Things to do in Vancouver This Weekend

Thursday, July 21st, 2016 — 1:14pm PDT
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This weekend Miss604 is proud to be the official social media sponsor of the Surrey Fusion Festival! This free event is where dozens of cultures will come together with music, dance, food, and fun for the whole family. For this and more, see the list of events below:


Things to do in Vancouver This Weekend

Events that run for longer than three days in a row are highlighted in green.

Friday July 22, 2016
Steve Martin & Martin Short
Take Off Fridays at YVR Airport
Graham Clark Presents… The Sibling Show
Blessed Coast, Music Yoga Arts Festival
JOY’s 7 Day Sunset Stanley Park Seawall Bike Challenge
Summer Movie Series in Queen’s Park, New Westminster
Music at the Cannery
Seniors in the Park at Historic Stewart Farm
Shipyards Night Market, North Vancouver
International Summer Night Market
Richmond Night Market
Surrey Night Market
Stanley Park Forager Tours
Spirit Pride: LGBT Spirituality Conference
App Camp for Girls
BC Summer Games, Abbotsford
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone VSO Film Concert Series
WBSC XV Women’s World Softball Championship, Surrey

Saturday, July 23, 2016
Sponsored by Miss604: Surrey Fusion Festival
Walking Tour: A History of Granville Street
SHOREfest & Honda Celebration of Light Fireworks
Teenage Dirtbag with Jacob Samuel
Watch the Fireworks from the Museum of Vancouver
Living Archive: Cut it Out
Our Working Waterfront Walking Tour
Fiji Festival
Uptown Live! New Westminster
Cates Park Concert Series
Ultimate Car Show
Vancouver Canadians Fireworks Extravaganza
Caribbean Days Festival
River District Farmers Market
Trout Lake Farmers Market
West End Farmers Market
International Summer Night Market
Richmond Night Market
Surrey Night Market
Stanley Park Forager Tours
Kaleidoscope: Celebrating 125 Years of Arts & Culture
River District Drive-In Movies
Spirit Pride: LGBT Spirituality Conference
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone VSO Film Concert Series
BC Summer Games, Abbotsford
WBSC XV Women’s World Softball Championship, Surrey

Sunday, July 24, 2016
Sponsored by Miss604: Surrey Fusion Festival
Pi’s End of Year Fiesta!
Brewery and the Beast
Hebei Acrobatic Troupe Charity Show
Light On PTSD
Multicultural Music Workshop
Champion of the Crescent
Celebrating Summer Clothing Swap
New West Day of Dance
Victoria Hill Community Day
Sunday Afternoon Salsa at Robson Square
5th Annual Walnut Fest
The Sunset Series at the Olympic Riverside Plaza
Concert Series Sundays – Kernel Reggae, Lonsdale Quay
Caribbean Days Festival
Mount Pleasant Farmers Market
Kitsilano Farmers Market
International Summer Night Market
Richmond Night Market
Stanley Park Forager Tours
Kaleidoscope: Celebrating 125 Years of Arts & Culture
Spirit Pride: LGBT Spirituality Conference
BC Summer Games, Abbotsford
WBSC XV Women’s World Softball Championship, Surrey

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Via Ferrata at Kicking Horse Mountain

Thursday, July 21st, 2016 — 12:40pm PDT
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“I… I just need a minute,” I told the guide who was leading me around the corner of a rock face. I was 8,000ft up as I held onto my support harness with every ounce of energy I could muster. My foot kicked a rock loose and it tumbled. I counted the seconds until I heard it hit something below, as you would between bolts of lightning and claps of thunder, and the stone’s landing was almost inaudible.

Terrified selfie, mid-tour.

Deep breaths. Wipe tears. I can do this. I found my footing and glided my lifeline across to the next set of iron bars that were anchored into the mountainside. I clipped in, paused, and started climbing again.

Via Ferrata at Kicking Horse Mountain

After my Via Ferrata experience at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort last summer I was shaken. I told myself I didn’t have fun. But for the last 10 months, I’ve been telling everyone the story. The story of how I slinked, climbed, and navigated a mountainside with nothing but rebar handholds and a cable to keep my heart beating (a million miles a minute).

Our fearless guide.

I traversed the ridge-line dividing the Rocky Mountain trench from the Purcell range for over 460 meters, using steel steps, handles, ladder rungs, and a steel cable. I know, it sounds pretty bad-ass now, especially given that the entire tour starts out by crossing the third longest suspension bridge in Canada — and that the Via Ferrata setup was only about a month old when I had my adventure.


During the tour, I was terrified. I hoped that my legs or arms wouldn’t give out, and it took me a while to fully trust my support line, on which I could rest my entire weight at designated areas. I did manage, somehow, to get my phone out to take some photos at those stopping points. I had to take petrified selfies with a smile plastered on my face, and text my husband: “You know I love you. I just want you to know that.”


I pushed on, and then feelings of fear and desperation were traded up for accomplishment and triumph. Having conquered such an activity over the course of two hours, I felt exhilarated when we reached the summit. Our group sat on boulders at the peak, and looked out over the town of Golden and the Columbia River.



I always tell myself I should do the things that scare me, and boy I had no idea how much Via Ferrata would scare me. However, I have these stories, and I have these pictures, and I’m so glad I did this.


If you would like to challenge yourself to Via Ferrata while you’re in the Kootenay Rockies region, head up to Kicking Horse Mountain Resort. No rock climbing experience is required, I didn’t have any, but I think it might help. Either that, or just be completely open to the new adventure. I was, but I didn’t know what to expect so I think the unknown is what also leapt me out of my comfort zone.

Composed selfie at the top!

Bring some water, sunscreen, gloves for gripping, and dress for the elements. I wore a backpack and was able to reach it during breaks when I was clipped into the iron rungs. Family rates are available, for kids 12 and up, and you’ll be given all the safety gear you need.

There are two guided routes to choose from. The Discovery Route is for first-timers and the Ascension Route is “one of the most technical & scenic in North America”. At the end of it all, you’ll stand on top of the world, and it will feel amazing. You’ll definitely earn that burger & beer back at Eagles Eye Restaurant.


Difficulty ratings for the Via Ferrata are internationally ranked: French F-PD German K1-K2 UIAA II-III. For more information, follow Kicking Horse Mountain Resort and plan your trip with Kootenay Rockies Tourism.

Disclosure: Review
My experience was courtesy of Destination BC/Kootenay Rockies Tourism

Harmony Arts Festival: Win Tickets to Mixology Night on the Pier

Thursday, July 21st, 2016 — 12:13pm PDT
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West Vancouver sure knows how to throw a festival, making use of its spectacular setting and the loads of culinary, visual, performing, and literary arts talent in our region. The Harmony Arts Festival, presented by Odlum Brown Limited, runs July 29th to August 7th, 2016 is now in its 26th year of celebrating arts on the waterfront.

Harmony Arts Festival in West Vancouver

Harmony Arts Festival

On both weekends of the festival, attendees will have the chance to stroll down Argyle Avenue between 14th and 16th streets to purchase high quality artwork from the ABC Senior Services Art Market. The popular ArtSpeaks workshops, sponsored by British Pacific Properties, entice amateur artists who are looking to delve further into their own artistic processes.

For kids, there’s the Artsy Kids tent sponsored by the North Shore News. Young people can also take part in the Harmony Kids Camp from August 2nd to 5th.

Music lovers always find a welcome mixture between the new and t he familiar at the many musical venues at the Harmony Arts Festival. The popular Onni Group Sunset Concerts, featured nightly on the West Vancouver Community Foundation Stage, will return with ten concerts at 7:30pm. Along with this is the Hollyburn House Seniors Series, showcasing three shows including a special Remembering Dal with the Dal Richards’ Orchestra commemoration event.

This year’s much anticipated new venue, The Park Royal Marina Club, will be located right on the beach in Ambleside landing, and will feature an adults-only culinary & bar experience. Attendees will sing & dance the night away with the Marina Club Concerts, showcasing dueling pianos on the Marina Club Stage.

Also new this year is the Readings in the Park series, sponsored by Amica Mature Lifestyles, taking place on the West Vancouver Community Foundation Stage.

Cinema in the Park sponsored by West Vancouver Optometry, will return with nine movie screen­ings at 9:00pm. every evening on the West Vancouver Community Foundation Stage in John Lawson Park. This year’s movie screenings will include Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Wizard of Oz, A League of Their Own and Sleepless in Seattle.

No trip to the Harmony Arts Festival is complete without sampling the food and beverages on offer. The popular RE/MAX Waterfront Lounge will return to Millennium Park and feature delicious Italian cuisine provided by Caffe Al Mercato. There is also the Beachside Patio on the west side of Millennium Park offering drinks and local seafood from The Dirty Apron. Attendees looking for something more casual may opt for one of the food carts at Artisan Eats, sponsored by Canadian In-Home Care and located within John Lawson Park.

Enjoy the 6th annual Best of the West event, sponsored by Grosvenor Americas. Held on August 3rd at the Ambleside pier, this competition is a pairing event featuring 12 restaurants and 12 wineries. In addition, a new Mixology Night on the Pier event will be held on August 4th, and will feature exciting cocktail creations from the best bartenders in the city. Boaters can once again take advantage of the best view in town with the return of the Pop-Up Marina & Club 25, sponsored by Eric Christiansen – West Vancouver Real Estate.

Harmony Arts Festival in West Vancouver

Win Tickets to Mixology Night on the Pier

I have two tickets to give away to Mixology Night on the Pier on Thursday, August 4, 2016 from 8:00pm to 10:00pm. This exciting new culinary event will feature several bar stations, catered food and great music – all taking place under the gorgeous setting sun along Ambleside Pier. BC’s top bartenders will entice participants with an array of creative and daring new drinks. Visitors will be able to relax and sample spirits at each station.

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 tickets to Mixology Night on the Pier @harmonyartswv from @Miss604

Must be 19+. Please enjoy responsibly. I will draw one contest winner at 12:00pm on Wednesday, July 27, 2016. Follow the Harmony Arts Festival on Facebook and Twitter for more information.

2 Days in Nanaimo: Plan a Festival Getaway

Thursday, July 21st, 2016 — 11:39am PDT
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This summer I’ve had the pleasure of writing about, and researching, a handful of Nanaimo’s festivals. From chowder and Nanaimo Bars, beer and food trucks, to world class blues music and championship bathtub racing. While I was on assignment for Festival Seekers, I also hiked to Ammonite Falls and got above the city with Sunshine Coast Air, and enjoyed plenty of good eats and great drinks.


2 Days in Nanaimo

If you’re heading to Nanaimo, for fun, family, friends, or a festival, here are a couple of itinerary suggestions:

Indulge With A Day of Nanaimo Bars

Follow the self-guided Nanaimo Bar Trail for themed dessert bar goodies that include deep fried varieties, spring rolls, cupcakes, gluten free, pie, ice cream, cheesecake, truffles, and of course classic Nanaimo Bars.

Deep Fried Nanaimo Bar - Nanaimo Bar Trail

Also along the Nanaimo Bar Trail, you’ll find Nanaimo Bar Martinis served up at several locations. Pop into Modern Cafe (221 Commercial St) in the heart of downtown to sip your way through a Nanaimo Bar experience. Themed martinis are also served up at The Grand Hotel (4898 Rutherford Rd), Bold Knight Restaurant (1140 Trans Canada Hwy), The Nanaimo BAR (#2, 75 Front St), and Wolf Brewing (940 Old Victoria Rd) pairs their Dead Whale Beer with a Nanaimo Bar in their tasting room.

Feastival Nanaimo

The Nanaimo Bar Pedicure is offered at House of Kiyo Salon & Spa (#2 -404 Stewart Ave) downtown, and you can shop Lobelia’s Lair (#8 321 Wesley Street) in the Old City Quarter for Nanaimo Bar soap & massage oils. The Nanaimo Museum (100 Museum Way) downtown even has a Nanaimo Bar History Exhibit.

Adventure Awaits

After (or the day before) a sweet binge on coconut, custard, and chocolate goodness, fuel up with some hearty eats at Gabriel’s Cafe (39A Commercial St) downtown. Have an omelette with oyster mushrooms, kale & aged cheddar for breakfast, or snack on some quinoa & chickpea fritters with Sriracha mayo at lunch time. Breakfast and lunch is also served at Two Chefs Affair (123B Commercial St) downtown. Try French toast with pumpkin spice, cinnamon, and vanilla bean, served with blueberries and sweet cream cheese, or a Crab BLT for lunch with fresh crab, tomatoes, crispy bacon, lettuce, and pickled ginger, stacked on a butter toasted bun.

Londwood Brewery

There are some great taprooms in Nanaimo, all with a different community and flare. White Sails is just across from Maffeo Sutton Park, the Longwood Brewpub is just up the highway (5775 Turner Road) and their taproom is closer to town (101A – 2046 Boxwood Rd), and Wolf Brewing Co has a taproom (940 Old Victoria Rd) just south of downtown.

From waterfront strolls to forest hikes, Nanaimo is a great place to go for a hike or walk. Tourism Nanaimo has posted about their Top 5 Walks and my favourite is their list of Waterfall Walks, including Ammonite Falls. Of course you can also bike, paddle, SCUBA, swim, zipline and more all around the region.


Three upcoming festivals that would make a great home base for your Nanaimo adventure this summer are: Nanaimo Marine Festival’s World Championship Bathtub Race on now (July 21-24); Longwoodstock Festival at Longwood Brewery (August 12-13), and the Summertime Blues Festival (August 26-28).

For all of these recommendations and more, follow Tourism Nanaimo (Facebook, Twitter) as well as Festival Seekers (Facebook, Twitter). Have a great time on Vancouver Island!

Vintage Photos of Golf in Vancouver

Thursday, July 21st, 2016 — 9:41am PDT
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Earlier this summer, Langara Golf Course in Vancouver celebrated its 90th anniversary. Opening in 1926, it was the city’s first public 18-hole course, and was constructed by The Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR).

Golf at Fraserview

“In order to sell their large tract of land for housing in South Vancouver, in 1924 the CPR altered their philosophy slightly. They decided to construct the best 18-hole public golf course in the Dominion on land bounded by Cambie and Main and south of 49th Avenue.

To accomplish their goal they hired the leading golf course architect in the Pacific Northwest A. Vernon Macan… To further insure a high quality course the CPR gave him 170 acres and basically an unlimited budget.

Spring 1926 the CPR prepared for the Official Opening Day. In order to add a local flavour to the new enterprise the company revived a lost name “Langara” for the golf course. In 1790 Lieutenant Jose Narvaez named the peninsula that we know today as Point Grey the Islas de Langara. Captain Vancouver renamed the area in 1792 as Point Grey. This choice preserved the name “Langara” forever.” [Source: BC Golf House]

1927. Clubhouse at Langara. Archives# Bu N322.

The Langara Golf Links opened June 26th, 1926. All the local professionals plus the club captains attended. The Reeve for South Vancouver, JW Cornett, hit the first shot.

Vintage Photos of Golf in Vancouver

The first public 9-hole course was at the PNE in 1925, and private courses were also scattered throughout the city. Here’s a glimpse at Vancouver golf culture over the years, courtesy of the City Archives:

1925. Golf Tournament at Shaughnessy Golf Club. Archives# CVA 99-3127.

1923. United States President Warren G. Harding standing at tee at Shaughnessy Heights Golf Club. Archives# SGN 943.21.

1925. Mayor L.D. Taylor takes a swing at golf tournament. Archives# CVA 1477-753.

1920s. Mrs. D.S. Montgomery teeing off at the Jericho Country Club golf course. Archives# CVA 371-1139.

1920s. Alfred Bull teeing off at Jericho Country Club golf course. Archives# SGN 1604.

1920. Participants in the Pacific Northwest Golf Tournament at the Vancouver Golf and Country Club. Archives# Sp P103.2.

1930. Pee-Wee golf at Cardero and Georgia. Archives# CVA 99-3815.

1945. Golf in Stanley Park. Archives# CVA 586-4034. Photographer: Don Coltman.

Best Buy Pokémon Go Party in Vancouver

Wednesday, July 20th, 2016 — 3:46pm PDT
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Pokémon Go has made it to Canada (officially) this week as the interactive Nintendo game that merges the digital space with real locations takes the world by storm. If you’re new to the game, want to hunt for Pokémon or do some training, Best Buy is hosting a Pokémon Go Party in Vancouver.

Best Buy Pokémon Go Party in Vancouver

Where: Vancouver Art Gallery PokéStop (800 Robson St, Vancouver)*
When: Thursday, July 21, 2016 from 12:00pm to 2:00pm

*UPDATE (Wednesday, 9:30pm) I just received word that the location is changing. A new location will be posted on Thursday morning.
**UPDATE (Thursday, 9:30am) Robson Square is the new location, just around the corner from the Vancouver Art Gallery.
***UPDATE Another event will take place at Robson Square tonight, sponsored by Enroot Meals on Demand. They are promising over a hundred lures, starting at 7:00pm. Click here for the Facebook event info.

Image courtesy of @Apay00 on Twitter

Offering free WiFi and mobile charging stations (both of which are invaluable to Pokémon Go players), the #BestBuyPokéParty will help gamers get the most out of their tech. For those who have yet to experience the game – but are keen to ride the wave – Best Buy’s helpful Blue Shirts and Geek Squad Agents will be on site to provide quick Pokémon Go tutorials.

The first 25 Pokémon Go players to check in at the #BestBuyPokéParty will receive a free portable mobile phone charger. Attendees are encouraged to post an image from the event to social media for a chance to win the highly coveted Pokémon Go Plus gaming accessory to help catch nearby Pokémon. To enter, images must be tagged with #BestBuyPokéParty. Gamers can also expect plenty of Pokémon Go lures at the party.

Want to connect with more players? Check out the Pokémon GO: Vancouver Meet Up on July 23rd in Stanley Park where over 2.4K people have already confirmed they’ll be attending.