VOKRA Oscar Party 2013

Monday, February 18th, 2013 — 10:00am PDT
Comments 4

Hit the red carpet next weekend and watch the Oscars in style while supporting a great local cause — the Vancouver Orphan Kitten Rescue Association. VOKRA is hosting its 2nd annual Oscars at the Morrissey party on Sunday, February 24, 2013 from 4:00pm to 11:00pm.

The Deep Thought.
Photo credit: oooNJooo on Flickr

Celebrate the 85th Annual Academy Awards, enjoy Oscar-themed appies, take part in a live auction hosted by Morgan Brayton, and support the kitties. Be sure to dress for the occasion as there will also be a “Best Dressed” prize.

The Morrissey is located at 1227 Granville. Tickets are on sale now for $20 in advance (plus fee) or $25 at the door. 100% of proceeds go to VOKRA and their efforts. Follow VOKRA on Twitter and Facebook for more information about the event and their work in the community.

Vancouver Orphan Kitten Rescue Association (VOKRA) is a no-kill, non-profit, registered charity dedicated to the rescue of cats in the Lower Mainland. We also coordinate rescue work with other groups in BC. VOKRA does not have a shelter. Instead, we provide over 100 individual foster homes throughout the Lower Mainland. In this way we are able to protect the very young from colds, distemper, parasites and other transmissible illnesses. In a home environment, our cats are safe and well socialized, with lots of love and attention. VOKRA covers all of the costs and provides ongoing support to foster families.

Vancouver Poutine Challenge 2013: Darby’s, 131 Water, FanClub

Saturday, February 16th, 2013 — 10:04am PDT
Comments 1

Vancouver Foodster, Richard Wolak, is once again hosting his Poutine Challenge at over two dozen restaurants and pubs in the Greater Vancouver area.

Vancouver Foodster's Poutine Challenge Vancouver Foodster's Poutine Challenge

Each establishment has signed on to put a special poutine creation on their menu this month and the public is encouraged to try out as many as they like. Then, starting February 26th, an online vote will open until March 3rd when the winning restaurant will be announced.

Participating Venues

131 Water Kitchen & Bar
The Cannibal Café
Corduroy Restaurant
Darby’s Pub
Dunns Famous
Electric Owl
Indochine Kitchen
Max’s Burgers
The Reagle Beagle
Red Card Sports Bar + Eatery
Sin Bin Sports Bar
Vancouver Fanclub
Riverway Clubhouse
Sharkey’s Seafood Bar and Grille
New Westminster
Spud Shack Fry Co
North Vancouver
The District
Pier 7 Restaurant
The Raven Pub
White Rock
Pearl Urban Bistro

Yesterday Richard hosted a media preview tour at three participating venues in Vancouver. Each dish was very different and the tour provided a nice overview of the creativity you can expect to find from the chefs taking part in the challenge.

Media Preview

The first stop was at Darby’s in Kitsilano, on the busy corner of MacDonald and West 4th. Executive Chef A.J. Jackson created the Darby’s Duck Poutine with kennebec fries, caramelized onions, duck confit, cambozola cheese, and red wine demi glace. The poutine is on the menu for $12.95 and they have paired it with a Switchback IPA from Lighthouse Brewing, which works really well to cut through the richness. This available to order after 4:00pm.

Vancouver Foodster's Poutine Challenge
Darby’s Duck Poutine

The second stop was in Gastown at 131 Water Kitchen + Bar. They have offered up a Crispy Chicken and Waffle Poutine with hand-cut fries, chopped Belgian waffle, cheese curds, breaded fried chicken and white pepper gravy topped with fresh cilantro. This is on the menu for $10 during the challenge and is served for lunch from 12:00pm to 4:00pm.

Vancouver Foodster's Poutine Challenge
131 Water’s Chicken & Waffle Poutine

The final stop on the tour was at Vancouver FanClub, a venue I have heard a lot about but had never visited until yesterday. It was so refreshing to see an open venue with a stage and balconies on Granville that was still intimate — and had the aroma of smoked pork and bourbon. Their challenge entry is a Pulled Pork Poutine with the pork smoked in-house, and next time I’ll try it with the bourbon they also smoke on-site. Chef Josie has topped the fries with smoked pulled pork, smoked bourbon BBQ sauce, cheese curds, chicken gravy, shredded mozzarella, and parsley. This is served during all operating hours and is $6.

Vancouver Foodster's Poutine Challenge
FanClub’s Pulled Pork Poutine

Each of the three samples had their merits, like FanClub’s juicy and smokey pulled pork and 131 Water’s flavourful pepper gravy, however I think when it all came together, Darby’s Duck Poutine packed the biggest punch. It would be good to share with a group and be sure to get the beer pairing. You can’t really go wrong with FanClub’s $6 Pulled Pork Poutine either.

I’m certain that anyone trying out more than one poutine in the challenge will have a tough time deciding but make sure you do get your votes in. Follow Richard @VanFoodster on Twitter for information about the public vote that will open up at the end of the month. A full list of every participating venue and their poutine offering is available via Vancouver Foodster.

Disclosure: Review
Our poutine dishes were courtesy of each establishment and Richard from Vancouver Foodster. This did not effect the outcome of this post. Views are my own.

Carousel Theatre: The Cat in the Hat

Friday, February 15th, 2013 — 11:20am PDT
Comments 70

Carousel Theatre for Young People presents The Cat in the Hat, based on the beloved book by Dr. Seuss, February 23rd to March 31st, 2013. The play is for ages three and up and will be performed at the Waterfront Theatre (1412 Cartwright St) on Granville Island.

Mike Stack by Christine Quintana

From the moment his tall, red-and-white-striped hat appears around the door, Sally and her brother know that the Cat in the Hat is the funniest, most mischievous cat they have ever met. With the trickiest of tricks and craziest of ideas, he is certainly fun to play with, and he turns a rainy afternoon into an amazing adventure. But what will happen when Mom comes home?!

This is the Canadian Premiere of the National Theatre of Great Britain’s exciting and innovative adaptation of the beloved Dr. Seuss classic. Daring acrobatics, special effects, and signature Seussian whimsy are bound to make this a hit with everyone in the family.

There will be several special performances include all-ages (babies in arms may attend) on March 10th and March 24th, along with a VocalEye performance on March 17th. Tickets for all performances are currently on sale and a few have already sold out. If you would like to secure a spot, I have a 4-pack of tickets available to give away. Here’s how you can enter to win:

  • Leave a comment on this post (bonus entry for something Seussical in nature (1 entry)
  • Post the following on Twitter (1 entry)
RT to enter to win a 4-pack of tickets to see The Cat in The Hat @CarouselTheatre from @Miss604 http://ow.ly/hL5fQ

I will draw one winner at random from all entries at 12:00pm on Tuesday, February 19, 2013. Follow Carousel Theatre on Twitter for more information and show details.

Update The winner is Amanda McNally!

Surrey File: Chuck Bailey

Friday, February 15th, 2013 — 8:38am PDT
Comments 1

I was recently contributing photos to Tourism Surrey’s Flickr Group and selected several of the images I took while on a photowalk in Whalley with my sister and my nephews. The boys were in Little League and so we had walked around the ballparks and then over to the recreation centre.


Captured in many of the images and almost everywhere I looked, there was the name Chuck Bailey. There’s the Chuck Bailey Recreation Centre, the Chuck Bailey Skatepark and Youth Centre, and a dedication to Chuck Bailey at Whalley Athletic Park.

I started a Surrey File profile about five years ago and it’s hardly used so I thought Chuck would be a good reason to bring the series back:

Whalley Whalley

Bailey spent most of his adult life involved in Little League Baseball, teaming up with Orest Springenatic to build a Whalley program that is famous as one of this country’s perennial powerhouses. Bailey and Springenatic coached two Whalley teams to the fabled Little League World Series and freely passed that knowledge on to other organizations in the area in an effort to build the game in British Columbia.

“The thing was, Chuck and Orest didn’t just develop some system in Whalley and keep it hidden,” recalled Little League Canada president Roy Bergerman, who served as president of Kennedy Surrey Little League when Bailey was the District 3 co-ordinator for the game.

“They took it out to other leagues and told people, ‘This is how you have to do it.’ Chuck was not shy about sharing his knowledge across the province. His attitude was to build up all of the leagues to be as strong as they possibly could because competition makes everybody better.” [Surrey Now]


Chuck Bailey passed away in 2008 after suffering with leukemia for more than a decade. He changed the little league program in Whalley, putting the Surrey neighbourhood on the map in the baseball world.

Originally from Saskatchewan, Bailey moved to Surrey in the early 1960s and spent 11 years coaching Surrey East Little League before that organization dissolved in 1973.

Knowing of Bailey’s abilities from playing against him over the years, Whalley coach Springenatic invited his rival to cross the street and work with him. Together the two men would become known as the “grandfathers of baseball” in the Lower Mainland.

In addition to his time spent as a coach, Bailey also served in administrative capacities, including long stretches of time as Whalley Little League president, District 3 co-ordinator and B.C. Little League president. Even as he was battling the effects of leukemia, Bailey spent as many as 15 hours each day in the summer months at the ballpark.

“I love the game,” Bailey said in a 2003 interview with the Now. “It’s nice to see the smiles on the kids faces. And when you see their tears you feel like crying too because they try so hard. There’s nothing more exciting than seeing these young children play baseball and have fun. It makes all the years you spend at this worthwhile.” [Surrey Now]

By 2005, the Whalley baseball teams had won 153 titles in four age categories, including 59 district pennants, 60 provincial championships, and 34 national crowns. Whalley Little League has also represented Canada at the Little League World Series in Williamsport in 1973, 1978, 1997, and 2005.

Should you have a suggestion for another Surrey File profile – of a person who has made a significant contribution to the community over the years – please feel free to leave a comment.

From the Miss604 Flickr Pool

Thursday, February 14th, 2013 — 7:36pm PDT
Add a Comment

Longer days, clearing fog, and mountain views have returned in February, providing some great photo opportunities. The following pictures are just a sample of what has been contributed to the Miss604 Flickr Pool this week:

Seventh Heaven
Photo credit: Ruth and Dave on Flickr

Snowshoeing with a View deb.jpg
Photo credit: Canadian Veggie & Rich Johnson on Flickr

Barges House Boat
Photo credit: kpwerker & Clayton Perry Photoworks on Flickr

Beautiful February Morning in Vancouver
Photo credit: Steve Goodyear on Flickr

Symmetry Symmetry
Photo credit: Kevin Krebs & Kevin Krebs on Flickr

Watching the sun set
Photo credit: @kumii on Flickr

Vancouver North Shore View at Vancouver Convention Centre The Antique Building in Chinatown, Vancouver
Photo credit: TOTORORO.RORO & oooNJooo on Flickr

Vancouver Unknown 35mm Film
Photo credit: CrawNorder on Flickr

Smile Diner
Photo credit: Eugene’s Likeness on Flickr

Vancouver panorama
Photo credit: Zorro1968 on Flickr

DSC_0198 The Red.
Photo credit: TheVancouverGuy & oooJNooo on Flickr

Photo credit: P Squared Pics on Flickr

Hollyburn Mountain, Jan. 20, 2013
Photo credit: kardboard604 on Flickr

Stanley Sunset Stairway To Heaven
Photo credit: Kyle Rurak (Kyart Photography) & Clayton Perry Photoworks on Flickr

Fraser River View at Twilight
Photo credit: TOTORORO.RORO on Flickr

As always, please click through on these images to view more work from the photographers and feel free to share your own photos with the Miss604 Flickr Pool. View all photo collections here.

The Package Tour: New Kids on the Block, 98 Degrees, Boys II Men

Thursday, February 14th, 2013 — 10:01am PDT
Comments 179

The Package Tour is a boy-band extravaganza that will be making its way to Vancouver on Wednesday, July 10th, 2013 with New Kids on the Block, 98 Degrees, and Boys II Men. These “boys” have all grown up with mature looks and lyrics but they’re bound to instill a sense of nostalgia as they play the chart-topping favourites that many of us grew up with.

Package Tour: New Kids on the Block, 98 Degrees, Boys II Men

Multi-platinum selling artists 98 Degrees and Grammy Award winning Boyz II Men (the best-selling R&B group of all time) will be opening for the multi-platinum selling New Kids on the Block (NKOTB) who will be releasing their new album on April 2, 2013. Their first single Remix (I Like The) came out in January.

Tickets for this blockbuster concert, at Pepsi Live at Rogers Arena, go on sale Monday, February 18, 2013 at 10:00am. Charge by phone 1-855-985-5000 or get your tickets online through Ticketmaster for $25, $45, $65, $85 (including HST, plus fees).

If you would like to beat the box office and scoop up some of these hot tickets right away, I have a pair to give away. Here’s how you can enter to win:

  • Leave a comment with your favourite song by New Kids on the Block, 98 Degrees, or Boys II Men (1 entry)
  • Post the following on Twitter (1 entry)
RT to enter to win tickets to @ThePackageTour from @LiveNationWest & @Miss604 http://ow.ly/hILps

I will draw one winner at random from all entries at 12:00pm on Wednesday, February 20, 2013.

Update The winner is Heidi!