Tours in Vancouver

October 21st, 2014 @ 10:44am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Whether the night is dark and stormy or clear with an autumn breeze, these three seasonal walking tours will not only educate and entertain, they’re sure to give you goosebumps.

3 Halloween Walking Tours in Vancouver

SS Beaver Shipwreck off Stanley Park. 1935 – Archives item# LGN 500. Photographer: Bailey Bros.

Host: Stanley Park History
Tour: Stanley Park Noir
Date/Time: Saturday, October 25, 2014 only from 1:00pm to 3:00pm.
Details: “Discover the darker side of Stanley Park’s past. Murders, suicides, tragic accidents, violent crimes, drownings and mysterious incidences are all part of “The Jewel of Vancouver’s” 126 years of history. From the unsolved murder of The Babes in the Woods, to a connection to the Janet Smith murder mystery, this tour covers headline making crimes, as well as the more “secret” ones. It also features stories about: park cemeteries & final resting places, unusual hunting stories, buried treasure, storm damage, memorials to the dead, protests, court cases and much more.”
Participation: $10 cash, drop in only and rain or shine. Meet at the viewing plaza overlooking Lost Lagoon at the foot of Alberni Street.

Host: Stanley Park Ecology Society
Tour: Creatures of the Night
Date/Time: Thursdays through Sundays until November 1st running every half hour from 6:30pm to 8:30pm on Thursdays, and until 9:00pm Fridays to Sundays.
Details: “Running in parallel with the Stanley Park Ghost Train, Stanley Park Ecology Society’s nature program, “Creatures of the Night” is an entertaining adventure for explorers of all ages. From the miniature train plaza, follow your ecology guide through the forest on a 30 minute candle-lit walk to meet some of Stanley Park’s elusive nocturnal animals.”
Participation: Free. Meet at the Stanley Park Children’s Farmyard & Miniature Railway. Lanterns provided. Good for kids and families.

Host: Forbidden Vancouver
Tour: The Lost Souls of Gastown
Date/Time: Nightly from October 17th to November 2nd
Details: “Venture into our city’s earliest and most gruesome history this Halloween season. A time when Vancouver was the Granville Townsite, a violent frontier town of hustlers and thieves, vagabonds and bawdy girls.Meet Vancouver’s first madam, who built a glamorous Gastown bawdy house before the city even had a school. Catch the horror-filled tale of a long-forgotten plague that clutched the city in its feverish grasp. And relive the terror of the fire that ate up Gastown in minutes – sending people sprinting for their lives down Water Street. The Lost Souls of Gastown is not a ghost tour. It’s a gothic theatre adventure that pulls you so deep into the swirling lamplight and darkened alleys of Gastown’s murky past, you may have a hard time finding your way back out…”
Participation: $19 for seniors and students $22 for adults. Meet at Cathedral Square, across from Holy Rosary Cathedral at Dunsmuir & Richards Streets.

Gastown Nights
Photo credit: Evan Leeson on Flickr

Related Posts: Places to Watch Halloween Movies, Haunted Houses to Visit, and Pumpkin Patches.

VIFF 2014: That’s a Wrap

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

The Vancouver International Film Festival (“VIFF”) wrapped up a record-setting year on October 10th. The 33rd annual event saw a 10% increase over 2013 at the box office, which was the previous benchmark year. Over the course of the festival’s 16 days, VIFF presented 549 public screenings of 349 films from more than 70 countries, and gated attendance for VIFF and the VIFF Industry conference exceeded 144,000.


Miss604 was proud to present the Vancouver premiere of Preggoland, which won the award for “VIFF Most Popular Canadian Feature Film”. Here are a few more numbers and award results from VIFF this year:

Adjudicated Awards

Best Canadian Film
($8,000 cash prize sponsored by the Directors Guild of Canada)
Violent (dir. Andrew Huculiak, British Columbia)

Best BC Film
($10,000 development bursary sponsored by the Harold Greenberg Fund plus a $15,000 post-production services credit supplied by Encore Vancouver)
Violent (dir. Andrew Huculiak)
Honourable Mention: Everything Will Be (dir. Julia Kwan)

BC Emerging Filmmaker Award
($7,500 cash prize sponsored by the Union of BC Performers/ACTRA and ACTRA Fraternal Benefits Society plus a $10,000 equipment credit supplied by William F. White)
Sitting on the Edge of Marlene (dir. Ana Valine)

VIFF Impact Award
($5,000 cash prize sponsored by Agentic Digital Media plus $5,000 in marketing and strategic in-kind services supplied by Agentic and Story Money Impact)
Just Eat It: A Food Waste Story (dir. Grant Baldwin, British Columbia)

Most Promising Director of a Canadian Short Film
($2,000 cash prize sponsored by an anonymous donor)
The Cut (dir. Geneviève Dulude-Decelles)

Best New Director (international) – ex aequo
Miss and the Doctors (dir. Axelle Ropert, France)
Rekorder (dir. Mikhael Red, Philippines)
Honourable Mention: Asteroid (dir. Marcelo Tobar, Mexico)

Audience Awards

Of the 219 feature films, 117 were rated 4 to 5 (very good to excellent) and 92 were rated 3 to 4 (good to very good). Ballots were cast by attendees following each screening.

International Winners
Rogers People’s Choice Award
The Vancouver Asahi (dir. Ishii Yuya, Japan)

VIFF Most Popular International Documentary Award
Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me (dir. James Keach, USA)

Canadian Winners
VIFF Most Popular Canadian Feature Film Award
Preggoland (dir. Jacob Tierney, British Columbia)

VIFF Most Popular Canadian Documentary Award
All the Time in the World (dir. Suzanne Crocker, Yukon)

Runners-up: Marinoni (dir. Tony Girardin, Quebec) and Just Eat It: A Food Waste Story (dir. Grant Baldwin, British Columbia)

Follow the Vancouver International Film Festival throughout the year on Twitter and Facebook for the latest information about films and film-related events in Vancouver.

SPARK Animation 2014: Win Tickets

October 20th, 2014 @ 10:44am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Calling all animation students, artists, industry members, and enthusiasts! The Spark Computer Graphics Society presents SPARK Animation 2014, a conference and film festival celebrating creativity, inspiration and innovation in animation around the world.


What: SPARK Animation 2014 October 22 – 26 at the Vancity Theatre
Where: Vancity Theatre, 1181 Seymour in Vancouver
When: October 22nd to October 26th, 2014

Win Tickets

Miss604 is proud to sponsor “Mothers of a Medium” featuring 16 titles from around the world. This showcase is a mix of classic and computer animation and includes 3 films by Canadian directors as well as titles from Iran, Brazil and The State of Palestine. Mothers of a Medium takes place Thursday, October 23, 2014 at 9:00pm at the Vancity Theatre featuring:

Beluga · 2:07 · United States
Bus Story · 10:51 · Canada
Under the Bed · 2:58 · United States
Food · 3:32 · China
No Fish Where to Go · 12:28 · Canada
The Tree · 5:05 · Iran
Black Tape · 3:00 · Palestine, State of
Guida · 11:18 · Brazil
Man On the Chair · 6:55 · France
Marcescent · 5:25 · Taiwan
This Too Shall Pass · 3:55 · Italy
Humanexus · 10:25 · United States
Indigo · 9:00 · Canada
Fat & Skinny · 8:41 · Poland
Gerascophobia · 4:15 · United Kingdom
The Elephant & the Bicycle · 9:00 · France

I have a pair of tickets to give away to Mothers of a Medium, 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 tix to #MothersOfAMedium at @SparkCGS #SPARK2014 from @Miss604

For more information about SPARK Animation films, conference events, and the job fair, follow along on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter with the tag #SPARK2014. I will draw one winner at random from all entries at 9:00pm on Tuesday, October 21, 2014.

Update The winner is Logan!

BC Hydro Power Smart Candlelight Dinner

October 20th, 2014 @ 9:44am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Restaurants dim the lights, serve up deals for Candlelight Dinner

In the mood for romance? How about a candlelight dinner with a great message?

BC Hydro Power Smart’s most delicious initiative of the year – the Candlelight Dinner – is back on Wednesday, October 22, 2014.

OfftoberOver 64 restaurants in seven communities across BC – including 34 in Vancouver – will be turning down the lights and serving dinner by candlelight as a way to showcase their commitment to energy conservation.

Power Smart works with local community and business associations each year to recruit restaurants and bring the Candlelight Dinner to select cities and communities. Now in its sixth year, the event aims to raise awareness of the simple things you can do every day in your home and at work to conserve energy.

Free appys and desserts, 2-for-1 entrees available

Participating restaurants will be extending exclusive offers or discounts for the event, which may include a complimentary appetizer, 2-for-1 entrees, free dessert or a featured menu item.

See a full list of participating restaurants. Reservations are recommended. Contact the restaurant directly to book your spot.

Find more deals and fun in Offtober

Follow @PowerSmartBC on Twitter for great energy-saving tips, deals and the opportunity to win daily prizes throughout the month we’re calling Offtober.

Spread the word and share your photos from the event using hashtag #pscandlelight.


This post is sponsored by BC Hydro Power Smart

SS Sicamous in Penticton

October 19th, 2014 @ 11:14am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

The mission of my trip to the Okanagan in early October was to taste, sip, and experience a bounty from the Okanagan Wine Festivals Society and its members but along the way I discovered a few more points of interest worth exploring the next time you’re in the area. One of said attractions is the SS Sicamous, parked at 1099 Lakeshore Drive West in Penticton, which is the largest surviving stern wheeler in British Columbia:

S.S. Sicamous

SS Sicamous in Penticton

100 years ago, before there were any highways in the region, the SS Sicamous transported passengers and cargo to remote communities along Okanagan Lake. It was originally assembled in Vernon after arriving on the Canadian Pacific Railway on 18 separate rail cars and it first set sail in 1914.

1932: SS Sicamous at the dock. Archives# CVA 447-2686. Photo by Walter E. Frost

The luxurious vessel would depart from Penticton before the crack of dawn, sailing the length of the lake and making 14 regular stops before reaching its northern terminus at Okanagan Landing (Vernon). Stops were also made if signal fires were lit along the lake and the boat could pull up almost anywhere nose-first, then back out with the power of its paddlewheel.

After 22 years in service it was retired and tied up to rest at Okanagan Landing Ship Yards. In the 1950s it was home to the Penticton Museum and throughout the decades it fell in and out of condition, underwent renovations, repairs, and modifications.

S.S. Sicamous S.S. Sicamous

S.S. Sicamous

S.S. Sicamous S.S. Sicamous

S.S. Sicamous

Today the ship is operated by the SS Sicamous Marine Heritage Society, with help from the City of Penticton, and it is one of the last surviving vessels from its era of travel throughout the distant corners of the British Empire.

S.S. Sicamous

S.S. Sicamous

On board you’ll find displays, a miniature Kettle Valley railway, and event rental space throughout. In fact they already have 14 weddings booked for 2015. The museum is filled stories about travel through the inland waterways of BC and the rooms are beautifully restored. Not only that but the outer decks provide lovely views of the lake and the Penticton waterfront.

S.S. Sicamous

S.S. Sicamous

The SS Sicamous is open Thursdays through to Sundays, from 10:00am to 5:00pm, and closes occasionally for private events and weddings. Family admission is $18, and children 6 and under are free. Check the website for accurate/applicable rates and hours, and follow along on Facebook and Twitter for the latest visitor info.

Looking Down: Manhole Cover Art in Vancouver

October 17th, 2014 @ 11:14am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Last week I was on a trip to the Okanagan where I snapped colourful landscape photos of views and vineyards as far as the eye could see. To my surprise, none has garnered as much attention as a photo of a manhole cover I took upon my return to Vancouver. Locals, as I have come to learn over the years, appreciate three things that made this photo a success: Coast Salish art, autumn in Vancouver, and finding art in unexpected places.

There are thousands of these creatively designed cast-iron covers all across the city and thanks to the Ironclad Art project, new contributions are added to the mix.

The particular cover that I captured was designed by master carver Susan Point, who has created a variety of public and fine art works including several at Vancouver International Airport such as Cedar Connection and the Salish Welcome posts in the international arrivals area.

This photo was taken in Coal Harbour but there is another manhole cover at First and Commercial designed by Susan Point and her daughter Kelly Cannell, and another similar cover in the Olympic Village. You can view a full gallery of these designs and others submitted to the Ironclad Art project online.

Sometimes we’re so busy looking up in Vancouver, at the mountains, rain clouds, and construction cranes building up our City of Glass that we tend to miss some of the beauty that’s right under our feet.

Things to do in Vancouver This Weekend

October 16th, 2014 @ 6:44pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

In between Thanksgiving and Halloween, Vancouver has plenty of activities for young and old, both indoors and out. There are free movies to enjoy, the last taste of Oktoberfest at the Vancouver Alpen Club, tours, fundraisers, films, and the Vancouver Halloween Parade and Expo along with everything else listed below:

Autumn Colours
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, October 17, 2014
Diwali Fest Vancouver
Contrasting Landscapes: Artists’ Reception at East Van Studios
Oktoberfest at the Vancouver Alpen Club
Slide Rule to Sci-Fi Exhibit
Suor Angelica by Giacomo Puccini
Vancouver Aquarium Toast to the Coast
Science World’s Geodesic Ball
Kyle Bottom’s Comedy Bucket
Krav Maga Force: Weekend Seminar
Sunshine Coast Art Crawl
Bear Creek Haunted Forest Scream Train
Fort Langley: Grave Tales
Haunted Vancouver Trolley Tours
Vancouver Home + Design Show
Global Dance Connections: Compagnie Gilles Jobin (Switzerland)
Stanley Park Halloween Ghost Train
Fright Nights at Playland
Pacific Theatre Presents: The Rainmaker
Our Town

Saturday, October 18, 2014
Free Movie Day at Cineplex (Select Films)
Oktoberfest at the Vancouver Alpen Club
In Person: Veronica Roth & Tahereh Mafi at Chapters Metrotown
Search & Rescue Denim Co. Fall/Winter Release Party
Queen’s Park Pumpkin Patch in New Westminster
Pokémon Autumn Regional Championship
Home Movie Day Vancouver
Seniors Festival in New Westminster
Suor Angelica by Giacomo Puccini
Tri-City Women’s Heart and Soul Conference
Vancouver Aquatics Centre’s 40th Birthday Celebration
Vancouver Halloween Parade and Expo
Boban and Marko Markovic Orkestra
Trout Lake Farmers Market
West End Farmers Market
Vancouver Winter Extreme Ski & Board Swap
UBC Apple Festival
Fort Langley: Grave Tales
Haunted Vancouver Trolley Tours
Sunshine Coast Art Crawl
Krav Maga Force: Weekend Seminar
Vancouver Home + Design Show
Global Dance Connections: Compagnie Gilles Jobin (Switzerland)
Stanley Park Halloween Ghost Train
Bear Creek Haunted Forest Scream Train
Fright Nights at Playland
Pacific Theatre Presents: The Rainmaker
Our Town

Sunday, October 19, 2014
Vancouver Halloween Parade and Expo
Coquitlam: Salmon Come Home
Cinema Sunday Presents My Fair Lady at The Cinematheque
SFU: Young Innovators Crawl
The Walking Dead Pinball Launch Party
RIPE 2014: Vancouver Farmers Markets’ Dinner Celebration
Port Moody Arts Family Friendly Opening Reception
Vancouver Academy of Music: VAMSO Concerto Extravaganza
Cannery Farmers Market
Kitsilano Farmers Market
Vancouver Winter Extreme Ski & Board Swap
UBC Apple Festival
Fort Langley: Grave Tales
Sunshine Coast Art Crawl
Krav Maga Force: Weekend Seminar
Vancouver Home + Design Show
Stanley Park Halloween Ghost Train
Bear Creek Haunted Forest Scream Train
Fright Nights at Playland
Pacific Theatre Presents: The Rainmaker

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.