TeamStoreHolidayCampaign_Miss604Ad_728x90

Dogtopia Now Open in Coquitlam

December 15th, 2014 @ 11:04am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Dogtopia, an award-winning, national dog daycare, boarding and spa provider opened their first Canadian location in Coquitlam this November. Starting out as a doggie daycare centre in Virginia in 2002, Dogtopia is now expanding to Canada with 35 locations planned to open across the country along with the new Coquitlam location.

Dogtopia DogtopiaDogBath

Among Dogtopia’s services are webcams, so owners can tune in to view their pets when they’re apart, and multiple play areas where dogs are separated by size and attitude. Dogs can also enjoy spa grooming services and specialty gourmet treats.

Visit Dogtopia in Coquitlam (at 822 Brunette Ave) for open play dog daycare, overnight boarding or spa services and experienced, personalized care and exceptional customer service. Their accessible and affordable 4,000 square foot location is a great spot for any size or breed of dog. Their self-serve dog wash, extensive grooming menu as well as overnight boarding make this the perfect place for your favourite K-9.

Win a Dogtopia Prize Pack

To celebrate the launch of the Coquitlam location, Dogtopia is offering up a prize pack valued at $150 to one lucky Miss604 reader. This includes a $75 gift card (for Dogtopia services) and a $75 gift basket filled with assorted toys and treats. Here’s how you can enter to win:

  • Leave a comment on this post (1 entry)
  • Like, share or comment on this post on Facebook (1 entry)
  • Post the following on Twitter (1 entry)
RT to enter to win a $150 #Coquitlam @dogtopia prize pack from @Miss604 http://ow.ly/FVOwY

I will draw one winner at random from all entries at 12:00pm on Friday, December 19, 2014. Follow Dogtopia’s head office on Twitter and the Dogtopia Coquitlam on Facebook for more information.

SPES Saturday: The Holly and The Ivy

December 13th, 2014 @ 10:44am (PT) by Guest Author

StanleyParkEcologyThis post has been contributed by Kathleen Stormont, Fundraising & Communications Specialist with the Stanley Park Ecology Society (“SPES”). I have been following SPES since I moved into the West End almost a decade ago and I have been a member for two years. I wanted to offer the team an opportunity to share their news, events, and work so I have created “SPES Saturday” where they contribute and share stories with my audience once a month.

The Holly and The Ivy

“The Holly and the Ivy” is a traditional British Christmas carol, but for Stanley Park Ecology Society (“SPES”), it’s a call to arms. English holly (Ilex aquifolium) and English ivy (Hedera helix) are among the most widespread invasive plants in Stanley Park – threatening native flora and decreasing wildlife habitat. The Stanley Park Eco-Stewards Program (previously called Ivy Busters) works hard to control this threat: over 325 cubic meters of invasive species were removed from approximately 11,400 square meters of forest in Stanley Park last year. That’s equivalent to 217 wheel barrows-full!

englishholly englishivy
English holly (Photo: Morguefile) / English ivy (Photo: Morguefile)

That’s a lot of green waste. Rather than send it all to a composting facility, SPES launched a pilot project in 2009 to test the feasibility of repurposing English ivy to create a usable material for erosion control and habitat restoration. The results were positive and in 2013 SPES partnered with environmental artist Sharon Kallis to create “bionetting” from the ivy vines. During artist-run workshops, community members used traditional crochet techniques to knit mats of English ivy which were installed on an eroded slope near Lost Lagoon. Today, native plants thrive on the stabilized site and the natural habitat is returning.

bionetting
English ivy “bionetting” (Photo: SPES)

SPES is expanding this “upcycling” project this spring to experiment with repurposing another Park invasive, Himalayan blackberry (Rubus armeniacus). Himalayan blackberry is well established and widespread in most areas of the Park, especially in blowdown sites left exposed by the 2006 windstorm.

blackberry yellowiris
Himalayan blackberry (Photo: Morguefile) / Yellow flag iris (Photo: Morguefile)

These invasive species are some of the most prominent invasive plants in Stanley Park, but they are only four of the 111 species documented here! Ten species are considered ‘expanding’ as they are abundant in some areas, but have limited distribution in other areas. These include plants like Japanese knotweed, yellow lamium and yellow flag iris. Yellow flag iris (Iris pseudacorus) is expanding along the edges of Lost Lagoon and Beaver Lake, but it is limited to freshwater shores. Eleven other species are considered ‘emergent’ or new invaders and are a high priority as they have limited distribution and the feasibility of controlling them is higher. They include St John’s wort, spurge laurel, giant hogweed and gorse.

Knotweed-1 Yellowlamium
Japanese Knotweed (Photo: Ancatdubh43 at English Wikipedia) / Yellow lamium (Photo: Teun Spaans via Wikimedia Commons)

Since at least the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, holly and ivy have decorated British churches and homes at Christmas (Wikipedia 2014) and many people uphold that tradition in holiday wreathes and decorated mantles. With the establishment of these invasive species in our parks and forests, you may think it’s helpful to harvest these plants for seasonal displays; but, please leave that to the experts. It is against park by-laws to remove any plants – even invasive species – from city parks without a permit.

You can help SPES help the Park! Stanley Park Eco-Stewards events are open to the public and are held twice per month on Saturday or Sunday. Check SPES’ events calendar for upcoming dates.

About the Guest Author:


This post has been contributed by Kathleen Stormont, Fundraising & Communications Specialist with the Stanley Park Ecology Society. If you want to support a non-profit organization that makes a difference for wildlife and people in Stanley Park, please make a donation or become a member of SPES. For more information visit the Stanley Park Ecology Society website. Follow SPES on Facebook and Twitter for the latest updates.

Review of The Nutcracker by Royal Winnipeg Ballet

December 13th, 2014 @ 8:48am (PT) by Michelle Kim

Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s Nutcracker, presented by Ballet BC, is a beautiful, big-hearted performance that retains aspects from the original’s German and Russian traditions, while being very relevant to a Vancouver audience by being set in Canada, at the turn of the 20th Century, just before WWI.

Nutcracker-YoungClara
Photo courtesy of Ballet BC. RWB Company Photo by Vince Pahkala.

We all know the story: young Clara falls asleep after a party at her stately mansion and dreams of (or does she?) a fantastical world of live toy soldiers, dancing mice, and fairies. Though I’ve seen this ballet performanced multiple times, and know the story so well, there was something so fresh and invigorating about this performance.

First of all, Brian Perchaluk’s scenic design was so imaginative; there was so much dimension and texture to all the sets that it completely pulled the audience into the worlds he created. There were a few Canadian references in the set the design and direction that really refreshed up the classic: kids playing a hockey game in front of the house, a battle between the soldiers and mice on Parliament Hill.

Though this performance lacked some precision in technique (part of a ballet slipper fell off a dance and it didn’t always feel like the dancers were in unison with each other or the music), it gave so much in spirit and charm that these so called imperfections became my favourite part. For instance, a single snowflake seemed to fall from the sky when it shouldn’t have, but it added a magical element to performance, nevertheless.

Standout performance for me was the Nutcracker himself, Liang Xing, whose performance was exquisite as he leaped across the stage with such athleticism, grace, and perfection, he was exactly what you would expect from an doll idolized by an imaginative young girl.

Oh, and the kids! They were so cute! In their mice costumes (with bubble bums), or as baby white polar cubs, or as mounties and angels; it didn’t matter, every time a kid would come on stage, the audience would gush, and everyone just wanted to eat them up, all of them.

All of these elements–the cuteness of the kids, the imaginative set, the glorious Tchaikovsky music, the passion with each the dancers danced, and the Canadiana sprinkled throughout the performance–make this Nutcracker not just heart-warming, but almost emotional. I left full of feeling for home and family and magic and reality. The best things to feel about over the holidays.

Remaining performances of The Nutcracker at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre will be at 2:00pm and 7:30pm on Saturday, December 13, 2014 and Sunday, December 14, 2014. Tickets are on sale now, ranging from $35 to $98.50, and family packs (2 adults, 2 children) are available from $229 to $300 (including service charges). Tickets can be purchased through Ticketmaster online or by phone at 1-855-985-2787 (855-985-ARTS).

Follow Ballet BC on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for more information.

A Miss604.com 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.

http://www.hapanessmedia.com/

Kaboodles Toy Drive and Playmobil Giveaway

December 12th, 2014 @ 10:14am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Everyone deserves a little holiday cheer this season and Kaboodles Toy Stores are doing so with a charitable toy drive. On now until Christmas Eve, you can visit any of Kaboodles’ four locations to participate in this fun and meaningful toy drive.

Kaboodles Toy Drive

All donated gifts will be delivered to the Lower Mainland Christmas Bureau to help families in need provide gifts to their children this Christmas. The Lower Mainland Christmas Bureau has been dedicated to making Christmas a little more special for struggling families since 1930.

kaboodlestoys

Visit Kaboodles in Point Grey, Cambie, Granville Island, or in Victoria to help them collect hundreds of gifts for struggling families this year. With your purchase in-store for a toy drive gift, you’ll receive a 10% discount.

Kaboodles will be offering special incentives and giveaways to those who participate in the Toy Drive each week. Follow the action (and watch the pile of donated toys grow each day) by visiting Kaboodles on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter (#KaboodlesToyDrive).

Playmobil Giveaway

Another BIG incentive to support the Kaboodles Toy Drive is a Playmobil Giveaway for Miss604 readers. Enter to win $200 to spend on Playmobil at any Kaboodles!

“Since 1974, the toy system PLAYMOBIL® created by Hans Beck has become a classic of children’s playrooms, with its many different play worlds – from a knight’s castle to a sunny holiday hotel. About 2.7 billion of the beloved play figures with the characteristic smile have been produced since then and delight children all over the world. Around 30 different play themes are distributed in more than 100 countries worldwide. Both parents and educators appreciate the award-winning toy system as a representative of high-value, quality play.”

Here’s how you can enter to win:

RT to enter to win $200 for @Playmobil at @Kaboodlestoys from @Miss604 + support #KaboodlesToyDrive this Christmas http://ow.ly/FNUQF

I will draw one winner at random from all entries at 12:00pm on Tuesday, December 16, 2014. Follow Kaboodles on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for more details, deals, and news.

Update The winner is Meredith!

Disclosure: cmp.ly/3

This post is sponsored by Kaboodles and Playmobil

5 Places to Buy Aboriginal Art in Vancouver

December 11th, 2014 @ 6:44pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

When it comes to gifts from your hometown you can’t get any more local than a beautifully designed piece crafted by First Nations artists, as the city of Vancouver sits on the unceded traditional territory of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations. Thanks to input from Aboriginal BC Tourism, I have a list of the places to find these authentic and one-of-a-kind gifts:

Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art

Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art

Website | Twitter | Facebook
Location: 639 Hornby St, Vancouver
Shop Details: You will find a selection of original works and prints by local Northwest Coast artists, distinctive jewelry, accessories, books, cards and more. The Gallery Gift Shop is open Wednesday through Sunday from 11:00am to 5:00pm. They are able to ship orders within North America and overseas.

Skwachàys Lodge

Website | Twitter | Facebook
Location: 29/31 West Pender, Vancouver
Shop Details: Skwachàys Lodge offers the Urban Aboriginal Fair Trade Gallery, which showcases Aboriginal artists from across Canada and features jewelry, hats, art cards, clothing, rattles, bentwood boxes, and other items. The gallery shop is open Monday through Friday from 10:00am to 4:00pm; Saturday and Sunday 11:00am to 5:00pm.

Skwachàys Lodge

Museum of Anthropology

Website | Twitter | Facebook
Location: 6393 NW Marine Drive, Vancouver (UBC)
Shop Details: The MOA Shop presents a unique collection of works in silver and gold from the Northwest Coast, the American Southwest, Mexico, and South America. Other items available include sculptures and carvings, accessories and clothing, textiles and beadwork, educational toys for kids, home and office gifts. You can also pick up Edible British Columbia items like Musqueam honey, preserves and jams from the Fraser Valley, Salt Spring Salmon products, Salish Sea Chocolate, and try our MOA chocolate squares. Visit the shop daily between 10:00am and 5:00pm, or until 9:00pm on Tuesdays. The MOA is closed Mondays from October to May. Stop by for the Winter Art Market until December 24th.

Cheryl’s Trading Post

Website | Facebook
Location: Semiahmoo Shopping Centre Unit 103, 1711 152nd St, Surrey
Shop Details: Located in South Surrey/White Rock at the Semiahmoo Shopping Centre, Cheryl’s Trading Post offers handmade First Nations art from all over the Americas, including carvings, jewelry and paintings from the Northwest Coast, Inuit soapstone and antler carvings, Plains hide and beadwork, Woodlands paintings, East coast carvings and paintings, Southwestern jewelry and weaving, Huichol bead and yarn art, Zapotec painted carvings, and Mayan and Inca textiles. Open 10:00am to 6:00pm Monday to Wednesday, until 8:00pm on Thursday and Friday, 10:00am to 6:00pm on Saturday, and 12:00pm to 5:00pm on Sundays and holidays.

Khot-la-cha Art Gallery and Gift Shop

Website
Location: 270 Whonoak Street, North Vancouver
Shop Details: A second-generation First Nations owned and operated business, located on Capilano Reserve, the Khot-la-cha gallery offers traditional and contemporary Aboriginal artwork and crafts, plus masks, prints, gold and silver jewelry, wood carvings, textiles and clothing.

authenticindigenous

Most importantly, look for shops that sell Authentic Indigenous products. This is an initiative aimed at promoting and supporting authentic Indigenous artworks in the retail and wholesale marketplace. With this program, you’re always sure that the keepsake, gift or unique present you’ve purchased is a true Aboriginal cultural work of art.

Read about more themed gift ideas in my Vancouver Gift Guide series.

Things to do in Vancouver This Weekend

December 11th, 2014 @ 4:12pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

During the hustle and bustle of holiday shopping and errands, be sure to take some time for family, friends, and to connect with your city with some of these seasonal events and activities this weekend:

Olympic Cauldron (Jack Poole Plaza)
Photo credit: Karen Lee Colangelo on Flickr

Friday, December 12, 2014
Kyle Bottom’s Comedy Bucket
A Holiday Affair “Eat, Drink & Be Artsy”
Vancouver Chamber Choir Presents: Handel’s Messiah
Royal City Youth Ballet Presents: The Nutcracker at Surrey Arts Centre
Ballet BC Presents: Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s The Nutcracker
Wet & Wild Winter Carnival at South Surrey Indoor Pool
Good Noise Vancouver Gospel Choir: A Good Noise Gospel Christmas
Lumiere Vancouver with Free West End Trolley
Burnaby Village Museum Heritage Christmas
Pacific Theatre: It’s a Wonderful Life Radio Show
Karaoke Christmas Lights Vancouver Trolley Tours
Festival of Lights at VanDusen Garden
Vancouver Christmas Market
Bright Nights in Stanley Park Christmas Train
Canyon Lights at Capilano Suspension Bridge
The Arts Club Presents: Mary Poppins
Free Skating at Robson Square Ice Rink
The Cultch: Dylan Thomas Return Journey

Saturday, December 13, 2014
Coquitlam Christmas Farmers Market
Holiday Skating Party at Richmond Oval
SantaCon – SantArchy 2014
Dundarave Festival of Lights
Brewery District Christmas Gift and Craft Fair
December English Bay Cleanup
Comox Winter Jam
Annual Victor Ghirra Toy Drive, Richmond
Historic Christmas Programs at Irving House
Brunch with Santa at Cameron Recreation Complex
Fast Folk Underground at The Emerald
Breakfast with Santa at Centennial Community Centre
Breakfast with Santa at Fleetwood Community Centre
Winter Wonderland with Santa at Newton Seniors Centre
Winter Farmers Market at Nat Bailey Stadium
Got Craft? Holiday Craft Fair
Cloverdale Christmas Craft Fair
Winter Growing Demo Days
Vancouver TheatreSports: Christmas Queen
Lumiere Vancouver with Free West End Trolley
Good Noise Vancouver Gospel Choir: A Good Noise Gospel Christmas
Carousel Theatre Presents: James and the Giant Peach
Royal City Youth Ballet Presents: The Nutcracker at Surrey Arts Centre
Ballet BC Presents: Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s The Nutcracker
Wet & Wild Winter Carnival at South Surrey Indoor Pool
Burnaby Village Museum Heritage Christmas
Pacific Theatre: It’s a Wonderful Life Radio Show
Karaoke Christmas Lights Vancouver Trolley Tours
Festival of Lights at VanDusen Garden
Vancouver Christmas Market
Bright Nights in Stanley Park Christmas Train
Canyon Lights at Capilano Suspension Bridge
The Arts Club Presents: Mary Poppins
Free Skating at Robson Square Ice Rink
North Pole, BC at TRADEX in Abbotsford
The Cultch: Dylan Thomas Return Journey

Sunday, December 14, 2014
Historic Christmas Programs at Irving House
Pokemon Tournament, Burnaby
ArtStarts Dwellings Talk Series: Housing Matters
Roedde House Museum Second Sunday Concert Series – Kallisto Trio
Got Craft? Holiday Craft Fair
Cloverdale Christmas Craft Fair
Say Wha?! No Limits Edition at The Cottage Bistro
Tea, Treats and A Talk: A Celebration of Everything Yummy
Winter Growing Demo Days
12 Bars of Christmas Pub Crawl Series
Good Noise Vancouver Gospel Choir: A Good Noise Gospel Christmas
Carousel Theatre Presents: James and the Giant Peach
Royal City Youth Ballet Presents: The Nutcracker at Surrey Arts Centre
Ballet BC Presents: Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s The Nutcracker
Wet & Wild Winter Carnival at South Surrey Indoor Pool
Burnaby Village Museum Heritage Christmas
Pacific Theatre: It’s a Wonderful Life Radio Show
Karaoke Christmas Lights Vancouver Trolley Tours
Festival of Lights at VanDusen Garden
Vancouver Christmas Market
Bright Nights in Stanley Park Christmas Train
Canyon Lights at Capilano Suspension Bridge
The Arts Club Presents: Mary Poppins
Free Skating at Robson Square Ice Rink
North Pole, BC at TRADEX in Abbotsford
The Cultch: Dylan Thomas Return Journey

View the full monthly event list to plan ahead at any time. Follow me on Twitter and Facebook for frequent updates about local events and community happenings.

Langley Rivermen Basics for Babies

December 11th, 2014 @ 11:14am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Our local BCHL hockey teams are big parts of their community and the Langley Rivermen are fully committed to giving back in Langley. On Saturday, December 13th fans are encouraged to bring unopened diapers in support of JRfm’s Basics for Babies campaign.

LangleyRivermenBabiesPic

Langley Rivermen Basics for Babies

JRfm has partnered with Food Banks BC to ensure that all babies in the Lower Mainland get the nutrition they need. Food Banks BC is the provincial association of 93 member food banks across the province.

According to the Langley Food Bank, there are currently about 750 client families registered and including dependents, they are helping over 1000 people with their food requirements each week. Many of people who use the food bank have small children. Basics for Babies hampers provided to client families include baby food, cereal, diapers, formula, and other baby care items.

On Saturday, December 13, 2014, fans will receive 2-for-1 entry with the donation of an unopened diaper or cash. When the Langley Rivermen score their first goal, fans will toss the unopened diapers on the ice, which will all be donated to Basics for Babies.

You can help support Basics for Babies and the food bank in your community. If you would like to attend the Langley Rivermen vs Surrey Eagles this Saturday at 7:00pm at the Langley Events Centre (7888 200th St), I have 4 tickets 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)
Support #BasicsForBabies + RT to enter to win @langleyrivermen tix from @Miss604 http://ow.ly/FKueQ

I will draw one winner at random from all entries at 12:00pm on Friday, December 12, 2014. Follow the Langley Rivermen on Twitter and Facebook for more information about their games and community events.

Update The winner is @JaclynJary!

Pemberton Music Festival Dates for 2015

December 11th, 2014 @ 8:42am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

We fell in love with a new festival last summer, along with 30,000 other people in the shadow of Mount Currie, in a field off Highway 99. From Nine Inch Nails to the Flaming Lips and Snopp Dogg, food carts and water slides, Trailer Park Boys and Bob Saget, ziplines and VIP cabanas, Pemberton Music Festival was definitely a summer highlight for many — and it will be returning in 2015 with early bird tickets on sale this Friday.

Pemberton Music Festival 2014 Pemberton Music Festival 2014

Pemberton Music Festival 2014 Pemberton Music Festival 2014
Photo by John Bollwitt for Miss604

Pemberton Music Festival Dates for 2015

HUKA Entertainment is pleased to announce 2015 dates for Pemberton Music Festival in Pemberton, BC on Thursday, July 16 through Sunday, July 19, 2015.

Early Bird tickets, which allow fans to purchase advance festival passes at a discount, go on sale online this Friday, December 12, 2014 at 10:00am.

Last year thousands of people camped out or took a Whistler/Creekside shuttle to get to and from the side. For campers, the experience will be improved upon for 2015:

Campgrounds for 2015 will be expanded to include property on both sides of the Sea to Sky Highway, which means that campers parked on the south side of the road opposite the festival grounds will have the option to camp there, and will no longer be required to carry their gear across the bridge spanning the road to the festival site. Additionally, paths from other parking lots leading to festival campgrounds will be upgraded to include hard-packed surfaces with minimal obstructions.

Other improvements will include food service and offerings for VIP patrons as well as placement of campground amenities, including showers and water filling stations. Additionally, a limited amount of RV passes for camping pass purchasers will be available at an Early Bird rate of $349. RV passes accommodate up to eight people per vehicle.

Full ticketing package and information can be found Pemberton Music Festival website. The four-day contemporary music festival is produced and promoted by HUKA Entertainment, in collaboration with the Village of Pemberton and land partners the Sunstone Group, the Lil’wat Nation and Squamish-Lillooet Regional District.

Follow Pemberton Music Festival on Twitter and Facebook for more information, and look for lineup announcements later in the new year.