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British Pacific Properties: West Vancouver History and Giveaway

March 25th, 2015 @ 10:54am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

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.

Lions Gate Bridge Just After Sunset
Photo credit: James Wheeler on Flickr

British Pacific Properties

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.

lions gate1
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.

PR sign guys
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.

Aston Hill Aston Hill

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 book Lions 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)
  • Post a photo of the Lions Gate Bridge on Instagram and follow/tag @BritishPacificProperties + @Miss604
  • Post the following on Twitter (1 entry)
RT to enter to win a $175 West Vancouver #BritishProperties prize pack from @Miss604 http://ow.ly/KNoYz

I will draw one winner at random from all entries at 12:00pm on Wednesday, April 1, 2015.

Dining Out for Life

March 25th, 2015 @ 10:14am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

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.

DiningOutforLife2015

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.

Follow Dining Out for Life on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for more information.

15 Nostalgic Photos of Expo 86

March 24th, 2015 @ 2:44pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

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.

Expo 86 - The McBarge! expo Expo 86 - What Yaletown used to look like... kinda Expo 86 - Boom boats
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:

15 Nostalgic Photos of Expo 86


Archives# AM1551-S1-: 2010-006.395. © City of Vancouver


Archives# AM1551-S1-: 2010-006.394. © City of Vancouver


Archives# AM1551-S1-: 2010-006.392 © City of Vancouver


Archives# AM1551-S1-: 2010-006.509. © City of Vancouver


Archives# AM1551-S1-: 2010-006.409 © City of Vancouver


Archives# AM1551-S1-: 2010-006.496. © City of Vancouver


Archives# AM1551-S1-: 2010-006.401. © City of Vancouver


Archives# AM1551-S1-: 2010-006.435. © City of Vancouver


Archives# AM1551-S1-: 2010-006.396. © City of Vancouver


Archives# AM1551-S1-: 2010-006.453. © City of Vancouver


Archives# AM1551-S1-: 2010-006.387. © City of Vancouver


Archives# AM1551-S1-: 2010-006.385. © City of Vancouver


Archives# AM1551-S1-: 2010-006.495. © City of Vancouver


Archives# AM1551-S1-: 2010-006.422. © City of Vancouver


Archives# AM1551-S1-: 2010-006.397. © City of Vancouver

See also: The Best Old PNE Photos 1914-1980 »

Cherry Blossom Photo of the Day Raining Blossoms

March 24th, 2015 @ 1:44pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

During March and April I will be featuring a Cherry Blossom Photo of the Day, sourced from the Miss604 Flickr Pool and/or the #Photos604 tag on Instagram. You can barely walk a full block in the city without encountering a photographer capturing this pink blooms — or stopping yourself — so it’s the perfect time to start this series. Enjoy!

Rainy but Beautiful Spring in Vancouver
Lane near Buchanan Street and Rosser Street in Burnaby. Photo credit: Rochelle on Flickr

View more photography posts on Miss604 along with the Vancouver Photos of the Week – and be sure to tag your photos with #Photos604!

Surrey Party for the Planet 2015

March 24th, 2015 @ 11:14am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Party for the Planet, BC’s largest Earth Day event returns to Surrey City Hall on Saturday, April 25th with free family fun all day long.

Surrey Party For The Planet 2014
Photo credit: John Bollwitt for Miss604

Surrey Party for the Planet

Attended by over 25,000 last year, Party for the Planet is adding more activities and entertainment to the lineup this year with things to do both inside City Hall and outside on the plaza.

Surrey’s Party for the Planet, presented by TD, will showcase some of the most popular bands in Canada. Headlining the event is Five Alarm Funk. Five Alarm Funk’s high energy performances feature gruff funk vocals, psychedelic rock guitars, Balkan-inspired horns, intricate arrangements, and a few well timed explosions. The band will release Abandon Earth, their fifth studio album, on June 7th. The concept album, describing the destruction of planet Earth by a giant robot, is the culmination of 10 years of touring and the nine musicians’ love for high octane, delirium-inducing dance music.

The event will also showcase local band, Good for Grapes. The band recently wrapped up their third Canadian tour, supporting their new single “Skipping Stone”, which has received airplay on CBC and radio stations across the country. Good for Grapes has gained national traction on the strength of their debut album: a recording that captures their energetic stage presence, bombastic rhythms, and tight harmonies.

The YVR Global Stage will be located in Council Chambers, inside Surrey City Hall, and will offer environmental speakers and popular family entertainers including: children’s singer Charlotte Diamond, cartoon superstar Curious George and reptiles from Urban Safari Rescue.

Surrey Party For The Planet 2014
Photo credit: John Bollwitt for Miss604

Additional attractions at this year’s event will include: Sustainability House, a Birds of Prey Demonstration, Surrey’s Urban Farmer’s Market, the annual tree and native plant sale, rock climbing wall and the Salmon Parade.

Miss604 is a proud sponsor of Surrey’s Party for the Planet

Party for the Planet takes place Saturday April 25, 2015 from 10:00am to 6:00pm at Surrey City Hall Plaza, 13450 104 Avenue, Surrey. It is accessible by transit (Surrey Centre Station) and a bike valet will be on site.

Tulips of the Valley Festival in Agassiz

March 24th, 2015 @ 10:14am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

The Tulips of the Valley Festival in Agassiz opens for the season on April 1st, with millions of bright and beautiful petals blanketing the valley below majestic Mount Cheam.

Agassiz, BC

Tulips of the Valley Festival in Agassiz

My first visit to this spectacular site was back in 2009 and I’ve returned to enjoy the stunning sights and scenes in this lovely 40 acre pocket of the Fraser Valley.

You only have about two weeks to enjoy the Tulips of the Valley Festival, which ends April 12th unless the weather cooperates to extend the event, and there’s plenty to do once you get there. Enjoy fresh Dutch Stroopwafels, Bannock, and several vendors from the local Agassiz Farmers market including Tasty Chicken and Honeyview farms. Stop by the store to buy your fresh cut greenhouse tulips, potted flowers and photo cards, and be sure to pose for photos when among the flowers.

40 Acres of Tulips 40 Acres of Tulips 40 Acres of Tulips

Tulip Festival Hours
April 1st to April 12th, 2015
Wednesday and Thursday: 12:00pm to 4:00pm
Friday: 12:00 to 6:30pm
Saturday to Sunday: 9:00am to 6:30pm
Mondays and Tuesdays: Closed
Holiday Weekend Hours (Friday to Monday): 9:00am to 6:30pm

Location
3971 Lougheed Highway, Agassiz, BC
In past years the parking area has been about 1km away from the fields, so be prepared for some walking. To put this in perspective, it would be like walking from Davie to Georgia in Downtown Vancouver — it’s not that far and is very worth it, but just be aware. Bring boots and shoes that can get muddy in the fields too, along with a warm coat for the rain or wind, and of course your camera to take photos.

Admission
Cash only. Weekend Admission (including holiday weekends) is $5 for adults, $4 for seniors, free for kids 12 and under. Groups of then or more are $4 per adult. Weekday Admission (excluding holidays) is $3 for adults, $2.50 for seniors, and kids 12 and under are free. Weekday groups of ten or more are $2.50 per adult.

Parking is $10 cash on weekends and holidays, $5 cash weekdays per vehicle paid at the designated parking lot. To park tour buses it’s $10 (small) and $15 (large).

40 Acres of Tulips

Fresh Cut Tulips
Located at 1694 Tranmer Road in Agassiz, the tulip stand is open daily from dawn to dusk, now until Mother’s Day 2015. Follow the festival on Facebook for more information.

Interested in checking out two tulip festivals this season? Read more about the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival as well. It’s just over the border and we have enjoyed visiting both of these events every year.

YWCA Women of Distinction Awards: Tickets on Sale Now

March 23rd, 2015 @ 2:44pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Tickets are now on sale for the YWCA’s Women of Distinction Awards, coming up on Tuesday, May 26th, 2015 at the Vancouver Convention Centre. Earlier this month the nominees were announced with a near record-setting number of remarkable women recognized for their contributions to their workplace, industry, and community.

YWCA Women of Distinction Awards

YWCA Women of Distinction Awards Nominees

Congratulations to all of the nominees in the following categories:

Business & the Professions
Kathy Butler
Wendy Chu
Lawrie Ferguson
Lianna Mah
Kristi Miller
Michelle Osry
Michelle Pockey
Katie Schaeffers
Laurie Schultz
Jennifer Traub
Sheila Tucker

Arts, Culture & Design
Julie Blue
Jennifer Cutbill
Jacqueline Dupuis
Diana Kaarina
Ramona Luengen
Emily Molnar
Bonnie Nish
Marlie Oden
Myriam Steinberg

Community Champion
Kristal Barrett-stuart
Michaela Davies
Tarah Ferguson
Barbara Fitzgerald
Heather Mackenzie
Claire Robson
Laura Saimoto
Barb Snelgrove
Cheryl Young

Outstanding Workplace
Aritzia
Clio
Goldcorp Inc.

Environmental Sustainability
Tzeporah Berman
Maureen Cureton
Marcia Smith
Victoria Smith

Health & Wellness
Paola Ardiles
Jan Christilaw
Vivian Eliopoulos
Sally Thorne

Technology, Science & Research
Alma Barranco-mendoza
Liisa Galea
Meredith Powell
Dominique Weis

Education, Training & Development
Natacha Beim
Wendy Gilmour
Jennifer Kirkey
Joanne Melville
Sandra Singh
Corey Zylstra

Entrepreneurship
Alexandra Greenhill
Judi Hess
Debra Saimoto
Parise Siegel
Lisa Tuningley

Young Woman of Distinction
Selin Jessa
Zoya Jiwa
Patricia Louie
Suneet Maan
Jenna Reed-cote

Tickets on Sale Now

Individual tickets
Early bird tickets are on sale until Sunday, April 26 for $225 per person / $2,250 per table. As of Monday, April 27, tickets are $250 per person /$2,500 per table.

Purchase a corporate table or ticket for the annual YWCA Women of Distinction Awards and your support for women’s leadership and make a positive impact in your community. Whether you are connected to a nominee or not, as someone who has attended many of these events, I can tell you that you’ll find the evening to be inspirational and rewarding.

Community Partner $3,500 (10 tickets):

  • 10 tickets to the Announcing the Nominees’ Reception (200 people, invite-only reception for nominees, dignitaries and sponsors on March 11)
  • 10 tickets to the YWCA Women of Distinction Awards Dinner (1,250 people at the Vancouver Convention Centre on May 26)
  • A listing in the event program book (1,300 distributed)
  • A tax receipt for the maximum allowable amount as per CRA regulations

Distinguished Partner $3,000 (10 tickets):

  • 10 tickets to the YWCA Women of Distinction Awards Dinner (1,250 people at the Vancouver Convention Centre on May 26)
  • A listing in the event program book (1,300 distributed)
  • A tax receipt for the maximum allowable amount as per CRA regulations

The 2015 awards ceremony will take place Tuesday, May 26th at the Vancouver Convention Centre. Follow the YWCA of Vancouver on Facebook and Twitter for more information along with the YWCA Women of Distinction Awards @YWVanWODA on Twitter.

Miss604 is a proud sponsor of the YWCA Women of Distinction Awards for the 6th year!

YWCA Metro Vancouver is dedicated to achieving women’s equality. Their mission is to touch lives and build better futures for women and their families through advocacy and integrated services that foster economic independence, wellness and equal opportunities.

Cherry Blossom Photo of the Day QE Park

March 23rd, 2015 @ 10:44am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

During March and April I will be featuring a Cherry Blossom Photo of the Day, sourced from the Miss604 Flickr Pool and/or the #Photos604 tag on Instagram. You can barely walk a full block in the city without encountering a photographer capturing this pink blooms — or stopping yourself — so it’s the perfect time to start this series. Enjoy!

Cherry Blossom Photo of the Day QE Park
Peeking on the blossoms at QE Park. Photo credit: Ann Hung on Flickr

View more photography posts on Miss604 along with the Vancouver Photos of the Week – and be sure to tag your photos with #Photos604!