Win Tickets to Jason Mraz in Vancouver

July 15th, 2014 @ 6:44pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Jason Mraz is celebrating the release of his hugely anticipated new album, “YES” by embarking on a new tour that will stop in Vancouver on Thursday, October 23, 2014.

Jason Mraz_LiveNation
Photo courtesy of Live Nation

“YES” is highlighted by the first single, “Love Someone,” the album – which finds Mraz teaming up with his longtime friends, Raining Jane – is streaming now in its entirety via iHeartRadio.

The multi-GRAMMY® winning singer / songwriter has also announced the North American leg of his upcoming “YES!” world tour, slated to visit an array of legendary venues around the planet through 2014 and beyond. The dates – which feature backing from “YES!” collaborators, Raining Jane – get underway with a three night stand at his hometown’s historic San Diego Civic Theater, set for August 21st, 22nd, and 23rd. Mraz then continues the tour, choosing to perform in small venues and theaters with several multi-day residencies through November (see attached itinerary). Mraz will also find time to visit Europe, where he is set to appear in such historic theatres and concert halls as London’s Royal Albert Hall, Paris’ Casino de Paris, Amsterdam’s Royal Theatre Carré, Frankfurt’s Alter Oper, and Hamburg’s Laeiszhalle. Asian and Australian tours are also scheduled for later this year, with South America slated for 2015.

Mraz will play the Queen Elizabeth Theatre in Vancouver on October 23rd at 8:00pm. Tickets are available starting Friday, July 18, 2014 through Live Nation, charge by phone, 1-855-985-5000, or at Ticketmaster outlets. Tickets (including GST) are $25.00, $49.50, $75.00 (plus FMF & service charges) and this is a reserved seating/all ages show.

Win Tickets to Jason Mraz in Vancouver

Jason Mraz is also dedicated to various causes and when I saw him at We Day in 2009 he made a very good point: “There’s something about music. When you put a message with a melody it seems to travel so much further.”

If you would like to see him live in concert, I have a pair of tickets for the show to give away thanks to Live Nation. Here’s how you can enter to win:

  • Leave a comment naming your favourite Jason Mraz song (1 entry)
  • Post the following on Twitter (1 entry)
RT to enter to win tickets to see @jason_mraz in concert from @LiveNationWest + @Miss604

I will draw one winner at random from all entries at 12:00pm on Tuesday, July 22, 2014. Follow Live Nation on Facebook and Twitter for all the latest Vancouver concert event information.

Update: The winner is Claire Graham!

Sensitive Skin on HBO Canada

July 15th, 2014 @ 1:49pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

HBO Canada is premiering a new half-hour series, Sensitive Skin, on Sunday, July 20, 2014 starring Kim Cattrall (Golden Globe® Award winner and Emmy® Award nominee) as Davina, and Don McKellar (Tony Award® winner) as her husband Al.

The pair play a couple that has been married for 30 years and who recently moved from their comfortable family home in a wealthy suburb into a modern condo in bustling downtown Toronto. There they make a conscious effort to keep relevant, and begin again.

Image courtesy of HBO Canada

Davina soon finds that all their efforts do nothing to address the emptiness she feels inside while Al happily embraces the change; he has always followed Davina’s lead. Her questionable choices lead her to a better understanding of who she is at this point in her life, but at the cost of the one thing that was keeping her sane: her marriage.

HBO Canada subscribers get to watch all six episodes consecutively when the “binge watch” worthy series premieres on Sunday. I had the chance to catch up with Kim and Don in Vancouver this week to find out a bit more about this passion project:

Sensitive SKin on HBO Canada

Sensitive Skin is based on a British series of the same name and Kim first met BBC 2′s head of comedy, Jon Plowman (Absolutely Fabulous, The Office) while she was doing a play (David Mamet’s The Cryptogram) in London’s West End. The initial meeting was to discuss doing a series and he then put her in touch with Hugo Blick, who produced Sensitive Skin in the UK.

“I watched all six episodes, it was my first binge experience and I loved it,” Kim told me while we all sat around a table in MARKET by Jean-Georges at the Shangri-La on Alberni Street. She shopped the series around, got it in development at HBO in America, but it wasn’t until she met Don McKellar, who also directs all six episodes, that the series began to take shape in Canada.

“I felt so instinctually from the very beginning that [Don] and I would work well together.” ~ Kim Cattrall

“We met and a friend suggested we take it to Rhombus where Don has worked exclusively. We talked about how Don would be fantastic as Al, to play my husband, and I also thought they he would really make a great director.” The pair then brought on Bob Martin as a collaborator who adapted all of the scripts, and also has a role in the series. “We were like the three Musketeers working together,” said Kim as Don added, “And that was it, we were off!”

The series began shooting in Toronto last fall and as it wasn’t shot in sequence, it gave cast and crew the feeling of working on a feature film, which to Kim makes this Sunday feel like their opening weekend.

As for HBO Canada releasing all of the episodes at once Don said it will be a very different television experience. “Normally when you do a TV series and you start airing it, it takes a long time to get any response from people. We’re going to have people who have seen them all and who will talk about the ending by Monday.”

Both enjoyed working on the series and described the passion of all involved, especially since they were working with a shoestring budget. “It was great because we had control, and people wanted to do it, and people had their input,” said Don.

Image courtesy of HBO Canada

“It’s very funny, and it’s very clever, and I think the writing and the adapting is brilliantly done. Don took from the original show and just opened it up.”
~ Kim Cattrall

Although the show is set and filmed in Toronto, the same geographical issues can be applied to anywhere, especially Vancouver, and the underlying theme of making changes in life and growing older are universal. Whatever the audience’s takeaways might be, Kim said that first and foremost she wants you to be entertained.

“What I found as an actor to be really gratifying is to find aspects of myself and what I’m dealing with and really incorporate them in a very personal, in some ways – I didn’t realize this at the time but – profound ways for me. Those scenes where she’s examining herself are very personal moments, private moments. It was great to exercise those through my work in that way.”

Don agreed, “That’s when you know that your work – for me at least – that’s when you know your work has some meaning. When you feel invested personally or exposed, even when people don’t know how much of course or they’re not aware of it.”

Follow Sensitive Skin and HBO Canada on Twitter for the latest updates and to share your thoughts when you hunker down for a marathon screening session this weekend. Tune into HBO Canada or you can also watch via TMN GO, Shaw Go Movie Central app, Bell TV app, Telus Optik on the go, and on demand platforms.

Comox Glacier Tour with Harbour Air

July 15th, 2014 @ 10:44am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

There’s the feeling of adventure you get while taking a floatplane flight. Skipping along the water before taking off and flying just high enough to top the Lions Gate Bridge or the tallest timber in Stanley Park. Waching the pilot’s careful movements, taking photos of a propeller spins so quickly it’s nearly impossible for the iPhone to capture it, and landing alongside boats in a bay with a friendly harbour seal popping up to greet you.

Weekend in Comox, B.C.: June 2014

John and I participated in a flight around the Comox Glacier with Harbour Air earlier this season when we were in the area for the BC Shellfish Festival and I have to say, a scenic tour has never been so fun. Climbing to 6,000ft, from the tips of the Salish Sea’s waves to the snow-capped peaks that surround the Comox Glacier. One minute you’re looking out the window at clearcut pastures and lakes, and the next there’s a giant pillar of rock just off the tip of the wing. We definitely had our cameras our for this unique ride:

Weekend in Comox, B.C.: June 2014 Weekend in Comox, B.C.: June 2014

Weekend in Comox, B.C.: June 2014

Weekend in Comox, B.C.: June 2014 Weekend in Comox, B.C.: June 2014

Scenic Glacier Tour with Harbour Air

Weekend in Comox, B.C.: June 2014

Weekend in Comox, B.C.: June 2014

Weekend in Comox, B.C.: June 2014

Weekend in Comox, B.C.: June 2014 Scenic Glacier Tour with Harbour Air

Scenic Glacier Tour with Harbour Air

Scenic Glacier Tour with Harbour Air

Scenic Glacier Tour with Harbour Air

Scenic Glacier Tour with Harbour Air

Scenic Glacier Tour with Harbour Air

Harbour Air offers several scenic tours around Vancouver, Victoria, Whistler, Nanaimo, and Sechelt. The Comox Glacier Tour is not on the regular schedule but it can be requested. The tour was just 20 minutes long but it was absolutely thrilling to experience.


This is not a paid post. Views are my own. Our tour was compliments of Harbour Air as a part of a charter with the BC Shellfish Festival.

2014 Global Games Quidditch in Burnaby

July 14th, 2014 @ 8:14pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

An international quidditch championship, featuring a competitive sport from the wizarding world of the Harry Potter books and movies, will be hosted in Burnaby this Saturday. 7 countries will take part in the tournament, including Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Mexico, the UK and the USA.

Quidditch 2013 Quidditch World Cup
Photo credit: John Morgan & Joe on Flickr

It’s been 10 years since the first Harry Potter film was released and 17 since the first book hit store shelves in the United Kingdom. However the made-up game of quidditch (well, Muggle Quidditch) is gaining momentum, especially in Vancouver. Local leading social media dashboard company HootSuite has a quidditch team, as does tech company Mobify, Simon Fraser University, University of British Columbia, and other organizations around town.

There’s even a National Organization of Quidditch in Canada. “Our brooms don’t fly and our Golden Snitch is in fact just a person with a tennis ball attached to the back of their shorts, but the magic is real.”

Follow the International Quidditch Association Global Games on Twitter for more information and find the full 2014 Global Games Quidditch schedule online.

Theatre Under the Stars: Win Tickets to Legally Blonde: The Musical

July 14th, 2014 @ 1:44pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Theatre Under the Stars (“TUTS”) returns to the historic Malkin Bowl at Stanley Park for a new summer season of musicals. In one of the most beautiful venues in the city, you can enjoy two shows this season under the cool canopy in Stanley Park.

TUTS VancouverLegally Blonde: The Musical and SHREK: The Musical are on now (alternating nights) until August 23, 2014 and thanks to TUTS, I have a pair of tickets to give away to each, starting with Legally Blonde.

Pretty-in-pink princess Elle Woods can handle anything. When her boyfriend, Warner, breaks her heart and dumps her, she decides to follow him to Harvard Law School and win him back. With some help from her new-found friends and her chihuahua Bruiser, she learns that it’s so much better to be smart than pretty. Full of irresistible song and dance, this blonde-tastic musical was the hit of 2013!

Tickets are available now for $20 to $45. VIP experiences are also available for groups. All shows start at 8:00pm except on fireworks nights (July 26, July 30, August 2) when they will begin at 7:00pm.


Going to TUTS is unlike any other theatre experience in Vancouver. Mainly, there’s no roof – you’re outside at the Malkin Bowl in Stanley Park. This allows for offerings like a grilled salmon dinner or the option to bring your own picnic. I attended my first TUTS performance last summer and put together the following tips for maximum enjoyment:

  • While the sun is shining and temperatures are high, it does cool off quite a bit at night. You can bring blankets in or light jacket like a hoodie for after the show.
  • You can also pick up some seat cushions on site (by donation) for comfort as the seats are just plastic patio furniture.
  • You are in the middle of a sloped grassy field in the park so an application of bug spray is recommended.
  • Dress is casual, I even saw some sweatpants last night, but I’d say jeans are fine.
  • Just past the entrance there is a “TUTS Museum” with programs, posters, and costumers from decades of TUTS at Malkin Bowl. It’s worth browsing around to get a sense of the history of this Vancouver institution.
Jocelyn Gauthier is Elle Woods. Photo Credit: Tim Matheson

Win Tickets to Legally Blonde: The Musical

Here’s how you can enter to win a pair of tickets to see Legally Blonde: The Musical this season from TUTS and Miss604:

  • Leave a comment on this post (1 entry)
  • Post the following on Twitter (1 entry)
RT to enter to win tickets to #LegallyBlonde @tutsvancouver from @Miss604

I will draw one winner next Monday, July 21, 2014 at 12:00pm. Follow Theatre Under the Stars (“TUTS”) on Facebook and Twitter for more information.

Update The winner is Nikki!

Surrey Night Market

July 14th, 2014 @ 11:14am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

The Surrey Night Market joins the lineup of open-air, summertime markets loaded with local merchants, food vendors, and live entertainment on Friday and Saturday nights.

Night Market 1-BJ-July5
Photo © Surrey Leader on Flickr
  • When: Open as of July 5th, until August 30th. Fridays and Saturdays from 6:00pm to 11:00pm.
  • Admission: $2 for adults, children (under the height of 48″) are free when accompanied by their families.
  • Location: Across from the Agriplex Complex, within the Cloverdale Exhibition Grounds, at 17726 62 Avenue, Surrey. Free parking is available.

The first weekend of the Surrey Night Market saw an impressive attendance of about 7,500 people, which caused organizers to provide additional parking, ticket booths, and other amenities to accommodate crowds.

According to the website, the following types of food can all be sampled from Surrey Night Market vendors: “Western, Chinese, Nepalese, Mediterranean, Philippines, Vietnamese, Fijian, African, Pakistani, Japanese, Mexican, Italian, Latin American, Korean, First Nations, Greek, and Indian cuisines and dishes, Burgers, Hotdogs, Sandwiches, Subs, Deli Sandwiches, Soups, Fish & Chips, Salads, Wraps, Poutine, Fries, Chicken Tikkas & Pakoras, Veg Pakoras, Fish Pakoras, BBQ, Ribs, Samosas, Curries, Sweets, Jalebies, Chaat, Alloo Tikki, Gol Gappe, Ice Cream, Frozen Yogurt, Waffles, Kulfi, Puri, Kulche, Dosse, Idli, Sambar, Uttapam, Tea, Lassi, Pop Corn, Mini-Donuts, Cup Cakes, Baker’s products, Coffee, Smoothies, Slurpies, Shakes, Lemonade, Fresh Juice, Fresh Fruit and others.”

The performance schedule is posted on the website in advance (currently last weekend’s calendar is posted). Follow the Surrey Night Market on Facebook and Twitter for more information, news, and updates.

Oystercatchers Along the Stanley Park Seawall

July 13th, 2014 @ 9:09am (PT) by Guest Author

StanleyParkEcologyThis post has been contributed by Don Enright, Volunteer and Past President 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.

Red and Black and Fun All Over!

Comical oystercatchers entertain along Stanley Park seawall

One of the great benefits of living in Vancouver’s West End is being near Stanley Park. Almost every day, I step out my front door, smell the sea air, and whisper to myself, “I can’t believe I live here.” It’s a far cry from the chilly suburbs of Calgary where I grew up. And every chance I get, I head out along the seawall to listen to the tide crash in, to relax and breathe and clear my head, and look for some of the wild creatures that call Stanley Park home. There’s always something: eagles overhead, a seal bobbing off Ferguson Point… a couple of months ago we even had dolphins offshore. And as I walk, I always keep an ear out for my favourite birds of the intertidal zone: the beautiful, comical, excitable black oystercatcher.

Photo by Don Enright

You can’t miss them, once you learn what they look like. They’re all black except for their long pink legs and their huge orange beak. A friend of mine remarked that they look like a crow smoking a carrot. And if you don’t see them, you’ll almost certainly hear them. They whistle. And we’re not talking about a sweet twitter of a songbird—these guys’ calls are raucous, and almost anything will set them into a frenzy of excited hooting and whinnying. Eagles flying overhead, the arrival of their relatives from up the shoreline, a change in the weather, anything. Once you learn to recognize the call, you’ll hear it a lot. Listen for it between Second Beach and Siwash Rock.

Photo by Don Enright

It turns out that it’s not easy being an oystercatcher, and it’s not just because they have to climb around on cold rocks in their bare feet all day. First of all, it takes remarkable skill to outwit the clams, mussels and other mollusks that make up their diet. The oystercatchers of the world have two different styles of hunting: you’ve got your stabbers, and you’ve got your hammerers.

Hammerers use their big orange bills to pound their way through the shell of their prey to pull out the juicy insides. Stabbers are a bit more refined; they wait until the mussel or clam relaxes a bit and opens up, and they quickly stab their big beaks into the opening to eviscerate their prey. Our oystercatchers are stabbers, and it’s a skill that they need to learn and perfect over time.

Most birds are quick to fledge their babies; a sparrow can boot the young ‘uns out of the nest within weeks of their hatching. But oystercatchers are the Generation Y of the bird world, taking several months to move out on their own. They need the extra time to learn their hunting skills from Mom and Dad; they won’t develop their full repertoire of techniques until they’re about three years old. Parents mate for life, which is up to 15 years for these birds.

Next time you’re out on the seawall, look for oystercatchers that have black colouring on the ends of their orange bills; those are this year’s hatchlings, recently arrived from their nesting grounds not far away.

Photo by Milva DeSiena

Learning to eat isn’t the only skill that a young oystercatcher needs—they also have to master the fine art of not getting eaten. Peregrine falcons are a major predator. These raptors are powerful and fast, and can outfly almost any bird on earth. Our oystercatchers have a tricky defence: they fly away low over the water, just skimming the waves. The falcons won’t risk getting that close to water. Clever birds.

Black oystercatchers are completely dependent on the thin strip of shoreline along our coasts for their entire life cycle. The intertidal zone of Stanley Park is a very busy place, and oystercatchers (and all the living things they depend on) are best left undisturbed. Keeping your dog on a leash at all times is a big help. Fortunately, they’re easy to appreciate from a bit of a distance, given their larger-than-life personalities.

I think it’s remarkable that despite the 10 million-odd people that visit the park, we still have oystercatchers making a living on our shores. May they live and thrive and hoot and squawk for generations to come.

About the Guest Author:

This post has been contributed by Don Enright, Volunteer and Past President with the Stanley Park Ecology Society. If you want to support a non-profit organization that makes a difference for wildlife and people in Stanley Park, please make a donation or become a member of SPES. For more information visit the Stanley Park Ecology Society website. Follow SPES on Facebook and Twitter for the latest updates.

Rio Theatre Friday Late Night Movies July 2014

July 11th, 2014 @ 10:44am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

The Rio Theatre is serving up a strong lineup of cult favourites for July in their late night movies series. These 19+ screenings can be complimented with a beverage from the theatre’s full service bar as you enjoy a night out with friends. Tickets are available online in advance or at the door for $8 or $6 if you come in costume.

Rio Theatre Friday Late Night Movies

riotheatrejulyFriday, July 11, 2014 @ 11:55pm
Kids in the Hall: Brain Candy (Kelly Makin, 1996)
A pharmaceutical scientist creates a pill that makes people remember their happiest memory, and although it’s successful, it has unfortunate side effects. Starring Scott Thompson, Mark McKinney, Kevin McDonald, Bruce McCulloch, Dave Foley.

Friday, July 18, 2014 @ 11:55pm
Mortal Kombat (Paul Anderson, 1995)
Three unknowing martial artists are summoned to a mysterious island to compete in a tournament whose outcome will decide the fate of the world. Starring Christopher Lambert.

Friday, July 25, 2014 @ 11:15pm* Early
2001: A Space Odyssey (Stanley Kubrick, 1968)
Humanity finds a mysterious, obviously artificial, object buried beneath the Lunar surface and, with the intelligent computer H.A.L. 9000, sets off on a quest.

The Rio Theatre is an independent art and movie house located at 1660 West Broadway, at Commercial Drive, and is easily accessible by transit. Follow along on Facebook and Twitter for more film screenings, comedy showcases, and special event information.

Miss604 is a media partner of the Rio’s Late Night Movie series.