Granville Showcase Street Party 2009

July 17th, 2009 @ 6:30pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

After months of construction, closures and delays, Granville Street will once again come alive with a Canada Line party next Saturday.

Photo: aecreations on Flickr

On July 25th, from 2:00pm until 7:00pm, there will be a main stage setup on the 700 block of Granville Street that will feature local entertainment while the rest of the street will host a multi-block party. The showcase will highlight style, technology, and beauty businesses to encourage all to return to the street for their shopping and entertainment needs.

Granville isn’t entirely open just yet as some parts are still being worked on as a part of the “streetscape redesign” so sensible shoes are recommended.

The public will also be able to attend an open house of the new Vancouver City Centre Canada Line station at Granville and Georgia.

O2 West Personal Fitness Studio

July 17th, 2009 @ 10:40am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Yesterday I went for my first personal training session with Andy Shiu at O2 West. Last week John and I met with Andy to get a tour of the facility and learn a bit more about his philosophy, which were equally impressive and borderline mind-blowing.

O2 West

Andy has a strong background in the fitness industry and leads a very active lifestyle. He knows what it takes to train professional bodybuilders but also how to help seniors become comfortably mobile or how to help brides fit into their dress without drastic dieting. He built up O2 West as a state-of-the-art personal training studio and it absolutely shows. He’s got technology in there that one could only dream of using at a local gym, as well as very basic tools and equipment that can optimize any workout. Walking around and listening to Andy talk about his facility and his training practices you can truly see and hear the passion he has for this industry and lifestyle.

O2 West

O2 West isn’t a bootcamp facility, they teach and preach proper training techniques for all ages and fitness levels. “I’m not here to break you,” said Andy who firmly believes in total fitness as opposed to crash-course exercising. He added that many people may be intimidated at gyms either by other people, trainers, or even the equipment (by not knowing how to properly use it). He emphasizes education — how to use equipment, how to use and work your muscles properly, and how to get the maximum advantage out of a cross-fit training regime. It’s also a very private facility so you won’t feel like you’re in a fishbowl, exposed to passers-by on the street.

During my 1-hour session, I didn’t look at the clock once (and I swear it only seemed like 10 minutes). I was taught how to use the machines and even how to get the most out of a brisk walk on the treadmill (with short steps, long steps, and inclines). We did so many activities that when it was all over I had no idea (until he told me) that I did 100-200 reps of some of the exercises. That was because we moved so often from one stage to the next, keeping the muscles moving without over-exerting them.

O2 West looks like a dream for passionate trainers as well – and Andy only hires the best. As I could feel my muscles working in ways I haven’t used them in months, I was thinking about how sore I would be today. Andy immediately told me that if you’re sore after a workout, you have the wrong trainer. If you’re using your muscles correctly, working them out yet giving them time to move and flow, you shouldn’t be sore the next day.

If you’d like to check out O2 West, they’re currently having a contest where two couples (who are getting married any time in 2009) can win a full fitness makeover, valued at $4500. The deadline for entries was July 15th but it’s been held-over.

I go back again on Monday since Andy didn’t want to let too much time lapse between sessions in case I forgot some of the proper techniques. So far, I’m thoroughly impressed and I actually can’t wait to start up again next week. As a side (yet important) note, their change rooms also have huge showers and supply complimentary products and personal care essentials for women to use.

O2 West is located in the Oakridge area at 551 West 57th Avenue in Vancouver.

Disclosure: O2 West is also the sponsor of our softball team, the Radio Rockstars

Death Cab for Cutie in Vancouver

July 17th, 2009 @ 12:33am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Death Cab for Cutie performed at the Pacific Coliseum tonight in front of thousands of adoring fans.

First up after opening act, Ra Ra Riot, was The New Pornographers who played a lovely set for their hometown crowd.

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When it came time for Death Cab for Cutie to hit the stage, front man Ben Gibbard referenced another time they played in Vancouver when they first met The New Pornographers years ago over at the Starfish Room. I’m unsure most of the audience knew what the Starfish Room was, but it was a fun little tidbit to be shared nonetheless.

death cab for cutie vancouver death cab for cutie vancouver

We were treated to classics (and by classics I mean pre-OC) such as “Why You’d Want To Live Here”, “Photobooth”, “Title and Registration”, and we also heard “Marching Bands of Manhattan”, “Grapevine Fires”, “I Will Possess Your Heart”, “Cath”, and “Little Bribes” off of their EP, The Open Door. They finished off the night with an amazing rendition of “Transatlanticism”.

death cab for cutie vancouver death cab for cutie vancouver

The band was absolutely solid and when Ben took the stage alone with an acoustic guitar (after roaring encore chants) he sang “I Will Follow You Into The Dark”. He was then accompanied by the entire audience who sang along word for word, and almost in perfect harmony.

It was so nice to finally see Death Cab for Cutie live, even if part of me really wishes I could have been at that Starfish Room show nine years ago.

Photos by John Bollwitt for – view all images in his Flickr set

Rogue Folk Shorefest and the Celebration of Light

July 16th, 2009 @ 1:32pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

The totally un-canceled Celebration of Light fireworks nightime summer fun extravaganza blitz is upon us once again however this year a new radio station in town is spicing things up a bit.

Photo credit: mark.woodbury on Flickr

Shore 104 (104.1 on your FM dial) is presenting the Rogue Folk Shorefest, which is a series of three concerts facing the crowds in English Bay on each of the fireworks nights (July 22, 25, 29, and August 1). These free and unplugged performances will feature the likes of Jim Byrnes, Wide Mouth Mason, 54-40, Barney Bentall, Dustin Bentall, Odds, and more.

Things kick off at 6:30pm in the West End and you can tune into Shore 104 to hear the soundtrack to the fireworks display each night.

gibAs a side note, on July 25th I’ll be participating in my third annual Blogathon in support of the Union Gospel Mission in Vancouver’s Downtown East side. The goal is to blog every 30 minutes for 24 straight hours and we’ll be live on location at Workspace in Gastown. As an added incentive to support my campaign, readers who pledge a minimum of $20 will all be entered to win a fireworks boat cruise presented by Granville Island Brewing. The winner and a guest will enjoy dinner, drinks, and one of the most unique views of the fireworks on July 29th.

To enter, sign up and pledge my campaign on the official Blogathon website. Thanks in advance to everyone who will be supporting my campaign in one form or another (if even by reading my site at 3am that day to keep me going).

Thursday Link Fest: More Summer Events

July 16th, 2009 @ 9:31am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

It seems as though Vancouver has truly come alive this summer, bursting at its seams with community events and festivals. Here’s a Link Fest to get you ramped up for some fun this month.

Milner Gardens & Woodland

  • Tomorrow is Hot Friday in Yaletown with an outdoor street party featuring DJs and a beer garden.
  • This Sunday you can see Dog the Bounty Hunter at the Boulevard Casino at 8:00pm
  • It’s Surrey’s Fusion Festival this weekend. From Saturday to Sunday you can catch various acts from around the world, explore dozens of culinary creations in the food tents, and watch performances by Barney Bentall, and headliner Joel Plaskett.
  • Sunday is the 10th annual Outstanding in the Field event at the North Arm Farm in the Pemberton Valley. Featuring a five-course meal with Executive Chef James Walt.
  • Chill on the Hill takes place on July 25th up in Whistler. It’s a day of sun, snow (that’s the chill part) and concerts with The Stills and Protest the Hero. NESTEA You can follow @chillonthehill on Twitter for updates.
  • RBC desiFEST is July 25th as well, happening at the Plaza of Nations from 12:00-8:00pm. They’re also on Twitter @rbcdesifest.
  • Via Metro Vancouver’s ultimate event go-to woman, @CatherineBarr, I heard about Summer Sessions, the recently announced Sarah McLachlan, Neil Young and Sheryl Crow outdoor concert hitting Ambleside Park September 12th.
  • Also just announced is BookCamp Vancouver, taking place this fall on October 16th.
  • And if you’re over on the Island this weekend, enjoy Taste – Victoria’s Festival of Food & Wine from July 16-19th.
  • Tonight is the Death Cab for Cutie concert (with Ra Ra Riot and New Pornographers) and tickets are still available from Live Nation.

    Carousel Theatre's Macbeth on Granville Island

    July 15th, 2009 @ 7:21pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

    macbethEarlier this month I previewed a few upcoming events that all ages can enjoy for free throughout the city this summer. I’m excited to add to the list Carousel Theatre’s presentation of Macbeth, which will run on the Performance Works Outdoor Stage on Granville Island form July 31st until August 15th.

    A haunting tragedy of vaulting ambition in the castles of Scotland –a murdered king, evil witches, and a Scottish lord’s bloody rise to power.

    The show is entirely free of charge and to make it even more interesting, it is being presented by the Teen Shakespeare Program, starring 13-17 year olds from around the Lower Mainland. The Gothic retelling of Macbeth will be the culmination the teens’ intense 6-week program with the Carousel Theatre, which is now in its 19th year.

    They will also be hosting a silent auction in order to raise funds to keep this inspirational and creative program going in the future.

    Bring a blanket (and some warm clothes for the cool summer nights) to the Performance Works Outdoor Stage (Ron Basford Park) at 1218 Cartwright Street, on Granville Island to enjoy this free event until August 15th.

    Waterlife Movie Pass Contest

    July 15th, 2009 @ 8:00am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

    John and I love feeding our brains, even when it comes to entertainment and movies. Even last year at the film festival I realized that almost every movie on my “must see” list was a documentary (including Rip: A Remix Manifesto and Addicted to Plastic). This is why I’m pretty excited about the Canadian film Waterlife, which is coming to the big screen at the end of the week.

    Kevin McMahon’s Waterlife – which won the Special Jury Prize for Canadian Feature at the 2009 Hot Docs – is a fascinating documentary that tells the story of the Great Lakes. Providing Earth with 20 per cent of its surface fresh water and possessing natural beauty, the lakes are a precious resource under assault by pollutants, invasive species, evaporating water and profound apathy.

    If you would like to see Waterlife it opens July 17th at Tinseltown and I have a pass* to give away to one reader (and a guest).

    To enter, simply leave a comment on this post or re-tweet this link including the tag #waterlifefilm on Twitter.

    Update: Thanks for entering the contest, I have just drawn the winner and it looks like Rose will be going to see Waterlife. Congratulations!

    * Pass is valid at Tinseltown from July 20-23, 2009

    Vancouver History Tidbits: Stanley Park

    July 14th, 2009 @ 11:44am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

    After walking around Central Park this morning, I started thinking about Stanley Park back home and that it would be a great time to rustle up a quick history tidbits post.

  • At 1,000 acres Stanley Park is just slightly bigger than New York’s Central Park (843 acres)
  • July 27, 1911: The Province reported that one third of Vancouver’s population had passed through the gates of Stanley Park during the week of July 10-16, making it one of the most popular pleasure resorts the Terminal City possesses.” [source]
  • Stanley Park is named after Lord Stanley who also has a prized hockey trophy named after him. Check out this post I wrote a little while ago with links to some great hockey history.
  • Plans for gun emplacements in Stanley Park, between Second and Third Beach (near the Pauline Johnson Memorial) up on Ferguson Point were made Juanary 19, 1938. [source]
  • In 1964 Vancouver’s Mayor Bill Rathie and Park Board Chairman George Wainborn drove the last spike in the Stanley Park miniature railway. [source]

  • The original Lumberman’s Arch
  • Deadman’s Island is so named because it was once the site of native burial grounds (and was later used by white settlers for the same purpose). [source]
  • When I was at the City Archives there was a great photo of the perimeter road in Stanley Park, covered (paved) in calcined shells, which originated from a midden near Lumberman’s Arch, where the First Nations village Xway-xway was located. In some places the shells went down 8 feet so they ended up using it for the road all the way from Coal Harbour, around Brockton Point, and over to Prospect Point. — On this note, I would highly recommend checking out the Museum of Anthropology if you’d like to learn more about the area’s history – going back hundreds of years through First Nations culture.
  • Related post: Vancouver History Tidbits: Stanley Park Trails & the history series.