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Win Tickets to the Grey Cup Festival Concert Series

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

The Grey Cup Festival is coming to Vancouver, celebrating the 102nd Grey Cup championship and the very best in Canadian football. From Wednesday, November 26th until Sunday, November 30th — the day of the big game — downtown Vancouver will be hopping with concerts, team events, receptions, galas, and free family activities.

The Grey Cup

Grey Cup Festival

Special events include the Edgewater Casino Night, Scotiabank Rock and ROAR Gala, and the Commissioner’s State of the League. The free TELUS Street Festival includes the PlayNow.com Main Stage, and the Nissan Family Zone at Jack Poole Plaza runs each day of the festival.

Don’t forget the Team Parties! From the Atlantic Schooners DownEast Kitchen Party and Touchdown Manitoba to TigerTown, Stamps House, Riderville, and more.

PlayNow.com Main Stage

This free concert series outside along Canada Place Way at the TELUS Street Festival will showcase a variety of local talent. The Matinee, BESTiE, The Belle Game, Oceanographers, Rococode, Delhi 2 Dublin, Dominique Fricot, Jordan Klassen, Willa, Young Liars, The Boom Booms, Humans, Sophia Danai, Redeye Empire, Freeflow, and more.

Grey Cup Parade

The Grey Cup Parade takes place Saturday, November 29th from 10:00am to 12:00pm and will run along Burrard to Dunsmuir.

Surrey Party for the Planet
Hey Ocean!

Grey Cup Festival Concert Series

The Red Truck Tailgate Concert Series hosts ticketed concerts from Thursday, November 27th until Saturday, November 29th at Vancouver Convention Centre West.

Thursday, November 27, 2014
New Music Night, presented by 102.7 The Peak.

Friday, November 28, 2014
Country Music Night, presented by 93.7 JRfm.

Saturday, November 29, 2014
Classic Rock Night, presented by Rock 101.

Tickets for the Red Truck Tailgate Concert Series are available now via Ticketmaster for single nights or for a full 3 days.

Win Tickets

If you would like to attend the Red Truck Tailgate Concert Series, I have 10 pairs of 3-day passes to give away so that you and a guest can enjoy the concert entire lineup. 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 a 3-day @GreyCupFestival concert series pass from @BCLions @Miss604 http://ow.ly/E48qL

Follow the Grey Cup Festival on Twitter and Facebook for more information, along with the BC Lions on Twitter and Facebook. I will draw 10 winners at random from all entries at 12:00pm on Monday, November 17, 2014. Must be 19+. Please enjoy responsibly.

Update The winners are: Kris, Jake Hamilton, Darren, Mike R, Jen, @Jess_m17, @JamesWilson24, @GregSRobert, @ProperKey

SPES Saturday: Nature Ninjas Urban Camping

November 8th, 2014 @ 11:14am (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.

Nature Ninjas Urban Camping

Students set up camp during SPES’ Nature Ninjas Urban
Camping program in Stanley Park. Mike Mills Photo

When we think of people camping in Stanley Park, school children in tents do not spring to mind. But Stanley Park Ecology Society (“SPES”) hopes that local school teachers are picturing just that. Since 1992 over 5000 kids have had the unique opportunity to explore the wilds of Stanley Park by day AND night through SPES’ Nature Ninjas Urban Camping school program.

“We all know, intuitively and academically, that time in nature is good for kids. We are so proud here at SPES to be able to facilitate deep nature connection experiences, and to see the difference it makes for kids,” says Anita Georgy, SPES School Programs Manager. And what could be more fun than imagining yourself as a ninja creeping through the woods – attired with your own ninja headband? In this unique program, kids in Grades 4 to 7 approach the forest in a way they likely never have before.

With heightened senses they learn to read ‘the book of nature’ through animal tracks and signs, listen to the language of birds, and recognize how they fit into the web of life. With their new-found ninja skills, an evening hike to Beaver Lake is a program highlight where kids often encounter beavers, bats and owls.

Nature Ninja campers examine salmonberry leaves in Stanley Park.

Anita’s Nature Ninjas approach has proven to be a fun educational way of tuning kids into forest, wetland and intertidal ecosystems while building those deeper connections with nature. But for many of the kids – especially inner city students – this is also their first camping experience. Participants set up their tents supplied by SPES, sleep under the stars and cook their meals on camp stoves all just steps from Canada’s third largest city. With a wilderness like Stanley Park so close by, connecting with nature and learning how to survive in it is as easy as hopping on the Number 19 bus, or, as one class did, walking over from the North Shore!

Grub’s up! Campers proudly display their dinner.

But is it safe? The bears, wolves and cougars that once prowled Stanley Park’s forest are long gone, replaced today by a handful of unsanctioned campers who call the Park home. Although the program’s campsite in Mystery Meadow may feel secluded – surrounded by tall cedars and salmonberries, with a babbling creek running nearby – the site is within a large fenced enclosure (invisible from the road for a real nature feel), and is monitored by a professional security guard at night. To date, campers haven’t had any unwanted encounters with Park ‘wildlife’.

Going to camp is often one of the highlights of the year for elementary school students. Nature Ninjas Urban Camping sends its campers home with powerful memories, knowledge, skills and a new relationship to nature that will carry forward into their daily lives. “Where else do you get to see your students hug trees, search for forest critters, quietly sneak up on beavers, overcome fears of the outdoors and have so much fun?” grins Anita.

Happy campers!

For grades 4-7, Nature Ninjas starts on Tuesdays and Thursdays in April, May and June 2015. Call SPES at 604-257-6907 to book your class’ most memorable experience of the year! Only 16 sessions available.

About the Guest Author:

This post has been contributed by Kathleen Stormont, Fundraising & Communications Specialist with the Stanley Park Ecology Society.

Review of Ballet BC’s No. 29

November 8th, 2014 @ 10:14am (PT) by Michelle Kim

No. 29 is the opening performance of Ballet BC’s 29th season and by far its most risk-taking performance ever, which says a lot. Every season, Artistic Director Emily Molnar and the company of dancers collaborate with the most exciting and boundary-pushing choreographers around the world, leaving me in awe after every performance.

This year, the company has collaborated with Spanish choreographer Fernando Hernando Magadan and Vancouver-born choreographer Lesley Telford to give the audience an avant-garde and dreamy evening, bending our notion of what ballet is by incorporating other mediums and influences into its works.

BBC_InstantTech_047An Instant. Choreography / Lesley Telford. Dancers / Andrew Bartee, Rachel Meyer, Nicholas Bellefleur, Scott Fowler. Photo by Michael Slobodian courtesy of Ballet BC.

The first work, A.U.R.A (Anarchist unit Related to Art), choreography by Jacocopo Godani, is a return of an audience favourite when the company first performed it in 2012. Performed to the screeching music by 48 Nord and at times under racks of florescent lights, the piece had a very Orwellian feel to it. The dancers twisted and contorted their bodies into the most bizarre shapes and moved frenetically–yet somehow it all came together to be incredibly graceful and beautiful.

White Act choreographed by Netherlands Dance Theatre’s Magadan is a re-imagining of Les Sylphides, one of the romantic periods oldest ballet. The romantic ballet period is typically characterized by pointe dancing, tutus, and a dance with the surreal (think Swan Lake and Giselle); however, in this piece is also includes back projections of a gateway in a forest and dry ice, adding more dimensions to the fragmented and innovative take on the classic.

Vancouver native Telford’s piece An Instant, was probably my favourite piece. In combination with the bold movements of the dancers–the bending backwards, the drops to the floor–there were a lot of small movements by the dancers that were so naturalistic, they were almost filmic, or as though they were made unconsciously by the dancer. The dancers would also shout things and walked across stage like Shakespearean actors, only to go back to to dancing. Everything came together so well in such unison, blending together with ease, that it was clear that every movement, small and large, was intentional and well-thought out, just like the entire evening, and the sensational repertoire by Ballet BC.

No. 29 is on stage tonight at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre in Vancouver. Follow Ballet BC on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for more information about performances this season.

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.


Top 10: Surrey Posts on Miss604

November 7th, 2014 @ 1:12pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Since I’m celebrating the 10 year anniversary of Miss604 on November 13th, I figured that a retrospective series was in order leading up to the event. Over the last 10 years I have personally published over 6,240 posts while family and friends have contributed over 200 guest posts. I’ve decided to pick out my Top 10 posts in various categories and showcase them this week.

Top 10: History Posts on Miss604

Miss604.com was started while I still lived in Surrey and my hometown has always been a source of inspiration for me. Over the last 10 years it’s been the one constant in my content and I’ve loved sharing its history and covering its festivals. Here are a few Surrey highlights:

10. The Pattullo Bridge

1937: Archives# Br P70.

The Pattullo Bridge, the much-loathed, well used, rusted orange and green bridge, which is almost an octogenarian, has been a topic of discussion on the blog since I first began putting words on the miss604.blogspot.com page. I’ve profiled its namesake, Duff Pattullo, featured historical tidbits, and more over the years.

9. What The Surrey?

From 2007 until 2008 I posted a weekly series called “What the Surrey?“. It started out being a quiz of sorts, asking if you knew the street names we use today for Hjorth Road and Kennedy Road, then it turned into a weekly roundup of local news and commentary. As far as I know, it was the first Surrey blog series in existence and while it’s a little rough around the edges (I’ve come a long way in 10 years), it definitely shows my roots.

8. Surrey Christmas Bureau

One of the posts that is most searched for on Google at this time of year is about adopt-a-family programs at Christmas. Since 2007 I have promoted the Surrey Christmas Bureau and my sister’s family has supported others in her community. If you’re looking to support a family this season, the Surrey Christmas Bureau is currently looking for participants.

7. Metro Vancouver Park Series

Surrey Fusion Festival

Before “The Future Lives Here”, Surrey was “The City of Parks” and the former motto is evidently as applicable as ever as I browse my Metro Vancouver Park Series. Guest authors and I have contributed profiles of Crescent Park, Blackit Spit, Holland Park, Redwood Park, Tynehead, Kwantlen, Peace Arch Park, and other green spaces throughout the city.

6. Two Awesome Guys Named Chuck: Chuck Cadman

Chuck Cadman became a fixture of local news and politics after his son was tragically killed in a stabbing attack. Chuck and his wife Dona stepped up their community involvement, working with troubled youths, starting organizations and campaigning for tougher laws. As a result, Chuck entered politics in 1997 as a member of the Reform Party of Canada. He played a pivotal role in incorporating new measures into the Canada’s Youth Criminal Justice Act and was appointed Justice Critic. In 2004 after losing re-election, Chuck was also diagnosed with cancer, and it claimed his life in 2005.

5. Two Awesome Guys Named Chuck: Chuck Bailey


Chuck Bailey is a legendary coach who put Surrey on the map in terms of world class little league baseball. Even as he was battling the effects of leukemia, to which he succumbed in 2008, Bailey spent as many as 15 hours each day in the summer months at the ballpark.

Bailey’s legacy: By 2005, the Whalley baseball teams had won 153 titles in four age categories, including 59 district pennants, 60 provincial championships, and 34 national crowns. Whalley Little League has also represented Canada at the Little League World Series in Williamsport in 1973, 1978, 1997, and 2005. There is also the Chuck Bailey Recreation Centre, the Chuck Bailey Skatepark and Youth Centre, and a dedication to Chuck Bailey at Whalley Athletic Park.

4. Signs You Grew Up in Surrey in the ’90s


One of my most-read posts is Signs You Grew Up in Surrey in the ’90s including such gems as “You bought your first CD ever at A&B Sound in Whalley” and “You still call Central City Surrey Place”.

3. Charlie’s Tree

Charlie's Tree
Photo courtesy of Antonio @ Vendramin’s Views.

My most-shared post about Surrey is Charlie’s Tree along Highway 1, which I also included in my Top 10 History Posts roundup.

2. Surrey’s Major Festivals

Surrey Canada Day 2012
Photo credit: John Bollwitt on Flickr for Miss604.com

Miss604 has been a proud sponsor of every major City of Surrey festival since 2008, including Winterfest (now the Tree Lighting Festival), Party for the Planet, Canada Day, and Fusion Festival. These internationally award-winning events are all free, family-friendly, full of awesome food, activities, and music.

1. The Vancouver 2010 Torch Relay

One of the highlights of my career, and my life, was riding in the Vancouver 2010 Olympics torch relay convoy through my hometown. John Biehler and I were guests of Chevrolet as we followed the Royal Bank and Coca Cola trucks through the usually quiet neighbourhood streets of North Delta and Surrey where hundreds of school children, families, and residents cheered, clapped, and held up patriotic signs as we passed. Not only that, the relay went right by my Oma’s house and there she was waving her Canadian flag with tears in her eyes. I hopped out of the car and gave her a big hug — she was so proud that this major event was happening right on her road, where she and my Opa built their house in 1956 after moving to Canada from Germany.

Olympic Torch Relay
My mitts and camera. Photo credit: John Biehler on Flickr


If you have any content to share about Surrey, BC you can post it on social media and tag it with #TrueSurrey, an initiative of Tourism Surrey.

More themed Top 10 posts will follow this week and be sure to get your tickets to the #Miss604is10 anniversary party:

Thanks to #Miss604is10 major sponsors London Drugs, Patio Social, Granville Liquor Store, Honda Canada, Granville Island Brewing, and Tourism Surrey.

Surrey Tree Lighting Festival

November 7th, 2014 @ 10:44am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

The City of Surrey always hosts fantastic seasonal festivals and the next one on the calendar is the Surrey Tree Lighting Festival on Saturday, November 22nd. Moving this year from the Central City Plaza over to the new City Hall Plaza across the street, the event will have a full lineup of activities and performers including headliner Alyssa Reid.

Surrey Tree Lighting Festival

Celebrations will start at 11:00am at Central City Mall with Santa’s arrival an hour later. The rest of the festivities will move over to the new City Hall Plaza from 12:00pm onward. The tree lighting will take place at 6:30pm and performances will run until 8:00pm.

Surrey Tree Lighting Festival 2012Families can enjoy a “Letters to Santa” station, Kids World, Story Time Igloo, a life-sized snow globe, road hockey, and food trucks. Visitors are encouraged to bring a can of food for the Surrey Food Bank or a donation for the Surrey Christmas Bureau.

Other Canadian entertainers who will take the stage include Western Canadian Music Hall of Fame inductee Fred Penner, who also has a couple of Juno awards and is a member of the Order of Canada. Joining the family entertaining lineup is local favourites Bobs n’ Lolo, the Peak Performance Project finalists, The Tourist Company, Praise Dance Team, Top Line Vocal Collective, Sweet Soul Gospel Choir and many more.

This free family festival is presented by Coast Capital Savings and I am once again proud to be a media partner of this major City of Surrey event. Follow the City of Surrey’s events team on Facebook and Twitter for more information.

Things to do in Vancouver This Weekend

November 7th, 2014 @ 9:14am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt
Butchart Gardens
Photo credit: Change Xia on Flickr

Things to do in Vancouver This Weekend

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

Friday, November 7, 2014
Sponsored by Miss604: Late Night Movie at the Rio Theatre
Rogue Folk: Winsome Kind with guest Colin Bullock
Moonlight Masquerade, Surrey
Comedy Show Rex Navarrete
Render: The Vancouver International Music Video Festival
Late Night at La Mezcaleria with Woodhead & Lady Ra
Interesting Vancouver
Creative Mornings Vancouver
Lord of the Flies, Abbotsford
Media Democracy Days
National Model Railroad Association Meet
Marvelous Wonderettes at the Shadbolt Centre for the Arts
No.29 Ballet BC Season Opener
CircusWest’s CircusFest
Snapshots: A Musical Scrapbook, Granville Island
Ouxi Taiwanese Puppetry Festival at the Museum of Anthropology
Vancouver Jewish Film Festival
Vancouver Opera: Stickboy
Havana Theatre: Hunter Gatherers by Peter Sinn Nachtrieb

Saturday, November 8, 2014
Mission Transition 5K Walk/10K Run
Children of God – Staged Reading
Canzine West
Football: Langley Rams vs Saskatoon
ComedyCoup West Coast Party
Stand Up! The Original Tandoori Kings of Comedy
Karaoke for a Cause at Displace Hashery
FoodGROWS Winter Garden Demo Day
Canvas and Cocktails
ArtStarts: Wildlife in the City
Langley Weavers and Spinners Guild Artisan Sale
Thyroid Health Strategies, Seminar/Workshop
Old School Dance Party
Living the New Economy : Global Live 2014
Lord of the Flies, Abbotsford
Vancouver Winter Farmers Market at Nat Bailey Stadium
Media Democracy Days
Saturday Book Club at Vancouver Public Libraries
National Model Railroad Association Meet
Marvelous Wonderettes at the Shadbolt Centre for the Arts
No.29 Ballet BC Season Opener
CircusWest’s CircusFest
Snapshots: A Musical Scrapbook, Granville Island
Ouxi Taiwanese Puppetry Festival at the Museum of Anthropology
Vancouver Jewish Film Festival
Havana Theatre: Hunter Gatherers by Peter Sinn Nachtrieb

Sunday, November 9, 2014
Roedde House Museum Second Sunday Concert Series
Songs of Love and War
Skills ‘n Spills – BC Hospitality Foundation Industry Games
River District Craft Fair
Walking Tour: Military History of Stanley Park
West End: GLOW: EL Wire Workshop
Stanley Park: Rainforests of the World
the PRELOVED sale
The Art of Crowdfunding w/ IAN MACKENZIE
The Raymur Mothers at The Russian Hall
The Park at English Bay Fashion Show
Langley Weavers and Spinners Guild Artisan Sale
National Model Railroad Association Meet
Marvelous Wonderettes at the Shadbolt Centre for the Arts
CircusWest’s CircusFest
Ouxi Taiwanese Puppetry Festival at the Museum of Anthropology
Vancouver Jewish Film Festival

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.

Vancouver Photos of the Week

November 6th, 2014 @ 7:14pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Gusts of wind are clearing branches of their leaves as the slippery sidewalks burst with autumn’s bright reds, yellows, and greens. It’s a dreary November so far, with bursts of sunshine, claps of thunder, and a beautiful collection of photos that have been shared with the Miss604 Flickr Pool and #Photos604 on Instagram.

Vancouver Photos of the Week

With Glowing Hearts We See Thee Rise, The True North Strong & Free!
Photo credit: Clayton Perry on Flickr

Top 10: History Posts on Miss604

November 6th, 2014 @ 1:44pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Since I’m celebrating the 10 year anniversary of Miss604 on November 13th, I figured that a retrospective series was in order leading up to the event. Over the last 10 years I have personally published over 6,240 posts while family and friends have contributed over 200 guest posts. I’ve decided to pick out my Top 10 posts in various categories and showcase them this week.

Top 10: History Posts on Miss604

For this collection I have selected posts that garnered a lot of views, took a decent amount of research, or were the most fun to put together:

10. Foncie’s Photos

Foncie Pulice, Vancouver’s most famous street photographer, perfected the genre throughout the 1930s, 1940s, 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s in downtown Vancouver. In his lifetime, Foncie took over 15 million photos of Vancouverites as they strolled through the city, including one of my Opa on Granville Street in 1956. Foncie’s amazing collection, the memories his images trigger, and the snapshot in time where he captured my dear Opa make his one of my very favourite stories to share.

9. Henry John Cambie

Henry John Cambie plaque in Waterfront Station

I have profile many historical figures in nearly 500 Vancouver history blog posts but I decided to include this one about John Henry Cambie because it was one of many where relatives of the subjects actually contacted me. Chief August Jack Khatsahlano is another example of an important figure whose family lives in Vancouver today, and has happened to contact me through my blog.

8. English Bay Pier

1905 – Archives item# CVA 677-227. Photographer: Philip Timms.

Having lived in the West End for the last decade I am always fascinated by this neighbourhood’s history. One day I was searching through old newspaper archives, as I have been known to do, and I found mention of the English Bay Pier. This led to research, a visit to the Vancouver Archives, and a what became a popular blog post.

7. Archive Photos of the Day

[Vancouver Ladies' hockey team]
1920: Vancouver Women’s Hockey Team. Archives Item#: CVA 99-58

I first began sharing photos from the City of Vancouver Archives and Vancouver Public Library Archives in 2010 and for the last six years I have assembled vintage image collections every few weeks that showcase glimpses of life in Vancouver throughout the last century. I’ve featured the the extraordinary and the mundane: From hockey, beaches, local mountains, North Shore ferries, and Christmas decorations to lighthouses, ice cream, moustaches, a giant ski jump, and hundreds more.

6. Reservoir in Stanley Park

Stanley Park Reservoir
Cropped and zoomed in. Archives item# MAP 777.

Stanley Park is my favourite place in the city so naturally I have also looked into its history quite a bit over the years. This post starts off with: “The other day I was looking at an old map of Stanley Park from 1907,” another day in the life of Miss604 moment. That old map prompted me to look into a square formation that was once a reservoir, and is now a ballpark.

5. Women in History

1929: Sister Frances of Strathcona receiving a “Good Citizenship Medal” from the City. Archives item# CVA 99-1874. Photographer: Stuart Thomson

There have been, and continue to be, some remarkable women who have called Vancouver home. My profile of these ladies in Vancouver history started with my appreciation for Pauline Johnson and it continues to grow as I find interesting subjects all the time. A few that I have profiled so far include: Sister Frances of Strathcona, Mable Ellen Boultbee, Anna Ethel Sprott, and Doreen Reitsma.

4. Joe Fortes

1910s: Joe Fortes in front of his cottage at the foot of Bidwell St (1700 Beach Ave). Archives# CVA 371-1977

Vancouver’s “Citizen of the Century”, Joe Fortes, was one of my first history profiles, back at a time when most people associated the name with a lovely restaurant on the corner of Thurlow and Robson. Joe Fortes taught hundreds of children to swim, saved over 100 lives, and became a legend and inspiration for the city.

3. Visiting the Vancouver Archives

City of Vancouver Archives

The biggest help and most treasured resource in my pursuit of learning and sharing Vancouver history is the City of Vancouver Archives, officially opened in 1933 by Major J.S. Matthews — the man who saved Vancouver. In 2009 I got a behind the scenes tour of the archives, browsing the minutes of the first ever city council meeting and soaking up every ephemeral gem, from film reel canisters and maps to photographs.

Speaking of awesome tours, an honourable mention goes to the exclusive tour I had of the clock tower at Sinclair Centre in 2010.

2. The Mayor of Gastown

“Ace” Aasen. Windsor Star/CP.

Do you know the Mayor of Gastown?

I first read about Ace” Aasen — the self-proclaimed Mayor of Gastown — in an old newspaper archive. I then dug around to find several other stories about the neighbourhood’s popular unofficial ambassador who lived in the Hotel Europe in the 1970s. This post combines a bit of research, articles from local publications, personal accounts, and the story of one heck of a character.

1. Charlie’s Tree

Charlie's Tree
Photo courtesy of Antonio @ Vendramin’s Views.

My most popular history post of all time was about Charlie’s Tree, a monument I had driven by every Sunday as a child on the way out to my grandmother’s house in Langley on Highway 1. Covered in vines, with a small Canadian flag tacked to the front, all that was legible along those drives was a sign with the words “Charlie’s Tree”. In 2012, after passing it again and noticing that it has been more decorated in recent years, I decided to look into its history. What I found was a courageous and powerful story that I am very happy I took the time to learn.

More themed Top 10 posts will follow this week and be sure to get your tickets to the #Miss604is10 anniversary party:

Thanks to #Miss604is10 major sponsors London Drugs, Patio Social, Granville Liquor Store, Honda Canada, Granville Island Brewing, and Tourism Surrey.