Things to do in Vancouver This Weekend

October 24th, 2014 @ 8:09am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

This weekend Vancouver Whitecaps FC hope to clinch a playoff spot, zombies will dance in Surrey, the West Coast Women’s Show will entertain in Abbotsford, and local attractions will host Halloween-themed events. Rain or shine you can check out some Halloween Walking Tours, Watch Halloween Movies, visit Haunted Houses, and take your pick at the pumpkin patch.

Autumn Colours in Vancouver
Photo credit: Ann Hung 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 24, 2014
West Coast Women’s Show
2nd Annual Zombie Walk/Flashmob in Downtown Maple Ridge
Suor Angelica by Giacomo Puccini
Alicia Tobin’s Come Draw With Me
Rio Grind Film Festival
Chinatown Haunted House
Haunted Vancouver Trolley Tours
Burnaby Village Museum: Haunted Village
Vancouver Writers’ Festival
Dances for a Small Stage
Evil Dead: The Musical
Stanley Park Halloween Ghost Train
Bear Creek Haunted Forest Scream Train
Fright Nights at Playland
Pacific Theatre Presents: The Rainmaker

Saturday, October 25, 2014
Sponsored by Miss604: Thrill The World Surrey
Vancouver Whitecaps FC vs Colorado
Halloween in the Forest, Surrey
Beyond the Magic: National Chemistry Week at UBC
Speed Coaching
Sea to Sky Gondola Trick-Or-Treating on the Panorama Trail
Vancouver Pride Presents: The Haunting at the Commodore
All Souls at Mountain View Cemetery
BC SPCA Richmond A Fetching Affair
Vancouver Halloween Dog Parade
Vancouver Shogi Club
BC Beer Awards
Burnaby Halloween Howler
Cloverdale Halloween Costume Parade
Haunted Farm – Stewart Farm Surrey
Historic Halloween at Britannia Shipyards in Richmond
ArtStarts: Painting Magnificent Coastal Forests with Sandi Henrich
Suor Angelica by Giacomo Puccini
Spook-tacular Hallowe’en Fun at Cambie Community Centre in Richmond
Burnaby Art on the Spot Zombie Attack!
Saturday Afternoon Dance Party
Vancouver Heritage Foundation’s Laneway House Tour
36th Annual Rock & Gem Show Port Moody
Stanley Park Noir
TEDx Renfrew Collingwood
Image Process: A Fundraiser for the Western Front Archive
The Chan Centre Presents: Diego El Cigala
Family Fright at the Fort: Fort Langley
Rio Grind Film Festival
West Coast Women’s Show
Chinatown Haunted House
Haunted Vancouver Trolley Tours
Burnaby Village Museum: Haunted Village
Vancouver Writers’ Festival
Dances for a Small Stage
Evil Dead: The Musical
Stanley Park Halloween Ghost Train
Bear Creek Haunted Forest Scream Train
Fright Nights at Playland
Pacific Theatre Presents: The Rainmaker

Sunday, October 26, 2014
Rock ‘n’ Roll Oasis Vancouver Half Marathon
Family Fright at the Fort: Fort Langley
Tea Sparrow’s First Annual Tea-Off
Surrey Art Gallery Family Day
Rio Grind Film Festival
West Coast Women’s Show
Chinatown Haunted House
Burnaby Village Museum: Haunted Village
Vancouver Writers’ Festival
Stanley Park Halloween Ghost Train
Bear Creek Haunted Forest Scream Train
Fright Nights at Playland

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.

Dress For Success Vancouver Success Luncheon

October 23rd, 2014 @ 11:14am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Dress for Success will host the Success Luncheon on October 29th to celebrate and inspire business leaders in our community. Featured panelists include Nancy MacKay, Founder & CEO of MacKay CEO Forums; Jill Schnarr, VP, Community Investment & Engagement, TELUS; and Donna Wilson, SVP, People, LifeLabs. Dress for Success Vancouver client, Deepika Gupta will also share her story of personal and professional growth, adversity, and success.


Success Luncheon

What: Dress For Success Vancouver Success Luncheon
When: Wednesday, October 29, 2014 from 12:00pm to 2:00pm
Where: Pan Pacific Hotel (300-999 Canada Place, Vancouver)
Tickets: Purchase online for $100 with group/table option available
About: This signature event will be emceed by Fiona Forbes, Host & Producer, Shaw TV and Moderated by Laurie Schultz, CEO, ACL Services. All proceeds will go towards Dress for Success Vancouver’s programs committed to empowering women into the workforce.

About Dress for Success Vancouver

I first heard about Dress for Success over 5 years ago and I recently made it to their downtown Vancouver headquarters to learn more about their important work in the community. Volunteers streamed in and out of the space as Christina Florencio, Marketing and Sponsorship Manager, gave me a tour. Christina also filled me in our the three core services that Dress for Success provides.

Visiting Dress for Success Vancouver

Visiting Dress for Success Vancouver Visiting Dress for Success Vancouver Visiting Dress for Success Vancouver

I was aware of the dressing service that provides a professional attire for disadvantaged women returning to or entering the workforce but there are two other key components to Dress for Success.

There is the Career Centre that provides clients with career guidance, technology skills and support in their job searches. Career Center staff members work one-on-one with clients and the program also has the support of volunteers who come from varied professional backgrounds including job developers, career specialists and human resources executives.

The Professional Women’s Group program is then an 18 month program that provides education, mentoring and professional guidance.

Visiting Dress for Success Vancouver

How You Can Support Dress for Success

There are several ways to support Dress for Success on top of online donations:

  • Planned giving: Support one women or specific programs for clients by sponsoring an interview suiting, job preparation, or the Professional Women’s Group. Use the gift tool to plan your contribution throughout the year.
  • Item donations: The organization is currently in need of specific types of item donations (and wish list items) such as handbags (appropriate for work), plus size interview attire (18 and up), small size interview attire (size 00-2), outerwear, and new makeup.
  • Special events: Attend events like the Success Luncheon on October 29th or Shop for a Cause November 14th and November 15th.

For more information about Dress for Success Vancouver, follow on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and their blog.

All Souls at Mountain View Cemetery

October 23rd, 2014 @ 10:14am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Mountain View Cemetery, Vancouver’s only cemetery, is as old as the city itself. Made up of 106 acres along Fraser St between 21st Ave and 43rd Ave, it is home to several specialized tours and events throughout the year.

Fog in the Cemetery
Photo credit: John Allison on Flickr

All Souls at Mountain View Cemetery

The 10th annual Night for All Souls is Saturday, October 25, 2014 from 6:00pm to 10:00pm. The Celebration Hall will be open for tea until 9:00pm and there will be personal memorial making and evening programming throughout the entire memorial week until Sunday, November 2, 2014. Mountain View’s All Souls events are free and include talks, presentations, crafts, and music that explore various traditions and rituals.

Walking Tours

Mountain View is the final final resting place of almost 150,000 people, including Vancouver mayors; first responders who died while on active duty; WWI and WWII veterans; Freemasons, Knights of Pythias, and Odd Fellows members; and victims of disasters such as the SS Sophia, Lakeview Tram, and Rogers Pass.

Walking tours are held rain or shine for $10 cash per person. Scheduled tours are promoted on Twitter and this page. For self-guided tours you can download PDF maps online for Self Guided Walk; Interesting Citizens: Vancouver’s Mayors; and Interesting Citizens: Princess Sophia Sinking.

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