Vancouver Giants 2012-2013 Home Opener

September 9th, 2012 @ 2:32pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Season 12 of “Hockey with Heart” starts this month with the Vancouver Giants and single game tickets for all 36 home games are now on sale — starting at just $19.

Our team will return to the ice at the Pacific Coliseum to play against the visiting Victoria Royals on September 21, 2012. For the home opener, the first 5,000 fans through the gates will receive a magnetic schedule and the team will be wearing retro jerseys in honor of the 1945/1946 Canucks team being inducted into the BC Sports Hall of Fame.

Giants games are always a good time for the whole family and this season they will have special promotions and events happening for almost half of their home games.

vancouver giants logoOver the course of the season, the Giants will pay tribute to three hockey legends, starting with Captain Canuck himself, Trevor Linden, on Saturday, December 1st. Some of his most storied moments have come right at the Pacific Coliseum, and on this night the fans will get to show their appreciation.

Then, on Friday, Feburary 1st, Burnaby Joe will be at the Coliseum. Despite spending his career with the rival Colorado Avalanche, Joe Sakic is one of the biggest names in hockey to come out of Greater Vancouver. This is a chance for fans in the region to call him their own for the first time and cheer for him.

Finally, on Friday, March 1st, Mr. Hockey himself will be in the building for his annual visit. But this year will be a little more special, as Gordie Howe celebrates his 85th birthday in 2013. On this night, the Giants will pay homage to his storied career and contribution to their franchise.

The 12th season of “Hockey With Heart” will also include a long list of annual favourites like the Teddy Bear Toss (Fri Dec 14), Celebrity Dash for Cash (Fri Jan 18) and Honda Fan Appreciation Night (Fri Mar 15) to wrap up the season.

Season tickets are still available along with Mini-Packs, 6-ticket Flex Packs, and group tickets. Vancouver will also host the Subway Canada/Russie Super Series (tickets will be on sale at a later date). All Giants games can also be heard on TEAM Radio (1040AM/1410AM) this season.

If you would like to attend the home opener against Victoria on September 21st I have a 4-pack of tickets to give away. Here’s how you can enter to win:

  • Leave a comment here naming a Vancouver Giants player (past or present) (1 entry)
  • Post the following on Twitter (1 entry)
RT to enter to win 4 tix to the @WHLGiants home opener from @Miss604 #HockeyWithHeart

Your Giants tickets from the home opener will also get you free admission to Playland the next day (Saturday, September 22, 2012) after 3:00pm.

I will draw one winner at random from all entries on Monday, September 17, 2012 at 12:00pm. Follow the Vancouver Giants on Facebook and Twitter for updates throughout the season.

Update The winner is @timmywong11!

Ka’anapali Fresh 2012: Festival Roundup

September 8th, 2012 @ 3:14pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

The first annual Ka’anapali Fresh festival took place August 31st to September 2nd as hotels, restaurants, chefs, and farmers from around Maui gathered in the Ka’anapali Beach Resort area for a handful of spectacular culinary celebrations.

Panorama from our balcony @TheWestinMaui #Maui #Kaanapali #Hawaii

Being from Vancouver (and John originally from Iowa), we’re well versed in farm-to-fork dining experiences and it was fantastic to see that concept in action while we were so far from home. Throughout our stay we ate a plethora of local ingredients in both simple and complex dishes — from grilled ono, fresh snapper or ahi tacos to taro rolls, poi, Maui Gold pineapples, and famous Moloka’i purple sweet potatoes. We walked a lot, we swam even more, and we enjoyed discovering what The Valley Isle had to offer.

Here’s a recap of the events that made up this first (and not the last) Ka’anapali Fresh.

Progressive Ka’anapali

The Event: Aloha Reception (at the Hyatt Regency Maui), Dinner Tastings (at the Westin Maui Resort), and Island Style Desserts (at the Sheraton Maui)

Maui: August 2012

Maui: August 2012 Maui: August 2012

Maui: August 2012 Maui: August 2012

Maui: August 2012 Maui: August 2012

Ka'anapali Fresh, Maui Maui: August 2012 Maui: August 2012

Maui: August 2012 Maui: August 2012

Features: One course per venue over three hours, starting at sunset. A complimentary shuttle ran between each venue but you could also walk along the beach pathway (which is what we did). There were signs and volunteers to guide the way but the live music and white tents were a giveaway whenever you approached the next stop. Each guest received a wrist-band (for entry to the venues) which had 3 tear-away tabs to be cashed in for drinks but there was also a cash bar.
Highlights For Us: There was just so much food! We are still talking about the tuna tacos from Executive Chef Scott McGill (TS Restaurants) that were at our first stop, the Hyatt. The Mai Tais at the Westin were also our first taste of island spirits. The bonbons (chocolate-covered ice cream balls with fresh coconut) at the Sheraton for dessert rounded out the evening perfectly. We loved exploring three venues and walking to each along the beach at sunset. It was a great introduction to the area on our first night.

Grown on Maui Farmers Market

The Event: Farmers Market at Whalers Village

Maui: August 2012

Features: Farm-fresh eggs, pineapples, smoothies, brocolli, bok choy, green beans, kale, pohole (young fern shoots), and offerings from the Alii Kula Lavender Farm from the area known as Upcountry Maui (where you’ll find farms, goat cheese, flowers, etc.)
Highlights For Us: We grabbed two breakfast burritos for $5 a piece and walked around to see every piece of fruit and vegetable that was grown right there on Maui. A definite highlight was meeting the people who grew the food that we were eating throughout Ka’anapali Fresh.

Ka’anapali Coffee Tour

The Event: Touring MauiGrown Coffee

Maui: August 2012

Features: We went upland with Maui Country Farm Tours to meet Kimo Falconer of MauiGrown Coffee. Participants piled into a tour bus and exited onto the red dirt on the upland slopes of western Maui. We picked coffee cherries, squishing out the beans, and learned about MauiGrown’s varietals like the highly-rated Mokka.
Highlights For Us: I wrote a full blog post about this portion of the festival.

Ka’anapali Fresh Food & Wine Festival

The Event: Bringing Maui’s Farms to Ka’anapali Tables

Another night on #Maui, another food festival event. #KFreshMaui Molokai sweet potato gnocchi with wild boar bacon #KFreshMaui

Maui: August 2012

Features: Lanterns were hung up between palm trees on the golf course as each guest received a souvenir wine glass and a tray to wander and gather samples from each station. Chefs from local resorts and restaurants were paired up directly with farmers, side-by-side, so you could learn more about what you were eating. There was a silent auction benefitting the Maui Country Farm Bureau and the entertainment that evening was superb as Makana then Spyro Gyra performed under the stars.
Highlights For Us: We thoroughly enjoyed our first samples of Maui Blanc Pineapple Wine from Maui Wine at Ulupalakua Ranch along with their sparkling pineapple wine. We loved the Moloka’i purple sweet potato gnocchi prepared by Westin Kāʻanapali Ocean Resort Villas Chef Francois Milliet who won the Ka’anapali Fresh Gold Award for this dish that was prepared with wild boar bacon, Kula onions, currants, and pine nuts. The musical highlight of the trip for us was witnessing Makana’s mad guitar skills.

Champagne Brunch

The Event: Maui’s Award-Winning Brunch at Ka’anapali Beach Hotel (“KBH”)

Maui: August 2012 Maui: August 2012

Ka'anapali Fresh, Maui Ka'anapali Fresh, Maui

Features: Indoor and outdoor buffet lines (with everything from rotisserie lamb to an omelette station) at Maui’s “Most Hawaiian Hotel” prepared by Chef Tom Muromoto. Tiki figures, bamboo, live ukulele and hula performances near the lush green lawn and gardens at the Tiki Terrace Restaurant.
Highlights For Us: The champagne did not stop flowing. I recall that it was from Barefoot and had a silver label so I want to say it was their Brut Cuvee. Again, it did not stop flowing. The live performers and dancers were very talented, providing the perfect soundtrack for our meal. We fell in love with KBH, one of the hotels we stayed with during our trip. We even walked over from another resort a few days later just so we could do the breakfast buffet again.

Artful Creation of Organic-Infused Cocktails

The Event: Mixology with Chandra Lucariello of the Westin Ka’anapali Ocean Resort Villas

Maui: August 2012

Maui: August 2012 Maui: August 2012

Maui: August 2012 Maui: August 2012

Features: We learned three cocktail recipes from Chandra, who was charming, entertaining, and very good at her craft. There was a Maka Tai (a twist on the Mai Tai), a Sparkling Rose Sangria, and the Solera Punch made in a huge silver bowl.
Highlights For Us: Sampling Chandra’s Maka Tai (similar to a Mai Tai) and learning the history of some of the spirits and cocktails.

Maka Tai
1 oz Old Lahaina Silver Rum
1 oz Old Lahaina Dark Rum
1/2 oz DeKuyper Orange Curacao
1/2 oz House-made falernum (Chandra’s sweet syrup recipe)
3/4 oz Fresh lime juice muddled with 3 fresh pineapple slices and 1/2 Tahitian vanilla bean

Concert Under the Moonlight

The Event: Backyard BBQ & Official Launch of Maui Brewing’s Ka’anapali Golden Ale with Third Eye Blind in Concert

Maui: August 2012 Maui Brewing's beer van

Features: We walked around the golf course and along the beach to get to the Royal Lahaina Resort for this outdoor dining event at sunset. There was a definite buzz in the air about headliners Third Eye Blind and this event was completely sold out.
Highlights For Us: We were introduced to Maui Brewing Co. at the media luncheon when we first arrived and instantly became fans. The Ka’anapali Golden Ale brewed for this event was crisp, fresh, with slight fruity overtones. We also tried the Bikini Blond Lager here and the Big Swell IPA. The wind was howling but that night our eyes were wide watching the sun slip into the ocean on the horizon. The streaks of clouds in the sky turned bright orange, then dimmed to red as Ka’anapali Fresh came to a close. Kathy Becklin was at our table and told us that it was a great sunset to witness, even as a local.

Maui: August 2012

Early Bird tickets for the entire Ka’anapali Fresh schedule were available for $365 and individual event tickets ranged from $42 to $150. Organizers (like Shelley Kekuna) did a fabulous job with the festival. There was always a shuttle or an option to walk wherever we needed to go, which was nice. Everything flowed smoothly, there was always live music, and the farmers and the chefs were passionate, knowledgeable and very eager to share their product and their story.

I know Vancouverites travel to Maui (we met quite a few of them there) so if you’re a foodie who’s looking for a vacation getaway, mark Ka’anapali Fresh down in your calendar for next year. Follow Ka’anapali Beach Resort on Twitter and Facebook for more information. They are active on social media (there’s also a Maui Social Media User Group or #MauiSMUG) and their blog posts are a great resource.

View all of John’s photos in his Flickr set, and mine in my Flickr set.

Shout out to Ka’anapali’s social media super team Peter Liu and Jill for their excellent coverage of this event.

Disclosure: Review
This is not a paid post. Our Ka'anapali Fresh experience was compliments of the Ka'anapali Beach Resort association. Views and opinions are my own.

Vancouver Icons: Commodore Lanes

September 7th, 2012 @ 2:21pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Vancouver’s Commodore Lanes, Canada’s oldest surviving bowling centre, opened up below Granville Street on September 8, 1930. Since its neon sign has been advertising bowling and billiards in the downtown entertainment district for the last eight decades, I’ve decided it should be this week’s featured Vancouver Icon:

1946 – Theatres and the bowling sign on Granville. VPL Accession Number: 27166.

Commodore Lanes opened up as a place where “Pleasant Days May Be Spent”. Created to promote quality bowling and billiards in the heart of the city, It has prospered at its Granville Street location ever since. In [82] years, much had changed, but the original motto remains the same. [Source: Commodore Lanes]

Photo credit: elvis_hitler2000 on Flickr

The alley is still alive and kicking, attracting a downtown crowd that’s up for some good old fashioned fun, in slick shoes. They host league nights, parties, tournaments, and the Bowl for Big Brothers Classic in their 18,800 square foot venue with twelve lanes.

A Friday Night On Vancouver's Granville Street A Friday Night On Vancouver's Granville Street
Photo credit: to be, inspired & to be, inspired on Flickr

High scoring game shoes rockin the velcro

Photo credit: Duane Storey on Flickr

Sharpen your pencils and keep score on paper while the foosball table, pinball machines, and the jukebox provide a soundtrack. Vintage photos hang on the wall, cold beer is served by the jug, and all those who haven’t yet found their strike zone can roll the 5-pin bowling ball down the lane ‘granny style’.

Commodore Lanes, Vancouver
Photo credit: Eric Flexyourhead on Flickr

Commodore Lanes
Photo credit: Clayton Perry Photoworks on Flickr

Photo credit: AE Creations on Flickr

You can find Commodore Lanes at 838 Granville and they’re open daily from 11:00am until midnight (from 10:00am on Fridays) and until 1:00am on Fridays and Saturdays. Get active, have fun with friends and family, or wait out some afternoon rain on the weekends at this legendary local — and Canadian — establishment.

Other Vancouver Icons posts include: Siwash Rock, Kitsilano Pool, White Rock Pier, Main Post Office, Planetarium Building, Lord Stanley Statue, Vancouver Library Central Branch, Victory Square, Digital Orca, The Crab Sculpture, Girl in Wetsuit, The Sun Tower, The Hotel Vancouver, The Gassy Jack Statue, The Marine Building, and The Angel of Victory. Should you have a suggestion for the Vancouver Icons series please feel free to leave a note in the comments. It should be a thing, statue, or place that is very visible and recognizable to the public.

Disclosure: Unpaid, Personal Opinion
I was not paid to write this post or any other. Several businesses have and may be featured in themed posts without review product or any other consideration. They just happened to be worthy of a post about their history.

Campbell Valley Park

September 7th, 2012 @ 11:24am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Just east of the Surrey and Langley border, Campbell Valley Park is a 535 hectare green space with kilometers of trails for walkers, hikers, cyclists, and those on horseback. With its open meadow, bubbling Little Campbell River, and leafy marshland, it’s the perfect destination for late summer — and it’s today’s Metro Vancouver Park Series profile.

Campbell Valley Park

When I Was Alone...
Photo credit: BillXu Photos on Flickr

How to Get There
Take Highway 1 east to Langley’s 200th street exit and head south for 14.5km. Turn east on 16th avenue for the North Valley entrance. From Highway 99, take the 8th Ave exit east for 7.5km and follow signs to make your way into the park. You’ll pass 176th (where you would turn to go to the border) and the Campbell Valley Store, which is a sure sign that you’re in the right area — but just keep going a bit further.

View Larger Map

There is a visitor centre and wildlife garden, reservable picnic area (with washrooms), and areas for dogs to roam both on and off leash. Popular trails include the Little River Trail, which is a manageable 2.2km long, the Ravine Trail, and the 14.4km-long Shaggy Mane Trail. You can walk under a crumbling forest canopy in the fall, along a boardwalk network, or stretch your legs in the meadow. Spot squirrels, beavers, birds, and other critters during your adventure in the park.

CVP Boxing Day
Photo credit: missfilly on Flickr

There are a few historic buildings in the park, accessible off 204th street: The Annand/Rowlatt Farmstead and the Lochiel Schoolhouse.

The farmhouse, built in 1888, is one of the oldest houses still extant in the Township of Langley. Both the Annand and the Rowlatt families were important pioneer families in the south Langley community. The first family to farm this site was Alexander Annand and his wife Sarah Ann, who homesteaded here in 1886. The Annands are credited with establishing the Langley Fall Fair in the 1910s. They sold the land to W.F. Taylor in 1905, who leased a portion of the farmstead and the house to Len Rowlatt in 1914. Rowlatt, renowned for his water divining ability, later purchased the house and farm and lived there until his death in 1972. [Historic Places]

Campbell Valley Farm II
Photo credit: BillXu Photos on Flickr

Originally established in 1889, Lochiel School was one of the earliest schools formed in the new province of British Columbia. This later version of the school has a history of use and disuse (1925, 1986) and in being moved about to other sites (1950, 1975, mid-1980s). Built in 1924 to replace the first neighbourhood school house, Lochiel School is important because of its historic and educational significance and because it is one of two surviving examples of its type in Langley.[Historic Places]

We used to visit this park often when I was little and we always attended the Campbell Valley Fair (with hay rides, crafts, kite-making, and kettle corn treats). Now in its 34th year the Country Celebration at Campbell Valley Park is happening September 15th and 16th from 10:00am to 4:00pm. I highly recommend familiarizing yourself with this park at this event if you are not already. The event is $10 per family (children 6 and younger are free) and will feature performers, a ferris wheel and a llama obstacle course. Park off 204th to get to the Country Celebration which will be around the farmstead.

Check out all 50 entries in my Metro Vancouver Park Series for fun, recreation, and local day trip ideas.

Vancouver Retro Cinema Fest 2012

September 7th, 2012 @ 10:08am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

The Vancouver Retro Cinema Fest is bringing cult classics and pop favourites to the Denman Cinemas this month. The 8-day festival will feature 15 hits at the West End theatre including:

  • Sunday, September 23, 2012: An Opening You Can’t Refuse: Godfather I, II
  • Monday, September 24, 2012: Tarantino Night: Pulp Fiction, Inglorious Basterds
  • Tuesday, September 25, 2012: I Heart 80’s: Labyrinth, The Dark Crystal
  • Wednesday, September 26, 2012: Spooktacular: Ghostbusters I, II
  • Thursday, September 27, 2012: Trekkie Khaaan-athon: Star Trek II, VIII
  • Friday, September 28, 2012: Fabulous Friday: Priscilla, Queen of the Desert
  • Saturday, September 29, 2012: Lebowski Bash Vancouver: The Big Lebowski
  • Sunday, September 30, 2012: Back to the Awesome Night: Back to the Future I, II, III

You may have these films on DVD, you might have them listed as favourites on NetFlix, and you might have caught them outdoors during a Stanley Park summer movie night. You know all the best quotes so what would be better than seeing these flicks in the theatre with hot buttered popcorn and fellow fans? Soundtracks will be blaring, you can show off during trivia time, win prizes, and enjoy themed snacks and drinks.

This festival’s concept will be new to Vancouver by way of Australia. The idea to open a Retro Cinema Fest in Vancouver came to former theatre usher Ronald Tucker, originally from Canada, while working at the Orpheum Picture Palace in Sydney Australia’s North Shore. Starting with the roll-out of the Sydney Retro Cinema, Ronald and his business partners knew immediately they were on to something brilliant. “One of my favourite past times is getting together with old friends to celebrate classic films,” says Tucker. “The aim of Vancouver Retro Cinema Fest is to get film lovers from all over the province to come together and celebrate these classic films in true retro style.”

Catch the double-headers, triple-headers, and theme nights for $20 and two special events for $25: The Lebowski Bash and the Priscilla Queen of the Desert Drag Contest.

Tickets are now available online and showtimes for each day are posted. You can purchase a full Vancouver Retro Cinema Fest pass for all screenings and events for $149. Follow the festival on Facebook and the Denman Cinemas on Twitter and the tag #VRCF on Twitter for more information. Denman Cinemas are located at 1779 Comox Street just off Denman in downtown Vancouver.

Update I have two pairs of tickets to give away to any of the Vancouver Retro Cinema Fest events. Here’s how you can enter to win:

  • Leave a comment naming the themed event you would most like to attend at the festival (1 entry)
  • Post the following on Twitter (1 entry)
RT to enter to win tickets to @VanRetroCinema at @DenmanCinemas from @Miss604 #VRCF

I will draw two winners, who will each get a pair of tickets to the event of their choice, on Thursday, September 20, 2012 at 12:00pm. Update The winner is Dani!