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Prince George's Outdoor Ice Oval

January 30th, 2010 @ 7:57am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Yesterday I hopped a flight up to Prince George as a guest of Northern BC Tourism to check out the Olympic Torch Relay as it passes through along with some of the seasonal activities the region has to offer.

Outdoor Ice Oval

One of our first stops was over at the Outdoor Ice Oval. A crisp, slick rink located in a bowl next to the exhibition grounds.

Outdoor Ice Oval- $5 Lifetime Membership Outdoor Ice Oval - Honour System

This community rink is open to the public 7 days a week for families, skaters, kids and clubs. I’m not sure where the hot chocolate came from but it was a very nice touch.

Outdoor Ice Oval - Prince George Blizzard Outdoor Ice Oval - Prince George Blizzard

Outdoor Ice Oval - Prince George Blizzard

We showed up as the local speedskating club is practicing, and lucky for us, members of the Prince George Blizzards were willing to give us a skating tip or two.

Outdoor Ice Oval
I learned the difference between short and long track skates, the proper positioning, and also that Kris Krug is probably the only person I know who could pull off the ‘leather chaps with speedskates’ look.

Outdoor Ice Oval Outdoor Ice Oval - kk

Facilities like this rely on community support (and that honour system) and they have recently invested quite a bit into keeping the Oval up and running. This includes getting better mechanisms in place to get the ice frozen and now there’s even have a Zamboni to surface the ice.

Outdoor Ice Oval

All of this care and dedication has certainly paid off. For a community rink it’s not only huge but it has also built its own community around it. You can stop by for a skate, take the stroller with you, practice your skills, or sit on the sidelines with a cup of hot chocolate.

Outdoor Ice Oval Outdoor Ice Oval

Outdoor Ice Oval Outdoor Ice Oval

Outdoor Ice Oval

Parents, children, and recreational users converge in this chilly oasis as giggles, mix with the sound of blade metal slicing the ice, quick and clean. The Oval seems like a fantastic place to get exercise, spend time with family, or hone your skating skills.

Update: Kris has his photos up on Flickr – they’re pretty amazing except I don’t think I have the correct speedskating posture quite right…

From the Miss604 Flickr Pool

January 29th, 2010 @ 1:19pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

I’m currently up “North” (and by North I mean but half way up our lovely province of BC) to take part in some Olympic Torch Relay celebrations in the city of Prince George.

The itinerary is full of winter-time activities, from speed skating to dog sledding, so I won’t have much time to post today. As such, I thought I would offer up the latest photos that have been submitted to the Miss604.com Flickr Group. This week’s theme is night scenes.

North Shore from Brockton Point
Photo credit: kennymatic on Flickr
Carral Street in Gastown Vancouver
Photo credit: P Squared on Flickr
Launch of LunarFest, part of the Vancouver 2010 Cultural Olympiad
Photo credit: Susan Gittins on Flickr

Photo credit: John Bollwitt on Flickr
Downtown from the other side
Photo credit: kennymatic on Flickr

As always, please be sure to click on the images to explore more fabulous snaps from these talented photographers.

ABSOLUT Vancouver Art

January 29th, 2010 @ 10:00am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Back in November I was at the launch of the ABSOLUT Vodka Vancouver-themed bottle. Aside from featuring a logo created by a BC artist, a portion of sales from each bottle are also going to fund a public art project in the city.

Over the last few months the public have been voting on their favourite project proposal and the five finalists have been announced.

ABSOLUT Vodka Vancouver Bottle LaunchBraden Hammond
Project: Absolut City of Glass
Personal site

Shrapnel Design, Considered and Scott Roberts
Project: The Vancouver Outdoor Art Gallery

Graeme Berglund
Project: The Cheaper Show
Personal site

David John Suggitt
Project: Daily Time Lapse
Personal site

Daniel Code
Project: Inner Analogue

Visit the ABSOLUT Vancouver Art contest page to view all the entries and vote on the one you would most like to see in our city. Voting is open until March 16th, 2010 (limit 1 vote per person/email address during the voting period). The winner will have $120,000 to then fund their art project courtesy of ABSOLUT Vodka.

Vancouver 2010 Parks and Recreation Impacts

January 28th, 2010 @ 12:22pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

With the arrival of the Vancouver 2010 Olympics in just over two weeks many are already aware of the disruption to traffic patterns around the City. However, there will also be changes to local services such as parks and recreation programs.


Photo credit: sporkist on Flickr

In order to be better prepared, here is a rundown of impacts on local public parks and programs coming this February (via the Vancouver Parks Board).

Coal Harbour Community Centre
Impact: Full closure
Date: January 1 – March 31
Notes: Some programs will move to West End Community Centre.

Vancouver's Expo 86 Book

January 28th, 2010 @ 11:08am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

As we prepare to welcome the world in just 15 days I thought I would take a look back at the last time Vancouver hosted an event of global proportions. I was recently sent a copy of the book, Vancouver’s Expo 86 to read and review.

Expo 86 was a multi-month world’s fair that took place across, over and through downtown Vancouver by land and sea welcoming over 22 million visitors. With the theme of “transportation” its nickname became “Transpo 86″ with some of its legacies being the SkyTrain, Canada Place, Science World and the Coquihalla Highway.

The bulk of Expo took place along the vacant industrialized shores of north False Creek. Once the fair moved out the area lay restless and dormant until the City of Glass began to be developed and the shimmering towers of Yaletown emerged.

Expo 86 - What Yaletown used to look like... kinda

The book, “Vancouver’s Expo 86″ features an amazing personal collection of photographs from author Bill Cotter and I love that it highlights that it was also timed around Vancouver’s 100th birthday. The way its laid out is pretty much like a photo essay, which helps tell a very detailed story of how Expo even came to be and what it grew into.

Expo 86 - Boom boats

Seeing photos of pavilions coming together is almost eerie as Vancouverites can walk around today and see the same sort of thing happening in some of the same areas. You can also view the McBarge in all its floating burger-selling glory as well as profiles of every participating nation’s pavilion.

Expo 86 - The McBarge!

Each chapter represents a “zone”… Purple, Red, Blue, Pink, Green and Yellow. The first thing that pops into my head are those colour-coded benches that live on in some form scattered across the Lower Mainland. To date, I have spotted some down along the promenade in White Rock and also at Cultus Lake Park.

Expo86 Relic

All of the pictures are in black and white, which I assume is for consistency, and the book does end rather abruptly after profiling the USA pavilion. Other than that, it’s a great virtual photo-walk through Vancouver in 1986. I would recommend Vancouver’s Expo 86 for long-time residents (to take that stroll down memory lane) or those newer to Vancouver as the maps and images tell a story of a not-so-different time in our city.

Disclosure: cmp.ly/1 – I was given a review copy of the book.

Vancouver Pub Night for Haiti

January 28th, 2010 @ 9:33am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

The Vancouver digital media industry is hosting the Help for Haiti Pub Night tonight at Steamworks in Gastown.


Photo credit: Greg Timm on Flickr

Lead organizer and videogame veteran, Brenda Bailey Gershkovitch says, “Like many Canadians, our hearts go out to Haiti. My husband, Eli and I are both take action type of people and we decided to gather our network around a long-term sustainable project: clean drinking water. With Steamworks hosting the event and the help of friends in the music and digital media industries, we’re hopeful that Thursday night will raise enough money to launch this project for Haiti.”

Funds raised throughout the evening and from ticket sales will be donated to the Unicef Safe Water Project‘s initiatives in Haiti, with matching funds from CIDA.

The theme is “Beer for Water” and tickets can be purchased for $25. With each ticket you will get a beer and a choice of burger and fries. There will also be live entertainment from Adaline, DJ Revise, Echo Pilot and The Zoe Trio. The videogame sector has also donated prizes for a silent auction.

Register online to make your donation and stop by Steamworks tonight (January 28th, 2010) from 7:00pm until 10:00pm.

Updates and event information is available through Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.

Vancouver Time Lapse Videos

January 27th, 2010 @ 1:31pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

This morning a beautiful time lapse video of Vancouver was floating around Twitter (it’s the first video in the following series). This has inspired me to create a quick gallery post of some of my favourite time lapse videos of our fair city.

Continue reading »

Vancouver 2010 Four Host First Nations Aboriginal Pavilion

January 27th, 2010 @ 12:51pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Simply put, the Vancouver 2010 Olympics would not be possible without the support of the Four Host First Nations (FHFN) who will share their land and culture with the world during the Games.

The Tsleil-Waututh, Musqueam, Lil’wat and Squamish Nations will be hosting over fifty free events for the public from February 12th until the 28th at the Aboriginal Pavilion. This will be located at West Georgia and Hamilton Street, in the plaza of the Queen Elizabeth Theatre.


Photo Credit: B Johnny – Artist’s rendering of pavilion & dome

“This Pavilion is our Longhouse. This is where we will welcome friends, family and visitors,” said Tsleil-Waututh Chief George-Wilson. “The Olympic focus on youth and on sport, combined with the experiences this Pavilion will offer, will become a very positive story to be told and celebrated by many generations to come.” – FHFN

Here are just a few of the activities that will feature the FHFN culture along with Inuit, First Nations and Metis:

February 12, 2010
Buffy Sainte-Marie
Performances at 9:30pm and 11:00pm

February 14, 2010 – February 28, 2010
We Are Here
A daily multi-media experience presented by the Four Host First Nations.
Six shows at 5:30pm, 6:00pm, 6:30pm, 7:00pm, 7:30pm and 8:00pm

February 16, 2010
Our Land, Our Nation, Our History
Presented by The Grand Council of the Crees and led by Grand Chief Matthew Coon Come and Deputy Grand Chief Ashley Iserhoff. Performers will present Cree songs, legends and storytelling according to the four seasons: Spring, Fruit of our Culture; Summer, Fruit of our People; Fall, Fruit of our Nation; Winter, Fruit of our Survival.
Four shows at 11:00am, 12:00pm, 1:00pm and 2:00pm

February 20, 2010
The People Behind the Inukshuk
Presented by Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami. The Canadian Arctic will warm up the audience to a national Inuit performance that celebrates traditional Inuit throat singing, Western Arctic and Eastern Arctic styles of drum dancing and traditional Inuit games of agility and strength.
Four shows at 11:00am, 12:00pm, 1:00pm and 2:00pm

February 22, 2010
Royal House of Hip Hop
DJs, rappers and hip hop royalty including Feenix, Team Rez Official, Ostwelve, Kaiva and Def 3.
Performance at 9:30pm until 12:00am

40 Years and Still Strong
Presented by the Dene Nation (Northwest Territories). Dene artists and athletes performing their unique, lively and fast paced handgames competition, exhibition and drum dancing. Come enjoy Dene culture, heritage and language at its finest with entertainment from across the Land of Denendeh.
Exhibit at 11:00am until 3:00pm

February 28, 2010
The Road Forward
Commissioned by the Vancouver 2010 Cultural Olympiad
Six shows at 6:00pm, 6:30pm, 7:00pm, 7:30pm, 8:00pm and 8:30pm

You can follow the Four Host First Nations account on Twitter for more information and daily updates. I would also like to encourage readers to check out the FHFN website as they have lots of images, history, and even ringtone downloads available.

As a bit of the side note, Molson is supporting the Vancouver 2010 Aboriginal Youth Legacy Program (created by VANOC and the FHFN). With a $10 donation they will send you a commemorative pin designed by FHFN artist Glenn George.

Update: Susan Gittins got some photos of them inflating the dome at the pavilion.



Photo credit: © Susan Gittins on Flickr

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