Christmas Wish Breakfast 2013


Wednesday, November 27th, 2013 — 9:29am PDT
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The Pan Pacific Vancouver Christmas Wish Breakfast is hosting its 26th annual donation drive on December 11th in support of the Lower Mainland Christmas Bureau.

Christmas Wish Breakfast at the Pan Pacific 2011
John Biehler on Flickr

Christmas Wish Breakfast

On Wednesday, December 11, 2013 between 6:00am and 9:00am you can drop off donations of a new, unwrapped toy at the Pan Pacific and as a thank you, the hotel will provide a hot buffet breakfast. Singers from the Good Noise Gospel Choir will provide atmosphere as Global TV broadcasts live with hosts Steve Darling and Sophie Lui, along with Rock 101 morning show host Willy Percy.

Pan Pacific Christmas Wish Breakfast 2011 Pan Pacific Christmas Wish Breakfast 2011
Photo credit: John Bollwitt on Flickr

Last year, over 4,000 generous Vancouver residents attended the Pan Pacific Vancouver Christmas Wish Breakfast and donated more than 12 tonnes of toys to the Lower Mainland Christmas Bureau, along with $25,000 in cash. And everyone had a great breakfast. Executive Chef Bob Wiles and his culinary team served up 12,500 sausages, 500 kgs of hash browns, 800 kg of eggs and 4200 croissants. For people who don’t have time to stop for breakfast, they can drop off toys at the front of the hotel and receive coffee and a snack.

2010 Pan Pacific Christmas Wish Breakfast
Photo credit: John Biehler on Flickr

You can make it a very special morning for yourself as well by booking a “T’Was the Night Before Christmas Wish VIP Package”. The package (starting at $129) offers luxury accommodation, VIP seating at the Children’s Wish Breakfast (reserved seating, no waiting), complimentary access to Fitness Centre and outdoor heated swimming pool and Jacuzzi, $20 from room rate will be donated to the Lower Mainland Christmas Bureau. Follow the Pan Pacific on Twitter and Facebook to find out more.

Central City Brewers and Distillers Grand Opening


Tuesday, November 26th, 2013 — 2:19pm PDT
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Canada’s “Brewery of the Year” in 2010 and 2012 just happens to be Central City Brewers + Distillers, located in the heart of my hometown of Surrey, BC. The highly-praised craft brewery is celebrating its 10th anniversary this week with the grand opening of their brand new 65,000 square foot facility.

CentralCityBrewersDistillers
Image provided by Central City Brewers + Distillers

What: Central City Brewers and Distillers Grand Opening
Where: 11411 Bridgeview Drive in Surrey
When: Friday, November 29, 2013 from 3:00pm to 7:00pm
Tickets: This event is free and open to the public.
craft brewery is organizing a public grand opening event on Friday, November 29th

The brewery first opened in 2003 as a brewpub and liquor store in downtown Surrey. Their beer grew so popular that in 2005, the brewery launched a canning line, enabling them to sell its beers at its own liquor store, and beyond. By 2009, the brewery reached full capacity.

Widely known for its award-winning premium craft beers including their signature Red Racer brand, the new, multi-million dollar, 65,000 sq. ft. brewery and distillery will increase its brewing capacity from 7,500 hL to 25,000 hL per year immediately, and up to 100,000 hL+ within a few years. The new facility will also have distilling capabilities that will enable CCBD to add craft distilled gin, vodka, rye and single malt whiskeys to their product offering.

The new facility features modern architectural design with floor-to-ceiling glass, striking V-shaped ‘ghulam’ wood beams, exposed concrete and cedar siding, adding a distinctly west coast feel. The impressive structure mirrors the curvature of Bridgeview Drive in Surrey, and is situated just off the Pattullo Bridge near the South Fraser Perimeter Road.

Rows of glistening stainless steel fermentation tanks and copper still kettles line the insides of the brewery floor. In addition, four quality-assurance labs, along with a cellar (for barrel-aged beer and new whisky products) and a massive cooler reside in-house. An open-concept foyer greets the visitor which opens to a tapping room where people can sample their award-winning beer, and a retail store where full-height fridges stocked full of Red Racer beers beckon the thirsty traveler.

For the grand opening celebration there will be shuttles running from Scott Road SkyTrain station every 15 minutes, prizes every hour, and 99.3 The Fox will be live on location. Call (604) 588-BEER for more details. A live band will entertain, tours will be offered, beer will be served and food trucks will be on site for all to enjoy.

Dining in Harrison: River’s Edge and The Copper Room


Tuesday, November 26th, 2013 — 10:59am PDT
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One of the best things about living in the Greater Vancouver area is that it’s not hard to find a beautiful location for a quick day trip or weekend getaway. Setting out on Highway 1’s eastbound lanes you’ll find yourself in the lush Fraser Valley surrounded by meandering rivers and streams, scenic pastures, and wildlife within 90 minutes. In the Harrison Mills, Harrison, and Agassiz area at this time of year you can enjoy the Fraser Valley Bald Eagle Festival, golfing at Sandpiper, the Circle Farm Tour, and a steamy soak in the Harrison Hot Springs mineral pools.

Fraser Valley Bald Eagle Festival

Fraser Valley Bald Eagle Festival Fraser Valley Bald Eagle Festival

Dining in Harrison

I was recently a guest at Rowena’s Inn on the River for two nights in early November and during that time I enjoyed two very delightful dinners.

River’s Edge Restaurant

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Coming in from the rain, my sister and I enjoyed both lunch and dinner next to the fireplace at River’s Edge. Heavy timber, granite-topped tables, and exposed wood give the dining room a very cozy feel that fits right in with its surroundings. At lunch we enjoyed their “famous seafood chowder” and found it worthy of the designation. Fresh and creamy without being too rich, it was served with fresh rolls and we paired it with a BC Pinot Gris.

River's Edge Restaurant

Returning for dinner, my sister ordered the escargot (as recommended by Cassandra from Good Life Vancouver) and I went with the beet salad that was generously served with Farmhouse Natural Cheese, a wonderful farm and cheese shop I’ve visited a few times before on the Slow Food Cycle Tour and Circle Farm Tour in Agassiz.

For dinner, my halibut was topped with a deliciously crunchy and savoury hazelnut pesto made with the harvest from another one of my previous Circle Farm Tour stops, Canadian Hazelnut. Nine times out of ten, I will order the halibut if I see it on a local menu and I was not disappointed at River’s Edge. It was a very unique preparation and the lemoncello beurre blanc — lemoncello being another one of my favourite things — really set it apart.

The Copper Room at Harrison Hot Springs Resort

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I have been to the Copper Room three times since my first visit n 2010 and this classic just seems to get better every time. Live music from The Jones Boys, impressive dance moves (rumba, cha cha, fox trot) on the illuminated dance floor in the centre of the room, and couples celebrating anniversaries numbered 1 to 65 always make experiences in this legendary dining room memorable. This time around I was impressed by their update menu, which I believe has had a makeover since the last time I was in.

The Copper Room The Copper Room

I ordered a wonderfully fragrant salad with tomatoes, basil, buffalo mozzarella, and avocado while my sister had the melt-in-your mouth bison carpaccio. For dinner I honed in on the bison tenderloin, which was served with a heap of seasoned potatoes and roasted vegetables. Cooked beautifully, it was juicy, tender, and lean. When the dessert menu came around we were reluctant but we figured, as the band played and our wine glasses were topped up, we should round out the night in style. We ordered the Baked Alaska to share, with crisp and fluffy meringue on the outside and nostalgic neapolitan ice cream on the inside.

The Copper Room The Copper Room

Until recently, there was a strict dress code for The Copper Room and although they have relaxed that rule, it still feels nice to get a little dolled up for dinner and dancing as the band plays Sinatra and Buddy Holly.

The Copper Room

Our server Pavel at The Copper Room also served us lunch at River’s Edge the day before. He was very friendly, helpful, and it was nice to see a familiar face at dinner. There a sense of community pride on each of the menus and it resonated with the staff that not only served up local fare, but generous smiles and hospitality. These two restaurants (about 20 minutes away, just across the Harrison River) compliment any trip to the Fraser Valley with warmth, charm, and regional flavours.

Disclosure: Review
This is not a paid post. Views are my own. Our meals were compliments of each restaurant during our stay in the Harrison area.

Holiday Festival on Ice at Langley Events Centre


Tuesday, November 26th, 2013 — 9:49am PDT
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FestivalOnIceLangley Events Centre is hosting a Holiday Festival on Ice on December 6th with some of the world’s best figure skaters and Canadian jazz singer Holly Cole.

This festive, musical celebration will take place the Langley Events Centre (7888 – 200th St) on Friday, December 6, 2013 at 7:00pm. Tickets are available now through Ticketmaster starting at $49 (plus tax/fee).

The confirmed cast includes:

Kurt Browning
Elvis Stojko
Joannie Rochette
Jeffrey Buttle
Kimmie Meissner
Sinead & John Kerr
Shawn Sawyer
Four-time World Champion
Two-time Olympic Medalist
2010 Olympic Medalist; World Silver Medalist
Olympic Medalist; World Champion
World Champion
Seven-time British Dance Champions; European Medalists
Canadian Silver Medalist

Holly Cole will perform Christmas music while these talented skaters take to the ice. Cole has been a mainstay in the Canadian music industry for the last two decades. She recently performed to sold out crowds for three straight nights at the Montreal International Jazz Festival. During that event, Cole was presented as the 15th winner of the Ella Fitzgerald Award which is given to a jazz singer of significant talent who has had a major impact and influence in the international scene.

Holiday Festival on Ice Contest

Thanks to the Langley Events Centre, I have a unique prize up for grabs that includes two tickets to the event (value $49 each) and two Meet and Greet passes (value $69 each) to meet all of the skaters and Holly Cole at the show. 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 VIP Holiday Festival on Ice tix from @LangleyEvents + @Miss604 http://ow.ly/rcFTY

I will draw one winner at random from all entries at 12:00pm on Tuesday, December 3, 2013. Follow the Langley Events Centre on Twitter and Facebook for more information about the Holiday Festival on Ice, National Lacrosse League, and other events.

Archive Photos of Skiing at Grouse Mountain and Mount Seymour


Monday, November 25th, 2013 — 3:09pm PDT
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For decades the North Shore mountains have been a playground for locals and visitors, especially during ski season. Grouse Mountain had one of the first double chairlifts in the world when it was constructed in 1949, Mount Seymour has been enjoyed since 1938, and Mount Strachan & Black Mountain make up the popular Cypress Mountain Ski Area that was in the spotlight during the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics. Thanks to the City of Vancouver Archives, we can catch glimpses of what skiing (and ski equipment) on the North Shore has looked like over the years.

Archive Photos of Skiing


1940: View from Mt. Seymour. Archives# CVA 586-123. Steffens-Colmer Studios Ltd.


1940: Skiing on Mt. Seymour. Archives #CVA 586-116 & CVA 586-119 & CVA 586-114.


1929: Grouse Mountain. Archives# CVA 99-1994 & CVA 99-2000. Stuart Thomson Photos.


1940: Mt. Seymour. Archives# CVA 586-122.


1929: Grouse Mountain. Archives# CVA 99-2002. Stuart Thomson Photos &
1929: Grouse Mountain. Archives# CVA 586-136.


1920: Grouse Mountain. Archives# CVA 99-1989. Stuart Thomson Photos.