West Coast Tattoo Show 2012

April 24th, 2012 @ 1:54pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

The West Coast Tattoo Show is coming to Boulevard Casino in Coquitlam this weekend. If you have a tattoo, want a tattoo, are interested in tattoos or want to meet stars of TLC’s Miami Ink & New York Ink, you won’t want to miss out.

Where: Boulevard Casino, 2080 United Boulevard, Coquitlam
When: Friday, April 27, 2012 from 5:00 to 11:00pm
Saturday, April 28, 2012 from 11:00am to 11:00pm
Sunday, April 29, 2012 11:00am to 6:00pm
Tickets: Available online or at the door. $20 for adults and $8 for kids (Sunday only).

Over 70 exhibitors will be joined by 125 tattoo artists who will be showing off their talent. Live entertainment, seminars, the 3rd annual pin-up pageant, and tattoo awards will be found at centre stage along with Chris Nunez (from Spike TV’s Ink Masters and TLC’s Miami Ink) and Billy DeCola (TLC’s New York Ink).

Official emcees for the weekend will be Samantha Mack and The Beat 94.5’s Kid Carson. This will be a 19+ event on Friday and Saturday, with children welcome on Sunday.

I have 2 pairs of ticket 4-packs to give away to my readers. Here’s how you can enter to win:

  • Leave a comment naming your favourite tattoo (that you have, that you would get, or that you simply admire) (1 entry)
  • Post the following on Twitter (1 entry)
RT to enter to win a 4-pack of tickets to the @wctattooshow from @miss604

I will draw 2 winners at random from all entries, who will each receive 4 tickets to the event. You must be at least 19 years of age to enter. Contest closes Thursday, April 26, 2012 at 12:00pm. Follow the West Coast Tattoo Show on Twitter and Facebook for more information.

Update The winners are Natasha & @RobotRob!

Athletics for Kids Gala 2012: Wrap-Up

April 24th, 2012 @ 12:38pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Athletics for Kids (“A4K”) hosted their 10th annual Vegas Night fundraising gala on Friday, March 30th at the Hollyburn Country Club in West Vancouver. Hundreds of guests were in attendance to support the cause, enjoy a silent and live auction, and catch a few amateur boxers square off in the dining room’s centre ring.

Athletics For Kids Gala 2012

Athletics For Kids Gala 2012 Athletics For Kids Gala 2012
Photos by John Bollwitt for and Athletics for Kids.

The evening’s program was hosted by TEAM 1040’s Barry MacDonald and we even had the anthem sung by Mark Donelley prior to the first bell of the matches. The Hollyburn Country Club’s gymnasium was the perfect venue since, while it was beautifully decorated, the theme of sport echoed throughout. As a result of the festivities, and many generous donors, over $52,000 was raised for Athletics for Kids.

Athletics For Kids Gala 2012 Athletics For Kids Gala 2012

Athletics For Kids Gala 2012
Photos by John Bollwitt for and Athletics for Kids.

Equipment costs, fees, and more can prevent a child in BC from participating and gaining valuable life skills through organized sport. This is where Athletics for Kids comes in. They work to provide support for financially disadvantaged youth in the community, giving them greater access to organized sports in conjunction with their academic endeavours.

A4K is a privately-funded charity whose support is available across BC for children ages 5 to 18 who are currently enrolled in school. You can find out more about Athletics for Kids online, make a donation, and follow them on Facebook, and Twitter.

Richmond 365: Public Voting Open Now

April 24th, 2012 @ 10:30am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Tourism Richmond‘s search for a “Food Blogger for a Year” continues as they have sifted through 1,500 applications and pusblihed their Top 12 candidates.

Hawaii Soul Food Fellow Foodie Photographing the food we are about to eat...
Photo credit: hawaii & mhaithaca & Chi (in Oz)on Flickr

The next step is a public vote, the winner of which will have an automatic spot in the Top 3 (the other two finalists will be selected by Tourism Richmond).

Top 12 Finalists

Tastes Better With Friends
Ethan Adeland, Vancouver, BC

Lindsay Anderson, Vancouver, BC

The Gouda Life
Kelly Brisson, Ottawa, ON

Cuisine Queen
Alyssa Dawson, Coquitlam, BC

Dulcet Devotion
Melanie HillierToronto, ON

My Burning Kitchen
Darlene Horn, San Diego, CA

Ed Eats
Ed Lau, Richmond, BC

Small Girl, Big Plate
Romina Moradi, Vancouver, BC

Follow Me Foodie
Mijune Pak, Richmond, BC

Joe Ray
Joe Ray, Brooklyn, NY

Live It, Love It, Blog It
Allison Suter, Vancouver, BC

Eat Like a Girl
Niamh Shields, London, England

From the Top 3, a winner will emerge and spend the next 365 days living, dining, and enjoying activities in Richmond, BC. The voting round is now open on Facebook until May 1, 2012.

Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards 2012

April 24th, 2012 @ 8:34am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

The 23rd annual Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards were held yesterday at the Sheraton Wall Centre. There were recognitions like the Lifetime Achievement Award (Kirin Restaurant Group), the Mentorship Award (Julian Bond of the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts), Best Front of House Service, and the Green Award (Trafalgars) along with the staples. Here are just a few of the winners from yesterday‘s ceremony:

Best New Restaurant Design, Chef of the Year, Restaurant of the Year, Best New Restaurant, and Best Upscale all went to Hawksworth, and Chef David Hawksworth.

Chef David Hawksworth
Chef David Hawksworth

Best Seafood: Blue Water Cafe + Raw Bar
Best Steakhouse: Hy’s Encore
Upscale Japanese: Tojo’s
Casual Japanese: Kingyo Izakaya
Best Indian: Vij’s
Best Dim Sum: Kirin
Best Pizzeria: Nicli Antica Pizzeria
Best Food Cart: Re-Up BBQ
Best Casual Chain: Cactus Club Cafe
Best in Whistler: Araxi
Best in Victoria: Ulla
Vancouver Island: Sooke Harbour House
Best Winery Dining in the Okanagan: Miradoro at Tinhorn Creek

The Chefs Table Society also named farmed BC oysters the Ingredient of the Year. A full list of the Gold, Silver, and Bronze winners in these categories and more is available online.

Last month the Georgia Straight also released their list of top eateries for the annual Golden Plate Awards.

Northern Lights Over Vancouver

April 23rd, 2012 @ 10:38pm (PT) by Duane Storey

If you were in the Lower Mainland tonight, chances are you caught the amazing fiery sunset that streaked through the clouds above. However according to my friend Duane Storey, we could be in for a lot more in the skies tonight and early tomorrow morning. He has contributed the following post:

It’s pretty rare for the Northern Lights (aurora borealis) to be seen as far south as Vancouver, but it has happened occasionally in the past. Usually it is the result of unusual solar activity such as a massive solar flare. One such solar flare occurred in November of 2003, and registered as an X28 — amazingly powerful.

The magnetic field of the resultant solar explosion ended up enhancing the magnetic activity of the earth, and caused the aurora to go as far south as Mexico.

Northern Lights
2003 – Northern Lights in Vancouver. Photo credit: Duane Storey on Flickr.

A geomagnetic storm is currently underway that is predicted to cause the aurora to be visible as far south as Seattle. To keep track of the status of the aurora, visit and view the current pictorial representation in the sidebar to check on the status.

It’s pretty rare for the aurora to be visible this far south, so try and get out to see it if you can. It should make an appearance a few hours after midnight tonight. If you spot the Northern Lights be sure to take a photo if you can and consider sharing it with the Miss604 Flickr Pool.

Where to View the Northern Lights

The Province reports that one of the best viewing areas will be in the Fraser Valley as hundreds of people gather each year at Aldergrove Lake Park. An H.R. MacMillan Space Centre representative also told The Province that Dark Sky Park in Abbotsford would be a great place to catch a meteor shower as well.

I looked up “Dark Sky Park” to discover that it’s a nickname given to McDonald Park as it has officially been declared free of light pollution.

I’d have to agreed that out in the valley you will have a darker sky that will make the meteors easier to spot. However I would also recommend heading to the Sunshine Coast (although the last ferry back is at 9:40pm) or even heading up the Sea to Sky a bit to perhaps Porteau Cove (about 45 minutes from downtown). A friend of mine will be heading out to Cultus Lake where she says the stars are the brightest around.

A little closer to home you can try Cypress Mountain to get you above the city lights or Iona Beach although lights from air traffic at YVR might be distracting. You may also be able to spot some stars from Barnet Marine Park or Belcarra as they are tucked beside the Burrard Inlet, facing a “quieter” side of the North Shore.

A guest post by Duane Storey

Travel lover. Photographer. WordPress plugin author. Writer. Camper. Engineer. Dreamer. Follow Duane on Twitter @DuaneStorey.

Scotia Hockey: See Stanley With Lanny

April 23rd, 2012 @ 10:29am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Scotia Hockey Club, a proud supporter of all levels of hockey across Canada, is bringing back its “See Stanley With Lanny” contest. Until May 21st, you can enter for your chance to win a trip for 4 to see a Stanley Cup Final Game with Lanny McDonald.

Stanley With Lanny
Used with Permission from Scotia Hockey.

The trip includes spending money, accommodation, transportation to the the game, and 3 whole periods of hockey alongside Lanny. Official rules are available on the Scotia Hockey Facebook Page.

Reebok Stanley prize packs (1)Once a week during the playoffs, and once a day from May 23rd to June 10th, they’ll also be giving away Reebok Stanley Cup prize packs.

I know that most Vancouver fans are hockey fans through and through and they’ll continue to support hometown boys, past Vancouver players, and perhaps cheer for the opponents of our bitter rivals throughout the rest of the playoffs. Catching a few of the other Round 1 match-ups, the playoffs are sure to contain great hockey and be exciting as ever to watch.

To promote See Stanley With Lanny, I have two Scotia Hockey prize packs to give away as well as three of the Reebok Stanley Cup prize packs that include a Stanley Cup Final t-shirt, hat, backpack, and hoodie. Here’s how you can enter to win one of these five prize packs from me:

  • Leave a comment on this post about why you love hockey, plain and simple (1 entry)
  • Post the following on Twitter (1 entry)
RT to enter to win a @ScotiaHockey prize pack from @Miss604

I will draw all five winners at random from all entries at 12:00pm on Tuesday, May 1, 2012. Update The winners are Michelle M and @Reese210 (Scotia Prize), and Vince, Iris, and Jenny (Reebok).