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Weekend Events Link Fest, End of August 2009

August 27th, 2009 @ 11:50am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

With the smell of the PNE‘s mini donuts wafting through the air and with kiddies scooping up all the latest Trapper KeepersTM, you just know summer is coming to an end. On the bright side, there’s still so much going on around town that consist of both indoor and outdoor activities. Here is this week’s Link Fest for activities this weekend.

Seton Lake

August 28, 2009

  • The YVR Photowalk Group meets for a nighttime photowalk. There will be a nacho tweetup at Two Parrots ahead of time.
  • August 29, 2009

  • Free hugs by donation courtesy of Kraft at the Vancouver Aquarium on Saturday from 11:00am until 4:00pm. For each hug given, Kraft will donate a jar of peanut butter to the Greater Vancouver Foodbank Society.
  • The Gathering Place’s annual block party from 12:00pm – 5:00pm. BBQ lunch, games, music, and watermelon at 609 Helmcken St.
  • Kerrisdale Days starting at noon and running all weekend.
  • On the horizon…

  • Twestival Vancouver is happening September 12th. Tickets will be on sale within the next few days.
  • I’ll be speaking at the Crave Vancouver coffee chat on September 14th.
  • Launch Party 8 is September 16th.
  • Sad Mag launch party on September 17th.
  • Chor Leoni is hosting a fundraising event on September 24th.
  • Vancouver Film and Television Forum is launching September 29th.
  • The Surrey Economic Summit is October 6th featuring former British PM, Tony Blair.
  • Should you know of any other events happening around town this weekend, please feel free to leave a comment and I can add it to the list.

    RIPE: An Evening of Local Food and Libations

    August 27th, 2009 @ 10:09am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

    On October 1st, 2009 the Vancouver Farmers Markets are presenting RIPE: the first annual evening of local food and libations.

    Sea Cider

    The event aims to raise funds and support of the organizations and initiatives surrounding eating local. “This includes the establishment of a Farmers Nest Egg Fund, and the creation of the recently announced New City Market, Vancouver’s first permanent year round farmers market.”

    RIPE will take place on Granville Island and you’ll be able to connect with local producers, listen to speakers, meet the chefs, and of course eat some tasty homegrown creations.

    Tickets are available for purchase online, in person at Barbara-Jo’s Books To Cooks and Edible BC, or by calling the Vancouver Farmers Markets office at (604) 879-3276. Tickets ($90 for members, $100 for non-members) will be on sale until September 29th.

    With your ticket purchase you’ll receive a one year membership for the Vancouver Farmers Market, food, drinks, entertainment for the evening, and access to a silent auction and a raffle draw.

    Sludge Dumping at Burns Bog

    August 27th, 2009 @ 9:37am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

    Burns Bog is the largest domed peet bog on the West Coast of North America and is vital to our entire region’s ecosystem. Over the last 40 years, it has been used as a landfill by the City of Vancouver although what they are now proposing is even more vile.

    Deep Cove Daze 2009

    August 26th, 2009 @ 2:00pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

    This year’s Deep Cove Daze festival will happen this Sunday, August 30th, from 11:00am until 8:00pm at Panorama Park.

    Deep Cove

    The festival, that will have a Caribbean twist, will have free admission, a free bike valet, the Cayman Island Artisan Alley, the Barbados Beer Garden, a cardboard kayak race, and plenty of entertainment for the entire family. Things kick off with a Kids Parade in the morning. Children are encouraged to decorate their bikes for this opening ceremony. They will also run Deep Cove Idol, a talent search for 13-19 year olds, and also 12 year olds or younger. The winner will receive a 3hr demo recording session. Auditions are already taking place but you can email info [at] musart.com for more information.

    You can get to Deep Cove by transit (which may be recommended as parking could fill right up) by taking the 290 Deep Cove bus.

    CIBC Run for the Cure 2009

    August 26th, 2009 @ 11:00am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

    I have promoted this post to the front page of my site for October 4th, 2009. Scroll down to see updates from the 2009 Run for the Cure.

    Photo credit: John Bollwitt on Flickr

    The CIBC Run for the Cure has a special place in my heart. After the second year that I ran it, I came home, showered, and hopped in the car to go pick up John from the airport. That was the day he moved to Vancouver and soon after he became my husband. The following year, we did the run together and I raised funds for the first time through my blog (2006, 2007).

    Photo credit: John Bollwitt on Flickr

    The Run for the Cure is an amazing event with such a great vibe that raises funds for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. It recognizes battles, it celebrate lives, and it joins people across the country on a single day for a single cause. This year’s run takes place Sunday, October 4th. You can sign up for the kids run (1km loop) or the main run (5km) which you are welcome to walk.

    You can sign up online, place a donation, or read the Finding Hope blog for inspiration.

    Update, Sunday October 4th 2009: This morning John and I headed down to Concord Pacific Place in False Creek to cover the CIBC Run for the Cure. Thousands showed up to run, walk, cheer, and participate in this inspiring event.

    Photo credit: John Bollwitt on Flickr

    Survivor Tracy Di Venanzo gave a motivational talk on stage after Premier Gordon Campbell welcomed everyone to the event. All around us were people walking and running in honor of a loved one (or the loved one of someone else).

    Photo credit: John Bollwitt on Flickr

    Photo credit: John Bollwitt on Flickr

    There were numerous dogs (and even a cat), countless strollers, children running in honor of their grandparents or mothers, and thousands of others wearing costumes or proudly displaying their “I’m running for” badges.

    Photo credit: John Bollwitt on Flickr

    I stood at the finish line and clapped as people completed the course and was almost moved to tears whenever someone wearing a pink “survivor” t-shirt went by.

    Photo credit: John Bollwitt on Flickr

    Photo credit: John Bollwitt on Flickr

    There were also several local celebrities taking part, including news anchor Pamela Martin (CTV), Dave Genn (54-40) and his wife Tamara Taggart (CTV). I also heard that Bif Naked, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008, was doing the run as well.

    This is the 18th annual run and over 1 million people have participated in the Run for the Cure since it began. In 2009, Canadians in 56 communities from Victoria, BC to St John’s Newfoundland took part.

    Photo credit: John Bollwitt on Flickr

    The Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation can be found on Twitter (@CBCF_Run) and also over on their Finding Hope blog. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and is the perfect reminder for women to get themselves checked.

    You can view the rest of John’s amazing photos in his Flickr set.

    Vancouver History: Before and After Photos Part Three

    August 26th, 2009 @ 8:23am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

    Since the first two installments of my Vancouver History: Before and After Photos have been a big hit (1, 2) it has become a weekly feature. This week is a bit of a hodge podge, featuring landmarks and views.

    Carnegie Library, Main & Hastings

    Photographer: Trueman, Richard H. – see also, construction of the building in 1902.


    Photo credit: SqueakyMarmot on Flickr

    Venturi-Schulze Vineyards

    August 25th, 2009 @ 11:07am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

    We pulled up to Venturi-Schulze Vineyards and were greeted by Marilyn Venturi who was about to introduce us to her family’s legacy. For 22 years she and her husband have run the winery at Venturi-Schulze, to which they have an undying commitment.

    Venturi Schulze Vineyards

    As we walked through her dozens of acres of vines, flanked by evergreen forests up on Cobble Hill, a member of our group asked Marilyn which grape would she grow if she could only do a single varietal. “That’s like asking which one of my children I’d like to keep,” she said with a chuckle.

    Venturi Schulze Vineyards

    At Venturi Schulze they have never irrigated, never used fertilizer, never sprayed with anything harsh (or that you couldn’t eat), and the run a fully sustainable operation. They encourage natural weed cover and use resources from the surrounding woods, such as nettles for the wines and making tea.

    Venturi Schulze Vineyards

    Standing between rows of pinot grapes, we had a discussion about Vancouver Island wines, and cooking as of late. “Chefs here don’t just talk the talk, they walk the walk,” said Marilyn with regards to eating and preparing food with local ingredients. With Vancouver Island being under 50km away from Vancouver, it’s a great resource for cooks and foodies.

    Venturi Schulze Vineyards

    Being so used to taking wine tours operated by guides in enormous architectural facilities, it was refreshing to walk in the dirt alongside Marilyn and get a true sense of her work, dedication, and creations. “This isn’t a business, this is our life,” she told us. “This is just what we want to do.” She told us some great stories about her children growing up with the vineyard, problems with pesky rabbits, and how she’d go as far as camping out overnight among the vines to catch grape robberies in progress. Most of the time the culprits were raccoons although she said she’s always know the best grapes of the bunch because the animals would go straight for them.

    Venturi Schulze Vineyards

    We walked back towards the house and stopped in at the vinegary where they produce four varieties of traditional balsamic vinegar, of Modena style. We learned about the different types of barrels used, the five types of wood, the process of simmering over an open flame, and the 7-20 years it takes to age.

    The room was crisp and the air was sweet with the smell of aging balsamic. There were separate barrels for each one of her children, containing their own special vinegar that has been aging their entire lives. Marilyn’s husband Giordano was born in Italy and she noted, “for him, it’s a legacy.” All of it — the vineyard, the wine making, the balsamic, and passing this on to his children and one day grandchildren. The family has invested so much into the operation that you can truly see it is a labour of love.

    Some mighty big barrels

    Heading into the house for some tastings Marilyn said for her it’s also about making things happen in an organic, environmentally-friendly, and sustainable manner. “I just want to prove it can be done, especially on Vancouver Island.” We sampled their Brut Naturel, their Pinot Noir, and the Brandenburg No.3. We also had some amazing sorbet made from Ver Jus (from unripened grapes) a little corn syrup, grapefruit peel and lemon peel (see all recipes here). The Ver Jus has a strong citrus taste and it would make the perfect lemon substitute for cooking with local ingredients. “When you taste this, it’s pure here,” noted Marilyn motioning to the land and region that surrounds the vineyard.

    Balsamic vinegar barrels

    You can stop by Venturi-Schulze for tastings which are $5 but fully refunded should you make a purchase in the shop. Calling ahead to inquire about a tour is recommended as the family is out in the vineyard most days. They would like the heads up so they can come down and greet you. All of their contact information, including a map, is available online.

    Venturi Schulze Vineyards

    If you can’t make it over to Cobble Hill, Venturi-Schulze wines are served at Spinnakers in Victoria, online, and some are available (along with the balsamic vinegar) in specialty shops around Vancouver Island and around the Lower Mainland. You can also catch them at various events, including the annual EAT! Vancouver festival.

    I recently toured the South East portion of Vancouver Island with Tourism BC. You can read all of my posts from the trip under the tag: ‘Cowichan‘.

    Workspace is Closed. Thanks for the Memories.

    August 24th, 2009 @ 5:19pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

    Workspace, shared work environment in Gastown, has officially closed its doors for good. The sudden move has left many flabbergasted as Workspace had become an institution of sharing, learning, networking, and to-die-for coffee over the years.

    Photo credit: thelastminute on Flickr

    The concept was simple, create a big open membership-based space with optional offices where those without actual office space could conduct meetings or do work in a professional setting. It was the brainchild of Bill McEwen who has since moved on, leaving the reigns in Dane Brown‘s hands. “It definitely hurts to have to close the doors,” he told me. “We had an amazing 3 year run. It doesn’t seem that long ago that Bill MacEwen and I were pulling all-nighters, trying to make sure everything was ready for the opening party.”

    Photo credit: FormulaPhoto on Flickr

    My first social media event was BarCamp at Workspace in 2006 and since that time I’ve had the pleasure of participating in and hosting events in this unique atmosphere. Dane’s sentiments regarding the connections and relationships formed at Workspace probably hit close to home for many. “I can’t count the number of true friends I’ve made working here or the number of friendships between others I’ve seen form over coffee or good-hearted debate. My favourite part of all this has always been the people and how they connect with one another.”

    Workspace View

    Greg Andrews, one of Workspace’s recent acquisitions, first learned of Workspace while living in Alberta. “I likely read [about] it on a chunky CRT in a windowless office deep inside an Edmonton office park that wasn’t within walking distance of anything meaningful except a smelly meat processing plant.” He moved to Vancouver and became of a part of the community almost instantly, thanks to DemoCamp which was being held at Workspace. “Not only [was I] amazed by the environment of an open concept minimalist loft, I was also amazed by the community and the event, that they would really just let some nobody kid who just moved here stand up and speak in front of the room. Met a handful of people that night and at following WorkSpace events that I’m pleased to still be acquainted with to this day.”

    To many, Workspace has always stood out. If not due to its amazing office space, artwork, and panoramic views, but for the people. “There are many options for shared offices in the city, but the key feature they successfully cultivated (and even advertised on our cards) was community,” said Greg. “That was a bigger perk than the coffee.”

    Who knows what the future will hold, as many businesses and individuals take on “virtual” office spaces but this is truly the end of an era in Vancouver.

    Blogathon Vancouver participants at Workspace (6am)

    “While the physical space will cease to exist, the community that made WorkSpace great is going stronger than ever,” said Dane. “I look forward to seeing members, friends, family, and anyone else who cares to celebrate at the party we’re planning next month. Details will be released in the coming weeks. It was an absolute pleasure to be of service.”

    Update December 11, 2009: In a tweet from Greg Andrews: “In case you missed the subtle mention yesterday, the space formerly known as Workspace has a worthy new tenant: Pixar.”