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1st Annual RIPE Vancouver A Success

October 5th, 2009 @ 9:20am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Local farm-fresh food, regional beer, and BC wine, were served to those who came out to support RIPE last Thursday. This fundraiser to promote, support, and expand local farmers markets was held at Performance Works on Granville Island with a goal of inspiring others to take up the local food movement.

“We couldn’t have been more thrilled to see the people who attended RIPE 2009; these people wanted to support local food, local farmers and enjoy everything we organized for a night of fun – and that’s exactly what RIPE is all about,” said organizer Jackie Connelly. “A big thank you to our emcee Jamie Maw, Chef Robert Clark and his team at C Restaurant for the amazing food, and our generous sponsors who helped us make the event possible.”

Karen Hamilton of TinyBites was in attendance as well for this inaugural event. “Ben Garfinkel from Foodists and I had a great time socializing with the people that support the Vancouver Farmers Markets, including behind-the-scenes folk like operations manager Roberta Laquaglia and RIPE event organizer Jackie Connelly.”

Photo credit: penguinrobot on Flickr

“Over the years the Vancouver Farmers Market has seen expanded locations and dates, a decent ad campaign and enjoyed a growing number of attendance. It’s only natural that they seek out a more permanent venue,” said Ben Garfinkel. “RIPE was their first effort at an annual fundraiser meant to take them closer to this goal. With food prepared with local ingredients and a few vendors sampling their products, the evening was a little light on entertainment, but my taste buds got to play!”

Net proceeds from RIPE benefited the the Farmers Nest Egg Fund which supports vendor-farmers and expands the network of local farmers who make Vancouver Farmers Markets possible. RIPE also supports the New City Market, a state-of the-art, sustainable, LEED-certified, multi-function venue to house a winter/year-round farmers market and resource facility.

“It was heartening to learn more about the proposed New City Market,” noted Karen. “[It’s] a permanent lodging that they’re hoping to secure in the Main and Terminal area. Think Granville Island Public Market for locals, with an exclusive focus on BC grown or produced goods.”

From the RIPE blog

Now that the RIPE event is over, a more permanent market and education about local ingredients is the focus. “The RIPE blog will take a bit of a breather, but continue to bring some recapping of this years event, and developments for RIPE 2010,” said Connelly. “Our goal will continue to be raising money for the New City Market and to support farmers in need with the establishment of a Farmers Nest Egg Fund.”

If you would like to get involved, check out the RIPE blog for information and contact info.

VIFF 2009 Canadian Images Gala

October 3rd, 2009 @ 12:56pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

The Vancouver International Film Festival is known for showcasing homegrown talent and this year the festival is presenting the largest collection of Canadian films in the country. Last night John and I attended the Canadian Images Gala and literally rubbed elbows with some great local film talents.

Canadian Images Programmer, Terry McEvoy,
Marv Newland, Eva Markvoort (65_redroses) – Photo: John Bollwitt

The gala was at Joey’s on Burrard where they served up delicious cocktails, canapes, and featured an oyster bar. The party was packed although we were still able to spot local celebs, film fest notables, and our pal Heather Watson.

VIFF has programmed 89 Canadian films for 2009: 33 features (20 dramatic features, 13 nonfiction features), five mid-lengths, 50 shorts; selected from 641 submissions. Included in the line-up is the Opening Gala film A Shine of Rainbows, directed by BC’s Vic Sarin, and the Special Presentation film The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, a Vancouver-based production directed by Terry Gilliam. The Canadian Images programming strand is home to 83 of the domestic films. The remaining six are shown in other programming strands including Galas, Special Presentations, Follow the Money and The Way of Nature.

I already profiled some picks in another post but here are a few more films to check out at VIFF this year.

  • Coopers Camera
    Directed By: Warren P. Sonoda
    Playing: October 3rd & October 4th
  • Puck Hogs
    Directed By: Warren P. Sonoda
    Playing: October 4th & 5th
  • At Home By Myself… With You
    Directed By: Kris Booth
    Playing: October 6th & October 8th
  • Cole
    Directed By: Carl Bessai
    Playing: October 8th & October 9th
  • Finding Farley
    Directed By: Leanne Allison
    Playing: October 13th & October 15th
  • Also, try to check out the shorts program. Ever since Centigrade I have a fondness for short films. The shorts program is called Slippery Road and will play October 13th and 14th at Pacific Cinémathèque. It includes 9 short films including Short on Love directed by Josh Close.

    You can read the rest online and be sure to scoop up your VIFF tickets before these screenings surely sell out.

    Day Blog from BarCamp Vancouver 2009

    October 3rd, 2009 @ 10:28am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

    BarCamp is an unconference that focuses on social media, technology, and community-building in the online or mobile realm. I know that’s kind of a mouth full but it’s the first style of social media conference I ever attended and I credit BarCamp 2006 for being the launching point of my blogging “career”.

    Today’s BarCamp is over at Discovery Parks on Great Northern Way and we’ve just done the session pitching scrum. This means that attendees all pitch their ideas for sessions and the schedule is then made on the fly. There are very techy people, open source advocates, fans of yarn, families, students, and professionals all mixed into this participatory audience.

    BarCamp Vancouver 2009 - The Schedule

    The schedule has now been re-created on the wiki. I’ll have updates throughout the day in a single combined “Day Blog” and Twitter updates tagged “bcv09” will be put at the bottom of this post.

    Gratitude Week Vancouver 2009

    October 2nd, 2009 @ 1:24pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

    Gratitude Week is happening the week of Thanksgiving in Vancouver and if you’ve been looking for a way to give back to your community, this campaign is for you.

    At this point in my life I have so much for which I am thankful. I think the most important element that has kept me going is the kindness of others; from friends and family, and even strangers both online and off. In just over a week you can express your gratitude for even the simplest comforts in life that many of our neighbours downtown cannot enjoy. Here’s how you can get involved:

    Gratitude Week October 12 – 16, 2009

  • The Gratitude Gathering
    Daily (11am – 2pm ) Vancouver Art Gallery Plaza
  • Mental Health Awareness Forums
    October 13 – October 16 (12:30pm – 1pm & 1:30 – 2pm)
    Vancouver Art Gallery Plaza
  • The Gratitude University Street Collection
    October 14, (6am – 10am)
  • The Mala Collaboration: A Social Collaboration to End Homelessness
  • Donate
    “Gratitude Week will ensure that every possible dollar donated goes directly to the renovation of two buildings in the Downtown East Side that will make a measurable contribution to End Homelessness Now. The expectation is that these projects will in the very near future transition people into a better quality of life by providing safe, clean and affordable living conditions.” The two building are Gratitude House @ 31 W Pender Street and Hotel Gastown @ 110 Water Street.

    You can read more about the Gratitude Week to End Homelessness Foundation on The Mala Blog, Facebook, Twitter and Youtube.

    A Year in 5 Minutes

    October 2nd, 2009 @ 11:03am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

    Author Chuck Davis, who runs the ultimate Vancouver history website, has been publishing an online series called “A Year in 5 Minutes“.

    The “New” Orpheum on Granville Street – Photographer: Jack Lindsay – ITEM #: CVA 1184-2290

    Hosted over at re:place Magazine, Chuck has been highlighting one year every week starting with the incorporation of our fair town in 1886. He’s just past the 50-year mark and I thought it was worth taking a look at some of his posts to learn a bit more about how our city has taken shape.

    In the series:

  • The First Decade: Public transit, Stanley Park and water.
  • The Second Decade: Public library, Interurban and gold!
  • The Third Decade: The PNE, a building boom and war.
  • The Fourth Decade: Fire, floods and Spanish Flu.
  • The Fifth Decade: Burrard Bridge, Vancouver Airport and the Great Depression.
  • Each “Year in 5 Minutes” post packs 365 days of history in one single blog page and features photos from the City of Vancouver Archives. The series is now up to 1937 and will keep going every week (posted every Monday) until we reach present-day Vancouver. It’s definitely worth checking out especially if you love local history like I do.

    TV Talk at the Vancouver Film and Television Forum

    October 1st, 2009 @ 5:00pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

    I’m a big fan of television and every fall there’s a new show out there that captivates my attention, makes me laugh, and inspires my writing. We may not watch shows when their air live but being at home on the couch with my husband is downtime that I truly value. If Olivia Dunham, Sheldon Cooper, and Tommy Gavin happen join us, all the better.

    Photo credit: dailyinvention on Flickr

    Yesterday I attended the TV Talk day of the Vancouver Film and Television Forum. The first session was R.I.P. Conventional TV featuring the following panel:

    Event Link Fest: October Fest

    October 1st, 2009 @ 12:18pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

    I can’t believe how many events are going on around town this month, let alone the handful or so happening tonight. This week’s action-packed Link Fest features everything from music events to fundraisers, enjoy!

    Photo © To Be Inspired on Flickr / ToBeInspired.com
  • Tonight from 6:00pm – 10:00pm League of Rock members will be putting on a showcase at The Yale on Granville.
  • Liberty Wine Merchants is also hosting their Port & Chocolate event tonight at the Vancouver Rowing Club, for a cause.
  • Raw Canvas in Yaletown is hosting their anniversary party tonight.
  • Tonight is the wrap party for the Dress for Success: Dress Me for Success campaign.
  • The Vancouver Chinese Cultural Festival takes place Friday, October 2 – Sunday, October 4 at the Plaza of Nations.
  • The 5th annual Drift Art on Main Street Art Walk & Open Studio Tour takes place this weekend.
  • Yesterday Providence Health Care launched a photo exhibit at St. Paul’s Hospital. Beyond Barriers: Photographs from the Frontlines of Health will be on the rooftop garden until October 16th.
  • The next Just Singing Round event on October 6th will include even more prize giveaways including hockey tickets.
  • October 9-11 is the Fraser Valley Bead & Jewelry Show at the Cascades Convention Center/Casino.
  • Blog Action Day is October 15th.
  • The Surrey International Writers Conference is October 23-25th.
  • Food4Music is a rock concert benefiting the Langley Food Bank taking place October 17th.
  • The Society Promoting Environmental Conservation presents their Harvest Festival on October 17th.
  • There is a new meetup group in town in honor of the .tel registry. Their next meeting is October 7th.
  • October 21st there is a unique event called The Engagement which is targeted at men to educate them on how to pick the perfect engagement ring for their special someone.
  • The Adoptive Families Association of BC has just started selling tickets to their annual “Wine on the Mountain” fundraising gala. It features food and wine pairings up on Grouse Mountain.
  • The Vancouver International Film Festival opening gala is tonight as well. If you have any events you would like me to profile in my weekly link fest, please feel free to contact me.

    The Morrissey on Granville

    October 1st, 2009 @ 9:54am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

    A few weeks ago I got a tour of the newly-renovated Morrissey on Granville and last night Keira and stopped in for a bit to check it out at night. The renovation of this watering hole with a loyal customer base represents far more than a design overhaul; it’s a non-pretentious, laid back, yet really cool place to grab a drink which over the last 20 years or so, was next to impossible to find on Granville.

    Photo credit: Stephen Downes on Flickr

    Anyone who has been to Vancouver knows that Granville street is a pretty interesting place. At night it’s club district is filled with short skirts, egos and testosterone-fueled spats. In the light of day, especially now that the street is undergoing a revitalization, it’s like a blast from the past. The architecture is from a different time, actually more so from various different times.

    Art Deco theatres now house night clubs or stores, while hotels from the 1920s have been turned into hostels or parking lots. Piercing shops and tattoo parlours speckle the landscape in between adult novelty stores with neon “25 cent peep show” signs. Just down the block there’s a Burger King, a Payless Shoes, and private parties for things like BC Fashion Week. This eclectic mix of old and new, posh and rough, trendy and edgy makes it an area of the city where you either go to have fun, or avoid like the plague.

    I met with the designer of the new Morrissey, Reisa Pollard, who said that the renovation was to be the antithesis of EarlStonesClub. However, it was still supposed to be friendly and welcoming to the hotel guests, as it is a part of the Ramada. A classic live venue that has hosted rock and roll acts for a pint or five, she also didn’t want to lose that part of its history. Taking an Irish-themed hotel pub and turning it into a relaxed tribute with antique highlights was definitely a challenge but I’d say Reisa and her team pulled it off.


    Morrissey - Before Morrissey - Before

    Morrissey - Before Morrissey - Before


    Morrissey - After Morrissey - After

    Morrissey - After Morrissey - After

    Morrissey - After

    The Morrissey is located on Granville between Davie & Drake, and its building – the Austin Motor Hotel, dates back to 1906. Some of the elements you’ll see out in the open, as a part of the design, are either original or throwbacks to that time period. During the renovation Reisa removed the wood paneling from the back wall and uncovered the original wallpaper and you’ll also notice band stickers on the bar stools, funky pillows, and old radios stacked up on the walls.

    Music has always been an important part of the Morrissey and they still have live performances and every Saturday night at 10:00pm they will feature current buzz bands, indie, punk, rock, electro, old school hits and rotating DJs.

    Keira and I really enjoyed hanging out there last night. The staff was friendly, helpful, and courteous, and the music was simply fun. Once a Beastie Boys song turned into Tears for Fears Keira exclaimed, “I wish they would play some Duran Duran.” I assured her that given what we had already heard that night, it was probably on tap. Sure enough the very next song was Planet Earth. I would recommend checking it out and if you do, I’d love to hear about your experience.