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Things to do in Vancouver This Weekend

Thursday, July 21st, 2016 — 1:14pm PDT
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This weekend Miss604 is proud to be the official social media sponsor of the Surrey Fusion Festival! This free event is where dozens of cultures will come together with music, dance, food, and fun for the whole family. For this and more, see the list of events below:


Things to do in Vancouver This Weekend

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

Friday July 22, 2016
Steve Martin & Martin Short
Take Off Fridays at YVR Airport
Graham Clark Presents… The Sibling Show
Blessed Coast, Music Yoga Arts Festival
JOY’s 7 Day Sunset Stanley Park Seawall Bike Challenge
Summer Movie Series in Queen’s Park, New Westminster
Music at the Cannery
Seniors in the Park at Historic Stewart Farm
Shipyards Night Market, North Vancouver
International Summer Night Market
Richmond Night Market
Surrey Night Market
Stanley Park Forager Tours
Spirit Pride: LGBT Spirituality Conference
App Camp for Girls
BC Summer Games, Abbotsford
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone VSO Film Concert Series
WBSC XV Women’s World Softball Championship, Surrey

Saturday, July 23, 2016
Sponsored by Miss604: Surrey Fusion Festival
Walking Tour: A History of Granville Street
SHOREfest & Honda Celebration of Light Fireworks
Teenage Dirtbag with Jacob Samuel
Watch the Fireworks from the Museum of Vancouver
Living Archive: Cut it Out
Our Working Waterfront Walking Tour
Fiji Festival
Uptown Live! New Westminster
Cates Park Concert Series
Ultimate Car Show
Vancouver Canadians Fireworks Extravaganza
Caribbean Days Festival
River District Farmers Market
Trout Lake Farmers Market
West End Farmers Market
International Summer Night Market
Richmond Night Market
Surrey Night Market
Stanley Park Forager Tours
Kaleidoscope: Celebrating 125 Years of Arts & Culture
River District Drive-In Movies
Spirit Pride: LGBT Spirituality Conference
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone VSO Film Concert Series
BC Summer Games, Abbotsford
WBSC XV Women’s World Softball Championship, Surrey

Sunday, July 24, 2016
Sponsored by Miss604: Surrey Fusion Festival
Pi’s End of Year Fiesta!
Brewery and the Beast
Hebei Acrobatic Troupe Charity Show
Light On PTSD
Multicultural Music Workshop
Champion of the Crescent
Celebrating Summer Clothing Swap
New West Day of Dance
Victoria Hill Community Day
Sunday Afternoon Salsa at Robson Square
5th Annual Walnut Fest
The Sunset Series at the Olympic Riverside Plaza
Concert Series Sundays – Kernel Reggae, Lonsdale Quay
Caribbean Days Festival
Mount Pleasant Farmers Market
Kitsilano Farmers Market
International Summer Night Market
Richmond Night Market
Stanley Park Forager Tours
Kaleidoscope: Celebrating 125 Years of Arts & Culture
Spirit Pride: LGBT Spirituality Conference
BC Summer Games, Abbotsford
WBSC XV Women’s World Softball Championship, Surrey

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Check out the full July event listings here and if you have an event to include, please send it in by email for a free listing. Follow Miss604 on Twitter for more daily updates.

The First Public Garden in Vancouver

Sunday, July 24th, 2016 — 9:21am PDT
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The first public garden in Vancouver was once buried and forgotten, until the storm that decimated the park in 2006 unearthed its history. It’s the Stanley Park Rock Garden was laid out in 1911, the same year that the quarry that would become Queen Elizabeth Park was closed.

The First Public Garden in Vancouver

The Stanley Park Rock Garden

Stanley Park

In 1911, three years after arriving in Vancouver, Scottish born John Montgomery began laying out the Stanley Park rock garden using boulders and rocks left over from the construction of the Stanley Park pavilion. Mr. Montgomery worked continuously on his creation until his death in 1920.

The rock garden would eventually span almost a mile in length as it wound its way from the Park’s entrance up to and beyond the Pavilion. With its rustic arbors, benches, rock lined pathways featuring “almost every kind of rock plant, flower, water lily and various flowering shrubs” the garden was one of the prime attractions in the park. Tourist publications heralded the garden for its beauty and it was a popular postcard subject.

1922. Stanley Park Pavilion & Rock Garden. Archives# St Pk N60.

The garden surrounds the rustic chateau-stye Stanley Park Pavilion, designed by Otto Moberg and completed in 1912. The landscape plan included an expanse of lawn, ornamental plantings, lily pond, pathways and a substantial bandstand – now demolished.

1936. Stanley Park Pavilion & Rock Garden. Archives# St Pk N55.

From the Sunday Province, 1927: So cleverly, so carefully, has the rock garden been built, grounded with greenery of tender plants and fern-like wild ones. There, one will notice, things are planted in longish drifts, and not in clumps or patches, the length of the drift going with the natural stratification. Again, as the season advances, one will notice the further care in selecting the plants whose colours will harmonize with the corner of the rockery to which they have been assigned.

The garden was all but forgotten by the 1950s and only recently rediscovered, 50 years later.

Stanley Park

“It took him nine years to build it, and it took me nine years to bring it back,” Montgomery’s descendant, Chris Hay, told Global BC in 2013. the Stanley Park Rock Garden was designated one of Vancouver’s “Places That Matter” during the city’s 125th anniversary celebrations.

Stanley Park

Stanley Park

The plaque, tucked just around the east side of the pavilion reads: “The first public garden of the city was created from 1911 to 1920 by master gardener John Montgomery from unwanted boulders excavated for the adjacent park pavilion. Stretching from Pipeline Road to Coal Harbour this early park attraction had by the early 1950’s become partially abandoned, its story forgotten until revealed by the devastating windstorm of December 15, 2006.”

Stanley Park

Thanks to the efforts of Chris Hay, the Vancouver Heritage Foundation, the Vancouver Park Board and various levels of government, it is unlikely that the Stanley Park Rock Garden will be lost again.

Vancouver Fireworks Photos Netherlands Night 1

Sunday, July 24th, 2016 — 8:50am PDT
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The Honda Celebration of Light kicked off its 26th year in Vancouver on Saturday, July 23rd as Royal Fireworks, representing Netherlands, dazzled almost half a million spectators on the shores and waters of English Bay.

Vancouver Fireworks Photos

Netherlands Night 1
Thanks to those who shared their photos with the Miss604 Flickr Pool, #Photos604 on Instagram, and Twitter, here’s a sample of what it was like last night:

A photo posted by Wilson Wong (@wilsonnwong) on

Honda Celebration of Light 2016 - Vancouver BC  Night 1 - Team Netherlands

Honda Celebration of Light 2016 - Vancouver BC Night 1  Team Netherlands

Honda Celebration of Light 2016 - Vancouver BC  Night 1 - Team Netherlands.

Up next is Howard’s Fireworks, representing Australia (July 27, 2016) and Walt Disney Entertainment, representing United States (July 30, 2016). Follow the Honda Celebration of Light on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for more information.

Iona Beach Regional Park

Saturday, July 23rd, 2016 — 12:42pm PDT
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There are so many beautiful beaches around Vancouver, each with its own features, amenities, and scenery. Iona Beach Regional Park is unique in that the park, with beach, includes 13km of hiking trails, 3km of horseback riding trails, and 4km of cycling trails. Pinched between the Fraser River outlets to the Salish Sea, between Richmond and Vancouver, it offers riverfront and seaside views like nowhere else in the region.


Sunday Afternoon at Iona Beach

High Tide at Iona Beach

Tugboat on the North Arm of Fraser River

Watch planes land at YVR airport next door, walk out along one of the jetties, watch sunsets from the sand dunes, sit around a firepit, take some Instagram-worthy photos of wildlife at the wetlands. More than 300 species of birds feed and rest at Iona Beach Regional Park so while dogs are welcome, they need to remain on leash.

4KM Pipeline

Sunset at Iona Beach, Vancouver

Somewhere in time


"Iona Beach at Low-tide"

Metro Vancouver Regional Parks are hosting a photo contest this summer and there’s still time to enter to win. Follow along on Facebook and Twitter for more information.

Via Ferrata at Kicking Horse Mountain

Thursday, July 21st, 2016 — 12:40pm PDT
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“I… I just need a minute,” I told the guide who was leading me around the corner of a rock face. I was 8,000ft up as I held onto my support harness with every ounce of energy I could muster. My foot kicked a rock loose and it tumbled. I counted the seconds until I heard it hit something below, as you would between bolts of lightning and claps of thunder, and the stone’s landing was almost inaudible.

Terrified selfie, mid-tour.

Deep breaths. Wipe tears. I can do this. I found my footing and glided my lifeline across to the next set of iron bars that were anchored into the mountainside. I clipped in, paused, and started climbing again.

Via Ferrata at Kicking Horse Mountain

After my Via Ferrata experience at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort last summer I was shaken. I told myself I didn’t have fun. But for the last 10 months, I’ve been telling everyone the story. The story of how I slinked, climbed, and navigated a mountainside with nothing but rebar handholds and a cable to keep my heart beating (a million miles a minute).

Our fearless guide.

I traversed the ridge-line dividing the Rocky Mountain trench from the Purcell range for over 460 meters, using steel steps, handles, ladder rungs, and a steel cable. I know, it sounds pretty bad-ass now, especially given that the entire tour starts out by crossing the third longest suspension bridge in Canada — and that the Via Ferrata setup was only about a month old when I had my adventure.


During the tour, I was terrified. I hoped that my legs or arms wouldn’t give out, and it took me a while to fully trust my support line, on which I could rest my entire weight at designated areas. I did manage, somehow, to get my phone out to take some photos at those stopping points. I had to take petrified selfies with a smile plastered on my face, and text my husband: “You know I love you. I just want you to know that.”


I pushed on, and then feelings of fear and desperation were traded up for accomplishment and triumph. Having conquered such an activity over the course of two hours, I felt exhilarated when we reached the summit. Our group sat on boulders at the peak, and looked out over the town of Golden and the Columbia River.



I always tell myself I should do the things that scare me, and boy I had no idea how much Via Ferrata would scare me. However, I have these stories, and I have these pictures, and I’m so glad I did this.


If you would like to challenge yourself to Via Ferrata while you’re in the Kootenay Rockies region, head up to Kicking Horse Mountain Resort. No rock climbing experience is required, I didn’t have any, but I think it might help. Either that, or just be completely open to the new adventure. I was, but I didn’t know what to expect so I think the unknown is what also leapt me out of my comfort zone.

Composed selfie at the top!

Bring some water, sunscreen, gloves for gripping, and dress for the elements. I wore a backpack and was able to reach it during breaks when I was clipped into the iron rungs. Family rates are available, for kids 12 and up, and you’ll be given all the safety gear you need.

There are two guided routes to choose from. The Discovery Route is for first-timers and the Ascension Route is “one of the most technical & scenic in North America”. At the end of it all, you’ll stand on top of the world, and it will feel amazing. You’ll definitely earn that burger & beer back at Eagles Eye Restaurant.


Difficulty ratings for the Via Ferrata are internationally ranked: French F-PD German K1-K2 UIAA II-III. For more information, follow Kicking Horse Mountain Resort and plan your trip with Kootenay Rockies Tourism.

Disclosure: Review
My experience was courtesy of Destination BC/Kootenay Rockies Tourism

Harmony Arts Festival: Win Tickets to Mixology Night on the Pier

Thursday, July 21st, 2016 — 12:13pm PDT
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West Vancouver sure knows how to throw a festival, making use of its spectacular setting and the loads of culinary, visual, performing, and literary arts talent in our region. The Harmony Arts Festival, presented by Odlum Brown Limited, runs July 29th to August 7th, 2016 is now in its 26th year of celebrating arts on the waterfront.

Harmony Arts Festival in West Vancouver

Harmony Arts Festival

On both weekends of the festival, attendees will have the chance to stroll down Argyle Avenue between 14th and 16th streets to purchase high quality artwork from the ABC Senior Services Art Market. The popular ArtSpeaks workshops, sponsored by British Pacific Properties, entice amateur artists who are looking to delve further into their own artistic processes.

For kids, there’s the Artsy Kids tent sponsored by the North Shore News. Young people can also take part in the Harmony Kids Camp from August 2nd to 5th.

Music lovers always find a welcome mixture between the new and t he familiar at the many musical venues at the Harmony Arts Festival. The popular Onni Group Sunset Concerts, featured nightly on the West Vancouver Community Foundation Stage, will return with ten concerts at 7:30pm. Along with this is the Hollyburn House Seniors Series, showcasing three shows including a special Remembering Dal with the Dal Richards’ Orchestra commemoration event.

This year’s much anticipated new venue, The Park Royal Marina Club, will be located right on the beach in Ambleside landing, and will feature an adults-only culinary & bar experience. Attendees will sing & dance the night away with the Marina Club Concerts, showcasing dueling pianos on the Marina Club Stage.

Also new this year is the Readings in the Park series, sponsored by Amica Mature Lifestyles, taking place on the West Vancouver Community Foundation Stage.

Cinema in the Park sponsored by West Vancouver Optometry, will return with nine movie screen­ings at 9:00pm. every evening on the West Vancouver Community Foundation Stage in John Lawson Park. This year’s movie screenings will include Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Wizard of Oz, A League of Their Own and Sleepless in Seattle.

No trip to the Harmony Arts Festival is complete without sampling the food and beverages on offer. The popular RE/MAX Waterfront Lounge will return to Millennium Park and feature delicious Italian cuisine provided by Caffe Al Mercato. There is also the Beachside Patio on the west side of Millennium Park offering drinks and local seafood from The Dirty Apron. Attendees looking for something more casual may opt for one of the food carts at Artisan Eats, sponsored by Canadian In-Home Care and located within John Lawson Park.

Enjoy the 6th annual Best of the West event, sponsored by Grosvenor Americas. Held on August 3rd at the Ambleside pier, this competition is a pairing event featuring 12 restaurants and 12 wineries. In addition, a new Mixology Night on the Pier event will be held on August 4th, and will feature exciting cocktail creations from the best bartenders in the city. Boaters can once again take advantage of the best view in town with the return of the Pop-Up Marina & Club 25, sponsored by Eric Christiansen – West Vancouver Real Estate.

Harmony Arts Festival in West Vancouver

Win Tickets to Mixology Night on the Pier

I have two tickets to give away to Mixology Night on the Pier on Thursday, August 4, 2016 from 8:00pm to 10:00pm. This exciting new culinary event will feature several bar stations, catered food and great music – all taking place under the gorgeous setting sun along Ambleside Pier. BC’s top bartenders will entice participants with an array of creative and daring new drinks. Visitors will be able to relax and sample spirits at each station.

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 tickets to Mixology Night on the Pier @harmonyartswv from @Miss604 http://bit.ly/29Zzhxr

Must be 19+. Please enjoy responsibly. I will draw one contest winner at 12:00pm on Wednesday, August 27, 2016. Follow the Harmony Arts Festival on Facebook and Twitter for more information.