GrapeJuice Wine Auction for Big Sisters

Thursday, April 13th, 2017 — 9:00am PDT
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Red or white wine? Enjoy your favourite while supporting Big Sisters of BC Lower Mainland this month!

GrapeJuice Wine Auction for Big Sisters

Are you ready to wine down after a busy week? Join Big Sisters of BC Lower Mainland on April 26th as they celebrate the power of mentorship at their GrapeJuice event. This is the perfect opportunity for you to not only find some rare and unique wines from around the world, but also help raise much needed funds for Big Sisters BCLM.

Where: Aston Martin Vancouver and Bentley Vancouver (1770 Burrard)
when: Thursday, April 26, 2017 from 5:30pm to 8:30pm
Tickets: Available online now

GrapeJuice will feature a cash bar, hors d’oeuvres, silent auction wine items and wine tasting stations. Featured auction wines include a bottle of 1934 Comte De Lauvia – a wine distilled from ‘old-vine’ Baco grapes and barreled for 70 years – as well as the Korbel Brut Rose Limited Edition Frank Sinatra bottle, designed by the legend himself in 1997. You might get to own one of these bottles, but you have to bid.

For 10 years, Big Sisters BCLM supporters, McNeill Nakamoto Recruitment Group and MLA Canada, have been putting on this delightful wine auction. Proudly presented this year by Capital Direct Income Trust, the event supports Big Sisters BCLM’s mission to enhance the confidence, self-esteem and well-being of girls through supportive relationships with female mentors. Research shows that girls who have a positive mentor are less likely to engage in destructive behaviour such as bullying, fighting, binge drinking, drug use or dropping out of school.

It’s a tough world for girls, but Big Sisters BCLM wants to change that. With your support we can help these girls achieve greatness.

Get your tickets here »

Can’t attend? You can still donate a bottle of wine to the cause or sponsor a match in lieu of your absence!

Miss604 is a proud sponsored of Big Sisters’ Mentoring Matters

Vancouver Opera Festival: Win Tickets to Dead Man Walking

Wednesday, April 12th, 2017 — 5:06pm PDT
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Vancouver Opera presents three new opera productions, and bold programming, for the inaugural Vancouver Opera Festival April 28 to May 13, 2017. It will be a wide ranging celebration of the vocal arts, designed to appeal to diverse audiences, all set conveniently in the heart of downtown Vancouver.

Vancouver Opera Festival

Otello, Dead Man Walking, and The Marriage of Figaro feature superb singers, stunning designs.

Dead Man Walking
J’Nai Bridges, Daniel Okulitch
in Dead Man Walking. Photo: Emily Cooper

Full-scale productions of Giuseppe Verdi’s late-career masterpiece Otello, featuring powerful tenor Antonello Palombi in the title in his Canadian debut, and Jake Heggie’s modern classic Dead Man Walking, with charismatic bass-baritone Daniel Okulitch as Joseph De Rocher, will be presented at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre. Award-winning set designer Erhard Rom, who created VO’s internationally renowned 2010 production of Nixon in China, is the scenic designer for both productions.

Mozart’s magnificent The Marriage of Figaro, at the intimate Vancouver Playhouse, will feature a terrific cast of emerging stars, sets designed by Vancouver’s multi-Jessie-Award-winning Drew Facey (Stickboy, 2014) and contemporary costumes by Canadian fashion designer Sid Neigum, who is receiving international attention for his bold geometric creations.

Programming also includes a new commissioned video art installation by award-winning artist Paul Wong, performances by vocal stylist Ute Lemper and Inuit throat singer Tanya Tagaq and The Carmina Burana Sing-Along with the Vancouver Bach Choir.

Activities and experiences for audiences of all ages throughout the day at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre, Vancouver Playhouse, Orpheum Theatre, Vogue Theatre, and on the Queen Elizabeth Theatre Plaza.

Tickets to Vancouver Opera Festival performances can be purchased at the VO ticket centre online or by calling 604-683-0222.

Dead Man Walking Special Promotion

Save up to $120 on tickets to Dead Man Walking if you are under 40. VO just launched a new promotion for the Vancouver Opera Festival. Tickets for Jake Heggie’s modern masterpiece Dead Man Walking are only $40 if you’re under 40—a savings of over $120 in some cases.

$40 under 40 tickets are available in limited quantities so act now and get the best seats possible. To claim this deal, simply enter discount 6593 online or call the ticket centre. This discount cannot be applied to tickets already purchased. Tickets will be available at will call and ID will be required.

Win Tickets to Dead Man Walking

I have a pair of tickets to give away to the performance of Dead Man Walking on May 2, 2017 at 7:30pm at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre.

Based on the bestselling memoir by Sister Helen Prejean, this popular opera chronicles the story of a convicted Louisiana murderer who is befriended by a Catholic nun seeking to understand the nature of divine forgiveness. Prejean’s memoir was the basis for the award-winning 1995 film starring Susan Sarandon and Sean Penn. With a brilliant libretto by Terrance McNally and a dramatic and incredibly lyric musical setting by Jake Heggie—widely considered one of the great living opera composers—the work’s moral complexity, emotional depth make Dead Man Walking a standout of contemporary opera.

Here’s how you can enter to win:

  • Leave a comment on this post (1 entry)
  • Click below to get another entry by posting on Twitter:
Click to enter via TwitterClick To Tweet

Follow Vancouver Opera on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram for more information about the inaugural Vancouver Opera Festival, April 28 to May 13, 2017.

I will draw one winner at random from all entries at 12:00pm on Wednesday, April 19, 2017.

Update The winner is @Bonseyeview!

Vancouver’s Empty Homes Tax

Wednesday, April 12th, 2017 — 4:01pm PDT
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The Empty Homes Tax was enacted by Vancouver City Council in response to the city’s housing crisis. The tax is intended to increase rental housing supply by putting empty and under-used properties to use as long-term rental homes for people who live and work in Vancouver.

In Vancouver, every owner of residential property will have to make a property status declaration for the 2017 calendar year. In December, owners will receive instructions outlining how to make this declaration, which will be due by February 2, 2018. Here’s more information about the Empty Homes Tax and what it means to you:

Vancouver's Empty Homes Tax

Vancouver’s Empty Homes Tax

What you need to know

Own a home in Vancouver? If it is not your principal residence, eligible for an exemption, or rented out for at least six months in 2017, it will be subject to the Empty Homes Tax – a 1% tax on the property’s assessed value.

What if my home is vacant or occasionally-used?
Take the City’s online questionnaire to find out if the tax applies to you. If it does apply, you’ll need to rent out your place to a tenant no later than July 1, and it must remain occupied for the remainder of 2017 in order to be excluded from the tax. (Homes must be tenanted for a minimum total of six months, in periods of 30 or more consecutive days).

To find helpful information about becoming a landlord, or a property management company to rent out your home, please visit or

If I don’t have to pay the tax, do I still have to declare my property status?
Yes – every owner of residential property will have to make a property status declaration for the 2017 calendar year. In December, you will receive instructions outlining how to make this declaration, which will be due by February 2, 2018.

What is a principal residence?
A principal residence is defined as: “… the usual place where an individual lives, makes his or her home and conducts his or her daily affairs, including, without limitation, paying bills and receiving mail, and is generally the residential address used on documentation related to billing, identification, taxation and insurance purposes, including, without limitation, income tax returns, Medical Services Plan documentation, driver’s licenses, personal identification, vehicle registration and utility bills.”

Still not sure if the tax applies to you?
Complete the online questionnaire to find out!

For more information about the Empty Homes Tax, follow the City of Vancouver on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook along with the tag #EmptyHomesTax. You can also call 3-1-1 or (604) 873-7000.

Disclosure: Sponsored Post
This post is sponsored by the City of Vancouver

Review of Cinderella in Vancouver

Wednesday, April 12th, 2017 — 11:29am PDT
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Guest post by Jen Murtagh
Cinderella Sparkles in Rodgers and Hammerstein Tony Award-winning Broadway Musical Playing Now in Vancouver

Die-hard Cinderella fans and those who would like to see an modernized version of the classic fairy-tale will not be disappointed by the rip roaring Rodgers and Hammerstein Tony award- winning musical Cinderella.

Brian Liebson, Leslie Jackson and Tatyana Lubov in Rodgers + Hammerstein’s CINDERELLA. © Carol Rosegg

All the traditional fairy tale lore will keep you entertained, smiling and likely singing along to, however this Cinderella, turned courageous heroine had me cheering in my seat as she portrays a character much stronger, more assertive and gutsy than the movie I remembered from my childhood. In fact, in my opinion this musical is just loosely based on the original story and I was thrilled and excited by the changes.

The production features stunning set transformations and costumes, hilarious moments, romance, an incredible orchestra, the classic songs and plenty of new tunes including “In My Own Little Corner,” “Impossible/It’s Possible” and “Ten Minutes Ago” which my seven year old daughter is still humming today!

The company of Rodgers + Hammerstein’s CINDERELLA. © Carol Rosegg

The cast of Cinderella features Tatyana Lubov as Ella, Hayden Stanes as Prince Topher, Leslie Jackson as Marie, The Fairy Godmother, Sarah Primmer as Madame, Ella’s wicked stepmother, Vincent Davis as Lord Pinkleton, Joanna Johnson as Charlotte, Ryan M. Hunt as Sebastian, Mimi Robinson as Gabrielle and Chris Woods as Jean-Michele.

This refreshing version sees Cinderella or “Ella” as she is called work with the Prince to solve kingdom issues together in a way that brings their common purpose and love for their community to the forefront.

Yes, there are wedding bells and yes, the stepmother is still a tad evil – but the stepsisters are definitely not as catty and callous as I recalled from my youth. They were actually downright hilarious in most scenes. There is so much more to this production than I could have ever imagined. This is a Cinderella of our times and one I felt good about sharing with my daughter.

Hayden Stanes, Tatyana Lubov and the company of Rodgers + Hammerstein’s CINDERELLA. © Carol Rosegg

Broadway Across Canada are only in Vancouver or one week. Tickets are still available for shows through April 16, 2017 at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre.

Follow Broadway Across Canada on Twitter and Facebook for more information about their shows coming to Vancouver for 2017.

Disclosure: Review
Views and opinions are that of the author. Media tickets were provided by Broadway Across Canada.

A guest post by Jen Murtagh

Jen Murtagh

Guest post by Jen Murtagh CEO Minerva BC. Founder NetworkinginVan. People philanthropist. Loud laugher. U2 Superfan. Dominator of boggle. Follow Jen on Twitter @JenU2.

10 Easter Egg Hunts in Metro Vancouver

Wednesday, April 12th, 2017 — 10:44am PDT
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It’s that time of year! Tulips and daffodils, chocolates and hot cross buns, and a lot of family fun at community events. There’s a big list of activities around the region this long weekend but I’ve picked out 10 Easter Egg Hunts in Metro Vancouver to give you a head start on planning:

1. Easter at the Cannery
Friday, April 14 to Sunday, April 16 at the Gulf of Georgia Cannery in Steveston
The Easter Salmon makes its annual return to the Cannery, to hide eggs for the little ones to find throughout the historic cannery. Throughout each day from 10:00am to 5:00pm, they will have Easter crafts, games and an interactive story-time.

2. Burke Mountain Community Easter Egg Hunt
Friday, April 14, 2017 at Galloway Park (3404 Galloway Ave, Coquitlam)
Join the fun from from 10:00am to 1:00pm. Also, the Burke Mountain Community Easter Egg Hunt is not just a fun community event; it also raises awareness and much needed funds for the local women’s shelter, Tri-City Transitions.

3. An Egg-Ucational Easter Scavenger Hunt at the Aquarium
Friday, April 14 to Monday, April 17 at the Vancouver Aquarium in Stanley Park
From 9:30am to 6:00pm each day, try a self-guided Easter-themed scavenger hunt at the Vancouver Aquarium featuring astonishing aquatic creatures and their eggs. The Easter Scavenger Hunt will provide trivia clues and lead visitors on a journey through the Aquarium’s galleries, in search of the hidden eggs. By learning the eggs-traordinary stories, visitors will use their newfound knowledge

4. VanDusen Garden’s 9th Annual Great A-Maze-ing Egg Hunt
Saturday, April 15 to Sunday, April 16 at VanDusen (5251 Oak St, Vancouver)
Bring your kids to experience the 9th Annual Great A-Maze-ing Egg Hunt at VanDusen Botanical Garden from 10:00am to 1:00pm each day. Enjoy an outdoor egg hunt around the hedge maze, kids crafts and activities, and tasty treats from on-site food trucks.

5. Hippity Hoppity Easter Event at Creekside
Saturday, April 15, 2017 at Creekside Community Centre (1 Athletes Way, Vancouver)
Hippity Hoppity bounce your way through the egg hunt, games, crafts, and fun stations from 1:30pm to 3:30pm. For kids 0-5 years with adult.

6. Historic Stewart Farm Old Fashioned Easter
Saturday, April 15, 2017 at Historic Stewart Farm (13723 Crescent Rd, Surrey)
Stop by between 11:00am to 3:00pm for a family Easter egg hunt on the budding grounds of a heritage farmhouse. Little ones will have their face painted, make rabbit ears and compete in Bunny Olympics at this free event.

7. Kitsilano Community Centre Easter Eggstravaganza
Saturday, April 15, 2017 at Kitsilano Community Centre (2690 Larch St, Vancouver)
The gym will be full of fun activities for all ages, from 11:00am to 1:00pm, including crafts, games, face painting, cookie decorating and more. Parent participation required, but tickets only need to be purchased for the children. Infants under 12 months are free. This event sells out so book ASAP.

8. Kerrisdale Easter Eggstravaganza
Saturday, April 15, 2017 at Kerrisdale Community Centre (5851 West Blvd, Vancouver)
Join an afternoon of Easter fun with games and crafts from 1:00pm to 3:00pm. Children (2-10 yrs) must purchase tickets and must be accompanied by an adult. Advanced registration is encouraged.

9. Easter Egg Hunt Around BC Place
Sunday, 16 April, 2017 from 9:00am to 6:00pm at BC Place (Gate A)
Home of the Vancouver Whitecaps and BC Lions! Enjoy a guided tour of BC Place stadium, Western Canada’s premier venue for live events! Leaving on the hour, every hour, keep your eyes pealed for hidden Easter surprises during this 30 minute tour.

10. Easter Egg Scavenger Hunt at Fort Langley
Sunday, April 16, 2017 from 10:00am to 5:00pm at Fort Langley
Calling all little bunnies! Your mission: complete the all-ages scavenger hunt that will take you exploring around the fort and earn treats as you go. The activities will take place inside the fort walls, and run all day from 10:00am to 5:00pm. At 11:00am, 1:00pm and 3:00pm, kids five and under can participate in the “Egg Scramble,” where they will be grouped by age and will find as many eggs as they can on the giant map of British Columbia. And remember, as a National Historic Site, there’s complimentary admission for Canada 150!

Bonus! The Stanley Park Easter Train will have a carnival style event with the themed train rides, Easter Bunny and egg hunt, mini golf, bouncers, face-painting, plant a posy craft activity and an expanded food and beverage service.

Cherry Blossom Photo of the Day

Wednesday, April 12th, 2017 — 9:52am PDT
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Share your photos with the Miss604 Flickr Pool and/or the #Photos604 tag on Instagram for possible feature. Today’s image is from Ann Hung:

Cherry Blossom Photo of the Day

Cherry Blossoms in Vancouver

View more photography posts on Miss604 along with the Vancouver Photos of the Week – and be sure to tag your photos with #Photos604!