Vancouver Canucks Sweep St Louis Blues

April 21st, 2009 @ 10:20pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

AP Photo/Jeff Roberson via Nucks Misconduct

Our home team is undefeated thus far in the 2009 Stanley Cup playoffs and while they fought hard against a strong young St Louis team, Canucks fans were calling the sweep days ago (and I was hoping no one was going to jinx it).

It’s been an up and down season (and man, were we down – even with a losing streak at home at one point) but we’ve been able to rally thanks to a lot of heart and a phenomenal goalie – making this a great playoff run so far.

We’re still uncertain of our next opponent but until that match up in round two, our boys will get some rest. Check out our latest episode of The Crazy Canucks podcast for more tasty Canucks chit chat.

Third Tuesday April 2009 with Tris Hussey

April 21st, 2009 @ 12:19pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Tris by jmv on Flickr

Here I thought March was a busy month — April has just passed by so quickly that it’s already time once again for Third Tuesday. Tonight’s event will take place at Republic on Granville @ 7:00pm with feature speaker, Tris Hussey.

Topic: “Do you get the message? At any given moment we can use a myriad different ways to get a message out, but which ones work best and when? Also, have our expectations of communications kept up with our technologies?”

I forgot that it’s the first game for the Radio Rockstars slo-pitch team that I have joined this season with John so I will be unable to attend. However, Raul will be liveblogging and I am also sending along two tickets to the Vancouver Giants playoff game this Saturday. If you’re in attendance tonight you can leave your business card and I’m sure one of the lovely organizers, Tanya or Monica, will be able to do the draw for me.

I also hear there will be a pre-meetup get together at Doolins on Granville @ 5:00pm to catch the Canucks game. Have fun everyone and I look forward to reading all of the tweets and comments from tonight’s events.

Canstruction 2009

April 21st, 2009 @ 8:39am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Each year in Vancouver the Canstruction competition and exhibition showcases talented individuals and teams who can design and create magnificent structures and sculptures by using nothing but cans of food.

What Canstruction Vancouver – Public viewing of the exhibition
Where The new Vancouver Convention Centre, use Thurlow street entrance
When April 26 – May 3, 2009 daily from 10:00am to 6:00pm
Admission By donation (though keep in mind that for every $1 donated, the Food Bank can purchase $3 of food)

Photo credit: gordonr on Flickr

Photo credit: sonson on Flickr

Photo credit: mag3737 on Flickr

It’s a great outing for all, especially families and children who might get a kick out of some of the creations. This year’s theme for the competitors is “Throughout History: from Caveman to Spaceman“.

After the week-long event, the structures (that can be up to 2 meters high and contain thousands of cans) are disassembled and all food items are donated to the Greater Vancouver Food Bank Society.

The Food Bank is currently looking for volunteers to help out next week during the exhibition. You can find more information on their website or follow @VanFoodBank on Twitter for updates.

BC History: Dunsmuir

April 20th, 2009 @ 3:51pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

As we were taking a stroll down Dunsmuir Street in Cumberland this weekend, Keira was filling me in on all of the regional history. I realized that even though I’ve profiled the origins of street names in Vancouver, I have never mentioned Dunsmuir and the family’s impact around the province.

Aside from the street traversing downtown Vancouver, I’ve noticed the Dunsmuir name in a few other locations so here’s a brief introduction to the family and their legacy.

Robert Dunsmuir was a coal baron whose family ruled the industry in BC from the 1870s until the turn of the century. From railroads, the formation of towns, and even government office, the Dunsmuir name helped shape the province in many forms. Although the reign was not without scandal, such as the Dunsmuir’s opposition to organized labour, Dunsmuir was an economic force to be reckoned with for decades.

In the 1890s Craigdarroch Castle in Victoria was built for Robert’s wife, Joan Olive (White) Dunsmuir.

Photo credit: Tracy O on Flickr

Son, Alexander Dunsmuir

Robert’s son, Alexander, moved to the San Francisco Bay area in 1878 to manage the family business and built Dunsmuir House for his wife Josephine in 1899.

Son, James Dunsmuir

Heir to the Dunsmuir business fortunes, James managed the Dunsmuir coal empire from 1876 until 1910 and sold his Esquimalt and Nanaimo Railway to the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1905.

James was elected to the BC legislature in 1898 and also served as the Premier until he resigned in 1902. “Appointed Lieutenant-Governor in 1906, he was an uneasy occupant of the Vice-Regal office. The criticism he received when he refused to give Royal Assent to anti-Oriental legislation turned to howls of outrage when it was discovered he was recruiting cheap Japanese labour to work in his mines.” [Hatley Castle]

Photo credit: Jessia Hime on Flickr

James had Hatley Castle / Hatley Park in the Colwood area built for his family in 1908. You may recognize it as the home of Lex Luthor on the series Smallville, where they use exterior shots as Luthor Manor. The X-Men films were shot inside Hatley Castle as it served as Professor Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters.

In 1909 James also founded the town of Ladysmith, naming it after the victory at the Battle of Ladysmith during the Boer War (the first war in which Canada participated).

Hatley Castle is now the home of Royal Roads University and a museum that runs tours as well as bookings for private functions. Members of the Dunsmuir family are scattered across the globe yet in recent years several have been back to the Castle to visit and reminisce. [Royal Roads]

I would highly recommend checking out these two castles and while you’re in the Greater Victoria area, Fort Rodd Hill & the Fisgard lighthouse offer up some excellent local history as well.

IMPACT 2009 Dress for Success Event

April 20th, 2009 @ 1:48pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Tomorrow evening Dress for Success Vancouver will host its 10th annual IMPACT fundraising event.

When Tuesday April 21st from 5:30-7:30pm
Where Birks (698 West Hastings Street, Vancouver)
Tickets Available online, starting at $75

Dress for Success is a non-profit organization founded in 1997 to help clients find jobs by offering up the appropriate attire needed to find a position, and remain employed. They also run the Professional Women’s Group, and a Career Centre to promote confidence, professionalism, and the opportunity to hone skills needed for the workplace.

“The suits we give symbolize our faith in every woman’s ability to succeed,” said Liz Sperandeo, Chair of Communications. “By providing mentors, workshops and educational opportunities we acknowledge that every woman, regardless of background, deserves the opportunity to grow and develop. With the economic downturn, Dress for Success Vancouver expects to see an increase in the number of clients needing our services.”

You can learn more about Dress for Success by visiting the local Vancouver site and tickets are still available for IMPACT.

BC Elections 2009 – Vancouver Districts and Candidates

April 20th, 2009 @ 10:35am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Last fall if you lived downtown or in the Fairview area, you went to the polls three times for the provincial by-election, federal and civic elections. Now BC is in full provincial election mode for May 12, 2009. Here’s a quick rundown of information for Vancouverites and in particular, those downtown.


The electoral districts for downtown Vancouver have changed as what used to be “Vancouver-Burrard” is now “Vancouver False Creek” and “Vancouver West End”. You can learn more about the new districts and compare them to 2005 on the CBC’s B.C. Votes site.

Vancouver-False Creek (VFC)
Map – Vancouver-False Creek

  • Green Party of BC
    Damian Kettlewell [Website] [Facebook]
  • NDP
    Ray Lam [Website] — recently stepped down
  • BC Liberals
    Mary McNeil [Website]
  • Vancouver-West End (VNW)
    Map – Vancouver-West End

  • BC Liberals
    Laura McDiarmid [Website]
  • NDP
    Spencer Herbert [Website] [Twitter]
  • Green Party of BC
    Drina Read [Website] [Twitter]
  • As for the rest of the city, electoral districts for the 2009 provincial elections include:

    Vancouver-Fairview (VFA)
    Map – Vancouver-FairviewCandidates

    Vancouver-Fraserview (VFV)
    Map – Vancouver-FraserviewCandidates

    Vancouver-Hastings (VHA)
    Map – Vancouver-HastingsCandidates

    Vancouver-Kensington (VKE)
    Map – Vancouver-KensingtonCandidates

    Vancouver-Kingsway (VKI)
    Map – Vancouver-KingswayCandidates

    Vancouver-Langara (VLA)
    Map – Vancouver-LangaraCandidates

    Vancouver-Mount Pleasant (VMP)
    Map – Vancouver-Mount PleasantCandidates

    Vancouver-Point Grey (VNP)
    Map – Vancouver-Point GreyCandidates

    Vancouver-Quilchena (VNQ)
    Map – Vancouver-QuilchenaCandidates

    I’m hoping to do a few interviews like I did during the by-election [1][2][3] and in particular once again with Spencer Herbert who was elected in the fall (current Official Opposition Critic for Arts and Culture) and is the NDP candidate for Vancouver-West End.

    You can get up to the minute information about all aspects of the political race on The Tyee or on one of the new election sites that has popped up in the last few weeks – Support the Vote (also on Twitter), BC Vote (Twitter), and Vote Smart BC (although this particular site is not neutral – as you can tell from its feature game where you race a Fast Ferry).

    Elections BC is also on Facebook and word is that 52 candidates for the provincial election are all on Twitter. You can track them down thanks to this spreadsheet (hat tips to Ryan Speed @unclespeedo).

    In case everyone is electioned-out there are still a few items of note so far during this race such as NDP candidate Ray Lam recently pulling out due to “racey” Facebook photos that have surfaced from his private account [CBC]. Also, as today is 4/20, it’s worth noting that the BC Marijuana Party leader Marc Emery told The Tyee that the party may no longer exist after this spring’s election. “It’s quite possible I’ll fold the B.C. Marijuana party and put my energy into the B.C. Greens after this election.”

    One more thing I’ll also try to do is explain the BC-STV referendum within the next few days but for now, the CBC’s site has a little video that you can watch.

    Make sure you’re registered to vote and if you’re away or unable to make it to the polls May 12th there are also several days of advanced polling May 6-9th from 8:00am until 8:00pm. Check your personal election guide for more details.

    Update: I will be conducting several interviews so if you have any questions for the candidates please feel free to leave them in the comments and I’ll do my best to see if they can address them at that time.

    Update: My candidate interviews can be found here.

    Update: Election night coverage on the CBC’s site is pretty great in terms of results on their interactive map or you can check in on the official Elections BC site.


    Coombs Market on Vancouver Island

    April 19th, 2009 @ 7:23pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

    We stopped off at the Coombs Market this morning before we said goodbye to Vancouver Island.

    Coombs is just 37 kms north of Nanaimo and the market is a great place to stop during an Island day trip, weekend, or getaway. For those who have heard of, or been to, Coombs you’ll probably associate it with the goats that graze on the grassy roof of the market- becoming a local staple over the last 30 years. Unfortunately the goats don’t come out until May but we had a nice time exploring regardless.

    Coombs, BC


    Coombs, BC

    Coombs, BC

    Coombs, BC

    In the market and each of us tried a different type of delicious flatbread for lunch and to go along with the great-tasting coffee, I topped off my meal with a fresh raspberry and white chocolate muffin. I purchased some Comox Valley Brie, a loaf of rosemary & cheese bread and a helping of chili smoked salmon jerky to bring home.

    Coombs Market

    White Chocolate & Raspberry

    Coombs Market

    Rosemary & Cheese Bread

    Coombs Market

    Coombs Market

    …. And of course I couldn’t resist the selection of brightly-coloured toys and knickknacks for kids.

    Coombs Market

    Coombs Market

    Coombs Market

    Coombs Market

    Coombs Market

    Coombs Market

    Coombs Market

    Thank to Keira, her mom, and her aunt for hosting me this weekend and I was certainly glad to come along to welcome Jordy to Vancouver (even though my post about the “pet area” on BC Ferries is forthcoming).

    Keira and Jordy

    The rest of my photos from the weekend are available in my Flickr set.

    Comox Valley Photowalking

    April 18th, 2009 @ 10:27pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

    While John was called away to the Okanagan this weekend, I had to stay behind and finish up some work for our company. Luckily, by the time 4:00pm rolled around I was able to pack up for the weekend and join a certain Island girl for a ferry ride back to her hometown.

    Island Weekend

    Island Weekend

    Island Weekend

    Today we covered a lot of ground, from Comox to Cumberland and enjoyed a most delicious meal at Atlas Cafe in Courtenay this evening.

    Filberg Park

    Filberg Park

    Filberg Park

    Filberg Park - Comox, BC

    Filberg Park - Comox, BC

    A long way from home

    Filberg Park - Comox, BC

    Filberg Park - Comox, BC

    Filberg Park - Comox, BC

    Filberg Park - Comox, BC

    Photo credit: Keira-Anne on Flickr

    Filberg Park - Comox, BC

    Photo credit: Keira-Anne on Flickr

    Filberg Park - Comox, BC

    Filberg Park

    One too many

    Comox, BC

    Cumberland, BC



    The rest of my photos (and the many that will come tomorrow) are available in my Flickr set.

    Atlas Cafe

    Warning: The following contains a baked curry tortilla filled with corn, beans, mixed greens, roasted sweet chili yam, bell peppers & mozzarella, with tomato sauce & chipotle sour cream, and fire cracker rice.

    The whole enchilada - Atlas Cafe

    The whole enchilada - Atlas Cafe

    I love my city but a part of that fondness exists because it has such accessibility to quick weekend getaways – from the Island to the interior and beyond. It’s enough to refresh the body & soul leaving you prepared for whatever a Monday morning might throw your way.