Celebration of Light 2011 Fireworks Barge Tour


Friday, July 29th, 2011 — 1:02pm PDT
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In anticipation of the first Celebration of Light night of 2011, happening tomorrow at 10:00pm in English Bay, I was a part of a media tour of the fireworks barge this morning with Producer Patrick Brault.

Celebration of Light Fireworks Barge

Patrick has been involved with the Celebration of Light since it began 21 years ago and he says to this day, not much has changed except they’ve been able to make some improvements in the technology. In the first year he said they had kilometers worth of wiring on the barge and manually controlled the firing of each shell. The soundtrack was on large reels and they had audio cues, “line 1, line 1, GO!”.

Celebration of Light Fireworks Barge Celebration of Light Fireworks Barge

Celebration of Light Fireworks Barge Celebration of Light Fireworks Barge

“Now it’s all computer-controlled,” said Patrick. “We program the time that we want the fireworks to shoot and the computer system shoots them. There is a lot less cabling because we have computer modules everywhere on the barge.” While a computer controls the firing and timing, there are still manual settings and safety systems in place that can fine-tune timing and shut any section off manually in case of an emergency on the barge.

Celebration of Light Fireworks Barge

Celebration of Light Fireworks Barge Celebration of Light Fireworks Barge

Celebration of Light Fireworks Barge

Celebration of Light Fireworks Barge

Aside from the behind-the-scenes technology there’s a big difference this year that some have already noticed from afar. “We brought the barges closer to shore so that it’s more in your face for the people on the beach,” Patrick told us. “Usually the distance between the fireworks and the public is all in relation to the largest size of shell that we shoot.”

Celebration of Light Fireworks Barge

Patrick said an example would be those large willow-like shells that shoot high into the air and cascade downward. So in order to keep the large shells, not compromising the show at all, they moved those to a third barge that will be located further away, in the regular barge location (from previous years).

Celebration of Light Fireworks Barge

With far too many grey days than we’d like this season, Patrick said cloud cover doesn’t bother him and the fireworks crew and that rain and humidity are more of a factor (in terms of the setup and firing of the shells). “Some effects do look better in the rain,” he added. “Personally, I like to have a little bit of a cloud cover or no moonlight because if it’s too bright then people might get distracted from the show itself.” He went on to explain that his whole family comes from the show business and theatre worlds so you want “lights out” and no distractions when the show is underway.

Celebration of Light Fireworks Barge

Celebration of Light Fireworks Barge

For Saturday’s fireworks display, China will present “China Storm”, a representation of the 24 seasons in Chinese culture, and will feature world music. Next Wednesday’s show presented by Spain is called “Odyssey” and Canada’s finale will be “Then and Now” on August 6th.

Celebration of Light Fireworks Barge

The City of Vancouver is strongly encouraging the hundreds of thousands of fireworks goers to “cart out what they cart in” and put garbage in bins. There will be “Zero Waste Stations” around popular viewing areas like English Bay and Kitsilano as well.

Celebration of Light Fireworks Barge

You still have until Monday to enter to win reserved bleacher seating for Canada’s fireworks display in my final Celebration of Light contest. Head down to your viewing spot early to catch free concerts at ShoreFest happening around English Bay and Kitsilano beaches.

August Long Weekend Events 2011


Thursday, July 28th, 2011 — 2:00pm PDT
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The August long weekend has crept up slowly and I’m almost in disbelief that July is coming to an end. While it was a bit of a grey month (with many soggy patches) hopefully things will pick up for August before scarves, sweaters, and back to school clothes in shop windows bring on the grim reality that summer is almost over.

Tsawwassen Beach
Photo credit: rbrtwhite on Flickr

With the sun finally shining, there’s so much going on this weekend that, aside from doing my main monthly event listings for August, I’ve decided to serve up a special long weekend event roundup:

Metro Vancouver
Saturday, July 30
Vancouver Whitecaps FC vs LA Galaxy
Mount Pleasant Smoking Sausage BBQ Cook-Off
Celebration of Light fireworks
Balkan Beats Extravaganza
Illuminaires
Powell Street Festival
Burnaby Village Museum Farmers Market
Patio Summerfest at the River Market in New Westminster
Last day of the Neanderthal Arts Festival
Opening weekend of West Vancouver’s Harmony Arts Festival
BC Renaissance Festival begins

Sunday, July 31
Vancouver Pride Parade
BC Place Free Public Open House
Powell Street Festival
12th Street Music Festival in New Westminster

Whistler
Saturday, July 30
Araxi Longtable Series in Pemberton
Saturday, July 30 & Sunday, July 31
Canadian National BBQ Championships

To list your community, non-profit, family-oriented, public or ticketed event for free, you can email me to be included in my monthly event listings. Please include the exact date and a link (website or Facebook event).

Amazon Falls at Denman Cinemas


Thursday, July 28th, 2011 — 1:15pm PDT
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About a month ago, I wrote a profile on Vancouver-based actor April Telek, fresh off the heels of winning the Leo Award for Best Actress for her performance in the feature film Amazon Falls, directed by Vancouver-based Katrin Bowen.

I just found out that the critically-acclaimed film will be playing at the Denman Cinemas this Friday, July 29, 2011. Starting at 7:00pm, it’s part of a double-header and will be followed by A Wake, directed by Penelope Buitenhuis, which will start at 9:30pm.

Katrin Bowen’s Amazon Falls is a gritty story about a faded B-movie actress who refuses to give up her dream of being a star in a business that seems to punish virtue more than vice.

Penelope Buitenhuis’ A Wake is a mystery about a troupe of actors who reunite for the wake of their eccentric theatre director (Nicholas Campbell). But when all hell breaks loose over the weekend, all secrets and lies are exposed.

The Denman Cinemas are located at 1030 Denman at Comox in downtown Vancouver’s West End. Follow them on Twitter @DenmanCinemas or on Facebook for show information. Admission is just $7.95 for adults every day except Tuesday when it’s just $5.95.

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

A Miss604.com 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.

http://www.hapanessmedia.com/

Nokia Xplore Challenge


Thursday, July 28th, 2011 — 11:58am PDT
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Yesterday I participated in the Nokia Xplore Challenge using a new Nokia X7. The idea was to take an urban blogger (me) and switch them with a suburban blogger (Jodi from RantsnRascals.com). We would make up a route that included five stops of interest and each use our Nokia X7 handsets to plot the course, take photos, check-in to the locations on social networks, and tweet.

Ovi Maps on Nokia X7 Ovi Maps on Nokia X7

I sent Jodi around Granville Island, False Creek (Olympic Village), to Stanley Park (Klahowya Village), and ended her course at Casa Gelato in East Vancouver (where you can find 516 gelato flavours). The route she planned for me went through Aldergrove and Abbotsford. I picked up my sister and one of my nephews in Surrey and we spent the afternoon getting from one location to the next with the help of Ovi Maps (the map application on the Nokia X7). I saved the stops under Favourites > Routes in Ovi Maps and used the GPS to navigate to each location.

Surrey Photowalk: Whalley


Thursday, July 28th, 2011 — 10:43am PDT
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It’s no secret that I was born and raised in Surrey, and when people ask where I went to school or which neighbourhood I was in I do not hesitate to say Whalley – despite the judgement that may follow. You see, Surrey has a bad reputation in the eyes of some and once you take a closer look, you might wonder why.

Whalley

I lived next to a park with playground, wooded area with fitness circuit, baseball diamonds, swimming pool, and soccer fields. I rode my bike or walked to the corner store to buy penny candy (which was 5 cent candy at the time) and stayed out past twilight playing adventure games in our yard or tree-fort. I loved my childhood home. When my friend and I would walk over to Gateway SkyTrain station to head downtown we were always nervous to get off at Broadway or Granville stations. Were they safe? It was pretty much news to me that I grew up in the area people are currently calling Surrey’s “Inner City”.

Whalley Whalley

Whalley


Photo by: Jenny Miles

A few weeks ago I went for a photowalk with my sister and three of my nephews around my old stomping grounds. We checked out the new community centre and skate park, the home of Whalley Little League, walked down King George Highway, and ended up at the Surrey Farmers Market at Central City.

Whalley

Whalley

Whalley Whalley

Whalley Whalley

Whalley


Photo by: Jenny Miles


Photo by: Jenny Miles

Whalley Whalley

Whalley

Whalley Whalley

Whalley

Whalley Whalley

Whalley Whalley

Whalley

Over the next few weeks I’ll be profiling a different neighbourhood in Surrey by way of a photowalk with my sister. If you’re in the area, feel free to join us (I’ll put a note on Twitter with exact times) as I capture Fleetwood, Guildford, Newton, Cloverdale, and Fraser Heights and South Surrey.

Whitecaps FC vs LA Galaxy, Win Tickets


Wednesday, July 27th, 2011 — 10:45am PDT
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The LA Galaxy are in town Saturday to take on our Whitecaps FC at Empire Field. While they’ll be without Beckham, the Galaxy’s stacked line-up should make for a great game against our hometown team.

Although our record isn’t as favourable as we’d like to see it at this point in the season, Whitecaps games are incredibly fun to attend. The chants, the crowds, the North Shore mountains in the background, and a ton of energy can be found at every match.

To top it off, one of our own was recently named to the MLS inactive all-star roster this year.

Vancouver’s Eric Hassli was named to Major League Soccer’s inactive All-Star roster on Monday, and at training on Tuesday, his Whitecaps FC teammates couldn’t say enough good things about the striker. “Everyone has seen what Eric Hassli can do,” defender Wes Knight told MLSsoccer.com. “Unfortunately, they don’t get to see it on a day-to-day basis like we do. He’s just an incredible player and one of the best strikers in this league and it’s great for him to get that [honour].” [source]

Budweiser, as a proud new sponsor of Vancouver Whitecaps FC, is offering up three pairs of tickets so that my readers can take in the Galaxy game on Saturday at 4:30pm.

Here’s how you can enter to win.

  • Leave a comment on this post with your favorite Whitecaps FC cheer – see the Southsiders songs list for reference (1 entry)
  • Post the following on Twitter (1 entry)
  • I entered to win @WhitecapsFC vs #LAGalaxy tickets from @budcanada and @Miss604 #Goooaaaaal http://ow.ly/5OLMC

    This will be a quick contest as we’ll need to get winners’ names to the box office as soon as possible for this weekend’s game. I’ll draw three winners (who can each bring a guest) tomorrow afternoon at 3:00pm. Must be 19 years of age or older to enter and win. No purchase necessary. Please enjoy responsibly.

    Update Winners are: @JoRicafrente, Colin, and Allyson!