Slurpee Name Your Price Day for Food Banks in Canada

September 17th, 2014 @ 3:14pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

If you thought July 11th (7-Eleven Day) was awesome because it’s the annual Free Slurpee Day then this will make you even more happy. On Friday, September 19th 7-Eleven stores across Canada are hosting Slurpee Name Your Price Day where 100% of proceeds will go to Food Banks in Canada.

Customers will have the option to pay $0.50, $2, $50 or whatever they want to enjoy their favourite frozen beverage. Funds from this campaign will be donated to Food Banks Canada, the national organization supporting local food banks across the country. The National Food Sharing Program will provide essential food to those 7-Eleven communities most in need, ensuring customer donations have the greatest impact.

Impact of donations


  • $1 donation
    = breakfasts for a week for an individual in need
  • $3 donation
    = enough snacks for every school day for a week for a school aged child
  • $5 donation
    = dinners for a month for an individual in need
  • Pay the standard $1.99 for a large Slurpee and you will help to share 14 meals – that’s a week’s worth of breakfasts and dinners for someone in need

You can find your nearest store using the 7-Eleven App and share your experience on social media using #Nameyourprice or tweeting at @7ElevenCanada.

Food Banks Canada supports a unique network of over 3,000 food-related organizations in every province and territory that assists close to 850,000 Canadians each month. Together our network shares over 200 million pounds of essential safe quality food annually, provides social programs that help to foster self-sufficiency, and advocates for policy change that will help create a Canada where no one goes hungry.

Grey Cup Festival in Vancouver

September 17th, 2014 @ 12:50pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

The 102nd Grey Cup will play out at BC Place in Vancouver this November, and with the championship football game comes a world class city-wide festival where fans from across the country can meet to celebrate. Hosted by our very own BC Lions, the Grey Cup Festival announced its plans for entertainment and activities this fall.

The Grey Cup

Grey Cup Festival in Vancouver

The 102nd Grey Cup Festival will feature a 3-day nightly concert series presented by Global BC and The Province and headlined each night by some of Canada’s brightest stars, including Canadian country talent Tim Hicks, popular Vancouver-based folk band Hey Ocean! and ‘Canada’s greatest party band’ Trooper. In addition to the Concert Series, the 3-day TELUS Street Festival will include FREE live music daily on the stage, featuring a rotation of talented local artists, including Delhi 2 Dublin, The Matinee, and The Boom Booms.

Canada’s largest sports festival will run from November 26th until November 30th at the Vancouver Convention Centre, in conjunction with the 102nd Grey Cup championship. Tickets for the festival will range from $20 to $350 with many free events and activities indoors and outside at Jack Poole Plaza.

Grey Cup Festival 2011

Remember how it felt around the city when the Olympics were here? Fans from other cities sporting their team colours, family activities and concerts, supporter beer gardens, and that electric feeling in the air knowing that a big sporting event is taking place and there’s a shiny prize on the line? That’s how John and I felt about the Grey Cup Festival in Vancouver when it was here in 2011. It was like a taste of that Olympic feeling all over again and I just know we’re going to have even more fun this November. Just look at the music lineup alone!

Grey Cup Festival 2011 Molson Canadian House
2011 Grey Cup Festival in Vancouver

Kudos to the CFL, BC Lions, and sponsors for stacking the stages with Canadian and homegrown talent that can get crowds pumped up and dancing in the streets.

Grey Cup Festival Activities and Concerts

  • Grey Cup Festival kickoff (Wednesday, November 26th)
  • TELUS Street Festival featuring the stage
    (Thursday, November 27 – Saturday, November 29th)
  • Nissan Family Zone featuring the Canadian Direct Insurance Family stage
    (Thursday, November 27th – Saturday, November 29th)
  • Team Parties (Thursday, November 27th – Saturday, November 29th)
  • Grey Cup Festival Concert Series, presented by Global BC and The Province
  • Thursday, November 27th – New Music night, presented by The Peak 102.7:
    Headliner: Hey Ocean!
    Supported by: Family of the Year, The Gay Nineties
  • Friday, November 28th – Country Music night, presented by 93.7 JRfm
    Headliner: Tim Hicks
    Supported by: Tebey, One More Girl
  • Saturday November 29th – Classic Rock night, presented by Rock 101
    Headliner: Trooper
    Supported by: 54.40, Sass Jordan

Other events during the festival include the Blakes CFL Alumni Legends Luncheon (Friday, November 28th); Edgewater Casino Night (Friday, November 28th); Save-on-Foods Grey Cup Festival Parade (Saturday, November 29th); Cheerleader Extravaganza (Saturday, November 29th); Rock and ROAR Gala (Saturday, November 29th); Grey Cup Fan March (Sunday, November 30th); Pre-Game Tailgate Party (Sunday, November 30th); and of course the 102nd Grey Cup Championship Game (Sunday, November 30th) at BC Place.

Three-day passes for the 102nd Grey Cup Festival Concert Series go on sale Friday, September 19th for an early bird rate of $90 (going up to $102 after October 15). Tickets for the Grey Cup final game are also still available for purchase online.

Best of Vancouver 2014 Results

September 17th, 2014 @ 11:41am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

BestofVancouver2014This morning the Georgia Straight released the results of their 19th annual Best of Vancouver readers’ choice awards.

I am very honoured to have been voted #1 Best Local Blog this year. I am so thankful for every reader, sharer, commenter, and contest entrant that has read my blog and this is such a great way to mark the 10 year anniversary of Miss604.

The top three winners in categories like City Life, Media, Culture, Travel, Mind & Body, and Food & Drink have all been posted online and the print version will be available around Vancouver as of Thursday, September 18th. Here are just a few of results (that can also be found on this handy map):

Best of Vancouver 2014 Results

Local hero: Trevor Linden
Best neighbourhood: Kitsilano
Vancouver’s claim to fame: Natural beauty
Best local tv personality: Tamara Taggart (CTV)
Best local tv news anchor(s): Chris Gailus (Global)

Best local bike store (chain): Bicycle Sports Pacific
Best local street/community festival: Car Free Vancouver Day
Best local performing-arts festival: Vancouver Fringe Festival

Best movie theatre concession: Rio Theatre, 1660 E. Broadway
Best live music venue: Commodore Ballroom, 918 Granville
Best shopping mall: Metropolis @ Metrotown, 4700 Kingsway
Best restaurant patio: Dockside Restaurant, 1253 Johnston, Granville Island
Best new restaurant: Craft Beer Market, 85 W. 1st

Best local tourist attraction: Stanley Park
Best out-of-town spa getaway: Scandinave Spa, 8010 Mons Road, Whistler
Best hotel (Metro Vancouver): Fairmont Pacific Rim‎, Vancouver, 1038 Canada Place
Best boutique hotel (Metro Vancouver): Loden Hotel, 1177 Melville Street

Follow the Georgia Straight on Twitter for more results, news, and information. Thank you again, dear readers!

Nat Jay Album Release Party

September 17th, 2014 @ 7:44am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Vancouver-based singer/songwriter Nat Jay is releasing her first full-length album All I Think When I Wake Up on September 23rd, celebrating in style with a release party later that week.


Recorded in Vancouver at Fader Mountain Sound with Craig Northey, Doug Elliott, and Pat Steward of The Odds as the studio band and produced by Winston Hauschild (Hannah Georgas, Wanting, Hey Ocean), All I Think When I Wake Up has already received national and international recognition through placements on CBC TV’s “Heartland” and “Arctic Air” as well as “Continuum” on Showcase/Syfy. The album’s first single, “Can’t Getcha Out”, will be featured internationally on the popular Australian television drama series “Winners & Losers”. In addition, Nat Jay was awarded $10,000 for “Can’t Getcha Out”, which was named “Best of BC” by Shore 104.3FM.

Since the release of her debut EP Lights Across the Sky in 2008, Jay has shared the stage with Canada’s own two-time JUNO Award winner Dan Mangan, Matthew Barber, Oh Susanna, and Justin Rutledge, as well as New York City’s Jay Brannan and Australia’s folk-blues group, Angus & Julia Stone.

Nat Jay’s album release party will take place at 8:00pm at the Granville Island Revue Stage on Friday, September 26, 2014. Tickets are available for $20 in advance or $25 at the door.

Win Your Way Into the Nat Jay Album Release Party

I have a pair of tickets to the party and a signed copy of Nat Jay’s new album 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 your way into the @OfficialNatJay album release party from @Miss604

Follow this talented local artist on Facebook and Twitter for more information. I will draw one winner at random from all entries at 12:00pm on Monday, September 22, 2014.

Vancouver Photos of the Week

September 16th, 2014 @ 1:44pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Even though the season is changing, construction cranes swing overhead, and rush hour traffic continues to flow over our many bridges, it’s as though the pause button has been hit on Vancouver’s gloriously sunny summer. The kids aren’t back in school just yet, patios are overflowing with patrons, and beaches are peppered with swimmers and sandcastle creators. Call it an extended summer or simply proclaim that Vancouver is a pretty great place to be in September.

Thanks to all those who have shared their wonderful photos of the region this week with the Miss604 Flickr Pool and #Photos604 on Instagram, here are just a handful of my personal selections:

End Of The Road.
Photo credit: Nattawot Juttiwattananon on Flickr

DSC_1551 Through the Looking Glass - 2.....Renzullo's Deli, Vancouver, BC IMG_7932
Photo credit: Chris Gehlen & Rosey-Noelle & Gemy on Flickr

"East Van" 2014 - Vancouver - Larrivee Guitar
Photo credit: Eric Flexyourhead & Ted McGrath on Flickr

2014 - Vancouver - False Creek East Sunrise 2014 - New Westminster - Incoming 326
Photo credit: Ted McGrath & Ted McGrath on Flickr

2014 - Vancouver - Way Out Old and New
Photo credit: Ted McGrath & Patricia Meyer on Flickr

BC Place Stadium  - Explored!
Photo credit: Shannon Leigh Photography on Flickr

The Docks of Jericho Evening light on the Erickson
Photo credit: Aaron Von Hagen & Eric Flexyourhead on Flickr

False Creek Blues
Photo credit: Aaron Von Hagen on Flickr

To Bluer Skies Girl In A Wetsuit
Photo credit: Philip Tong & Philip Tong on Flickr

Dog Days of Summer ~ Surrey, BC
Photo credit: SeaSide Signs ~ Vancouver, BC on Flickr

Photo credit: Gemy on Flickr

The Skies Were On Fire
Photo credit: Clayton Perry on Flickr

Navigating the sunset
Photo credit: Fernanda G on Flickr

Gold River
Photo credit: Clayton Perry on Flickr

Coal Harbour Sunset IMG_8099 A Night At Porteau Cove
Photo credit: Gemy & Alan W on Flickr

Porteau Cove Star Trails
Photo credit: Aaron Von Hagen on Flickr

As always, please click through on these images to view more work from the photographers and feel free to share your own photos with the Miss604 Flickr Pool or with the tag #Photos604 on Instagram. View all photo collections here.

We Day Vancouver Lineup Announced

September 16th, 2014 @ 9:14am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

We Day Vancouver will take over Rogers Arena on Wednesday, October 22, 2014 as 18,000 youth from across the province enjoy a full day of inspiration and celebration as a reward for work they have done in their community over the last year.

We Day Vancouver

We Day gathers thousands of motivated youth who care about, and have impacted, their school, community, and global causes all together in an arena to dance, clap, and listen to celebrity speakers. Founded by Free the Children in 2007, We Day has hosted 278,000 youth at events in cities across North America and in the UK and as a result, $37,000,000 has been fundraised for 1000 causes and 9,600,000 hours have been volunteered by participating youth.

We Day Vancouver Lineup

The We Day Vancouver speaker and entertainment lineup for October 22nd at Rogers Arena was announced this morning:

Selena Gomez
Orlando Bloom
Macklemore and Ryan Lewis
Shawn Mendes
Debby Ryan
Sir Ken Robinson
Marianas Trench
Kardinal Offishall
Donnie Yen
Victoria Duffield
Shawn Desman
Karl Wolf
Silken Laumann
Craig and Marc Kielburger
Spencer West
Mustafa the Poet
Hannah Alper
Ashley Rose Murphy
Robin Wiszowaty
Cast members from the TV series DEGRASSI

The We Day Experience

I have covered We Day Vancouver since 2009 and my most recent experience was at We Day Seattle with my niece. Every single event is powerful and moving, combined with plenty of music, entertainment, and the signature We Day Dance that is learned at the start of the day.

We Day 2010 We Day 2010

My first We Day, the kids at which are probably all long since graduated and doing amazing things in college, saw speakers like Dr. Jane Goodall, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Sarah McLachlan, Mia Farrow, and Jason Mraz. My most recent We Day, this past March in Seattle, was with the Superbowl Champion Seattle Seahawks, Martin Luther King III, Joe Jonas, Cody Simpson, and actor Ed Norton who said:

“Everybody, especially young people, feels powerless sometimes… …yet every day we are reading about or hearing about people who do incredible, inspiring things in this world.”

Ed Norton at We Day Seattle

At last year’s We Day Vancouver Craig Kielburger, one of the two founders of Free The Children and We Day, sat down with Kofi Annan, Former Secretary-General of the United Nations and Nobel Peace Laureate. Annan had these words for the audience:

“Young people have to remember that the world is going to be yours. My generation is moving on. You have to have the courage and the strength to take on the issues. Be prepared to work with your neighbours and colleagues.”

Get Involved

We Day is an invite-only event but students can get involved in their Me to We campaigns at any time. From helping to educate others, to hosting a food drive at your hockey game or donating used clothing, to taking part in campaigns like We Are Silent, We Stand Together, We Create Change coin drive, We Scare Hunger at Halloween, or We Are Love around Valentine’s Day.

There are many resources for students, families, schools, and businesses available online. You can sign up for one campaign or commit to a full year of We Acts. Pick a fundraiser, adopt-a-village, host a third-party event, and more. You can find everything you need on the Free the Children website and more information about We Day Vancouver online.

Rifflandia Festival Photos: Death Cab for Cutie

September 15th, 2014 @ 9:40pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

The Rifflandia Festival took over bars, clubs, public spaces, and Royal Athletic Park in Victoria last weekend as dozens of acts like Girl Talk, Serena Ryder, Dragonette, The Skatalites, Dear Rouge, Head of the Herd, Jon and Roy, The Airborne Toxic Event, We Hunt Buffalo, and Death Cab for Cutie entertained audiences of all ages.

Rifflandia 2014
Photo credit: John Bollwitt for

On Saturday, September 13th, Seattle-based Death Cab for Cutie took to the main stage at Royal Athletic Park in Victoria to play their very last show together, with all original members. Co-founder and guitarist Chris Walla announced his departure from the band earlier this summer and this was his final performance. As long time fans of the band, John and I were very excited to cover this momentous event.

Rifflandia 2014
Photo credit: John Bollwitt for

Music has always been an important part of our relationship and, way back when, Death Cab for Cutie’s Transatlanticism was the first album that John gave me when we first met. We’ve enjoyed their entire catalogue over the years and even played some of their songs at our wedding in 2006. Following their career and their music over the years, including their last album Codes and Keys which was recorded at The Warehouse Studio in Vancouver, it was important to us to make it to this show at Rifflandia — and it was even more magical than we could ever have imagined.

Death Cab for Cutie at Rifflandia

Knowing that it was Walla’s last show already made the performance in Victoria special, and I saw many on Twitter share that this was a “bucket list” concert for them. The fact that a meteor streaked across the night sky during their set was incredible to believe, making the send-off entirely unique.

Rifflandia 2014

Rifflandia 2014 Rifflandia 2014
Chris Walla. Photo credit: John Bollwitt for

Rifflandia 2014

The band came out playing “I Will Possess Your Heart” followed by “Crooked Teeth”. We spent the first two songs in the photo pit madly attempting to document the scene as vocalist Ben Gibbard took to the keyboard and bassist Nick Harmer bounced around in front of Jason McGerr on the drums. Walla was the focus for John, over on the right side of the stage.

Rifflandia 2014

Death Cab for Cutie at Rifflandia Death Cab for Cutie at Rifflandia

Rifflandia 2014
Photo credit: John Bollwitt for

“We Laugh Indoors” and “Photobooth” followed before Ben Gibbard told to the crowd that it had been 13 years since their last show in Victoria: “We’ll be playing a lot of old tunes tonight,” he announced as the band continued with “Title and Registration”, “Doors Unlocked and Open”, and “Long Division” during which the meteor passed by overhead.

“Grapevine Fires” had the crowd swooning, holding up lighters and glowing phones, as did “I Will Follow You Into the Dark”, which was once voted as one of the most beautiful songs of all time.

Death Cab for Cutie at Rifflandia

Rifflandia 2014 Rifflandia 2014

“Title Track” off of the band’s We Have the Facts and We’re Voting Yes from 2000 was a nice throwback, “New Year” got the crowd jumping again, as did “Cath”, and “Soul Meets Body” before they left the stage.

Rifflandia 2014
Ben Gibbard. Photo credit: John Bollwitt for

Craving more, the audience made their request for an encore known. The group returned to the stage for “Movie Script Ending”, which was followed by the very last song with Chris Walla — an up tempo version of “Marching Bands of Manhattan”. A bittersweet ending to a bittersweet moment in time.

The end of the set was capped off with a full band group hug on stage as thousands bid farewell and best of luck to Chris Walla. Death Cab will live on however, having just recorded a new album that will be released in early 2015.

All photos (except for a few of mine) in this post are by John Bollwitt for View John’s photos on Flickr. Read more festival coverage »

Rifflandia Festival Photos: The Airborne Toxic Event And More

September 15th, 2014 @ 9:14pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

The Rifflandia Festival took over bars, clubs, public spaces, and Royal Athletic Park in Victoria last weekend as dozens of acts like Girl Talk, Serena Ryder, Dragonette, The Skatalites, Dear Rouge, Head of the Herd, Jon and Roy, The Airborne Toxic Event, We Hunt Buffalo, and Death Cab for Cutie entertained audiences of all ages.

Rifflandia 2014
Photo credit: John Bollwitt for

John and are I no strangers to music festivals, as we cover half a dozen every year — from Austin, Texas to Pemberton, BC — and have attended four within the last three months alone. This was our very first time at Rifflandia, after hearing great things in the past about this festival that has been around since 2008, and we immediately saw what all the fuss was about. We were told there would be food, fun, families, craft beer, multiple stages, arts and crafts, and more — and it was all true. From a half-pipe skateboard ramp and kids play area, to Phillips Brewing’s tap truck and open concept beer garden, it was a delightful experience.

Rifflandia 2014

Rifflandia 2014

Rifflandia 2014
Photo credit: John Bollwitt for

The audience was comprised of families, students, and young couples like us who either setup picnic blankets, danced under the tent of the Rifftop Tent Stage, or clapped along with their favourite bands at the main stage. It was a very chill, very positive atmosphere, with smiles all around and unique vendor tents — like a barber shop or TEDx Victoria conversation lounge.

Rifflandia 2014

Rifflandia 2014

Rifflandia 2014
Photo credit: John Bollwitt for

By my estimates the venue was much smaller than Holland Park in Surrey, where we have covered the Fusion Festival for several years. John compared it to the Brockton Oval in Stanley Park, giving it a very intimate festival feel — and the music sounded great.

The Airborne Toxic Event

Rifflandia 2014

Rifflandia 2014 Rifflandia 2014

Rifflandia 2014 Rifflandia 2014 Rifflandia 2014

Rifflandia 2014
Photo credit: John Bollwitt for

Dum Dum Girls

Rifflandia 2014

Rifflandia 2014 Rifflandia 2014

Rifflandia 2014
Photo credit: John Bollwitt for

Rifflandia was such a pleasant event, with Royal Athletic Park a quick walk from downtown, a nice selection of food options (gluten free Thai to Tacofino and mini donuts), the ability to walk around the grounds with a beer (if you were of age of course), and last but not least a really rockin’ lineup.

All photos in this post are by John Bollwitt for View John’s photos on Flickr. Read more festival coverage »