Vancouver Folk Music Festival 2009

July 6th, 2009 @ 8:00am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

VFMF_Logo_1The 32nd annual Vancouver Folk Music Festival returns to Jericho Beach Park July 17-19, 2009 and I’d love to send one lucky reader (and a friend) to experience it all. The Festival includes vendors, a market, and plenty of entertainment from latin ska to swing and trance blues…

The Proclaimers (Scotland)
The Weakerthans (BC)
Joe Pug (US)
Steven Page (ON)
Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band (US)
Pacifika (BC)
Iron and Wine (US)
Great Lake Swimmers (ON)
… and dozens more.

Things kick off the evening of the 17th at 4:00pm, and concerts run Friday (5:00pm to 11:00pm), then Saturday & Sunday (10:00am to 11:00pm).

Tickets for the entire weekend, or just a single day, are available for purchase online, and also over at Highlife Records, Neptoon Records, Zulu Records, Little Sisters Bookstore, and Banyen Books.

If you would like to attend the Vancouver Folk Music Festival on behalf of, please leave a comment or re-tweet this post (using the link I’ll draw a winner by Friday, July 10th who will receive a full weekend pass for themselves and a guest.

Entries from Twitter

Update: The contest is now closed. I have drawn a winner and you can view this video to see who it was….

Golden Ears Bridge Great Ride

July 4th, 2009 @ 9:45am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

The Vancouver Area Cycling Coalition MEC Great Rides take place once a month from July to October, and not only encourage getting out on a bike but also exploring our beautiful region.

These permanent circular routes take in beautiful country lanes, vibrant city centres and fun local festivals. The rides range from 20km to 50km along quiet roads and dedicated bike routes. Routes are designed for fun and exploration with extensions and shortcuts. []

The first Great Ride of 2009 on July 12th will run between Langley and Maple Ridge, crossing the new Golden Ears Bridge. Riders can choose to start over on the Maple Ridge side, or over in Fort Langley – ending up at the opposite location after a 14-34km fun ride for the entire family. Each destination will have activities and local entertainment and riders can enjoy the sights and sounds of the Caribbean Festival in Maple Ridge which will be underway at that time.

Photo credit: random guy on Flickr

Other rides this season include Pitt Meadows (August 15), Port Coquitlam (September 27th), Bikennale (Downtown, October 4). Tickets for the ride at $15 but you can ave $10 if you sign up for all four at once.

The Vancouver Bicycling Meetup Group has this scheduled and you can read more over on the Vancouver Area Cycling Coalition’s site.

Surrey Canada Day – Bif Naked

July 3rd, 2009 @ 8:24am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Chants of “We Want Bif!” filled the atmosphere as the loving crowds gathered to catch Bif Naked‘s performance at Surrey’s Canada Day celebration.

Photo credit: John Bollwitt on Flickr

I first heard Bif Naked back in 1995 when I caught Daddy’s Getting Married on CFOX and I was an instant fan. Over the years she’s become the queen of Canadian rock, proving time and time again that our country can produce strong, talented, a**-kicking female talent. She also write poetry (has two spoken word albums) and has done some acting.

We heard tracks from her latest, The Promise, as well as catchy hits such as Moment of Weakness, Lucky, and even a cover of Metallica’s Nothing Else Matters.

She drove the fans so crazy that an encore was inevitable so when she came back on stage she lit it up with Spaceman.

Last year Bif was diagnosed with breast cancer and has been in a constant battle ever-since. She’s pretty amazing as her show was as energetic as any other and she’s also just returned from a cross-country tour. How she finds the time and energy I’ll never know but the audience at Canada Day truly appreciated seeing her and watching her perform.

Photo credit: John Bollwitt on Flickr

Bif also keeps a blog and is active on Twitter @BifNaked.

Surrey Canada Day – Performances

July 2nd, 2009 @ 4:23pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Surrey Canada Day 2012 information is available here

There was endless entertainment yesterday at Surrey’s Canada Day celebrations and even if you weren’t into the official performers on stage, the people-watching in the crowd of 125,000 could keep you amused for hours.

With two stages and over a dozen acts, the Cloverdale Millennium Amphitheatre was definitely rocking. The performers crossed the spectrum from cultural dance, to pop punk and everyone seemed to be in good spirits. Crowds stood up to dance and cheer while artists shielded their eyes from the sun setting in the West.

Carly Rae Jepson

Sweatshop Union

Sweatshop Union

You Say Party! We Say Die!

Bif Naked

Bif’s performance is worthy of its own post so I’ll have that up shortly.


The City has even more to come with the two-day Fusion Festival taking place July 18-19th at Holland Park. Headliners include Joel Plaskett and Barney Bentall.

Holland Park will also host 17 days of celebrations, concerts and activities during the 2010 games. It will be a gathering place to watch big screens for events and ceremonies as well as celebrate the games throughout our entire region.

Surrey Canada Day – Opening Ceremonies

July 1st, 2009 @ 4:03pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

This morning we headed out to the Cloverdale Millennium Amphitheatre for Surrey’s Canada Day festivities. As Western Canada’s largest Canada Day celebration it doesn’t disappoint. There are aisles of food vendors, from Jamaican patties to crepes and perogies, a craft area for kids, sustainability zone, interactive displays, midway games and rides, and two large stages filled with entertainment until tonight.

Surrey Canada Day 2009

Surrey Canada Day 2009

Surrey Canada Day 2009

Surrey Canada Day 2009

Surrey Canada Day 2009

Surrey Canada Day 2009

Surrey Canada Day 2009

This morning we walked around to check things out, grabbed a smoothie from the Jamaican ‘Mi Juicy’ cart, and enjoyed the opening ceremonies. Mark Donnelly (who often does the anthem at Canucks games) led the crowd in singing O! Canada and the Mayor introduced local MLAs, MPs, and council members before everyone devoured a giant cupcake-cake of the Canadian flag.

Surrey Canada Day 2009

Surrey Canada Day 2009

We’re heading back now to catch performances by Kuba Oms, Jeremy Fisher, Carly Rae Jepson, Sweatshop Union, You Say Party! We Say Die!, Bif Naked, and 54-40. The entire festival is FREE of charge and will end with fireworks at 10:15pm.

Surrey Canada Day 2009

The rest of my photos are available on Flickr and John, who takes much better shots, has his up on Flickr as well.

My Sister's Keeper Movie Pass Giveaway

June 30th, 2009 @ 12:38pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Next week My Sister’s Keeper will hit theatres and I have a handful of double passes to give away to my readers so they can check it out. Based on the novel by Jodi Picoult, it stars Cameron Diaz, Alec Baldwin, Sofia Vassilieva and Abigail Breslin (Little Miss Sunshine), and is directed by Nick Cassavetes (The Notebook).

I also have a special sneak peak of the Pete Yorn single, “Don’t Wanna Cry” which is featured in the film.

Pete Yorn – Don’t Wanna Cry

To enter to win one of the movie passes (valid for any Cineplex theatre) please leave a comment below listing your favourite, emotional, meaningful, moving chick flick of all time. If you’re able to get all of that into a tweet as well, I’ll include that as an entry. I’ll draw a winner at the end of the week when I’m out of town on a girls getaway with one of my favourite gals.

As a side note, if you’re up for more movie giveaways, check out‘s sweepstakes that I’ve featured here.

Update: I have just drawn the winners and Maryanne, Alex, Aria, Paulo, and Wendy be notified by email – thanks to everyone for entering the contest!

Canada Day 2009 Roundup

June 30th, 2009 @ 9:58am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Tomorrow is the 142nd birthday of our nation and it seems as though every village, town, municipality, city and community in our region is celebrating.

Photo credit: Our Enchanted Garden on Flickr


  • Victoria Park (1415 Victoria Drive @ Kitchener Street) from 12:30pm – 3:00pm. Family activities, food, and entertainment
  • Canada Place with parade (starting at 7:00pm) and Canada Day Fireworks at 10:30pm
  • Yaletown Grand Prix (racing starts at 1:00pm)
  • Canada Day on Robson (12:00pm – 6:00pm)
  • Crab Park Canada Day Festival (1:00pm – 4:00pm)
  • The Molson Canada Day Club Crawl (7:00pm – 2:00am)
  • North Vancouver

  • Celebrations with entertainment at Waterfront Park
  • Capilano Suspension Bridge 2 for 1 admission on Canada Day
  • West Vancouver

  • Festivities take place at John Lawson Park (5:00pm – 10:00pm) You could also view the Canada Place fireworks from this side.
  • Burnaby

  • Activities at Richmond Park (behind Eastburn Centre) 11:00am-2:30pm
  • Burnaby Village Museum will host a celebration as well (free admission)
  • Port Moody

  • Canada Day events at Rocky Point Park (12:00pm – 5:00pm)
  • New Westminster

  • Royal Canada Day at Queens Park (11:30am – 3:30pm) with fireworks at 10:15 pm at the New Westminster Quay
  • Richmond – Steveston

  • Steveston Salmon Festival
  • Delta

  • All day celebrations at starting at 9:00am at the Delta museum and archives and ending with an evening celebration at Chalmers Park with fireworks at 10:15pm
  • Surrey

  • We’ll be rocking out in Surrey all day at the Cloverdale Millennium Amphitheatre, with fireworks at 10:30pm
  • White Rock

  • Canada Day by the Bay and the Rock 10km run take place
  • Langley

  • Langley’s events take place at McLeod Athletic Park (56th Avenue and 216 Street)
  • Fort Langley will also host an event from (10:00am – 5:00pm)
  • Maple Ridge – Pitt Meadows – Mission
    [Hat tips to Fraser Valley Pulse for these listings]

  • Canada Day at Memorial Peace Park
  • Canada Day tea at Haney House (Haney House Museum at 11612-224th St) 1:00pm – 4:00pm
  • Celebrate Pitt Meadows Canada Day (at City Hall)
  • Canada Day Celebrations at Fraser River Heritage Park
  • Abbotsford

  • Canada Day Festival (8:00am – 10:00pm)
  • Chilliwack

  • Canada Day at Chilliwack Heritage Park
  • Squamish

  • Festivities at UnPavillion Park
  • If you’re feeling really patriotic, check out O’ Canada House on Barclay street (which is now a B&B). It’s where a version of our nation’s anthem was written, right here in downtown Vancouver.

    Whatever your plans include tomorrow, be sure to slather on the sun block as it should be pretty toasty outside and stay tuned for my coverage from Surrey.

    Vancouver History: Robert Burnaby

    June 29th, 2009 @ 11:00am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

    I was browsing my favourite Vancouver History site the other day and came across a mention that Robert Burnaby has more landmarks named after him than any other BC pioneer. With so many streets, parks, and monuments dedicated to those who helped shape our region I decided to look a bit further into Burnaby’s past to see what made him rise above the rest.

    Photo credit: Derek K Miller on Flickr

    Robert Burnaby was from Woodthorpe, Leicestershire, England and arrived in BC in the 1850s to survey New Westminster, upon the request of Col. Richard Moody (who also made him his secretary).

    “Richard has got Mr. Burnaby now as his “Private Secretary” which will I trust be a great comfort to him, as he had no help before, and the letters of all kinds were innumerable.” — 3rd March, 1859, From the Letters of Mary S. Moody [source]

    He was a businessman, dealing with affairs in Victoria as well as exploring areas in the Lower Mainland, in particular the region around Burnaby Lake in 1859. In 1892 the municipality of Burnaby received its charter of incorporation, and was named in his honor by Moody. According to the City’s website, “he has given his name to a city, a park, a lake, a hill, a Vancouver street, a mountain range in McKenzie Sound, an island and a narrows in the Queen Charlotte Islands.” Burnaby also spent time serving in the BC Legislature in Victoria.

    Photo credit: Marina on Flickr

    You can explore the various landmarks, including the city, or even Robert Burnaby Park to enjoy his legacy. The park features a baseball diamond, dog off leash area, casual picnic area, playground, outdoor swimming pool, tennis, walking and hiking trails, disc golf course. Also, according to entertainment podcaster Marina Antunes, the park was also the home to the “Cabin in the Woods” and various sets for New Moon and Battlestar Gallactica.

    For more information about local namesakes, I would recommend checking out the book Namely Vancouver: A Hidden History of Vancouver Place Names or browsing the Hall of Fame on the Vancouver History website.