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RENT at Waterfront Theatre


Friday, July 13th, 2012 — 1:19pm PDT
Comments 112

Fighting Chance Productions presents Rent at the Waterfront Theatre on Granville Island from July 13th to August 5, 2012.

Rent, Jonathan Larson’s Pulitzer and Tony Award winning musical that debuted at the height of the AIDS epidemic, is one of the best known musicals of the past 20 years, and was a huge hit for Fighting Chance Productions in 2009 enjoying 29 sold out performances and shattering box office records for Presentation House in North Vancouver.

There will be previews for Rent July 13th to July 18th with the full run starting July 19th. Evening shows will be at 8:00pm and matinees, starting at 2:00pm, will take place on Saturdays starting July 21st. Tickets are available online ($39.25 for adults, $18.25 for previews) and at the door.

Granville Island is a great place to be in the summer and you can spend an entire day taking a water taxi over, shopping at the market, getting dinner, and topping it off with a burst of entertainment at a live show.

I have a pair of tickets to give away for Rent thanks to Fighting Change Productions. 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 tickets to see #RENT by @F_C_Productions from @Miss604 http://ow.ly/cdQ3C

I will draw one winner next Friday, July 20, 2012 at 10:00am. Update The winner is Maryanne!

Stanley Park Picnic Ideas


Friday, July 13th, 2012 — 10:29am PDT
Comments 2

Through sunshine and the rain, Stanley Park’s natural attractions, activities, and tree-lined trail offerings are abundant. The seawall attracts throngs of visitors, runners, walkers, and cyclists, while the Vancouver Aquarium, Prospect Point, Hollow Tree, the sports fields, and Second Beach Pool all provide unique opportunities for enjoying the park.

Picnics are another way to enjoy Vancouver’s crown jewel. Bring your baskets to one of these locations throughout the park to enjoy a meal outdoors with family and friends.

Blanket and Table Picnics

  • Lumberman’s Arch: The lawn between the Vancouver Aquarium and the North side of the seawall is a great lookout spot. It’s close to the waterpark for the kids, the concession stand, and washrooms.
  • Rose Garden: The rumble of traffic on the causeway will fade away as you lay out under a leafy canopy in the rose garden. Clusters of floral shrubbery and bushes provide separation from others out on their blankets.
  • Hollow Tree: You’ll find picnic tables near the restored Hollow Tree along Stanley Park Drive.
  • Prospect Point Ballpark: More picnic tables can be spotted near the athletic fields just South West of Prospect Point.
  • Ceperley Meadow: Host of free outdoor movies nights, the lawn at Ceperley Meadow is a sunny sprawl near all of the Second Beach facilities.
  • Brockton Oval: Site of the Vancouver 125 Summer Live concerts, there’s plenty of room to setup lunch on the grass and throw a Frisbee around.
  • Brockton Point: Picnic tables are available near the Brockton lookout and lighthouse on the Western tip of the park. Walk in from around the Coal Harbour seawall or park nearby.
  • Third Beach: Our favourite urban beach has a concession along with a picnic area up above the seawall with gorgeous views, tables and benches.

Reserved Picnic Areas for Groups

The following picnic locations in Stanley Park can be booked for large groups for lunch or dinner between 9:00am and 4:00pm, and 4:00pm and 9:30pm:

  • Ceperley/Second Beach Shelter for up to 150 people (seats 110) features 3 cold water sinks, 4 electrical outlets and is close to the playground, pitch & putt, outdoor pool, washrooms, and parking. Fee $100.
  • Miniature Railway #1 shelter for up to 150 people (seats 110) features a shared kitchen, 2 electrical outlets, cold water, a grassed area and is close to Lumbermen’s Arch, Miniature Train and Vancouver Aquarium. Fee $100.
  • Miniature Railway #2 shelter for up to 150 people (seats 80) features a shared kitchen, 2 electrical outlets, cold water, a grassed area and is close to Lumbermen’s Arch, Miniature Train and Vancouver Aquarium. Fee $100.
  • Prospect Point shelter for up to 150 people features a kitchen with sinks and 3 power outlets, ball diamond access, hot coal disposal pit, shuttle bus stop nearby, washrooms. Fee $159.82.

Fill out the application form online to start your reservation and check out the Park Board site for the most up-to-date availability and fee listings.

Hidden Gem

If you’re up for a bit of a hike, follow the Merilees Trail down from Prospect Point (accessible from the Stanley Park Drive sidewalk) and where it splits, vere right down the unmarked path that goes along the water. This is Siwash Rock Trail, which is marked from the other side.

Merilees Trail Stanley Park Merilees Trail Stanley Park

There are a few rolling hills but once you get to the Westernmost point on the trail, Siwash Rock will come into view and you’ll spot a decent-sized clearing on the park side. You can tell the area was hit hard during the storm of 2006 as it’s unusually bare. Trees have fallen and made way for a tiered picnic area where a handful of few picnic benches have been installed.

Merilees Trail Stanley Park

Merilees Trail Stanley Park Merilees Trail Stanley Park

Merilees Trail Stanley Park

Bring a picnic, enjoy the hike, savour the views — and the solitude. Be sure to cart out everything you bring into the park and use recycle bins where available.

Blogger Profile: Brian Thompson


Friday, July 13th, 2012 — 9:29am PDT
Add a Comment

Over the years I have profiled bloggers from the Northwest Territories to the Fraser Valley, anyone that interests me and that I hope will interest you as well. A few years ago I started asking a standard set of questions and I’ve sent these out to a few local bloggers for this week’s series. Click, share, explore, and enjoy.

Brian Thompson

Brian-Thompson-Thorny-Bleeder-iTunes-Cover-ArtBlog: Thorny Bleeder
Facebook: /The.Brian.Thompson
Twitter: @thornybleeder

How long has your blog been around?
I’ve been blogging on Thorny Bleeder since I launched the site in December 2008.

What is your role/involvement (developer, owner, blogger etc.)
I’ve done everything on the site myself. From web development to design to personally creating all of the content, including over 700 blog posts and over 250 podcasts.

What does your site do/what is it about
Music Marketing, Branding & Motivation.

What can people see, read, and do when visiting your site?
The Thorny Bleeder website is aimed at musicians who are looking for advice on social media, marketing and artist development, while staying inspired and motivated in pursuit of their creative dreams. I offer daily blogs and publish 7 new podcasts each week offering in depth advice from someone who’s been in the music industry for twenty years.

Why do you blog?
I want to help people pursue their passions, chase their dreams and realize their full potential.

What is the ultimate goal for your site, how would you like to see it grow?
My ultimate goal for the website is for Thorny Bleeder to be recognized as the go-to place for no-“BS” music marketing and artist development advice. I want to educate, inspire and motivate people. My only goal is to reach and help as many people as possible.

Follow Brian: Thorny Bleeder, on Facebook, and Twitter

Read all entries in my Blogger Profile series and feel free to suggest a blogger for possible feature in the comments of this post.

Celebrate Victoria’s 150th Birthday With Magnolia Hotel & Spa


Thursday, July 12th, 2012 — 1:30pm PDT
Comments 333

The City of Victoria is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year as the town site of Fort Victoria was incorporated on August 2nd in 1862. Events have been planned throughout the year along with a community festival and ceremony on August 2nd at Centennial Square. There will be music, performances, birthday cake, and much more.

On August 5th, the city will host the 23rd annual Symphony Splash — the biggest event of the summer right within the scenic inner harbour complete with fireworks. The symphony is accompanied by iconic Victoria attractions like the cathedral bells, the carillon outside of the Royal BC Museum, and even the Coho Ferry horn.

Victoria Harbour Ferry

Craigdarroch Castle - Victoria Victoria Girls Weekend Houseboats

It will be a great time to be in Victoria but it’s an interesting and captivating city any time of year. The Magnolia Hotel & Spa is offering up a special Victoria 150 Package to those who would like to visit the capital.

When you book two-nights accommodation in one of their rooms you’ll receive a $75 per day credit to enjoy Victoria and a personal concierge will help you create a customized vacation. The personal concierge — who is available during your stay and leading up to your trip — can help craft an itinerary that includes Harbour Air Scenic Flights, whale watching tours, spa treatments, and more.

Magnolia Hotel Victoria Magnolia Hotel Victoria - Spa Magnolia

Magnolia Hotel Victoria Magnolia Hotel Victoria

A few years ago Keira-Anne and I stayed at the Magnolia and instantly fell in love with the luxurious boutique property. It is centrally-located right near the inner harbour, it’s warm and welcoming, and has a very personal and friendly feel.

“Travelers are greeted with prompt service, smiles and the tinkering of a baby grand piano. While the winter weather outside was frightful, complimentary sugar cookies and hot apple cider in the lobby proved to be most delightful… …Our room, complete with hers and hers queen-sized beds, featured a glittering view of the Parliament Buildings and a sliver of Victoria Harbour. Though the hotel is less than a decade old, the decor of both the common area and each of the rooms is exquisitely styled in a manner that’s both refined and undoubtedly comfortable.” – Keira-Anne.

The Magnolia has been voted one of the top hotels in Canada by Condé Nast Traveler readers and recognised as one of the Top 10 Luxury Hotels in Canada by TripAdvisor’s® 2011 Travelers’ Choice® awards.

If you would like to check it out, they have offered up a fantastic getaway package for one lucky Miss604 reader and their guest that includes:

  • Two night stay at Magnolia Hotel & Spa in a deluxe corner king room.
  • Deluxe continental breakfast on each morning.
  • Valet parking.
  • 30 minute scenic flight with Harbour Air for two people.

Here’s how you can enter to win this getaway:

  • Leave a comment on this post (1 entry)
  • Post the following on Twitter (1 entry)
RT to enter to win a @MagnoliaHtl & @HarbourAirLtd Victoria getaway package from @Miss604 http://ow.ly/ccBml

Follow the Magnolia Hotel & Spa on Twitter and Facebook for more information about special packages, Victoria visits, and more throughout the year. Harbour Air services both downtown Victoria and Vancouver, and they’re also on Twitter and Facebook.

I will draw one winner next Thursday, July 19, 2012 at 12:00pm. Prize must be redeemed/used by September 16, 2012. Subject to availability, the hotel is already sold out for August long weekend. Does not include transportation to Victoria.

Update The winner is Mark Donnery!

Illuminares Lantern Festival 2012


Thursday, July 12th, 2012 — 10:54am PDT
Comments 5

The 24th Illuminares Lantern Festival is a unique, creative, family-friendly evening presented by the Public Dreams Society and it returns to Trout Lake this month.

Head to Trout Lake (John Hendry Park at Victoria Drive & East 15th) on Saturday, July 21st to pick up a lantern or attend a workshop where you can make your own. Admission is a $5 donation to the society and the event will run from 6:00pm to 10:00pm. Food vendors will be on site but you can also bring your own picnic.

There will be interactive performances, artists, entertainment, and hopefully thousands in attendance to light up the night by lantern. The traditional procession will go around the lake at 9:45pm, simply follow a band and you’ll be lead to the finale point — which involves a 30-person fire show presented by Radiant Heat at 10:15pm.

Walking, cycling, or taking transit is highly recommended and parking will not be available. The park is accessible on bus routes and is between Commercial Drive/Broadway and Nanaimo SkyTrain stations.

Secret Lantern
Photo credit: The Vancouver Guy on Flickr

Leading up to Illuminares, you can attend a lantern-making workshop at Trout Lake Community Centre starting today, and every day until the main event on July 21st. Stop by from 5:00pm to 8:00pm on weekdays and from 12:00pm to 4:00pm on Saturday and Sunday. You’ll learn to create various styles of lantern from simple jars to intricate bamboo and paper. The cost is $5 to build small lantern, $10 for medium, and $15 for large.

Blogger Profile: Sabinah Rafiq


Thursday, July 12th, 2012 — 9:39am PDT
Comments 1

Over the years I have profiled bloggers from the Northwest Territories to the Fraser Valley, anyone that interests me and that I hope will interest you as well. A few years ago I started asking a standard set of questions and I’ve sent these out to a few local bloggers for this week’s series. Click, share, explore, and enjoy.

Sabinah Rafiq

SabinahBlog: South Surrey Buzz
Twitter: @southsurreybuzz

How long has your blog been around?
I started my blog in December 2011

What is your role/involvement (developer, owner, blogger etc.)
Blogger, Tweeter

What does your site do/what is it about
I help to promote the lifestyle in South Surrey. This involves tweeting and blogging about local events, developments, deals, sales. My site also includes the only online community calendar for the area.

What can people see, read, and do when visiting your blog?
When visiting my blog, people will learn about what’s happening in South Surrey and White Rock. This includes special events, recreation, new housing developments, local sales and deals, reviews on local eateries, City of Surrey programs and events and more.

Why do you blog?
I blog because it’s a way for me to connect with my community and because its fun!

What is the ultimate goal for your site, how would you like to see it grow?
The goal for my blog is to be one of the best sources of information for those living in or visiting South Surrey. Another goal is to help project a positive image of the community. I’d really like to see the calendar be extensively used by the community. I would like to let businesses and organizations know that the posting of their events on my blog and calendar is completely free.

Follow Sabinah: South Surrey Buzz and on Twitter.

Read all entries in my Blogger Profile series and feel free to suggest a blogger for possible feature in the comments of this post.