Green Movie Nights in Surrey

March 9th, 2009 @ 10:46am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

During these particular economic times I’ve noticed many more people are heading out to a night at the theatre (whether it be live, or film) – it’s a great form of entertainment that’s easy on the wallet. There are many ways to catch a flick in town, from Hockey Nights in Film and the upcoming DOXA Film Festival to a unique event happening out in Surrey at the end of the month called Green Movie Nights.

“Surrey-Newton Green candidate Trevor Loke will begin hosting a series of Green Movie Nights, every Tuesday evening at the Strawberry Hill Library in Surrey. The non-partisan event will provide a forum for community members to see unique, independent documentaries and continue a discussion about the topic following the film.”

The 11th Hour
When: Tuesday March 10th, 6:30pm – 9:00pm
Info: Facebook Event

American Drug War
When: Tuesday March 17th, 6:30pm – 9:00pm
Info: Facebook Event

Who Killed the Electric Car
When: Tuesday March 31st, 6:30pm – 9:00pm
Info: Facebook Event

All screenings will be at the Strawberry Hill Library 7399 122 Street in Surrey and admission is by donation. It’s located right near the Scottsdale bus loop so feel free to take transit (from Surrey Central or Scott Road SkyTrain).

Vancouver 2010 Ceremonies Volunteers Needed

March 9th, 2009 @ 9:49am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

The Vancouver 2010 Winter Games and Paralympic Games will be here in less than a year and they’re looking for performance volunteers for the following:

Opening Ceremony – February 12, 2010
Victory Ceremonies – Nightly, February 14-21 and 23-26, 2010
Closing Ceremony – February 28, 2010

From Beijing 2008 – Photo credit: richardgiles on Flickr

Performers will need to apply, attend an audition, and be approved by VANOC however they are looking for individuals with all levels of skill and while production or performing experience is an asset, it is not required (check here for all details including how you must be 17 years or older).

They are looking for athletic types, musicians, vocalists, dancers, non-dancers and performance groups. The preparation for the Games ceremonies begins months in advance and 100s of hours can be contributed, so that’s one thing to keep in mind along with rehearsal dates and times, which will begin in November 2009.

Although tickets to the ceremonies are not included, it does actually seem like something pretty impressive to put on your resume if this is within your chosen field. You can apply now online.

Monday Morning Link Fest: Snow in March

March 9th, 2009 @ 7:49am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

We had a pretty adventurous winter with several feet of snow that would cascade down in buckets over several weeks – piling up, melting, then piling up again. Usually in Vancouver that’s a rarity and it’s even more far-fetched to believe it wasn’t over come March but here it is. This morning’s link fest is brought to you by Mr. Plow.

Photo credit: Roland on Flickr

- On Saturday the Stay In and Help Us event raised $1,300 for City Harvest and the word got out that fundraising can be simple, and even done from home in your jammies.

- Friday night was John’s work Christmas party. I had a great time meeting all of the wonderful people he works with including Benjamin from The Beat 94.5 who will have his own blog up and running soon with insights on the industry and the dating scene in Vancouver, from a guy’s perspective.

The Beat 94.5's Benjamin the Butler and Me

- Earlier that day I went by Kiss and Makeup in West Vancouver to get a dolled up a little for the event. The girls at Kiss and Makeup are so friendly and the talented Savannah helped me achieve my evening look.


- CaseCamp Vancouver is happening tomorrow. Meetup and find out what others have done in the online realm, hear their case studies, mix and mingle.

- There is a comedy event featuring some of the good folks I have the pleasure of working with for my weekly segments on Talk1410am. “The Big Afternoon Buzz Boys Comedy Show” will be at Yuk Yuk’s from 8:30pm this Wednesday.

- Vancouver will host its first-ever MentalHealthCamp on April 25th, which stemmed from Airdrie’s “Coping Digitally” panel at this year’s Northern Voice.

- Can you believe it was already a year ago that we welcomed baby Jakob to the world? This auntie certainly can’t.

Jakers turns 1

- A comment just popped up on my McBarge post regarding a Facebook group dedicated to saving the depreciating floating restaurant.

- Earth Run is coming to Vancouver.

- Ever felt the need to publicly apologize for something or even publicly demand an apology? The new site Oops… I’m Sorry gives you an entire online platform on which to do so.

And please remember, Vancouver, that in any vehicle you are not invincible in the snow and you cannot magically drive like normal (or even faster, ignoring signs) in the snow. Be careful out there today.

Rigoletto and Blogger Night at the Opera

March 7th, 2009 @ 4:58pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Update: There is a two-for-one deal on tickets to Rigoletto March 17th. Call (604) 683-0222 and mention promo code 1670

The curtain rises in only a few hours and I’ll be heading to the Queen Elizabeth theatre shortly to begin tonight’s coverage of Blogger Night at the Opera for Rigoletto. In the meantime, check out the Vancouver Opera’s blog as they have some great interviews and behind-the-scenes photos leading up to tonight’s performance.

Opening Night of Rigoletto

Update: Tom Wright, Director of Artistic Planning at the Vancouver Opera met us as we set up our laptops in the lobby of the theatre in preparation for tonight’s performance of Rigoletto. He guided us backstage — as well as up onto the raised stage — for a tour, with just an hour to go. I had a great photo of the props table and “Duke’s Throwing Goblet” but with the low light many of my frames were too blurred to published. Regardless, here are a of couple shots form the tour.

Photo credit: Vancouver Opera on Flickr

Review: Mine Stylesource

March 7th, 2009 @ 11:29am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Yesterday I ran across town and back checking items off my to-do list and getting ready for my husband’s office party. One of my stops was at Mine Stylesource (177 East Broadway at Main Street), it’s a great little salon with a really laid back feel.

I knew I wanted my hair down, with some curl, and stylist Janis Bekkering gave me just that with a ton of body and movement throughout. Janis was a delight and her professionalism and talent really shined through – especially when I got to take a sneak peek at a photograph of some styles the Mine Stylesource crew did for a competition – the creations were amazing.


The product used on my hair was Eufora, which contains certified organic Aloe vera gel as its base and contains no synthetic fragrance, and it held my curls all evening without being overbearingly stiff.

Mine Stylesource is also the home of Anthony, winner of Canada’s Superstar Hair Challenge as well as the host of the Global News morning segment “Anthony Style”.

I felt really bad for not knowing they have been around for so many years, but I’m certainly glad to know there’s another salon option for me (and my husband) out there, and given the style I received yesterday I’m happy to spread the word.

Disclosure: I was not paid to write this review but my style was on the house

Stay in and Help Us Event This Weekend

March 6th, 2009 @ 3:10pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Instead of hitting the town this Saturday night one group is encouraging you to invite some friends over for a Boggle tournament or to pop some popcorn and melt into your couch for a night of movie watching.

“Social Media for Social Change (SM4SC) serves as an example of how social media can bring together people from all around the world together to change society in a big way. The premise of SM4SC is simple — to take all the connections made through social media, and put them together to host first-class fundraising events happen “in real life”. SM4SC’s fundraisers benefit local charities in cities around the United States.” [SM4SC]

This weekend’s SM4SC event, Stay in and Help Us, will allow everyone (regardless of geographical location) to have a lovely night at home while supporting a cause in the New York area called City Harvest.

With the downturn in the economy on both sides of the border charitable donations are low, however every person can do their part to make a big difference with even the slightest contribution. SM4SC Co-Organizer Meg Fowler explains, “Many of my friends that make this complaint also go out to lunch all the time, or for dinner several nights a week, or buy multiple $20 martinis on the weekends. I definitely don’t have a problem with people going out to have fun, whether they’re doing shots of Patron, or going for cheap wings — but I think they forget that even a small portion of those expenditures could do wonders for a charitable organization. One cosmopolitan bought at a trendy bar = a few days of meals for a family of 4.”

Meg’s small idea has snowballed into quite a big deal, and thank goodness. “… I had a little mini brainwave: what if I asked people to stay home one Saturday night, and contribute their entertainment money to our cause? Or go out — but match what they spent and give it to us? We kept brainstorming, and before we knew it, we had a URL.”

You can join Meg calls a “worldwide pajama party” on Saturday March 7th 2009 by following along on on Twitter, join the event on Facebook, or stay tuned to the site for updates and Ustream video.

“I think it’s a model pretty much any charity could replicate,” said Meg. “Since it doesn’t require anyone to do anything but skip a single night out — and give some money they weren’t planning on saving, anyway! In fact, I’m sure we’ll end up doing one of these nights for every event we do for Social Media for Social Change going forward.”

In Vancouver we’ve done a few events like this, that were as equally spontaneous and effective, from Twestival to the great TweetupHeatup. Now it’s time to look at other cities, their initiatives, take part, and also see how we can bring their interesting campaigns back home. It’s easy to participate, and to find a cause to support, and things like this end up connecting us all.

“Your small sacrifices — one less dinner out, one less movie, one less concert, one less drink — can make a huge difference to people in need.”

Vancouver History: Rudyard Kipling

March 5th, 2009 @ 11:31pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Tonight I ended up purchasing the book Shoeless Joe for my husband and I since I’ve been looking forward to reading it for quite some time now, and especially since my post about its author. Following Kinsella in alphabetical order on the shelf there was a Rudyard Kipling book and I was reminded that he spent quite a bit of time in Vancouver before the days of Mowgli.

Vancouver 1898
Kipling’s Vancouver 1898
Blue: Georgia & Burrard, Green: Where BC Place would be today
Yellow: Main & Hastings, Orange: Where Granville Island would be today

In June of 1889 the budding young writer at age 23 visited Vancouver for the first time, the following is taken from a passage in From Sea to Sea:

“A great sleepiness lies on Vancouver as compared with an American town: men don’t fly up and down the street telling lies, and the spittoons in the delightfully comfortable hotel are unused; the baths are free and their doors are unlocked. You do not have to dig up the hotel clerk when you want to bathe, which shows the inferiority of Vancouver. An American bade me notice the absence of bustle, and was alarmed when in a loud and audible voice I thanked God for it …

“Except for certain currents which are not much mentioned, but which make the entrance rather unpleasant for sailing-boats, Vancouver possesses an almost perfect harbor. The town is built all round and about the harbor, and young as it is, its streets are better than those of western America. Moreover, the old flag waves over some of the buildings, and this is cheering to the soul. The place is full of Englishmen who speak the English tongue correctly and with clearness, avoiding more blasphemy than is necessary, and taking a respectable length of time to getting outside their drinks.

“These advantages and others that I have heard about, such as the construction of elaborate workshops and the like by the Canadian Pacific in the near future, moved me to invest in real estate.” 1

Kipling’s second visit to our fair city was in April of 1892 and he returned again in October of 1907, when he was the most famous writer in the world. He purchased real estate on Fraser Street (at the time known as Scott Street) and a chunk of acreage on the North Shore, which turned out to be a bum investment. “And I took it as easily as a man buys a piece of tobacco. Me voici, owner of some four hundred well-developed pines, a few thousand tons of granite scattered in blocks at the roots of the pines, and a sprinkling of earth. That’s a town lot in Vancouver.”2

Kipling also had an eye for Victoria, “Amongst all the beautiful places in the world, and I think I have seen the most beautiful of them, Victoria ranks the highest.”3 He mentions traveling to Vancouver Island alongside a whaler, who talks up the hunt and all of its profits, his reaction to the morbid chat is rather amusing and can be found in his Letters of Travel. “To realize Victoria you must take all that the eye admires in Bournemouth… the Isle of Wight and Happy Valley of Hong Kong, the Doon, Sorrento and Camps Bay, and add reminiscences on the Thousand Islands, and arrange the whole around the Bay of Naples, with some Himalayas for the background. Real estate agents recommend it as a little piece of England – the Island on which it stands is about the size of Great Britain – but no England is set in such seas or so fully charged with the mystery of the larger ocean beyond.” 4

He was here while our city was taking shape, he came up by steamer from Puget Sound and also traveled by train. “Time had changed Vancouver literally out of all knowledge. From the station to the suburbs, and back to the wharves, every step was strange, and where I remembered open spaces and still untouched timber, the tramcars were fleeting people out to a lacrosse game. Vancouver is an aged city, for only a few days previous to my arrival the Vancouver Baby — i.e. the first child born in Vancouver — had been married.”5

Although he didn’t have much success with his land ventures and had a certain view of imperialism, it is still interesting to read about the city from a great literary perspective during that era.

“[Kipling] is still an author who can inspire passionate disagreement and his place in literary and cultural history is far from settled. But as the age of the European empires recedes, he is recognized as an incomparable, if controversial, interpreter of how empire was experienced. That, and an increasing recognition of his extraordinary narrative gifts, make him a force to be reckoned with.”6

1 2 3Vancouver History
4Letters to the Family 1907
5Letters of Travel
6Douglas Kerr, Wiki

Jane’s Walk 2009 and Vancouver Stories

March 5th, 2009 @ 11:26am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

There’s a reason why I have a history category on my site, I love sharing about where I live and how it’s changed, re-shaped and grown over the years.

I think I’ve turned into a decent resource for West End history (although I’m constantly exploring and learning) but with over 20 other neighbourhoods in the city, there’s so much more to explore — this is where Jane’s Walk comes in.

Last May, Think City, along with 600-plus Vancouverites celebrated the legacy of urban activist and writer Jane Jacobs with a series of free walking tours called Jane’s Walks. Over 30 Jane’s Walks were held in neighbourhoods all over the city – from Strathcona to the West End, Commercial Drive to Kitsilano, the Renfrew Ravine to False Creek and including famed Vancouver landmarks such as Nat Bailey Stadium and Wreck Beach.

Each walk was hosted by a citizen who donated their time to bring stories, history and awareness to their place in our city. These hosts included such Vancouver notables as John Atkin, Gordon Price, Wendy Pederson and Ned Jacobs. The result was overwhelming enthusiasm on the part of Vancouverites, with many people attending multiple walks over the two days, despite the rain. Jane’s Walk is held simultaneously in 11 cities across the country and this past year was a first for Vancouver

This year citizen volunteers will have the opportunity to lead a walk in their community, sharing their personal history tidbits or where you can find the best cup of coffee or even explaining the differences between Kerrisdale and Marpole, or the Downtown Eastside and the Downtown Lower Eastside. The walks will take place the first weekend in May, and you can find all the details here.

Leading up to the walks there will be a fundraiser called “Vancouver Stories” at Heritage Hall on Main Street March 19th at 7:00pm, tickets are $50 each and can be purchased through Think City.

It’s a cocktail party and silent auction hosted by Bill Richardson of the CBC and will also feature Andreas Schroeder, Shirley Chan and Vancouver history guru John Atkin.

If you would like to attend this party please leave a comment below including a small note about your own neighbourhood or perhaps if you lead a walk, where you would go. I’ll select a winner who will get a ticket to the cocktail party and I’ll also try and expand on their note in a dedicated blog post about their neighbourhood.

Update March 12, 2009 – the winner of the ticket to Vancouver Stories is Jen B