Crazy8s Film Festival

December 16th, 2009 @ 9:19am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

crazy8sThe Crazy8s Film Festival is back for its 11th year in Vancouver. The festival challenges local filmmakers to write, direct, edit, and produce short films in 8 days using a budget of $800 and 60 minutes of HD tape.

Last Sunday at the Pitch Registration event, 115 teams signed up and they will now they have until January 15th to submit a 5-minute video pitch of their film idea. The teams responsible for what will be selected as the top 40 ideas will be invited back to pitch in person January 29th and 30th.

The field will then get narrowed down to 12 teams and after another round of jury selections, 6 teams will go into production on their film ideas, shooting and editing between March 18th and 26th.

To wrap up the Crazy8s festival, there will be a gala screening of the 6 finalist films at the Vogue Theatre March 27, 2010.

Crazy8s script-writing workshop from 2008

The films that come out of the Crazy8s festival go far, having been screened at over 150 international festivals with the filmmakers securing international distribution deals and licensing deals for TV or online. “There is nothing like Crazy8s anywhere else in Canada,” says event producer Erik Paulsson. “We are developing a reputation for producing some of the strongest short films coming out of this country. This has led to a significant number of our alumni going on to make their first feature films.”

You can follow their updates on Twitter or Facebook and stay tuned over the next few months to see how the teams’ pitches, ideas, and creations all come together.

Ski and Board Trips in BC

December 15th, 2009 @ 11:45am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

With snow on everyone’s mind right now, and with the local mountains slightly occupied this February, I thought I would find out a bit more about going on a ski getaway.

The very first time I strapped on a pair of skis (which was also the last time I strapped on a pair of skis) I was on a school trip to Blackcomb back in 1992. The beauty of the big group trip to a ski resort is that there are so many activities and things to do so if you don’t end up being a fantastic skier (and say, end up being a snowboarder instead) you can still have a fantastic time.

Destination Snow has been in the ski trip business for 11 years and has grown to be the largest group ski & snowboard tour operator in British Columbia. When you book a package with a group tour operator like Destination Snow, usually you have the following included: 2 nights accommodation at a resort hotel, 2 day lift pass for the mountain, round trip deluxe bus transportation, movies & prizes along the way in the bus, daily ski or board tours with a guide.

Big White – Photo credit: thelastminute on Flickr –
Sun Peaks – Photo credit: spatial mongrel on Flickr

Cameron said that they make it easier on people, you don’t need to worry about accommodation and especially about driving to these fabulous resorts (whose highways might not always be the friendliest in the dead of winter). Destination Snow currently operates trips to Sun Peaks, Big White, Silver Star, Revelstoke, and Whistler so you can choose your getaway accordingly.

They are also currently offering $50 off per person for trips January 8th-10th and January 15th-17th to Big White. Book now and just enter the code: “Facebook” to get the discount.

Photo credit: Keira-Anne on Flickr

Ski and board trips are a great way to get out and see the rest of what BC has to offer in terms of mountain resorts with fresh powder.

My 16th boarding season will begin up on Mount Seymour however I will be heading on a Destination Snow trip with my girl Keira-Anne later this season.

Related post: Social Media Directory for Ski Season

Sherlock Holmes Movie Pass Giveaway

December 15th, 2009 @ 10:24am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

The Sherlock Holmes Movie starring Robert Downey Junior and Jude Law is coming out on Christmas Day and I for one am rather excited for many reasons.

As a child, I would doodle images of Silver Blaze or the Blue Carbuncle on notepads and show them off to my mother (who would then show them off to everyone she knew). As the daughter of the President of the Sherlock Holmes society it all pretty much came with the territory.

It did take me a while to realize that the game wasn’t actually a foot and that I should never refer to Holmes as a fictional character when my mother was around, however it was always fun to read the stories and to be a part of something she was truly passionate about.

Thanks to some of my fabulous connections, I have some passes to the movie‘s Vancouver premiere on December 21st. First dibs went to my mother’s club so that they can all weigh in on the new story and how well these actors portray their dear friends, Holmes & Watson. I am giving away the rest through my site, to a group of readers who would like to attend.

If you would like to be entered to win a double pass to the premiere screening of this Guy Ritchie film Monday December 21st, please leave a comment on this post and I’ll draw a group of winners on Thursday.

Update: Golden Globe nominations came out today and Robert Downey Jr is up for Best Performance by an Actor in a Musical or Comedy for this film!

Sherlock Holmes Movie Posters

Update: I have an abundance of movie posters! Each winner can select a Holmes or Watson (Robert Downey Jr or Jude Law) poster as well.

Update: December 17, 2009 — The contest is now closed and the winners have been announced in the video below:

Three double movie passes are available. I will contact the winners by 10am on Thursday to arrange pick up or a meeting time prior to the start of the film on Monday. Please arrive early to the film as premieres usually fill up very quickly. If I draw your name and you cannot attend, another name will be drawn from the list of entries.

Related post: Early thoughts on the film written by my mother in a previous post.

Surrey 2010 Celebration Site

December 14th, 2009 @ 4:17pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

During the 2010 Winter Games it won’t just be Vancouver and Whistler bubbling with excitement, events, and festivities of global proportions. The City of Surrey is an official Celebration Site during the Olympics with Holland Park being the centre of it all.

Surrey Fusion Festival

From February 12th until February 28th you can check out daily concerts and activities at Holland Park in Surrey. Right between King George & Surrey Central SkyTrain stations it’s super easy to get to and you won’t have to worry about driving through “red zones” or finding a meter to park [Google Map]

“Staff have put together an impressive line-up of top-notch artists for Surrey’s Celebration Site at Holland Park,” said Mayor Dianne Watts. “I can’t think of a better way to be a part of the Olympic Spirit than enjoying some of Canada’s best LIVE talent!”

Here is the FULL LINEUP of FREE shows in Surrey during the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games:

Friday February 12, 2010

Surrey House Stage
3:00pm Surrey 2010 Celebration Site Opens
4:00pm Uzume Taiko
4:30pm Wild Moccasins
5:00pm Surrey Celebration Dance Team
5:15pm Goh Ballet
5:30pm Jeremy Fisher
6:00pm Live Games Coverage – Opening Ceremonies
9:00pm Destineak featuring Westcoast Contortion
10:00pm Dehli 2 Dublin

Celebration Stage
4:00pm Surrey 2010 Celebration Site Launch
5:45pm Fire Show
6:00pm Live Games Coverage – Opening Ceremonies
9:00pm Fireworks
9:15pm Blue Rodeo and Friends

Saturday February 13, 2010

Surrey House Stage
12:00pm Chinese Parade
1:30pm Korean Traditional Art
2:30pm Ralph Shaw
3:30pm Langley Ukelele Ensemble
4:30pm Ariane Maryke Lemire
5:30pm George Leach
6:30pm Turanga Ararau Dancers
7:00pm Welcome Ceremony
7:30pm Ache Brasil
8:30pm En Karma
10:00pm KS Makhan

Celebration Stage
12:00pm Chinese Parade
1:00pm Lion Dancers
2:00pm Martial Arts Demonstration
4:00pm Surrey Celebration Dance Team
6:00pm Wil
7:00pm Current Swell
8:00pm Jets Overhead
9:00pm Five Alarm Funk
10:00pm Daniel Wesley

Sunday February 14, 2010

Surrey House Stage
12:00pm Kutapira
1:00pm Shan-e Punjab
2:00pm The Fugitives
3:00pm Leeroy Stagger
4:00pm Agnostic Gospel Mountain Choir
5:00pm Goh Ballet
6:00pm Vancouver Opera
7:00pm Welcome Ceremony
7:30pm Jim Byrnes & The Sojourners
9:00pm Serena Ryder

Celebration Stage
ALL DAY Live Games Coverage

Wednesday February 17, 2010

Surrey House Stage
3:30pm Halifax Wharf Rats
4:00pm Live Games Coverage
7:00pm Welcome Ceremony
7:30pm Ryan Dahle
8:15pm Bend Sinister
9:00pm Hot Hot Heat

Thursday February 18, 2010

Surrey House Stage
3:30pm Tainted Lovers
4:00pm Live Games Coverage – Men’s Hockey – Canada vs. Switzerland
7:00pm Welcome Ceremony
7:15pm Dustin Bentall
8:00pm Ridley Bent
9:00pm Corb Lund

Celebration Stage
ALL DAY Live Games Coverage

Friday February 19, 2010

Surrey House Stage
3:30pm Pan North
7:00pm Welcome Ceremony
7:30pm Classical Nouveaux
8:30pm Alex Cuba
10:00pm Jully Black

Celebration Stage
5:00pm We Are the City
6:00pm Goodbye Beatdown
7:00pm The Arkells
8:00pm Dan Mangan
9:00pm Sam Roberts Band

Saturday February 18, 2010

Surrey House Stage
1:00pm Punjab Beat
1:45pm Shan E Punjab
2:30pm Vancouver Korean Dance Society
3:30pm Allez Ouest
4:30pm Shane Phillip
5:30pm Zuco 103
7:00pm Welcome Ceremony
7:30pm Said The Whale
8:30pm Hey Ocean
10:00pm Mother Mother

Celebration Stage
12:00pm Mike Battie
2:00pm Kids Choral Group
6:30pm DRUM!
8:00pm Dal Hothi and the Headlines
9:00pm Tiger Style
10:00pm Malkit Singh

Sunday February 21, 2010

Surrey House Stage
12:00pm Flamenco Dancers
1:00pm Lyric Singers
2:00pm Gorky Park
3:30pm Tainted Lovers
4:40pm Live Games Coverage – Men’s Hockey, Canada VS USA
7:00pm Welcome Ceremony
7:30pm Odds
9:00pm 54-40

Celebration Stage
ALL DAY Live Games Coverage

Wednesday February 24, 1010

Surrey House Stage
3:30pm The Wheat In The Barley
4:00pm Live Games Coverage – Men’s Hockey Quarterfinal
7:00pm Welcome Ceremony
7:30pm The Paperboys
9:00pm The Irish Descendants

Celebration Stage
ALL DAY Live Games Coverage

Thursday February 25, 2010

Surrey House Stage
3:30pm The Headlines
4:00pm Live Games Coverage – Women’s Gold Medal Hockey
7:00pm Welcome Ceremony
7:30pm Headpins
9:00pm Streetheart

Celebration Stage
ALL DAY Live Games Coverage

Friday February 26, 2010

Surrey House Stage
12:45pm Live Games Coverage – Men’s Hockey Semifinal
3:30pm Dr. Strangelove
5:15pm Ben Stigson
6:00pm Jaydee Bixby
6:45pm Live Games Coverage – Men’s Hockey Semifinal
9:00pm The Higgins
10:00pm Doc Walker

Celebration Stage
5:00pm Bridges & Breakdowns
6:00pm Inward Eye
7:00pm Two Hours Traffic
8:00pm illScarlett
9:00pm Marianas Trench

Saturday February 27, 2010

Surrey House Stage
12:00pm Cheung Doong Korean Drum
1:00pm Mukutano
2:00pm Ezeadi Onokwulu and One Human Race
3:00pm Mani Khaira
4:00pm Jon and Roy
5:15pm Kuba Ohms
6:00pm Steve Riley & The Playboys
6:45pm Welcome Ceremony
7:00pm Live Games Coverage – Men’s Hockey Bronze Medal Game
9:30pm Wide Mouth Mason

Celebration Stage
12:00pm Teatro Tatro
7:00pm Hey Rosetta
8:00pm You Say Party! We Say Die!
9:00pm Tokyo Police Club
10:00pm Wintersleep

Sunday February 28, 2010

Surrey House Stage
11:30 AM Kutapira
12:15pm Live Games Coverage – Men’s Gold Medal Hockey
3:00pm Roma Zhigan
4:00pm Tainted Lovers
5:30pm Live Games Coverage – Closing Ceremonies

Celebration Stage
12:15pm Live Games Coverage – Men’s Gold Medal Hockey
3:00pm Maurice
4:00pm Randy Bachman
5:30pm Live Games Coverage – Closing Ceremonies

The Celebration Site will be open Wednesdays through Sundays from 3:00pm until 10:00pm with extended hours on Fridays and Saturdays where the festivities will go until 11:00pm. Everything will also be simulcast on five massive video screens along with televisions placed throughout the site.

This will kind of be like their annual Winterfest (with skating rink, sliding zone, sustainability zone) but on a much larger scale including the torch relay and an art showcase.

Winterfest 2009 in Surrey

John and I have been attending and covering Surrey events for a few years now and I can personally attest to how well-organized, well-planned, and flat out entertaining they are. I must also add that the absolute best thing about this is that it is completely and totally FREE.

You can find event listings on Facebook or Twitter as well.

Update February 1, 2010 The Torch Relay is making its way through Surrey February 8th and 9th. You can check out a full map of the route here.

Your City Guide to Snow and Ice

December 14th, 2009 @ 9:26am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

With the first snowfall of the season cities in the area are bracing themselves for the white, wintery months ahead. Each year it seems as though citizens and businesses alike forget how to prepare for the snow — sidewalks go unswept and car tires spin and squeal along the icy roads outside our house. The job of removing snow and clearing traversable passages for pedestrians and vehicles alike is not solely the responsibility of the city.

Here’s how you can do your part, as advised by the City of Vancouver:

Photo credit: Tyler Ingram on Flickr

City of Vancouver – Public Responsibility

  • Shovelling snow: All Vancouver property owners and occupants are responsible for clearing snow and ice from the full width of sidewalks that surround their property by 10 am on the morning following a snowfall, seven days a week. This responsibility is detailed under Section 76 of the “Streets and Traffic Bylaw” No. 2849.
  • Property owners and occupants who fail to remove snow and ice, as required by the by-law, may be fined, or the City may, without further notice, clear the snow or ice from the sidewalk and bill the owners or occupants for the costs incurred. This charge may include labour and materials as well as any administration, fringe benefits and overhead costs.

  • Help others: The City encourages everyone to clear their sidewalks and help others who can’t. Please make arrangements for someone to clear your sidewalk of snow and ice if you are away or are unable to clear it yourself.
  • Helpful hints and safety tips: If the storm is over, the City has plowed, and snow begins to melt, please clear the snow around the catch basin in the gutter fronting your property. This will help the melt water runoff into the storm sewer system, and reduce flooding problems.
  • Helpful hints and safety tips: Warm-up and stretch before shoveling. Choose a snow shovel that is right for you. Push the snow instead of lifting.
  • Helpful hints and safety tips: If your car is on a major street, move it (if possible) to a side street. This will help City staff in plowing major arterial streets more effectively.
  • Read more on the City of Vancouver website…
  • Other Cities, Snow Preparedness

  • The City of Surrey has a Snow & Ice problem hotline that you can call or email.
  • The City of New Westminster has its Snow Removal & Emergency WeatherManagement information online.
  • The City of Burnaby has outlined roles of the public, community, and the City on their website when it comes to Snow & Ice Control.
  • The City of Richmond has an online Weather Readiness Overview.
  • The City of North Vancouver has an online resource for Snow Preparedness & Clearing.
  • The District of North Vancouver has Snow & Ice Removal tips online along with emergency resources.
  • Things will be warming up towards the end of the week so we can think of this first snowfall as a practice run for now. Please feel free to reference these tips in the future or visit your city’s official website to read about their winter weather plans.

    Ice Cream for the Holidays

    December 11th, 2009 @ 2:00pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

    The snow has stopped falling outside and although a cool treat may be the last thing on your wind-chilled mind, I have a something sweet to offer a few readers that just might warm up their day.

    If I had a million flavours If I had a million flavours If I had a million flavours

    Ben & Jerry’s has given me 5 pints of ice cream to give away in the hopes that people will consider ice cream as a holiday party host/hostess gift this season. The idea is that sure, you could show up with wine or crackers but sometimes the sweet surprise of Chunky Monkey, If I had 1,000,000 Flavours, or Cherry Garcia can light up any event. You can give the ice cream as a gift, keep it for yourself, or donate it to someone you think would really appreciate the treat this season.

    To enter, just leave a comment or re-tweet this post and I’ll draw 5 winners on Monday. The pints of Ben & Jerry’s (in free coupon form) will then be mailed so that you can select your own flavours and pick them up whenever you like over the holidays. It’s just a small token of appreciation from me to you as you’ve helped have such a great year — and there’s even more things like this to come. Have a great weekend everyone!

    Update: My winners are… Erin Maher, Kate T, Gloria, Robert, and Heather. I’ll send you each an email shortly to get your details. Congratulations!

    Link Fest: Mid-December Event Roundup

    December 11th, 2009 @ 12:21pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

    Nestled up in my home office I no longer see the North Shore mountains outside my window as I did yesterday morning. The view has been replaced with plump grey clouds, back-lit by the winter sunshine. Snow has been sprinkling down ever-so-lightly this morning as is evidenced by the slippery white tracks that have stuck to the quiet West End street outside my door. With only 13 more sleeps until Christmas the City is at that midway point — bustling with holiday shoppers yet muffled as many stay indoors to evade the nose-tingling cold.

    From the North Shore
    Photo credit: kennymatic on Flickr

    If you are planning on heading out over the next week or so, this week’s Link Fest has some ways to pass the time which are fun, for a good cause, or an inexpensive way to share some holiday joy with your family.

  • Head over to the Sutton Place Hotel between now and December 31st to view their Home for the Holidays Christmas tree gallery & support Canuck Place.
  • Canuck Place Childrens Hospice also has a Precious Gifts campaign on their website this season.
  • Breakfast with Santa happens again tomorrow at Canada Place but it’s completely sold out. Proceeds from this event support the Strathcona Community Centre’s Food Security for Children program.
  • The sails at Canada Place are lit up every morning and every evening in a holiday light show until the end of the year. If you are able to snap some photos, please feel free to add them to the Miss604 Flickr Pool and I’ll showcase them on my site.
  • Operation Red Nose is in full swing this season. Plan ahead for a safe trip home from your holiday festivities.
  • The inaugural 12×12 Vancouver Photo Marathon happens all day tomorrow with Blenz in Yaletown as the event’s home base.
  • Our friends at BraveNewCode are hosting a holiday food drive. Since they are located in Chilliwack, BC and Hamilton, ON they will be splitting the funds raised and purchasing holiday meals in each of their communities.
  • Megaphone Magazine’s Joyful Voices fundraising drive is on now. “Megaphone gives homeless and low-income people a chance to be heard, whether it’s by being a vendor, writing an article, or having their issues covered in a story.”
  • The new LilliQ Cafe (1268 Pacific Blvd) hosts the Yaletown Christmas Market happening tomorrow, December 12th and also on the 13th from 10:00am until 4:00pm.
  • Always an energetic show, you can catch Uzume Taiko tonight and tomorrow at the Roundhouse in Yaletown.
  • Meet up with Chef Rob Feenie at Cookworks on Broadway as he shares some recipes from the new book, Vancouver Cooks 2.
  • Enjoy a night of cabaret with A Midwinter Romance, one night only on December 18th.
  • Consider doing some of your shopping in the West End as local businesses support and join’s Warming Hearts Campaign.
  • Bright Nights in Stanley Park are back with light displays, food, and of course the miniature train. This event once again supports the Burn Fund.
  • There is a Holiday Market tomorrow, December 12th, at the Croatian Cultural Centre. Read more about holiday markets every weekend throughout the seasons at
  • Update: There is an open house over at BOB (Building Opportunities in Business) on December 16th from 4:00pm – 7:00pm at 163 East Pender. “Please bring socks or a small donation. Funds will go to BOB’s newly employed for food until their first paycheck.” Hat tip to Lorraine for the heads up about this.
  • There are also plenty of events for all at local community centres including everything from gingerbread house building and more meet n’ greets with Santa. You can check out full event listings on the City’s community centre websites.

    As always, should you have a community event that you would like to promote on, please feel free to contact me.

    New Observation Area at YVR

    December 10th, 2009 @ 11:03am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

    Recently the Vancouver International Airport (YVR) completed its new, free, and public Observation Area. I was invited to come and check it out a while back but since I’ve been traveling so much, I’ve been at YVR for many other reasons lately. I was finally able to take the Canada Line out yesterday and explore the renovated and Olympic-ified Domestic Terminal.

    YVR Domestic Terminal

    Located on level four of the Domestic terminal, you can get to the Observation Area by heading straight back to the food court and up the escalators located near the windows. From there you can explore their mini aviation interpretive centre including oodles of information about YVR, the history of flight in BC, Sea Island, the Musqueam people (as Sea Island is their land), and of course all you wanted to know about airplanes and airports.

    Sea Island Airport Administration Building (1940s)
    Vancouver Archives Item #: Air P113

    The first thing I did was push some buttons on the scale model of Sea Island. Each button lights up little bulbs that highlight a runway, terminal, roadway or area of interest on the map.

    YVR Observation Area YVR Observation Area

    Three touch-screen video podiums guide you through quizzes and videos such as a look at the First Nations art around the airport — most of which is behind security lines so this is a good chance to check it out. Other videos include the history of flight in BC, job shadowing with people such as the wildlife manager, air traffic control, and various ground crew workers. The biggest hit so far is the video “Follow My Bag” that gives you a suitcase’s view of its trip through the belly of the YVR luggage handling system.

    YVR Observation Area

    Along the windows which face the Strait of Georgia and Vancouver Island, there are information boards that guide you through things like RADAR, types of airplanes, and what all those short vehicles are doing as they whiz past, following the painted lines on the concrete. There are also eight telescopes at various height levels so that you can spot bags being loaded, view passengers through windows, or actually peer into the cockpit of an arriving plane.

    YVR Observation Area

    I also spotted some solar panels on the roof of the domestic terminal and was told they are used to heat water in the terminals. These have actually been there since 2003 and heat 800-gallons of hot water every hour. Another thing I discovered was that what my family used to call the “golf ball” out between runways is actually something called the golf ball. It is a crucial component to the RADAR system, communicating information up to the air traffic control tower.

    YVR Observation Area YVR Observation Area

    Back over at the video kiosk, I could click on WebTrak and see a live map graphic of planes currently in the air over the region. With a 10 minute delay you can actually see which flights are where, a system that is helpful when it comes to noise concerns. If a big jet flies over your house and wakes everyone up, you can go on WebTrak, see the flight path and make your report to YVR.


    YVR also scored the “BC Explorer“, a flight simulator that has made the rounds across the globe to showcase our province. With the joystick you can “fly” over the province and “land” in various communities where interactive and informational videos will play, to educate you a bit about the region you chose.

    YVR Observation Area YVR Observation Area

    YVR Observation Area

    The 500 square-meter Observation Area is an extension of the food court so you can shop, grab a bite to eat, sit on one of the 150 seats, and hang out while awaiting a flight or just as an afternoon outing. There’s also free wifi everywhere in YVR so you can sit by the windows, watch plans come and go, and get some work done on your laptop. There are a lot of history components in the displays, which instantly draw me in, but I couldn’t help imagining the sunsets you must be able to catch from that towering view.

    YVR Observation Area

    I profiled Flight Path Park back in 2007 because it was a favourite of my niece and nephews but now they have another place to get their fill of free airplane fun, indoors. With those floor to ceiling windows that face directly West, you can have lunch or simply some fun playtime while towering over the tarmac — watching as planes touch the ground and reach the sky.

    YVR Observation Area

    Stop by the Observation Area within the next few weeks and you can enter to win a behind the scenes tour of YVR for you and 3 friends or family members. The tour will take you down on the tarmac and around baggage loops with an all-access guide. You can also download the entry form online but it will need to be dropped off in person.