Upgrade Your World with Microsoft Windows 10

July 29th, 2015 @ 8:00am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

It’s a big day in the tech and business world as Microsoft consumers using Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and Windows 8.1 Phone can upgrade to Windows 10, Microsoft’s newest operating system. Windows 10 is available as a free upgrade for the first year after launch and will continue to be supported for the lifetime of the device, at no cost.


I remember upgrading our family’s home computer decades ago — remember the Weezer Buddy Holly video CD that came with Windows 95? It’s always a big day when you can upgrade your tech and Microsoft is bringing back some familiar features with Windows 10, like the Start Button, and new features like Microsoft Edge, Continuum, and coming to Canada in the fall, Cortana.

To mark the launch of Windows 10, Microsoft announced that they will help 10 global and 100 local non-profits to achieve greatness by investing more than $10 million in cash and technology investments, and today we’re announcing that we’re bringing the spirit of that campaign to Canada.

Upgrade Your World

Using the hashtag #UpgradeYourWorld, tell @WindowsCanada about the people or groups in your community who are empowering others to do great things. Or join the conversation and tell Microsoft how you would upgrade your world. Microsoft will bring a few of these ideas to life in the coming months.

Microsoft has identified nine global nonprofits (CARE, Code.org, Keep a Child Alive, Malala Fund, Pencils of Promise, Save the Children, Special Olympics, The Global Poverty Project, and The Nature Conversancy) and would like YOUR help spreading the word to people in your community about the opportunity to vote for a 10th nonprofit that will receive $500,000 as well as Microsoft technology and services.

“Many of the kids have lived with violence or the threat of violence for much of their young lives. Feeling safe is a right we all have but one these kids have not enjoyed.”

Personally I would tell Microsoft about the volunteers at Covenant House Vancouver, that I have met through my years of doing the Executive Sleepout, and the work that Covenant House does for the community.

They have programs and outreach for at-risk youth including a Crisis Shelter, Drop in Centre, Street Outreach, and Rights of Passage.

Photo by Covenant House

From the emergency Crisis Shelter to Rights of Passage, where youth become self-sufficient, gainfully employed, successful individuals, Covenant House’s impact on our community, and the lives of BC youth, is extremely important.

Going beyond local and thinking global, I would also tell Microsoft about the Village Bicycle Project that I learned about while I was in Ghana delivering bikes to rural village youth in 2011.

Day Two in Ghana - Nsiana
Photo from my trip to Ghana in 2011

I met David Peckham of the Village Bicylce Project in Nsiana, Ghana where he was showing kids how to do maintenance on their bikes. “Bikes provide power and opportunity, allowing people to lift themselves from poverty. Riding a bike is four times faster than walking, the only choice for millions of Africans. People with bikes get to schools, markets, farms and health care in one-fourth the time, improving their lives and economic futures.”

How will you #UpgradeYourWorld? Share your thoughts on social media tagging @WindowsCanada and be sure to upgrade your devices to Windows 10!

Disclosure: Sponsored Post

This post is sponsored by Microsoft Windows 10

Win Tickets to The Faerie Play

July 28th, 2015 @ 2:14pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Bring the family to learn about the value of farming food while being entertained with a lively story, done as only Mortal Coil does, with puppets, stilts, music and actors. The Faerie Play takes place on The Sharing Farm in Richmond, that grows food for the Food Bank, and is a unique, fun, and creative way for young and old to learn about how interconnected we all are.

MC-The-Faerie-PlayThe Faerie Play is a site-specific theatrical production for children and families set on The Sharing Farm in Richmond. This enchanting story is about a child who is part of the local theatre school and is stolen by one of the farm’s resident fairies and must be found by the rest of the cast (and the audience) before she disappears forever into the fairy world. By joining in and following the trail of the fairies and the other residents of the Sharing Farm, the audience will help to solve the mystery.

While searching for the lost girl, the audience is guided through the farm learning the secrets of the land. On this journey you will meet raptors, voles, daisies and potatoes that live on The Sharing Farm through Frank Rader and Iona Dan and Joseph Paul’s wonderful puppets as they solve the mystery at the sunflower circle. The play takes place when farm work is actually being done giving the audience an opportunity to interact with the farmers enhancing the understanding of nature and the importance of growing food.

What: The Faerie Play by Lois Anderson, Cathy Stubbington with Peter Hall
Where: The Sharing Farm, 2771 Westminster Highway, Richmond
When: August 5-15, 2015 at 6:30pm with 3:30pm matinees on select days
Tickets: Purchase online. Adults $15, seniors/students $12, children 6 – 12 $5, children under 6 are free. Please bring comfortable walking shoes. Snacks and light refreshments from the cob oven are available between 3:30 and 6:30, provided by Chef Ian Lai. $3 botanical iced tea, $5 smokey baked beans, $3 toasty corn bread or $10 for all three.

Win Tickets to The Faerie Play

I have 4 tickets to give away to the performance on Saturday, August 8th at 6:30pm. Here’s how you can enter to win:

  • Leave a comment on this post naming your favourite farm-fresh ingredient (1 entry)
  • Post the following on Twitter (1 entry)
RT to enter to win tickets to the @mortalcoilps #faerieplay from @Miss604 http://ow.ly/Qcv6X

Follow Mortal Coil on Twitter and Facebook for more information about this production and others. I will draw one winner at random from all entries at 12:00pm on Monday, August 3, 2015.

Summer Farmers Markets in Vancouver

July 28th, 2015 @ 10:14am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Vancouver Farmers Markets is celebrating its 20th birthday this Wednesday, July 29, 2015 at Main Street Station Market with an official “Vancouver Farmers Markets Day” proclamation from the City. This non-profit society organized the city’s first open air farmers market on July 29, 1995.

From the Okanagan, fresh and organic!

Deputy Mayor Andrea Reimer will be on hand to present the plaque and read the proclamation to market organizers, vendors and shoppers at 3:30pm. Other 20th birthday festivities at the market on Wednesday include free coffee and donuts for shoppers, compliments of Cartems Donuterie and Salt Spring Coffee.

If you’re looking for a farmers market this season, there are plenty to visit throughout the week in your neighbourhood or a new-to-you pocket of the city, each with growers, producers, artisans, and locals bringing the very best from their farm to your table.

Summer Farmers Markets in Vancouver

Vancouver Farmers Markets operate 9 weekly markets and host 425,000 people annually. Visit one of these 7 summer markets and pick up some merchandise to show your support:

What: Trout Lake
When: Every Saturday, 9:00am to 2:00pm (May 9 to Oct 24, 2015)
Where: Lakewood Drive and 13th Avenue, Vancouver

What: West End
When: Every Saturday, 9:00am to 2:00pm (May 30 to Oct 24, 2015)
Where: West End Farmers Market, Comox Street, Vancouver

What: Kitsilano
When: Every Sunday, 10:00am to 2:00pm (from May 10 to Oct 25, 2015)
Where: Kitsilano Community Centre, Larch Street, Vancouver

What: Main Street Station
When: Every Wednesday, 2:00pm to 6:00pm (from June 3 – October 7, 2015)
Where: 1100 Station Street, Vancouver

What: Kerrisdale
When: Every Saturday, 10:00am to 2:00pm (from June 13 to Oct 10, 2015)
Where: 5500 East Boulevard, Vancouver

What: Mount Pleasant
When: Every Sunday, 10:00am to 2:00pm (from June 14 to Oct 11, 2015)
Where: 2300 Guelph Street, Vancouver

What: Yaletown
When: Every Thursday, 2:00pm to 6:00pm (from May 7 – October 29, 2015)
Where: 1200 Mainland Street, Vancouver

For more information follow Vancouver Farmers Markets on Facebook and Twitter.

Celebrate BC Menu at White Spot

July 27th, 2015 @ 2:14pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

White Spot’s Celebrate BC summer menu features local ingredients, seasonal dishes, and BC wine features to round out your inspired dining experience. Pairing up wine makers, farmers, and growers, the menu truly does celebrate the best of BC.


Celebrate BC Menu at White Spot

Enjoy grilled, wild Johnstone Strait Salmon, Karen Gillis’ Red Rooster Pinot Gris, Little Qualicum Cheeseworks brie, tomatoes from Windset Farms in Delta, baby zucchini and arugula from Evergreen Herbs Ltd. located in South Surrey, and cheese from Happy Days Goat Dairy in Salmon Arm.


All of these ingredients are crafted into dishes like the BC Blueberry Summer Salad, Prawn & BC Brie Flatbread, Gala Apple & BC Brie Chicken Burger, BC Blueberry Pie and more with delicious BC wine options.

Celebrate BC at White Spot

To help you Celebrate BC at your local White Spot, I have two $50 gift cards to give away. 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 $50 #CelebrateBC @White_Spot gift card from @Miss604 http://ow.ly/Q8CLe

I will draw two winners at random from all entries at 12:00pm on Tuesday, August 4, 2015. Follow White Spot on Twitter and Facebook to keep up to date on their latest menu offerings and promotions.

Archive Photos of the Day: Ships at Sea

July 27th, 2015 @ 10:44am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Looking out across English Bay the horizone is spotted with kayaks, sailboats, cruise ships and tankers. This has been the view, albeit with very different vessels, throughout most of Vancouver’s history. Thanks to the City of Vancouver Archives, along with photographers today who share their works online, we can see “then and now” views of our landscapes over 100 years apart.


Vessels in Harbor at Vancouver, July 1889 by Bailey and Neelands
Vancouver Archives# Bo P118

Red, white and blue
July 2014 by Ruth Hartnup