It’s a Wonderful Life at The Arts Club, Win Tickets

November 25th, 2010 @ 1:46pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

The Arts Club is presenting three holiday shows this season including the return of It’s a Wonderful Life at the Granville Island Stage, on now until January 2nd, 2011.

The Art's Club: It's a Wonderful Life
Photo credit: David Cooper for The Arts Club

I saw this production in 2008 and it was as charming as the old black and white film by Frank Capra but with colourful costumes and vivid emotions. There’s nothing like taking in a night of theatre in Vancouver and with the snow outside, this holiday-themed production is sure to warm your heart.

Tickets start at $29 and you can also arrive early for a bite to eat at the Backstage Lounge, which offers a discount for theatre-goers on the night of their show. If you would like to see It’s a Wonderful Life this season, here’s how you can enter to win a pair of tickets:

  • Leave a comment listing your favourite movie to watch at Christmas (1 entry)
  • Post the following on Twitter (1 entry)
  • RT to enter to win tickets to It’s a Wonderful Life @TheArtsClub from @Miss604

    I will draw one winner from all entries on December 6th at 12:00pm. The winner will get two tickets to the performance on Friday, December 10th.

    Update The winner is Jeff, have a great time at the show!

    Silk Road Tea in Victoria

    November 25th, 2010 @ 11:53am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

    During my stay in Victoria with Keira we were booked to to a tea workshop at Silk Road Tea in Chinatown. Recently expanded along Government Street Silk Road is a tea shop, tasting room, and spa rolled into one.

    Silk Road Tea

    Upon entering we were greeted with samples of their Westcoast Peppermint and were surrounded by infusers, candles, soaps and oils in their spa section. Some patrons were first-time visitors asking for advice on how to use lavender essence therapeutically, while others were regulars stocking up on their usual supplies of bath salts. We quickly learned that all of Silk Road’s body care products are 100% natural and manufactured in-house.

    Silk Road Tea Silk Road Tea

    I spotted Libre Tea glasses, tea pots with cute yet descriptive names like “stump” and “curvy”, and any other kind of tea accessory imaginable.

    Silk Road Tea

    Silk Road Tea Silk Road Tea
    Silk Road Tea Silk Road Tea
    Silk Road Tea Silk Road Tea
    Silk Road Tea Silk Road Tea

    We took our places at the tea bar for their very popular afternoon workshop. The theme that day was “Hot Chocolate Teas” as we were to learn how to separately blend cherry tea, peppermint tea, and black chai with various amounts of cocoa to create some delicious treats for sipping. When each new tea was introduced we were given notes on its caffeine content, ideal steeping time, and tips on garnishes (from mint leaves to goji berries).

    Silk Road Tea

    Silk Road Tea Silk Road Tea
    Silk Road Tea Silk Road Tea

    The workshop was $12 and included recipes, tastings of about five different blends, and an education in tea preparation and health benefits. These sessions run every Saturday and Sunday at 2:00pm from September to June and reservations are highly recommended.

    Silk Road Tea

    With the steady stream of tea drinkers pouring into the shop throughout the hour, it appeared that tea is as big in Victoria now as it ever was in all traditional senses.

    Silk Road Tea

    You can order teas online from Silk Road or find their teas served at various establishments throughout Victoria. They’ve even been mixed into original cocktails at Veneto lounge in the Rialto Hotel. “One of the great resources of working downtown Victoria is my proximity to Chinatown’s Silk Road Tea shop, a veritable playground of lovely and delicate flavours.” Veneto’s star bartender Simon Ogden told me. “It’s a wellspring of new cocktail concept inspiration, and proudly local.

    Silk Road has also partnered with Rogers Chocolates to create organic tea-infused chocolate bars that are available on Granville Island or in Gastown.

    Read Keira’s post about Silk Road Tea over on her blog.

    Archives Photos of the Day: Snow Days

    November 25th, 2010 @ 10:15am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

    The North Shore mountains hide, shrouded in a grey cloud of flurries as I look out over an un-touched blanket of snow covering the West End. This morning’s snow in Metro Vancouver is still cascading from the skies as many have taken to staying indoors and bundling up. Growing up in Surrey we used to have plenty of snow days as we slid down the hill in a local park. Stuffed and suited up with arms like wool sausages, we spent hours on our old family toboggan.

    As a throwback to our old snow days in Metro Vancouver, I have dug up some photos from the Surrey and Vancouver archives.

    Year: 1927
    In this photo: Peter Pantages (founder of the Polar Bear Club) & Miss E Robinson in the snow
    Archives Item#: CVA 99-1784
    Photographer: Stuart Thomson

    Year: 1929
    In this photo: Skiing on Grouse Mountain
    Archives Item#: CVA 99-2000
    Photographer: Stuart Thomson

    Year: 1929
    In this photo: Snow scene on Grouse Mountain
    Archives Item#: CVA 99-2002
    Photographer: Stuart Thomson

    Year: April 1, 1936
    In this photo: Hastings West of Homer, streetcar with snow-plough on front
    Archives Item#: CVA 677-276.5

    Year: April 1, 1936
    In this photo: Granville at Pender downtown
    Archives Item#: CVA 677-276.1

    Year: April 1, 1936
    In this photo: Pair heading to Spencer’s department store downtown
    Archives Item#: CVA 677-276.3

    Year: 1964
    In this photo: White Rock under snow
    Accession Number: SA 1992.036.3244, SA 1992.036.3245

    Year: 1964
    In this photo: Snow scene in Cloverdale
    Accession Number: SA 1992.036.1802, SA 1992.036.1803

    Tourism Surrey’s Holiday 2010 Photo Adventure

    November 24th, 2010 @ 4:14pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

    Tourism Surrey is promoting their many holiday activities this season by hosting a photo contest. When you visit one of their “Top Ten” suggested destinations (listed below) be sure to snap a photo and upload it for your chance to win a prize.

    Home for the Holidays at Sutton Place Hotel - for Canuck Place Christmas Baking 2009 with Keira Gallery & shop hopping in Nanaimo. It's Chistmas time in this town.
    Continue reading »

    Nanaimo Bar Trail

    November 24th, 2010 @ 11:30am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

    Chelsea Barr from the City of Nanaimo has been promoting the city’s latest (and sweetest) attraction. She’s put together the “Nanaimo Bar Trail” in honor of the famous 3-layer chocolate dessert invented in (and named after) Nanaimo.

    Nanaimo Bars
    Photo credit: edwardkimuk on Flickr

    Normally served up in bar form with a layer of vanilla custard between a bed of coconut and a solid chocolate topper, the Nanaimo Bar is being transformed into many different creations around the city. Keira and I had the chance to explore a few of these decadent treats during our recent visit to the Harbour City.

    NanaimoBar (10)
    Photo credit: C&C Cupcakery on Flickr

    A Wee Cupcakery
    Location: 407 Fitzwilliam Street
    Specialty: The Nanaimo Bar Cupcake

    While there were no Nanaimo Bar cupcakes on display by the time we strolled into the shop we had our pick from gluten-free creations, dark vanilla, gingerbread, and red velvet cupcakes topped with healthy dollop of sour cream icing. It’s also conveniently located just down the street from Jakeobs Ice Cream who serves up a massive Nanaimo Bar-theme ice cream sundae.

    Nanaimo Bar MartiniModern Cafe
    Location: 221 Commercial Street
    Specialty: The Nanaimo Bar Martini

    Vanilla vodka, creme de cacao, espresso, coconut syrup and a healthy swirl of chocolate sauce makes this super sweet martini complete. The addition of the coconut syrup and chocolate sauce really give it a Nanaimo Bar-like taste and if you’re enjoying one late in the evening, you can ask for decaf espresso.

    Deep Fried Nanaimo BarPirate Chips
    Location: 1 Commercial Street
    Website: Go Nanaimo Blog
    Specialty: The Deep-Fried Nanaimo Bar

    Known for their deep-fried specialties (from fish and fries to Mars bars), Pirate Chips serves up a piping hot deep-fried Nanaimo Bar coated in a light cinnamon batter. This crispy treat is melted and chewy on the inside, while it doesn’t lose the flavours from each layer of the bar.

    Other stops on the tour include Mon Petit Choux for an organic version, the Nanaimo Museum for a brief history of the dessert, and Minnoz in the Coast Hotel for a Nanaimo Bar cheesecake. You can read about all of Chelsea’s recommended stops in this article she wrote for EAT Magazine or stop into one (or all) of the locations we visited this month.

    Follow all articles from our girls getaway in Nanaimo and Victoria this November by viewing my Vancouver Island category.

    Regency Auto Scion Launch Party, iPad Giveaway

    November 24th, 2010 @ 10:33am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

    Tomorrow night Regency Auto is celebrating the launch of the Scion brand in Canada with their “What Moves You” event.

    Scion XB from Regency Auto

    Beginning at 3:30pm you can stop by Regency Auto showroom on Kingsway (at 12th) for a free eco-friend car wash by Bismark, door prizes, draws, swag giveaways, gelato (from Bella Gelateria), and catering (by Cookies and Catering). A DJ will be spinning tunes to provide a festive atmosphere and then from 7:00pm until 8:00pm there will be live performances, a fashion show, and contest draws.

    John has always had his eye on Scions (since they launched a few years ago in the US) and we had the chance to drive around in an XB last week. With Toyota’s engineering and it’s compact design (that doesn’t feel small at all from the inside) it was a really fun ride.

    Scion XB from Regency Auto Scion XB from Regency Auto
    Scion XB from Regency Auto Scion XB from Regency Auto

    For the event, I have partnered with Regency Auto to do a special giveaway. Here’s how you can enter to win a 16GB iPad between today and tomorrow:

  • Leave a comment on this post (1 entry)
  • Post the following on Twitter (1 entry)
  • I’m attending the @RegencyAuto #RegencyParty w/@Miss604 for a chance to win an iPad

    You will want to RSVP on Facebook for the event as the winner must be at the party and present at the time of draw (between 6:00pm and 8:00pm) in order to win.

    Stop by to check out the cars, learn more about their eco-options, grab a bite to eat, and you could walk away with an iPad (for yourself or a gift for the holidays). See you tomorrow and good luck.

    Disclosure: I have not received any compensation for this partnership or post.

    Warm Clothing Donation Sites in Vancouver

    November 24th, 2010 @ 9:15am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

    Ducking into our houses to escape the ghosts made with our breaths, we grab our flannel pijamas, fleece blankets, and cozy-up on the couch to keep warm for the evening. Unfortunately for many in Vancouver, this just cannot and does not happen. Hundreds are on the streets and in shelters, without the luxury of a Snuggie or even a pair of wool socks.

    Winter Wonderland
    Photo credit: Tom Wiebe on Flickr

    Warm Clothing Donation Sites in Vancouver

    I know that every one of us probably has a perfectly good coat in the closet that just isn’t worn anymore or a pair of brand new hoodies that are just a few sizes too big. This is your chance to clear out your storage spaces, boxes and bins, and give these items to those who could really use them. Here’s an easy reference list of donation drop off locations around Vancouver:

    Covenant House BC
    Location: 575 Drake Street, Vancouver, BC
    Needed items: New hoodies, coats, running shoes (for men and women, assorted sizes).

    Red Sock Project
    Location: nood 115 Water Street, Vancouver
    Needed: Purchase a pair of red wool socks on-site for $2 and they will be distributed by the Salvation Army.

    First United Church
    Location: 320 East Hastings Street, Vancouver
    Neeeded: Warm jackets, toques, vests, warm shirts, pants shoes, socks, and underwear.

    Lookout Emergency Shelter
    Location: 346 Alexander, Vancouver. Call (604) 255-0340 for drop-off instructions
    Needed: Blankets and comfort items (toothbrushes, combs, bandaids)

    Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre
    Location: 302 Columbia Street, Vancouver
    Needed: Warm clothing, socks, underwear, outer wear.

    The Salvation Army Harbour Light
    Location: 119 East Cordova Street
    Needed: Blankets, underwear, socks, jackets, gloves/mittens, scarves, and hats.

    Blanket Drive at various real estate offices
    Locations: Download this PDF for a list of locations in Metro Vancouver
    Needed: Warm blankets

    Blanket Drive on the Line
    Location: 12 SkyTrain and Canada Line stations on Friday November 26, 2010
    Needed: Warm blankets collected on behalf of BlanketBC

    City of Vancouver Archives
    Location: Vanier Park
    Needed: Warm clothing donations that will be dropped off at The Gathering Place.

    Union Gospel Mission – UGM Outreach Team
    Location: 616 E Cordova Street
    Needed: Warm clothing items, new and gently-worn.

    Two years ago a group of people took it upon themselves to make a difference. They connected through Twitter and came together for a Tweetup Heatup, collecting coats and warm clothing donations to hand out in the Downtown Eastside. This sparked Tweetup Heatups in several other cities across North America including Pittsburgh.

    One small gesture, one afternoon, can make a difference. Let’s make sure all Vancouverites can get through this cold snap.