EPIC Expo Vancouver 2012

May 2nd, 2012 @ 11:34am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

EPIC Expo, Western Canada’s largest sustainable lifestyle showcase, is coming to the Vancouver Convention Centre May 11th to May 13th. Over 20,000 people will attend Vancouver’s 6th annual EPIC Expo to check out 300 exhibitors, shop for eco-friendly products, get ideas for the home and office, and be entertained.

Mike Holmes
Mike Holmes speaking at EPIC Expo Vancouver in 2008.

Check out the EPICurean Corner to sample from BC’s finest restaurants and wineries, discover eco-fashion on the EPIC Catwalk, and play in the EPIC KidZone with the Granville Island Toy Company. You can also test drive a Toyota or luxury Lexus hybrid vehicle at the Ride’n Drive station.

Main Stage

The main stage will feature: Urban Farmer Chris Thoreau, Peak Performance Project finalists The Boom Booms, Founder of Five Hole for Food Richard Loat, Harvinder Gill from the Recycling Council of BC, Co-Founder of the Green Party of BC Adriane Carr, and more.

Tickets & Hours

Tickets are currently available for $20 (3-day pass) or $12 (for a single day). There are also child, senior, and student rates.

Event hours are Friday, May 11, 2012 from 1:00pm to 8:00pm; Saturday, May 12, 2012 from 11:00am to 7:00pm; Sunday, May 13 (Mother’s Day) from 11:00am to 5:00pm.


I have four pairs of day passes to give away that include entry to the EPICurean Corner (which is an additional $5 value). Here’s how you can enter to win:

  • Leave a comment with your top tip for living “green” (1 entry)
  • Post the following on Twitter (1 entry)
RT to enter to win passes to @EPIC_Expo Vancouver from @Miss604

I will draw 4 winners on Saturday, May 5, 2012 at 8:00am. You must be 19 years of age or older to enter and win since the EPICurean Corner serves alcohol. Follow EPIC Expo Vancouver on Facebook and Twitter for more information.

Update The winners are: Kim, Vanessa, @flipnfunny, and Tara.

Summer Playland Festival Concerts 2012

May 2nd, 2012 @ 10:04am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Summer Playland Festival (“SPF”) is a three-day teen music festival happening July 6th to July 8th at Playland. The lineup has just been announced and it includes Marianas Trench, OneRepublic, Joe Jonas, Cobra Starship, Hot Chelle Rae, Dragonette, Dirty Radio, Carly Rae Jepsen and more.

The shows will be split between the Park Stage, located near the Hellevator, and the PNE Amphitheatre. There are one-day passes that start at $59 (for 7 concerts & all day rides) or 3-day passes that start at $159 (for all 21 concerts & all day rides). You will also be able to catch a show, go on some rides, and enter the concert areas again using your wristband.

Surrey Fusion Fest 2011: Dirty Radio
Dirty Radio – Photo by John Bollwitt on Flickr

The full schedule has been posted with headliners Marianas Trench (Friday), OneRepublic (Saturday), and Cobra Starship (Sunday). Passes go on sale Saturday, May 5, 2012 through TicketLeader online or by calling 604-757-0345.

Follow Playland on Twitter and Facebook for more information about SPF 2012.

New BC Lions Jersey Launch

May 1st, 2012 @ 4:04pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Fans are encouraged to come down to BC Place on Wednesday morning for the unveiling of the new BC Lions jerseys. Our Grey Cup champions will be on hand to model the new looks and sign autographs for fans who purchase their own on the spot.

Empire Field

When: Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 8:00am
Where: Enter through Gate A off the Terry Fox Plaza

Quarterback Travis Lulay, slotback Geroy Simon, kicker Paul McCallum and defensive tackle Khalif Mitchell will be in attendance to show off the new home and away jerseys. If you can’t make it down tomorrow morning, the jerseys will be on sale inside BC Place (at Gate A) until 6:00pm. As of May 9th, you can pick them up at the BC Lions Team Store in Surrey (10605 City Parkway) and online.

Update The new jerseys have been unveiled and BC Lions’ President Dennis Skulsky said that since orange is most significant with the fans, it should be the dominant colour. At the press conference this morning he added that the change is modest but it will make a difference. There is new fabric, better (lighter) material, and the fit is tighter. This will help the players breeze down the field.

BC Lions New Jersey Launch

BC Lions New Jersey Launch BC Lions New Jersey Launch

BC Lions New Jersey Launch BC Lions New Jersey Launch

BC Lions New Jersey Launch

Head Coach Mike Benevides added, “orange does look good, does it not?” as he sported his new black and orange hoodie. Players Travis Lulay, Khalif Mitchell, Paul McCallum, and Geroy Simon were on hand to model the new uniforms. Two fans got to sport the new fan jerseys and I received a special goodie bag containing my very first fan football jersey.

BC Lions New Jersey Launch

Just a reminder that you can stop by Gate A of BC Place today until 6:00pm to check out the new jerseys then they will be available online and at the team store in Surrey.

West End Traffic Circle Gardens

May 1st, 2012 @ 1:19pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Lying between bustling downtown business hubs and Stanley Park, Vancouver’s West End is a very special neighbourhood. It’s a place where birds sing and heritage houses become museums, community facilities, and B&Bs. Cherry blossoms line the streets in early spring, tulips pop out in late April, and a lush green canopy hangs over roadways throughout the summer. It’s also a place where traffic circles have gardens.

West End Traffic Circles
Haro and Broughton

West End Traffic Circles West End Traffic Circles
Haro and Jervis

West End Traffic Circles
Nelson and Jervis

West End Traffic Circles
Nelson and Comox

West End Traffic Circles West End Traffic Circles
Nelson and Comox

West End Traffic Circles
Broughton and Barclay

These gardens are all maintained by volunteers through the City of Vancouver’s Green Streets program. There are currently over 350 street gardens around Vancouver that are cared for by volunteers and marked with yellow signs.

West End Traffic Circles

We’re very fortunate to live in a place where so many colourful blossoms line our paved thoroughfares, adding a breathe of fresh air and summer spirit to our daily routines.

Should you spot a green sign, that means the space is available for gardening and you can apply to become its volunteer gardener. If your neighbourhood doesn’t have a traffic circle, you can apply for one of those too.

Vancouver History: Grant McConachie

May 1st, 2012 @ 10:31am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

If you’ve ever driven to or from Vancouver International Airport (“YVR”) then you have traveled along Grant McConachie Way. This road on Sea Island was named after bush pilot Grant McConachie, a man who Chuck Davis referred to as “a genuine Canadian hero”.

From the BC Aviation Hall of Fame, excerpted from Peter Piggott’s book Flying Canucks – Famous Canadian Aviators:

Even as a young man, owning only an old Fokker, he envisioned a polar route to Europe — a dream that 30 years later his Canadian Pacific DC-8s would fulfill.

George William ‘Grant’ McConachie was born in Hamilton, Ontario, on April 24, 1909. He grew up in Edmonton and read everything he could about aircraft. Grant frequented the Edmonton airfield, begging and sometimes getting rides with famous Canadian bush pilots like Punch Dickins and Wop May. The young enthusiast paid for his flying lessons by looking after their aircraft, finally soloing in a DH Moth after only seven hours instruction.

By 1931, at the age of 22 he had his commercial pilot s licence, and he set out for China to fly for Chinese National Airways. On his way, McConachie stopped off in Vancouver to visit his Uncle Harry This was the first of two fateful meetings in the bush pilot s life. Uncle Harry not wanting to lose his nephew to what was then a country at war with the Japanese, bought him a dilapidated, second-hand Fokker to start his own airline.

From the Alaska Highway Archives:

Gran McConachie, a pioneer in Canadian aviation, started flying regular mail and passenger flights to Whitehorse from Edmonton in 1937, first with his company United Air Transport and then with its successor, Yukon Southern Air Transport Limited. Planes used floats in summer and skis in winter, but McConachie soon realized that year round operations were more economical using runways. Whitehorse already had a runway but otherwise northern airstrips were very few and very far between. McConachie set about to remedy the situation, and in 1938 he hired men to clear airstrips in Fort St. John and Fort Nelson using small tractors and horse teams.

The next summer McConachie started to clear an airstrip at Watson Lake. McConachie paved the way for the Department of Transport’s survey engineers when they arrived to survey for the Northwest Staging Route. When the route became important to the military, McConachie provided knowledge and advice on how to improve facilities and the route.

Canadian Pacific Airlines launched on this day in history (May 1, 1942) and McConachie signed on as General Manager after selling them his Yukon Southern Air Transport. Canadian Pacific operated from 1942 to 1987, and from 1968 to 1986 as CP Air. It was based out of Vancouver and was eventually purchased by Canadian Airlines. In 1947, McConachie was elected President of the airline by its Board of Directors and helped it grow to become the second largest carrier in the country.

Photo credit: ecstaticist on Flickr

Under McConachie, CP Air would fly international and trans-Atlantic routes with destinations like Amsterdam, Australia, Hong Kong, Sydney, Lima, and Shanghai between 1942 and 1964.

On October 24th 1968, three years after his passing, Grant McConachie Way opened to traffic leading up to YVR.

Public Salon May 2012: Win Tickets

May 1st, 2012 @ 9:37am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

The next Public Salon in Vancouver will be taking place May 16th as experts, thinkers, innovators, and leaders of their field are invited to the stage at the Vancouver Playhouse. They will each get a few minutes to share a piece of their world with an audience and present on a variety of topics.


Charles Barber – City Opera (Twitter)
Carolyn Chan & Clancy Dennehy – Butoh Dance
Dr. Hal Gunn – Inspired Health (Twitter)
Jas Johal – Global TV Journalist (Twitter)
Dr. Unjali Malhotra – Women’s Health
Jim Bolger – Environmental Ocean Research
Chip Wilson – Founder of Lululemon (Twitter)
Aaron Sanderson – Next Leadership Network

Past speakers have included MLA Wally Oppal, Ryan Holmes (Founder of HootSuite), Top Chef Canada’s Dale MacKay, Mark Brand (Boneta, Save on Meats), Tsawwassen Chief Kim Baird, Terry McBride (CEO, Nettwork Music), John Fluevog, Ken Lum, and more.


“For 10 Years Global Civic Founder Sam Sullivan hosted private salons over dinner with about 10 invited guests from a broad cross-section of the community. His friend and mentor Prof. Abraham Rogatnick was a frequent guest and just before he died he urged Sullivan to bring the benefits of the salon to a broader public. As a tribute to his friend Abraham, Sullivan decided to do just that. The Public Salon presents public policy ideas and promotes public discussion of them.”

Leah Costello John Fraser

John Robinson Sam Sullivan
Photo credit: Global Civic Policy on Flickr


The Public Salon on May 16th will run from 7:30pm until 9:00pm with an optional pre-show dinner at 6:00pm. Tickets are $16 in advance, $20 at the door, and $90 for the dinner along with premiere circle seats for the salon.


You can follow the presenters on their Twitter accounts (if listed above) and follow @GlobalCivic on Twitter along with the tag #publicsalon on the night of the event.

I had the chance to attend a Public Salon in November and I found it to be inspirational, thought-provoking, and highly entertaining. I believe this is due to the brief length of the talks, the varied topics, and the caliber of the speakers. If you would like to attend this next Public Salon on May 16th, I have two tickets available to give away. Here’s how you can enter to win:

  • Leave a comment here naming 1 Vancouverite you’d love to see give a talk (1 entry)
  • Post the following on Twitter (1 entry)
RT to enter to win a pair of tickets to @GlobalCivic’s #PublicSalon from @Miss604

I will draw one winner at 12:00pm on Monday, May 7, 2012. Update The winner is Mary!