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Vancouver History: Before and After Part Eight

October 13th, 2009 @ 9:00am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

For the eight installment of my Then and Now Vancouver photography series I thought I would change things up a bit. I’m going to be using images from the City of Vancouver Archives but instead of modern day images for the “now” portion of the post, I will be using Google Street Views.

Hornby @ Robson Back of the Court House (now the Vancouver Art Gallery with the 2nd Hotel Vancouver in the background)

ITEM #: CVA 677-7


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Burrard @ Pender – Looking West

ITEM #: CVA 1376-155


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Granville @ Davie – Looking West on Granville

Major Matthews collection – ITEM #: SGN 1069.07


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Main @Hastings – Looking West up Hastings

Photographer: CC. Bradbury – ITEM #: SGN 1535


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Broadway @ Oak Looking South at Oak

W. J. Moore Photo Co. – ITEM #: CVA 453-1


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Stanley Park Causeway Park Entrance

Harry T. Devine – ITEM #: LGN 1048


ITEM #: CVA 1376-121


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Should you have any theme suggestions for the ninth installment of this series, please feel free to drop a comment below.

Thanksgiving Link Fest 2009

October 12th, 2009 @ 10:35am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Even though it’s a holiday week here in Canada, there are no shortage of activities around town. Here is this week’s Link Fest, focusing on events.

Photo credit: JohnBiehler on Flickr / JohnBiehler.com
  • This week is Homelessness Action Week in Vancouver (October 11th – 17th).
  • Vancouver celebrates the Diwali Festival this week as well with various activities throughout the city.
  • The Yaletown Business Improvement Association presents the 5th annual Taste of Yaletown October 15th – 31st.
  • There is a Chocolate High Tea at Schokolade Cafe on October 17th (although I hear this event is already sold out)
  • Since we’re getting closer to Halloween everyone is on the prowl for that perfect pumpkin. I received a note about the second annual Pumpkin Patch Fun Day next Saturday, October 17th over at Cypress Park Primary School in West Vancouver. Admission is $20 per family which includes two locally-grown pumpkins and participation in the variety of activities such as pony rides, face painting and carnival games. There will also be hotdogs, cotton candy, baked goods and cupcakes that kids can decorate.
  • Grape Expectations comes to Science World on Friday October 23rd. This evening of wine tastings is for adults-only.
  • The Vancouver Short Film Festival is October 23rd – 24th.
  • ABSOLUT (as in the vodka) is asking Vancouver artists and related organizations to submit their ideas for art projects (by October 31st) that they would like to bring to life in their city.
  • October 28th is the Candlelight Conservation Dinner by BC Hydro and Tourism Vancouver.
  • Should you need any more tips on pumpkin picking, you can read this post, which will also be updated within the coming weeks. I also previously wrote about the Halloween train rides and festivities at Stanley Park and Bear Creek Park. If you have any upcoming events please feel free to contact me.

    Vancouver Innovation Camp 2009

    October 12th, 2009 @ 10:08am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

    Tomorrow is the launch of Vancouver’s “Innovation Camp” which will be a week of workshops and idea-sparking discussions.

    Photo credit: MartinPhotoSport on Flickr

    At Vancouver Innovation Camp, you’ll discover how answers to these questions are related to learning entrepreneurship and innovation skills… …Participants learn by doing – practicing techniques to generate new ideas and expanding upon those ideas in order to accomplish a shared goal such as creating a product or completing a project/challenge. There are no lectures, just engaging activities that facilitate learning and growth.

    Inspired by reading the book What I Wish I Knew When I was 20, the organizers thought this unconference could expand upon its ideas and introduce more people to this way of thinking. Themes throughout the week will include: Identifying opportunities, learning from failure, creativity (developing then expanding upon ideas), seeing problems from fresh perspectives, and innovation (implementing and iterating ideas).

    Registration is currently open online and admission also includes lunch and a drink each day. Innovation Camp takes place Oct 13th, 15th, 17th, and 19th, at the Kontent Creative offices in Gastown. Follow @Innovation_Camp on Twitter for updates or more information.

    Jets Overhead 'Fully Shed' the Layers for Chan Centre Show

    October 10th, 2009 @ 6:14pm (PT) by Guest Author

    The following post was contributed by my Jets Overhead contest winner, Warwick Patterson of ThisCityRocks.com

    Beautiful. In the most concise way possible, that is how I can describe the stripped-down CBC Radio 2 Live Sessions show that Jets Overhead delivered last night. There is always something special about seeing a band in room designed specifically for music performance, with an audience hanging on every note in silence. Every instrument distinguishable, every note clear and crisp. Close your eyes, and you could almost imagine sitting on the floor of Joe King Hall on Hornby Island where Jets Overhead recorded their new album.

    Photo credit: formulaphoto on Flickr

    No Nations has the distinct feel of an album made by a band comfortable in their own shoes. Just like island life, it has a laid back and flowing feel. Guitars swirl, drums flirt with the bass groove, and the vocals – a perfect pair – alternate from soaring to simmering. All this was magnified by the intimate setting of the Telus Studio in the Chan Centre at UBC.

    Photo credit: formulaphoto

    Opening with All The People and Seems So Far – two standout tracks from their 2006 album, Bridges – the band then proceeded to play their entire new album in reverse track order. The album’s closing song, Tired of the Comfort, is a brooding, rolling song that crescendo’s into a My Morning Jacket-esque finale. It worked well as an opener, and the album flowed from there, including my favourites Fully Shed and Weathervanes. With all the band members bringing their unique contributions to the music, it was a pleasure to sit and focus on different instruments and hear the intricacies. I’m still humming the bass line from Always A First Time today!

    Drummer, Luke Renshaw, commented afterwards that this show was a little nerve wracking because there was no room for error without the fuzz and noise of their normal “loud” show. Between songs, singer Adam Kittredge also noted how the experience brought them back to the essence of the songs by tearing away layers to get to the core.

    They finished with a couple of older songs, plus a new song listed as Bystander on the set list, and the infectious Sun Sun Sun, leaving us with that simple yet catchy chorus to hum as we walked out into the final rays of the setting sun on the UBC campus. An early show has it’s benefits!

    Jets Overhead are opening for Lights at The Commodore on November 7th, where they promise to play their “loud” show. You can also stream their albums at jetsoverhead.com.

    Watch for this concert to appear on CBC Radio 2’s Canada Live program soon, plus their Concerts on Demand website in the next couple of weeks.

    This post was contributed by my Jets Overhead contest winner, Warwick Patterson of ThisCityRocks.com. You can view the rest of his photos on Flickr.

    VIFF 2009 iPhone App Review

    October 9th, 2009 @ 9:32am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

    The Vancouver International Film Festival released an iPhone app last week that was produced by Xomo Digital. It’s available in the App Store for free and contains every slice of information about a VIFF film this year that you could possibly want to know. Here are some screenshots from my iPhone:

    Share your VIFF 2009 experiences with other users of the application
    VIFF iPhone App VIFF iPhone App

    Complete list of all VIFF 2009 films and host theatres
    VIFF iPhone App VIFF iPhone App VIFF iPhone App

    Choose your date, time, film and theatre
    VIFF iPhone App VIFF iPhone App

    The “story” section is where people who have the app can add notes, feedback, reviews, and talk about everything VIFF. You can post updates that include photos as well. I asked the developer if they would be pulling in the #VIFF09 tag from Twitter but the content is staying pretty much exclusive to iPhone users.

    In the future, a social media integration would be great but given the amount of data already available and the fact that they did take the time to add in a networking element, it’s pretty impressive. Also for the price, it simply can’t be beat. VIFF wraps up on October 16th so if you’re still looking to get out and view some of the hundreds of films screening around town, this app can certainly help you out.

    Disclosure: I have been writing disclosure statements on my blog post reviews for the last 5 years. I have never been paid to write reviews although sometimes I get free product (in which case I mention that at the bottom of each post). Sometimes, I just really like something and want to write about it, which shouldn’t be a far-fetched notion. As for this free application, I was not paid in any way by VIFF to write about or endorse it.

    Halloween Train Rides 2009

    October 9th, 2009 @ 8:44am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

    Well, it’s mid-October and I have no idea how that happened. As the time has been whizzing past me lately I suddenly realized that we’re half way to Halloween. This means pumpkin patches, haunted trolley tours, Fright Nights and Halloween train rides at Stanley Park and Bear Creek Park.

    Photo credit: ri.co on Flickr

    Stanley Park Ghost Train
    When: October 9th – November 1, 2009. Nightly between 6:00pm and 10:00pm

    Where: Google Map

    Theme: Zombies. Voodoo gods. Wild Women of the Woods. Three-headed dogs. Mexican witches’ brew.

    Extras: Face painting, shadow puppet theatre, Haunted Farmyard (with spooky petting zoo animals). Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights the Stanley Park Ecology Society hosts “Creatures of the Night” walks around the park as well. These walks are $3 for children and $4 for adults.

    Train cost: Adult $10, children & youth 2-18, seniors 65+ are $6. They also offer a dinner package if you’d like to eat at the Old Spaghetti Factory ahead of time, starting at $11.50 for children. You can purchase tickets on the day you’d like to ride however as it could sell out, you can also get them online in advance.

    Bear Creek Park
    When: October 10th to October 31st from 10:00am to 5:00pm (daytime program) and October 16 to October 31 6:30pm to 10:00pm (nighttime program)

    Where: Google Map

    Theme: Daytime Halloween fun for kids, Nighttime Frightful Train and Haunted Forest.

    Extras: The Daytime program includes a train ride through the Halloween Forest Display, the chance to make Halloween crafts, play Halloween-themed games, kids get a candy treat, and everyone can take home a farm-fresh pumpkin. The 9th annual Nighttime ghost train program is a little less “kid friendly” and focuses on the Haunted Forest. “Designed to scare and startle older folks and mature youngsters,” popular characters are back such as Chainsaw Charlie.

    Train Cost: Daytime, adults $5, children (2 to 12 yrs) $6, children (under 2 yrs): $3.50, babies free. Nighttime, kids (12 and under) $5, adults $7.50.

    There are so many options available and I like that Bear Creek has a “Daytime” option. One of these days I will make it out to a Stanley Park Ecology Society Walk, whether it be for “Creatures of the Night” or for their Christmas time “Hum Bug Hike”.

    LiveCity Vancouver 2010 Public Live Sites

    October 8th, 2009 @ 3:34pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

    LiveCity for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games is the name for the public celebration sites that will be hosted around downtown Vancouver. Back in March cutbacks were announced but today the City revealed that it’s all about the party.


    LiveCity Vancouver includes two dynamic celebration sites in downtown Vancouver that will be open to the public for family fun, entertainment, activities and more – all free of charge – during the 2010 Winter Games. The heart of LiveCity will be two sites – at David Lam Park and Georgia Street, respectively – connected by animated pedestrian thoroughfares through Vancouver’s Yaletown district.

    Come to LiveCity Vancouver during the 2010 Winter Games and experience:
    – High-quality, secure, family-friendly environment that showcases the arts, culture, entertainment and Olympic sponsors

    – Schedules and content built around Games-time events

    – Events that are open, accessible and free of charge

    – Planned on-screen programming on large LED screens showing Olympic and Paralympic events and track the progress of Canadian athletes

    – Live programming featuring the very best local, national and international performing artists, as well as special appearances by past and present Olympians, Paralympians and other special guests
    Source: City of Vancouver

    There will be two sites, LiveCity Yaletown and LiveCity Downtown. LiveCity Yaletown will close at the end of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, while LiveCity Downtown will be open during both the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.

    David Lam Park – Photo credit: dbarefoot on Flickr

    LiveCity Yaletown will have a capacity of about 10,000 and be alcohol-free while LiveCity Downtown will be able to accommodate around 3,000 and serve alcohol. Bands slated to entertain at the live sites include Wilco, Alexisonfire, Sam Roberts Band, Malajube and Blue Rodeo.

    I’m glad to see that these free, public events are being planned and you can also check out satellite events in other cities in Metro Vancouver including a wide array of activities at Surrey‘s Holland Park during the Games.

    Update February 11, 2010
    I was in the LiveCity venue this morning before it officially opened to the public this evening for the Torch Relay in Vancouver:

    LiveCity Yaletown before the crowds

    LiveCity Yaletown before the crowds LiveCity Yaletown before the crowds

    LiveCity Yaletown before the crowds LiveCity Yaletown before the crowds

    LiveCity Yaletown before the crowds

    LiveCity Yaletown before the crowds

    Wine on the Mountain 2009

    October 8th, 2009 @ 12:05pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

    My Oma's backyardThe Adoptive Families Association of BC presents their fourth Wine on the Mountain event coming up November 7th. This fundraising event takes place atop scenic Grouse Mountain and will combine food, entertainment and wine tastings.

    The theme this year “Arouse your Senses” will have you indulging smell, sight, touch, taste and sounds with the exquisite food/wine pairings throughout the evening with Vancouver’s top restaurants and award winning Grouse Mountain Chefs. Your wine adventure will be on sensory overload from blind tastings, taste challenges, curious jelly belly tastings to aphrodisiac pairings and sexy wines.

    They will also have a “chocolate cellar” including ports and ice wines, live music, and a silent auction. Special guests include Senator Larry Campbell, John Schreiner (BC’s Wine Guru) and the evening will be hosted by Virgin Radio’s Nat & Drew. Tickets are available now for $150 and you can get a tax receipt for approximately $50 per ticket.

    The Adoptive Families Association of BC is also on Twitter and Facebook in case you’d like to receive their updates and more information about their work.