Queen Elizabeth Park Zipline for a Cause

July 16th, 2015 @ 4:39pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt
Photograph by: Rebecca Blissett
Vancouver Courier

The temporary Queen Elizabeth Park zipline opened earlier this month, celebrating the park’s 75th anniversary. Starting from Bloedel Conservatory at the top of Little Mountain Park, it runs 190 meters, offering an over-the-top view of the park’s manicured gardens.

Open daily (weather permitting) between 11:00am and 8:00pm, riders (between 60 and 250lbs) can enjoy the thrill for $12-$20 a ride. Tickets can be purchased online in advance or onsite.

Queen Elizabeth Park Zipline for a Cause

On Saturday, July 25th, the Queen Elizabeth Park zipline is donating proceeds to the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation, thanks to the Vancouver Park Board and Greenheart, the operators of the zipline.

BC Children’s Hospital Foundation’s mascot, Sunny Bear, will drop by during the day to say hi to the kids. Zipline tickets are $14 for youth, $20 for adults and $60 for a family of four. Follow the @BCCHF on Twitter for more information about this special event.

Paper Airplane Competition at YVR Airport

July 16th, 2015 @ 1:44pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

On Friday, July 17th, YVR Airport will host its annual paper airplane competition during its free Take Off Friday event. Aviation fans of all ages are invited to test their paper airplane making skills while YVR ambassadors offer tips on the best folding techniques.

paper airplane
Photo credit: hgz on Flickr

Paper Airplane Competition at YVR Airport

20 competitors will be drawn at random to launch their design down a 32-foot carpet runway. Competitors will be judged on the longest distance, creativity and best aerial acrobatics.

Schedule of Events
Registration 10:00am to 11:00am
Paper Airplane Folding Workshop 10:00am to 11:00am
Radom Draw 20 Contest Participants 11:15am
Paper Airplane Contest 11:30am to 12:00pm

Prizes will be awarded for the top three flights:
First place: $1,000 Uniglobe Travel Gift Certificate
Second place: $500 CAD Cash Passport (Mastercard Prepaid Currency Card)
Third place: $250 YVR Bucks

I’ll be one of the lucky judges so I’ll see you on Friday at the YVR Observation Area (in the domestic terminal) on level 4.

Stick around for more Take Off Friday fun every Friday until August 28th. Take transit in on the Canada Line or, if you’re driving, take advantage of a reduce parking rate available for $5 for up to four hours. Vouchers will be available at the Customer Information Counter, International Terminal, Level 3.

Win Tickets to The Arts Club’s Les Miserables

July 16th, 2015 @ 9:24am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

School’s out, summer’s here, and The Arts Club Theatre Company’s production of Les Misérables is on stage this July and August. Too hot out? Rainy (let’s hope)? Escape to the lovely neoclassical Stanley Theatre to enjoy Victor Hugo’s tale again, or for the first time.

Photo credit: Ross den Otter for The Arts Club.

I have seen Les Misérables four times on stage now and I, along with my niece who came with me to a matinée this week and had only seen the recent film version, thoroughly enjoyed The Arts Club’s production.

For those that know the story, you’ll be able to follow along quite well and if you’re unfamiliar with the theatrical adaptation (music by Claude-Michel Schönberg, original lyrics by Alain Boublil, based on the novel by Victor Hugo) then you can pick up “Bill’s Notes” in the lobby. A play on Cliff’s Notes/Coles Notes, this comprehensive guide (with spoiler alerts) is penned by Artistic Managing Director Bill Millerd and contains insights about the story, the production, and a hearty history lesson about 19th century France.

Les Mis at The Arts Club

Once the lights go out, prepare to be captivated. The ensemble was one of the strongest I’ve ever heard from The Arts Club, and performances by Keiran Martin Murphy (Jean Valjean), Warren Kimmel (Javert), and Jennie Neumann (Eponine) were standouts for me, the best portrayals of those characters I have seen to date.

The Thénardiers, thieving, scheming and absurdly amusing pair played by Nicola Lipman and Andrew Wheeler, relax the audience of this heavy historical drama with their raunchy comic relief. The costumes, from rags to stain ballgowns, bows and bonnets were impeccable, along with the set these creative elements were both of the quality and calibre you would expect from the professional and award-winning teams at The Arts Club. But it was those voices that stole the show.

Photo credit: Ross den Otter for The Arts Club.

The children, Jaime Olivia MacLean as Young Cossette and Cameron Andres as Gavroche, both with years of performing arts experience proved that they are already bright shining stars in the Vancouver theatre community. This production is captivating, enthralling, and I got goosebumps several times — and it wasn’t from the cool stream of air flowing from the temperature-controlled theatre.

Les Misérables will be live at The Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage, for 2:00pm, 7:30pm or 8:00pm shows on select days through to August 16, 2015. Tickets are available online from $39 including same-day student rush tickets (sponsored by TD) available online as well.

Win Tickets to The Arts Club’s Les Miserables

I have a pair of tickets to give away to Les Misérables this summer, courtesy of The Arts Club. Here’s how you can enter to win:

  • Leave a comment naming a character or song from Les Misérables (1 entry)
  • Post the following on Twitter (1 entry)
RT to enter to win tickets to #ACTCLesMiz from @TheArtsClub @Miss604 http://ow.ly/PHIQg

I will draw one winner at random from all entries at 12:00pm on Friday, July 24, 2015. Follow The Arts Club on Facebook and Twitter for more information about their productions.

4 More Stanley Park Trails to Explore

July 15th, 2015 @ 10:14am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

We’re so fortunate to have an amazing gem like Stanley Park right outside our door in Downtown Vancouver and it’s our favourite place for an afternoon stroll. Avoiding the busy Sea Wall, John and I love walking the forest trails either on our way to a destination in the park (like the Prospect Point Cafe) or to have a mini urban forest adventure while enjoying the shade of the canopy. Lush, green ferns blanket the ground, wild berries flourish, and ancient cedars– that have not yet fallen victim to windstorms– tower above. There are over 25km of trails inside the park, not including the Sea Wall. I previously featured the Cathedral Trail, Lovers Walk, Beaver Lake, Avison Trail, and Merilees Trail last summer so it’s about time to share 4 More Stanley Park Trails to Explore:


6. Tatlow Walk

Named after R.G. Tatlow, Park Commissioner from 1888-1905, Tatlow is a great path to take you from Downtown Vancouver directly through the park and out the other side to its sandy beaches. Loop around the north side of Lost Lagoon and enter on the Tatlow Trail, cutting through the bottom third of the park, and you’ll wind up right at Third Beach.

A photo posted by Rebecca Bollwitt (@miss604) on

7. Prospect Point Trail

The Prospect Point Trail is the end of the Bridle Path, which starts out near Second Beach and cuts directly up the park, north to south, all the way up to Prospect Point.

There is a change in elevation — just think about how close the Sea Wall is to the park at English Bay then about the cliffs at Prospect Point — so be prepared for some steady inclines. Once you’ve connected to Bridle Path, from its start at Second Beach or after turning onto it from Tatlow, head north. I mention the Prospect Point Trail specifically as you might want to veer off Bridle when you get to the baseball diamonds or parking lot, but keep going. You’ll briefly connect with Stanley Park Drive on your left but continue right, past one of my favourite trees that grows at a 90 degree angle (photo below) and you’ll pop out again at the Prospect Point Cafe. This is also part of the bike-friendly trail network.

A photo posted by Rebecca Bollwitt (@miss604) on

8. Brockton Oval Trail

My suggested route for the Brockton Oval Trail is to walk into the park from Downtown Vancouver along the Sea Wall and when you get to Avison Way, the road that will take you to the Vancouver Aquarium, cross over to the path (the one for oval and not point). This is a very quick trail, with a small hill, but it’s a nice walk with wild berries, big trees, and the historic Brockton Oval at the end. There you’ll find a track, fitnees circuit, pavilion, and plaques/markers telling of over 100 years of cricket and rugby matches.

A photo posted by Rebecca Bollwitt (@miss604) on

9. Ravine Trail

Another path that will bring you into the forest from the Sea Wall is the Ravine Trail, from the north east side of the Sea Wall, where Beaver Lake’s waterway connects with Burrard Inlet.

You’ll turn off the Sea Wall and cross Stanley Park Drive before it intersects with Pipeline Road. There is a crosswalk that will connect you to Tunnel Trail, head south west and you’ll cross Pipeline Road at another crosswalk to connect to the Ravine Trail that dips down below the bridge into an environmentally sensitive area. This area of the park has unique vegetation, trees, and will connect you with the Beaver Lake Interpretive Trail.

You can download the trail map PDF or do a simple Google Maps search as all trails are also listed there. Bikes are allowed on several trails, such as Rawlings, Bridle (Prospect Point), Lovers, Beaver Lake, and Avison. Be sure to respect the environment and the sensitive ecosystem in the park by carting out what you bring in and NEVER smoke in Vancouver Parks.

Salt Spring Garlic and Music Festival

July 14th, 2015 @ 2:09pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

The weekend of August 8 & 9th is shaping up to be the best weekend of music on Salt Spring Island this summer thanks to the Salt Spring Garlic & Music Festival. Featuring an international group of performers joining forces with top-notch local talent for two days of incredible entertainment, and garlicky good fun on Paradise Farm. Come and enjoy both the music and the food on a beautiful rural location with breathtaking views of the ocean.


Salt Spring Garlic and Music Festival

When Saturday, August 8 (10:30am-8:00pm) and Sunday August 9 (10:30am-7:00pm)
Where Paradise Farm (255 Musgrave Rd, Salt Spring’s south end)

Featuring the sounds of BC rock royalty Chilliwack, Vancouver favourites The Boom Booms, globally renowned Ganga Giri, and Juno winners, Valdy, Shari Ulrich, Rick Scott, and Roy Forbes. Look forward to a weekend of musical entertainment and relish cooking demos, garlic tasting, and visit farm vendors on site. Over two-dozen will be selling organic produce, as well as a dozen varieties of local Salt Spring garlic.

Come hungry as you’ll find everything from locally made ice cream to kettle corn, and garlic popsicles. On the heartier side food vendors will supply pulled pork sliders, burgers, fish tacos, lamb sausages, falafels, poutine, fries and Greek food. Festival attendees can take in wine tastings and imbibe in the beer garden.

Tickets are on sale now for $30/day or $50 for a weekend pass (plus fees). Proceeds will help strengthen the local music scene, and support area farmers. Come experience a festive atmosphere, and great tunes on a picturesque, rural setting.

Enter to Win

Organizers of the Salt Spring Garlic and Music Festival want to treat a Miss604 reader to VIP weekend passes to the festival. The winner will enjoy transportation to the site and once there receive a mystery basket full of Salt Spring goodies — and yes there will be garlic!

  • Leave a comment naming a festival performer or vendor (1 entry)
  • Post the following on Twitter (1 entry)
RT to enter to win a VIP @SSGarlic_Music prize pack from @Miss604 #SSGarlicMusicFest http://ow.ly/PC274

Miss604 readers also have the opportunity to win two nights of luxury at one of Salt Spring’s most spectacular accommodations, the Stonehouse Bed & Breakfast.

Discover the epitome of West Coast comfort and elegance. Stonehouse offers an unparalleled Salt Spring Island experience set against a dazzling tableau of British Columbia’s Southern Gulf Islands. Over 4 acres of stunning property beckon to be explored, including tree-lined lanes, gardens, rolling hillside and the magnificent Standing Stone Circle, which renders tangible: stillness, endurance and mystery.

Adorned with a diverse collection of art and other objects that pique curiosities and start conversations, Stonehouse provides a distinctive ambiance for the discerning traveller. Graceful hospitality and myriad leisure activities allow guests to relax in their home-away-from-home, while gourmet breakfasts featuring the amazing bounty of local producers tantalize the senses.

To enter to win the two night luxury stay, share this post on Facebook, tagging Salt Spring Garlic and Music Festival + Miss604.

The Stonehouse winner will have to claim their prize any weekend from October 1 to April 15, 2016, based on availability of accommodation. Blackout in effect during long weekends. The winner will also agree to be disclosed and do any follow-ups via social media.

I will draw two winners (one for the VIP festival prize pack + one for Stonehouse) at 10:00pm on Thursday, July 23, 2015. Follow the Salt Spring Garlic and Music Festival on Facebook and Twitter for more information.

Miss604 is a proud sponsor of the Salt Spring Garlic and Music Festival