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Gastown Steam Clock Down for Repairs

October 10th, 2014 @ 11:14am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Earlier this week, one of the most photographed and visited landmarks in Vancouver was removed for repairs. The Gastown Steam Clock, piping out melodies on the corner of Cambie and Water streets since 1977, has been taken to the fabrication shop at Manitoba Yards for the next 8 weeks.

According to the City of Vancouver, “The mechanical moving parts of the Steam Clock’s device for loading the metal balls have worn over the last 37 years and can no longer be reliably maintained. Mechanical failures have been a common occurrence in the past year, and the proposed repairs to the ball loading device will restore reliability to the Steam Clock while maintaining its historical integrity.”

Gastown Steam Clock
Photo credit: Patrick Lundgren on Flickr

With cruise ship season winding down, it was a good times for crews to work on the Gastown Steam Clock. Its steam vent-powered whistle will return in time for the busy Christmas season.

Things to do in Vancouver Thanksgiving Long Weekend

October 9th, 2014 @ 6:44pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

While the forecast for Thanksgiving long weekend in Vancouver isn’t looking very bright, the events and activities calendar is beaming with family fun. From spooky Halloween-themed attractions in Vancouver opening up to pumpkin patch visits or checking out the cranberry festival for some seasonal fun.

Pumpkins anyone??
Photo credit: Ann Badjura on Flickr

Things to do in Vancouver Thanksgiving Long Weekend

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

Friday, October 10, 2014
Sponsored by Miss604: Vancouver International Film Festival
VIFF at SFU Surrey
VIFF Closing Gala Film and Party
Patrick Maliha’s Favourite People
Sea to Sky Gondola Harvest Sunset Dinner
THEN & NOW: Songs and Storytelling – A Fundraiser for Megaphone Magazine
Oktoberfest at the Vancouver Alpen Club
Opening Day: Stanley Park Halloween Ghost Train
Opening Day: Fright Nights at Playland
Pacific Theatre Presents: The Rainmaker
Our Town

Saturday, October 11, 2014
Diwali Fest Vancouver
Orphan Thanksgiving
Fort Langley Cranberry Festival
Cranberry Sale at Richmond Nature Park
Sea to Sky Gondola Harvest Sunset Dinner
Community Short Film Festival
Lookout for Lookout
Oktoberfest at the Vancouver Alpen Club
Vancouver Electronic Ensemble Performance – Vancouver New Music Festival
Trout Lake Farmers Market
West End Farmers Market
Kerrisdale Farmers Market
Stanley Park Halloween Ghost Train
Fright Nights at Playland
Pacific Theatre Presents: The Rainmaker
Our Town

Sunday, October 12, 2014
Bowen Island AppleFest
Women’s History Month: The Remarkable Women of English Bay
Second Sunday Concert Series – Cordei at Roedde House Museum
Kitsilano Farmers Market
Mount Pleasant Farmers Market
Hershe Bar at the Red Room
Stanley Park Halloween Ghost Train
Fright Nights at Playland

Monday, October 13, 2014
Granville Island Turkey Trot
Thanksgiving Loonie Skate at Kensington Rec Complex in Burnaby
Museum of Anthropology Open
Fright Nights at Playland
FlyOver Canada Halloween

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

October 9th, 2014 @ 9:44am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Just as we thought the rain was here to stay and our pumpkin patches would get washed out, we’ve had a spectacularly warm October with technicolour sunsets, bright moons in the night sky, and early fall outdoor adventures. Before that rain does indeed creep in for the weekend, I have this week’s selection of photos from the Miss604 Flickr Pool and #Photos604 on Instagram to share with you. Enjoy!

Vancouver Photos of the Week

Zoomed in view from Burnaby Mountain Park, BC, Canada...HDR
Photo credit: Ann Badjura on Flickr

Lynn Headwaters Regional Park, North Vancouver, BC A walk in the forrest....Lynn Headwaters Regional Park, North Vancouver, BC
Photo credit: Rosey-Noelle & Rosey-Noelle on Flickr

A small sunburst in the afternoon 2014 - Vancouver - 2 Chairs Vancouver's Valiant Vanguard
Photo credit: Eric Flexyourhead & Ted McGrath & Justin Kenneth Rowley on Flickr

Museum of Anthropology at UBC
Photo credit: Ann Hung on Flickr

Urban Fisherman
Photo credit: Philip Tong on Flickr

2014 - Alaska Cruise - Vancouver - Amethyst & Smit Spirit 2014 - Alaska Cruise - Vancouver - Lions Gate Bridge Support
Photo credit: Ted McGrath & Ted McGrath on Flickr

2014 09 Sept 04 Yaletown 12a 3s hh Hidden BC Place
Photo credit: Doug Farmer & Demelo Photography on Flickr

Telus World of Science, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Photo credit: Winson Tang on Flickr

Golden Hour
Photo credit: Philip Tong on Flickr

2014 09 Sept 19 Eng Bay Sunset 06a 5s tr
Photo credit: Doug Farmer on Flickr

False Creek Reflections
Photo credit: Jaden Nyberg on Flickr

Past The Grassy Knoll
Photo credit: Clayton Perry on Flickr

Vancouver Cityscape
Photo credit: Jaden Nyberg on Flickr

Marinaside blue hour
Photo credit: Jamjam on Flickr

Beauty in the Boondocks ~ Ladner, BC
Photo credit: SeaSide Signs ~ Vancouver, BC on Flickr

Balcony Sunrise II
Photo credit: Greg Beatty on Flickr

Water St., Gastown, Vancouver, BC 5 Sails
Photo credit: Lisa Nixon & Lisa Nixon on Flickr

Harry Jerome Statue
Photo credit: Lisa Nixon 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.

SPARK Animation 2014

October 8th, 2014 @ 11:14am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Calling all animation students, artists, industry members, and enthusiasts! The Spark Computer Graphics Society presents SPARK Animation 2014, a conference and film festival celebrating creativity, inspiration and innovation in animation around the world.


What: SPARK Animation 2014 October 22 – 26 at the Vancity Theatre
Where: Vancity Theatre, 1181 Seymour in Vancouver
When: October 22nd to October 26th, 2014

Spark Animation: Films

A showcase and celebration of the best of animation arts from around the world, from independent animation to special premieres, the SPARK Animation Festival is your chance to enjoy some of the most recently acclaimed animated films on the festival circuit.

New this year, a series of programs international shorts incorporating a wide variety of techniques and covering everything from student films and music videos to commercials and This year was the first time the festival accepted submissions, receiving 166 films from 30 countries.

The event opens on October 22nd with the BC premiere of Canadian co-pro The Prophet, by Lebanese author Kahlil Gibran. Largely produced locally by BC based Bardel Entertainment, the film is a masterpiece created in chapters by a team of world renowned animators including Tomm Moore (The Secret of Kells), Nina Paley (Sita Sings the Blues), and Bill Plympton (Cheatin’). Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet features the voice talents of Salma Hayek, Liam Neeson and Alfred Molina.

Other highlights include: Song Of The Sea (from Oscar nominated director Tomm Moore), The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness (a documentary on legendary Ghibli studio), and Giovanni’s Island (Jury-distinction award at Annecy 2014).

Film festival tickets are available online now for $11.

SPARK Animation: Conference

The keynote speaker is legendary animator Glen Keane (The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Beauty & The Beast, Pocahontas, Tarzan) who left Disney two years ago to focus on personal projects, the latest of which include: Duet. Keane will be joined by his son Max Keane, who worked as Production Designer on the project.

The conference will feature speakers from Pixar, Cartoon Saloon, and more who have worked on many blockbuster films such as: Toy Story 2, Monsters Inc., and Finding Nemo. The sessions will cover “The Making Of”: The Prophet, Song Of The Sea, The Boxtrolls, Lava, Big Hero 6, The Book of Life and Duet.

Conference passes are $175 early-bird (until October 17) and $225 (regular). Individual conference presentations are $25 each (after October 10).

SPARK will also host a Job Fair October 24th and October 25th. Dust off your resumes, bring in your demo reels, and prepare questions for top recruiters. The Job Fair is free but registration is required.

For more information about SPARK Animation films, conference events, and the job fair, follow along on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter with the tag #SPARK2014.

Miss604 is a proud community sponsor of SPARK Animation 2014

Canada’s Women’s National Soccer Team vs Japan

October 8th, 2014 @ 10:14am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Canada’s Women’s National Soccer Team’s next high profile International Friendly is Tuesday, October 28th as they host reigning world champions Japan at BC Place.


This will be the first time the two teams meet since the 2012 London Olympic Football Tournament group stage and Japan is one of the five nations already qualified for the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015™, finishing on top of the table in AFC Qualifiers. Vancouver is one of the six Official Host Cities for the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015™ and will have the privilege of hosting the world’s largest women’s football tournament championship match on July 5th, 2015.

In a continued effort to provide an accessible and affordable family experience for the Canadian soccer community and its supporters, tickets are available starting at $20 (plus applicable fees). Special group discounts of up to 30% are also available for groups of 10 or more.

Canada’s Women’s National Soccer Team vs Japan: Win Tickets

Thanks to Canada Soccer, I have a 4-pack of tickets to the match against Japan on October 28th plus 4 scarves to give away to one lucky Miss604 reader. 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 4 tix to #CanWNTvJPN from @CanadaSoccerEN + @Miss604 http://ow.ly/CrcZG

I will draw one winner at random from all entries at 12:00pm on Wednesday, October 15, 2014. Follow Canada Women’s National Team soccer updates on Facebook and Twitter with tag #CANWNT. All Canada WNT home matches this year will be broadcast live nationally on Sportsnet.

Update The winner is @marghernandez_ on Twitter!

Pumpkin Patches in Richmond and Ladner

October 7th, 2014 @ 11:14am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Pumpkins are a hot commodity at this time of year, either for baking in pies and cooking up delicious treats, or using as centrepieces, decorations, and of course carving Jack O’Lanterns. Last year I wrote a Guide to Pumpkins in Metro Vancouver for Tourism Vancouver so this year I’m going to focus on specific locations. Next up: Ladner and Richmond.

Have fun in the pumpkin patch
Westham Island. Photo credit: Ann Hung on Flickr

Pumpkin Patches in Ladner

Westham Island Herb Farm
Location: 4690 Kirkland Road, Delta
Hours: Open daily until October 31st from 9:00am to 5:00pm
Details: The patch offers carving pumpkins ranging in size from grapefruit to some over a hundred pounds, and a colourful assortment of pumpkin types ranging from Baby Boos to Big Max. There is also great variation in pumpkin colour including white, grey, orange, red and variegated along with ornamental gourds, cornstalks, miniature and full-sized hay bales and sweet sugar pumpkins for baking or cooking. Retrieve in the patch or buy from the retail area.

Richmond Country Farms. Photo credit: Jack on Flickr

Pumpkin Patches in Richmond

Richmond Country Farms
Location: 12900 Steveston Highway, Richmond
Hours: Open Saturday and Sundays 10:00am to 4:30pm and Monday to Friday from 9:00am to 1:30pm. First come first served.
Details: Admission prices do apply and include professional entertainment, a live band, a wagon ride, a Pumpkin (child size only) with a carrying bag, a visit to the animal farm, and a Spartan apple to enjoy. Richmond Country Farms grows fruits and vegetables specializing in corn and pumpkins.

Find more pumpkin patch listings and useful info in the Miss604 archives and stay tuned for the next series of pumpkin patch listings by city.

FlyOver Canada for Halloween

October 7th, 2014 @ 9:44am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

FlyOver Canada, a fantastic flight simulation ride for all ages at Canada Place is hosting a Halloween-themed experience again this year, adding some spine-tingling entertainment to its popular, must-see attraction for Halloween.


Broomelda, the headmistress of the Haunted Witch Academy, will take aspiring witches and ghouls through a spooktacular adventure to test their bravery and see if they have what it takes to graduate from the World Famous Witch Academy.

This year, the spine-chilling experience begins with the Witch Academy Pre-Show and Haunted Hallway, and then concludes with the 8-minute ultimate broomstick ride –FlyOver Canada. Upon landing, you will be granted your very own Official Witch Academy Diploma – that is, if you survive.

The 30 minute experience (preshow, boarding zone, and the 8 minute Ultimate Flying Ride) will have you taking off into the giant dome screen with the latest in projection and ride technology creating a true flying experience complete with wind, scents, and mist. You’ll soar over the country from coast, to coast to coast.

Halloween FlyOver Canada shows will run every 15 to 20 minutes daily from October 10, 2014 to November 2, 2014. Admission for adults (18+) is $16.95 and children (17 years and under) is $9.95. Tickets are available in advance online. Children must be at least 102cm (40″) to enter.

Entrance times are every 15 to 20 minutes between 10:00am and 9:00pm daily. Witches and wizards of all ages are encouraged to dress up. Follow FlyOver Canada on Facebook and Twitter for more information.

Win Tickets to Fright Nights at Playland

October 6th, 2014 @ 10:14am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

What’s scarier than an amusement park at night? How about one that’s purposely trying to spook you with terrifying rides, attractions, and mysterious creatures roaming the grounds? Fright Nights return to Playland October 10th to November 1st with a new haunted house added to its lineup of frightful features.

Fright Nights @ Playland
Photo credit: John Biehler on Flickr

It is said that cloaked men lurk through the abandoned Keepers Doll Factory searching for human sacrifices to harvest limbs from. Those who enter the Factory might leave with a few less parts and a few extra cracks than they came in with. This experience is not one for the faint of heart. But a new house is not the only feature to be excited for – or fearful of.

This latest attraction will be open along with six other haunted houses and thirteen rides. The world’s craziest two-man comedy circus show, the Monsters of Schlock, also return to put on their amazing stunt show while the Kinshira Performance Troupe will be mesmerizing guests with their fiery performance.

Fright Nights at Playland Hours and Admission

Fright Nights will be open October 10th to November 1st and closed on traditionally slower nights: October 13th, 14th, 15th, 20th, 21st, and 27th. Hours are 7:00pm to 11:00pm, 12:00pm, or 1:00am depending on the day. A full calendar is available online.

Guests will have the option to purchase a Fast Pass, which offers the same access as a regular gate pass PLUS access to an expedited line for each Haunted House. Guests will also be able to save $3 purchasing tickets at participating 7-Eleven locations or online.

Due to the overwhelming demand, Fright Nights is putting a cap on the number of tickets sold per day. Tickets must be purchased for a specific date. Event nights have limited availability and may sell out. Admission includes unlimited access to all seven haunted houses, shows and 13 rides. (There is an additional charge for the Revelation.) Parking is not included.

Warning! Definitely not recommended for ages 12 and under, seniors 65+, people with sensitivity to strobe lighting, people with high blood pressure, heart conditions, pregnant women or scaredy cats. Absolutely no guest costumes allowed.

Win Tickets

Enter to win a 4-pack of tickets to Fright Nights at Playland:

  • Leave a comment with something that would scare you in a haunted house (1 entry)
  • Post the following on Twitter (1 entry)
RT to enter to win #FrightNights tix from @PNE_Playland @Miss604 http://ow.ly/CkadM

Follow Playland on Twitter and Facebook for more information about Fright Nights. I will draw one winner at random from all entries on Thursday, October 9, 2014 at 12:00pm.

Update The winner is Joanne!