YWCA Women of Distinction Awards: Nominations Open

January 18th, 2010 @ 10:30am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Nominations for this year’s YWCA Women of Distinction Awards are now open. Since 1984, the YWCA has honored over exceptional 200 women who have been nominated by family, friends and colleagues.

The YWCA Vancouver Women of Distinction Awards encourages nominations that will showcase individuals and organizations who are driving positive change for women and girls either directly or by example. Activities and achievements of all potential nominees must align with the YWCA’s values. Candidate’s participation in employment, recreation or special interests will encapsulate the spirit of women’s equality as outlined in YWCA Vancouver’s mission and vision.

I have partnered with the YWCA to help promote this event and help it reach as many women as possible in the region. Categories in which you can nominate outstanding individuals include: Arts, Culture & Design, Business & the Professions, Community Building, Education, Training & Development, Entrepreneurship & Innovation, Health & Active Living, Non-profit & Public Service, Technology, Science & Industry, Innovative Workplace and the Young Woman of Distinction.

Candidates and nominees should be considered leaders and role models, someone who breaks new ground or busts down barriers, shows vision, guides and supports others, takes initiative, is well-respected by her peers, and makes a sustained commitment or significant difference in her industry or community.


Photo credit: john faherty photography on Flickr

Past recipients…
Non-profit & Public Service 2009: Shawn Bayes – Executive Director, Elizabeth Fry Society of Greater Vancouver.
Community Building 2009: Christy Clark – Host, The Christy Clark Show. Christy initiated BC’s first Anti-Bullying Day in 2008.
Young Woman of Distinction 2008: Amanda Reaume, founder of Antigone Magazine (they do the Dreams for Women Calendar).

Nominations will close March 15, 2010 and the finalists will be honored at the Awards Ceremony in June (exact date TBD). Proceeds from the Awards Ceremony go to support the YWCA’s many programs and services for women and families in the Lower Mainland. If you nominate someone, know a finalist, are a woman in business, or simply want to take part in an inspiring event for a fantastic cause, please consider joining us for the Awards Ceremony.

For now, be sure to get those nominations in. Note, nominees must live and work (individuals) or operate (businesses or organizations) within the Metro Vancouver region bounded by and including Hope, Pemberton, Sunshine Coast and the United States border. You can get the nomination forms online or by calling (604) 895-5768.

Become a fan of the YWCA of Vancouver on Facebook for links, news, updates, and information about the Awards Ceremony when it becomes available.

Jennifer Heil – Cheer for Jenn Gift Pack

January 18th, 2010 @ 8:30am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Freestyle skier Jennifer Heil is a four-time World Champion, Gold Medal winner, and a representative of Canada at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Games. With more than 40 career World Cup medals under her belt she’s carrying the hopes of our nation with her down that moguls run this February.


Jennifer Heil – © Olympic.ca

Born in Spruce Grove, Alberta in 1983, Jennifer Heil strapped on her first pair of skis at age 2. By age 16, she had a slot on Canada’s development ski team, and at 17, she moved on to the national ski team. It’s no coincidence that at 26, she is racking up titles and considered queen of the slopes. Just this past weekend Jennifer picked up another podium win in Utah.

Through one of her sponsors, Marcelle, Jennifer has been setup with the encouraging website, CheerforJenn.com which hosts contests, interviews, features her career achievements and displays current results from international competition. The site’s main purpose however, is to features cheers which are posted by celebrities,her family, or individuals who stop by and leave a comment or video message.

To celebrate and encourage Jennifer’s efforts Marcelle is hosting a contest to win the chance to ski with Jennifer in Banff over on the Cheer for Jenn site.

In a second (separate) contest campaign, they have given me two prize packs to give away to a couple of readers.

The Marcelle gift packs that I’m giving away each include:
Essentials Waterproof Makeup Remover, Wet & Dry Eyeshadow Quad, Marcelle Vita-Lip Plumping Gloss, Essentials 1st Wrinkles Eye contour Cream, Essentials Hydration Moisture Cream, 25 Marcelle Cleansing Cloths, and Volume Precision Mascara.

Marcelle Gift Pack Marcelle Gift Pack

Marcelle Gift Pack

To enter to win one of these gift packs, leave a comment on this post or re-tweet this link including @Miss604 and @CheerforJenn. For example, you can copy and paste this into a Twitter update to enter:

  • I’m cheering for Jenn! @CheerForJenn – Enter to win a gift pack from @Miss604: http://bit.ly/8j0uq6
  • You can follow more information about Jennifer Heil on Facebook, Twitter, or through CheerforJenn.com. The Vancouver 2010 Womens Freestyle Ski events begin February 13th.

    Fine print: The “Ski with Jenn” opportunity is not through Miss604.com – it is through CheerforJenn.com. The two Miss604/Marcelle gift pack winners will be drawn at random from all entries on Saturday, January 23rd, 2010. Approximate value of each gift pack is $100.

    Update January 24, 2010 I just drew two winners and they are Elaine & Katie. Thank you for spreading the word and for Cheering for Jenn!

    Olympic Line Free Public Streetcar

    January 15th, 2010 @ 3:03pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

    People will have a new way to get around during the Vancouver 2010 Olympics with the Olympic Line streetcar.

    Olympic Line Media Preview

    This Bombardier Flexity light-rail electric streetcar (on loan from Brussels) will be in operation January 21st until March 21st, 2010.

    Olympic Line Media Preview Olympic Line Media Preview

    Running from just outside the Olympic Village Canada Line station (on the False Creek side of 2nd & Cambie), it will shuttle passengers to Granville Island and back in style.

    Olympic Line Media Preview

    Olympic Line Media Preview Olympic Line Media Preview


    Photo credit: John Bollwitt on Flickr

    For those of you who love transit talk, this bi-directional beauty’s got a minimum horizontal curve radius of 15m, it will run on 1.8km of track (with 150m of dual track so trains can pass each other), maximum speed 70km/h, 105Km motor power, anti-lock brakes, fits 50 passengers (seated) and 128 passengers (standing), and has two locations for bikes or strollers.


    Photo credit: John Bollwitt on Flickr

    I got the chance to sit in the driver’s seat today (along with John) and have all the fancy levers and buttons explained to me. From touch-screens to security cameras, the operators will have full controls at their fingertips.


    Photo credit: John Bollwitt on Flickr

    According to the Bombardier rep, “for us this is an opportunity to showcase the first, 100% low-floor streetcar in North America.” In partnership with the City they’re inviting folks from across the continent to come up and ride the line during its time in Vancouver.

    Olympic Line Media Preview

    Hat tips to the Downtown Historic Railway for the use of the track for this trail period for the streetcar. Vancouver has a fine 60+ year history of streetcar systems (such as the Interurban) and I’m sure many would like to see this mode of light transit return to our region.

    Olympic Line Media Preview
    Passenger button to open the doors

    The ribbon cutting will take place January 21st at a public ceremony where all are encouraged to come check out the Olympic Line. Starting at 9:30am, you can ride the streetcar and receive a commemorative first rider certificate. Olympians and Paralympians as well as the Vancouver 2010 mascots will be around while live music entertains visitors.

    Olympic Line Media Preview

    After the ceremony, the Olympic Line will run 18 hours a day (6:30am – 12:30am), 7 days a week, with zero fares. Once the Games are over, the train will be leaving town but hopefully Vancouverites get a taste of what a light-rail streetcar system would be like if restored in our city.

    Olympic Line Media Preview

    More information:
    Follow @2010Streetcar on Twitter for updates.
    View more photos of the preview today in John’s Flickr set.
    View more photos of the preview today in my Flickr set.
    Stephen Rees was there today as well and he has a post up here.

    Update March 13, 2010 The streetcar is one of many attractions staying open during the Paralympic Games. Today at 1:30pm Bombardier and the City of Vancouver will celebrate having its 500,000th rider.

    Update April 4, 2010 This post has been republished due to a malware attack on my site and as a result comments have been lost.

    Update May 18, 2010 From News1130: The Olympic Line Streetcar has won an award from the Canadian Urban Transit Association, after carrying more than 550,000 passengers during the Games, without a single reported problem. The line–which ran along False Creek between January and March–was a partnership between the City of Vancouver and Bombardier. Two streetcars brought to Vancouver from Brussels made more than 13,000 one-way trips during the demonstration project . Daily ridership during the Olympic Games peaked at 25,400.

    Woodward’s W Rises Again

    January 15th, 2010 @ 8:04am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

    The giant red “W” atop Woodwards in Vancouver is make a reappearance tonight as it will be lit up for the first time in a decade.


    “W” removal in 2006 – Photo credit: cam in van on Flickr

    Woodward’s means far more to Vancouver than simply being a defunct department store. Founded by Charles A. Woodward, he opened his first store in Vancouver on Main Street in 1891. In 1903 it moved and expanded to Hastings & Abbott. This Woodward’s building was indeed a fantastic department store complete with the famous “Food Floor” in the basement, it was the first self-serve food department on the continent. “In a day when grocery stores were small, this gigantic emporium was—the right word—exciting” (source).


    Major Matthews collection – Woodward’s 1910 – Item#: M-11-2

    It was the first major department store in BC to open for business on Sundays and of course what long-time Vancouverite doesn’t remember the $1.49 Day jingle. The first Tuesday of every month was known as $1.49 Day with store-wide deals for shoppers.

    Lighting of Woodward's W

    The bright red “W” perched on an Eiffel Tower replica atop the store would act as a beacon for retail shoppers. It guided them in around Christmas time as it soon became tradition for families to come downtown just to peer through the frost-dusted holiday window displays. The “W” was as much of the Vancouver skyline as the old Sun Tower and the North Shore mountains.


    Photo credit: weezerthewonderful on Flickr

    In 1993 the Woodward’s chain went bankrupt. Across the Lower Mainland Woodward’s stores turned into The Bay or Zellers stores and the iconic flagship location in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver fell into disrepair. For years it stood untouched, boarded up, and in the middle of a “what do we do with this space now” type of battle. Eventually, squatters moved in — they needed shelter and housing and this building was one mighty appealing location for a base camp. In 2003 the City purchased the building from the Province and the wheels started turning.

    The building was emptied and demolished in 2006, leaving only a facade of the old structure standing on the corner of Abbott and Hastings Streets. What has been in the making over the last decade isn’t just a building, it’s a community – with Woodward’s at the centre.

    Photo credit: VideoVik on Flickr

    The new $400 million Woodward’s project includes 536 housing units, 125 non-market housing units (operated by PHS Community Services), 75 family non-market housing units (operated by Affordable Housing Services), Nesters Food Store (who reintroduced $1.49 day recently), London Drugs, and The National Film Board of Canada. There is also a community plaza, and the Simon Fraser University downtown campus with the School for Contemporary Arts.


    Photo credit: Kris Krug on Flickr

    The W2 Community Media Arts Centre will also take up shop in the community and act as a centre for communication and arts for the Downtown Eastside, “to produce and present new works of artistic significance and social benefit; to empower individuals and communities (young and old alike); and to engage with technology and interdisciplinary artists as producers rather than consumers.”


    Photo credit: thedarkerside.to on Flickr

    The Woodward’s “W” rose to the centre of the development last week and this evening it will be lit up once again. It’s no longer a sign of retail and commerce, it’s a throwback to our City’s past, with a hope for tomorrow — building a sustainable community that is already vibrant and ready to shine in its own right.

    Lighting of Woodward's W

    The lighting of the “W” will take place tonight between 6:05pm and 6:15pm with help from the Bladerunners. Public can come by the Woodward’s plaza or you can catch a glimpse where you can from around Vancouver. The ceremony will also be broadcast live on several local news stations.

    For more history, this great little video by the City of Vancouver explains the sort of ‘love affair’ the city has had with a department store.

    Update: I stopped by the lighting this evening and took some photos. The inner plaza at Woodward’s was abuzz with performers, media, and people waiting for the monumental flick of the switch on the “W”. I’m trying to look up the name of the funky marching band – they really reminded my of the band we saw at Surrey’s Winterfest last year (March Forth) but with a much more Vancouver Eastside flare. Update: Thanks to the comments I received on the post, the band is the Carnival Band.

    Lighting of Woodward's W

    I think it’s really sweet that not only is the new complex located at 149 West Hastings (a tribute to $1.49 Day) but Nester’s Market also include the Woodward’s Food Floor in its logo.

    Lighting of Woodward's W

    This woman was there with her son, a filmmaker who once used the Woodward’s “W” as a prop in a movie he made. She brought it along for the event and was very proud to show it off, including the hole in the letter where a bowling ball (propelled at a high velocity) went crashing through.

    Lighting of Woodward's W

    Before the lighting, Chief Ian Campbell performed a beautiful blessing with other members of the Squamish First Nation. They granted permission for Woodward’s to be built on this land and so it was important to have them participate in this ceremony.

    Lighting of Woodward's W

    Staring up at the Stan Douglas installation Abbott & Cordova, which can be viewed inside or outside at the plaza, the crowd counted down from 10 before clapping the “W” to life.

    Stan Douglas’ mural depicts the Gastown Riots of 1971.

    Lighting of Woodward's W

    The new Woodward’s complex is truly a part of our City’s history especially when it comes to community building and nurturing the arts. It’s funky, artsy, it pushes a few envelopes (and maybe a few buttons) but It’s just amazing to see it all come back to life.

    Vancouver 2010 Cultural Olympiad

    January 14th, 2010 @ 10:30am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

    Vancouver’s Cultural Olympiad has been taking place over the last two years, gearing up for the main event in February 2010, it features performances, art installations, concerts and more.

    From January 22nd until March 21st sub-festivals such as CODE and Juste pour rire, will make sure the Cultural Olympiad is jammed-packed with action.

    They have hundreds of events taking place in dozens of venues around Vancouver, including outdoor expositions. If you’re not sure what to search for yet in the event listings, here are just a few highlights.

    The contemporary concert series in Vancouver:

  • January 22nd Phoenix with You Say Party! We Say Die! at the Orpheum. Tickets start at $32.50.
  • February 15th City and Colour & The Rural Alberta Advantage at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre. Tickets start st $32.50.
  • February 16th New Songs, New Voices with Jason Plumb, Meaghan Blanchard, Romi Mayes, Dan Mangan at the Roundhouse Community Arts and Recreation Centre. Tickets $12.
  • February 17th Feist & Gonzales “Piano Talk Show” at the Orpheum. Tickets start at $37.50.
  • February 19th Stars with Hey Rosetta! at the Orpheum. Tickets start at $37.50.
  • March 12th Gomez & Chad Van Gaalen at the Orpheum. Tickets start at $32.50.
  • March 18th Martha Wainwright & Jorane: Chanteuses modernes at the Commodore Ballroom. Tickets $32.50.
  • March 20th Raphael Saadiq & India.Arie at the Orpheum. Tickets start at $42.50.
  • Plays and performances:

  • January 22nd Alberta Ballet: Joni Mitchell’s The Fiddle and the Drum at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre. Tickets start at $20.
  • January 22nd to March 21st Culture Shock: Video Interventions at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre. Admission with tickets to any event at the QET.
  • January 30th Majumder/Cullen/Payne: Laugh it Out! at the Orpheum. Tickets start at $20.
  • February 9th to 13th Dance Marathon (participatory) at the Roundhouse Community Centre. Tickets start st $25.
  • February 20th Artcirq at the Squamish Lil’Wat Cultural Centre
  • February 21st to 28th (Fri, Sat, Sun) The Miss Guides: GOLD RUSH! Art, Bars & Speculation. Tickets $40.
  • February 21st to 28th Talking Stick Festival at the Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre. Tickets start at $16.
  • March 12th to 21st (Fri, Sat, Sun) The Miss Guides: GOLD RUSH! Art, Bars & Speculation. Tickets $40.
  • March 20th to 21st Kickstart Festival 2010: Configurations at the Roundhouse Community Arts and Recreation Centre. Tickets start at $25.
  • The free stuff:

    I have a list of free events in my concerts post but here are a few that are compliments of the Cultural Olympiad specifically…

    World Tea Party February 12th to 28th and then March 12th to 21st at the Vancouver International Centre for Contemporary Asian Art. Free with no reservation required (before 6:00pm).

    Vectorial Elevation from February 4th until the 28th it will light up the sky above English Bay with patterns submitted by the public. Free with no reservation required, just find a viewing point somewhere and look up.

    Art Under Foot view the creation of more sidewalk mosaics February 1st until the 28th outside Sleep Country on Granville. Totally free to stop by and see the artists at work between 11:00am and 4:00pm.

    WhistlerLive! concert series in Whistler Village Square including Blue Rodeo February 28th. All ages, no ticket or reservation required.

    Kris Krug summed up some of the Best Media Art Installations around town as a part of CODE (Cutural Olympiad Digital Edition).

    Spirit of Squamish 2010 Finale Celebration February 27th from 11:00am until 7:00pm featuring local bands and performers including Radio Karma, The Overcomers, and The Paul Coulture-Brown Band.

    This is just a small sampling of the variety of events taking place as a part of the Cultural Olympiad. You can check full listings online and search by venue, date, discipline, or municipality.

    Taste BC 2010 – Win Tickets

    January 13th, 2010 @ 5:23pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

    Liberty Wine Merchants is once again presenting Taste BC, an evening of local food, wine, live music and fundraising.

    Attendees of the event January 19th (from 4:30pm until 7:30pm) will be encouraged to sample creations from fine restaurants along with beers, wines, and artisan cheeses. You can read what my friend Keira had to say about last year’s event at the Hyatt Regency in this guest blog post.

    After launching in 2008, the Taste BC events have raised over $159,000 to benefit BC Children’s Hospital’s Oak Tree Clinic and they hope to keep that number growing again this year.

    Tickets are $49.99 and available at all Liberty Wine Merchant locations.

    If you would like to enter to win two tickets from Miss604.com (courtesy of Liberty Wine Merchants) please leave a comment below or re-tweet this link (including @Miss604 so I can track entries). The winner and a guest will receive admission to the event which includes access to all the delicious samples that await you inside.

    Update: I drew a random winner and it was Gail’s comment that came up, congratulations! I have notified Gail by email and hopefully she can attend. Thanks for entering!
    Update: Unfortunately I didn’t hear from Gail to confirm so I drew another winner, congratulations Megan!

    Related Posts: Taste BC 2009, Taste BC 2009 Recap.

    Fine Print: The prize is admission for two to Taste BC (approximate value $99.98). The winner will be drawn at random from all comment and Twitter entries on Saturday, January 16th, 2010. Winner will be notified by email and will have 24 hours to confirm. If they cannot confirm attendance, a new winner will be drawn. Update: Contest extended until Sunday, January 17th.

    Link Fest: Event Roundup for Mid-January

    January 13th, 2010 @ 4:02pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

    I’ve been back in the country for a week now and it’s the first time in about two months that I’ve spent an entire week at home. I’m appreciating the warm cozy weather, the lush green grass, and the steady influx of event listings that are being emailed to me daily. Getting back up to speed on what’s going on around town, here’s an event roundup for the rest of the month.

    Thank you, resume speed
    Photo credit: Ludovic Chabant on Flickr / Submitted to the Miss604 Flickr Group
  • The British Columbians and Rich Hope with The Sicks play Venue tomorrow, Thursday, January 14th. Doors open at 8:00pm and tickets are $12 (advance) and $15 (door).
  • The Peter Eastwood Onley gallery is hosting an art show on Friday, January 15th to help the artist raise funds for tuition at a New York art school.
  • The Wedding Soiree happens January 18th at 5:30pm over at the Marriott Pinnacle. It’s a wedding showcase that includes a 3-course meal and prizes.
  • Trees Organic Coffee & Roasting House opens its fourth cafe in Gastown with a grand opening Tuesday, January 19th from 7:00am until the evening.
  • The launch of the new book, Drinking Vancouver by John Lee takes place Thursday, January 28th at the Alibi Room from 6:00pm – 8:00pm.
  • Something to add to the “cool public events during the Olympics” calendar is the O Zone in Richmond. In particular (but not for the kiddies) the 60-foot icewine tasting bar sponsored by Inniskillin.
  • This month’s Third Tuesday event features guest speaker Julien Smith, Co-author of Trust Agents.
  • The Vancouver Cultural Olympiad kicks off January 20th with over 200 performances over the next few months.
  • Red Bull Crashed Ice is coming to Vancouver — well their qualifiers are. The annual event in Quebec City will be looking for the best in the West January 29th at Canlan Ice Sports in North Vancouver.
  • There is a Dance for Cancer fund-raiser for Team iCAN who are riding in the Ride to Conquer Cancer January 23rd.
  • And looking ahead, the 9th Annual Talking Stick Festival will run from February 21st until the 28th. The festival is a celebration of aboriginal performance and art.
  • The BC Sports Hall of Fame has a new exhibit featuring Canucks history, on now until April 2010.
  • I also want to highlight The Main Event, a dine-out fundraiser taking place in restaurants up and down Main Street January 18th until the 24th. You’ll be able to choose from prix-fixe menus ($25, $35 and $45) with proceeds going toward the Greater Vancouver Food Bank Society. It’s the perfect opportunity to explore some of the fantastic places to eat over on Main (and all for a great cause).

    From the Miss604 Flickr Pool

    January 13th, 2010 @ 7:59am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

    It’s only been a week since we returned from ringing in the new year with John’s family in Iowa but it still feels like I’m playing catch-up. Things are moving at an expedited pace as it all sinks in that we have but 30 days before all eyes in the world are focused on us.

    To slow things down a little, I took some time to browse through the Miss604 Flickr Group to see what new members were posting. As usual, I’m blown away and very thankful that these photographers are sharing their work with us.

    Coal Harbour
    Photo credit: kougar on Flickr
    Canada Place - Vancouver BC
    Photo credit: Americanuck on Flickr

    Photo credit: kennymatic on Flickr
    252/365
    Photo credit: kenymatic on Flickr
    Science World Reflection
    Photo credit: mananetwork on Flickr
    canada day hastings park Tilt Shift
    Photo credit: P Squared on Flickr
    Vancouver Railways
    Photo credit: P Squared on Flickr
    brilliant; Vancouver's Athlete's Village 2010
    Photo credit: HassleTheHoff on Flickr – Best Viewed Large

    These are just a few of the amazing new shots added to the group so please feel free to click through and view more from each photographer on their own Flickr stream.