Vancouver 2010 Day 11 On the Mend

February 23rd, 2010 @ 10:59am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

With Day 9 and Day 10 whizzing by this weekend, it’s becoming more and more of a reality that the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games, and the giant super happy party that its brought to the city, is all about to end fairly soon. I’ll be stopping by a few more pavilions today to check out more Olympic festivities before the fun is gone.

Photo credit: Susan Gittins on Flickr

However the first order of business is my Day 11 recap. Yesterday was filled with Cold FX, Halls lozenges, and an attempt at a mid-afternoon nap after which, I headed out to Yaletown to the Yahoo! Flickr party.

Yahoo! Flickr Party

There we enjoyed music, food, an open bar, and the incredible cuteness of a mini Quatchi sporting a homemade costume.

Members of the IOC were in attendance to inform everyone of the Official Olympics Flickr Group. Upload your Olympic photos (even from inside venues) in order to share them with the world. It’s a step in the right direction as they focused on “sharing” content but just not using your Olympic photos for financial gain.

Photo credit: John Bollwitt on Flickr

I took a quick break from the photo geekery to walk up to the CBC as I was on Radio 3 with Lisa Christiansen.

We went back to the Flickr party, scoping out the pedestrian thoroughfares in Yaletown complete with buskers, DJs, and a visit from the Coca-Cola torch relay truck.

At the end of the night, Canada won gold again. This time in pairs ice dancing as Moir and Virtue became the first North American duo to win gold in the sport.

Medal Count for Canada on Day 11 – February 22, 2010
Gold: 5
Silver: 4
Bronze: 1
View full medal count by country

Coming up today there is a rally at 12:30pm over at the Countdown Clock in front of the Vancouver Art Gallery for MukMuk, the “sidekick” mascot. People are hoping to support a campaign to have him upgraded to full mascot status.

It is also Saskatchewan Day at the Olympics so it may be a good time to check out their pavilion.

Mixlympics at George in Yaletown

February 22nd, 2010 @ 3:52pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Day 10 of my Vancouver 2010 Olympic experience involved getting up early and heading to Yaletown to drink some gin ahead of the big game. Over the last year or so I’ve received many requests to judge competitions, from chocolate recipes to essay contests and most of all, mixology.

The judges – Photo credit: John Bollwitt on Flickr

Yesterday George in Yaletown hosted the first-ever Mixlympics, an international bar-tending competition featuring Martin Miller’s Gin. Contestants needed to use the gin and one of five block box items in their drinks. With 10 minutes to prepare 4 drinks for the judges, it was a heated and frenzied battle, but there were good spirits all around.

International Contestants

  • Joe Stokoe – Bar Manager for all three All Star Lanes, London, UK
  • Abdul Kpekawa – Bartender, All Star Lanes, London, UK
  • David Grieg – Bartender, All Star Lanes, London, UK
  • Ola Carlson – Bartender, Box 101, Stockholm, Sweden
  • Nicolos de Soto, Bartender, Experimental Cocktail Club & Curio Parlour, Paris, France
  • Charles Tan – Bartender, China Club, Paris, France
  • Canadian Contestants

  • Mark Brand – Owner, Boneta and The Diamond, Vancouver
  • David Wolwidnyk – Bar Manager, West, Vancouver
  • Jay Jones – Owner, The Pourhouse, Vancouver
  • Darryl Macdonald – Bartender, Port, Toronto
  • Two competitors hit the bar at a time, walking out to their own theme music and sporting their nation’s flag. Once they were in place, the “black box” ingredients were revealed. They received bonus marks for incorporating any of these items in their drinks.

    Black Box Items

  • Edible BC
  • R&B Brewing Canadian Iceholes Lager
  • Maker’s Mark White Dog Whiskey
  • Mary Bay Points Oyster from the Lobster Man
  • Vista D’Oro Farms campari blood orange vanilla preserve
  • Mixlympics at George in Yaletown

    One sip from each as I judged tasty and creative concoctions. Every now and then we were also given some food samples from the restaurant – from scallops and bacon-wrapped sablefish to potato skins stuffed with pulled pork.

    Mixlympics at George in Yaletown Mixlympics at George in Yaletown

    In the end, hometown favourite Mark Brand took home the gold medal. Not only was his drink creative and delicious, he used two of the black box ingredients and even made bitters on the fly. For even more bonus points, he served his drink in a Calgary ’88 Olympics glass from Petro Canada.

    Photo credit: John Bollwitt on Flickr

    It was a great international competition that I see picking up steam and potentially being a hit in future Olympic cities. At the end of the day though, we took home a gold and a real silver thanks to Kristina Groves’ performance in long track speedskating.

    Medal Count for Canada on Day 10 – February 21, 2010
    Gold: 4
    Silver: 4
    Bronze: 1
    View full medal count by country

    Club Bud NHL Night

    February 22nd, 2010 @ 1:50pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

    Day 9 for me at the Vancouver 2010 Games included hanging out with John for the first time in a while. We took it easy in the morning before heading out to Granville to cover the red carpet at Club Bud‘s NHL party for several hours in the evening.

    As each guest passed through, many were stopped for interviews which consisted of a few staple questions. Are you enjoying your time in Vancouver? Can you believe this crowd?. All of the celebrities took spent time with each reporter, posed for photos, and then headed up the stairs into the enveloping dance-beats of the Commodore.

    Red carpet stars included: Jon Hamm, Hayden Christensen (with Rachel Bilson), Lochlyn Munro, Kristi Yamaguchi (with Bret Hedican), Michael Bublé, Logan Huffman, Geoff Stults, Bryan Greenberg, Shaun Majumder, Patrick Chan, Tara Lipinski, Joe Sakic (who just squeezed by as media was distracted) and many more.

    Hayden Christensen

    Some other special guests were Chris Walts and Michael Doyle from The 49th Parallel podcast. Chris won the chance to be the Club Bud “Party Crasher” to document the night using social media on behalf of Club Bud. Even yours truly was interviewed as well for Shaw TV.

    Inside VIPs mingled about the crowd, obliging fan girls and boys with Facebook profile-boosting photos, before heading to their lounge behind the velvet rope. The atmosphere inside the venue was far different than the previous evening that was hosted by Burton with more men in jerseys and women in micro-dresses. However, the attitude was happy, joyful, and boy could the Bud-pumped crowd bust a move.

    Club Bud is hosting three more nights with sponsors Under Armour, lululemon athletica, and the Budweiser party itself on February 25th.

    All photos by John Bollwitt for Miss604.com – view the rest of the set on Flickr. You can view all of my Twitpics from the red carpet here: 1, 2, 3, 4.

    Open During the Paralympics and Beyond

    February 22nd, 2010 @ 11:50am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

    Once the Vancouver 2010 Olympic party comes to an end it won’t be with a grinding halt. Many attractions will still be open to the public throughout the Paralympic Games March 12th until the 21st.

    Pavilions & Attractions
    From my master list of pavilions the following will still be open:

  • Canada House: Until March 21st
  • LiveCity Downtown: Until March 21st
  • Canada’s Northern House: Until April 17th
  • Robson Square Ice Skating at GE Plaza: Until March 21st
  • CentrePlace Manitoba: Until March 21st
  • Olympic Line free streetcar: Until March 21st
  • Olympic cauldron in Coal Harbour
  • Cultural Olympiad: Until March 21st
  • Robson Square Zipline: Until March 21st (Daily 10am – 9pm)
  • Royal Canadian Mint: Until March 21st (at a new location, 350 W Georgia – Vancouver Public Library)
  • BC Hydro Power Smart Village: Until March 21st
  • BC Pavilion: Until March 21st
  • This may be the perfect time to check out some of the pavilions that were just too crowded during the Olympics. With 150,000 people leaving the streets and heading back home, I know Vancouver will suffer a bit of depression when the party’s over.

    Inukshuk and Lights
    Photo credit: Tyler Ingram on Flickr

    Our city’s equipped to entertain year-round so be sure to check out Vancouver once its out of the spotlight as it’s just as luminous without it. However, my suggestion is to have an annual winter festival at Robson Square with every highlight we’ve seen so far. I think the area is underused (normally) as a public space and it would be a nice legacy of the Games.

    Which Olympic attraction would you love to see stick around?
    Leave a comment to list your favourite

  • Vectorial Elevation (ends February 28th)
  • Olympic Line Streetcar (ends March 21st)
  • Robson Square Zipline (ends February 28th ends March 21st)
  • Other

  • Free Tours in Vancouver During Olympics

    February 22nd, 2010 @ 9:53am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

    With many establishments being accused of bumping up prices to serve the Olympic-sized crowds, there are a few businesses that are welcoming the influx of visitors by offering up free tours of Vancouver.

    ??????, where does the line up begin?
    Photo credit: zzinger on Flickr

    Tour Guys
    Type: Guided
    Cost: Free
    Tour options: Gastown & Downtown Vancouver, Stanley Park, West End & Granville Island.
    Website: TourGuys.ca

    Vancouver Art Gallery
    Type: Guided or self-guided
    Cost: Free until February 28th, 2010, depending on the tour you select
    Tour options: Buggy, Brown Bag, Crit Night, Early Morning History, Exhibition, Staff Pick, Hot Spot tours. After March 1st other tours are free with gallery admission.
    Website: Vancouver Art Gallery

    Gastown Walking History Tour
    Type: Self-guided
    Cost: Free
    Tour options: Follow along spots of interest found on this online map.

    Type: Self-guided (about 3 hours if you do the entire circuit)
    Cost: Free
    Tour options: Follow along spots of interest found on the online map.

    lululemon athletica
    Type: Running tour
    Cost: Free
    Tour options: Start at lululemon athletica Robson for a running tour every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 2:00pm.

    Commercial Drive Artwalk
    Type: Self-guided
    Cost: Free
    Tour options: Until March 21st, 2010 pick up a passport and visit destinations along the Drive to get it stamped.

    UBC Botanical Garden
    Type: Guided tours
    Cost: Free
    Tour options: Daily drop-in tours 11:00am – 12:00pm at the UBC Botanical Garden.

    Should you have any tips for more free tours around town I’d love to hear about them. Also, keep your eyes peeled for “photowalks” being mentioned on Twitter. They often walk through various neighbourhoods and are a great way to explore.

    Vancouver 2010 Team Canada vs Team USA Hockey

    February 21st, 2010 @ 9:45am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

    It comes to this – our neighbouring nations play each other in tournament hockey action at the Vancouver 2010 Olympics. Team Canada takes on Team USA at 4:40pm PT today over at Canada Hockey Place and even last night you could see flags from both countries being paraded up and down Granville street. The city is a rumbling mass of patriots from around the globe and none more loud and present than those representing Canada.

    Photo credit: John Bollwitt on Flickr

    People keep asking who we will be cheering for, me being born and raised in Metro Vancouver and John being a permanent resident of Canada, originally from Iowa. Even though he’s in love with his new host country, one thing is certain, he is a Team USA guy to the core. John will be cheering on the team that brought us the legendary Miracle on Ice back in 1980, a team that has a proud, strong tradition of hockey and undying patriotism. The Vancouver Canucks’ own Ryan Kesler will also be sporting the red, white and blue, which is another reason he’s excited to cheer for his home country.

    On the other hand, I did spend some time in Boston so you’ll catch me cheering for the Bruins now and then (when the Canucks aren’t in the picture). However, when it comes to international play such as this you can be sure that there is only one team that will move my soul, and that’s Team Canada. I know where I was when we won gold in Salt Lake, I have painted a maple leaf on my face, I have joined in on spontaneous versions of O! Canada (in either French or English), and growing up I played pond hockey on frozen fields in Surrey (even though as the goalie I had to use a broom).

    This is Canada’s game, this is my country’s pride and joy. No matter how much I love America for being such a friendly and loving neighbour (filled with amazing people, most of them with the last name Bollwitt) I’ll be wearing red and white today.

    Sitting with my husband wherever we choose to watch the game I know there will be cheers for both side of the 49th parallel. The city will erupt with each goal, regardless of the net in which the puck lands. This is the beauty of Olympic hockey.

    Photo credit: syume on Flickr

    Places to watch the game today

  • Your friendly neighbourhood pub: Fogg & Suds (Robson), Score on Davie, Yaletown Brewing, The Lions Pub (Coal Harbour), the Kingston, Ceilis, the Dover (Denman), Library Square Public House
  • LiveCity Yaletown or Downtown on the big screens
  • Robson Square on the big screens
  • Surrey’s celebration site
  • The live radio feed will be on 104.9 Fun FM
  • Check out my Spectator Guide for some tips on getting where you need to be safely
  • Vancouver 2010 Canadian Pride

    February 20th, 2010 @ 12:15pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

    We’re loud, we’re patriotic, and man, we’re everywhere. Canadians are showing their colours and painting the town red with their enthusiasm, celebrating Vancouver 2010. “O! Canada” rings out every few minutes on street corners and you’ll find men, women and children wearing and waving the Canadian flag with pride.

    Watch live streaming video from bcmclivechannel at livestream.com

    Watching CTV, they interviewed Shani Davis from Team USA who has won back to back gold. “I didn’t know Canadians were this patriotic. I always though Americans were more,” he shook his said and added, “not even close.” People are calling this “Canada Day every day” and it is, from dawn to dusk.

    Canada's flag is awesome
    Photo credit: kourgar on Flickr
    Canadian hockey fans celebrate
    Photo credit: Eric Flexyourhead on Flickr

    Photo credit: John Bollwitt on Flickr

    Photo credit: John Bollwitt on Flickr

    Photo credit: thelastminute on Flickr / the last minute blog

    Photo credit: John Bollwitt on Flickr

    Photo credit: thelastminute on Flickr / the last minute blog

    Should you have any more images you would like me to profile, please feel free to add them to the Miss604 Flickr Group. I don’t think I’ll get tired of seeing these happy, excited, and smiling Canadian faces any time soon.

    As a side note, it’s well worth checking out the other province’s pavilions if you’re out and about. They have information about beautiful travel destinations from here to St John’s.

    Vancouver 2010 Day 8 Rickard's Dark and Club Bud

    February 20th, 2010 @ 10:50am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

    stanley cupDay 8 at the Vancouver 2010 Olympics saw us win another gold medal, thanks to skeleton athlete Jon Montgomery, as the City erupted in even more celebration.

    I have never seen this many people in Vancouver at one single time, for consecutive days, all chanting and cheering non-stop for hours. It’s as though we just won the Stanley Cup and everyone is watching footage of the winning goal over and over again for 24 straight hours.

    My day yesterday focused on writing, hugging the Stanley Cup as it sat in the media centre, and then being a guest of two beer companies: Molson and Budweiser, who both hosted fantastic events.

    I went to a tasting event for Rickard’s Dark, the brand’s new porter. It was light-tasting for a dark beer and went down smoothly. Attendees were blindfolded (to heighten senses and flavour profiles) as Chef Lee Humphries of the Irish Heather presented us with three courses, all prepared with or for pairing with Rickard’s Dark.

    Molson - Rickard's Dark Event Molson - Rickard's Dark Event

    Molson - Rickard's Dark Event Molson - Rickard's Dark Event

    Someone commented after the first two courses that the only thing missing was bacon. They must have been on the same wavelength as Chef Humphries as he included bacon in the last course – dessert. I’ve never thought of trying bacon ice cream (and pairing it with a dark beer) but this just worked.

    Later in the evening I hit the red carpet to cover Club Bud‘s Burton Party with my gal Keira-Anne.

    Club Bud - Burton Party

    The event is by invitation only so if you had a your ticket the wait in line was minimal and once inside the Commodore, the free Budweiser was flowing. However before partaking, we spotted many famous Team USA athletes from current and past Olympics out on the red carpet before they headed in.

    Club Bud - Burton Party

    Club Bud - Burton Party Club Bud - Burton Party

    Club Bud - Burton Party Club Bud - Burton Party

    Club Bud - Burton Party

    Club Bud - Burton Party Club Bud - Burton Party

    Club Bud - Burton Party

    Guests of honor included: Nancy Kerrigan, Vernon Davis, Heather McPhee, Bonnie Blair, Chris Spencer (Seahawks), Carl Lewis (legendary sprinter), Seth Wescott, Graham Watanabe, Trisha Burns (snowboard/agent), Gretchen Bleiler, Lindsay Jacobellis, Stacey Cook, Alice McInnis, Elijah Teter, Mike Jakowski, and Johnny Weir (figure skating).

    Club Bud - Burton Party Club Bud - Burton Party

    Inside, the Commodore was transformed into a winter wonderland complete with ice sculptures, white drapes, lighted ceiling, and icicles hanging precariously from a seemingly frozen stage where scantily clad dancers got the crowd moving. John and I are heading back to Club Bud tonight for their NHL night that will see many more stars, from Hollywood and the NHL.

    Medal Count for Canada – February 19, 2010
    Gold: 4
    Silver: 3
    Bronze: 1
    View full medal count by country