Operas and Arias Bard on the Beach Giveaway

September 1st, 2009 @ 10:30am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

As the Bard on the Beach season rolls into its final month, a special Operas and Arias performance is just beginning.

operas arias
Photo credit: David Blue

Fresh from their performance of Mozart’s Così fan tutte in Prague and Ontario, UBC Opera Ensemble, directed by Nancy Hermiston, will perform an in-concert staging of this fun-filled romantic opera. Members of Vancouver Opera Orchestra, conducted by Leslie Dala, will accompany this talented cast of rising opera stars.

The performances (three nights only) will take place in the main Bard on the Beach tent with the Pacific Ocean and local mountains as the backdrop. Tickets are $32 (matinee), $35 (evening), but you can win a pair of tickets for the either the performance on September 7th or September 8th. To enter, simply leave a comment or re-tweet this post.

Update: The contest is now closed & I just drew Lori‘s name. Congratulations & thanks to everyone for entering.

Vancouver Twestival Tickets are Now on Sale

September 1st, 2009 @ 9:14am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

twestival vancouverFor the second time this year, I am organizing a Twestival event in Vancouver.

Twestival is a global fundraising event that is organized through Twitter, using the service to gather volunteers, get community input, invite participants, and publicize the event. Twestival will be like a meetup, where you can show up, have some food, win some prizes, and enjoy some entertainment. 100% of ticket sales go directly to the cause of choice.

There was a public vote a few weeks ago and Vancouver chose to support the BC Childrens Hospital Foundation.

Below are the event specifics, which I posted earlier on the Twestival Vancouver website:

Jackson Rathbone of Twilight with 100 Monkeys

August 31st, 2009 @ 1:36pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Jackson Rathbone, who plays Jasper in the Twilight movie saga, has been busy in Vancouver filming the latest installment of the series however he’s also managed to find time to be a part of the band, 100 Monkeys.

The band is made up of Rathbone’s high school confidantes, Ben Graupner and Ben Johnson, along with his friends Jerad Anderson and Lawrence Abrams. The thing that makes the band so unique is that each member can play every instrument. In between songs, one of them yells ‘switcharoo’ and they all switch instruments. “It’s amazing to see musicians that can play six or seven different instruments without missing a beat. There’s never a dull moment when they’re on stage,” said Tim Crockett of New Castle Entertainment.

On September 12th 100 Monkeys will be launching their 100-city nationwide tour right here in town at the Rickshaw Theatre. Their music features hauntingly smooth alternative rock beats combined with classic sounds, and a mix of croony and catchy lyrics. It’s definitely a unique combo which would be amazing to see at a small local venue.

If you would like to attend the 100 Monkeys concert and see Jackson Rathbone (who also just finished filming M. Night Shyamalan’s The Last Air) please leave a comment on this post or re-tweet this link. I’ll draw the winner of two tickets on Thursday September 10th. Tickets can otherwise be purchased online for $20 and it is an all ages show in a wicked historic Vancouver venue.

Update: I just drew the winner and it is “Sarah”. Congratulations & thanks to everyone for entering!

Update: Nardwuar was at the show and interviewed 100 Monkeys:


The Art of the Photowalk

August 31st, 2009 @ 10:02am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Grab your camera, tell people where you’re going, and ask them to join you. That’s pretty much the concept behind a photowalk. Over the last few years I’ve met up with some incredible photographers (professional and amateur) who carry anything from $5,000+ cameras/lenses to Polaroids, pocket cameras, and camera phones. If you enjoy taking photos it’s well worth it to be on the lookout for photowalks in Vancouver.


John Biehler on Flickr

Photowalks usually start out at a specific location and the group will then wander around a loose course to take photos until they arrive at their destination or loop back to the starting point.


Photo credit: Tyler Ingram on Flickr

John Biehler, PhotoCamp organizer and veteran photowalker who recently participated in the Worldwide Photowalk event in Vancouver says there’s much more to it than taking photos. “I like photowalks because it gives photoraphers a chance to experiment, share their gear and techniques as well as meet new people.”


Photo credit: John Biehler on Flickr

Some photowalks may only be with your and your friends, while others can gather a large crowd of people, walking around and taking photos of whatever they come across. “The best part though is seeing the end results afterward,” Biehler told me. “Twenty people shooting the same alley always results in a huge variety of awesome pics.”


Left: JeremyLim.ca Middle: Phillip Jeffrey Right: John Biehler

As there is no central location to find out about a photowalk in town just yet, your best bet it to be on the lookout on Twitter and Facebook. Flickr is also a great resource as there are already several established photowalking groups for the Vancouver area, such as Vandigicam.


Photo credit: John Bollwitt on Flickr

John Biehler, along with Scott Prince, is also proposing a PhotoCamp walk at BarCamp coming up in October.

Savvy Mom Entrepreneur of the Year Award 2009

August 31st, 2009 @ 9:18am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Baby JakobThe Savvy Mom Entrepreneur of the Year Award recognizes outstanding women in business who also just happen to be mothers.

Since 2008, I have been a business owner. I am customer service, marketing, sales, accounting and development rolled into one. However, imagining someone who can manage all of that (and more) on top of being a parent is something that I truly admire. This past year I have also met some talented women through such events as the Enterprising Mom’s Network conference and the YummyMummyClub Tweetup. Having the drive, ambition, and vision to excel in business while taking care of others and ensuring they can do the same in their lives, is remarkable.

Savvy Mom is a nation-wide online network of resources to help you learn about health, share, shop, eat, and get the most out of your city’s resources by connecting with other mothers. They have a collection of writers across the country and this contest serves to recognize individuals who have excelled in their field.

Two current nominees have contacted me about the event so I thought it best to highlight each of them.

Sandy Gerber Co-Founder, 3 Degrees WestNominee Bio.
3 Degrees West Design & Communications was born when Karley Cunningham and Sandy Gerber merged Twist Multimedia and ThreeKids Media in 2005. Since that time they have been offering e-marketing, strategies for corporate presentations, website management, and other aspects of branding and corporate development. 3 Degrees West also believes in giving back as Sandy worked with a poverty relief project in Nicaragua, Bridges to Community.

Natacha V. Beim CEO, Core Education & Fine Arts (CEFA) – Nominee Bio.
Since 1998 CEFA has been providing pre-Kindergarten education in several core learning areas, from mathematics to visual arts. Natacha is a teacher who specialized in European Junior Kindergarten who wanted to bring those same principals and core learning opportunities to our region. She has been preparing to franchise the CEFA method so that schools can be setup around BC and soon, across Canada. There are currently almost 10 CEFA schools around the Lower Mainland.

Past winners of the Savvy Mom Entrepreneur of the Year Award include, Martha Scully of Canadian Sitter Inc (bio), and the team from Mabels Labels (bio). Annemarie Tempelman-Kluit of yoyomama (bio) won last year on behalf of the BC & Territories region.

“Winning the SavvyMom award last year for great for us,” Annemarie told me. “We were only just over a year old, so it was great for increasing our national awareness and credibility. Plus the prize came in handy as well. We approached winning like it was a campaign – figuring out how to best position it as a plus for us and for our readers. Which it truly was. It’s not enough to just post a button on your site and hope to win, instead you need to spread the word and ask for votes in a way that’s compelling for all parties.”

If you know an exceptional woman who handles both being a mother and running a successful business, nominations are still being accepted and voting is open until September 13, 2009. The winner will also receive over $15,000 in prizes and professional services.

Providence Farm

August 28th, 2009 @ 9:43am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

We made a quick stop at the General Store on Providence Farm in Duncan while on our tour of the Cowichan Valley.

St Ann's

Its history dates back to 1864 when the Sisters of St Ann purchased 400 acres of land on the promise that they would occupy and build upon it. It has gone through several stages of being a boarding school, an orphanage, and a school for boys. In the 1950s it was expanded and Providence House was a school for boys and girls until 1964. In 1979 they founded the Vancouver Island Providence Community Association, a non-profit society.

Providence Farm, Duncan Providence Farm, Duncan

The Providence Farm is now a therapeutic community that hosts activities, programs, even weddings and annual events such as a Christmas craft fair and plant sales, along with blues and folk music festivals. It provides services and resources to those with disabilities through horticultural therapy and their vocational training programs. The guiding principle for Providence Farm is, “that caring for the land together is by nature healing and therapeutic.”

Providence Farm, Duncan

The greenhouse and farm store provide training for individuals, while there are workshops that teach furniture making, timber frame making, welding, work with animals, and much more. They also provide allotment gardens for those who wish to purchase and maintain a garden within the community.

Providence Farm, Duncan Providence Farm, Duncan

Providence Farm, Duncan Providence Farm, Duncan

Providence Farm will also be the home of this year’s Feast of Fields on Vancouver Island. It’s a gourmet outdoor experience with professional chefs, local ingredients, and a mix of Farm Folk/City Folk. Online tickets are already sold out so you’ll have to pick them up in person before the event on September 20th.

Providence Farm, Duncan

The land is beautiful and the gardens are full of colour and fragrant scents (the perfect spot for a photowalk at the very least). Unfortunately we only had a few minutes to look around but Providence Farm is certainly a stop of interest when you’re in the Cowichan Valley.

I recently toured the South East portion of Vancouver Island with Tourism BC. You can read all of my posts from the trip under the tag: ‘Cowichan‘.

Weekend Events Link Fest, End of August 2009

August 27th, 2009 @ 11:50am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

With the smell of the PNE‘s mini donuts wafting through the air and with kiddies scooping up all the latest Trapper KeepersTM, you just know summer is coming to an end. On the bright side, there’s still so much going on around town that consist of both indoor and outdoor activities. Here is this week’s Link Fest for activities this weekend.

Seton Lake

August 28, 2009

  • The YVR Photowalk Group meets for a nighttime photowalk. There will be a nacho tweetup at Two Parrots ahead of time.
  • August 29, 2009

  • Free hugs by donation courtesy of Kraft at the Vancouver Aquarium on Saturday from 11:00am until 4:00pm. For each hug given, Kraft will donate a jar of peanut butter to the Greater Vancouver Foodbank Society.
  • The Gathering Place’s annual block party from 12:00pm – 5:00pm. BBQ lunch, games, music, and watermelon at 609 Helmcken St.
  • Kerrisdale Days starting at noon and running all weekend.
  • On the horizon…

  • Twestival Vancouver is happening September 12th. Tickets will be on sale within the next few days.
  • I’ll be speaking at the Crave Vancouver coffee chat on September 14th.
  • Launch Party 8 is September 16th.
  • Sad Mag launch party on September 17th.
  • Chor Leoni is hosting a fundraising event on September 24th.
  • Vancouver Film and Television Forum is launching September 29th.
  • The Surrey Economic Summit is October 6th featuring former British PM, Tony Blair.
  • Should you know of any other events happening around town this weekend, please feel free to leave a comment and I can add it to the list.

    RIPE: An Evening of Local Food and Libations

    August 27th, 2009 @ 10:09am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

    On October 1st, 2009 the Vancouver Farmers Markets are presenting RIPE: the first annual evening of local food and libations.

    Sea Cider

    The event aims to raise funds and support of the organizations and initiatives surrounding eating local. “This includes the establishment of a Farmers Nest Egg Fund, and the creation of the recently announced New City Market, Vancouver’s first permanent year round farmers market.”

    RIPE will take place on Granville Island and you’ll be able to connect with local producers, listen to speakers, meet the chefs, and of course eat some tasty homegrown creations.

    Tickets are available for purchase online, in person at Barbara-Jo’s Books To Cooks and Edible BC, or by calling the Vancouver Farmers Markets office at (604) 879-3276. Tickets ($90 for members, $100 for non-members) will be on sale until September 29th.

    With your ticket purchase you’ll receive a one year membership for the Vancouver Farmers Market, food, drinks, entertainment for the evening, and access to a silent auction and a raffle draw.