Chemical Fire at Port Metro Vancouver

March 4th, 2015 @ 4:29pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

I don’t often cover breaking news in Vancouver but a chemical fire currently burning at Port Metro Vancouver is widely effecting the city today. Here’s the official statement from the port:

Chemical Fire at Port Metro Vancouver

Photo by Chad Dey in the News1130 Air Patrol

Statement on the fire at Centerm Container Terminal
At approximately 1:40 p.m. we received confirmed reports that a container is on fire at the Centerm container terminal on the south shore of Burrard Inlet. Vancouver Coastal Health has confirmed the material inside is a hazardous organic compound (trichloroisocyanuric acid), and is a possible eye and skin irritant.

Our primary concern is the safety of first responders, the public and all port workers. The Centerm container terminal and nearby port properties have been evacuated. All port operations along the south shore of Burrard Inlet have been shut down, including rail and truck access. Vancouver Fire and Vancouver Coastal Health are on-site and actively determining if any additional evacuations are required. We will continue to monitor the situation and provide further information as it becomes available.

Port Metro Vancouver has evacuated the 700-block of Centennial Road as well as the Clark Dr. overpass and said it was shutting down all operations on the South shore. CPR Rail was also asked to shut down a rail line while crews dealt with the blaze. [Source: CTV]

As of about 3:30pm, the fire had been upgraded to a four-alarm blaze and the call has been put out for 21 firefighters to staff multiple alarm fire trucks. At least eight fire trucks and more than 24 firefighters have already responded. Dr. Patricia Daly from Vancouver Coastal Health says they are not evacuating the public at this moment. “If they can remain in place at the moment, doors and windows closed, that’s the best advice,” she says. [Source: Global]

“It is an irritant. It is a respiratory irritant, if you breathe it in. It also can irritate your eyes. We believe the risks are just short-term, but it’s still not advisable that anyone breathe this in or get it in your eyes,” explains Gavin Wilson with Vancouver Coastal Health.

Vancouver Police are encouraging anyone in the area east of Main, north of 1st and west of Nanaimo to go indoors, close all windows. People in north and east Vancouver are told to leave a note on your door if you have self-evacuated your home. [Source: News1130]

For the latest updates, the Port of Metro Vancouver recommends you follow @PortMetroVan, @VCHhealthcare, @VancouverPD, and @VanFireRescue on Twitter. This City of Vancouver also has a Twitter list of accounts to follow during an emergency.

Historically, this has been a dangerous week for the port. Friday is the 70th anniversary of the Greenhill Park Explosion, “The most spectacular and disastrous event in the port’s history,” according historian Chuck Davis in his book, History of Metropolitan Vancouver.

Review of Vancouver Opera’s Die Fledermaus

March 4th, 2015 @ 11:14am (PT) by Michelle Kim

This week, Vancouver Opera presents the last three performances of Die Fledermaus (The Bat), the Austrian operetta composed by Johann Strauss Jr., adapted by UBC’s Nancy Hermiston to include theatrical dialogue in English with timely or local references.

Eisenstein (Roger Honeywell) is dismayed to find that a disguised Rosalinde (Joyce El-Khoury) has his watch. Photo by Tim Matheson

Set it old Vienna, chambermaid Adele (Suzanne Ridgen) has received word that her ballerina sister has been invited to attend a lavish ball hosted by Prince Orlovsky (Julie Boulianne) and wants her to come. Meanwhile, her employer, Gabriel von Eisenstein (Roger Honeywell) is due to go to prison when his friend, Dr. Faulk (Hugh Russell), convinces him to attend the same ball before he turns himself in. His wife, Rosalinde (Joyce El-Khoury), who being pursued by her former Italian lover Alfred (David Pomeroy), gets word off her husbands plan and decides to attend the ball in disguise as a Hungarian countess to catch him red handed in his philandering ways. What follows is a story about mistaken identities, love, and celebration–all to the music Johann Strauss, Jr., AKA the “The Waltz King.”

What makes this production unique is that it’s a musical-theatrical hybrid. Most of the time, I found the modern-day English helpful to understand the plot as it can be confusing (after all, it’s a story about an elaborate prank and I don’t understand German); however, sometimes I felt the dialogue interrupted the musicality of the performance. For instance, Christopher Gaze, Artistic Director of Bard on the Beach, a great actor in his own right, has a massive monologue at the beginning of Act III, poking fun at his own public personae as “Mr. Shakespeare” in town. I felt this went on too long and became tired of the joke. This is no fault of Mr. Gaze, but of the writing, which I felt was sometimes too on the nose.

The performances, however, were phenomenal. A performer would be singing the most exquisite aria in one moment, and then transform into a powerful stage actor (I wondered if they got tips from Mr. Gaze?) the next. All in all, it was an impressive and highly-entertaining evening and left me amazed because who knew opera could be this light-hearted and funny?

Catch Die Fledermaus at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre on March 5th, March 7th, and a matinée on March 8th. Follow Vancouver Opera on Twitter and Facebook for more information.

A guest post by Michelle Kim

Guest contributor Michelle Kim is a local actor, producer, director, and writer. Providing write-ups about theatre, film, and the arts.

Macaron Day in Vancouver

March 4th, 2015 @ 10:08am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

The fourth Macaron Day in Vancouver is coming up on March 20th, joining bakeries, cafes and bistros around the world to support local causes, one sweet treat at a time.

Macaron Day is coming up March 20th

Macaron Day

Macaron Day was founded in France (le jour du macaron) by Pierre Hermé years ago. It’s a day to celebrate the colours of spring with a bright palette of treats. Macaron Day events will be happening overseas, in New York, and in Toronto. Over the last few years it has become a Vancouver tradition as well.

Macarons (not to be confused with macaroons) are meringue-based confections commonly filled with buttercream or jam with a delicate soft and crunchy outer shell. All you need to do is visit a participating “Macaron Day” bakery or cafe on March 20th and you’ll be given a macaron and be invited to make a donation their chosen charity.

Participants and Causes

Faubourg‘s three locations will all be participating: Kerrisdale (2156 West 41st Avenue), Downtown Vancouver (769 Hornby Street) and West Vancouver (792 Main Street, Park Royal South). They will all offer signature Parisian-style macarons for $1 each (half off the regular price), match every dollar of macaron sales, and donate 100% of gross proceeds to the Canadian Cancer Society.

Faubourg’s current macaron selection includes: White Chocolate & Passion Fruit *Faubourg Signature, Cappuccino, Salted Butter Caramel, Strawberry Black Pepper, Lavender Earl Grey, Dark Chocolate, Tahitian Vanilla Bean, Raspberry Rose.

French Made Baking at 81 Kingsway (at Broadway) in Vancouver is participating again this year, supporting the BC Children’s Hospital. Everyone who mentions Macaron Day in the store will receive a macaron and will be invited to make a donation (while supplies last, suggested donation is $2). Part of all macarons sales will be donated to the Foundation as well. French Made Baking will have about 15 different flavours available at the beginning of the day and they’ll be open from 8:00am to 6:00pm.

Soirette, located at 1433 W Pender Street in Vancouver, is also participating again this year in support of Make a Wish in BC.

March in Vancouver History

March 3rd, 2015 @ 2:18pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Thanks to the City of Vancouver Archives and Chuck Davis’ History of Metropolitan Vancouver, here’s a glimpse at what happened throughout the month of March in Vancouver history:

Property damage caused by the explosion. Archives# CVA 586-3598. Photographer: Don Coltman.

March 6, 1945

“If you were here on March 6, 1945 you will remember the waterfront explosion of the 10,000-ton freighter Greenhill Park, easily the most spectacular and disastrous event in the port’s history,” wrote historian Chuck Davis in his History of Metropolitan Vancouver.

March 9, 1870

Debate began on the “admission” of British Columbia into Canadian Confederation.

March 10, 1870

On this day the settlement know locally as Gastown was given its official name: Granville Townsite. Lord Granville was the Colonial Secretary at the time and the Granville Townsite was selected as the terminus for the Canadian Pacific Railway. It wasn’t until 1886 that the townsite was renamed, when it incorporated, as the City of Vancouver.

Built - Main Post Office (1958)
Photo credit: Heritage Vancouver on Flickr

March 14, 1958

The Main Post Office opened on Georgia Street. The 5-storey structure—capped with an oblong 3-storey slab—covers an entire city block (1.2 hectares) and encloses a total floor area of almost 16 acres (686,000sq ft). Designed by the firm McCarter Nairne & Partners, the building used state of the art technology, and contains numerous commissioned artworks [source]. In 2012 and 2013, the building was listed as one of Heritage Vancouver’s Top 10 Endangered Heritage Sites.

March 15, 1930

A group of people gathered in Green Timbers Urban Forest to plant more than 120 baby trees in BC’s first “forest plantation”. Today, Green Timers Urban Forest is a vital part of Surrey’s major park systems.

1967 – Vancouver Archives Item #CVA 780-51.

March 19, 1974

Vancouver city council voted to buy The Orpheum and it reopened as a concert hall April 2, 1977.

March 25, 1910

A crowd of 3,500 gathered in Richmond’s Minoru Park to watch the first airplane flight west of Winnipeg.

1902 – Carnegie Library under construction, Item #: CVA 1376-27

March 29, 1902

The cornerstone was laid for the Carnegie Centre at Main and Hastings, which started out as a public library.

Related Posts: February in Vancouver History, January 1st in Vancouver History October in Vancouver History, November in Vancouver History, December in Vancouver History.

Honda Celebration of Light Fireworks Dates Summer 2015

March 3rd, 2015 @ 1:42pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

It’s only March but everyone’s been talking about summer in Vancouver, since we’ve been having such spectacular weather lately, and summer in Vancouver means fireworks nights. The Honda Celebration of Light announced its dates this morning along with a renewed partnership with Honda and even more entertainment options this season.

Japan Celebration of Light_
Photo credit: Vick Sahota on Flickr

Honda Celebration of Light Fireworks

Celebrating its 25th anniversary, the Honda Celebration of Light will take place July 25th, July 29th, and August 1st in 2015. In this morning’s press release, it was announced that on top of one of the greatest fireworks displays on earth, fans will also be able to enjoy three days of cultural programming, sponsor activities and Canadian music at English Bay and Sunset Beach.

In addition to The Keg Lounge and licensed seating at the YVR Observation deck, another VIP Lounge is being offered on the Inukshuk Peninsula and families are invited to enjoy food trucks and a licensed area in Sunset Beach this year.

West End Fireworks
Photo credit: colink. on Flickr

Competing countries for the 2015 event will be announced at the end of March and tickets will go on sale for all VIP viewing areas on April 1st. Follow the Honda Celebration of Light on Twitter and Facebook for more information.

Win Tickets to Delhi 2 Dublin at CelticFest Vancouver

March 3rd, 2015 @ 10:14am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Formed on CelticFest’s stage in 2006, Delhi 2 Dublin is one of Canada’s most buzzed-about bands and they’ll be returning to CelticFest Vancouver on March 15th.


Who: Delhi 2 Dublin with special guest Troy MacGillivray and Mairi Rankin
When: Sunday, March 15, 2015 at 8:00pm
Where: Imperial, 319 Main Street, Vancouver
Tickets: $25 in advance online, $30 at the door, must be 19+

I first heard the Bhangra / Celtic sound of Delhi 2 Dublin when strolling down Granville during Juno Fest 2009. The distinct pulsating melodies mixed with Dub Reggae and Electronica caught everyone’s attention as the tent hosting the group had the crowd spilling out from the street and onto the sidewalk.

I saw them again at the Commodore in 2010, where the audience threw up their hands and pogo’ed up and down while chanting for D2D. Sitar music blended with wicked violin as kilts and saris twirled on stage. Beats made the crowd bounce as the energy was contagious — everyone was having a blast.

Win Tickets to Delhi 2 Dublin at CelticFest Vancouver

Over the last few years they have topped world music charts in Canada, toured extensively in Canada, the UK and the USA, and made their way around the Pacific Rim and Europe. Catch them at home in Vancouver by entering to win two tickets from Miss604 and CelticFest:

  • Leave a comment on this post (1 entry)
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RT to enter to win tickets to see @Delhi2Dublin at @CelticFestVan from @Miss604

I will draw one winner at random from all entries at 12:00pm on Tuesday, March 10, 2015. Follow CelticFest Vancouver on Facebook and Twitter for more information.

Vancouver Skyline Reflection Photos

March 2nd, 2015 @ 1:44pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

The peaks of the North Shore mountains are mirrored in the towering glass of Downtown Vancouver, and the whitecaps on the water recreate the snow-capped Lions a thousand times over. We’re so lucky to see our city skyline twice on a clear day, once above us and once below in the calm waters of False Creek or Coal Harbour. Here are a few of my favourite reflection photos of Vancouver:

Vancouver Skyline Reflection Photos

False Creek Reflections
Photo credit: Jaden Nyberg on Flickr

Vancouver Skyline (_K3_7452)
Photo credit: Ross G. Strachan on Flickr

Sunset Vista
Photo credit: Gemy on Flickr

City of dreams
Photo credit: Ruth Hartnup on Flickr

Photo credit: Ken Campbell on Flickr

False Creek Sunrise
Photo credit: Philip Tong on Flickr

Skyline reflections
Photo credit: Wayne Harrison on Flickr

Low Tide Reflection
Photo credit: James Wheeler on Flickr

City Of Glass
Photo credit: Clayton Perry on Flickr

Perflection ~ Vancouver, BC
Photo credit: SeaSide Signs ~ Vancouver, BC on Flickr

The Golden Hour
Photo credit: Gemy on Flickr

Science World Pano
Photo credit: Gemy on Flickr

Obsidian Cityscape Reflections Coal Harbour #1
Photo credit: Evan Leeson & Don Janus on Flickr

Vancouver reflections
Photo credit: Ann Badjura on Flickr

The Perfection Reflection
Photo credit: Difei Li on Flickr

Science World
Photo credit: Clayton Perry on Flickr

Vancouver sunrise Yaletown Reflections
Photo credit: Tim Shields & Dustin Quasar on Flickr

Vancouver Skyline
Photo credit: Clayton Perry on Flickr

Reflections of BC Place
JC Photography on Flickr

Rainbow BC Place at Starry Starry Night
Photo credit: TOTORORO.RORO on Flickr

St Patrick’s Day Parade Vancouver

March 2nd, 2015 @ 10:14am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

The 11th St Patrick’s Day Parade in Vancouver will take place on Sunday, March 15th, 2015. As a part of CelticFest Vancouver, the parade is the festival’s largest and most popular free event.

2012-03-18 St. Patricks Day Parade 017.jpg
Photo credit: janheuninck on Flickr

St Patrick’s Day Parade Vancouver

Starting at 11:00am, the St Patrick’s Day Parade will follow its 2014 route, which begins on Howe and Davie, heads north on Howe to Georgia, and ends at Georgia at Granville Street.

St. Patrick's Day Parade 2012-03-18 St. Patricks Day Parade 019.jpg
Photo credit: Michelle Lee & janheuninck on Flickr

Road Closures

Throughout the weekend, Granville Street between Robson and Nelson will be closed to vehicle traffic. On the day of the parade, Howe from Davie to the Granville Bridge will be closed from 8:00am to 2:00pm, all southbound traffic on the Granville Bridge and Granville Street (except buses) from Davie to West 4th will be closed, and Drake Street, one block east and one block west of Howe and Davie will be closed. From 10:00am to 2:00pm, Howe will be closed from Davie to Georgia; Georgia will be closed from Hornby to Seymour, and Granville will be closed from Georgia to Pender.

St. Patrick's Day Parade St. Patrick's Day Parade St. Patrick's Day Parade
Photo credit: Michelle Lee & Michelle Lee & Michelle Lee on Flickr

Organizers anticipate that crowds of 200,000 will come out to cheer on over 2,000 parade participants including award-winning pipe and drum bands, Celtic musicians, Scottish and Irish dancers, acrobats, stilt walkers, vintage cars, the Vancouver police motorcycle drill team and pipe band, fire and police dogs, mounted horse drill teams, multi-cultural organizations and performers, local businesses, distinguished guests and many more.

Throughout the weekend of March 14th and March 15th, you can stop by the Celtic Village and Street Market on Granville Street and at Robson Square for free entertainment. Follow CelticFest Vancouver on Facebook and Twitter for more information.