Vancouver History: Robert Burnaby

June 29th, 2009 @ 11:00am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

I was browsing my favourite Vancouver History site the other day and came across a mention that Robert Burnaby has more landmarks named after him than any other BC pioneer. With so many streets, parks, and monuments dedicated to those who helped shape our region I decided to look a bit further into Burnaby’s past to see what made him rise above the rest.

Photo credit: Derek K Miller on Flickr

Robert Burnaby was from Woodthorpe, Leicestershire, England and arrived in BC in the 1850s to survey New Westminster, upon the request of Col. Richard Moody (who also made him his secretary).

“Richard has got Mr. Burnaby now as his “Private Secretary” which will I trust be a great comfort to him, as he had no help before, and the letters of all kinds were innumerable.” — 3rd March, 1859, From the Letters of Mary S. Moody [source]

He was a businessman, dealing with affairs in Victoria as well as exploring areas in the Lower Mainland, in particular the region around Burnaby Lake in 1859. In 1892 the municipality of Burnaby received its charter of incorporation, and was named in his honor by Moody. According to the City’s website, “he has given his name to a city, a park, a lake, a hill, a Vancouver street, a mountain range in McKenzie Sound, an island and a narrows in the Queen Charlotte Islands.” Burnaby also spent time serving in the BC Legislature in Victoria.

Photo credit: Marina on Flickr

You can explore the various landmarks, including the city, or even Robert Burnaby Park to enjoy his legacy. The park features a baseball diamond, dog off leash area, casual picnic area, playground, outdoor swimming pool, tennis, walking and hiking trails, disc golf course. Also, according to entertainment podcaster Marina Antunes, the park was also the home to the “Cabin in the Woods” and various sets for New Moon and Battlestar Gallactica.

For more information about local namesakes, I would recommend checking out the book Namely Vancouver: A Hidden History of Vancouver Place Names or browsing the Hall of Fame on the Vancouver History website.

Metro Vancouver Park Series: Cates Park

June 29th, 2009 @ 8:12am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Summer to us means packing up John‘s big blue backpack and heading down to the beach. We walk through forest trails that open up into sprawling sandy shores and rest for hours in the open air. Snacks include fresh fruit and water, while we either read books or use the headphone splitter to enjoy the latest sonic mixes John has on his iPod (from podcasts to our favourite albums).

Beach Times

The other day we had our first official beach day of the year and we decided to shake things up a bit and head out to Cates Park in North Vancouver. We had access to a car, which made our decision to venture outside of downtown an easy one, but you can also get there by transit. This recreational area along the Burrard Inlet, across from Burnaby and just near Deep Cove, is truly a gem.


At first glance it’s a boat launch, grassy picnic area, concession, sandy beach (with small rocks), and trail network. However there’s also a lot of history at this particular location including signs of the old Dollarton Mill burner (read a little bit about ‘Cates‘ in one of my previous local history posts).

First Nations tradition and culture is also highlighted through totem poles and a war canoe on site at Cates, whose ancestral name is Whey-Ah-Whichen (which means ‘faces the wind’). “Whey-Ah-Whichen is the Tsleil-Waututh name for this place which defines Indian Arm from Burrard Inlet. The Squamish know it as Atsenách. The point was named after Lieutenant Rocke of HMS Satellite, which patrolled the Northwest Coast in the 1850s.” [source]

The beach seems quiet and calm even when the park is packed with groups and families having cookouts and picnics. Also, it’s a great shoreline for beachcombing and exploring tidal pools. One of my beach pass times is rock balancing (on a very small scale mind you) but it was also the perfect place for that.

My humble rock balancing feat

There are kayak rentals, playgrounds, a Wally’s Burger stand, and I would highly recommend exploring the Malcolm Lowry Walk. The park also has a dog off-leash area and in the summer it’s the home of a concert series, running every Saturday night this year from July 11 – August 22.

Photo credit: Mike Todd on Flickr

View from Cates

Exploring more of the beaches the Metro Vancouver area has to offer made me wonder — which is your favourite beach in the region? Could it be Iona? Belcarra? Crescent/Blackie Spit? Jericho?… Feel free to leave your answer below.

What's your favourite beach in Metro Vancouver?

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New Moon, Jonas Brothers, Star Trek & Trailer Park Boys Sweepstakes

June 27th, 2009 @ 9:00am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

I admit, that’s probably the most keyword-rich title I’ve ever published, but I assure you it’s all very relevant. Our pals over at MovieSet connect fans (however rabid) with films while they’re in production or out on the big screens by way of information, promotions, and videos.

They also run sweet contest sweepstakes for anything from swag to sweet experiences such as their recent promo for The Hangover where a lucky fan was awarded a getaway weekend in Vegas at a Caesars Palace suite. They currently have a handful of sweepstakes going where you can win swag from your favourite films, simply by filling out their contest form online.

Twilight New Moon Lover’s Choice
Win signed framed photos of Twilight stars Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart [enter here]

Jonas Brothers Sibling Rivalry
Win a triple signed drum head, Rolling Stone magazine, or JB poster + concert DVDs. Three grand prizes to be awards (one for each bro) [enter here]

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Star Trek Director’s Cut
Win a press backgrounder signed by JJ Abrams plus two framed film cell art montages [enter here]

Trailer Park Boys: Countdown to Liquor Day
Win the complete TV series of a Canadian classic on DVD in a cool stash bag [enter here]

star-trek-directors-125 trailer-park-boys-dvd-contest-125

MovieSet is local and they cover the big blockbusters as well as independent films and everything in between. They create content, blog posts, videos, and many contests in order to get the fans the information (and swag) they crave. They even linked up my article where I interviewed producer Todd Hallowell. The contests above run until the end of July or the beginning of August – good luck!

Friday Morning Link Fest: Where Did June Go?

June 26th, 2009 @ 11:01am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

It’s a sunny Friday morning and although this week has been grim in the entertainment world (having lost Ed McMahon, Farah Fawcett, and Michael Jackson) there are still a few things happening in the online realm that might boost your spirits.

Photo credit: Pat Zaph on Flickr – From the group pool
  • Laurie Cooper (@WhistlerMama) is trying a social media experiment by selling her house via Twitter. By only publicizing on Twitter, she’s also setup a referral program wherein you could get $10,000 if you help promote and close the deal.
  • Victoria Revay (known locally for her contributions to Now Public and Techvibes) is setting out on a cross-Canada journey and will be blogging the entire way.
  • The Greater Vancouver Food Bank‘s 4th annual Lunch Money Day is July 15th. Brown bag your lunch that day and contribute what you would have spent to your local Food Bank.
  • On July 4th Granville Island Brewing will be hosting an event at the Cambie Kitchen (with White Spot’s new slider burgers) to raise funds for local charities.
  • Calling all designers: Kokanee is hosting the Crank the Can design contest surrounding their Crankworks event. Submit your can designs and yours could be one of three to be featured on upcoming cans of Kokanee.
  • The Vancouver Folk Music Festival is coming July 17-19 at Jericho Beach Park.
  • Surrey’s Fusion Festival will also be happening July 18-19 at Holland Park.
  • The City of Vancouver Planning Department wants your input. Complete an online survey (Downtown Capacity & View Corridors Study) until June 30th to share your opinions and views with regards to upcoming projects and urban design objectives. You can find out more on Facebook or follow them on Twitter. The public input survey is a part of the ongoing public involvement process.
  • The Design for Diversity event will take place this Saturday at Oakridge Centre. They’ll have a stage setup with music, dance, entertainment and demonstrations.
  • I chose the photo for this post (by Pat) because it reminds me of the “Blogger Day at Playland” I arranged last year. It was such a good time — we couldn’t stop smiling and laughing. Playland is now open daily until late September. Pat also recently took photos at the Hastings Park Conservancy which includes the Opera Walk. I’ve listed this in my “10 Hidden Gems” post for Tourism Vancouver and I think it’s definitely worth exploring.

    Canada Cup of Beer 2009

    June 26th, 2009 @ 8:17am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

    The good folks at Just Here for the Beer are bringing back the Nando’s Canada Cup of Beer next week on July 4th. This will be the fourth annual event which is Vancouver’s largest beer festival.

    Granville Island Brewing

    Last year I played a tiny role as a sponsor (just by promotion) and it’s been neat to follow all the beer-related activities over the last twelve months such a pub crawls, food pairings and movie nights. On July 4th they’ll be at UBC’s Thunderbird stadium with almost 50 vendors including CAMRA BC, and our friends at Rickard’s, and Granville Island Brewing. It’s also the perfect opportunity to explore new brews from across the country, around the province, and over on Vancouver Island.

    Photo credit: Urban Mixer on Flickr

    VIP tickets (that include a BBQ lunch, 4 full beers in the lounge, tasting tickets, souvenir mug, t-shirt, reserved seating etc.) are $60 and regular tickets (including 5 beer tokens, a souvenir plastic mug, and an event brochure) are just $15. There are also a variety of satellite events including an after party on July 4th.

    Vancouver Police Museum Good Times

    June 25th, 2009 @ 9:56am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

    I first discovered we had the Vancouver Police Museum last spring during the Amazing Hunt as they had a clue box parked outside. It’s taken me over a year to finally get in there and thanks to a chat I had a few months ago with Executive Director Chris Mathieson, I was able to rally a small group of friends (including the Biehlers and Keira) to go on a special tour last night.

    Photo credit: John Biehler on Flickr

    Aside from being a comprehensive museum packed with anything and everything you’d want to know about Vancouver’s grimy, gritty, and sordid past they also run a number of public programs such as Forensics for Kids, educational programs, birthday parties, and spring break activities. One of their most popular features (however probably not recommended for the kiddies) is the tantalizing Sins of the City tour. It’s a walking tour around Chinatown and the Downtown East Side where Chris provides decades-old stories about illegal gambling, prostitution, brothels, opium dens, and everything in between.

    Blogathon Vancouver 2009 – Save the Date

    June 24th, 2009 @ 1:24pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

    Last year the official site was out of commission so I took it upon myself to organize Blogathon Vancouver for those in the city that were interested in keeping the tradition alive. This year, the global event is back in full force taking place July 25th from 6am until 6am on July 26th.

    Over the last three years I have been involved with Blogathon, either as a cheerleader, donor, participant, or local organizer. Essentially it’s a blogging marathon where participants publish one post on their blog each half hour for 24 hours. Along the way they collect pledges and donations online for the cause of their choice. With the official system back in place, tracking pledges will be much easier for all involved so I look forward to seeing that functionality returning. Another option is for participating bloggers to create a personal donation page on Canada Helps, a system that supports online donations for thousands of non-profits across the nation.

    Karen from during her campaign / us at Duane’s during Blogathon 2008

    If you are a local blogger and would like to participate in Blogathon 2009, please be sure to register on the global site starting July 1st. You can follow @blogathondotorg for their updates.

    Once you’ve registered (or even if you’re thinking about signing on) please connect with me so that I can add you to a special Blogathon Vancouver blogroll and help promote your campaign. I have also arranged a place for all local participants to gather (Workspace in Gastown) should they wish to spend their 24-hours with others. The benefit of having people around is that it’s often easier to come up with post ideas, you could do a quick photo walk as a post, there’s encouragement from all sides, and you’ll be surrounded by others enduring the same insomnia/writing frenzy. I will try to register a Vancouver Tweetup during that time as well and Duane will be spearheading a Blogathon event in Chilliwack.

    I will do my best to support the participating bloggers (we had 12 last year that raised well over $10,000) and I hope you’ll join us in using our online spaces to benefit some great causes.

    Update: If you’re planning on signing up (starting July 1st) for blogathon, and you’re in the Vancouver area, feel free to add these badges to your site so you can start promoting your campaign a bit. After July 1st you’ll have your own donation page link etc. but it doesn’t hurt to start building the hype. Thanks so much to Kontent Creative for coming up with these. Right click and save/copy source for the file.



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    Mountain View Cemetery Open House

    June 24th, 2009 @ 8:19am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

    I know this must seem a bit grim, but Vancouver’s Mountain View Cemetery is hosting an open house Saturday July 11th and they would like you to come and spend an afternoon with them on the scenic grounds.

    Photo credit: Hayley Bouchard on Flickr

    I’m certain Mountain View is the final resting place of many loved ones in Vancouver as it has been around since 1887. What makes this story interesting to me as well is some of the people of note who have been laid to rest there. This includes…

  • Former mayor W.H. Malkin (as in the Malkin Bowl etc.)
  • Joe Fortes (lifeguard, hero, the Citizen of the Century)
  • Harry Winston Jerome (track and field star and one time 100-meter record holder)
  • Herbert Oliver Lee (builder of the Lee Building on Broadway)
  • Gustav Adolph Roedde (as in Roedde House)
  • and Thomas Ellis Ladner (founder of Ladner)
  • You won’t find John “Gassy Jack” Deighton there though as he’s over in New Westminster’s Fraser Cemetery along with the likes of Raymond Burr, and Arthur McBride.

    Mountain View is Vancouver’s only cemetery and they would like this open house to serve as a new introduction to this meaningful place. The event will feature tours including visits to their new water features, joss paper demonstrations, and visitors are encouraged to have a picnic near the fountain. Organizers are hoping that a visit to Mountain View with the family could become a new summer tradition for many.

    I’ve only passed through during a Haunted Vancouver trolley tour but I’d be really curious to pay a visit during the day to check out all of Mountain View’s history. It may seem like an odd place to spend a Saturday afternoon but it sure is a unique way to connect with your city’s past. Mountain View also hosts “A Night for All Souls” in the fall.