Honda Celebration of Light 2012

June 6th, 2012 @ 10:59am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

The Honda Celebration of Light will sparkle above the water on English Bay this summer with dazzling displays from Vietnam (July 28th), Brazil (August 1st), and Italy (August 4th).

Celebration of Light
Photo credit: PiscesDreamer – Submitted to the Miss604 Flickr Pool.

While everyone has their favourite place to camp out and watch the night time display in the sky, some of the best seats around will be in the YVR Observation Deck bleachers and The Keg Lounge.

YVR Observation Deck Bleacher seats will be located in English Bay and can be booked for $49 (before July 1) and $59 (after July 1).

Keg Lounge This VIP area will feature food and seats on top of the English Bay Bathhouse. Music for each performance will be broadcast in this area thanks to Shore 104FM. Tickets are $215 for this area.

ShoreFest will return with free concerts and the RedBull air show will take to the skies before dusk each night. Sunset Beach will also offer a host of family activities.

Celebration of Light Fireworks Barge

Celebration of Light Fireworks Barge Celebration of Light Fireworks Barge

Net proceeds from the sale of these tickets go directly to the Vancouver Fireworks Festival Society. Find the Honda Celebration of Light on Twitter and Facebook for more information.

Five Hole For Food 2012 Schedule

June 6th, 2012 @ 9:00am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Five Hole For Food is a cross-country journey with stops in major cities to play road hockey and raise funds for local food banks. Now into its 3rd year, the schedule for this summer’s tour has just been released:

St. John’s July 3rd, Halifax July 5th, Charlottetown July 6th, Saint John July 7th, Montreal July 9th, Ottawa July 10th, Toronto July 12th, Winnipeg July 14th, Regina July 15th, Calgary July 17th, Edmonton July 18th, Victoria July 20th, Vancouver July 21st.

Winnipeg_01 Victoria_01

PEI5 Calgary_16
All photos courtesy of Five Hole For Food on Flickr

Food banks in each of these cities will benefit from the Five Hole For Food road hockey tournament when it rolls into town.

I spoke with founder Richard Loat when he was on the road last year. “It’s been tremendous,” Richard said from the car. “We set out to raise 20,000lbs of food and to surpass that goal by the time we hit Regina was just an indicator about how much this country loves hockey and loves giving back. The fact that we’re able to combine the two so successfully speaks for itself.”

Since its inception Five Hole For Food has raised over 65,000 pounds of food across the country.

Vancouver_163 Vancouver_160

Vancouver_124 Vancouver_001
All photos courtesy of Five Hole For Food on Flickr

If you would like to get involved you can help spread the word, share news and information on Twitter or Facebook, or sign up to play hockey in your city. Team registration is open and all skill levels are welcome to come out and play.

Delta Ocean Pointe Victoria Giveaway

June 5th, 2012 @ 2:34pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

This past weekend my mother, sister, niece and I took the quick trip to Victoria for our annual Girls Getaway. Since 2002, we have taken a weekend to visit Victoria, see the sights, and have a special dinner in honor of my mother’s birthday. Eight times out of ten, we booked our stay at the Delta Ocean Pointe Resort & Spa because of its location, spa, amenities, restaurant, and service.

This year we learned that the hotel had undergone renovations, updatings its decor and technology offerings in the rooms. As someone who travels a lot for business purposes, things like accesible power outlets, WIFI, dock chargers for iPhone and such are almost a must. The Delta has taken this concept a step further and added a new “SmartDesk” to their rooms.

Delta Ocean Pointe Victoria Delta Ocean Pointe Victoria

The SmartDesk is a multi-purpose station located in the new desks that have HDMI hookups, wired internet (although fast, free WIFI is available), and other connectors that allow you to use the room’s large flat-screen television as a monitor or speaker.

We hooked up my mother’s laptop with an HDMI cable, turned on the TV, went up a channel, and the display synced up seamlessly. From there we watched a movie from her computer, on the room’s HD screen — it was great.

Delta Ocean Pointe Victoria

Little touches in the rooms were also noticed such as the auto-night light in the washroom that turned on a soft motion-sensor light when you entered in the dark, two shower heads including a rain shower, turndown service with water and chocolates, and the new ModeRoom decor with a luggage stand built-in was very handy.

The Delta Ocean Pointe is within walking distance of downtown Victoria (just hop across the Johnson Street Bridge), and there’s a water taxi dock right outside as well. After dinner one night we all hopped in the water taxi for a Victoria harbour tour, just steps away from the lobby.

Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe
Photo courtesy of Delta Hotels Ltd.

Delta has refreshed the Ocean Pointe to celebrate its 20th anniversary, investing $14 million into the redesign and technology upgrades for all 240 rooms. The new rooms are classified as Mode, ModeDeluxe, ModeClub and ModeSuites, with renovations overseen by the design firm HOK and completed by local contractors CT1 Construction.

To take the celebration a step further, they have offered up prize for one of my readers that includes 2 nights at the Delta Ocean Pointe Resort & Spa in Victoria in one of their newly-renovated ModeRooms. Here’s how you can enter to win:

  • Leave a comment on this post naming your favourite Victoria attraction (1 entry)
  • Post the following on Twitter (1 entry)
RT to enter to win a stay at the @DeltaOceanPoint in Victoria from @DeltaHotelsLtd & @Miss604 http://ow.ly/bnLFR

I will draw one winner at random from all entries next Tuesday, June 12, 2012 at 12:00pm. Prize does not include transportation to and from the Island. Subject to availability, must be used by June, 2013. Follow Delta Hotels on Twitter and Facebook for more information.

Update The winner is @_EricaDawn!

Car Free Day Vancouver 2012

June 5th, 2012 @ 1:54pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Car Free Day Vancouver includes two days of block parties this year on Saturday, June 16th and Sunday, June 17th (Father’s Day). City blocks will be roped off as merchants open their doors to pedestrian-only traffic and performers take to the streets.

Car Free-ing
Photo credit: jmv on Flickr

There are four main celebration sites around Vancouver that will have free festivities:

Commercial Drive
When: Sunday from 12:00pm to 6:00pm, streets closed 10:00am to 8:00pm
Location: Venables to North Grandview Hwy/Central Valley Greenway Bike Lane
Features include: Roller disco, dance workshops, artisans, kid zone, vintage fashion show.

Main Street
When: Sunday from 12:00pm to 8:00pm, streets closed 10:00am to 10:00pm
Location: From 12th to 29th
Features include: Street hockey, SFU Philosophers’ Cafe, a pedal-powered DJ, BLIM Market, Tai Chi, knit it and living room, kids bike rodeo, music.

When: Saturday and Sunday from 12:00pm to 6:00pm, streets closed 10:00am to 8:00pm
Location: See map below for block party locations
Features: Each block party will be different with activities that vary based on location.

Denman Street
When: Sunday from 12:00pm to 6:00pm, streets closed 10:00am to 8:00pm
Location: From Davie to Robson
Features include: Miss Teen Vancouver World 2012, Vancouver Aquarium, Vancouver Historical Society, West End Seniors’ Network, PuddleCity Arts.

Many volunteers are still needed at each location. You can sign up online if you’re available throughout the weekend. Follow Car Free Day Vancouver on Facebook and Twitter for more information. When tweeting about a neighbourhood, use the tags #CFDrive #CFKits #CFMain #CFWest.

ICBC To Host Twitter Chat

June 5th, 2012 @ 1:17pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

The Insurance Corporation of BC (“ICBC”) will be hosting their first-ever live chat through Twitter this Wednesday, June 6, 2012 from 11:30am until 1:00pm. During that time David Clancy, a Director the Insurance Division will be answering questions from the public.

Big City Nights
Photo credit: Clayton Perry Photoworks on Flickr

This is the first live Twitter chat to be hosted by a British Columbia Crown Corporation and it comes during a 6-week public engagement and consultation regarding their pricing system for their 3.3 million customers throughout BC.

ICBC will lead the chat by proposing insurance options and asking for feedback and questions on each topic they present. To participate, send your message to @ICBC and include the tag #AskICBC.

To share feedback privately, you can reach out through ICBC’s online forum or online feedback form.

While Twitter chats have been tracked with tags for years, events to interact directly with a company or public figure through a public forum on Twitter have recently become more popular. Celebrities started doing question and answer sessions with fans, in April Vancouver is Awesome and I hosted Gregor Live with Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson and a few weeks ago President Barack Obama did the same through his Twitter account.

Vancouver History: L.D. Taylor

June 5th, 2012 @ 11:39am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

1927 – Leonard Frank Photos.
Archives item# CVA 1477-51

66 years ago yesterday Vancouver’s most-elected Mayor, Louis Denison (“L.D.”) Taylor, passed away. Between 1910 and 1934, Taylor served as Mayor eight times, spending 11 years in the city’s top office.

Taylor was born in Michigan and lived in Chicago before coming to Vancouver in 1896 [source]. With Taylor as Mayor, the Sun Tower was built (at the time it was the World Tower), he pushed for South Vancouver and Point Grey to amalgamate with Vancouver, and the airport at Sea Island opened.

According to Chuck Davis’ Vancouver History: “We have recently learned, thanks to a fascinating book by Daniel Francis (L.D. Taylor and the Rise of Vancouver) that Taylor left Chicago—where he had an interest in a bank—in a bit of a hurry, and fled to Canada when the cops started sniffing around. And we also learned that he was briefly married to two women at the same time.”

More from MemoryBC: “In August 1896, L.D. was arrested for charges of embezzlement relating to his partnership in the North and Taylor Bank on West Madison Avenue in Chicago, and fled north to Canada. He arrived in Vancouver, on September 8, 1896.”

June 12, 1925: The Sun had an item on Page 2 about “Vancouver Day.” The Province followed with a story the next day. This first tribute to the city’s pioneers (June 13 was chosen because it was the day in 1792 on which Capt. Vancouver explored Burrard Inlet and the date in 1886 on which the Great Fire occurred) was marked by the unveiling of a drinking fountain at the corner of Carrall and Water Streets, “where once stood a great maple tree.” In a speech by Mayor L.D. Taylor he said that the event would be marked annually. But there’s no other reference to the day until June 13, 1929, four years later. And the 1929 report seems to be the last time Vancouver Day was heard of.

1915 – Throwing out the first pitch.
Archives item# CVA 1477-194.
Canadian Photo Company.

Taylor saw his share of controversy in Vancouver as well. In 1923 he claimed he lost the municipal election because a woodpecker had flown into a transformer, shutting down the streetcar lines and keeping his working-class supporters from the polls.

Then there was an exhaustive inquiry in 1928, toward the end of his time in office: “Allegations of corruption in the police department and city hall revealed that he had associations with known vice operators in the city. Although he was cleared of any criminal wrongdoing, the inquiry blamed his “open town” policy on the proliferation of vice and crime in Vancouver. Mayor Taylor claimed that he had no intention of running a “Sunday School town” and argued that police resources should be spent on major crimes, not victimless vice crimes.” [source]

Taylor’s “Open Town” policy for Vancouver meant that police resources would focus on major crimes and not “victimless vice crimes”. This lead to Hogan’s Alley turning into a red-light style district, more brothels, illegal drinking establishments, gambling dens, and the like. [source: Vancouver CourierThe End of L.D. Taylor“]

Still, Taylor served as Mayor of Vancouver more than anyone else in history.

1930s campaign poster. Archives item# CVA 677-807. Photographer: Philip Timms.

W.H. Malkin was elected mayor in 1929 and oversaw the amalgamation of Vancouver that L.D. Taylor had envisioned. Taylor left Vancouver on a world tour in 1929 and would try again (unsuccessfully) to be elected in 1934.