Shane Koyczan at the Vogue Theatre

April 20th, 2012 @ 11:12am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

BC poet and writer Shane Koyczan will be headlining at the Vogue Theatre tomorrow, April 21, 2012 with guest Hannah Epperson.

Vogue Theatre Relaunch
Photo credit: John Bollwitt on Flickr

Koyczan showcased Canada to the world through poetry when he performed “We Are More” during the opening ceremony of the Vancouver 2010 and prior to that, he became the first Canadian to win the Individual Championship title at the US National Poetry Slam. He’s collaborated with Dan Mangan, performed at Live at Squamish, and has published several books.

Instructions for a Bad Day – Shane Koyczan Pink Shirt Day Student Collaboration

The Guardian (UK) and the Globe and Mail (Canada) hailed his book, Visiting Hours, as a Book of the Year Selection. His second book, Stickboy, is a novel in verse. Written for anyone who has ever been a child, Stickboy continues to be hailed by teachers, academics, and mental health experts alike for its deft handling of the subject of bullying. Shane’s third book, Our Deathbeds Will Be Thirsty, released in 2012, proves once again to be an outstanding addition to an amazing repertoire.

His show tomorrow, called “Shane Koyczan & The Short Story Long”, is his last stop on a tour that took him to Guelph, Sasktatoon, and beyond. The style of the show is “talk rock” and is accompanied by music that ranges from folk to funk, ambient to rock. Tickets are still available for $25.

Tulips of the Valley Festival in Agassiz 2012

April 20th, 2012 @ 10:10am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

2014 Tulips of the Valley Festival Info

The Tulips of the Valley Festival in Agassiz is in full swing with more colours popping from millions of bulbs on Seabird Island.

40 Acres of Tulips

When I visited a few years ago, there were 30 different varieties growing along 40 acres of land. The festival’s website is updated daily with information about the flowers and weather.

Today’s report: “April 20th update: More and more colour appearing each day. One variety of red is nearing full bloom, Orange and Purple are also getting much more colourful. A day of sun/warmth and those colours will reach full bloom with the rest close behind. How much colour? It all depends on the temperature the next few days. Warm weather = more blooms, cool weather = fewer blooms. The best show will likely be between April 25th and 29th.”

It’s simply a field of tulips but the vast quantity and array of colours is quite the sight, not to mention the setting (in the valley near the river) is beautiful with Mount Cheam looking-on. It’s a great way to explore this corner of the Fraser Valley, pick up some bulbs and flowers, and spend a day outside with the family.

Agassiz, BC

The festival will run for about another two weeks along Chowat Road [Google Map]. Hours of operation are 12:00pm to 4:00pm Wednesday to Friday, 10:00am to 5:00pm on Saturdays and Sundays, and they are closed Mondays and Tuesdays. Admission is $3 for adults, $2.50 for seniors, and kids 12 and under are free. Parking is not permitted on Chowat Road but you can park and walk down. However, handicap parking is available near the fields if need-be.

The Tulips of the Valley Festival is part of the Agassiz-Harrison Mills Circle Farm Tour along with the owner’s tulip stand located at 1694 Tranmer Rd.

Update “April 27th: We have now reached full bloom. This weekend will be spectacular. How much colour? It all depends on the temperature the next few days. Warm weather = more blooms, cool weather = fewer blooms.”

Ingrid Michaelson in Vancouver

April 19th, 2012 @ 7:53pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Ingrid Michaelson will be performing at the Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver this Sunday, April 22, 2012.

Michaelson released her latest album, Human Again, this past January and is known for several hit singles, about love and relationships, like “The Way I Am,” “Maybe,” and “Keep Breathing.” Her songs have been featured on television shows such as Grey’s Anatomy, American Idol, Parenthood, and So You Think You Can Dance.

The show is 19+ and tickets are still available for $25 from Live Nation, Ticketmaster outlets, and Rogers Wireless Box Office, and by calling 1-855-985-5000.

If you would like to attend Sunday’s concert, I also have a pair of tickets to give away. Here’s how you can enter to win:

  • Leave a comment on this post with the name of an Ingrid Michaelson song (1 entry)
  • Post the following on Twitter (1 entry)
RT to enter to win tickets to see Ingrid Michaelson in concert from @LiveNationWest & @Miss604

You must be 19 years of age or older to enter the contest, win, and attend the concert. I will draw one winner at 11:00am on Friday, April 20, 2012. Update The winner is Nancy!

BC Summer Games in Surrey: Torch Lighting Ceremony

April 19th, 2012 @ 1:37pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

The 2012 BC Summer Games are coming to Surrey this summer. Close to three thousand athletes from around the province will compete in baseball, lacrosse, swimming, wrestling, athletics, basketball, golf, volleyball, and more at 15 venues around the city.

To kick off the excitement for the Games, there will be a torch lighting ceremony at Bear Creek Park today, Thursday April 19th, at 6:30pm. The one-hour ceremony will be hosted by Global BC Senior Meteorologist Mark Madryga and feature youth performers including steel drummers, dance teams, taiko dummers, and more.

Payton Rector will be singing “Because We Dream”, the 2012 Games theme song co-composed by Doug Johnson.

There will be a short torch relay around the track then Mayor Dianne Watts and a local athlete from Surrey will light the ceremonial Games torch.

The BC Summer Games will take place July 19th to July 22nd at Bear Creek Park (13750 88th Ave). They are also still looking for volunteers if you’re interested in signing up. Follow the BC Summer Games on Twitter and Facebook for more information.

YVR Airport: Best in North America

April 19th, 2012 @ 12:40pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

For the 3rd straight year, Vancouver International Airport (“YVR”) has been named the Best Airport in North America by the Skytrax World Airport Awards.

YVR Observation Area

The awards, announced today in Vienna, Austria, recognize product and service quality across the world’s airport industry and are based on an independent survey of 12 million passengers from 108 countries. Airports were ranked based on 39 criteria, including design and layout, retail facilities, cleanliness, clarity of flight information and signs, luggage handling and transportation.

Landing at YVR YVR Domestic Terminal - Canada Line

YVR Domestic Terminal

In recent years YVR has opened up a public observation deck, added dozens of pieces of West Coast art along with an aquarium, a spa, honey bees at the Fairmont, and more features that make it stand out from the rest. In 2011 the airport was also Jaeger Mah’s home for 80 days as he participated in the Live at YVR digital campaign.

I flew over 70,000kms in 2011 alone and I must say, of all the airports I’ve visited from Oregon to Ghana, that YVR is by far my favourite. Not only is it “home”, it has free WIFI, free carts, Friday festivals for families in the summer, and great staff.

Vancouver South African Film Festival 2012

April 19th, 2012 @ 10:24am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

The 2nd annual Vancouver South African Film Festival is being held this weekend at Denman Cinemas in the West End. From April 20th until 22nd, films will be screened in order to raise funds for the Vancouver-based non-profit Education without Borders and also to broaden the public’s understanding and appreciation of South Africa’s rich and complex culture.

South Africa’s emerging film scene will be in the spotlight with the opening gala screening of Under African Skies, a documentary about Paul Simon’s return to South Africa. Other films include dramatic thrillers, comedies, documentaries, and more. The closing gala screening will be Spud starring John Cleese. A full schedule is available online.

Tickets are currently on sale for the gala ($35) and regular films (around $12). If the film is not sold out, tickets will be sold at the door as well.

Follow the Vancouver South African Film Festival on Twitter and Facebook, and learn more about Education Without Borders. The Denman Cinemas are located at 1737 Comox Street.