Stanley Park Ghost Train 2012: Scary Fairy Tales

Friday, September 21st, 2012 — 10:58am PDT
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The Stanley Park Ghost Train rolls into the woods this October with a scary fairy tale theme this year. Mortal Coil Performance Society has once again put together the production and artistic direction as they have done in the past with the Ghost Train’s carnival and Alice in Nightmareland themes.


The Ghost Train will run nightly from October 5, 2012 to October 31, 2012. Rides will run 6:00pm to 10:00pm Sunday through Thursday, until 11:00pm Fridays and Saturdays, and 11:00am to 3:00pm matinee runs (for just $5) will take places on Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays.

Stanley Park Halloween Ghost Train Stanley Park Halloween Ghost Train
Stanley Park Ghost Train 2010 – Alice in Nightmareland. Photo credit: John Bollwitt on Flickr

Of course there’s always more to Halloween in Stanley Park than the Ghost Train. The surrounding courtyard will feature a haunted castle, face painting, crafts, a pumpkin patch, entertainers like the Carnival Band, and special event nights. On Tuesday, October 30th there will be a costume contest starting at 6:00pm and movie nights will be Sundays (with Mirror Mirror) and Thursdays (with The Princess Bride).

The train is covered and protected from the rain so you can come despite the fall weather that will eventually arrive. There will be free parking on site and you can take transit right into the park on the #19 bus. Tickets are now on sale online and by phone (1-855-985-5000) for $6.25 (for ages 2-18 and seniors) and $9.82 (adults). You can also purchase tickets on site after 3:00pm.
I have 10 tickets to give away to opening night on October 5th so I’ll bundle them up into 5 pairs to give away. Here’s how you can enter to win:

  • Leave a comment naming your favourite fairy tale (1 entry)
  • Post the following on Twitter (1 entry)
RT to enter to win tix to opening night of @ghost_trainYVR from @Miss604

I will draw 5 winners at random from all entries next Friday, September 28, 2012 at 12:00pm. Follow the Stanley Park Ghost Train on Facebook and Twitter for more information.

Update The winners are @michiec87, Tracy, Lorraine, Rachel, and Kirsten!

Update A pumpkin patch is coming to Stanley Park right at the Ghost Train area. The pumpkin patch will open October 18th and run until Halloween from 6:00pm to 9:00pm nightly. Pumpkins will be $5 each and children can take park in carving events on Tuesday, October 17th and Tuesday, October 23rd.

Vancity Good Money Mob: Round 2

Friday, September 21st, 2012 — 10:04am PDT
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Vancity has launched a Good Money Mob campaign where local businesses can benefit from exposure, foot traffic, and a healthy cash injection. They Have split up the Good Money Mob into three rounds and I’m very pleased to host Round Two.

vancity good money mob

The mob in this case is an event where the community is encouraged to go to a business on a specific date and “mob” them with their cash. Make purchases, dine-in or take-out, buy goods, book services, all of that good stuff. These events are commonly known as “Cash Mobs” and referred to as reverse Groupons because instead of offering deep discounts, the mobs are meant to help the business owner develop a more long-term relationship its customers.

I have hand-picked three local businesses to feature and the public gets to vote on which they would like to see get mobbed in this manner.

The three businesses for my Vancity Good Money Mob Campaign are:

vancity-good-money-mobUprising Breads Bakery
Uprising Breads Bakery on West Broadway is all about using all-natural ingredients in their goodies. Plus, they also donate their left over bread to community groups like The Vancouver Food Bank.
Website, Twitter, Facebook

CocoaNymph Chocolates & Confections
Making delectable chocolates started as a way for CocoaNymph Chocolates & Confections’ owner to pay for tuition. Now they have two locations offering artisan chocolates made by hand, using local ingredients whenever possible.
Website, Twitter, Facebook

Woodland Smokehouse & Commissary
Woodland Smokehouse & Commissary on Commercial Drive is much more than a typical sandwich and doughnut shop. That’s because it’s also a studio, gallery and kitchen space for the local culinary community.
Website, Twitter, Facebook

Voting is NOW OPEN on Vancity’s Facebook page. Click “Like” on the badge representing the company you would like to support and that will ultimately get mobbed — in the best way possible. Voting runs until October 3, 2012.

Vancouver History: Foncie Pulice

Friday, September 21st, 2012 — 7:59am PDT
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When you think of landmarks on Granville street the Orpheum sign comes to mind along with the Vogue’s marquee and perhaps other standout buildings or neon that have stood the test of time. Now imagine a man, a photographer, being a just part of every day downtown Granville life for more than four decades.

Next week is the anniversary of the day Foncie Pulice took his last street photo (September 27, 1979). Foncie was a street photographer in downtown Vancouver who took photographs of passers-by. Every day — for 45 years — Foncie stood out on Granville and snapped pictures.

“When I started back in 1934,” Foncie recalled [an] that interview, “there were six companies in Vancouver, but when we really started to go was during the war. The public couldn’t get film, you see, so the street photographers were all they had. Servicemen would come home on leave, they’d have pictures taken. Families would get together, we’d take their picture. At one time, I was taking 4,000 to 5,000 pictures every day.” [The Province, September 21, 1979 via Vancouver History]

Foncie's Photo on Granville Foncie's Photo on Granville

People began to make appointments with Foncie. They would call ahead and come by every year with their family so that he could capture them all on film, on Granville. If an appointment wasn’t made, Foncie would snap your photo on the street, give you a ticket with a number, then you could return to his shop at a later date to pick up your print.

Unfortunately there aren’t many photos of the street photographer himself. But a roll of negatives of Foncie at work at Granville and Robson on Aug. 1, 1970, recently turned up in The Vancouver Sun archives. Photographer George Diack captured Foncie hard at work behind his giant camera, a bizarre contraption that looked like a cross between a 1930s robot and a gas pump. It was powered by a car battery, so Foncie decorated it with a logo that read “Electric Photos,” complete with ’30s-style lightning bolts. [The Vancouver Sun

From families to celebrities, and even my own grandfather. What started out on a whim became one of the most significant fixtures of urban Vancouver life.

“One of the reasons I got into street photography,” Foncie told me during that interview, with a sidelong glance at his wife, Ann, “was because I wanted to meet girls. It was a great way to meet girls. I used to live in the 900 block Seymour and I had a whole wall of phone numbers. Really. Right up on the wall. And beside every number there’d be a little description of the girl. I used to get calls all the time from other fellows. ‘Hey, Foncie, you know all the girls–can you fix us up with dates?”

Ann laughed. She knew about that wall. “You should have saved it,” she told Foncie. “It could go in a museum.” [Chuck Davis’ Vancouver History

When I discovered a photography of my Opa (grandfather) stamped with “Foncie’s Photos” on the back, I wrote my first post about him back in 2007. I figured there had to be more people out there with photos from Foncie and I found a Flickr Group where I could contribute the image.

Foncie Pulice was the last of the street photographers. He had taken his first street photo in 1934. He would take his last on September 27, 1979. He died January 20, 2003 at age 88, but his work lives on . . . everywhere. [Chuck Davis’ Vancouver History

If anyone else comes across a black and white print stamped with “Foncie’s Photos” feel free to share it with the Flickr group as well. Foncie’s camera now sits in the Museum of Vancouver‘s 1950s gallery.

Chefs Across the Water with Lee Parsons of the Wedgewood Hotel

Thursday, September 20th, 2012 — 10:24am PDT
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Earlier this week locals along with ferry and floatplane travellers gathered at Hastings House on the beautiful gulf island known as Salt Spring. The second event in the Chefs Across the Water dining series featured the culinary creations of Chef Lee Parsons of Vancouver’s Wedgewood Hotel and Spa. Chef Parsons along with Sous Chef Nathan Eades and Hasting House’s own Executive Chef Marcel Kauer put together a five course meal prepared with Salt Spring Island ingredients paired with BC wines.

Hastings House Hotel photowalk, Salt Spring Island, B.C. Hastings House Hotel photowalk, Salt Spring Island, B.C.

Hastings House, Ganges, B.C.

John and I always enjoy visiting Salt Spring and you’ll often hear me referring to it as our “Happy Place”. From rolling meadows and rocky shores to mountain hikes and twisted Arbutus trees spotting the landscape, it’s a magnificent retreat. The island’s bounty was brought to our table as we sat in the solarium overlooking Ganges Harbour at sunset.

Chefs Across The Water Chefs Across The Water

First Course: Gazpacho
Lightly spiced chilled soup of Heirloom Tomatoes, cucumber, red peppers, and basil. Garnished with fresh Dungeness Crab and paired with Cassini Cellars Viognier (2010). I am a big fan of gazpacho and this was a great start to the meal ahead.

Chefs Across the Water at Hastings House Chefs Across the Water at Hastings House

Second Course: Garden Salad
Garden leaves, fresh Salt Spring Island goat cheese, poached pears, walnut oil and apply cider dressing. Paired with Clos du Soleil Pinot Blanc (2011). Goat cheese, let along Salt Spring goat cheese, is always a favourite as well. A nice crunchy follow-up to the soup.

Chefs Across the Water at Hastings House

Third Course: Ling Cod
Pan-seared then baked with a herb crust, fresh mussels, served in a white wine cream broth. Paired with Mission Hill Perpetua (2009). The wine pairing was fantastic with this fragrant dish.

Chefs Across the Water at Hastings House

Fourth Course: Lamb
Roasted rack and braised shoulder served with crushed peas, sweet shallot, garlic, celery root, and potato pave with a rosemary scented lamb jus. Paired with Burrowing Owl Vineyards Syrah (2007). John is always partial to lamb and this received his stamp of approval — and mine too. It was so tender and juicy and lacked that ‘gamey’ taste some might normally use to describe lamb. This ‘meat and potatoes’ entree really hit the spot.

Chefs Across the Water at Hastings House

Dessert: Milk Risotto/Rice Pudding
Butter roasted peaches finished with lavender. Paired with Chapoutier Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise (2009). After the lamb we thought we couldn’t eat another bite but the peach was so citrusy and crisp that it landed on our palettes and begged to be devoured.

There are still tickets available to the final Chefs Across the Water dinner at Hastings House which will be orchestrated by Chef Terry Pichor of Sonora Resort on October 16th. The dinner is $100 and $40 to opt-in for the wine pairings. Follow Hastings House on Twitter and Facebook for more information.

Disclosure: Review
Our meal was compliments of Hastings House and Salt Spring Island Tourism. This did not affect the outcome of this coverage and opinions are my own.

Best of Vancouver 2012 Georgia Straight: Thank You!

Thursday, September 20th, 2012 — 7:32am PDT
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The Georgia Straight released their Best of Vancouver issue this morning, sharing the results of their annual public poll about their readers’ favourite (and maybe not-so-favourite) things about our city.

I would like to thank everyone who voted for me as the Best Local Twitterer, a title which I am proud to claim for the third year. I have been self-employed for the last five years and since social media is a huge part of my business, it means a lot to receive this recognition from the public. As an individual, I’m just happy that so many people enjoy hearing what I have to share about the city and my adventures. Thank you for this honour and for continuing to read my content.

Congratulations are in order for Vancouver is Awesome who has received the title as “Best Local Blog” and I am thrilled to be their Runner-Up. When people ask me to recommend another blog it’s always VIA. Bob and his team of over a dozen editors work tirelessly to cover events, music, film, food, history, and even local pets. They do it all with passion, style, and a big smile on their faces. Really, I’m not sure I’ve seen Bob or contributors like Christine McAvoy ever in a bad mood. @VIAwesome was my Runner-Up in the Best Local Twitterer category as well.

A new kid on the block, Bored in Vancouver, took 3rd place in both Best Local Twitterer and Best Local Blog. My first action was to follow them on Twitter this morning and my second is to congratulate them. Their slogan is: “Website with free and cheap stuff to do when you’re really bored in Vancouver.” Sounds good to me!

Outside of the online media categories, other titles go to:

Best Neighbourhood: Kitsilano
Best Community Centre: The Roundhouse Community Centre
Best Live Music Venue: The Commodore Ballroom
Best Local Employer: lululemon athletica
Best Brunch: Cafe Medina
Best Place to Buy Jeans: Dutil
Best Weekend Getaway: Whistler
Best Hair Salon: Suki’s
Best TV Newscast: Global BC
Best Morning Show Hosts (Radio): Nat and Drew (Virgin)

The full list is available online including categories like Vancouverite Closest to Hell, Best Comedy Club, Best Kitchenware Store, Best Local Claim to Fame and also the Claim to Shame.

BC Sports Hall of Fame 2012 Honoured Members Reception

Wednesday, September 19th, 2012 — 8:20pm PDT
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This evening the BC Sports Hall of Fame hosted a reception for its Honoured Members and Class of 2012 inductees. Seated in the Hall of Champions, the new inductees were among family and friends as their achievements were recognized ahead the 44th annual Banquet of Champions at the Vancouver Convention Centre that will take place tomorrow night.

BC Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2012

BC Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2012 BC Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2012

Sean Millington and Lynn Kanuka introduced each new inductee as their name plates were revealed on the walls of the BC Sports Hall of Fame at BC Place.

BC Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2012

(Read full write-ups on each of the honourees here)


Ashleigh McIvor (ski cross)

Ski cross champ @AsleighMcIvor gets inducted into the @BCSportsHall BC Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2012

Howard Kelsey (basketball)

BC Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2012 BC Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2012

Michael Edgson (para-swimming)

BC Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2012 BC Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2012

Bernard Buster Moberg (softball)

BC Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2012 BC Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2012

Andrea Neil (soccer)

BC Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2012 BC Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2012


David Esworthy (equestrian)

BC Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2012 BC Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2012

Don Martin (sailing)

BC Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2012 BC Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2012


Barbara Howard (track and field)

BC Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2012 BC Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2012

W.A.C. Bennett

May Brown

BC Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2012 BC Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2012


The 1945-46 Vancouver Canucks
Ernie Dougherty (forward) and Andy Clovechok (forward) were present to represent the team.

BC Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2012 BC Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2012

2003 inductee Charmaine Crooks was also at the reception to donate her London 2012 Olympic torch which she carried this summer.

BC Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2012

A limited number of tickets are still available for tomorrow night’s Banquet of Champions if you would like to attend. On Twitter, the tag to follow will be #2012BOC.

Find out more about these inductees and others who have been honored at the BC Sports Hall of Fame which is located through Gate “A” at BC Place. Follow the Hall on Twitter and Facebook throughout the year for information about the galleries, sports in BC, and more.