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Free Swing Dancing on Granville 2012

July 17th, 2012 @ 10:09am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

When the summer sun shines, people love to dance outside in this city and the Vancouver Swing Society wants to help you with your moves. Bringing the sounds of the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s Big Band music to Granville, they’re hosting free swing dancing this Sunday, July 22, 2012.

With the support of Viva Vancouver, the Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association, and Dave Henderson Sound, you can take free introductory swing dance lessons and dance all you want from 1:00pm to 4:00pm. Royal City Swing’s Kyle MacDonald & Natsuko Murao will teach beginner steps as participants move to the music of DJ Alan Cheung.

The next event will take place Sunday, August 5th at the same time but with DJ Professor Smack (Joel Schwarz). On August 19th and 26th, Company B Jazz Band and the Brothers Arntzen Jazz Band will be performing a live soundtrack for the dancers.

All events are free (July 22, August 5, August 19, August 26) and take place on Granville between Robson and Georgia. The road will be closed to traffic and open to all dancers – no partner or previous experience is required.

Salsa Dancing on Granville Street Salsa Dancing on Granville Street
Photo credit: John Bollwitt on Flickr

Up for more free dancing and dance lessons? There’s also Friday night ballroom dancing at Robson Square this summer and Dance at Dusk in Stanley Park on Mondays and Tuesday.

VFS Summer Intensives: Intro to Sound Design

July 17th, 2012 @ 7:09am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

This week I have gone back to school, kind of. The world-renown Vancouver Film School has invited me into their Summer Intensives classes, which are brief crash-courses, each representing a slice of a full multi-month program and course load. The intensives run for eight hours, five days this week and should they desire, students can then sign up for the full program in the fall. I’m getting a sneak peek (a few hours a day) in a different Summer Intensive each day this week. My first course on Monday was Intro to Sound Design.

It was the start of the week for every Summer Intensives student so there was an orientation at VFS’s campus on Homer at Hastings. There, students from around the globe (South Africa, Venezuela, Australia, and some locals) were welcomed to their programs and introduced to some of the impressive work that VFS alumni have done within the last year alone.


We were then carted away to the Sound Design campus which is located at 1380 Burrard (at Pacific) while other programs stayed at either 420 Homer or walked over to 198 West Hastings. There I met Shane Rees, Head of Sound who gave an overview of the week’s course content and introduced a few of the department’s faculty who in turn touched on their courses offered throughout a regular school year. Seated in a theatre with a large mixer across the front floor, students introduced themselves and shared a bit of their backgrounds. Some had sound experience in film, others were musicians, gamers, or business students looking to change things up. Previous experience with ProTools, microphones, or foley sound editing not required. You don’t even need to know how to play a piano to take this course.

Course Content

Shane explained that they focus on post-production sound for television and film, and game sound design. You don’t attend to learn how to compose or record for musicians. As for games, he said to keep your mind open to it as a medium, “it’s such an interesting and dynamic industry that is so young, it’s going to be challenging.” Gaming is also the reason that PC software is still prevalent, even though it’s a Mac-based campus. Shane then told us all that we were going to learn some physics and I immediately though of that glint my husband gets in his eye while wearing his Nikola Tesla t-shirt as he tells me about kilohertz and frequencies.

Sound is Energy
Instructor Gary Bourgeois pulled up the whiteboard and attempted to explain what he covers in a full course of Physics & Psychoacoustics within a 40 minute time frame. He then asked us a question that hovered like a cloud over our heads for a good half-minute: “What is sound?”

Disclosure: Review
I am not being paid to attend, or cover the VFS courses. I found this to be a unique opportunity and decided to sit in for a few hours each day upon invitation of VFS staff.

I Love Transit Week 2012

July 16th, 2012 @ 1:29pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

It’s officially I Love Transit Week in Metro Vancouver that involves online contests, promotions, and I Love Transit Night.

Mr Pattullo

Join Translink at Bonsor Recreation Complex in Burnaby (right near Metrotown) on Wednesday, July 18, 2012 from 6:00pm to 8:30pm. The event was packed to capacity last year so they’ve made sure to book enough space for this event. Activities will be available for all ages and include playing a transit board game, enjoying food and drinks, trivia games, colouring for the kids, giveaways, and more. You can take transit right to the event, like the #19 Stanley Park/Metrotown or the SkyTrain to Metrotown.

Canada Line Preview Tour Canada Line Preview Tour

To attend I Love Transit Night, just fire an email to thebuzzer[at] and put “RSVP” in the subject line. Include your name, age, and number of guests.

In celebration of I Love Transit Week, I also have a prize pack to give away courtesy of Translink and The Buzzer. It includes:

  • 3-zone FareCard, good for a month of unlimited transit travel
  • A cooler tote bag
  • A beach towel
  • A Frisbee to get you moving
  • A bottle of bubbles
  • A $10 gift card to Dairy Queen
  • SPF 45 hypoallergenic sunscreen
  • Metro Vancouver cycling and transportation maps
  • And the full collection of Translink’s transit buttons

Here’s how you can enter to win:

  • Leave a comment on this post naming your favourite form of transit (bus, Millenium or Expo Line SkyTrain, Canada Line, Sea Bus, etc.) (1 entry)
  • Post the following on Twitter (1 entry)
RT to enter to win a summer transit prize pack from @Translink & @Miss604

I will draw one winner on Friday, July 20, 2012 at 3:00pm. Follow @Translink on Twitter for questions, comments, and the latest service information.

Update The winner is Darcy D – congratulations!

Blogger Profile: Vanessa Choot

July 16th, 2012 @ 11:29am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Over the years I have profiled bloggers from the Northwest Territories to the Fraser Valley, anyone that interests me and that I hope will interest you as well. A few years ago I started asking a standard set of questions and I’ve sent these out to a few local bloggers for this week’s series. Click, share, explore, and enjoy.

Vanessa Choot

VanessaBlog: Modern Mix Vancouver
Facebook: /modernmixvancouver
Twitter: @ModernMixVan

How long has your blog been around?
I started Modern Mix Vancouver in May 2009, so I have been blogging for over 4 years!

What is your role/involvement (developer, owner, blogger etc.)
I’m the founder and editor of Modern Mix Vancouver.

What does your site do/what is it about
Modern Mix Vancouver is a Canadian lifestyle blog. We cover local events & lifestyle, fashion & retail, beauty & skincare and food & drink.

What can people see, read, and do when visiting your site?
Visitors to Modern Mix Vancouver can read up on the newest beauty products, local restaurant reviews, Vancouver events and lots more. I live in downtown, so naturally, many of the happenings I write about take place in the Vancouver lower mainland core; that is: downtown Vancouver and all its neighbourhoods, Kitsilano and Main Street. I recently adopted a rescue dog named Teddy in January, so some of my newer postings also focus on pet product reviews. Content on Modern Mix Vancouver is written with locals in mind, but I’m sure some tourists stumble across my website as well.

Why do you blog?
Blogging has opened so many doors for me – personally, socially and professionally. It has provided me with very unique opportunities to connect with my city and I’m always so excited to “be in the know” about events, trends and openings in Vancouver. I’ve had the opportunities to work with a wide array of businesses, from large national brands to small local boutiques – every experience has been unique, every event is different and I always look forward to seeing what’s next!

What is the ultimate goal for your site, how would you like to see it grow?
For me, blogging is not a means to an end – I’ve enjoyed this process very much over the past for years. I would like to continue to stay relevant to my readers and to keep up with my postings, which will ultimately help Modern Mix Vancouver grow as a Vancouver lifestyle brand.

Follow Vanessa: Modern Mix Vancouver, on Facebook, and Twitter

Read all entries in my Blogger Profile series and feel free to suggest a blogger for possible feature in the comments of this post.

Downtown Surrey Walk and Meetup

July 16th, 2012 @ 10:09am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Next weekend BC’s largest multicultural celebration, the Surrey Fusion Festival, will take over Holland Park with two full days of music, food, and free entertainment. Between filling up on empanadas, Jamaican smoothies, and cannoli or watching Delhi 2 Dublin, Good For Grapes, Hawksley Workman, and Los Lobos, you can take a free walking tour of the city’s new downtown core.

Surrey Fusion Fest 2011 Surrey Fusion Fest 2010
Surrey Fusion Festival. Photo credit: John Bollwitt on Flickr

Paul Hillsdon and Nathan Pachal of the blog Civic Surrey will lead a Downtown Development Tour at 11:00am on Saturday, July 21, 2012. You can meet them at Gateway SkyTrain station and join the tour for free, just RSVP. If there’s anyone who can tell you about present and future developments in Surrey, it’s these two.

“The downtown walking tour is an opportunity for locals from across the region to see first-hand the urban transformation underway in Surrey. For followers on Civic Surrey, who read about these changes on the blog, it’s a chance to experience downtown on foot and meet some new friends along the way,” Paul told me.

“We’ll examine SFU Surrey and the new City Centre Library, as well as private developments from Concord Pacific and Century Group. Of course, this is also the weekend of Fusion Festival, so there’s no better time to explore downtown and then enjoy the rest of the evening at one of Surrey’s premier regional events!

If you can’t make it out for the walk, they’ll host a Civic Surrey meetup at the Fusion Festival at 1:00pm on Saturday where you can meet Paul and Nathan, and chat with other readers of the site.