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Things to do in Vancouver May Long Weekend

Monday, May 15th, 2017 — 8:15pm PDT
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It must have been a pretty dreary Monday today because people are already searching for things to do on May Long Weekend in Vancouver. With a bright and sunny forecast, and an extra day to enjoy relaxing or adventuring, the long weekend is definitely welcome!

Things to do in Vancouver May Long Weekend

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

Friday, May 19, 2017
Coastal City Ballet Presents: Giselle
Cloverdale Rodeo & Country Fair
Institute of Asian Art Inaugural Symposium
The Comic Strippers: Double Whammy
Wine glass painting pARTy, Langley
Pacific Theatre Presents: Outside Mullingar
Illumination Summer Night Market, Richmond
Richmond Night Market
Twisted Cabaret
GO Fest Whistler
Shipyards Night Market North Vancouver
Comedy on Wheels: Celebrating Canada’s Birthday with Belly Laughs
Circle Game: Reimagining the Music of Joni Mitchell
Ties of Blood: The Brontes
End of the Rainbow at Jericho Arts Centre
First Impressions Theatre Presents: On a First Name Basis
The Arts Club Presents: Million Dollar Quartet

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Win Tickets to Soul Gospel 2 with Warren Dean Flandez

Thursday, May 18th, 2017 — 6:09pm PDT
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Good Noise Vancouver Gospel Choir (“GNVGC”) presents Soul Gospel 2, the second concert uniting two influential and inspiring genres on June 3rd at Christ Church Cathedral.

Vancouver’s own JUNO-nominated vocalist Warren Dean Flandez lends his dark, rich tone, and silky, smooth falsetto to the 90 voices of Good Noise, performing his own original works as well as hits made famous by such stars as Al Green, Stevie Wonder, Sam Cooke, and more.

  • What: Good Noise Vancouver Gospel Choir presents Soul Gospel 2 with Warren Dean Flandez
  • Where: Christ Church Cathedral (690 Burrard St, Vancouver)
  • When: June 3, 2017 @ 3:00pm & 7:30pm
  • Tickets: Available online now for the 3:00pm show and the 7:30pm show or by calling 1-800-838-3006.

An artist described as “soulfully charged”, Warren Dean Flandez continues on his trajectory to fame thanks to his 2017 JUNO nominated album, Eternally Grateful. The record, which was in the running for ‘Contemporary Christian/Gospel Album of the Year’, earned praise across the country by critics who were charmed by the singer’s “wide vocal range and killer beats.” In March 2017, Flandez also scooped up two Covenant Awards given by the Gospel Music Association of Canada, winning ‘Urban Song of the Year’ for Never Dim My Light and ‘Gospel Song of the Year’ for Joy!

Flandez’ enigmatic sound and undeniably funky style garnered him further recognition by the industry. In 2011, he released his debut album, Vintage Love, a collaborative effort with award-winning producer Mike Southworth featuring contributions from R&B songstress Divine Brown, Printz Board (Black Eyed Peas), Andrea Martin (Roc Nation), and other acclaimed artists. Flandez returned to his gospel roots in 2016 with the EP, What the World Needs Now. Upon its release, the record shot to No. 2 on the iTunes Inspirational Charts Top 100.

The 90-voice GNVGC has a membership that includes singers from across the Lower Mainland, from the North Shore to Abbotsford and every town in between. Members of the choir come from a diversity of faith traditions (or none at all) sharing a common love of singing gospel and popular music. GNVGC is currently choir-in-residence at one of downtown Vancouver’s finest historic venues, Christ Church Cathedral.

Win Tickets to Soul Gospel II with Warren Dean Flandez

I have a pair of tickets to give away to the evening performance at 7:30pm. Here’s how you can enter to win:

  • Leave a comment on this post (1 entry)
  • Click below to post an entry on Twitter
Click to enter via TwitterClick To Tweet

Follow Good Noise Vancouver on Facebook and Twitter for more info about upcoming shows.

I will draw one winner at random from all entries at 9:00pm on Wednesday, May 24, 2017.

Whitecaps FC #BuckUp for Mental Health in Support of Covenant House Vancouver

Thursday, May 18th, 2017 — 4:16pm PDT
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Two of my favourite local organizations are teaming up for an amazing initiative! Vancouver Whitecaps FC has launched the 4th annual #BuckUp for Mental Health campaign in support of Covenant House Vancouver. The campaign started this week and it will culminate at the match on Saturday, June 3rd when Whitecaps FC take on Atlanta United FC at BC Place.

#BuckUp for Mental Health

This year, the ‘Caps are aiming to raise $50,000 in support of Covenant House Vancouver and their mental health programs. There are more ways than ever to get involved in #BuckUp for Mental Health:

  1. Raffle: New this year is a raffle with only 1,000 tickets available at a cost of $20 each. The grand prize is a pair of roundtrip tickets anywhere WestJet flies. Order raffle tickets online here.
  2. Auction: Fans can bid on one-of-a-kind experiences and unique items with all proceeds benefitting the campaign and Covenant House Vancouver.
  3. Donate: At the match on June 3 or online.

“A few dollars may not seem like much,” said Whitecaps FC president Bob Lenarduzzi, “but when we all come together for this worthwhile cause, we can make a big difference in the lives of some of the most vulnerable youth in our community.”

Funds raised through #BuckUp for Mental Health will be donated to Whitecaps FC community partner Covenant House Vancouver, which serves more than 1,300 homeless youth who access their services every year, many of whom struggle with mental illness.

Kaleidoscope Arts Festival in Coquitlam

Thursday, May 18th, 2017 — 11:32am PDT
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BC’s beloved rocker, Bif Naked, will perform a free outdoor concert in Coquitlam this summer as part of the city’s highly anticipated Kaleidoscope Arts Festival. Celebrate the arts, savour the flavours of the local food truck and craft brew scene, enjoy the best of music and dance, and check out the handiworks at the artisan fair.

Kaleidoscope Arts Festival in Coquitlam

Where: Town Centre Park next to Lafarge Lake-Douglas SkyTrain station
When: Saturday, August 12, 2017 from 2:00pm to 10:00pm
Tickets: FREE! All ages.

Bif Naked will headline on the Plaza Stage, sponsored by Coast Capital Savings and featuring musical acts throughout the day at the amphitheatre-style Town Centre Park Plaza, overlooking scenic Lafarge Lake.

Bif Naked

Bif Naked embarked on a cross-country ‘Songs and Stories’ tour in 2016 following the release of her new book, I, Bificus. With her nine albums, a long list of hits, videos and her new book tucked under her arm, Bif will be performing her songs acoustically, combined with the readings from her book.

Local roots-rockers The Matinee are also in the lineup. There will be plenty of activities for children, too, including arts, crafts and performances that will pique the imagination. Event-goers are told to expect surprises at every turn.

Explore and Share

Pick up your copy of the Coquitlam 2017 Travel & Adventure Guide at any City facility, or read it online, and share your photos online using #explorecoquitlam.

Miss604 is proud to be the Social Media Partner of the Kaleidoscope Arts Festival

5 Picnic Spots in Metro Vancouver

Thursday, May 18th, 2017 — 10:36am PDT
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It was a gloriously (rare) sunny weekend in April when John and I hopped into the Ford Fusion Energi to go on an adventure. First stop, the farmers market for picnic provisions. Next stop, a local park with trails, streams, and a spot to eat our locally-acquired lunch.

I recently had the opportunity to take the Ford Energi Fusion for a spin. It’s a hybrid you can also plug in to to charge like a full EV and there’s also regenerative braking, which means I love watching the battery power tick up when I brake or coast down hills.

Apple CarPlay engaged when I plugged in my phone, switching from Ford’s SYNC system, which was very handy, and every time you parked the car and turned off the engine the system would thank you for driving a hybrid and tell you how long it would take to return to a full charge. How polite!

We decided that this green machine would lead us to an afternoon in nature and it also inspired me to pick out 5 Picnic Spots in Metro Vancouver:

Wait for me!  Belcarra Pier, British Columbia

Belcarra Regional Park
Forested trails, rocky beaches and mountain views. Trails range from easy to challenging for hikers, cyclists and horseback riders. The rocky shores are home to a rich variety of marine life and there are great photo ops and views from the pier. Nearby Sasamat Lake is also popular.

Campbell Valley Farm II
Photo credit: BillXu Photos on Flickr

Campbell Valley Regional Park
Grassland vistas, forest boardwalks, and wetlands make this regional park great habitat for wildlife, from songbirds to salmon to squirrels and more.

Minnekhada Regional Park

Minnekhada Regional Park

Forest, marsh and rocky outcrops make this regional park a gem to explore any time of year. The network of quiet trails are great places to hike and watch for wildlife.

Derby Reach Regional Park
Located on the banks of the Fraser River, the day use areas have picnic tables and washrooms. Explore the riverside, historic buildings, and heritage apple trees.

Golden Hour

Boundary Bay Regional Park

Set up at Centennial Beach or take to the wide open Dyke Trail with its big views. Within the Pacific Flyway, this regional park is also a mecca for birds (and birders).

Related Posts: Metro Vancouver Park Series, 5 Staycations Around Metro Vancouver »

Nesting Birds of Stanley Park

Wednesday, May 17th, 2017 — 10:13am PDT
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This post has been contributed by the Ben Hill, Communications Volunteer with the Stanley Park Ecology Society (“SPES”).

Nesting Birds of Stanley Park

We all have a mental picture of our dream home. For some it’s a city penthouse overlooking Coal Harbour, for others a cabin deep in the forest or perhaps a quiet townhouse with an immaculate yard. We want something that will suit our lifestyle, fit our likes and dislikes and give us a feeling of comfort and security. Our local birds use similar criteria when it comes to nesting each year. The variety in design and location rivals anything from the human world.

Nesting Birds of Stanley Park
Downy woodpecker. Photo: Liron Gertsman

Some, like bald eagles, favour huge open air nests built of sticks, others an insulated cup of moss and feathers. The truly security conscious like the downy woodpecker prefer a deep hole in a tree. Birds are equally fussy about who they live with. Great blue herons prefer the hustle and bustle of community living. The colony in Stanley Park has more than 70 occupied nests arrayed in the trees above the tennis courts. Many birds are far more protective of their space and mark out a territory that they will aggressively defend.

By specializing it allows birds to avoid unnecessary competition, but birds can’t always adapt when something disrupts their nesting behaviour. It should come as no surprise that human development is one of the biggest threats to nesting birds. Part of the problem is that whereas we like nicely cut lawns and flowerbeds, this doesn’t suit some ground nesting birds.

Recent research by John Marzluff, a professor of wildlife science with the University of Washington has shown which local species are threatened by urban development and which do well around humans. Marzluff split the birds he observed over many years in Washington into ‘adapters’ and ‘avoiders’.

Adapters are birds like song sparrows, spotted towhees and juncos that will tolerate living in developed areas, even urban gardens and bird boxes.

Spotted towhee. Photo: Don Enright

The problem species for those of us interested in conservation are the ‘avoiders’. These are often ground nesting birds that need cover from shrubs, ferns and roots for their nests. Flowerbeds and lawns just won’t do. The Swainson’s thrush and Pacific wren are two local ‘avoiders’ that are threatened by urbanization. The Swainson’s thrush is a long distance migrant. It winters in the Caribbean and South America, which shows how changes to the environment here in Canada can affect birds across the continent. If their habitat at one end is compromised, so, too, is their survival.

Swainson’s thrush. Photo: Andy Reago & Chrissy McClarren via Wikimedia Commons

It is species like these that really benefit from the habitat we have in Stanley Park. Although our forest is second growth – the dense ground cover, including the old stumps, is great habitat for ground nesters. The Park’s forested areas are also much larger than the average garden, which simply means more space for territories. We’re now in the heart of breeding season, and while birds are nesting, the SPES is very careful to limit its work in habitat restoration and invasive species removal to make sure it doesn’t threaten birdlife nesting in the Park’s shrubbery, including in the invasive English ivy and Himalayan blackberry.

So the next time you are walking through the forested sections of Stanley Park, be sure to look down as well as up: bird nests can be at any level in the forest. While clearing away invasive ivy in Stanley Park, SPES volunteers nearly trooped across a Swainson’s thrush nest pictured here:

Swainson’s thrush nest at knee-level in Stanley Park. Photo: Kari Pocock/SPES

Join SPES’ monthly Discovery Walks in Stanley Park to learn more about local birds in the forest and around your neighbourhood. View full program listings online here »

Follow SPES on Twitter and Facebook for more information.

About the Guest Author:

SPESLogoFourLineAs a member of the Stanley Park Ecology Society ("SPES") for the last six years, I wanted to offer the team an opportunity to share their news, events, and work so I created the "SPES Series" where they contribute and share stories with my audience once a month.

This post has been contributed by Ben Hill, SPES Communications Volunteer.

West of Main Art Walk: Win a Prize Pack

Tuesday, May 16th, 2017 — 2:20pm PDT
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Artists in Our Midst (“AIOM”) is celebrating 25 years of open-door artistic explorations with the West of Main Art Walk, May 27-28, 2017. In its largest-ever year, the festivities stretch from Point Grey to Main Street and from Granville Island to 41st Avenue, as a vibrant community of more than 50 artists share their works in garden studios, cafés, shops, and community centres.

West of Main Art Walk

Open Studio Tour and Sale
Saturday, May 27 & Sunday, May 28, 2017 from 11:00am to 5:00pm
From Point Grey to Main Street & from Granville Island to 41st Avenue

During the West of Main Art Walk, more than 30 studios, several cafés, and shops will open their doors to showcase the artists’ eclectic and expressive works. As the public traverse between the exhibition spaces, they will have the opportunity to venture to stunning garden studios, personally meet the creators, and engage in dialogue about their art and process.

The Roundhouse Exhibit

Leading up to the Art Walk, The Roundhouse Exhibit will offer early glimpses of the discoveries to-be-made on Thursday, May 18, 2017 from 1:000am to 9:00pm at the Roundhouse Community Arts and Recreation Centre. The day-long event highlights a wide range of paintings, ceramics, jewellery, textiles and photography, and acts as a prelude to the following weekend-long art walk.

A silent auction will also be held during the Art Walk with all proceeds going to the West of Main Art Walk Legacy Scholarship Fund in support of young and emerging artists from Arts Umbrella and Lord Byng Secondary School.

Win a Prize Pack

Three participating artists have offered up artwork for this prize pack:

All images are property of the individual artist.

Here’s how you can enter to win:

  • Leave a comment on this post (1 entry)
  • Click below to post an entry on Twitter
Click to enter via TwitterClick To Tweet

Follow the West of Main Art Walk on Twitter and Facebook for more information. I will draw one contest winner at 12:00pm on Tuesday, May 23, 2017.