Santa Claus Parade 2012: Surrey and Vancouver

Friday, November 16th, 2012 — 10:09am PST
Comments 3

Candies and costumes have been replaced with wreaths and ornaments on store shelves as we shift into the holiday season. Popular opinion is that it’s still too early to hear Christmas music but with December being just over two weeks away, plans are being made, gifts are being purchased, and many are ramping up for the festivities that will come.

The Vancouver Christmas Market opens next week, the Surrey Tree Lighting Festival is in a week, and two big parades will soon ring in the season:

Photo credit: kiwi_cam on Flickr

Rogers Santa Claus Parade Vancouver

When: Sunday, December 2, 2012 at 1:00pm
Where: Starting at West Georgia and Broughton, traveling east along West Georgia, turning south on Howe and finishing at Howe and Davie.
Visit the Coast Capital Savings Christmas Square at the Vancouver Art Gallery from 10:30am to 1:00pm for pre-parade festivities and entertainment. Bring donations for the Greater Vancouver Food Bank. Non-perishable food items will be collected along the parade route, near the front of the curb or at the Coast Capital Savings Christmas Square.

Surrey’s Santa Parade of Lights

Website, Facebook
When: Sunday, December 2, 2012 at 5:00pm
Where: The parade will start at 5:00pm from the Cloverdale Fairgrounds parking lot and will start down 176A St. It will then make its way to historic 176 St in downtown Cloverdale via 58A Ave.
The traditional parade with floats, marching bands, antique vehicles and horses will be joined by an amazing lighted Truck Parade. Everyone is encouraged to bring either a non-perishable food item or a children’s toy that will get picked up by one of the members of the Surrey Food Band and the Surrey Christmas Bureau.

Rogers Santa Claus Parade 2011
Photo credit: WinstonWong* on Flickr

Don’t worry kids! Santa will be able to make both events as the Vancouver parade is in the morning and Surrey’s is later in the evening.

Barney Bentall & The Grand Cariboo Opry Christmas

Thursday, November 15th, 2012 — 1:08pm PST
Comments 33

Legendary Canadian musician Barney Bentall has just released his ninth studio album Flesh & Bone which was recorded in Vancouver. Currently touring through Alberta, Bentall will be playing a very special concert at the Vogue Theatre on December 8, 2012.

Barney Bentall & The Grand Cariboo Opry Barney Bentall & The Grand Cariboo Opry Surrey Fusion Fest 2009

Richardson GMP and Potluck Café Society, in association with Paul Mercs Concerts, are proud to present Barney Bentall and The Grand Cariboo Opry at The Vogue Theatre on Saturday, December 8. A treasured tradition among Vancouver’s local community, this fundraiser and one-of-a-kind variety show brings over 800 concertgoers together to support Potluck Café Society.

The Potluck Café Society is a social enterprise that works to transform lives in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside by providing people in the community with stable employment and free, nutritious meals through its café and catering business. Over the past six years, the proceeds of Barney Bentall & The Grand Cariboo Opry have helped to create jobs and serve over 40,000 nutritious meals to people living in the Downtown Eastside.

At the Christmas show Barney Bentall will host an evening of entertainment with special guests like Ridley Bent, Dustin Bentall, Wendy Bird, Kendel Carson, Matt Masters, and more. Tickets are currently available for $39.95 to $49.95 through the Vogue Theatre box office.

I have 5 copies of Barney Bentall’s CD Flesh & Bone to give away along with a pair of tickets to this event. Here’s how you can enter to win one of these prizes:

  • Leave a comment on this post (1 entry)
  • Post the following on Twitter (1 entry)
RT to enter to win tickets to @BarneyBentall and The Grand Cariboo Opry Christmas show from @PMConcerts & @Miss604

I will draw 5 winners: 4 will receive a CD and the fifth will receive a CD and tickets to the show. Winners will be drawn at random from all entries next Thursday, November 22, 2012 at 12:00pm.

Update The winners are Mary (CD + tickets), Ramona (CD), Bonnie (CD), Shara (CD), Bluesman (CD).

Translink Fares Go Up January 1, 2013

Thursday, November 15th, 2012 — 10:09am PST
Comments 3

I remember a time when I could ride the SkyTrain for 75 cents. Mind you, the SkyTrain ended at Scott Road and there was only one line, not three. Fare hikes are an inevitable part of life in a major metropolitan area with the last one around here taking place April 1st, 2010. The Translink Buzzer Blog has laid out the changes that will take effect January 1, 2013:

There are some questions in the comments of the Buzzer Blog post that Jhenifer from Translink has answered such as:

Q: “I have a few $9 DayPasses saved on hand just in case. If I don’t use them by January’s fare increase, will I still be able to use them?”

A: “You can still use old DayPasses and FareSavers even if the fare increase has already taken effect. This happened during our last fare increase in 2010—FareSaver prices were increasing on April 1, 2010, so lots of people stocked up on FareSavers at the cheaper price before that.”

5 o'clock read
Photo credit: Scapevision on Flickr

What do you think about the latest transit fare increase?

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For additional comments or answer options not given in the poll, please use the comments to discuss. Read more about the full changes that will be happening in the New Year and follow @Translink on Twitter for daily route information and general questions.

Vintage Vancouver: Archival Films from the Vancouver City Archives

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012 — 2:13pm PST
Comments 5

This Sunday you can check out Vintage Vancouver: Archival Films from the Vancouver City Archives at the Vancity Theatre on Seymour. This collection of rare and unique footage will offer a glimpse of Vancouver during different eras such as 1950s Chinatown, the construction of the Stanley Park Railway in 1964, 1970s tourist attractions, and a protest in 1981 on Granville Street against a controversial film.

1959 – Archives item# CVA 672-1. BC Jennings Photographer.

Using 50 years of material, local historian Michael Kluckner guides us on a moving image journey into Vancouver’s past. With musical accompaniment by jazz pianist Wayne Stewart, this year’s highlights include home movies, park board films, experimental films, and on-the-fly documentaries.

The screening takes place at 2:00pm on Sunday, November 18, 2012 and tickets are available online. The Vancity Theatre is operated by VIFF and a membership is required for $12. With your membership fee you get a free film (which can be this one). If you’re already a member, you can skip this step when ordering and purchase a ticket for $12.

I have a pair of tickets to give away to a reader as well, here’s how you can enter to win:

  • Leave a comment on this post (1 entry)
  • Post the following on Twitter (1 entry)
RT to enter to win tickets to Vintage Vancouver Archival Films @VanArchives from @Miss604

I will draw one winner tomorrow (Thursday, November 15, 2012) at 10:00am. Must be 19+ to attend films at the Vancity Theatre. Learn more about the Vancouver City Archives by following them on Twitter, Facebook and through the AuthentiCity blog.

Update The winner is Jeff!

Vancouver Icons: Canada Place

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012 — 10:50am PST
Comments 1

Aerial photos, illustrations, and digital artwork often feature the sails at Canada Place. Cruise ships are docked, conventions are held, and major festivals are celebrated at this landmark which is this week’s Vancouver Icon photo feature:

Canada Place
Photo credit: bcbusinesshub on Flickr

Canada Place Canada Place
Photo credit: Zorro1968 & Clayton Perry Photoworks on Flickr

2016 - Vancouver Canada Place Cruisers

The Drop with Canada Place
Photo credit: Ruth and Dave & どこでもいっしょ on Flickr

During Expo ’86, the Canada Pavilion at Canada Place was opened by HRH Prince Charles and The Right Hon. Brian Mulroney, Prime Minister of Canada. Among the largest and most elaborate pavilions presented by any nation at any World’s Fair, the Canada Pavilion hosted more than 5 million visitors prior to the October 13, 1986 closing date. The Canada Pavilion has been acknowledged as one of the best-ever host nation pavilions at a world exposition. Wholly funded by the Government of Canada, the Canada Pavilion was converted into the Vancouver Trade and Convention Centre in 1987 and was then officially turned over to the Province of British Columbia as a lasting legacy for the Canadian people. [Source: Canada Place History]

Canada Place
Photo credit: {e u g e n e} on Flickr

面壁 The will to do, the soul to dare
Photo credit: Jianwei ., & Jianwei ., on Flickr

Downtown Vancouver

Today in Vancouver: Ship to ship, sail to sail | Cruise Ships at Canada Place
Photo credit: [travelfox] on Flickr

Canada Place Cruise Ship
Photo credit: bcbusinesshub on Flickr

Coloured Sails
Photo credit: Wayneson Chan on Flickr

Beyond the Bridge
Photo credit: Matzuda on Flickr

If you haven’t already, grab your tickets for Breakfast with Santa at Canada Place. This event and all Christmas at Canada Place activities support Strathcona Community Centre’s Food Security For Children. Miss604 is once again a proud sponsor of Christmas at Canada Place.

Other Vancouver Icons posts include: Old Courthouse/Vancouver Art Gallery, Dominion Building, Science World, Gastown Steam Clock, SFU Burnaby, Commodore Lanes, 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.

30 Days of Kindness with Marc Smith and Covenant House

Tuesday, November 13th, 2012 — 5:56pm PST
Comments 3

Marc Smith has taken on another 30 Days Adventures campaign after completing a month’s worth of food truck meals earlier this fall and 30 days of local exploration this summer. His latest challenge is to complete acts of kindness every day for 30 days. From handing out flowers to strangers to buying cups of coffee for strangers, Marc has partnered with individuals and companies to help them give where they live.

I have joined Marc for one day during each of his “30 Day” campaigns and today we met up with Michelle Clausius of Covenant House to learn more about their work in our community.

Covenant House VancouverCovenant House’s Mission: “Providing love and hope to Vancouver’s street youth. We help youth aged 16 – 24 who have fled physical, emotional and/or sexual abuse, those who have been forced from their homes or those who have aged out of foster care.”

Michelle is the Associate Director, Development & Communications and I have corresponded with her before about Covenant House campaigns. She recently sent me information about their Sleep Out happening on Thursday.

“It started in New York last year and it’s the youth’s reaction to the Sleep Out that made us want to do it.” Michelle told us that she knows one night isn’t going to make up a full experience but it’s this action, by local business leaders and celebrities, that will draw awareness and raise funds for Covenant House both in Vancouver and in other cities across North America.

About 20 participants are confirmed in Vancouver including Jillian Harris, Bob & Ryan Lenarduzzi, and Elaine Lui who have each been collecting pledges for their Sleep Out. The group have dinner at Covenant House over on Pender Street then they’ll have a roundtable discussion with youth from the shelter’s Rights of Passage program. Then it’s out the back door to spend the night outside behind the building. All those who will be sending updates to Twitter can keep their phones otherwise they need to be surrendered, as the youth do when they go to Covenant House.

“Because we’re privately funded, over half our revenue for the year comes in November and December,” Michelle added. Initiatives like this and the Christmas Backpack drive make a big difference.

Marc and I decided to pick up some items that are listed on the Christmas Backpack wish list before we met up with Michelle. We were drawn to the request for journals since we’re both bloggers and Marc’s been honing his writing skills over the course of his 30 Days campaigns. Michelle told us that it was a helpful pick as journaling is a therapeutic outlet and it encourages creativity.

“The blog gives our youth workers an opportunity to really feel a part of what we’re doing in the fundraising department because they write a lot of the stories, which is awesome!”

I also gave Michelle a copy of my new book, which is about blogging for business. I think the Covenant House Blog is fantastic and they could probably write their own book on blogging for non-profits.

Michelle said that when they launched their blog they immediately saw a jump in website traffic and donations. “When we started using Twitter and Facebook then it kind of went even further, that really seemed to help.” Frequent blog posts help with search engine optimization and give people a reason to come back to their site. Overall, the blog also gives those at Covenant House the opportunity to tell their stories.

After our chat, Michelle gave us a tour of the location at Seymour and Drake so that we could see their facilities and understand the safe environment they have built for the youth. We then parted ways. Marc went back to his office to document our day and I did the same. Another day, another learning experience where I discover more hard-working and dedicated people to admire in this city.

Follow Covenant House BC on Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook, and keep track of Marc’s adventures by following him on Twitter.

Update Read Marc’s blog post about the day.

A Milestone Post

This post is actually the 5,000th post I have published on Over the last 8 years the most popular tags and categories I have used to classify my posts include: Events, Non-Profit, Cheap Things to Do, Contests, Charity, Photography, and History. These are exactly the topics I love covering the most and sharing with my audience. I thought this post would be fitting content for this milestone and I’m thankful for the opportunities I have been given over the years to travel, meet talented people, learn more about local businesses, support non-profits, and share my passion. Thank you for reading!