Vancouver Canadians Host Blue Jays Opening Day Party 2013

Friday, March 22nd, 2013 — 10:09am PDT
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The Vancouver Canadians are back-to-back Northwest League Champions and they’re ready to vie for another title starting in June. To get revved up for baseball season, they’re hosting a party for the Toronto Blue Jays’ opening day this year — the Blue Jays being the Major League affiliate of the team.

Last year the Canadians hosted a tweetup (a get-together promoted through Twitter) at Mahony & Sons at Burrard Landing and they’ll be back again on Tuesday, April 2, 2013 from 4:00pm onward for a viewing party as the Blue Jays take on the Cleveland Indians at the Rogers Centre.

You don’t need to RSVP but it is helpful so that they can estimate numbers. It’s free to attend and Mahony & Sons will set aside a special viewing area for all those participating. Some great baseball prizes will be raffled off including tickets to Canadians games, memorabilia from the 2013 season, and much more.

Follow the Vancouver Canadians on Twitter and Facebook for more events, activities, and updates leading up to their baseball season.

Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival 2013

Thursday, March 21st, 2013 — 4:10pm PDT
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Fragrant pink blossoms are appearing on branches around the city which can only mean one thing: The Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival is almost here. From poetry and bike rides to painting and dance, the festival has ways for everyone to celebrate the blossoms and the new season.

Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival
Photo credit: rocketcandy on Flickr

Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival
Photo credit: cahadikin & laxtoyvr on Flickr

Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival

Rehearsals are underway for the World Umbrella Dance that will take place in front of the Vancouver Art Gallery on April 13th. RSVP online to participate and book your umbrella for the dance.

Cherry Jam Downtown

Burrard SkyTrain Station (and what will become Art Phillips Park) will set the backdrop for the Cherry Jam Downtown on Thursday, April 4, 2013. Watch Chef Tojo do culinary demonstrations and be sure to pre-order your SakuraB Bento Boxes, which you can enjoy during the afternoon concert series.

Plein Air Blossom Painting

Capture the beauty of the season with Plein Air Blossom Painting at VanDusen Botanical Garden every Saturday from 11:00am to 2:00pm between April 6th and April 27th.

Tree Talks and Walks

Tie up those laces (or slip on those flip-flops) and join one of these Tree Talks and Walks:

Cherry & heritage walk in Mandarin in Coal Harbour
Tursday, April 4th, 2013 from 10:00am to 12:00pm

Tree Talks and Walks VanDusen Botanical Garden
Saturday, April 6th, 2013 from 1:30pm to 3:00pm
and Sunday, April 7th, 2013 from 1:30pm to 3:00pm

Tree Talks and Walks Oppenheimer Park
Sunday, April 7th, 2013 from 10:00am to 11:30am

Tree Talk (not a walk) Blossom Biology Workshop
Thursday, April 11th, 2013 from 7:30pm to 9:00pm

Tree Talks and Walks UBC
Saturday, April 13th, 2013 from 10:00am to 11:30am

Tree Talks and Walks Stanley Park
Saturday, April 13th, 2013 from 2:30pm to 4:00pm

Tree Talks and Walks Queen Elizabeth Park
Sunday, April 14th, 2013 from 1:30pm to 3:00pm

Tree Talks and Walks in the West End and Downtown
Saturday, April 27th, 2013 from 1:00pm to 4:00pm

Bike the Blossoms

In partnership with Velopalooza, you can Bike the Blossoms. This free, guided bike ride will take place Saturday, April 27th, 2013 from 11:00am to 4:00pm.

Sakura Days Japan Fair

The Sakura Days Japan Fair will take place Saturday, April 6, 2013 and Sunday, April 7, 2013 from 10:00am to 5:00pm at VanDusen Botanical Garden. This fun two-day Japense festival will celebrate cultural arts and traditions with activities like an authentic Japanese tea ceremony, festival food, ikebana (flower arranging), premium sake tastings, martial arts demos, a kids’ tent, guided tree talks and walks with Anne Eng, and Haiku Invitational readings.

Haiku Invitational

Allow the blossoms to inspire your poetic side and submit your entries for the Haiku Invitational by Monday, June 3rd, 2013.

Photo credit: Wynonna on Flickr

If you would like to enjoy the blossoms at your own pace you can find out what’s blooming now and use this map of the blossoms around Vancouver to create your own tours.

Vancouver Giants Locker Room Sale

Thursday, March 21st, 2013 — 11:28am PDT
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The Vancouver Giants have closed another season and said farewell to departing 20-year-olds which means it’s time for their locker room sale at the Pacific Coliseum. On Saturday, March 23, 2013 from 11:00am to 3:00pm they’ll be selling off a wide selection of hockey gear including:

Helmets from $40, elbow pads from $25, shoulder pads from $30, pants from $40, gloves from $40, skates from $25, skate mats from $20, socks from $5, and workout attire. The Vancouver Giants will also be selling off special memorabilia items and if you spend $100 you get a free t-shirt (priced at $14.99 or less).

Along with the locker room sale announcement that arrived in my inbox came an infographic called “Surpassing Our Past“:

I had a great time supporting Hockey with Heart and partnering with the Giants this season on several promotions. Follow the team on Twitter and Facebook year-round for all of their news and events.

Foncie’s Fotos Documentary

Thursday, March 21st, 2013 — 10:14am PDT
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I have always loved going through my grandparents’ old photo albums showing their houses, streets, and activities that took place when Vancouver was still being shaped into what it has become today. One of my most cherished photos of my Opa (grandfather) is one that was taken by legendary street photographer Foncie Pulice on Granville in 1956.

Foncie's Photo on Granville Foncie's Photo on Granville

From 1934 to 1979, Foncie Pulice set up his camera on Vancouver city sidewalks and snapped candid shots of people strolling by. For almost half a century, he took thousands of photos, unwittingly capturing moments in time, the history of a city, and the lives of British Columbians.

When you knew you were looking good, strutting your stuff down Granville Street, you made sure to get that Foncie Foto. The photos were taken head-to-toe and they were great, mostly candid shots when you were just being yourself, walking along the street. And if Foncie caught your eye, he captured you smiling back at his friendly face. [About Foncie]

I came across the photo a few years ago and it inspired me to write a blog post about Foncie. I also contributed it to the Foncie Pulice group on Flickr where others have uploaded and shared their own photographs.

Vancouver memories that Foncie’s Fotos brings back to British Columbians are heart-warming. They are of loved ones long gone, the beginning of relationships now celebrating decades of marriage, family shopping excursions, Sunday walks in Stanley Park, Hi-Y initiations, long hot summer days, and wonderful teenage years of movies, dances, and cruising with friends on Granville Street. That was a time when downtown really was the centre of just about everything in Vancouver and people dressed to the nines when they went out. And they got their picture taken.

Just last week I received an email through my contact form about a new project from a local filmmaking team. They are collecting, cataloging, and sharing stories about Foncie’s photos through a “Digital Street Cornerhosted by Knowledge Network. This project is leading to a documentary by Melanie Wood that will air in August of this year.


Photo negatives of Foncie’s images do not exist. He destroyed most of them when he retired. Until now there was no central archive or collection. The images and memories you share will become part of this extensive collection, tracing a timeline through the heart of Vancouver. Your shared images could even become part of a documentary about Foncie and his work. This is a story about Vancouver, about British Columbia, and about it’s people… so we need your help.

If you have any photos by Foncie Pulice that you would like to contribute to this archive you can upload them to the Foncie’s Corner section of the Knowledge Network site. Stories are encouraged if you want to share those as well.

Vancouver International Auto Show 2013

Thursday, March 21st, 2013 — 9:24am PDT
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The Vancouver International Auto Show is coming up March 26th to March 31st, 2013 at the Vancouver Convention Centre West showing off the hottest vehicle trends and technology. The most powerful brands on the road today will be represented and consumers will be able to get up close with the latest models, collectors, and more.

Vancouver International Auto Show 2013

Tuesday, March 26, 2013 to Thursday, March 28, 2013 from 12:00pm to 10:00pm
Friday, March 29, 2013 to Saturday, March 30, 2013 from 10:00am to 10:00pm
Sunday, March 31, 2013 from 10:00am to 6:00pm

Vancouver Convention Centre West (Canada Place)

General Admission $15; Seniors (65+) $10; Students (valid ID required) $10; Children 7-12 (when accompanied by an adult) $4. Family Passes for 2 adults and 2 children 12 and under are $30, and Multi-Day Passes (good for any 2 days) are $25. Taxes and/or fees, may apply to these prices. Tickets are available online or at the door.

The Vancouver International Auto Show will feature exotic cars, trucks, Classic Alley (collector car showcase), and the Red Line Stage that will host a roster of guest speakers. The new Green Ride and Drive will allow consumers to test drive some of the ‘greenest’ vehicles on the market. There is also an Auto Show Preview Gala on Monday, March 25, 2013 with a reception followed by a sit-down dinner in the ballroom.

If you would like to check out out all of the auto action I have a family 4-pack of tickets to give away. 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 a family pack of tickets to the @VanAutoShow from @Miss604

I will draw one winner at random from all entries at 5:00pm on Sunday, March 24, 2013. Follow the Vancouver International Auto Show on Facebook and Twitter for more information.

Update The winner is Gordon!

Vancouver History: Canada’s First Gas Station

Wednesday, March 20th, 2013 — 11:34am PDT
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The Vancouver International Auto Show is coming up next week so with all of the event notifications I’m receiving this week I have cars on the brain. Therefore in the search for today’s Vancouver history piece, Canada’s first gas station came to mind.

Vancouver History: Imperial Oil 1920
1920 – Imperial Oil at 590 Hornby St. Donated by J.E. Hayden. Archives # LP 295.

Vancouver was the home of the first service station in the country when Imperial Oil opened up on the corner of Smithe and Cambie in 1907. According to Chuck Davis’ History of Metropolitan Vancouver, the first car to appear in Vancouver was a Stanley Steamer, in 1899. The first gasoline-powered car arrived in 1904.

The opening of the gas station is actually very well-documented as the Founder of the Vancouver Archives, Major J.S. Matthews, worked as an employee of Imperial Oil at the time (he was in his twenties).

“One day, the telephone rang. The call came from the Hastings Sawmill and the speaker asked me if we had any gasoline which could be used in automobiles.

The office boy replied that we had three kinds: One was ‘74’-brand Baume gasoline and was supplied to drug stores, who sold it to ladies for cleaning their gloves; the second kind was deodorized stove gasoline, used in plumber’s firepots for heating soldering irons, and the third kind was benzine, used for dissolving lacquer in the salmon canneries along the Fraser to prevent the salmon cans from rusting.

The office boy went to the warehouse and told the foreman to send a four-gallon can of ’74’ down to John Hendry, manager of the mill.

That can was the first gasoline ever sold in British Columbia for motorcar use.”

1925 – Pacific at Seymour. Dominion Photo Co. Archives #CVA 1399-530

Left: 1938 – Imperial Oil Service Station Connaught Drive. VPL Number: 15928. Photographer: Leonard Frank.
Right: 1933 – Imperial Oil Granville at 11th. VPL Number: 70726. Photographer: King Studio.

After a while the number of vehicles in Vancouver grew, from a handful to perhaps two hands full, yet the method used to refill their tanks was inefficient and dangerous. “So a 13-gallon (59-litre) kitchen hot-water tank was procured and a length of rubber garden-hose was attached to it.” A night watchman, J.C. Rollston, was the first attendant, they got him a chair (his wife made a cushion for it) and he sat in a corrugated tin shed. The country’s first gas station was established.

“…Ofttimes as I passed and waved good morning, [Rollston] would call out, ‘I’ve been busy this morning!’

‘How many?’ I would call, and he would answer back, ‘Three cars this morning!’ Two local bicycle shops began selling gasoline, which they bought from Imperial for 20 cents a gallon and sold for 40. [Vancouver History]

Chuck Davis writes: “Some have claimed that Imperial’s station was the first in the world. Not by a long shot. There’s no doubt, however, that Vancouver’s first service station was also Canada’s first.”