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

September 16th, 2012 @ 9:45am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

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.

Word on the Street Festival 2012

September 14th, 2012 @ 1:44pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

It will be a weekend of books, magazines, story-telling, and “literary mayhem” when the 18th annual Word on the Street Festival comes to the Vancouver later this month.

Word on the Street Festival

The three-day festival starts on Friday, September 28, 2012 at Banyan Books & Sound and at Historic Joy Kogawa House. On Saturday there are events at the Central Branch (Library Square) and the Carnegie Branch (on Main and Hastings). Sunday, September 30, 2012 will take the festivities to the streets around the Central Branch downtown (click here for Sunday’s site map).

Exhibitors, tents and booths will be setup around the Library Square Marketplace for the weekend as well as along Homer Street, Hamilton Street and inside the Library. There’s also event space downstairs for The Word Under the Street. There will be activities and entertainment for every age group and level of reader. Check out the Family Literacy Tent and Kids Tent for the young ones, meet writers at the Authors Tent, and enjoy Visual Exhibits.

Follow the Word on the Street Festival on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and their blog.

Interesting Vancouver 2012

September 14th, 2012 @ 10:19am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

I attended my first Interesting Vancouver conference in 2008 at the Vancouver Rowing Club and through a line-up of diverse, knowledgeable, and creative speakers, I walked away feeling inspired and motivated. What did they each talk about? Something completely different. Interesting Vancouver invites speakers to share some time on stage to talk about anything. Really, anything.

Confirmed speakers for September 2012:
Interesting Vancouver 2012Toby Barazzuol – lessons learned from the Downtown Eastside
Lloyd Bernhardt – adoption and capitalism
Aamer Haleem – reflections on a career in television
Ron Shewchuk – BBQ and how it can benefit the workplace
Roy White – an unexpected opportunity at an unlikely time
Tori Holmes – rowing across the Atlantic
Corinne Lea – bureaucracy and the limits it imposes on culture
Boris Mann – sailing the South Pacific in a tall ship

The evening’s aim is to impart new knowledge, things you’ve never known, or thought about. Open up parallel thinking ports. Activate parts of your brain that for even the brainiest person may have been neglected or unexplored. There will be a degree of spontaneity, unexpected moments, and learnings. It is a splendid collage of interesting ideas and passionate people.

The audience is as interesting as the speakers. It will be a mix of artists, photographers, lawyers, librarians, social marketers, micro finance specialists, university professors, accountants, visual effects artists, journalists, marketing strategists, and more. The people sitting around you will be just as interesting as those on stage.

At the event in 2008 I walked away with stories of comic books, museums, social spaces, media, and Pikachu floating around in my head. All in all, it was a very interesting evening.

The next Interesting Vancouver will take place Friday, September 28, 2012 from 6:00pm to 10:30pm at the Museum of Vancouver. Tickets are currently on sale for $25 or $21 if you’re a Museum of Vancouver member.

The event is already about 80% sold but I have a pair of tickets to give away, here’s how you can enter to win:

  • Leave a comment stating what you think is the most interesting thing about Metro Vancouver (1 entry)
  • Post the following on Twitter (1 entry)
RT to enter to win tickets to @InterestingVan from @Miss604

I will draw one winner at random from all entries next Thursday, September 20, 2012 at 10:00am.

Update The winner is Steve!

Port Mann Bridge Will Be World’s Widest

September 13th, 2012 @ 12:39pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

The Port Mann Bridge is nearing completion and amongst talk of tolls and travel times comes a distinct recognition — an entry into the Guinness Book of World Records. At 65 metres from side to side, officials confirm that it will be the world’s widest bridge.

The Sydney Harbour Bridge at 49 meters wide is currently the widest in the world. Here are a few more facts about the new Port Mann Bridge:

  • Total length: 2,020 metres
  • Number of lanes: 10 (5 in each direction)
  • Number of cables: 288
  • Total width: 65 metres
    50 metres of roadway (including shoulders)
    5 metre wide path, with 3 metres of clearance for pedestrians and cyclists
    10 metre gap/median where pylons support the two bridge decks 
  • Tower height: 160 metres, including 42 metres of navigational clearance
Photo credit: Port Mann Hwy 1, Port Mann Hwy 1 on Flickr

Tolls will start at $1.50 per crossing and those who sign up before November 30, 2012 will receive a $30 credit on their account. HOV (High Occupancy Vehicle) lane users will also get a 25% discount during peak hours throughout the first year and drivers can sign up for a monthly pass starting at $75. [Source: Vancouver Sun]

Tolling registration can be done online, via a link on the Port Mann Highway 1 Improvement Project website and the bridge will be free for the first month when it opens this December. Follow @PortMannHwy1 on Twitter for daily updates.

The world’s tallest bridge is the Millau Viaduct (1,125 ft) in France; the world’s longest is the Danyang–Kunshan Grand Bridge (540,700 ft) in China; the world’s highest bridge is the Sidu River Bridge in China (1,627 ft).

Related posts: Port Mann Bridge Photos, Port Mann Bridge Time Lapse Videos.

Vancouver History: Brockton

September 13th, 2012 @ 11:07am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

My aerial instagram pic from June, 2012This Saturday the Voices in the Park concert will take over Brockton fields, near Brockton Oval and Brockton Point in Stanley Park. The Brockton Point lighthouse is one of Vancouver’s most recognizable landmarks and with so many other areas of the park sharing the name, I thought it would be timely to read up on some Brockton history.

Francis Brockton was an engineer on a ship that was captained by George Henry Richards, the namesake for Richards street in Vancouver. Captain Richards surveyed Burrard Inlet and it was Brockton who, in 1859, discovered a vein of coal in the area1. Richards gave Coal Harbour its name and then honoured his engineer by naming the eastern tip of Stanley Park — Brockton Point — after him.