Easter arrives in early April this year as it brings spring showers, blooming flowers, and the ability to finally wear all that white you put away at Labour Day. Over the next two weekends there are several family-friendly events happening around the Lower Mainland with the main attractions being good old fashioned Easter egg hunts.
Specific fees and ticket prices can be found by clicking the link in the title of each event below. In many cases, pre-registration is encouraged to guarantee participation. Some age restrcitions may apply as well.
Stanley Park Easter Train
Where: Stanley Park Miniature Railway (Vancouver)
When: Saturday, March 28th – March 29th, April 1st – April 6th from 9:00am to 5:00pm
Ticket/Registration Fee: Yes
West Point Grey Breakfast with Bunny
Where: West Point Grey Community Centre (4397 W 2nd Ave, Vancouver)
When: Saturday, March 28th from 10:00am to 12:00pm
Ticket/Registration Fee: Yes
Fan Expo Vancouver, a pop culture convention for fans of comics, sci-fi, horror, anime, and gaming, returns to the Vancouver Convention Centre from April 3rd to April 5th, 2015.
Fan Expo Vancouver 2015 Celebrity Guests
Carrie Fisher (Star Wars), William Shatner (Star Trek), Karen Gillan (Doctor Who, Guardians of the Galaxy), Stephen Amell, John Barrowman (Arrow), Shannen Doherty (Beverly Hills 90210), Chad Coleman (The Walking Dead), Brent Spiner (Star Trek), and many more including Jennifer Morrison who was added today.
Fan Expo Vancouver 2015 Highlights
One of the most famous vehicles in film history, the Back to the Future time machine will be displayed to help The Michael J. Fox Foundation in its fight against Parkinson’s disease.
Canada’s largest display of original Star Wars costumes will bring out the kid in everyone. Enjoy a daily Star Wars Kids Hour and embody your inner R2-D2, posing with Stormtroopers.
Fans will find a goldmine of pencillers, inkers and writers in this special area. From meeting rising stars, to pros working on the industry frontlines, this is a haven for comic book, graphic novel, limited edition print, and original art and sketch enthusiasts.
Check out Lunar Crow’s cosplay armour making workshop, build some Lego models, visit with some of the talented artisans behind Japan’s Lolita fashion craze, and get tickets for the official Fan Expo After Party on Saturday, April 4th at Rain Ultraclub.
Other than having the chance to talk to some celebrities last year, like John de Lancie and Billy Boyd, my favourite part of the expo was the exhibitors where I picked up some cool artwork and steampunk-inspired jewellery.
Dates, Times, Tickets
Friday, April 3, 2015 from 2:00pm to 8:00pm
Saturday, April 4, 2015 from 10:00am to 7:00pm
Sunday, April 5, 2015 from 10:00am to 5:00pm
Passes for single day, full weekend, and VIP experiences are available online now. Same day tickets can only be purchased at the box office.
Easter is coming up and that means hot cross buns, chocolates, honey baked hams, roast lamb, and fresh fruit pies enjoyed around a table with family and friends. If you’re sitting at your desk, bookmarking and sharing the latest delicious-looking recipes for your spring supper table, BestBuy.ca wants you to browse on over to see their latest cooking appliances, bakeware and utensils to help you make the very best meals this season.
Shane Koyczan is more than the talented poet and writer who appeared in the Vancouver 2010 Olympics opening ceremonies, just as Canada is more than just hockey and fishing lines. He has been a TED speaker, has a video on YouTube with 15 million views, has opened for the Dalai Lama in Vancouver, and has written a libretto for Vancouver Opera and toured with David Suzuki — and that’s just in the last 2 years alone.
Set to head out on his cross country tour in support of his latest albumSilence Is A Song I Know All The Words To, and the accompanying graphic novel, I talked to Shane about his work, his live shows, and the lives he touches with his powerful words.
“For the most part I just think that people connect a lot with what I do,” Shane told me over the phone last week from his home base in Penticton. His audience at live shows varies, and he said he’s always amazed at the demographic that ranges from very young to very old, to teenagers bringing their grandparents.
“It’s amazing for me. It means I’m reaching a lot of people and different people to so that’s always pretty special and incredible.”
You can catch him signing books and taking selfies with audience members after his shows, even though he admits, given the content he writes and performs, his performances can be exhausting. “It’s like here is my life, let me cut it open for you and bleed all over the stage.”
With several albums and books, the content of his shows doesn’t necessarily stay the same, with a set list for each stop. He explains that what he presents on stage is a reflection of how he’s feeling, and that’s the driving factor for picking which piece to bring forward. One night could be more politically driven, “depending on what Harper did that day,” he laughs, or if he’s feeling love, or if an anniversary of a death is coming up.
“You know there’s a lot of strength in vulnerability. Vulnerability is a stronger armour than the walls we put up that keep everybody else out there. It’s dangerous too though. I mean you’re stepping out there like alright, here it is, I’m ready to be destroyed. It can be very stressful a lot of times.”
“I use writing like anyone uses their creativity or imagination, I use it to cope with the things that are going on in my life.”
Something that sets Shane apart is that his words are often paired with a range of artistic expressions, whether that’s a graphic novel, animations, or music. Silence Is A Song I Know All The Words To was recorded with Cayne McKenzie (We Are The City) and Hannah Epperson and mixed by Aidan Knight.
“I love to collaborate with all kinds of artists, there’s always some artist that I’m working with, there’s always some visual component to what I do.” Shane grew up with comic books and movies, which were his escapes and places he went to when he needed to get away, and forget about the bullies in his life.
“I’m working on a new album now with my other band Short Story Long, and when you listen to the pieces that we put out, the music that we create isn’t like songs, they’re more like scoring a film. There’s always a lot of influence, visual influence or cinematic influence in what I’m doing.”
Shane’s spoken word poetry coupled with his emotional delivery and bold animations in his YouTube videos has translated into a large following both online, and at his live shows.
I asked him about who he’s truly hoping to reach and he replied, “the one person that’s closest to the ledge. The one person that is ready to give up. That’s my hope anyways. I think to me, a lot of what I do is just an exchange of empathy. It’s me being open and hoping that other people are going to be open back.”
You can catch Shane’s performance in Vancouver at the Vogue Theatre in Vancouver on Saturday, March 28th for an all ages performance, and tickets are available through Northern Tickets. He’ll then set out across Canada stopping with over a dozen shows from Cranbrook and Calgary to Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Toronto and Halifax through mid-April. Follow Shane Koyczan on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for more information.
The Lions Gate Bridge is one of Vancouver’s most recognizable landmarks. Its green towers and suspension cables, adorned with brilliant bulbs, has been the main connection between West Vancouver and the rest of the Lower Mainland since 1938. Almost as well-known as its silhouette is its story, at least the part where the Guinness family is concerned. The family, of Irish stout fame, funded the construction of the bridge through a syndicate, British Pacific Properties, and forever changed the local landscape.
British Pacific Properties (“BPP”), typically referred to as British Properties, is the well-known residential area situated on the North Shore of Burrard Inlet between the Capilano River and Howe Sound. Properties here, on West Vancouver’s south-facing slopes, are much sought after for their panoramic views and unique topography. The British Pacific Properties moniker is also synonymous with the company that has owned and been developing the land for more than 80 years.
Photo courtesy of BPP
Owned by the Guinness family, British Pacific Properties owns all the land in West Vancouver above the Upper Levels Highway from Taylor Way to Horseshoe Bay. Totalling some 4,000 acres, the land was purchased from the municipality during the Great Depression, when residents were unable to pay their property taxes and the local municipality was threatened with bankruptcy. In turn the Guinness family — led by the Rt. Honourable Walter Guinness, Lord Moyne — committed to funding $1 million in local municipal improvements over a five-year period and constructing the Lions Gate Bridge connecting West Vancouver to the city for the first time.
This purchase proved the catalyst for a whole new chapter in the area’s growth and development. In the 1930s, Lions Gate Bridge construction was a vital employment booster in exceptionally difficult economic times, while projects such as Park Royal (one of Canada’s first shopping centres) and Capilano Golf Club contributed significantly to growing and modernizing West Vancouver. Meanwhile, many of the neighbourhood’s early residential homes were defining a whole new West Coast architectural style.
Photo courtesy of BPP
Also vital to the area’s evolution was the Guinness family’s decision to hire the Olmsted Brothers, a renowned firm of U.S. landscape architects responsible for such distinctive city landmarks as NYC’s Central Park and Montreal’s Mount Royal Park. Determined to create a remarkable subdivision featuring pleasant parks, winding, treed streetscapes and spectacular vistas, British Properties was designed as an exclusive sanctuary from the stresses of city living. This set the tone for the area’s future development while establishing the unique character and values of an emerging community.
Today, beyond residential development, BPP is a vertically integrated company that builds roads, trails, parks and public amenities. Over the years it has contributed more than 200 acres to the District of West Vancouver (at a value of more $100 million) and given to many different local endeavours, such as the West Vancouver Streamkeeper Society.
One of BPP’s latest developments is Aston Hill, a limited collection of twenty residences featuring spectacular water views.
Win a West Vancouver Prize Pack
To promote its history and celebrate its continuing legacy, British Properties has offered up a West Vancouver prize pack for me to give away to one lucky reader.
This includes a copy of the hardcover bookLions Gate by by Lilia D’Acres and Donald Luxton that features some fantastic historical photographs, and a $150 gift card to The Beach House Restaurant located at Dundarave Park and recently voted Best North Shore Restaurant in the Georgia Straight’s Golden Plate Awards.
Here’s how you can enter to win:
Leave a comment naming your favourite place or space in West Vancouver (1 entry)
When you dine out on Thursday, March 26th — for breakfast, lunch or dinner — you’ll have the opportunity to support members of your community through this year’s Dining Out for Life campaign. Participating restaurants will donate 25% of their food sales that day to registered not-for-profits Friends For Life and A Loving Spoonful, which assist living with HIV/AIDS right here in Vancouver.
Dining Out for Life happens each year across North America, with funds raised going to each city’s own causes. Find a restaurant partner anywhere in the 604, from Whistler to White Rock and across the Lower Mainland. Participating restaurants include Ask for Luigi, Belgard Kitchen, Burgoo, Dockside, Forage, Mamie Taylor’s, Milestone’s, Nook, Trattoria, and dozens more.
All proceeds directly benefit the programs and services Friends For Life and A Loving Spoonful provide free-of-charge, including:
Over 110,000 meals per year delivered to those affected by HIV/AIDS in Metro Vancouver and surrounding regions
Nutritional counselling and meal planning
60+ support therapies ranging from therapeutic massage to naturopathy, music therapy to yoga
End-of-life care to people in their own homes
On March 26th, get a group of friends together or plan a date night, and when you pay your bill you’ll know that it’s making a difference in someone’s life.
In 2011, the Public Health Agency of Canada estimated 71,300 people living with HIV/AIDS in Canada — with over 25% residing in British Columbia. Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside maintains the highest HIV prevalence in the Western world, reaching as high 27%. While new infection rates in BC have thankfully decreased, advanced therapies mean people with HIV/AIDS are living longer and the number of people who depend on the services of Friends For Life and A Loving Spoonful continues to grow.
It’s surprising how much I remember about Expo 86, given that I was only 6 years old when the World Exposition on Transportation and Communication took over Vancouver from May until October in 1986. I remember going to Guildford Mall to get our family photos taken for our season passes. I had found something to cry about and threw a tantrum so the pass I used for those eventful months featured a soggy, red-faced, woeful little girl. My brother convinced me that I’d have to cry every time I entered the Expo 86 gates so that they knew I was the rightful pass holder.
Some of my family’s photos from Expo 86
I remember the gondola, the monorail on which I got lost as I boarded without my family. I watched the distance between us grow as the train left the station only to have us reunited on the next station’s platform.
I do have good memories of Expo 86 though. Getting my passport stamped at each pavilion, the unique little cars and boats that transported us over and around the fair grounds. The smell of the food wafting out of McBarge, the dance of the boom boats, riding Highway 86, and the enchanting theme song.
Here are a few images sourced from the City of Vancouver Archives, from the Ernie Reksten fonds, that just might bring back some fond memories for you too:
Owned and operated by Rebecca Bollwitt, Miss604.com (since 2004) provides daily information about life in Metro Vancouver, events, community happenings and local history. It also features music, film, and television interviews along with travel features for day-trips and weekend getaways.
Online since 1997, Rebecca also started podcasting RadioZoom in 2005, co-founded sixty4media, a WordPress website development firm, in 2008, and co-authored the book, Blogging to Drive Business in 2010.
Read more about Rebecca »
Enter here to win a Best Buy kitchen utensil prize pack (until March 30)
Enter here to win a Half Corked Marathon Getaway in Osoyoos and Oliver (until March 31)
Enter here to win a $175 West Vancouver/British Properties prize pack (until April 1)
View a complete list of contests »
*All contests are open to residents of Canada only, unless otherwise stated. Contest timelines are published on each individual post along with entry methods. Some contests may only be open to those 19 years of age and older. Winners are announced on the contest blog posts. Contest policy »
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Eric Butow and Rebecca Bollwitt “If you are looking for a practical guide to show you exactly how to use a blog to drive business, look no further, you've found it. As a practioner myself, I know there are some skills that can only be learning by doing...”