VIFF 2012: Vancouver International Film Festival Preview

September 24th, 2012 @ 4:45pm (PT) by Guest Author

The following post was written by movie enthusiast Marina Antunes who has contributed VIFF preview information for for the last four years.

There always seems to be one festival or another running in Vancouver but come Thursday, the City will really enter the so called “festival season” when it plays host to one of the largest film festivals in North America.

The Vancouver International Film Festival will kick off on September 27th and for the next 15 days it will present over 300 films from around the globe. The festival always draws the cinephiles out of the woodwork, including budding ones but with so many titles to choose from it can be difficult to navigate and find the one movie you’ll be telling your friends about for the next few months.

Every year VIFF delivers an assortment of award winning titles and this year is no different. There’s Michael Haneke’s Palme d’Or winning “Amour” (trailer), a hard hitting tale of love and loss, Nikolaj Arcel’s period drama “A Royal Affair” (trailer) which won two Silver Bears in Berlin, and the Sundance Audience Award winner and feel good hit “The Sessions” (trailer) starring Oscar Nominated John Hawkes and Oscar Winner Helen Hunt.

The Special Presentations series is always a good place to start for those who feel overwhelmed but more adventurous viewer may want to take a chance on less mainstream fare. Here are five titles, you can call these “Marina’s Picks”, which seem to be flying low on the VIFF radar:

1. A master of the microbudget and telling intimate but enthralling stories, director Sean Baker made a name for himself with two well received but largely under seen films (“Take Out” and “Prince of Broadway”) but he makes his first festival appearance with “Starlet,” a modern day “The Odd Couple” set in the San Fernando Valley.

2. The few that were on hand two years ago to see Jo Sunghee’s debut “End of Animal” were treated to an intense tale of survival after the apocalypse but for his follow-up, the director turns his attention to a the sweetly fantastical with “A Werewolf Boy” (trailer) the tale of a feral young man who is rescued by a girl who he then falls in love with.

3. On a completely more realistic note, last year’s Oscar winner Melissa Leo continues her run of hard-hitting dramas with “Francine” (Wagner’s Dream” (trailer) director Susan Froemke goes behind the scenes to see what it takes to get this production off the ground.

5. Jason Buxton makes his debut with “Blackbird” (trailer) the story of a misunderstood and alienated teen. TV’s Connor Jessup plays the lead character in what looks to be an understated performance.

Be sure to check out all of the recommended titles as well as the full line-up at the VIFF website, follow the festival on Twitter for updated news and most importantly, be sure to have a good time! The festival isn’t only a good way to see great movies, it’s also a great place to meet interesting new people. If you’re waiting in line, be sure to say hello to the person in front and behind you. You never know, they could recommend the best movie you’ll ever see!

See you at the festival!

Marina is the Assistant Managing Editor at Follow her on Twitter @TheMarina.

Vancity Good Money Mob: Uprising Breads Bakery

September 24th, 2012 @ 12:13pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Last week Vancity launched the second round of their Good Money Mob in support of three local businesses. As their partner for this round, I selected Uprising Breads Bakery, CocoaNymph Chocolates & Confections, and Woodland Smokehouse & Commissary. The public can vote now on which business they would like to support through the Good Money Mob, meaning the business will get the support of Vancity and a “cash mob” from customers.

For the next few days, I’ll be featuring each of the participants and offering up a treat for my readers. With a chocolate croissant teasing me from the corner of my desk, the spotlight is on Uprising Breads Bakery today.

Uprising Breads Bakery

About Uprising Breads

Location #1: Venables at Commercial (1697 Venables, Vancouver)
Open every day at 7:00am, closing at 7:00pm Monday to Friday and 6:00pm on the weekends.

Location #2:Broadway at Balaclava (3066 West Broadway, Vancouver)
Open Monday to Sunday from 8:00am to 8:00pm.

Through their two bakery cafes, Uprising Breads serves two Vancouver neighbourhoods and also wholesales its products to markets (including IGA and Whole Foods) throughout the Lower Mainland.

Uprising Breads Bakery Uprising Breads Bakery Uprising Breads Bakery

I stopped by this morning to pick up a selection of muffins, scones and croissants, which are all baked on-premises each day. I also grabbed some of their granola (with pineapple and pumpkin seed). After doing a few laps I finally noticed the bread wall. Finnish Loaf, Irish Soda Bread, 100% Whole Wheat, Gluten-Free, Flax, Sourdough Light Rye, Raisin Bread, and much more.

The deli case contained salads, wraps, and sandwiches and the Salt Spring Coffee was flowing as a steady stream of customers in need of their morning pick-me-up came through the doors of the bakery on Venables. I even ran into a colleague who was sitting in the window with a coffee.

Their treats are honey or molasses sweetened, the breads contain natural ingredients (and nutritional info is available online), and they’ve been in business for over three decades.


I have a $50 gift card available for Uprising Breads Bakery to give away today so that one lucky reader can experience their cafes and tasty treats. Here’s how you can enter to win:

  • Leave a comment naming your favourite bakery item (1 entry)
  • Post the following on Twitter (1 entry)
RT to enter to win $50 for @UprisingBreads from @Vancity & @Miss604 #GoodMoneyMob

Follow Uprising Breads Bakery on Twitter and Facebook to learn more about them. I will draw one winner at random from all entries tomorrow morning at 9:00am, before the next Good Money Mob business spotlight and giveaway — and be sure to VOTE!

Update The winner is Leah!

Vancouver Icons: Gastown Steam Clock

September 24th, 2012 @ 9:34am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Piping out a steamy tune every 15 minutes, it’s one of the most photographed subjects in Vancouver. While locals may look at it with disdain (since it’s not that old and not even steam-powered), visitors absolutely adore it. On this day in 1977, the Gastown Steam Clock was dedicated and so it’s also today’s Vancouver Icons photo feature:

Steam Clock | Gastown Vancouver

Gastown Steam Clock Gastown steam clock II
Photo credit: dcwriterdawn & teflonjedi on Flickr

The Steam Clock IMG_3012
Photo credit: Gemy on Flickr

Gastown Steam Clock
Photo credit: Philip Tong on Flickr

Wake Up, City
Photo credit: BillXu Photos on Flickr

Gastown colours at Christmas Streets of Gastown Lit by Beautiful Streetlights in the Evening
Photo credit: {e u g e n e} & Steve Goodyear on Flickr

Magical Steam Clock
Photo credit: dons projects on Flickr

Gastown Gastown
Photo credit: popejon2 & popejon2

It had started as a solution for the problem of steam venting into the Gastown air from the Central Heat Distribution Plant, which supplies steam to hundreds of downtown buildings . . . and which vents excess steam through manholes here and there throughout the downtown. Jon Ellis, the city’s planner for the Gastown area, had the notion to have clockmaker Ray Saunders devise a steam-powered clock. It’s easily the most-photographed object in Vancouver even if (pssst!) it isn’t really steam-powered and, we learned within the last few years, never was. [Source: Chuck Davis’ Vancouver History]

The Gastown Steam Clock
Photo credit: Ann Hung on Flickr

Easily amused Inside the steam clock and my reflections
Photo credit: . Jianwei . & {e u g e n e} on Flickr

Gastown Steam Clock
Photo credit: Patrick Lundgren on Flickr

Gastown Steam Clock
Photo credit: Patrick Logan Photographer on Flickr

Other Vancouver Icons posts include: SFU Burnaby, Commodore Lanes, Siwash Rock, Kitsilano Pool, White Rock Pier, Main Post Office, Planetarium Building, Lord Stanley Statue, Vancouver Library Central Branch, Victory Square, Digital Orca, The Crab Sculpture, Girl in Wetsuit, The Sun Tower, The Hotel Vancouver, The Gassy Jack Statue, The Marine Building, and The Angel of Victory. Should you have a suggestion for the Vancouver Icons series please feel free to leave a note in the comments. It should be a thing, statue, or place that is very visible and recognizable to the public.

From the Miss604 Flickr Pool

September 23rd, 2012 @ 10:29am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

One day into autumn and the September sun has disappeared. This week’s collection of photos that have been contributed to the Miss604 Flickr Pool celebrate the last days of summer in Vancouver as we coast into a season of pumpkin spice lattes, corn mazes, Halloween trains, and turkey dinners.

the Pier
Photo credit: teflonjedi on Flickr

closed watering hole
Photo credit: Beaulawrence & Beaulawrence on Flickr

Park Life
Photo credit: Mark Faviell on Flickr

Basket of fresh garlic Made with Love Cocktail Competition | Yaletown Roundhouse
Photo credit: Eric Flexyourhead & on Flickr

Sweater Season Sweater Season Sweater Season
Photo credit: PiscesDreamer & PiscesDreamer & PiscesDreameron Flickr

House Party
Photo credit: PiscesDreamer on Flickr

On the water Granville Street.
Photo credit: Zorro1968 & rommyghaly on Flickr

Whistler GranFondo 2012 Whistler Down Hill Bike Park
Photo credit: couloir & FreeRishad on Flickr

Early Bird/Early Bike
Photo credit: Mark Faviell on Flickr

BC Lions vs. Toronto Argonauts
Photo credit: Zorro1968 on Flickr

Lazy Afternoon
Photo credit: rymndhng on Flickr

Sunset in Vancouver
Photo credit: { Ninh Hoang } on Flickr

Autumn Sunset
Photo credit: Clayton Perry Photoworks on Flickr

English Delight
Photo credit: a.Vision on Flickr

As always, please click through on these images to view more work from the photographers and feel free to share your own photos with the Miss604 Flickr Pool. View all photo collections here.

SaltSpring Air Discount Code

September 21st, 2012 @ 4:40pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Taking a floatplane is a quintessentially Canadian way to fly. It could be for your commute, quick escape, holiday, or your sightseeing vehicle of choice. Puttering along the water you ascend high enough to clear the trees of Stanley Park but you’re low enough to spot cruise ship passengers waving as they sail under the Lions Gate bridge and toward the Salish Sea.

Saltspring Island from the air

I’ve been fortunate enough to take several floatplane trips in my day and I have recently partnered with Salt Spring Air to offer up a special discount code for my readers to enjoy this way to travel as well. When you book a flight on Salt Spring Air’s Vancouver to Victoria Airport (YYJ)/Saanich route before the end of November you can save 10% by entering the discount code: FLY604.

Flying to Ganges, B.C. on Salt Spring Air Flying to Ganges, B.C. on Salt Spring Air

SaltSpring Air Saltspring Air Saltspring Air

Saltspring Air

The code is valid for the routes from Vancouver, either YVR airport seaplane base or the Salt Spring Air base in Coal Harbour, to Victoria Airport/Saanich exclusively. Call toll-free 1-877-537-9880 or local 250-537-9880 to book and supply the code FLY604 to apply the discount to flights booked between now and November 30, 2012.

Follow SaltSpring Air on Twitter and Facebook for more information about their services and scheduled flights.

Those who book online will receive a confirmation email to which they can reply and supply the FLY604 code and it will be applied by staff at SaltSpring Air.