Things to do in Vancouver This Weekend

March 19th, 2015 @ 7:14pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt
Under The Blossoms
Photo credit: Clayton Perry 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, March 20, 2015
Sponsored by Miss604: Friday Late Night Movie at the Rio Theatre
Macaron Day in Vancouver
Harrell Fletcher – Artist talk
Beer Olympics III – The Hung(ov)er Games
Kyle Bottom’s Comedy Bucket
PATS Vintage Pop Up Shop
TED Conference
Family Programs at the Vancouver Art Gallery for Spring Break
Spring Break at the Cannery in Steveston
Vancouver Fashion Week
PlayDome at BC Place
Vancouver International Dance Festival

Saturday, March 21, 2015
BIL Vancouver
Free Community Paddling Day
Canadian Cancer Society Yukigassen – Snow Battle Vancouver 2015
F Cancer Event with host Stephen Amell
Artisan Fair at River Market, New Westminster
Ping Pong Showdown
Winter 2015 Farm Programs in Surrey – Farm Tykes: Bonjour from Madeline
Public Talk on Orijit Sen’s mural, from Punjab, with Love
Meat Your Maker – Vancouver Farmers Markets
Zakir Hussain’s Celtic Connections
Terminal City Roller Girls Bout
Vancouver Shogi Club (Japanese Chess)
PATS Vintage Pop Up Shop
Vancouver Fashion Week
PlayDome at BC Place
Vancouver International Dance Festival

Sunday, March 22, 2015
Mason Bee Workshop
The Family’s Pasta & Italian Cooking Classes
Modo Vancouver Spring Run Off
BIL Vancouver
Polka Pot painting pARTy
Hastings Park Farmers Market
PATS Vintage Pop Up Shop
Vancouver Fashion Week
PlayDome at BC Place
Vancouver International Dance Festival

Check out the full March event listings here and if you have an event to include, please send it in by email for a free listing. Follow Miss604 on Twitter for more daily updates.

Woodbridge #UnwindTogether Prize Pack

March 19th, 2015 @ 11:44am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

The best part about a glass of wine is that it can be enjoyed in almost any setting. On a sunshine soaked patio with friends, at a multi-course pairing dinner, or sitting on the couch while binge watching your favourite series. The latter is the focus of a new campaign partnership between Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Wines and Miss Vickie’s potato chips. They are encouraging you to #UnwindTogether by pairing some of their varieties and flavours for a chill night of comfort and entertainment at home.

Wine and Chip Pairings

Woodbridge and Miss Vickie’s sent me a box of four wines and four flavours of chip, here were their suggestions:

Cabernet Sauvignon + Original Recipe
Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi’s Cabernet Sauvignon has rich berry aromas that give this wine a delicious full body. When coupled with the unique crunch and toasty finish of Miss Vickie’s Original Recipe potato chips. TV Pairing: Action.

woodbridge-missvickiesPinot Grigio + Sea Salt & Malt Vinegar
The crisp nectarine and peach flavours of Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi’s Pinot Grigio, together with the tangy and refreshingly acidic balance of Miss Vickie’s Sea Salt & Malt Vinegar potato chips, make for a pairing perfectly suited to relaxing. TV Pairing: Reality TV.

Sauvignon Blanc + Lime & Black Pepper
The crisp and bright tropical notes of Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi’s Sauvignon Blanc create an explosion of flavour when sampled with Miss Vickie’s Lime & Black Pepper potato chip. TV Pairing: Drama.

Merlot + Balsamic Vinegar & Sweet Onion
Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi’s Merlot has bright, fruity flavours that come alive when paired with the tangy sweetness of Miss Vickie’s Balsamic Vinegar & Sweet Onion potato chips. TV Pairing: Comedy.

Our Favourite Pairing

John and I spent some quality time on the couch watching everything from Motive, Anthony Bourdain’s Layover and The Amazing Race, to Stripes and Fever Pitch (the 1997 version with Colin Firth). Our cups full, our chip bowl overflowing. The result: You can’t go wrong with the Original Recipe and the Cabernet Sauvignon, but our standout favourite was the Pinot Grigio with the Sea Salt & Malt Vinegar chips. The citrus notes in the wine played off the vinegar, toning it down and creating a balanced sip.

Deals in March and April

This month, BC Liquor Stores, select BC independent wine shops, and independent liquor stores in Alberta and Manitoba are all providing a free bag of Miss Vickie’s potato chips with a Woodbridge purchase. In April, the gift with purchase promotion continues in British Columbia only, along with a $2.00 off coupon neck tag in BC and Saskatchewan.

Win a Woodbridge #UnwindTogether Prize Pack

Woodbridge and Miss Vickie’s have offered up this pairing opportunity for a Miss604 reader to experience. The bundled prize pack includes 4 bottles of wine, 4 bags of chips, 2 wine glasses, a glass bowl, and a cozy blanket. Here’s how you can enter to win:

  • Leave a comment naming the pairing you most look forward to trying (1 entry)
  • Post the following on Twitter (1 entry)
RT to enter to win a @Woodbridge_Wine + Miss Vickie’s #UnwindTogether prize pack from @Miss604 http://ow.ly/Kygwi

I will draw one winner at random from all entries at 12:00pm on Wednesday, March 25, 2015. Must be 19+. Please enjoy responsibly. Follow Woodbridge on Facebook and Twitter for more information.

Update The winner is Jeanie!

Vancouver Photos of the Week

March 19th, 2015 @ 7:14am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

The rain has come to refresh the cherry blossoms but while we wait for the next sunny day to return, we have plenty of photos of gorgeous sunsets, city scenes, and sights to entertain us. Thanks to those who have contributed their images to the Miss604 Flickr Pool and the #Photos604 tag on Instagram this week:

Vancouver Photos of the Week

Photo credit: Shaadi Faris on Flickr

Red Umbrellas Red Umbrellas
Photo credit: Ann Hung & Ann Hung on Flickr

Downtown Vancouver
Photo credit: Ann Hung on Flickr

Photo credit: David Evanochko on Flickr

Spring in Vancouver Blossom Time springtime in the city
Photo credit: Ann Hung & Brigitte Mueller & Lisa Nixon on Flickr

Blue Sky Vancouver. Blue Sky Vancouver.
Photo credit: Nattawot Juttiwattananon & Nattawot Juttiwattananon on Flickr

Dome detail Let There Be Rain ~ Vancouver, BC Waiting for summer
Photo credit: Carol Nixon & SeaSide Signs ~ Vancouver, BC & Carol Nixon on Flickr

Purify The Spirit.
Photo credit: Nattawot Juttiwattananon on Flickr

Beach & Bathhouse ~ Vancouver, BC
Photo credit: SeaSide Signs ~ Vancouver, BC on Flickr

Granville Island
Photo credit: Ayan Blue on Flickr

Shipyards Pier
Photo credit: Jaden Nyberg on Flickr

Bonus! Aurora Borealis was viewable in the 604 this week! Here’s a shot from Whistler:

Aurora Borealis
Photo credit: Patrick Hui on Flickr

As always, please click through on these images to view more work from the photographers and feel free to share your own photos with the Miss604 Flickr Pool or with the tag #Photos604 on Instagram. View all photo collections here and follow Miss604 on Instagram.

FVDED in the Park Summer Music Festival in Surrey

March 18th, 2015 @ 4:21pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Deadmau5 and The Weeknd are coming to Surrey this summer as Holland Park hosts the inaugural FVDED in the Park Summer Music Festival. Presented by Blueprint and Live Nation Canada, the all-ages event will take place July 3rd and July 4th, 2015 featuring world-class artists from a variety of genres, performing across two outdoor stages.

Photo credit: John Biehler on Flickr

FVDED in the Park Summer Music Festival in Surrey

“With programming scheduled to showcase a variety of musical genres, including house, R&B, hip hop and more, up to 22,000 people are expected to attend the ticketed festival daily. Holland Park was selected as the ideal location for this large-scale event, based on its scenic backdrop, access to over 14 acres of park-space, and proximity to rapid transit.”

Located in Surrey’s emerging city centre, Holland Park has hosted the award-winning Fusion Festival since 2008 along with Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic celebrations and a Mumford and Sons show in 2013. The park, situated between King George SkyTrain and Surrey Central Station become the heart and soul of civic festivities since the City of Surrey began the park’s massive reconstruction following months of public consultation that began in 2004. The redevelopment of the park has transformed it from a once quiet and underused space to the vast expanse and variety of gathering spaces it provides today.

Surrey Fusion Fest 2012
Holland Park during the Fusion Festival in Surrey

“Surrey was the obvious location for this new property,” said Erik Hoffman, Live Nation Canada’s Senior Vice President of Talent. “We had a wonderful time producing the Mumford & Sons event here in 2013. Now, with our partners at Blueprint, we’re bringing a different experience to Holland Park with this exciting and progressive urban music festival. FVDED in the Park speaks to current music and cultural trends, so it made perfect sense to connect this with such a growing and diverse community.”

Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner comments, “We are excited to welcome FVDED in the Park to our community. Bringing a well-organised festival of this calibre to Surrey further reinforces our standing as a world-class destination. I look forward to seeing everyone there.”

General Admission Two-Day Festival Passes and 19+ VIP Area Passes will be available for purchase on Monday, March 23 at 11:00am. General Admission passes will be valid to admit all ages. The daily lineup and on sale date for the Single Day Passes will be announced in the coming weeks.

The FVDED in the Park lineup includes: Deadmau5, The Weeknd, Afrojack, Tyler The Creator, Flosstradamus, The Chainsmokers, Danny Brown, Chuckie, Vic Mensa, Pete Tong, Claude VonStroke, Keys N Krates, TOKiMONSTA, Destructo, Stwo,Thugli, Haywyre,Tommy Kruise, and more.

Follow the festival on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram along with the tag #FVDED2015 for more information.

Things to Know About Cherry Blossoms in Vancouver

March 18th, 2015 @ 10:20am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Springtime in Vancouver is celebrated every time the wind blows and delicate, fragrant confetti floats down from branches to cover our sidewalks, streets, and lawns. The cherry (and plum) blossoms are here and the puffy pink blossoms are forming pillowy canopies, making it hard to resist taking as many photos as you can while they last.

The Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival is coming up as well so I thought it would be a good time to share some information about cherry blossoms in Vancouver.

Things to Know About Cherry Blossoms in Vancouver

Akebono Cherry Blossoms

Where Did They Come From?

“For more than sixty years, Vancouverites have enjoyed a love affair each spring with the soul-stirring flowering plum and cherry trees that line our streets and grace our parks,” writes Carol DeFina, Communications Coordinator for the Vancouver Park Board, via the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival.

“In the 1930s, ‘40s and ‘50s, the staff initiated a number of significant cherry tree plantings—provided primarily as gifts to the Park Board. In the early 1930s the mayors of both Kobe and Yokohama presented the Park Board with 500 Japanese cherry trees for planting at the Japanese cenotaph in Stanley Park honouring Japanese Canadians who served in WWI. And so, as the impact of cherry tree plantings began to reshape the city’s landscape, Vancouverites were soon smitten by their fleeting beauty, their clouds of blossoms, as they heralded spring’s arrival each year.

In 1958 three hundred more cherry trees were donated by the Japanese consul, Muneo Tanabe, reported in the newspaper as “an eternal memory of good friendship between our two nations.” The ornamental cherries were planted along Cambie boulevard, between 49th and 33rd Avenues, in Queen Elizabeth Park and around the Japanese monument in Stanley Park.”

Japanese plum blossoms
Plum blossom. Photo credit: Robyn Hanson on Flickr

How Many Trees Are There?

“By the time the Park Board completed its first comprehensive street tree inventory in 1990, nearly 36 percent of the 89,000 trees on city streets were represented by trees of the Prunus genus—the flowering plum and cherry trees. Of the 479 different classifications of trees identified in the inventory, the most common species was Prunus serrulata ‘Kwanzan’, the Kwanzan flowering cherry. (12.6 percent) This was followed by Prunus cerasifera, the Pissard plum. (12.4%).

Since that time, Akebono cherries, which seem to display superior performance in our rainy Pacific Northwest climate, have become been much more prevalent in Park Board planting programs. Plums have been de-emphasized due to root problems, though a significant number continue to be added as replacements.”

In the 2014 version of the festival’s Ornamental Cherries guide, there were an additional 19 cultivars listed, bringing the total to 54 different varieties of flowering cherry trees that can be found in Vancouver neighbourhoods, with over 40,000 individual trees.

Kwanzan. Photo credit: Rachid H on Flickr

Plum or Cherry?

Many of the early blossoms in March are actually plum, not cherry. Here is a handy guide to identifying a plum vs cherry blossoms.



My favourite. The Akebono is in bloom right now (early March) and has distinctive light pink blossoms, they’re the dominant tree at Art Phillips Park/Burrard SkyTrain in Downtown Vancouver:

Cherry blossom under sunny blue sky
Akebono. Photo credit: Lawrence on Flickr

There’s also a grove along the Island Park Walk at Granville Island, where I took the top photo for this blog post yesterday.

Cherry Grove

It is believed that the world’s first AIDS memorial is in Vancouver, at Cherry Grove in Coal Harbour. Back in 1985, three cherry tree were planted across from the Vancouver Rowing Club to commemorate friends and family who died of AIDS. Musician Mark Kleiner told me last year that the Vancouver Park Board had approved a plaque to be installed about this memorial for which he’s written a song.

Today in Vancouver: Seawall Spring Stroll
Photo credit: Rikki / Julius Reque on Flickr


Do you love the blossoms so much that you want to write a poem about them? The Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival’s Haiku Invitational is now open for submissions.

subway platform
she brushes cherry petals
from her black umbrella
~ by Garry Eaton from Port Moody, British Columbia

Cherry blossoms
Akebono at Burrard Station. Photo credit: Tom Magliery on Flickr

Festival Events

The Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival has various events throughout the month of April, from the Sakura Night Gala and Sakura Days Japan Fair, to Cherry Blossom Picnics, Bike the Blossoms, Blossom and Bollywood Kite Dance, and the BC Blossom Watch Photo Contest.

Where Can You Find Cherry Blossoms in Vancouver?

Check out the Neighbourhood Maps online and the Blooming Now page to see what is currently blooming in specific locations around the Lower Mainland.

Vancouver Icons: Pacific Central Station

March 18th, 2015 @ 9:14am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

There are only a few dozen public buildings in Vancouver that have celebrated a centennial but in just a few years the Pacific Central Station will join the list. Built when False Creek was first being filled in, this Neoclassical Revival building has served as a train station since 1919, and a bus station since 1993. Once the terminus for the Canadian Northern Railway, it is now the terminus for your VIA Rail, Amtrak Cascades, BoltBus, and Greyhound transportation. Today it’s also my Vancouver Icons photo feature:

Pacific Central Station

1917. Construction begins. Archives# Bu N540.022.

1917. Construction of Canadian Northern Railway depot. Archives# Bu N540.042.

1918. CNR Station under construction (right) and completed GNR (Union) Station (left). Photographer: Canadian Photo Co. Archives# PAN N178.

1918 – January. Final stages of construction before fill of False Creek completed. Archives# Bu N540.080.

1932. Exterior of the Canadian National Railway station on Main Street. Archives# Can P23.1.

1973. Archives# CVA 447-253. Photographer: Walter E. Frost.

pcs hdr/tthdr
Photo credit: JoshNV on Flickr

1925. Photographer: Stuart Thomson. Archives# CVA 99-3523.

Photo credit: Norm Lee on Flickr

Pacific Central - Vancouver
Photo credit: Chrystian Guy on Flickr

... and Day
Photo credit: Bruce Irschick on Flickr

Photo credit: Ricky Leong on Flickr

Vancouver Pacific Central Station
Photo credit: Martin Deutsch on Flickr

Pacific Central Station
Photo credit: Zorro1968 on Flickr

Photo credit: SukkhaP on Flickr

Pacific Central
Photo credit: Chris Wenger on Flickr

Pacific Central
Photo credit: Ryan Mezzo on Flickr

Previous Vancouver Icons posts: Randall Building Mural, East Van Cross, Robert Burns Statue in Stanley Park, Vancouver Maritime Museum, Flack Block, The Drop, Prospect Point Lighthouse, Engagement, Ovaltine Cafe, The English Bay Slide, Freezing Water #7, Cleveland Dam, Heritage Hall, School of Theology Building at UBC, Gate to the Northwest Passage, St Paul’s Hospital, Capilano Lake, Stawamus Chief, Nine O’Clock Gun, Malkin Bowl, Search, Vancouver Rowing Club, Echoes, Point Atkinson Lighthouse, English Bay Inukshuk, Hollow Tree, Hotel Europe, Lions Gate Bridge Lions, LightShed, Granville Bridge, 217.5 Arc x 13′, Canoe Bridge, Vancouver Block, Bloedel Conservatory, Centennial Rocket, Canada Place, Old Courthouse/Vancouver Art Gallery, Dominion Building, Science World, Gastown Steam Clock, SFU Burnaby, Commodore Lanes, Siwash Rock, Kitsilano Pool, White Rock Pier, Main Post Office, Planetarium Building, Lord Stanley Statue, Vancouver Library Central Branch, Victory Square, Digital Orca, The Crab Sculpture, Girl in Wetsuit, The Sun Tower, The Hotel Vancouver, The Gassy Jack Statue, The Marine Building, and The Angel of Victory. Should you have a suggestion for the Vancouver Icons series please feel free to leave a note in the comments. It should be a thing, statue, or place that is very visible and recognizable to the public.

Skagit Valley Tulip Festival 2015

March 17th, 2015 @ 2:14pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

The Skagit Valley Tulip Festival returns April 1st to April 30th in Washington State, in the La Conner and Mount Vernon area, just a quick drive from the border.

Skagit Tulip Festival
Our photos from Tulip Town, 2011

During your visit, you can drive to various tulip, daffodil and iris fields and events or do a cycling tour. There are dozens of locations for activities with Tulip Town (15002 Bradshaw Road) and RoozenGaarde (15867 Beaver Marsh Road) being hubs.


Tulip Town and RoozenGaarde

RoozenGaarde will be open from 9:00am to 7:00pm daily through the end of April. Right now the early spring blooming tulips, daffodils, and other bulbs are coloring the garden at 15867 Beaver Marsh Rd. in Mount Vernon. Admission is $5.00 per adult, children 6 and under free.

Tulip Town is opening early this spring, ready to greet visitors from 9:00am to 5:00pm daily (later if weather permits) through the end of April. The growers at Tulip Town report they have early varieties blooming to greet visitors at 15002 Bradshaw Rd. in Mount Vernon. Admission is $5.00 per adult, children 6 and under free.

RoozenGaarde and Tulip Town both have free parking adjacent to their facilities. Pets are not allowed in the gardens.

Skagit Valley Tulip Festival

Skagit Valley Tulip Festival Skagit Tulip Festival
Our photos from Tulip Town, 2011

Tulip Festival Info

There are several special events throughout the month, like the Tulip Run on April 4th, art shows, and even local museums, breweries, and wineries join in the fun with specials. Mount Vernon and La Conner are about 100km south of Vancouver and 90km north of Seattle just off the I-5.

Skagit Valley Tulip Festival
Our photos from Tulip Town, 2011

Follow the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival on Facebook and Twitter for more information and stop on by later this month to see all of the beautiful tulips in bloom.

Cherry Blossom Photo of the Day Sakura Line

March 17th, 2015 @ 11:14am (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!

Sakura Line (Canada Line)
Photo credit: TOTORORO.RORO 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!