Surrey Youth Fest 2012

Wednesday, September 5th, 2012 — 11:34am PDT
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Youth Fest, Surrey’s free all-day festival for 13 to 18 year olds returns September 22nd to the Guildford Recreation Centre.

Surrey is a rapidly growing urban centre with a large population of over 60,000 youth between 10-18 years old. Surrey is the home to one-quarter of all youth in the Metro Vancouver area and has the largest population of children and youth in the Province.

Surrey also has the largest school district in the province of British Columbia with 18 secondary schools in addition to a number of independent schools.

The City of Surrey is currently working with School District 36 to increase awareness and encourage participation from youth at positive community events like Youth Fest.

Last year’s event was a huge success with over 1000 youth in attendance and we expect even more youth involvement this year.

The event will run from 4:00pm to midnight and showcase local youth bands on the Amp’d Stage (register here to play), have skateboard and BMX demos outside with sumo suits and activities inside, and host a teen dance (ages 13 to 18).

The Free Ride Bus will offer safe transportation to and from various recreation centres across the city as well. More information about Surrey Youth Fest can be found on the Facebook event page and in this PDF guide for parents.

I am proud to hop on board again as a media partner for Surrey Youth Fest.

Surrey Marathon 2012: Update

Wednesday, September 5th, 2012 — 10:33am PDT
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The first Surrey International World Music Marathon is quickly approaching as the city prepares to host a world-class full marathon, half marathon, run/walk, (new) team relay, kids run, and music celebration at the end of this month.

Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts will be doing the Mayor’s 5km Run/Walk and every Surrey City Council member will be participating including Barinder Rasode who will be doing the Run Inn Half Marathon.

There are many options to participate, from the Boston-qualifying Full Marathon to the Century Group Kids Fun Run and the Prospera Credit Union Relay Race.

Live music will play a large role in the weekend’s events with cultural performers stationed along every mile of the route. A stage will also be setup at Central City along with a Wellness Expo on Saturday, September 29th.

The Surrey International World Music Marathon is a 3-day event (Friday, September 28 to Sunday, September 30, 2012) and will celebrate cultural diversity and wellness. You still have time to register and you can visit the website to check out the variety of runs for all ages along with schedules and course maps.

Follow @SurreyMarathon on Twitter for more information.

O! Osoyoos Celebrates

Tuesday, September 4th, 2012 — 6:58pm PDT
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OsoyoosCelebratesOsoyoos presents the first annual O! Osoyoos Celebrates festival of food and wine September 14th to 16th, 2012. Located at the southern tip of the Okanagan, Canada’s only dessert is packed with orchards, wineries, and recreation on the lake.

O! Osoyoos Celebrates events will include the Red Carpet Soiree (at the NK’MIP Conference Centre) and Lobster on the Beach, emceed by Sophie Lui of Global BC, and a Sparkling Sabra Brunch (Rooftop of Spirit Ridge Vineyard Resort & Spa). Guests can pair the festival with wine tours, dining, and other wine country activities.

Heading into fall, you can catch some endless Osoyoos summer sunshine at this culinary celebration. Full weekend ticket packages are available now for $150 and tickets for individual events are also on sale for $35-$85 per person.


The organizers have offered up an O! Osoyoos Celebrate prize package for one lucky reader of mine that includes: Two nights accommodation at Spirit Ridge Vineyard Resort & Spa for two people (Friday, September 14th & Saturday, September 15th, 2012) and tickets for two to Lobster on the Beach on Saturday.

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 a getaway to @OsoyoosBC & @Spirit_Ridge for #OsoyoosCelebrates from @Miss604

I will draw one winner at random from all entries this Saturday, September 8, 2012 at 12:00pm. Must be 19+ to enter and attend. Prize does not include transportation to and from Osoyoos and is only valid on the dates shown, including the stay at Spirit Ridge.

My family has a vacation home in Osoyoos and we love hiking, swimming, and of course wine touring around the region. Follow Osoyoos, BC on Facebook and Twitter for more information about wine country and this fantastic South Okanagan destination.

Update The winner is Sandra!

Vancouver Special House Tour

Tuesday, September 4th, 2012 — 1:39pm PDT
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The Vancouver Heritage Foundation, known for hosting unique history-filled tours around the city, presents the Vancouver Special House Tour on September 22nd.

Vancouver Special House Tour
A 2012 tour home. Photo courtesy of the Vancouver Heritage Foundation.

Learn more about these unique-to-Vancouver houses, their building styles, and see how owners have transformed and modeled these dwellings.

What is a “Vancouver Special“?
Some say it derives from the “Rancher” turned sideways, to adapt to Vancouver’s narrow lots. Popular and quick to build, thousands of “Vancouver Specials” were constructed in the 1960s and 70s in bluecollar neighbourhoods all over the Lower Mainland, and have become a dominant house type in Vancouver.

The sheer quantity of Specials and their adaptability to two family dwellings has made them very attractive to first time buyers. We are excited to see this stock gain respect and value, so Specials are retained and not sent to the landfill. The highest volume of landfill today is coming from demolished buildings.

The tour will take you through five specials from 1:00pm to 5:00pm on Saturday, September 22, 2012. Tickets are available for $30 and will be going fast (many tours like this tend to sell out).

Follow the Vancouver Heritage Foundation on Facebook and Twitter for more information about tours and special events.

Global Civic Public Salon September 2012

Tuesday, September 4th, 2012 — 11:14am PDT
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Global Civic will host another Public Salon this month with another great line-up of speakers with diverse backgrounds, topics, and expertise.

The Public Salon hosts eight speakers who each have eight minutes on stage to present on any topic they like. It could be a personal story, a motivational anecdote, photos from an adventure, or professional research findings.

September 20, 2012 Speakers

Rick Antonson, Tourism Vancouver, @MyVancouver on Twitter.
Rick Antonson will consider what inspiration we could gain from the visionary architects of ancient cathedrals who knew they would never live to see their buildings completed.

Devon Brooks, Cofounder of Blo Dry Bar, @devsdevelopment on Twitter.
Devon Brooks defied skeptics when she made a prosperous business out of Blo Blow Dry Bar but she has a deeper message of overcoming that she is compelled to share.

Rudy Buttignol, Knowledge Network, @kpassiton on Twitter.
Rudy Buttignol has transformed the Knowledge Network and made it into a force for independent film producers will ask whether the greatest threat to community is oppression from without or irrelevance from within.

Jem Garrard, Filmmaker, @jemga on Twitter.
Jem Garrard is a young Vancouver filmmaker who is winning awards and recognition for her creativity.

Tim Laidler, Veterans Transition Program
Tim Laidler returned to UBC from the turbulence of war in Afghanistan and now helps young veterans struggling with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Gabor Mate, Physician, Author and Public Speaker
Best-selling author Dr. Gabor Mate has worked in the Downtown Eastside and addiction medicine and will share insights on life and aging.

Gina Morris, Choreographer of Lip Dub Wedding Proposal, @radishPDX on Twitter.
Gina Morris of Portland choreographed a proposal video that has gone viral and champions local design and fashion at her boutique Radish Underground.

Timothy Taylor, Canadian Novelist, @timothy_taylor_ on Twitter.
Timothy Taylor is a Vancouver author that is gaining the attention of the world will explore the meaning of mercy.


Public-Salon-Sept-20The Public Salon on Thursday, September 20th will run from 7:30pm until 9:00pm with an optional pre-show dinner at 6:00pm.

Tickets are $16 in advance, $20 at the door, and $90 for the dinner along with premiere circle seats for the salon.

Come early and hear Jeffrey Luo, multiple award-winning pianist who has played with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. Not bad for 11 years old. Jeffrey will be playing as the doors open from 7:00 to 7:30pm.


You can follow the presenters on their Twitter accounts (if listed above) and follow @GlobalCivic on Twitter along with the tag #publicsalon on the night of the event.

Past Speakers

Past speakers have included MLA Wally Oppal, Ryan Holmes (Founder of HootSuite), Top Chef Canada’s Dale MacKay, Mark Brand (Boneta, Save on Meats), Tsawwassen Chief Kim Baird, Terry McBride (CEO, Nettwork Music), John Fluevog, Ken Lum, Chip Wilson (Founder of Lululemon), Global BC’s Jas Johal, and more.

Presentations made at the Public Salons are videotaped by the University of British Columbia and are broadcast on the Public Salon Television on Shaw TV Channel 4 every Thursday at 6:30am, Saturday at 9:30pm and Sunday at 12pm.

Maui Sunrise at Haleakala National Park

Tuesday, September 4th, 2012 — 10:14am PDT
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I was told a Maui sunrise would be spectacular so I made sure to schedule it in during our trip to Hawaii this week. John and I are staying in the Ka’anapaali Resort area which is on the Western side of Maui, about a two hour drive from Haleakala National Park on the Eastern side of the island. We knew that it would mean a bit of sleep deprivation but figured the experience would be worth it.

Maui Sunrise at Haleakala National Park

Sunrise on Maui at Haleakala

To prepare us for the trip from sea level to 9,000ft up to the Haleakala crater I looked online and found a great blog post that provided some great tips. Here’s what I took away from the post:

  • Bundle up! Wear layers, borrow blankets from your hotel, bring beach towels.
  • Bring a camera, a flashlight, and binoculars if you have them.
  • Bring water and a light snack since there’s no food services at the park.
  • Make your way to this Google Map destination for parking and optimal viewing.
  • The road up to the summit does not have lighting and it winds back and forth. Watch for cattle on the highway from nearby farms and drive with caution.

After making the trip ourselves, I would add:

  • No really, bundle up! Since visitors don’t typically bring layers of full-coverage clothing to Maui we saw many people with blankets and towels wrapped around their bodies. Everyone’s there for the same reason and you won’t look foolish, you’ll at least be warm. Our car registered 8C as the outside temperature plus the high mountain winds were howling fiercely.
  • Arrive at least 45 minutes early. We arrived at 5:30am for a 6:11am sunrise and the upper lot (in the Google Map I posted above) was already full. There was a park ranger on the roadway to direct us to another lookout which was just as spectacular and only a few hundred feet lower.
  • Check the sunrise time. Google “Maui Sunrise” and the exact time of the sunrise will appear in the search results.
  • Bring cash as there is a $10 fee to enter the national park but your pass will be valid for three days.
  • If you’re coming from a resort area make sure you have at least 1/2 of a tank of gas to get to and from Haleakala. We used about a 1/3 tank going to and from Ka’anapali.
  • The highway does wind quite a bit but it is very well-lit with reflectors. If you’ve driven up Cypress, Seymour, or to Tofino, you’ll have the perfect experience to master this road.

Sunrise on Maui at Haleakala

There are a few “last stops for coffee” before you reach the summit but I would recommend pushing through and getting up to the top to ensure you can get a parking spot and not have to waste time parking on the road and walking up to the lookout. You won’t have to wait long to get your morning cup o’ java as there are a few places to stop on your way back down like the Kula Lodge Restaurant or the Kula Sandlewoods Cafe.

Sunrise on Maui at Haleakala

Once at the lookout point, we stood in silence and awaited the golden crest of the sun over the horizon as clouds crept over crater peaks like ocean waves crashing on the rocks in slow motion. The only sounds were that of volcanic rocks crunching under the shoes of late arrivals and the cell phone alarm clock of a woman who must usually wake up for work at 6:00am.

Maui: August 2012

The clouds turned from white to pink to yellow. 6:11am came and the sun rose as cameras fired. As soon as it was 100 percent above the horizon everyone shook off their frozen shell and moved about the lookout area. Couples posed for self-taken photos, friends sprung in the air to get caught on camera mid-leap, while some remained still and stood in awe of this epic scenery. The daylight reveled just what exactly surrounded us, like the inside of the crater, lava domes, and valley views facing West.

Preview of my Haleakala photos from Maui

Maui: August 2012

Sunrise on Maui at Haleakala Sunrise on Maui at Haleakala

Maui: August 2012

Once all the photos were taken and blankets were folded up, piled neatly into the trunks of rental cars, a steady stream of sunrise witnesses descended the mountain.

Sunrise on Maui at Haleakala

We drove right past the Kula Sandlewoods Cafe but turned around to check it out. It was 7:00am and the giant “OPEN” sign was all we needed. It was very relaxed and the gentleman serving us (who whispered calmly when he spoke) was kind enough to give us the WIFI password even though it is typically reserved for guests of their cottages. Our breakfasts were immaculate — not you regular diner fare — garnished with fresh slices of pineapple and sprigs of rosemary. The bacon was crispy, our over-medium eggs were cooked perfectly, and we had views of Maui’s central valley below us.

Maui: August 2012
View of Central and West Maui from Haleakala

The sunrise was definitely worth the 3:00am wake-up call and 5-hour roundtrip (including a stop for a hearty breakfast). In Vancouver we enjoy so many sunsets so it’s just such a treat to soak up an island sunrise from the other side of the Pacific.

Photos in this post are by John Bollwitt (view his Flickr set) & me (view my Flickr set). Read all posts tagged Maui.