HST Referendum Results

Friday, August 26th, 2011 — 11:29am PDT
Comments 26

The HST referendum results were released this morning and just over 54% voted “YES” to extinguish the combined tax in BC.

On July 1st, 2010, the HST (Harmonized Sales Tax) came into play in BC. It combined our GST (5%) with the PST (7%) into one single 12% tax.

A few months ago registered voters in BC received referendum cards in the mail. They could vote “YES” to extinguish tax or “No” to keep it. The deadline for ballots was extended when Canada Post went on strike. 1.6 million voters have decided they would like to return to the PST (Provincial Sales Tax).

Looking at the official results from Elections BC, you can see that ridings such as Surrey-Green Timbers (75.51% Yes) and Vancouver-Kingsway (72.45% Yes) were highly in favour of getting rid of the HST. Ridings such as West Vancouver-Sea to Sky (60.78% No) and West Vancouver-Capilano (64.52% No) wanted it to stay.

There are arguments on both sides about who benefitted, why it was applied to things that were PST exempt, what it meant to consumers, and where these extra tax dollars were going. As a business owner, I actually liked the HST. As a consumer, I didn’t so much. I’d love to hear your feedback and thoughts on these results.

Fight HST (site looks like it’s currently down)
Say No to HST in BC
“Problems with BC Business Council’s Pro-HST Study” The Tyee
“Pro-HST Economist Defends His BC Business Council Study” The Tyee
A sortable list of results thanks to Darren Barefoot

Vancouver Waterfight 2011

Thursday, August 25th, 2011 — 2:25pm PDT
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The Vancouver Waterfight is happening this weekend in Stanley Park. It was originally supposed to take place weeks ago but since our summer was so soggy (pretty much defeating the purpose of the event) it’s been pushed back.

Photo credit: Nick Devenish on Flickr

The waterfight is more of a “friendly soaking” with rules to ensure that no one is hurt during this wet and playful game.

Vancouver Waterfight Code of Conduct
A few abbreviated rules as posted on the Facebook Event:

  1. Do not bring any other water “weapons” aside from water pistols. Water balloons are not allowed as they cause litter.
  2. Absolutely do not by any means bring a water pistol that resembles a real gun.
  3. Be sure to dress for the occasion and be prepared to get wet.
  4. Do not terrorize the public. They do not want to take part unless they are receptive to your invitation to join. Only target the other willing and enthusiastic participants.
  5. Do not bring cameras because you know they will get wet and/or damaged. Put your mobile phone in a plastic baggie if you must have it out.
  6. This is a laugh, don’t take it too seriously, and don’t beat each other up over it.
  7. Do not leave a mess behind (again, do not bring water balloons and avoid bringing bottles of water).
  8. No dyed water. Keep it good, clean, fun.

Meet up anytime between 1:00pm and 4:00pm on Saturday, August 27, 2011 near Lumberman’s Arch and the kid’s water park area. There are currently over 1,400 people attending per the Facebook event so be safe and have fun!

Whistler Olympic Plaza Grand Opening

Thursday, August 25th, 2011 — 1:00pm PDT
Comments 62

Many know it as a frosty, snowy, wintertime getaway but Whistler is one happening place in the summertime as it comes alive with mountainbikers, shoppers, hikers, and adventure-seekers. This summer they’ve hosted the Whistler Presents Concert series featuring free shows by some of North America’s top bands and artists.

K'NAAN performing at Celebration Plaza
Photo credit: Mike Crane, Tourism Whistler on Flickr

On Saturday, August 27th, they’ll be continuing the entertainment and excitement with the official grand opening of the Whistler Olympic Plaza.

Where: Whistler Olympic Plaza
When: Saturday, August 27, 2011 from 7:00pm
Featuring: A free public concert with Sam Roberts Band and Kathleen Edwards. Hosted by Juno winner Jully Black.

The plaza accommodates 5,000 spectators and is now a permanent venue for recreation and the arts. It features a lawn, accessible playground, performance space, and public art that pays tribute to the 2010 Olympic Winter Games.

Concert image photo credit: Mike Crane, Tourism Whistler

If you would like to attend this grand opening celebration I have a prize package available that includes a 1-night stay at the Aava Whistler Hotel and a VIP meet-and-greet with Sam Roberts, Kathleen Edwards, and host Jully Black before the evening concert begins.

Here’s how you can enter to win the prize package for this weekend:

  • Leave a comment on this post (1 entry)
  • Post the following on Twitter (1 entry)
  • I entered to win a VIP Whistler Olympic Plaza Grand Opening prize pack from @GoWhistler @AavaWhistler & @Miss604 http://bit.ly/VIPWhistler604

    Since the prize is for this weekend, and the night at Aava Whistler is for Saturday, I will draw one winner at 12:00pm tomorrow, Friday, August 25, 2011. It’s a quick contest turnaround but definitely worth entering if you’re a fan of live music, any of the artists, or sunshine and good times in Whistler.

    Follow Tourism Whistler on Facebook & Twitter, and find the Aava Whistler Hotel on Facebook & Twitter as well. The free concert series continues through to September when Whistler will also host Jazz on the Mountain.

    Update The winner is @aran_seaman!

    Archives Photos of the Day: Bikes

    Thursday, August 25th, 2011 — 11:12am PDT
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    Whether you take to the trails, the sea wall, or the specified road lanes, there’s no denying that Vancouver is a bicycle town. From heavy duty shock absorbers to fixies and colourful cruisers, bikes pepper our urban landscape and are a large part of life in this city. As such, this week’s theme from the Vancouver Archives photo collection is: bikes.

    1896 – Terminal City Bicycle Club. Archives item# Sp P16. Photographer: A. Savard.

    1898 – Men in bike race outfits. Archives item# Out P262.05.

    1890s – Bicycle racers and friends at Brockton Point. Archives item# Sp P15.1.

    1915 – Jack Davidson on a tricycle in the backyard of “Braeriach” at 2119 West 42nd.
    Archives item# CVA 660-32. Photographer: John Davidson.

    1932 – Acrobats at the Vancouver Exhibition (now, PNE). Archives item# CVA 99-2735.

    1943 – July 1st celebration in Richmond. Archives item# CVA 586-1301. Photographer: Don Coltman.

    1943 – Canadian Youth Hostel bike hike through Lumberman’s Arch. Archives item# CVA 586-1336.
    Photographer: Don Coltman.

    1943 – Pro Rec bike hike at Douglas Park. Archives item# CVA 586-1344. Photographer: Don Coltman.

    1940s – A boy examines his new bicycle license. Archives item# Trans P113.1.

    Browse my “archives photo” tag to view more historical photo collections (from the Vancouver Public Library and Vancouver Archives) in this series.

    The Owl & The Pussycat

    Thursday, August 25th, 2011 — 10:22am PDT
    Comments 23

    Tomorrow night The Owl & The Pussycat opens at the PAL Studio Theatre in Coal Harbour.

    owl & the pussycatSet in San Francisco, it was written by Bill Manhoff and originally starred Alan Alda and Diana Sands when it opened on Broadway in 1964. It was also made into a film and starred George Segal with Barbra Streisand.

    Involving two characters, a bookish Felix and a saucy Doris, the comedy is described as a classic drama and some say it has parallels to ‘Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf’. Two alumni of Vancouver’s Actor’s Foundry, Steven Roberts and Panthea Vatandoost take on these opposing roles.

    Presented by Checkpoint Theatre, formed by Richard Duke, Panthea Vatandoost, and Stephen Roberts, the play will take place at the PAL Theatre. It’s a very unique venue within a condo tower downtown.

    Tickets are available online for $20 and the show runs nightly at 8:00pm until September 3, 2011. There’s nothing like a night of theatre in Vancouver (whatever the venue might be) and the city is ripe with creative and talented people. If you would like to check out this show, I have two pairs of tickets to give away.

    Here’s how you can enter to win:

  • Leave a comment on this post with the name of the last play you saw at the theatre in Vancouver (1 entry)
  • Post the following on Twitter (1 entry)
  • I entered to win tickets to @CheckPointT’s ‘Owl & The Pussycat’ from @Miss604 http://ow.ly/6cNDm

    Tomorrow morning, Friday August 26, 2011 at 9:00am I will draw two winners (who will each get a pair of tickets) for Saturday night’s performance. Please note, the suggested audience age is 18+ for mature content.

    Update The winners are Brenda & @DaveyBean!

    Pink Salmon Festival 2011

    Wednesday, August 24th, 2011 — 2:32pm PDT
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    Photo courtesy of the PSF

    The Pacific Salmon Foundation will be showing off pink salmon this Sunday in Kitsilano with free samples all afternoon.

    It will be cooked up by a team led by Chef Robert Clark of C Restaurant and barbecued by Rockin’ Ronnie Shewchuk.

    The event will also include live music, activities for the kids, and kiosks from BC Hydro, Port Metro Vancouver, Stream of Dreams Society, Organic Ocean, and more.

    The Pink Salmon Festival aims to promote pink salmon as a more sustainable seafood choice — more sustainable because of its abundance.

    “The idea behind the festival is simple,” says Brian Riddell, president and CEO of the Pacific Salmon Foundation. “We want to show how wonderful it is to eat. We want to raise public awareness and had our first festival two years ago. We have definitely seen an increase in interest and commercial companies trying to market the pinks in different ways and we see them in restaurants.” [Vancouver Sun]

    You can check out the free festival Sunday, August 28, 2011 from 12:00pm to 5:00pm at Hadden Park on Kits Point (1905 Ogden Avenue at Cypress) near the Maritime Museum.