A Love Song for Vancouver

December 18th, 2009 @ 1:20pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

I’m looking for a love song about Vancouver. It can be punk, rock, alternative, folky and yeah, I guess I’ll even accept country. I’ve been hearing Empire State of Mind so much lately and I have come to realize that there are so many songs about how wonderful California and New York are but what about Vancouver?

I’m not comparing all of them side by side at all but you’d think there would be some representation of Vancouver Love in the music sphere. I know people like Vancouver, it’s a pretty nice place to be and you can’t beat the scenery. Even Tom Cochrane sings about “Vancouver’s lights” in Life is a Highway.

Photo credit: Sean Orr on Flickr

So here I am, looking for a fantastic song to get me pumped about my beloved city on a grey, gloomy, drenched December afternoon. Maybe in the same way I can listen to Augustana’s BostonI think I need a sunrise, I’m tired of the sunsets” and get psyched for the East Coast, who knows. I put the call out on Twitter and received quite a bit of feedback, here are a few messages:

Dreams for Women Calendar 2010

December 18th, 2009 @ 9:00am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

For 2010, Antigone Magazine has released a special calendar with a certain Olympic flare.

Antigone Magazine's

“Twelve world-class female athletes from Canada and the U.S. have joined in creating the 2010 Dreams for Women Calendar, an inspiring calendar promoting women’s equality. These athletes, many of whom will be competing in the 2010 Olympic Games, have contributed their own “dreams for women” with personally designed art and words addressing issues as diverse as violence against women, the sexualization of female athletes, and the exclusion of women ski jumpers from Olympic competition.”

Contributions include:

  • Canadian Ski Jumper Katie Willis with her Canadian Ski Jump team-mates, “We dream all women will soar.”
  • Vice President of the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Winter Olympics and Olympic medalist speed skater Cathy Priestner-Allinger, “I dream of a world where women are front page, not centerfolds.”
  • Virginia Johnson, director of the First Nations Snowboard Team, “I dream of a world where women discover their strength to overcome any obstacle.”
  • Angela Ruggiero, US Olympic medalist & hockey player, “I dream of a day when all women will know that there are no boundaries, only dreams to be reached.”
  • US Figure Skater Ashley Wagner declares “I dream of a world where the only bruises women receive occur during friendly competition.”
  • US Luge Team athlete Julia Clukey, “I dream of a world where girls don’t calculate what the mirror can show but rather create and build a body of strength, power and work.”
  • A full list of contributors is available on the website
  • The calendar contains postcards by each of the contributors along with their photos and words, presented in a personal, handwritten manner. Each month is also highlighted with important dates in women’s history.

    Antigone Magazine's

    The calendars are $20 and available to order online or by emailing antigonemagazine [at] hotmail.com. There are also a few stores in Vancouver and Toronto that carry the calendar including Bookmark at the Vancouver Public Library.

    The Antigone Foundation is an organization that seeks to encourage young women aged 10-35 to become politically and civically engaged. The Foundation also seeks to found a magazine written by and for young women aged 10-15, as well as, an outreach program to educate and inspire young girls to become active and involved in politics and issues that affect them. You can follow them on Twitter @AntigoneBlog.

    Related: Hope in Shadows Calendar for 2010

    Vancouver Polar Bear Swim 2010

    December 17th, 2009 @ 3:46pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

    The legacy of Peter Pantages will live on New Years Day as Vancouver hosts its 90th annual Polar Bear Swim in English Bay.

    January 1, 1939 – The Polar Bear Club – Item #: CVA 371-836

    This is one of Vancouver’s oldest traditions. Quick tidbit: “In 1928, on January 1st, 16-year-old Ivy Granstrom made her first entry into the chilly waters of English Bay in the Polar Bear Swim. Ms. Granstrom, blind from birth, will go on to appear at 77 consecutive Polar Bear events.” – VancouverHistory.ca Granstrom’s last dip was in 2004.

    ©2005-2009 Waxy Photography. All Rights Reserved. Used with Permission.

    Registration takes place in front of the English Bay Bathhouse from 12:30pm – 2:30pm on January 1st. To be a Polar Bear Club member, you must register before the swim. Your free membership includes a commemorative button after you take the plunge. Prizes will be drawn from the entry forms filled out or turned in from the Province newspaper at the Swim registration table.

    Costumes are very welcome and there is also the Peter Pantages Memorial 100 yard swim race to get your heart racing in the icy Pacific. Check out the Flickr stream of John Goldsmith (aka WaxyPoetic) for some amazing photos following the 2010 event.

    Link Fest: Events to Cruise You Through Christmas

    December 17th, 2009 @ 9:25am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

    We are a week away from Christmas Eve and event listings are still flowing through my email inbox. Without much ado, let’s get right to this week’s Link Fest focused on Events & campaigns around town.

    Photo credit: ecstaticist on Flickr
  • It’s not coming until January 20th but tickets and passes for the PuSh Festival are on sale now.
  • Remember those big fat coupon books that you could sell as fundraiser items? Production Heads Coupon Book is on sale now and during the month of December 15% of sales go to the Greater Vancouver Food Bank Society. Productions Heads supports the local film, TV, and theatre community in Vancouver.
  • Busking for Change takes place this Friday at Library Square. Fantastic local artists (including Joe from DOA) will take to the streets to raise funds for War Child.
  • The North Pole is currently Port Moody.
  • Until January 5th, locals can book a trip on the Whistler Mountaineer train for a special discounted rate. It’s a trip well worth-taking (check out my post about it earlier this season).
  • Miss Sixty stores in Vancouver are supporting charity:water (our Twestival cause last year). 100% of specific bracelet sales will go to the cause.
  • St. Andrews-Wesley is having their Jazz Vespers Christmas Eve concert December 24th @ 4:00pm. The event is free with any donations going to Covenant House.
  • On Friday December 18th, ZipCar will be stuffing a vehicle with donated clothing to benefit Big Brothers. Stop by from 12-6pm at Nelson & Seymour Street if you can to contribute some items.
  • There is a free, public concert at the West Vancouver Community Centre tomorrow.
  • Skate with Santa in Burnaby this weekend at the Bill Copland Arena, December 19th.
  • The Winter Solstice Lantern Festival takes place Monday, December 21st.
  • And as we cruise into Christmas remember Bright Nights in Stanley Park is going on right now benefiting the Burn Fund and while you’re over there, you can get a very nice view of the Light Show on the Sails at Canada Place.

    As always, should you have an event you would like to list in my weekly series, please feel free to contact me with details.

    Santa at GE Plaza Robson Square

    December 16th, 2009 @ 1:29pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

    This afternoon I headed over to GE Plaza (at Robson Square) for an interview with a news agency. While the reporter and I were standing next to the rink watching the ice get resurfaced, Santa moseyed on by and his helper asked if we wanted to get our pictures taken.

    Christmas @ GE Plaza

    Once the interview was complete, I snapped photos of the rink and the lunchtime skaters then made my way over to Santa’s tent which is located at the base of the stairs between the rink and the Vancouver Art Gallery.

    Christmas @ GE Plaza

    Santa’s helper, Jean, was a lovely woman who inquired about my interview so then I got to tell her all about Miss604.com. She was very sweet and introduced me to Santa as “media”. I got my photo taken with the jolly old man and explored the rest of the tent to see the other activities being offered.

    Christmas @ GE Plaza

    Christmas @ GE Plaza Christmas @ GE Plaza

    Christmas @ GE Plaza

    A volunteer made me a delicious gingerbread cookie while I scoped out the craft supplies and custom letters to Santa himself that were there for children to complete. From the sparkles and Christmas decorations to the instant photos with Santa, every single thing in the tent is free and available to the public.

    Christmas @ GE Plaza

    The entire setup is presented by the province of British Columbia and they have a full line up of even more activities over the coming weeks including a childrens’ New Years Eve event.

    Christmas @ GE Plaza

    The times for visiting Santa and the activity tent are posted outside and all in all it perfectly compliments the adjacent skating rink this holiday season. If you have your own skates, you can spend hours at this one location doing many events, being serenaded by a brass band playing Christmas tunes, and it won’t cost you a penny.

    Vancouver 2010 Concerts and Live Performances

    December 16th, 2009 @ 11:08am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

    The stars are coming to town in 2010 but not for rock shows at GM Place, they’ll be playing medal ceremonies and public open-air concerts from Whistler to Surrey.

    Photo credit: Duane Storey on Flickr

    Here’s a quick guide to who will be here, where they will be, and if you’ll be able to attend:


    Vancouver Victory Ceremonies
    To be held nightly inside BC Place during the Games. Tickets will be required for these performances. Go to the Vancouver2010 website and search for tickets under “Vancouver Victory Ceremonies”.

    Sunday, February 14:
    Nelly Furtado
    British Columbia night

    Monday, February 15:
    To be confirmed
    Quebec night

    Tuesday, February 16:
    Barenaked Ladies
    Nova Scotia night

    Wednesday, February 17:
    Paul Brandt
    Alberta night

    Thursday, February 18:
    Prince Edward Island night

    Friday, February 19:
    Theory of a Deadman
    Northwest Territories’ night

    Saturday, February 20:
    Yukon night

    Sunday, February 21:
    Trooper & Loverboy
    Nunavut night

    Tuesday, February 23:
    Billy Talent
    Saskatchewan night

    Wednesday, February 24:
    Ontario night

    Thursday, February 25:
    Burton Cummings
    Manitoba night

    Friday, February 26:
    Great Big Sea
    Newfoundland and Labrador night

    The LiveCity sites in Vancouver will be located at David Lam Park in Yaletown and also over on Georgia Street. All performances are free to the public. Bands on the docket so far include: Wilco, Alexisonfire, Sam Roberts Band, Malajube and Blue Rodeo. A full schedule and complete line up will be posted on the official site in the new year.

    Update January 15th, 2010: Just announced at LiveCity Vancouver… Constantines, Matisyahu, Marianas Trench, Corb Lund, Jessie Farrell, Colin James, Mother Mother, Coeur de Pirate, Jill Barber, Daniel Wesley, The Arkells, Keisha Chante

    Molson Canadian Hockey House
    Located on the North side of False Creek, there will be entertainment daily at Molson Canadian Hockey House.

    This includes comedy shows with Brent Butt and Sean Cullen and live concerts from the Barenaked Ladies, Colin James, Tom Cochrane, Sam Roberts, and George Canyon. A daily programming schedule will be available shortly and this information will be updated at that time. You will need to purchase access to the Hockey House in order to attend these shows.

    Cultural Olympiad
    The Cultural Olympiad will also be taking place during the Games and will include everything from drummers, dancers, singers, and every other kind of entertainment you can imagine around the City.

    CODE Live
    CODE (the Cultural Olympiad Digital Edition) also has its own range of events including the Vectorial Elevation, the Drum and Light Festival, Kid Koala and more. Check here for full CODE listings.


    Surrey 2010 Celebration Site
    Holland Park will play host to two weeks of free public performances during Surrey’s 2010 celebrations.

    Blue Rodeo
    Sam Roberts Band
    Randy Bachman
    Tokyo Police Club
    Serena Ryder
    Hot Hot Heat
    Corb Lund
    Jully Black
    Ks Makhan
    Dan Mangan
    Doc Walker
    Dustin Bentall

    … and many more.

    A full listing for Surrey can be found here.


    Richmond O Zone
    Richmond’s O Zone is their official Celebration Site that will also host many forms of entertainment (art shows, big screens, ice skating, athletes and exhibits). It is completely free and taking place at Minoru Park (which is accessible by the Canada Line).

    Bands listed so far include: Our Lady Peace, Hawksley Workman, Bedouin Soundclash, Tokyo Police Club and Wintersleep. There will also be World Beat rhythms, South Asian dance and music to Pan Northern sounds from above the Arctic Circle. The full schedule will be posted here.


    Whistler Medal Ceremonies
    Performers will play one night each February 13 to 27 at the Whistler Medals Plaza. Tickets fare not for sale but will be given away for free through an online contest run by Tourism Whistler beginning January 4th.

    Saturday, February 13
    All American Rejects

    Sunday, February 14:

    Monday, February 15:
    Pierre Lapointe

    Tuesday, February 16:

    Wednesday, February 17:
    Our Lady Peace

    Thursday, February 18:

    Friday, February 19:

    Saturday, February 20:

    Sunday, February 21:

    Monday, February 22:
    To be confirmed

    Tuesday, February 23:
    The Fray

    Wednesday, February 24:

    Thursday, February 25:
    The Roots

    Friday, February 26:

    Saturday, February 27:

    Due to an attack on my site, this post has been republished and comments have been removed.

    Crazy8s Film Festival

    December 16th, 2009 @ 9:19am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

    crazy8sThe Crazy8s Film Festival is back for its 11th year in Vancouver. The festival challenges local filmmakers to write, direct, edit, and produce short films in 8 days using a budget of $800 and 60 minutes of HD tape.

    Last Sunday at the Pitch Registration event, 115 teams signed up and they will now they have until January 15th to submit a 5-minute video pitch of their film idea. The teams responsible for what will be selected as the top 40 ideas will be invited back to pitch in person January 29th and 30th.

    The field will then get narrowed down to 12 teams and after another round of jury selections, 6 teams will go into production on their film ideas, shooting and editing between March 18th and 26th.

    To wrap up the Crazy8s festival, there will be a gala screening of the 6 finalist films at the Vogue Theatre March 27, 2010.

    Crazy8s script-writing workshop from 2008

    The films that come out of the Crazy8s festival go far, having been screened at over 150 international festivals with the filmmakers securing international distribution deals and licensing deals for TV or online. “There is nothing like Crazy8s anywhere else in Canada,” says event producer Erik Paulsson. “We are developing a reputation for producing some of the strongest short films coming out of this country. This has led to a significant number of our alumni going on to make their first feature films.”

    You can follow their updates on Twitter or Facebook and stay tuned over the next few months to see how the teams’ pitches, ideas, and creations all come together.

    Ski and Board Trips in BC

    December 15th, 2009 @ 11:45am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

    With snow on everyone’s mind right now, and with the local mountains slightly occupied this February, I thought I would find out a bit more about going on a ski getaway.

    The very first time I strapped on a pair of skis (which was also the last time I strapped on a pair of skis) I was on a school trip to Blackcomb back in 1992. The beauty of the big group trip to a ski resort is that there are so many activities and things to do so if you don’t end up being a fantastic skier (and say, end up being a snowboarder instead) you can still have a fantastic time.

    Destination Snow has been in the ski trip business for 11 years and has grown to be the largest group ski & snowboard tour operator in British Columbia. When you book a package with a group tour operator like Destination Snow, usually you have the following included: 2 nights accommodation at a resort hotel, 2 day lift pass for the mountain, round trip deluxe bus transportation, movies & prizes along the way in the bus, daily ski or board tours with a guide.

    Big White – Photo credit: thelastminute on Flickr –
    Sun Peaks – Photo credit: spatial mongrel on Flickr

    Cameron said that they make it easier on people, you don’t need to worry about accommodation and especially about driving to these fabulous resorts (whose highways might not always be the friendliest in the dead of winter). Destination Snow currently operates trips to Sun Peaks, Big White, Silver Star, Revelstoke, and Whistler so you can choose your getaway accordingly.

    They are also currently offering $50 off per person for trips January 8th-10th and January 15th-17th to Big White. Book now and just enter the code: “Facebook” to get the discount.

    Photo credit: Keira-Anne on Flickr

    Ski and board trips are a great way to get out and see the rest of what BC has to offer in terms of mountain resorts with fresh powder.

    My 16th boarding season will begin up on Mount Seymour however I will be heading on a Destination Snow trip with my girl Keira-Anne later this season.

    Related post: Social Media Directory for Ski Season