Blogathon 2009 – My Cause, the UGM

July 25th, 2009 @ 6:30am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Post #2 of #49 – Over the next 24 hours I will be raising funds for the Union Gospel Mission during Blogathon 2009 by writing a blog post every 30 minutes. Please consider donating to my cause to keep my going until 6am PT July 26th.

Photo credit: UGM on Flickr

The Union Gospel Mission has been helping the hurting, hungry, and homeless in Vancouver (and New Westminster) since 1940.

Aside from their mission drop-in centre that provides hot meals they also host a variety of other services for the community including:

  • Residential alcohol & drug recovery program for women at Lydia Home
  • Clean, safe, sober, affordable housing for men and women in the Downtown Eastside at Maurice McElrea Place
  • Community Drop-in centre for women, hot meals, free clothing, safe environment, supportive counselling, referrals
  • Education & employment training and opportunities. Speaking of which, the UGM is currently hiring
  • They are currently running a campaign called, Send a Kid to Camp, Help Change a Life. “Union Gospel Mission makes it possible for kids who wouldn’t otherwise get the chance to pack their bags and head off for the adventure of summer camp.” Having grown up going to summer camp I really do not now how my life would have turned out without those experiences and the friendships I made.

    I could go on about the UGM’s services, programs and outreach but since I only have 30 minutes to get each post out during this Blogathon, I’m afraid that’s just not enough time to list it all.

    Please consider donating to the UGM at any time during my Blogathon over the next 24 hours, or at any time of year as the assistance and support can always go to someone in need.

    Find the UGM on YouTube, Flickr, Twitter @UGM or read their riveting blog, The Street.

    Post #2 of #49 – Over the next 24 hours I will be raising funds for the Union Gospel Mission during Blogathon 2009 by writing a blog post every 30 minutes. Please consider donating to my cause to keep my going until 6am PT July 26th.

    Blogathon 2009 – Welcome to Blogathon

    July 25th, 2009 @ 6:01am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

    Post #1 of #49 – Over the next 24 hours I will be raising funds for the Union Gospel Mission during Blogathon 2009. Please consider donating to my cause to keep my going until 6am PT July 26th.

    Good morning Blogathon 2009!

    Welcome to Blogathon Vancouver 2009! Every 30 minutes for the next 24 hours I will be publishing a blog post. This is my third year participating in Blogathon and to keep me going, I am once again supporting the Union Gospel Mission through donations from my readers.

    We’re all setup at Workspace in Gastown and we should have one heck of a campaign. I’ll be joined by about 15 other bloggers who will each be supporting different causes through Blogathons on their own sites. Throughout the day I’ll be featuring some of these bloggers as well as some guest posts that have been contributed.

    Thank you to the sponsors that are making today’s on-site event possible: Kontent Creative (for the logo work), Workspace (venue), Dairy Queen (lunch), and Developmental Disabilities Association (dinner sponsor). Thank you in advance for your support, comments, and readership of

    Post #1 of #49 – Over the next 24 hours I will be raising funds for the Union Gospel Mission during Blogathon 2009. Please consider donating to my cause to keep my going until 6am PT July 26th.

    Canada Line Tour

    July 24th, 2009 @ 2:25pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

    This fall the Canada Line, Metro Vancouver’s latest Skytrain line, will link the downtown core to Richmond Centre and the Vancouver International Airport. I was fortunate enough to get a sneak peek of the line this morning as a small group of us rode from Waterfront station to each of the other terminus stations in Richmond.

    Music: “Hey Now Now” by The Cloud Room

    Canada Line Preview Tour Canada Line Preview Tour - Olympic Village Canada Line Preview Tour Canada Line Preview Tour Where the Bikes Go

    Canada Line Preview Tour - Templeton Waterfront Canada Line Station Canada Line Preview Tour Waterfront Canada Line Station Canada Line Preview Tour

    Canada Line Preview Tour - Cambie Canada Line Preview Tour

    Canada Line Preview Tour

    Canada Line Preview Tour

    Next, we'll go PLAID

    Canada Line Preview Tour - Richmond-Brighouse

    You can view the rest of my photos on Flickr and another item of note is that cell reception for Telus and Rogers is spotless throughout the tunnels as they both have setups down there.

    This weekend the Canada Line / Shop The Line is presenting the Granville Showcase. Granville Street is re-opening after its construction phase (although there’s still some landscaping going on). I’ll be there for a short while during Blogathon to judge a contest with @CatherineBarr over at The Edge around 4:00pm.

    As a part of the event on July 25th, there will also be an open house at the Vancouver City Centre station on Granville & Georgia from 2:00pm – 7:00pm.

    Update from News 1130: “The new Canada Line rapid transit line will open for service on Monday, August 17th. People will be able to ride Canada Line between Waterfront Station in downtown Vancouver, Richmond City Centre and YVR. And to celebrate, you’ll be able to ride for free from 1:00 pm to 9:00 pm on August 17th.”

    Update from Google: The Canada Line is now searchable in Google Maps, under directions.

    Play it Loud with Bev Davies

    July 23rd, 2009 @ 11:03pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

    On Friday July 24th Bev Davies will be launching Play it Loud, a showcase of some of her concert photography over at Chapel Arts.

    Sting in Vancouver – Flickr Photo © Bev Davies All Rights Reserved

    Bev Davies isn’t just a fantastic rock and roll photographer, she’s a legend. Chances are that any awesome punk, rock or talented act that passed through Vancouver over the last few decades was captured with her camera.

    On Friday there will be an opening night performance by Brian Goble (doors at 7:00pm) and the showcase will run until August 16th. Gallery hours are Wednesday – Saturday from 12:00pm – 6:00pm, Sundays from 1:00pm- 4:00pm, and you can also call ahead to make an appointment.

    Michael Jackson in Vancouver, 1984 – Flickr Photo © Bev Davies All Rights Reserved

    Bev captured the rock and roll stars of today before they even had record labels or became household names and among many other things, created a series of calendars featuring her work and recently spoke at Northern Voice. She’s an icon in Vancouver’s punk and overall music history so you just know that this is going to be one heck of an exhibit.

    You can follow Bev on Twitter @bev101 and view some of her photos she has graciously shared on her Flickr account.

    Pride in Fashion

    July 23rd, 2009 @ 10:42pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

    Vancouver’s Pride Week is fast-approaching and as usual there are countless satellite events happening around the city making. One of such events is Pride in Fashion.

    Photo credit: Yvonne Chew

    On Thursday, July 30, gay culture strikes a pose at Celebrities nightclub in Vancouver Pride Week’s fiercest event: PRIDE In Fashion. Featuring some of the city’s top male models, a performance by the urban dance collective House of La Douche, music and images from four decades on the gay club dance floor, and high-drama styling by The Lounge Hair Studio, PRIDE In Fashion reminds us that Pride isn’t always about rights: sometimes it’s about being fabulous.

    Tickets are $20 in advance and doors for the show open at 9:00pm, Raul also has a post up about this event with additional information.. Pride in Fashion is another way that the community can participate in the events of Pride Week, aside from the amazing parade held each year on the August long weekend.

    A special item of note is that this fashion showcase is being styled by Shallom Johnson who is the founder and editor of the Stylefinds blog. Shallom is far more than a fashion blogger however, as she also contributes to Spade and ION magazines and has a keen eye for style. She is also a contestant in the Holt Renfrew Contemporary Correspondent Search and is an event planner, having recently coordinated the Designers on Designers showcase in Gastown.

    RBC desiFest VIP Pass Giveaway

    July 23rd, 2009 @ 1:07pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

    desifestCanada’s only national South Asian music festival, the RBC desiFest is coming to the Plaza of Nations this Saturday. This free event aims to “help instill a sense of civic and national pride and strengthen foundations for a homegrown star structure by showcasing the wealth of Canadian talent in our communities and unearthing and celebrating our rich cultural histories.”

    The performers are all home-grown talents from across the country who have traveled with the Festival from Montreal over to the Stampede in Calgary, and finally Vancouver. Local artists such as Desi Detour, Juggy Jag and Bombay Sapphire are also set to perform. Aside from the dozens of musical acts on the mainstage, there will also be food vendors (anything from corn on the cob to fish and chips) and booths with fashions, goods, and body art from Vancouver Henna.

    The festival runs from 12:00pm until 8:00pm this Saturday, July 25th and I have the opportunity to give away two VIP backstage passes to one of my readers. The winner will receive the official RBC desiFEST CD along with VIP backstage passes to join headlining artists Parichay, Blitzkrieg, and Roach right before they take the stage.

    To enter, please leave a comment on this post or re-tweet this link on Twitter including @miss604 and @rbcdesifest in your update. I will draw a winner by noon tomorrow (Friday, July 24th).

    With the sun shining it seems as though there are more festivals in Vancouver this year than ever before, which is definitely a good thing. Consider stopping by this event on Saturday, which conveniently wraps up just in time for your wander down to English Bay and catch the fireworks.

    Mountain Equiqment Co-op Big Chop Summer Paddle Series

    July 23rd, 2009 @ 8:17am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

    It’s pretty much official that this is my summer of kayaking. This afternoon I’ll be heading out on the ocean once again to paddle through waves with the MEC Big Chop Summer Paddle Series.

    The Big Chop is a 10 race series happening Thursday evenings this summer, starting out in Vanier Park on the shores of False Creek. You can drop in as a racer for $10 or purchase a series pass, but simply show up on race day to register on the spot, hop into your boat (or onto your paddleboard) and you’re all set. It’s a great way to get out and enjoy the water, and also a fantastic day to wind down after a long shift at work.

    The race is open to OC 1 & 2, kayaks, paddleboards, canoes, and many types of boat rentals are available on-site in case you cannot bring your own. Advanced booking for the rentals is recommended so you can do so by sending an email text message to (604) 999-3331 with your details and preferences (boat details can be found online).

    There’s a Big Chop race (8km) and a Little Chop (4km), and after each race there is a an awards ceremony as well where prizes are handed out. Results are always posted online and each overall winner is entered into a draw for the grand prize, which will be awarded at the end of the summer series. There is also plenty of time to hang out afterward as they also host a post-race BBQ with drinks and snacks for all racers.

    Upcoming race dates are August 6th, August 20th, September 3rd, and even tonight if you can stop by. I’ll be there early for a quick paddle but not to participate in the race. I’ll be watching that from the shoreline as it’ll be pretty cool to see hundreds take to the water for this event.

    MEC Big Chop

    Update: I totally lied, I DID race in the Little Chop event this evening. My friend Tanya and I took in the kayaking clinic and I learned even more useful skills out on the water. After that we saddled up in a double kayak and attempted to do the Little Chop (about 1/2 as long as the Big Chop in English Bay). We decided to take it easy and had such a great time out on the water. Returning to shore everyone was so friendly and in such a great mood (the BBQ and snacks also helped). Once the Big Chop participants rolled in they announced the race results and proceeded to give away at least a dozen raffle door prizes. To think, for under $20 you can get lessons, participate in a kayak race, enjoy a hot dog, and potentially win some amazing swag from the sponsors. Tanya ended up with a swanky visor and I had my eye on a dry bag from MEC as that’s the one thing I always need when out kayaking.

    MEC Big Chop MEC Big Chop - Course Map Door prizes at the Big Chop Door prizes at the Big Chop Eagle Eyes Vancouver Sunset - Burrard Bridge

    To top off an amazing evening out on the water, we enjoyed watching the sun cascade across the water and tuck itself behind the moutains as it set.

    Vancouver Sunset - Vanier Park

    There are only a few Big Chop races left this season before the series championship and after party but there’s always time to sign up either in advance or on the day of the event.

    Blogathon Vancouver 2009 Event Update

    July 22nd, 2009 @ 7:32am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

    Blogathon Vancouver 2009 is just days away and preparations for the first-ever “on location” Blogathon event are coming along smoothly.

  • Sponsors so far include Kontent Creative (for the logo work), Workspace (venue), Dairy Queen (lunch), and Developmental Disabilities Association (dinner sponsor).
  • The lovely and talented Rachael Chatoor will stop by to treat us to some musical entertainment as well as Mojave (prior to their show at the Railway Club on Sunday).
  • For a bit of background, on July 25th starting at 6:00am I will be joined by a dozen other local bloggers over at Workspace in Gastown. For the following 24 hours we’ll all be updating our own sites every 30 minutes (publishing a new post) while each raising funds for the cause of our choice. This is the first time I’ll be out and about during a Blogathon so it will be pretty exciting, although probably even more taxing than previous years. Blogathon itself has been around since 2001, starting in the USA and now involves participants from around the globe.

    Photo credit: UGM on Flickr

    This year my personal cause is the Union Gospel Mission in the Downtown Eastside. “Union Gospel Mission is a non-profit urban relief organization serving Metro Vancouver and the City of Mission, providing hope for the hungry, hurting and homeless since 1940. If you find yourself without shelter, without food or without hope, UGM can help.”

    The idea is that the more pledges and donations I receive, the more I’ll keep going throughout the 24 hours (and helping causes throughout the year). You can support my Blogathon campaign through my personal donation page, through which all funds go directly to the UGM.

    In case my readers need a bit of added incentive, any donation of $20 or greater will get you entered in a draw to win a dinner cruise out on English Bay during the fireworks on July 29th. This is sponsored by Granville Island Brewing so you know it will be a good times with plenty of refreshments.

    Finally, if you are a blogger that would like to join us at Workspace on Saturday, please RSVP so that I can plan space and snacks accordingly. I have a list of participants on my Blogathon page and the global list is on the official site. This should be one whirlwind of a weekend but I’m extremely excited to see the difference we’ll all be able to make.