Stanley Park Halloween Ghost Train 2011

Wednesday, September 21st, 2011 — 11:00am PDT
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Grocery stores have had their Halloween candy out since the last week of August so I figure with autumn arriving on Friday, it’s fair to announce this year’s Stanley Park Ghost Train. Running from October 7th to 31st, the theme this year is Circus of Disaster.

Stanley Park Halloween Ghost Train
Photo credit: John Bollwitt on Flickr

Just reading about “a spine-chilling circus carnival” makes me think of seemingly blood-crazed clowns running through the forest — clowns being scary to me regardless of their demeanour. Thanks to the creative team at Mortal Coil (who presented Alice in Nightmareland last year) riders will witness dark circus acts and performances throughout the forested route.

For the price of the train ticket, families (yes it’s still, certainly, family friendly) riders can can also enjoy face painting, crafts, pumpkin carving, costume contest and the Haunted Maze.

The train and surrounding activities are open from 6:00pm to 10:00pm on Sundays to Thursdays in October and 6:00pm to 11:00pm on Fridays and Saturdays.

Tickets are available online, by phone (1-855-985-5000), or in person at a Ticketmaster outlet. Adults are $9.82, children (2-18) and seniors (65+) are $6.25 however parental discretion is advised on the train for kids 5 and under.

Same-day tickets are available at the train booth from 3:00pm. There is parking in the adjacent lot or you can ride the #19 bus into the Stanley Park bus loop – it’s just a short walk over from there.

If you would like to experience the Circus of Disaster I have 10 passes each valid for 4 admissions to give away to my readers. Here’s how you can enter to win:

  • Leave a comment here naming something that frightens you (1 entry)
  • Post the following on Twitter (1 entry)
I entered to win a four-pack of tickets for @Ghost_TrainYVR from @Miss604

I will draw all 10 winners (whose passes are good for 4 admissions) at 10:00am, Wednesday, October 5, 2011. You can follow the Stanley Park Ghost Train on Facebook or Twitter for sneak previews and updates.

Update The 10 winners are: @kinseySS, @gloomybb, Deidre, nm, AJ, Christine, Jennifer V, ho, Karla Shannon, Dilara.

On This Day in History: Stanley Park Seawall

Wednesday, September 21st, 2011 — 9:40am PDT
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On this day in history, September 21, 1980, the Stanley Park seawall loop was officially completed. To avoid erosion around Stanley Park, work began on the first part of the seawall in 1917 thanks to the vision of W.S. Rawlings and James Cunningham’s initiatives with the Vancouver Park Board. Over the next several decades it would be reinforced, extended, expanded, and repaired.

(Left) 1920s – Archives item# CVA 99-1476. Photographer: Stuart Thomson.
(Right) 1930s – Archives item# CVA 677-762. Photographer: Burns/Miller.

Thousands of feet were added to the seawall in the 1950s and again in 1968. The final portion near Siwash Rock was completed in 1980, closing the loop. You can see a plaque commemorating Cunningham’s efforts in this location today. [source: VancouverHistory]

This 8.8km route around Vancouver’s crown jewel is one of the city’s most popular attractions that is enjoyed by locals and visitors alike. It’s where you can go to get exercise, see more of the inlet and the park, or just find some peace gazing into a glistening sunset.

50/52 - The great outdoors
Photo credit: kennymatic on Flickr

Convention Centers 3rd Beach Model
Photo credit: (Left) Matzuda (Right) Tyler Ingram on Flickr

world-class Stanley Park seawall walk
Photo credit: The Travelling Eye on Flickr

September Seawall Sunset
Photo credit: Tom Wiebe on Flickr. Photos in this set were contributed to the Miss604 Group on Flickr

Since 1980, the seawall has been extended outside of Stanley Park and now includes 2.2km around Coal Harbour and an 11km stretch from English Bay to Kits Beach.

VIFF 2011 Overview & Galas

Tuesday, September 20th, 2011 — 4:24pm PDT
Comments 165

The Vancouver International Film Festival (“VIFF”) is coming up September 29th to October 14th, 2011 and is once again a proud sponsor.

Festival series include Arts & Letters, Canadian Images, Cinema of Our Time, Dragons & Tigers, Heaven & Earth, Nonfiction Features, and a Spotlight on France along with Films for Youth and a High School Program.

This year, VIFF is presenting more than 360 films and as always, has a spotlight on homegrown content. The Canadian Images line-up alone has over 80 films, 24 of which are BC productions. I also have the pleasure of sponsoring the world premiere of Everything and Everyone directed by Tracy D. Smith.

While I have yet to sit down with Marina Antunes from the Row Three to do a film preview (as we have done for the last few years) I’m going to jump right ahead to the gala information. The glitz and glamour of the silver screen will gather on red carpets across Vancouver as VIFF celebrates international cinema with five galas this year.

Opening Gala

Film: The Skin I Live In (La piel que habito)
Country: Spain
Director: Pedro Almodóvar
When: Thursday, September 29, 2011 at 6:30pm
Where: Vogue Theatre on Granville St
Buy Tickets / View Trailer

Canadian Images Gala

Film: Take This Waltz
Director: Sarah Polley
When: Friday, September 30, 2011 at 6:30pm
Where: Vogue Theatre on Granville St
Buy Tickets / View Trailer

Dragons & Tigers Awards Gala

Film: Mitsuko Delivers (Hara-ga Kore Nande)
Country: Japan
Director: Ishii Yuya
When: Thursday, October 6, 2011 at 6:45pm
Where: Vogue Theatre on Granville St
Buy Tickets

Anniversary Gala

Film: Starbuck
Country: Canada
Director: Ken Scott
When: Friday, October 7, 2011 at 6:30pm
Where: Vancity Theatre on Seymour
Buy Tickets / View Trailer

Closing Gala

Film: The Kid with a Bike (Le gamin au velo)
Country: Belgium/Italy/France
Director: Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne
When: Friday, October 14, 2011 at 7:00pm
Where: Vogue Theatre on Granville St
Buy Tickets / View Trailer

When you purchase your gala ticket you will receive information about any parties that follow. These are fantastic opportunities to get dressed up for a night of international and local film celebration in Vancouver.

Since I won’t be in town, I’d like to give up my two sponsor tickets to the opening gala film and party to a lucky reader and their guest.

VIFF 2010 Opening Night Gala
Last year’s VIFF opening night gala at the Rocky Mountaineer station. Photos by John Bollwitt for Miss604.

VIFF 2010 Opening Night Gala VIFF 2010 Opening Night Gala

VIFF 2010 Opening Night Gala VIFF 2010 Opening Night Gala

VIFF 2010 Opening Night Gala

The winner will receive two tickets to the screening of The Skin I Live In (La piel que habito) at The Vogue Theatre and two tickets to the red carpet opening gala party that will follow at a fabulous location. The value is $175 each (total $350). Here’s how you can enter to win:

I entered to win @VIFFest opening gala (screening & party) tickets from @Miss604

I will draw one winner at 10:00am next Monday, September 26, 2011. Must be 19 years of age to enter and win. Please enjoy all VIFF events and galas responsibly and plan a safe ride home.

Follow the Vancouver International Film Festival on Twitter and Facebook.

Update The winner is Laura (@ywozb)!

Dinner and Comedy at Federico’s

Tuesday, September 20th, 2011 — 1:25pm PDT
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Patrick Maliha is becoming the Patron Saint of Comedy in Vancouver. An award-winning on-air host, columnist and comedian, Patrick created the annual “People’s Champ of Comedy” comic search, hosted benefit showcases for charitable causes, and is one of the city’s biggest promoters of amateur and professional comedy. His latest event is the return of the dinner show at the fittingly classic Federico’s Supper Club in East Vancouver.

Photo credit: Venture Vancouver on Flickr

I’ve known Patrick for several years and I was a weekly guest on his Talk 1410 radio show. Audience members will certainly be treated to a great evening of food, laughs, and entertainment.

Tickets are $50 plus tax and gratuities and include a three course meal and entertainment. Call (604) 251-3473 to book.

Last Chance Saloon, Wayne, Alberta

Tuesday, September 20th, 2011 — 11:15am PDT
Comments 4

The Rosedeer Hotel opened 1913 in the dusty boomtown of Wayne, Alberta. Back then, the population swelled to over 2,500 but since the mines closed up in the 1950s it has dipped to just over two dozen.

Wayne, Alberta

Over the last 30 years proprietor Fred Dayman, who bought the place from his mother (his uncle owning it before that) has been reviving this ghost town, and the Rosedeer’s Last Chance Saloon is at its very core.

Wayne, Alberta

Wayne is actually in the record books for the most bridges in a 6km span, 11 to be exact. Once you wind your way to Wayne the yellow and red Rosedeer Hotel sticks out prominently in this practically vacant valley.

Wayne, Alberta

“The population is 27 and a third,” Fred told us, explaining that a local woman was expecting. Carrying on the family business he’s full of stories but he’s also a very busy man. Since the 1980s Fred has been working hard to build up the Last Chance Saloon into a regular watering hole. He gets locals, many travelers passing through, and quite a few tourists who take the exit from Dinosaur Valley.

Wayne, Alberta

Although there are wagon wheels out front and a short wooded boardwalk, you don’t walk through a pair of wooden swing doors when you enter the saloon and there’s no spittoon in sight. Fully carpeted and filled with instruments, antiques, photos, and knickknacks, you can tell why it’s favourite, down-home, stop for many.

Wayne, Alberta

Wayne, Alberta Wayne, Alberta

Wayne, Alberta

Wayne, Alberta Wayne, Alberta

Our group stayed for dinner (before spending the night upstairs in 4 of 7 guestrooms) and Fred turned on the Band Box. Found in the old Calgary train station, Fred said it’s only one of two in Canada, and the other is in a private collection. It has been restored and while the band members jilted back and forth, almost animatronically, it belted out tunes courtesy of Tim Williams and the High Water Jug Band.

Wayne, Alberta

The Last Chance Saloon is a time capsule to which items and memories are being added every day. It’s a down-home family business (Fred’s wife Alisa runs the kitchen) that is the heart of Wayne, Alberta.

Next time you’re passing through, be sure to stop in for a bison burger with beans, home-made meat pie, or your beverage of choice served in a quart sealer (mason jar). There’s also live music on weekends.

Wayne, Alberta Wayne, Alberta

Wayne, Alberta Wayne, Alberta

Wayne is located about 20 minute south west of Drumheller just off highway 10 [Google Map].

There’s WIFI, a confectionery next door, camping around back, and room for groups or parties (of 30-50 people) on the BBQ patio. Please note though, minors are only welcome on Sundays otherwise you need to be 18 years of age or older. The Last Chance Saloon is open from May to September every year.

Related posts under tag: Alberta

Disclosure: Review
Our dinner was compliments of Tourism Alberta.

Archives Photos of the Day: Taxicabs

Tuesday, September 20th, 2011 — 10:00am PDT
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Next month McClure’s Cabs will be celebrating 100 years as a business in Vancouver, making it the oldest taxi company in the Lower Mainland. It was also the first taxi company to provide airport service in Vancouver. The theme of this week’s roundup of photos from the Vancouver Archives and the Vancouver Library collection is: Taxicabs.

1910s – Men in a cab at Granville & Davie. Archives item# Trans N87.03.

1919 – Central Taxi Co. fleet. Archives item# CVA 99-5272. Photographer: Stuart Thomson.

1920 – Taxi Station by the Hotel Rainier (Carrall Street). Archives item# CVA 99 – 3304.

Fleet of Black Top Cabs in Vancouver. Archives item# CVA 1184-3294.
Photographer: Jack Lindsay.

(Left) 1950 – Winner of most handsome Yellow Cab driver contest. VPL Accession Number: 81214.
(Right) 1954 – Georgia Street. VPL Accession Number: 43366. Photographer: Province Newspaper

Disclosure: Unpaid, Personal Opinion
I was not paid to write this post nor was I given any other form of review item or compensation from McClure's. Receiving their press release simply inspired the theme of this post.