YVR Airport: Best in North America

April 19th, 2012 @ 12:40pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

For the 3rd straight year, Vancouver International Airport (“YVR”) has been named the Best Airport in North America by the Skytrax World Airport Awards.

YVR Observation Area

The awards, announced today in Vienna, Austria, recognize product and service quality across the world’s airport industry and are based on an independent survey of 12 million passengers from 108 countries. Airports were ranked based on 39 criteria, including design and layout, retail facilities, cleanliness, clarity of flight information and signs, luggage handling and transportation.

Landing at YVR YVR Domestic Terminal - Canada Line

YVR Domestic Terminal

In recent years YVR has opened up a public observation deck, added dozens of pieces of West Coast art along with an aquarium, a spa, honey bees at the Fairmont, and more features that make it stand out from the rest. In 2011 the airport was also Jaeger Mah’s home for 80 days as he participated in the Live at YVR digital campaign.

I flew over 70,000kms in 2011 alone and I must say, of all the airports I’ve visited from Oregon to Ghana, that YVR is by far my favourite. Not only is it “home”, it has free WIFI, free carts, Friday festivals for families in the summer, and great staff.

Vancouver South African Film Festival 2012

April 19th, 2012 @ 10:24am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

The 2nd annual Vancouver South African Film Festival is being held this weekend at Denman Cinemas in the West End. From April 20th until 22nd, films will be screened in order to raise funds for the Vancouver-based non-profit Education without Borders and also to broaden the public’s understanding and appreciation of South Africa’s rich and complex culture.

South Africa’s emerging film scene will be in the spotlight with the opening gala screening of Under African Skies, a documentary about Paul Simon’s return to South Africa. Other films include dramatic thrillers, comedies, documentaries, and more. The closing gala screening will be Spud starring John Cleese. A full schedule is available online.

Tickets are currently on sale for the gala ($35) and regular films (around $12). If the film is not sold out, tickets will be sold at the door as well.

Follow the Vancouver South African Film Festival on Twitter and Facebook, and learn more about Education Without Borders. The Denman Cinemas are located at 1737 Comox Street.

Royal Winnipeg Ballet: Svengali

April 19th, 2012 @ 8:19am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

The Royal Winnipeg Ballet presents Svengali at the Centre for Performing Arts in Vancouver this weekend. Choreographed by Mark Godden, the full-length production offer a balletic re-imagining of the George Du Maurier novel, Trilby.

Photo credit: Royal Winnipeg Ballet on Flickr / RWB Svengali

The dramatic story follows Svengali, a young man with hypnotic powers. Yearning for public recognition, Svengali escapes the repression of his mother’s ballet studio to the decadent society of mid-century Weimar, Germany, where he finds the dazzling and malleable young dancer, Trilby. Under Svengali’s entrancing influence, Trilby is transformed into the darling of the ballet world, but her star ultimately rises beyond Svengali’s powerful grasp.

Svengali will only be in Vancouver this weekend, with performances Friday, April 20, 2012 at 8:00pm, Saturday, April 21 at 8:00pm, and a 2:00pm show on Sunday, April 22. Tickets are still available starting at $32.50. I also have a pair to give away for Sunday’s afternoon performance. 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 @RWBallet’s #Svengali from @Miss604

This will be a quick contest, ending tonight (April 19, 2012) at 10:00pm. The winner will be able to pick their tickets up at The Centre on Sunday before the show.

Update The winner is Susan!

Update Guest contributor, Britt, attended opening night on behalf of and had the following commentary about the performance:

“I personally was very impressed by the modern choreography, the costumes and the music. The ballet is very dynamic and fast pace and tells the story very well. It was certainly not one of these pieces, where you check your watch after half an hour.

If you look for traditional classical ballet performance this might be not for you. But if you are up for something different and new, you should see this one. I even think people, who usually do not like ballet, will enjoy it.”

Jane’s Walk Vancouver 2012

April 18th, 2012 @ 12:59pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Jane’s Walk first took place in Toronto on May 5, 2007 and was lead by friends of Jane Jacobs. 27 free community walks were offered by volunteers that day and hundreds of people set out on foot to learn more about Toronto’s neighbourhoods.

Walk With Me
Photo: Clayton Perry Photoworks

I first heard about Jane’s Walk in 2009, when it first expanded to Vancouver and last year, 511 walks in 75 cities in 15 countries around the world were hosted. In Canada, 36 cities participated and hosted 401 walks, with 178 in Toronto alone.

How it Works

All Jane’s Walk tours are given and taken for free. These walks are led by anyone who has an interest in the neighbourhoods where they live, work or hang out. Jane’s Walks are meant to be fun, engaged and participatory – everyone’s got a story and they’re usually keen to share it.

Volunteer walk leaders pick a neighbourhood and perhaps a theme like gardens, social history, planning, or architecture. The walk gets listed on the Jane’s Walk website with a map and details such as the meeting time and place, accessibility, and a short description.

There are already quite a few listings for Vancouver this year including The “West” West End, Stanley Park’s Forgotten History: Where Human and Natural History Met, Fraser Street: Past, Present and Future, Walk the Bee-Line in Kitsilano, and Home: An Exploration of What Makes Marpole Unique.

Jane’s Walk will take place the weekend of May 5th and 6th, 2012. All walk start times are posted on the individual listings. Follow Jane’s Walk Vancouver on Facebook and Twitter for more information and to learn more about walks in your neighbourhood.

Vancouver History: Athletic Park

April 18th, 2012 @ 10:04am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

99 years ago, on April 17, 1913, Athletic Park was dedicated on Hemlock and West 6th.

1915 – Opening Day vs Victoria by the City of Vancouver Archives on Flickr. Archives item# PAN N14B. Photographer: WJ Moore.

Chuck Davis writes: “The park was built by Bob Brown, who would come to be known as Mr. Baseball here. Brown had purchased the Vancouver Beavers club of the Northwestern League for $500 in 1910. He was the club’s owner, president, manager and shortstop… …The Beavers went on to win the league pennant. Alas, the club disbanded at the end of the 1922 season, and the city went without pro ball for 15 years.”

"Opening Game Base Ball Season 1915" "Vancouver vs. Victoria"
1915 – Opening Day vs Victoria, full panorama. City of Vancouver Archives on Flickr. Archives item# PAN N14B. Photographer: WJ Moore.

Athletic Park hosted football games, lacrosse, bike races, and rallies on top of the regular baseball season. It’s also where Nat Bailey, at the age of 18, began selling peanuts to fans.