Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival 2012

March 16th, 2012 @ 10:39am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

The Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival has done a fantastic job of celebrating the lovely pink petals that adorn over 40,000 local trees through promoting community events like dances, lunches, painting classes and more.

Sakura (cherry) beauty downtown
Photo credit: Judy B – The Travelling Eye on Flickr

yaezakura Wishing for spring
Photo credit: aloalo* & Eric Flexyourhead on Flickr

Cherry Jam Downtown
When: Thursday, April 5, 2012 from 12:00pm to 1:30pm
Where: Burrard SkyTrain station plaza
What: Free lunchtime concert. Pre-order a Sakura Bento Box Lunch created by Master Chef Hidekazu Tojo and other local chefs. Lunches can be picked up from 11:00am to 2:00pm at the station. There will also be culinary demonstrations from 11:00am to 12:00pm.

Sakura Days Japan Fair
When: April 7 and 8, from 10:00am to 5:00pm
Where: VanDusen Botanical Garden
What: Family-friendly Japanese festival at VanDusen Gardens in the Visitor Centre. Enjoy food, traditional tea ceremonies, sake, cultural performances, crafts, and more.

Cherry Blossom Flash Mob
When: Saturday April 14, 2012 from 2:00pm
Where: Vancouver Art Gallery, Georgia side
What: Since you’re not supposed to advertise a flash mob, I won’t give away too many details here. Stop by to check out what will happen.

Plein Air Painting Classes
When: April 7, 14, 21, and 28 from 11:00am to 2:00pm
Where: VanDusen Botanical Garden
What: Painting classes among the blossoms at the gardens taught by Federation of Canadian Artists such as Alfonso Tejada, Bob McMurray, Alan Wylie, Janice Robertson. Suitable for beginners and advanced artists and you can work in water colour, oil, or acrylic.

Bike The Blossoms
When: Saturday, April 28, 2012 at 10:30am
Where: China Creek Park South
What: Join Velopalooza and the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival for a fun, free guided bike ride. The ride will tour the blossom cherry trees in Vancouver and include a talk by Parks Board Arborist, Bill Stephen.

Check out the cherry blossom map to find some of best places for taking pictures and enjoying the beauty of the trees. You can also submit your cherry blossom haiku until June 4, 2012 and create your own cherry blossom origami.

Canada’s cherry blossom festival the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival Society is a non-profit charitable society established in 2005 in the province of British Columbia. The City of Vancouver declared March and April the months to honor the more than 40,000 ornamental cherry trees generously gifted from Japan in the 1930’s.

Metro Vancouver weRecycle App

March 16th, 2012 @ 9:34am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Metro Vancouver has just launched their weRecycle application for the iPhone. Within just a few seconds you can look up recycling locations within Metro Vancouver for everything from mattresses to car tires.

You can search by material, recycling location, or find out what items are suitable to put in your city’s blue recycling bins. The application is free and will soon be available for other smartphones. If you would like to use a similar service from a desktop computer, you can find information online.

Save The Patricia Theatre in Powell River

March 15th, 2012 @ 3:57pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Walking past the box office of the Spanish Revival style building, I opened the doors to the Patricia Theatre and was greeted with the haunting aroma of buttered popcorn. A poster board propped up in the entranceway spelled out the future of the historic Powell River theatre rather bluntly: Digital or Dark?

Patricia Theatre, Powell River

Patricia Theatre, Powell River Patricia Theatre, Powell River Patricia Theatre, Powell River Patricia Theatre, Powell River

The Patricia is Canada’s longest standing continuously running movie house as its two able film projectors crank out screenings for local film festivals and new releases. However the looming digital conversion, that was set to happen in 2014, has been bumped up. As of this summer, film prints will no longer we sent out by the studios and to accomodate the digital upgrade the Patricia’s owner, Ann Nelson, needs to come up with $90,000 — and fast.

Ann, who bought the theatre 15 years ago, greeted me near the concession stand and held up a film card in front of me, allowing light from the window to shine through the coaster-sized object. “This is how they used to advertise upcoming pictures in the old days,” she said. On the blue, pink, and yellow tinted slide were Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, and Paul Henreid. It was essentially the trailer for Casablanca.

We sat in the sunshine that beamed through the windows and lit up boxes of Hot Tamales, Nerds, and Reese’s Pieces. Ann told me all about the history of Powell River and how the Patricia came to be.

Patricia Theatre, Powell River

Patricia’s Past
Ann began my history lesson with the first movie theatre in 1913. “It was a tent down by the mill gates and it used to blow down in every storm. Then, They built a building shaped like a shoebox on end down near the cenotaph.” Through a naming contest “Patricia” was selected given the popularity of Princess Patricia who had just visited Canada with her father, the Duke of Connaught. The theatre hosted everything from traveling trunk shows fresh off the steamships, to boxing matches and the latest Charlie Chaplin films – it was the social hub of town.

Book Warehouse is Closing

March 15th, 2012 @ 12:51pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Book Warehouse, one of Vancouver’s most beloved local book stores, will be closing its remaining locations after a final sale blowout that began today.

“Who knows what we’ll be doing as the weeks go on? We sort of forgot to stop ordering books, so our warehouse is jammed with thousands more books. We’ll keep putting them into the stores, which should give many opportunities for our customers to say their goodbyes to their favorite booksellers, and walk away with even more incredible bargains.” Founder Sharman King (via Press Release)

Book Warehouse
Photo credit: Roland on Flickr

Book Warehouse started out in 1980 and you may remember their old commercials if you grew up around Vancouver that featured King playing a tuba or trombone.

Within a week of the Vancouver Playhouse closing down its operations, and the announcement that the Ridge Theatre will be demolished, this is salt in the wound of Vancouver’s creative communities. A theatre company, a movie house, and a book store chain, gone.

Let’s support the Book Warehouse during its final days. Go online, visit their locations in person, and scoop up some books that are going for bargain basement prices. As a writer, published author, book reader, and Vancouverite, I encourage everyone to take a few minutes, put down the smartphone, close the laptop, and open up a book. On your lunch break, with your children, at the beach, or curled up on the couch.

Visit the Book Warehouse on Broadway, West 10th, Lonsdale, or Davie until the shelves are empty. Follow the Book Warehouse on Twitter and Facebook for more information.

Gadgets for Spring Break at Caya

March 15th, 2012 @ 11:08am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

I had been by Caya before but had no idea that it was a series of boutiques setup by TELUS that connects phones, photography, accessories, Optik TV, and imaging services. Their focus right now is on gadgets for spring break — capturing and sharing your adventures with friends and family. Whether you’re heading to Whistler, Sun Peaks, staying in town, or off to a warm and sunny vacation destination.

Caya Products

1. Glider Gloves ($29.99)
Thick, warm, and you can still use your smartphone without removing them. The anti-slip grip will work with any touch-screen device.

2. X-Mini II Capsule Speaker ($29.99)
Pocket-sized speaker that can broadcast your tunes from your mobile phone, laptop, mp3 player.

3. Fuji Finepix XP20 Camera ($169.99)
Take this waterproof camera up the mountain without worry. It’s shock and freeze proof, captures 14 megapixel images, can do HD video recording, and has a 5x optical zoom.

4. Urban Ears Medis Headphones ($59.99)
These headphones have a patented EarClick solution which secures the earpiece at two separate points to relieve pressure while keeping it firmly in place.

5. Liquid Image Dive Mask on sale until March 29th ($99.99. Regular price $129.99)
Integrated waterproof digital camera and dive mask. It is depth tested to 16 feet, has a five or an eight mega-pixel sensor and allows you to shoot 18-25 frames per second.

Caya Prize Package6. Liquid Image Ski Goggles on sale until March 29th ($199.99. Regular price $279.99)
Document your powder-packed runs with your own goggle-cam. Completely hands-free, capture 5 mega pixel HD video, record up to 30 frames per second, and store up to 711 minutes of footage.

To promote the spring break gadget campaign, Caya has offered up a prize pack for one lucky reader. This includes the Liquid Image Ski Goggles (with built-in camera) and a $25 print plus card for photo-finishing at Caya.

Stop by any of the four Caya stores (Davie, Gastown, Denman, South Granville) to print or enlarge photos. Caya also offers printing services to produce your own keepsakes like canvas prints, photobooks, calendars, and mugs.

Here’s how you can enter to win the goggles and the $25 print plus card:

  • Leave a comment on this post (1 entry)
  • Post the following on Twitter (1 entry)
RT to enter to win a @ThisisCaya prize package from @Miss604

Follow Caya on Twitter and Facebook for news and product information. I will draw one winner at random from all entries next Thursday, March 22, 2012 at 12:00pm.

Update The winner is @ClaudiaWan!