Summer Fun in the Tri-Cities

Sunday, June 26th, 2011 — 2:10pm PDT
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The following is a guest post contributed by Amber Strocel from and

Traboulay PoCo Trail

If you don’t come from the Tri-Cities, you might not know that the term refers to Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam and Port Moody – plus Anmore and Belcarra. So, yes, there are actually five municipalities in the Tri-Cities, but “Tri-Cities and Bi-Villages” is a little long and awkward. Plus, those of us who live here enjoy the slight inaccuracy.

Or perhaps we don’t sweat our name because we’re too busy enjoying ourselves. Summer is officially here, and there’s lots of fun to be had here in the Northeast Sector. Here is just a sampling of the events worth checking out:

What: A Midsummer Fête
When: Sunday, June 26 from 1:00-5:00pm
Where: Colony Farm Regional Park [map] The skinny: Public Dreams and Metro Vancouver are inviting families to their free eco-art event, A Midsummer Fête. It’s an afternoon for families to get out of the city, spend time with each other and celebrate Nature and all her gifts. And there is a free shuttle operating from Lougheed Skytrain station, so you don’t even need to bring your car.
More info: 604.879.8611

What: Canada Day in the Tri-Cities
When: Friday, July 1
The skinny: Celebrate Canada’s 144th birthday in Anmore, Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam or Port Moody – or (if you’re feeling ambitious) all of the above! There will be entertainment, history, crafts, kids’ activities, and of course, Canada Day cake. And to cap it all off, you can check out the fireworks over Lafarge Lake [map] or Castle Park [map] at dusk.

What: Golden Spike Days Festival
When: Friday, July 1-Sunday, July3 from 12:00-11:00pm
Where: Rocky Point Park [map] The skinny: The Golden Spike Days Festival is one of the oldest and longest running family events in British Columbia. The festival attracts upwards of 40,000 attendees, and will feature live entertainment, events, activites, competitions, food, and of course, Can-Can Dancers. Admission is by donation, and it includes all of the events, including the Friday and Saturday night concerts.
More info: 604.931.8852

What: Heritage Summer Fair
When: Saturday, July 2 from 12:00-4:00pm
Where: Mackin House Museum [map] The skinny: Join the museum for a day of festivities including storytelling, musical performances, kids’ crafts, heritage hat making, museum and railway station tours, artisan demonstrations, refreshments, a turkey shoot and more! Admission by donation.
More info: 604.516.6151

What: Blue Mountain Music Festival
When: Saturday, July 16 and Sunday, July 17 from 1:00-9:30pm
Where: Blue Mountain Park [map] The skinny: The festival features a great line-up of musicians and entertainers. Plus, there are also face painters, balloon artists and local service clubs selling food and refreshments. Admission is by donation. Plan on arriving early to enjoy the many activities for the whole family. Bring a blanket, a few chairs, sun screen, your smile, and take in the sights and sounds of the Blue Mountain Music Festival. It’s all about the fun! Relax and enjoy a day in the park!
More info:

What: Art in the Park
When: Saturday, August 6 and Sunday, August 7 from 11:00am-4:00pm
Where: Minnekhada Regional Park [map] The skinny: This free family-friendly event transforms the Minnekhada Park and historic Minnekhada Lodge into a creative space for exhibits by talented BC artists. In addition to the unique art exhibits, the event includes live musicians, roving performers, an outdoor cafe, nature walks, and children’s crafts.
More info: 604.520.6442 or

What: Downtown Port Coquitlam’s 7th Annual Car Show
When: Sunday, August 21 from 10:00am-6:00pm
Where: Downtown Port Coquitlam [map] The skinny: Hosted by the Port Coquitlam Business Improvement Association, Port Coquitlam’s Downtown Car Show provides visitors an incredible opportunity to see a range of unique, vintage and custom vehicles as over 300 cars, trucks and motorcycles line the downtown streets.
More info: 604.464.1490 or

That’s far from everything – there are also farmers’ markets, outdoor concerts, movie screenings and a whole lot more. To keep up to date on everything that’s happening in the Tri-Cities this summer, stop by

This post was written by Amber Strocel, who contributes to, a blog that highlights news and events in and around Port Moody, Coquitlam and Port Coquitlam. You can also catch up with Amber’s musings on life and parenting at, or find out about her online class on living with intention at Crafting my Life.

Free Outdoor Movies Vancouver 2011

Friday, June 24th, 2011 — 6:17pm PDT
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Free outdoor movies in Vancouver have become a tradition, either projected in parking garages in Gastown or at Ceperley Meadow in Stanley Park. This summer they’ll be screened in the heart of downtown Vancouver at Robson Square, at the Olympic Village site, and around the Lower Mainland.

Photo: rbrtwhite

Robson Square 8:30pm start:
July 4, 2011: Spiderman
July 11, 2011: Fried Green Tomatoes
July 18, 2011: Ghostbusters
July 25, 2011: Goldfinger
August 1, 2011: Mary Poppins
August 8, 2011: The Muppet Movie
August 15, 2011: Toy Story
August 22, 2011: Men in Black
August 29, 2011: Finding Nemo

Presented by the Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association the screenings are all free and suitable for family audiences. Bring your own chairs and dress for the weather. Follow @downtownvan on Twitter for updates on events throughout the summer.

The Village at False Creek will have movies every Thursday in August. A schedule has not yet been released but you’ll be able to bring down a picnic or purchase food from vendors while setting up at table seating.

Around the Lower Mainland, you can check out Fresh Air Cinema’s touring screenings. Here are a few that have been promoted already:

Stanley Park, July 5, 2011: Jurassic Park
Douglas Park Spirit Square, Langley, July 6, 2011: Diary of a Wimpy Kid 2
West Point Grey Park, July 7, 2011: Ghostbusters
Blue Mountain Park, Coquitlam, July 9, 2011: Gnomeo & Juliet
Rotary Stadium, Abbotsford, July 8, 2011: Rango
Rocky Point Park, Port Moody, July 10, 2011: Back to the Future
Stanley Park, July 12, 2011: Field of Dreams
Minoru Park, Richmond, July 15, 2011: Kung Fu Panda
Confederation Park, Burnaby (Vancity Credit Union Series) July 17, 2011: TBD
Stanley Park, July 19, 2011: Top Gun
The Meadow, SFU Burnaby Mountain, July 22: Rio
Victoria Park, East Vancouver (Vancity Credit Union Series) July 27, 2011: ET

Beaconsfield Park, July 29, 2011: Roman Holiday
Robson Square, August 1, 2011: Mary Poppins
Steveston (Cannery), August 1, 2011: School of Rock
Stanley Park, August 2, 2011: ET
Athlete’s Village, August 3, 2011: Inception
Fraser Heights Rec Centre, Surrey, August 5, 2011: Toy Story 3
Dennison Park, Delta, August 5, 2011: Iron Man
Holland Park, Surrey, August 6, 2011: Diary of a Wimpy Kid 2
Lynn Valley Park, North Vancouver (Vancity Credit Union Series) August 7, 2011: TBD
Lynn Valley Park, North Vancouver, August 7, 2011: Rio
Stanley Park, Vancouver, August 9, 2011: Jaws

Coquitlam Centre, August 10, 2011: Rio
Morgan Crossing, Surrey, August 11, 2011: Avatar
Harbour Green Park, Vancouver, August 12, 2011: Grease
Holland Park, Surrey, August 13, 2011: Ramona & Beezus (with Selena Gomez)
Swangard, Burnaby, August 14, 2011: Rio
Steveston Village, Steveston, Richmond, August 14, 2011: Soul Surfer

Bowen Island, August 15, 2011: E.T.
Stanley Park, Vancouver, August 16, 2011: Pretty Woman
Coquitlam Centre, August 17, 2011: Night at the Museum 2

Holland Park, Surrey, August 19, 2011: Heyy Babyy
Rotary Stadium, Abbotsford, August 19, 2011: E.T.
Holland Park, Surrey, August 20, 2011: Tangled
Stanley Park, August 23, 2011: Back to the Future

Unwin Park, Surrey (Vancity Credit Union Series) August 26, 2011: TBD
Holland Park, Surrey, August 27, 2011: Justin Bieber: Never Say Never
King George Park West, Richmond, September 1, 2011: Finding Nemo
Diefenbaker Park, Tsawwassen (Vancity Credit Union Series) September 3, 2011: TBD

See complete listings on Fresh Air Cinema’s Facebook page.

Grey Cup Festival Vancouver 2011

Friday, June 24th, 2011 — 5:32pm PDT
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The 99th Grey Cup championship and festival will take place in Vancouver Thursday, November 24th through to game day Sunday, November 27th. Tickets for the game and festival, Canada’s largest sporting event, went on sale earlier this week.

Grey CupThe Grey Cup festival, hosted by the BC Lions, will run for four days in downtown Vancouver with events ranging from free family entertainment to ticketed concerts. The 90,000 square foot Molson Canadian House (from the Olympics) will return and be located at Vancouver Convention Centre West.

Gibson’s Finest CFL Player Awards (Thursday)
TELUS StreetFest (Friday to Sunday) Stage (Friday to Sunday)
Scotiabank CFL Experience (Friday to Sunday)
Molson Canadian House (Friday to Sunday)
Vanier Cup Championship at BC Place (Friday)
Nissan Family Zone (Friday to Sunday)
Canadian Direct Insurance Stage (Friday to Sunday)

The Safeway Grey Cup Festival Parade will take place Saturday and the 99th Grey Cup Championship game (at a newly re-opened BC Place) will wrap up the week’s festivities on Sunday. Follow the 2011 Grey Cup Festival on Twitter (@2011GreyCup) and Facebook for more information. They are also looking for volunteers at this time.

Grey Cup Festival Map
Click to view the large version of this map

Update September 2011 Source: Press release: For the first time in Grey Cup history Canada’s top university football teams will compete for the CIS Vanier Cup in British Columbia. The 47th Vanier Cup will also be the first championship event to take place at the new BC Place. With the CIS responsible for more than 150 CFL and NFL players, attending the Vanier Cup will be a great way for fans to see the next Canadian football stars play in a new world-class venue.

Tickets for the Grey Cup Festival and related events will go on sale Saturday, September 17, 2011 at 10:00am.

Update October 2011 Source: Press release: Phil Reimer, chairman of the Safeway Grey Cup Festival Parade, is pleased to announce that Cory Monteith, star of the hit TV series Glee, will be the Grand Marshal of this year’s Safeway Grey Cup Festival Parade scheduled for Saturday, November 26th on the streets of downtown Vancouver. “It is an honour to serve as Grand Marshal for the 2011 Grey Cup Parade in Vancouver. I love any excuse to come home and this is a thrilling one!” says Monteith.

Update November 2011 During the TELUS StreetFest check out some great local bands on the stage Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Bend Sinister, Guilty About Girls, The Dudes, The Matinee, The Boom Booms, Hey Ocean! Said the Whale, Louder than Love, Stars of Boulevard, Kyprios, Head of the Herd and more!

Update November 2011 I had the chance to check out the festivities down near the Vancovuer Convention Centre West and Jack Poole Plaza today. It’s the first day of the 2011 Grey Cup Festival and there are fans everywhere. I was so happy to hear so much is going on in the new convention centre as many of the public haven’t yet been inside the gorgeous new building.

Grey Cup Festival 2011 Grey Cup Festival 2011

Molson Canadian House Molson Canadian House

I took an unbelievably long escalator down to the bottom floor where I found Riderville and Molson Canadian House. In the spirit of the Molson Canadian Hockey House from the Vancouver 2010 Olympics, this venue has several bars, a giant stage, a lounge, a food concession, activities, and plenty of space (for you and 4,000 of your closest friends).

Molson Canadian House

Molson Canadian House Molson Canadian House

Outside, Jack Poole Plaza was hopping as bands took to the north stage and the Olympic cauldron burned away.

Grey Cup Festival 2011

This is just the beginning of a very exciting weekend in Vancouver. Be sure to tune in for the big event, the 99th Grey Cup championship game, at 3:00pm on Sunday, November 27th.

Vancouver Canadians: Hall of Fame Week 2

Friday, June 24th, 2011 — 12:53pm PDT
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This summer I have partnered with the Vancouver Canadians and the BC Sports Hall of Fame for a couple of exciting opportunities. We’re highlighting Hall of Fame inductees and offering up the chance for a reader (and nine friends) to attend a Canadians game. On top of that, the winner of my contest gets to throw out the ceremonial first pitch at a Canadians game. My first winner threw out a pitch at last Monday’s game and this week’s winner will get the same opportunity on Saturday, July 2nd.

Featured BC Sports Hall of Fame Inductees: Helen and Margaret Callaghan
Hometown Vancouver
Inducted 2008 in the “Pioneer” category
Biography Vancouver sisters Helen and Margaret Callaghan sparkled on the ball diamonds of the All American Girls Professional Baseball League in the 1940s and later a PBS documentary on their baseball careers became the basis for the well-known Hollywood film, “A League of Their Own”.

They were called “diamond daisies,” who played in a Glamour league in ballparks across America. But they were tough as nails and weren’t afraid to “hit the dirt in a skirt.”

And a couple of bright northern lights, Vancouver sisters Helen and Margaret Callaghan, were among the best. Read their complete BC Sports Hall of Fame listing.

You can read and learn about amazing sports pioneers and stars on the BC Sports Hall of Fame website and be sure to follow them on Twitter and Facebook.

Here’s how you can enter to win 10 tickets as well as the chance to throw out the ceremonial first pitch Saturday, July 2nd when the Canadians take on the Eugene Emeralds.

  • Leave a comment on this blog post (1 entry)
  • Post the following on Twitter (1 entry)
  • I want to throw out the first pitch & win 10 tickets to see @VanCanadians thanks to @BCSportsHall & @Miss604

    I will draw one winner on Wednesday, June 29, 2011 at 5:00pm. The winner will need to confirm their attendance by 5:00pm June 30th in order to win/claim their prize due to the short timing of this contest.

    Individual Canadians game tickets in the reserved grandstand start at just $12.50.

    Update The winner is KarenShannon (comment, June 24) – Rob!

    Vancouver Canada Day 2011

    Friday, June 24th, 2011 — 11:12am PDT
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    Vancouver’s Canada Day celebration will take place at Canada Place next Friday, July 1, 2011. There will be so much going on – from the iconic sails of Canada Place and down to Harbour Green Park – including multiple performance stages, food, and nighttime fireworks in Coal Harbour.

    Feb 15 Flag Day
    Photo credit: Canada Place on Flickr

    Canadian Heritage Stage at Canada Place Plaza: 10:00am to 6:00pm

    • Citizenship Ceremony on the Coast Capital Main Stage from 10:00am to 12:00pm

    Coast Capital Savings Main Stage at Jack Poole Plaza: 10:00am to 7:00pm

    • Yoga on Canada Day at Canada Place: 8:00am – 9:00am

    Shore 104.3 Stage at Canada Place North Point: 12:00pm to 7:00pm
    Young Nation Stage at Harbour Green Park: 12:30pm to 3:30pm

    Artists include Strathcona Chinese Dance Co., Dal Richards, The Irish Descendants, The Grapes of Wrath, The Matinee, Kuba Oms, and many, many more. View the full performance schedule online.

    Canada Day - torch reignited
    Photo credit: WinstonWong on Flickr

    Creative Nation at Vancouver Convention Centre East, Hall A

    • Featuring films and art installations. Art exhibits will be in Ballrooms A & B from 10:00am to 6:00pm.

    Canada @ Play at Vancouver Convention Centre East, Hall B

    • BC sports associations will be setup for demos.

    Innovation Nation at Vancouver Convention Centre East, Hall C

    • From 10:00am to 6:00pm explore innovations and inventions by Canadians.

    Peacekeeping Nation at Harbour Green Park

    • Meet members of the Canadian Forces, view rappelling drills and more from 10:00am to 6:00pm.

    Canada Day Burrard Inlet Fireworks Show: Starting at 10:30pm you can watch along Coal Harbour or get a ticket for a reserved viewing area at Canada Place. Proceeds support the Strathcona Community Centre’s Food Security for Children program.

    Be sure to stop by the Innovation Nation area where you’ll find the Social Media Hub, sponsored by Vancouver is Awesome and Miss604. Throughout the day we’ve invited bloggers to stop in to the lounge where they’ll have free WiFi, power outlets, and a pick-me-up courtesy of Salt Spring Coffee.

    I’ll have John Biehler and Duane Storey at the Social Media Hub sharing their photos, videos, and messages on their networks and

    Photo credit: Canada Place on Flickr

    Tag your tweets with #CanadaPlace or @CanadaPlace, upload your photos to the Flickr Group, and blog about your Canada Day experience. Salt Spring Coffee will award a 3-month supply of coffee to the blog post they feel best describes Canada Day at Canada Place.

    For all of this information and more, download the free Canada Day at Canada Place iPhone app and have it with you next Friday as you explore the celebration.

    The Merchant of Venice at Bard on the Beach

    Thursday, June 23rd, 2011 — 2:10pm PDT
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    Director Rachel Ditor’s interpretation of The Merchant of Venice is probably one of the best productions I’ve ever seen at Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival, now in its 22nd season. Ditor clearly translates the text into fantastic direction for her actors, all of whom give outstanding performances.

    The story follows Bassanio (Charlie Gallant) who asks his older friend, a merchant named Antonio, for money so he can pursue a wealthy heiress, Portia (Lindsey Angell). But since Antionio’s money is tied up in ventures at sea, Antonio borrows the money from Shylock (Richard Newman) for his friend, signing a contract to repay the money within three months or give Shylock a pound of his flesh. What ensues is a funny, touching story about love, friendship, and the values that define us, in the end, even when our lives are at risk. Though, the anti-Semitic undertones (or overtones) made me uncomfortable at moments during the play (Elizabethan England was incredibly anti-Semitic), the play definitely provoked a lot of thought about tolerance, eloquently expressed near the end of the play in Shylock’s famous soliloquy, which brought tears to my eyes. Considering such themes of tolerance and acceptance, Ditor aptly set this production in the 1870s, around the time of the unification of Italy.

    Stand-out performances for me were by Newman, Angell, Ryan Beil (Gratanio), Luc Roderique (Prince of Morocco), John Murphy (Prince of Aragon), and Kayvon Khoshkam (Launcelot).

    The Merchant of Venice runs until September 23 at Vanier Park. Ticket prices range from $21 to 40$, depending on when you see it during the day and if you’re 25 and under. Order on-site, by phone at 604-739-0559 or online.

    This feature was written exclusively for Miss604 by actor, writer, and producer, Michelle Kim. Read all posts contributed by Michelle for and follow her on Twitter @miju.

    Disclosure: Review was not paid to write this review or any other. Michelle Kim did receive complimentary media tickets to the show in order to write her review.

    A guest post by Michelle Kim

    Guest contributor Michelle Kim is a local actor, producer, director, and writer. Providing write-ups about theatre, film, and the arts.