Win Tickets to the Next Canadian Women in PR Event

Wednesday, September 14th, 2016 — 2:29pm PDT
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Enjoy a panel discussion, networking, and a glass of wine at the next Canadian Women in PR event in Vancouver. The discussion, with a group of local industry pros, will be based on the Harvard Business Review report titled “The Hidden Brain Drain: Off-Ramps and On-Ramps in Women’s Careers.”


Canadian Women in PR

Where: Pan Pacific Vancouver Hotel
When: Tuesday, September 27, 2016 from 5:00pm to 8:00pm
Tickets: Available online starting at $65.99.

Join this evening of networking along with a panel discussion on career offroads and onroads – navigating a women’s career in business. Enjoy expansive views of Coal Harbour, Stanley Park and the Vancouver waterfront while sipping a glass of wine and mingling with PR industry colleagues.

Most professional women step off the career track at some point in their lives whether it be to raise children, care for elderly parents, or to manage other life experiences. This event aims to explore the off ramps taken by women in public relations roles in our area.

Moderator Natalie Langston will lead the panel consisting of Robin Cook Bondy, Communications Manager, Nature’s Path Foods; Instructor, BCIT; Charmaine Hammond, Conflict Resolution, Leadership, Resilience, & Team Building Expert, Hammond International Inc.; Leeann Froese, Owner, Town Hall Brands; Ange Frymire Fleming, President, Vocal Point Communications; Professor, Kwantlen Polytechnic University.

Opening remarks will be by made Talia Beckett-Davis, President & Chairwoman, Canadian Women in Public Relations; Founder, Pink Pearl PR; Director of Communications, AdvantageBC.

Win Tickets

If you would like to attend this thought-provoking event, I have a pair of 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)
RT to enter to win tickets to the next @WomeninPRcanada event from @Miss604

I will draw two winners at random from all entries at 12:00pm on Monday, September 19, 2016. Follow Canadian Women in Public Relations on Facebook and Twitter to learn more.

Update The winners are @wildcoasttales & Kelsey!

Pie in the Plaza at Surrey City Hall

Wednesday, September 14th, 2016 — 10:21am PDT
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Celebrate food and farming in Surrey at Pie in the Plaza, a free family-friendly event where you can witness the creation of the largest blueberry pie in the province!

Pie in the Plaza at Surrey City Hall


Where: Surrey City Hall Plaza (13450 104 Ave, Surrey)
When: Saturday, September 17, 2016 from 11:00am to 3:00pm
Admission: Free

Starting at 11:00am, you can watch as the largest blueberry pie in BC gets assembled. By 12:00pm, there will be a ceremonial pie cutting and the first 2,000 guests will get a slice. At 1:00pm, mascots lead some fun and games for kids and at 2:00pm there’s a good old fashioned pie throwing contest.

Activities throughout the afternoon include a petting zoo, milking with BC Agriculture in the Classroom’s “Delilah the Cow” exhibit, Historic Stewart Farm and the Surrey Archives heritage hangout, activities with the Fraser Valley Antique Farm Machinery Association and Surrey’s Salmon Habitat Restoration Program (SHaRP), and visit with the Honeybee Centre. Stop by the Farm Fun Photobooth, and grab some lunch from one of the food trucks on site.

Follow the City of Surrey on Facebook and Twitter for information about this event and many more throughout the year.

Vancouver Writers Fest

Wednesday, September 14th, 2016 — 9:13am PDT
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Tickets are now on sale for the 29th annual Vancouver Writers Fest, with a remarkable lineup of more than 90 events, with over 100 local and international authors.

Vancouver Writers Fest

Where: Various locations, Granville Island
When: October 17th to October 23rd, 2016
Tickets: Ticket prices start at $9.50 for children and $17 for adults and can be purchased online, by phone (604) 681-6330 ex. 111, or in person at the festival box office at 1398 Cartwright Street, Vancouver.

vanwritersfestThe lineup of readings, conversations, interviews and multidisciplinary performances attracts more than 17,000 audience members each year, and features more than 101 authors from across the globe, including some listed for upcoming prestigious awards including The Scotiabank Giller Prize and The Man Booker Prize.

There will be two special events with musical stars: Elvis Costello presents his new book, Unfaithful Music and Disappearing Ink, on Wednesday, November 23 at 8:00pm at The Chan Centre for the Performing Arts. The Band’s Robbie Robertson will discuss his autobiography, Testament, on Tuesday, December 6 at 7:30pm, Christ Church Cathedral. Offering an entirely unique way to experience these two sensational performers, the special events are two of dozens that the Festival presents outside of the weeklong celebrations.

Author appearances at the 2016 Festival include:

  • Colson Whitehead, a multi-award winning author whose latest novel, The Underground Railroad, is becoming a sensation across North America.
  • Emma Donoghue, author of the world-renowned Room, and now The Wonder.
  • Beloved Canadian bestseller Yann Martel.
  • Wade Davis, explorer and author, who shares his own photographs from years of travel in the soon-to-be-published Wade Davis: Photographs.
  • Vancouver’s own Madeleine Thien who has been shortlisted for The Man Booker Prize and longlisted for both The Scotiabank Giller Prize for her novel Do Not Say We Have Nothing.
  • Guy Gavriel Kay, whose groundbreaking novel Children of Earth and Sky quickly reached the bestseller list this Spring.
  • Eimear McBride, winner of the Bailey Women’s Prize for Fiction, and author of A Girl is a Half Formed Thing and, newly, The Lesser Bohemians.
  • Italian author Francesca Melandri whose work, Eva Sleeps, has been called “an epic novel.”
  • The New Yorker journalist David Denby who shares stories of literacy and education in NY classrooms in his new book, Lit Up.
  • Affinity Konar, whose novel Mischling, is hailed as “one of the most harrowing, powerful, and imaginative books of the year.”
  • Other featured authors include André Alexis, Erin Bow, Deborah Campbell, Ivan Coyote, Yaa Gyazi, Guy Gavriel Kay, Joy Kogawa, Gordon Korman, Hisham Matar, Lisa Moore, Kevin Patterson, Noah Richler, Sharon Olds, Kenneth Oppel, Fred Wah, Andrew Westoll, Charlotte Wood, Zoe Whittall, and the Festival’s own artistic associate, Clea Young.

To celebrate the remarkable series of events, the Festival is giving away 101 books, one to represent each author featured. Vancouverites will be able to find the specially wrapped books across the city: in coffee shops, on library tables, and even park benches. Ranging from new titles to classics from previous years, the gifts will be distributed until October 17, when the Fest begins.

A complete set of events can be found online. Follow the Vancouver Writers Fest on Facebook and Twitter for more information and the latest news from the festival.

Canuck Place Stories: The Ross Family

Tuesday, September 13th, 2016 — 2:12pm PDT
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The 12th annual Canuck Place Gift of Time Gala takes places on October 15th. Throughout its history, a highlight of the evening has been hearing from a Canuck Place family speaker. Last year, in front of a crowd of over 700 guests, Amy and Regan Ross bravely spoke about the loss of their daughter, Gabrielle. As we approach this year’s gala, Canuck Place has taken a look back at the story the Ross family shared.

The 2015 Gift of Time Gala

“Life with a child such as Gabrielle and the other special children who are part of the Canuck Place program is anything but easy,” said Regan. “It is wonderful. The joys and the wonderment you get to share with these children are beyond words. But the challenges families face, not on a daily basis – but on a minute to minute basis – is utterly unimaginable unless you have lived through something similar.”

Amy told the room that their time with Gabrielle was magical. “She changed our lives in ways we never could have imagined. I grieved the loss of a healthy little girl, but what I was chosen to have instead, was the wisest, most loving and brave little girl, who challenged her mom, dad, and brothers to rise to the occasion and to live our lives that best way we could. After our initial stay at Canuck Place we settled at home with Gabrielle and enjoyed every minute with her, not knowing when would be our last.”

Throughout the three years they had with their daughter, one question lingered in the air.

“How do you raise a child you know is going to die?” asked Regan. “The truth is there really is no right answer to that question. You just do. Part of you dies when you’re faced to that question. You fall down to your knees and struggle to get up to face what you need to face. Canuck Place helped pick us up. They helped us answer and live through that question. And they helped us give everything we possibly could to Gabrielle and our three boys.”

Gabrielle passed away at Canuck Place in June 2013. The Rosses now have three sons, aged four, seven, and nine.

The entire family makes regular visits to Canuck Place to attend bereavement counselling, and Amy is currently a member of the Canuck Place Family Advisory Council, a group of Canuck Place family members who provide feedback and suggestions to Canuck Place staff.

Canuck PlaceTheir input helps guide new or changing initiatives, so they can best meet the many needs of Canuck Place families. This group was even involved in designing the layout of a second Canuck Place location in Abbotsford, their unique perspective provides the invaluable insight into the experiences and needs of all families Canuck Place reaches.

The 2016 Gift of Time Gala is sold out, but you can still support by donating to the Friends of Gift of Time fund. Follow Canuck Place on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram for the latest news and updates.

Miss604 is the proud Social Media Sponsor of the Gift of Time Gala

Marrying the Family at VIFF

Tuesday, September 13th, 2016 — 12:44pm PDT
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Comedy is alive and well at the 35th Vancouver International Film Festival (“VIFF”), where you’ll find screenwriter/star Taylor Hill’s latest satire, Marrying the Family. I had the chance to chat with Hill ahead of her previous VIFF hit, Leap 4 Your Life back in 2013, and I’ve followed up three years later to find out more about her latest funny feature on the foibles of weddings.

Marrying the Family

“Weddings are always stressful, and always great places to find some stories.”

“I just love comedy and I feel like you can talk about serious subject matters with comedy. It’s always more funny and honest.” Hill told me over the phone after a full day of completing work on the film. It’s described in its VIFF bio as herding a cast of crazy cats into a scene-stealing, off-the-wall ode to to putting a ring on it. Or not.

Weddings are a balancing act in and of themselves, with sweet, romantic, and love-filled moments juxtaposed with stress and chaos, and Hill has harnessed that energy, offering a a lot of credit to those who have helped get each of her films off the ground, and onto film festival screens.

“We had Gary Hawes as director for Leap, and I was so naive to the experience. He literally was like a master class in film making, he walked me through everything, gave me so much creative control and helped build up my confidence. It was such a great experience.”

Marrying the Family has been a different experience, since she now knows what can be expected — or unexpected — when it comes to indie filmmaking. Hill says there are always hiccups and things that fall through the cracks, but she’s greatful for the experience around her. “We’re really lucky to have Peter Benson as a director because he comes from an actor background. I thought he would be a great director for Marrying. He can relate and help us improv.”

“I think I learned that my mom and I are a really good team, I can really rely on her.”

One relationship with a winning formula for both films is that between Hill and her mother, who initially encouraged her to write and be her creative self, when she dove into Leap in 2013.

“I wanted to do another movie because I had such a good experience with Leap and it was so fun. Festivals are great and I just really wanted to get back to writing and being behind the camera again.”

Family weddings inspired her to write this film, having attended a string of them last year, and realizing that they are the perfect arena for bringing together a collection of characters.

“I find whatever I’m going through, I just try to be honest, and that’s where the humour comes from. It also helps that I have really good actors that can take my lines, that maybe aren’t funny, but do what they do and make them funny. And editing. Editing is the best.”


Marrying the Family Screenings

When: October 2nd at 6:00pm & October 8th at 1:30pm
Where: Rio Theatre & International Village
Tickets: Available online now.

#MustSeeBC at VIFF

In advance of the festival, the #mustseeBC campaign, presented by TELUS Optik Local, invites audiences to preview trailers and VOTE for their favourite films. The film that gets the most fan votes takes the title “Audience Must-See-Film” and earns a Special Post Festival Red Carpet Screening! Vote for Marrying the Family here.

Win Tickets

Miss604 is proud to be the media partner & sponsor of Marrying the Family at VIFF this year. I have a handful of passes to give away to its premiere screening on Sunday, October 2nd at 6:00pm. Here’s how you can enter to win:

  • Leave a comment on this post (1 entry)
  • Like, comment on, or share this post on Facebook (1 entry)
  • Post the following on Twitter (1 entry)
RT to enter to win tix for @mtf_movie at @VIFFest from @Miss604 #MustSeeBC

I will draw 2 winners, who will each receive a pair of tickets to the film, at 9:00pm on Tuesday, September 20, 2016. Follow Marrying the Family on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for more information about the film.

Miss604 is a proud media partner of VIFF & Marrying the Family

Update The winners are Jenny & Stacey!

Renfrew Ravine Moon Festival

Tuesday, September 13th, 2016 — 10:33am PDT
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The 14th annual Renfrew Ravine Moon Festival is coming up on Saturday, September 17th. Starting out at Slocan Park, this festival celebrates the nature and beauty of Renfrew Ravine and Still Creek. There will be a Harvest Fair from 4:00pm to 7:00pm, followed by a lantern art, music, and a fireworks finale from 7:30pm to 9:00pm at Renfrew Park.

Renfrew Ravine Moon Festival

moonfestival2016For many decades the ravine was abandoned by the salmon due to the polluted water and ecosystems caused by neglect and a lack of acknowledgement of the value this natural space had. But the salmon have been returning to spawn in the community since 2012, thanks to the hard work of many community stewards and local governments collaborating to restore health of the stream and the ecosystem. And that’s worth celebrating!

Harvest Fair

Slocan Park 4:00pm to 7:00pm
Play games, make crafts, enjoy live music, and food. Guests can engage with local community booths, and join the Harvest Fair Competition, where you can enter the best crop from your summer garden. Everyone can make last-minute lanterns or purchase pre-made lanterns by local artists.

Twilight Lantern Parade

Departs at 7:15pm
As the moon rises and the sun sets musicians and dancers prepare the way for the twilight lantern parade along the beloved ravine. Festival goers can light their own lanterns and walk the trails along the ravine, accompanied by live music as darkness falls. Passing by the river-stone labyrinth, the procession is invited to a walking meditation surrounded by music and light. The parade then passes by other lantern installations and surprise performances until it reaches Renfrew Park.

Renfrew Park 7:30pm to 8:45pm
The parade crosses the street, leaves the streetlights, and descends into a transformed world of the stream, Still Creek, lined with lights, floating lantern art, and ethereal music. Time slows down as community members pause to offer Prayers for the Water and absorb the beauty of candlelight, exquisite lanterns, music, and the gently shimmering stream. Just outside of the stream, you’ll find musicians playing at the main stage, a Tea Garden full of delicious treats for you to enjoy, and a Mobile-Friendly Lantern Walk for everyone to enjoy.


Renfrew Park Field 8:45pm to 9:15pm
Finishing the evening at Renfrew Park Field, youth performers will showcase their choreographed performance including dancing, stilting, and fire spinning. The spectacle is accompanied by live music playing swing and jazz music. Bring your dancing shoes and participate in the dance floor right in front of the stage! The spectacle ends with an explosion of fireworks as a back-drop to the youth performers.

The Renfrew Ravine Moon Festival is presented by the Still Moon Arts Society. Follow along on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram for more information.