Blogathon Vancouver 2008: "U" is for Union Gospel Mission

Sunday, July 27th, 2008 — 4:30am PDT
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As mentioned in my previous post, the UGM is pretty special to me since they do such great work for the less fortunate all around Metro Vancouver. Here are some of their own words from their website:

UGM and Miss604 Blogathon

Union Gospel Mission has been providing hope for the hungry, hurting and homeless since 1940… …Employing a full-time staff of approximately 130 and relying on a broad base of loyal volunteers, Union Gospel Mission provides meals, shelter, education, counselling, housing and more to hundreds of people each day. [About]

They have various services, support centres and Thrift Stores with 12 facilities around Metro Vancouver.

Blogathon Post #36 – Read all Blogathon Posts and pledge to keep me going.

Blogathon Vancouver 2008: "T" is for The Street Blog

Sunday, July 27th, 2008 — 4:00am PDT
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My cause of choice for Blogathon Vancouver 2008 is the Union Gospel Mission. I’ve had a relationship with them for a while now, stemming from personal interest and donations and growing into a bigger role along with being invited to their website launch party.

The UGM has really embraced social media and on top of being so accommodating to the Blogathon, they have also been doing their own blogging for several months on The Street blog, here’s an excerpt.

And today I do see a familiar face – he’s an alumnus of Union Gospel Mission’s Alcohol and Drug Recovery Program. He’s at the bus stop early in the morning, with the rest of the commuters, hard hat on, lunch bag in hand, on his way to a day of hard, honest work. He’s continuing on with his journey of recovery, re-entering society, starting a normal life again.

I wave as my bus passes him, but it doesn’t catch his eye. No matter; I’m overjoyed to see him. He’s a reminder of why I myself go to work every day. Why I work behind the scenes so that my fellow staff – outreach workers, counselors – can make a difference in people’s lives. I can endure the heartbreak on my commute because I know there is hope. He’s living proof. He is fully alive. [The Street]

Duane and I have both being blogging for the UGM and since his effort is now complete, I continue on.

Blogathon Post #35 – Read all Blogathon Posts and pledge to keep me going.

Blogathon Vancouver 2008: "S" is for Seawall

Sunday, July 27th, 2008 — 3:30am PDT
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I’ve been tracking the Stanley Park restoration effort pretty closely ever since the “big storm” a few years ago. Recently they were finally going to complete the Seawall that was badly damaged in parts and had remained that way for almost two years.

Here is a comparison of the lack of work over several months (best viewed large)

Still busted

Walking, rollerblading, biking or jogging the Seawall is a treat for visitors and residents alike. There’s not much that can compare to a morning stroll along the north-facing side of the walkway with the sun rising and harbour seals swimming alongside you in the inlet.

I’ll be heading back to this spot soon to take a similar photo in order to make sure those repairs are finally being made although this leg of the restoration will last until November, 2008.

Blogathon Post #34 – Read all Blogathon Posts and pledge to keep me going.

Blogathon Vancouver 2008: "R" is for Rock and Roll

Sunday, July 27th, 2008 — 3:00am PDT
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The following has been contributed by John Bollwitt

Let’s be honest, R is truly for Rebecca.

Never afraid to pose
Photo credit: John Bollwitt on Flickr

However, the other love in my life, no matter how hard it is to believe or scandalous that it might be, is rock and roll.

A man by the name of Hagen Meyers once told me something that is now a mantra that I live by on a daily basis. Basically, it comes down to this… No matter what music you listen to, like, love, and enjoy, then that’s rock and roll. Society’s preset definitions of genre and what rock and roll actually is doesn’t mean a thing. It’s all about what makes you happy, like an inner zen or path to enlightenment. Then and only then, do you understand what rock and roll is.

Photo credit: John Bollwitt on Flickr

Based on that principle, I find that there is so much rock and roll in Vancouver that you are nearly drenched in what this city has to offer you to fulfill your every need. No matter what type of music you like, there always seems to be a place, time, or location for you to get your fill. Combined with the ever growing population of numerous cultures flowing through the lower mainland, yet alone acts stopping by, there is so much to see and hear.

Sparta - stage right
Photo credit: John Bollwitt on Flickr

Sadly we will be losing Richards on Richards in the very near future, but rock and roll will find another home and life will go on. Just look at Rebecca’s series on the history of punk music in Vancouver to see the tales of what once was. It’s true that we may never get the chance to return to those blissful days of a landscape untouched by corporate hands, but that passion will always be there in some form.

From Pat’s Pub to the Media Club to the Commodore Ballroom to GM Place, there’s so many places to see a good show by so many different artists. Local, regional, Canadian, American, North American, or international, there is always an opportunity to see something new, unique, or someone that you’ve been dying to see since the day you first heard that one track that made you have to have that one song or album added to your collection.

Many of my personal, long time desires have been fulfilled over the three years that I have lived in Vancouver. Matthew Good, The (International) Noise Conspiracy, Mates of State, Nada Surf, and Sparta are just a few of the bands that I have had the extreme pleasure of seeing in this city after a long time of wishing for the opportunity.

Matthew Good, last night in his old home (Aug. 2006)
Photo credit: John Bollwitt on Flickr

Never under estimate the power of rock and roll in the city of Vancouver. Not only are there great places to see great shows, but I implore you to leave comments on this post for great local acts for the world to know. You never know what might show up on RadioZoom if you do.

Blogathon Post #33 – Read all Blogathon Posts and pledge to keep me going.

Blogathon Vancouver 2008: "Q" is for Queens Park

Sunday, July 27th, 2008 — 2:30am PDT
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When I was younger we would tote our camping chairs out to New Westminster on a foggy morning once a year to watch the Hyack Parade, after which we’d all have a nice play in Queen’s Park.

With school field trips we’d chase bunnies in the playground, hang out with the goats at the petting zoo and spend hours in the network of jungle gyms and tire swings the park had to offer.

Photo credit: dennissylvesterhurd on Flickr

Photo credit: dennissylvesterhurd on Flickr

It’s also home to the Arenex: “Built in 1938, the 10,000 square foot Arenex is located in beautiful Queen’s Park and is a Lower Mainland destination for gymnastics and trampoline during the past 36 years. This sports facility offers a wide range of opportunities that include: gymnastics, floor hockey, volleyball, basketball, indoor soccer and badminton.”

As well as the Arena: “The historical Queen’s Park Arena building was constructed and officially opened on September 19, 1930 for sporting activities such as badminton, basketball and even horse shows.

In 1938 the building was enlarged to add more seating, and ice machinery was added to create our present day arena.”

The park is great for day outings with the family and is often the centre of many city-sponsored activities and festivals.

Blogathon Post #32 – Read all Blogathon Posts and pledge to keep me going.