Zombie Combat Zone and The Zombie Syndrome Downtown

Tuesday, September 18th, 2012 — 12:00pm PDT
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We have the annual Zombie Walk and Thrill The World and now zombie-lovers and zombie impersonators around the Lower Mainland can get their fix of the undead several ways this season.

Photo credit: John Biehler on Flickr

Zombie Combat Zone

Your mission – locate and rescue a group of missing scientists and discover the cause of the outbreak and if possible… stop the plague. This adventure is a simulated fight for your life through a zombie apocalypse. Located on 57 acres of “insanely creepy forest” participants will undergo a crash course bootcamp (including weapons training with a paintball gun) then suit up and head out into the zone.
Location: Panther Paintball at 19022 16th Ave in South Surrey
Cost: $50 per person, group rates available
Hours: From dusk to 1:00am Thursdays to Sundays until November 15, 2012
Website, Twitter, Facebook

The Zombie Syndrome

This theatrical adventure takes the audience on a high-stakes mission to save the world from a deadly zombie invasion. This highly interactive theatrical scavenger-hunt features technical elements requiring each audience group to use their smartphones to navigate through the show and find clues leading to a renegade scientist’s secret mobile laboratory.
Location: The exact starting point of the show (somewhere in downtown Vancouver) remains undisclosed until the day before the show.
Cost: Tickets are $25 plus service charges
Hours: Various performance hours from October 13 to 31, 2012
Website, Twitter, Facebook

Stanley Park: An Urban Wilderness Documentary

Tuesday, September 18th, 2012 — 10:04am PDT
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Enjoyed by thousands every day who take to its sea wall, forest trails, sea side lookouts, beaches and attractions, it’s no wonder that someone would want to create a film about Vancouver’s ‘Crown Jewel’, Stanley Park. Beautiful Earth, consisting of co-founders Adrian Green and Grant Finlayson, is the company behind a new Stanley Park documentary. They aim to make more than just a ‘tourist film’ and have recently released a trailer for Stanley Park: An Urban Wilderness.

Stanley Park: An Urban Wilderness Teaser Trailer from Beautiful Earth Films on Vimeo.

The film will follow the park’s history through interviews with individuals from our local First Nations and share the story of its popular attractions and areas of interest like the 9 o’clock gun, Deadman’s Island, the miniature train, and more.

“Although we are looking at a lot of these different things as they are today we are also delving into their past and telling their stories from their very beginnings,” Green told me. “We’ve been digging up some interesting facts as we’ve been doing our research and talking with people and it’s fascinating and very exciting when we find out something that we didn’t know before.”

The nature of Stanley Park is another main focus and the filmmakers have done several interviews with the Stanley Park Ecology Society. “The whole documentary will hopefully be a pleasing and inspiring mix of everything,” Green added.

Stanley Park Flowers Merilees Trail Stanley Park Stanley Park Flowers

They are looking to release the finished product in the spring of 2013 at the latest and are still filming this month and hopefully moving on to editing by October. They will soon be launching an Indigogo campaign to help raise funds to finish the documentary and are currently accepting sponsorship and donations to supplement what each of them have been contributing out of pocket.

You can follow the project on the Beautiful Earth blog, Twitter, and Facebook to learn more.

Sears to Nordstrom: Official New Design

Monday, September 17th, 2012 — 11:56am PDT
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Earlier this year it was announced that Sears downtown was closing. Immediately rumours began to fly about what would occupy the space and if the bare white fortress-like walls of the structure at Pacific Centre would undergo a facelift.

Modern Mistake
Photo credit: Tom Wiebe on Flickr

Drawings have been circulating on the internet for months, some believable and others not so much, stirring up a lot of public interest in this high profile location that borders Robson, Granville, and Howe. This morning Cadillac Fairview, the company that manages Pacific Centre, revealed the official plans the American department store Nordstrom which will move into the Sears building.

Nordstrom Sears Vancouver
New Designs. Source: Vancouver Sun

From the Vancouver Sun: “Nordstrom will occupy 230,000 square feet on three floors, including the street level. A new 48,000 sq.ft. multi-tenant retail space will be built on the lower mall level, while the top four levels of the building will be converted to 280,000 sq.ft. of AAA class office space.

From the Globe and Mail: “The department-store box will be broken up into two sections that give it the appearance of two buildings, according to several commercial brokers who attended the briefing Cadillac Fairview held last month. A glass entrance facing Georgia and Granville will be much more prominent and dramatic than the current one. And two deep light wells will penetrate the top four floors, adding even more light to what will become offices above the department store.”

Vancouver 2010: Riding the Zipline at Robson Square
Photo credit: Susan Gittins on Flickr
Nordstrom Sears Vancouver
New Designs. Source: Vancouver Sun

Nordstrom will open in September of 2015 in Vancouver (at Pacific Centre), the fall of 2014 in Calgary (at Chinook Centre), in the spring of 2015 in Ottawa (Rideau Centre), and in the fall of 2016 in Toronto (at Sherway Gardens).

Vancouver History Tidbits: Duke of Connaught’s Visit

Monday, September 17th, 2012 — 11:33am PDT
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Tomorrow will mark 100 years since Canada’s Governor General, the Duke of Connaught, visited Vancouver with the Duchess to officiate the naming ceremony of the Connaught Bridge.

(Left) 1923 – Archives# CVA 371-283. (Right) 1940 – VPL Accession Number: 7978.

The Connaught Bridge replaced a bridge in the same location that was built in 1891. The name Connaught didn’t catch on and it became commonly known as the Cambie Bridge. It was once again replaced in 1985 by the structure we use today.

September 18, 1912. Archives #Arch N6.02

September 18, 1912. Archives #Duke of Conn P7

During their royal visit, the Duke also officially opened the provincial courthouse (now the Vancouver Art Gallery Building) and the first Lumbermen’s Arch was erected above Hamilton and Pender. After the visit, the arch was disassembled and moved to Stanley Park. The arch is still in place today but was re-modeled in 1952 to the simple version we see today.

Information from this post was researched thanks to Chuck Davis’ Vancouver History.

VOKRA Walk for the Kitties 2012

Monday, September 17th, 2012 — 9:13am PDT
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Vancouver is a dog-friendly town but we must not forget about the cats out there that patrol our neighbourhoods, keep our laps warm, and pose for incredibly adorable photos that we can’t help but post online and share with the world. This weekend VOKRA (Vancouver Orphan Kitten Rescue Association) is hosting their 3rd Annual Walk for the Kitties.

“The Walk for the Kitties is our largest fundraiser of the year and it is crucial for us to raise the funds we need to keep the organization going,” says Alexis Baran who does communications and public relations as a volunteer with VOKRA.

VOKRA provides public education about cat care, a trap/neuter/return program, a feral cat program, re-homing program, and a pre-natal/natal/orphan program. Since its founding 12 years ago, the organization has gone from assisting 150 kittens and adult cats per year to over 800 in 2008 and over 1,420 in 2009. The Walk for the Kitties came about in 2010.

“We love to get the community involved and it is really inspiring to have a day when so many of us come together and are able to meet and share stories, and see how many lives we all impact.. And I don’t only mean the cats.”

Baran says that their members and volunteers have rescued animals of all kinds including the infamous skunk downtown who had a bubble tea lid stuck around its neck. “Maria Soroski (Co-Founder) is an expert cat trapper, and has trained other volunteers in the art of rescue. Rescuing Bubbles the skunk in the West End came from that expertise, and our volunteers are often happy to extend their cat rescue knowledge to help other animals in need whenever they can.”

Karen Duncan (Co-Founder) rescues cats and kittens and cares for them night and day, which includes bottle-feeding motherless kittens who would not otherwise survive. She has also rescued a giant mastiff and has assisted in the rescue of other large dogs.

“Because we are animal lovers, we don’t give up on cats who are deemed “unadoptable.” We work with them and provide what they need to thrive, be that attention from some of our amazing fosters who are able to get “feral” cats to trust people again or be it extra special medical attention. We think these animals deserve a chance and do everything within our power to provide that.”

You can join VOKRA on September 23rd for the 5km walk at Jericho Beach. Registration is still open and it should be a great day to get out for a walk and support a good local volunteer-run organization. Follow VOKRA on Facebook and Twitter for more information.

Touring Osoyoos and Oliver: Moon Curser, Stoneboat, Tinhorn Creek, Road13

Sunday, September 16th, 2012 — 9:45am PDT
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My sister and I drove the four hours along the Crowsnest Highway on Friday night to attend this weekend’s O! Osoyoos Celebrates, an inaugural food and wine festival in the South Okanagan. On Saturday, we joined up with a small group of media to experience a winery tour, visiting vineyards in Osoyoos and neighbouring Oliver, where 55% of BC’s grapes are grown.

Osoyoos Wine Tours

Greg Byron from Great Horned Owl Eco-Tours picked us up in his van and was our guide for the day. As we rolled by roadside orchards and fruit stands, he told us a variety of information about the region — from the importance of desert species like the Antelope Brush to the history of the highway. At each stop we hopped out to do tastings and upon our return, boxes of purchases in hand, Greg organized them for us in the back of the van.

Disclosure: Review
I was not paid to write this post or any other. Our tour was compliments of Destination Osoyoos. Opinions are my own.