Arctic Air Premiere on CBC: Win Your Way Into the Red Carpet Event

Wednesday, January 4th, 2012 — 11:16am PST
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CBC’s latest original series, Arctic Air, will premiere January 10, 2012 and to celebrate, they’re hosting a red carpet screening event at the Vogue Theatre in Vancouver.

Arctic Air

Arctic Air is a one-hour adventure series set in the booming Arctic, about a maverick airline and the unconventional family who runs it. On the ground, Bobby (Adam Beach), the headstrong business partner, struggles to save the airline from crashing financially while Mel (Kevin McNulty), the cantankerous co-owner, keeps his crew of pilots in the air. Caught in the crossfire is Mel’s hotshot pilot daughter Krista (Pascale Hutton).

The cast and crew of Arctic Air will be joined on the red carpet by other celebrities and VIPs for this viewing, which will be followed by a Q&A session for the crowd. The CBC has offered up 5 pairs of tickets to this event that I can give away to my readers. There are 2 ways for you to enter to win:

  • Post the following on Twitter (1 entry)
RT to enter to win your way into the @CBCArcticAir #CBCPremiereVan from @CBCVancouver & @Miss604
  • Answer the trivia question in the contest box below (1 entry)

Each winner will be able to attend the screening event with a guest on January 10, 2012 at 7:00pm at the Vogue Theatre (918 Granville). I will draw all 5 winners on Monday, January 9, 2012 at 10:00am 3:00pm.

Follow Arctic Air on Facebook and Twitter throughout the season.

Update The winners are: @taigimaeda, Jared, Lyn, Gladys, and Rebecca.

Girls Ride Free at Mount Seymour 2012

Wednesday, January 4th, 2012 — 10:42am PST
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The 6th annual Girls Ride Free – Shred for a Cure campaign at Mount Seymour starts January 9, 2012 and will run until March 2, 2012. Ladies can pick up their free lift passes from participating locations and enjoy a night on the mountain every Monday after 6:00pm.

Keira-Anne and me. Photo credit: Keira-Anne on Flickr

The best part of this “Shred for a Cure” event is that it event supports a great cause. Donations will be accepted all night long at Guest Services and all proceeds from each Monday night will go to the BC Cancer Foundation and breast cancer research.

Participating Voucher Locations

Ladies can pick up their vouchers for a free lift ticket at any of the following locations. Redeem the voucher on the mountain, at Guest Services, on any Monday night starting January 9, 2012. A maximum two vouchers can be picked up at once.

Pacific Boarder – 1793 West 4th Ave
Granville Island Brewing – 1441 Cartwright Street
Vancouver Ski & Board Services – 271 East 2nd Ave

North Vancouver
North Shore Ski & Board – 1625 Lonsdale Ave
Boardroom – 2057 Lonsdale Ave
Narrows Pub – 1970 Spicer Road

Comor – 3700 East Hastings Street
Street to Snow – 3807 East Hastings Street

Coastal Riders – #102-8860 201 Street

Photo credit: MrDoopey on Flickr – Submitted to the Miss604 Flickr Pool

During Shred for the Cure/Ladies Nights you can also stop by the RockChute Inn at 8:00pm for food, drink specials, and a prize draw starting at 9:00pm.

Gung Haggis Fat Choy 2012

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012 — 1:36pm PST
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Gung Haggis Fat Choy is one unique event where you can catch poetry and Kung Fu, highland dancers performing with sheng players, and delicious deep-fried haggis dumplings. It’s an annual Vancouver tradition that combines Chinese New Year with Robbie Burns Day in a single event.

Scottish singer plus Chinese folk instrument
Photo credit: bmann on Flickr

Gung Haggis Fat Choy Dinner

  • Date: January 22, 2012 (Chinese New Year’s Eve)
  • Time: 5:00pm (doors) 6:00pm (dinner)
  • Where: Floata Restaurant at #400 – 180 Keefer St, Vancouver
  • What: An 8-course Scottish/Chinese banquet dinner complete with entertainment

Tickets are available through the Firehall Arts Centre box office, online or by phone (604) 689-0926. They are $65 regular admission, $50 student, $40 children. You can also book a table of 10 for $625. Service fees apply to each ticket price.

  • Hosts: TV and radio host Tetsuro Shigematsu, Parliamentary Poet Laureate Fred Wah, and scholar Dr. Jan Walls.
  • What to Wear: Kilts and tartans, as well as Chinese jackets and cheong-sam dresses are preferred. But our guests are dressed both formal and casual – be comfortable, be outrageous, be yourself.
  • The Dinner: Appetizers will arrive at the tables by 6:00pm and soon after, the dinner formalities begin. From then on a new dish will appear somewhere around 15 minutes, quickly followed by a co-host introducing a poet or musical performer.
  • Finale: The evening will wrap up somewhere between 9:00pm and 9:30pm, with the singing of Auld Lang Syne. They start with a verse in Mandarin Chinese, then sing in English or Scottish. Participants can socialize further until 10:00pm.
  • Read the full list: What to Expect at the 2012 Dinner.

The dinner is a primary fundraiser for the the Gung Haggis Fat Choy Dragon Boat team.

The Gung Haggis Fat Choy concept is the brainchild of Toddish McWong aka Todd Wong who came up with the idea after he was asked to help out with SFU’s annual Robbert Burns Day celebration back in 1993. The name being a play on the Chinese New Year/Lunar New Year greeting, Gung Hay Fat Choy.

He, a 5th generation Canadian was learning about Scottish-Canadian culture with its strange traditions of men wearing skirt-like attire, carrying swords, playing funny sounding musical instruments and eating exotic foods. On top of that, the Chinese Lunar New Year fell on January 27th only two days away from Robbie Burns Day, which is always January 25th in celebration of the Scottish Bard’s birthday. “Gung Haggis Fat Choy!” said Wong, “I can celebrate two cultures at the same time.” And thus was born the persona of Toddish McWong with his growing appreciation of Scottish Canadian history and culture. – Who is Toddish McWong?

The Gung Haggis Fat Choy dinner officially began in 1998 and since that time it has expanded throughout the Pacific Northwest and onto Vancouver Island (Victoria’s event is January 28th this year). In 2005, the dinner moved to the largest Chinese Restaurant in North America at the time (Floata) and has since been attended by Mayors, MLAs, and celebrities. Todd Wong also received the 2008 BC Community Achievement Award, presented by the Premier, “for his devotion to community service, building bridges and cross-cultural understanding, and acknowledged as the creator of Gung Haggis Fat Choy.”

Thanks to Toddish McWong, this harmonious cultural mix celebrates the true essence of Vancouver each year.

Vancouver History: Philanthropists

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012 — 10:25am PST
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On New Year’s Eve Vancouver lost Milton Wong, a wonderful business man, Order of Canada recipient, SFU Chancellor, and philanthropist.

“Milt was a very generous and wonderful guy,” said longtime friend Michael Clague, who recalled the time in 2003 when, as director of the Carnegie Centre in the Downtown Eastside, he asked his university buddy for help in raising $50,000 for the arts to celebrate the centre’s 100th anniversary.

“We were having our lunch at the Ovaltine and he just said, ‘I’ll give you $50,000,'” said Clague. “He said ‘I believe in making a social investment.'”

The contribution planted the seed for what would eventually be the Downtown Eastside’s Heart of the City Festival, now in its eighth year…

…Among Wong’s other legacies are the Aboriginal Mother Centre Society, which provides a home for at-risk mothers and children, a $3-million contribution to Simon Fraser University’s School of Contemporary Arts, and a local area planning program for the Downtown Eastside. – Vancouver Sun.

Over the years, Vancouver has been built up by great leaders, visionaries, artists, business men and women — all leaving lasting legacies in our community.

The Robert Lee YMCA - Vancouver, BC
Photo credit: Concert Properties on Flickr

Robert Lee YMCA
The reconstructed Robert Lee YMCA on Burrard sits at the organization’s original location, where it has been for the last 70 years. Lee himself was a member for 45 years. The Robert H. Lee Graduate School is the graduate school of Sauder School of Business at the University of British Columbia as well.

His stature in the business community includes appointments as trustee of the Bank of British Columbia, a directorship of the Real Estate Institute of Canada and of the Port Authority of Vancouver.

Mr. Lee’s business acumen and knowledge have enabled him to play a key role with a number of community institutions. He has been involved with successful fundraising campaigns for Mount Saint Joseph Hospital, the B.C. Children’s Hospital and U.B.C. He has also served as a Director of the B.C. Paraplegic Foundation. – Order of BC Citation

IASSIST plenary at Wosk Centre for Dialogue at SFU
Inside the SFU Centre for Dialog – Photo credit: clooty dumpling on Flickr

Morris J Wosk Centre for Dialog at SFU
Retailer, developer, and hotel owner Morris Wosk received the Order of Canada in 1993, and the Order of British Columbia in 1994:

Morris Wosk has become known internationally as a philanthropist, community leader and founder of many civic programs, not only in BC and Canada but in the US and Israel. During more than six decades as an owner of retail furniture stores, hotels, and as a developer in Vancouver, he has given generously of his time, energy and financial support to a wide cross-section of his community. His support has encompassed education, youth health care, culture and science. His dedication to British Columbians is illustrated by the fact that he has never invested or developed outside of the province. In 1980 he was the third Canadian ever to be honoured with the Prime Minister’s Medal of State of Israel, and in 1985 he received the Human Relations Award from the Canadian Council of Christians and Jews. – – Order of BC Citation.

You wouldn't know it
Inide the Carnegie Centre. Photo credit: kennymatic on Flickr

Carnegie Library
In 1901, the City of Vancouver requested $50,000 from US steel magnante Andrew Carnegie to build a library. Carnegie agreed but stated his conditions were that the City furnish the site and spend $5,000 on the library each year. According to the City, a fight inititally broke out between the East and West sides as to who would get this new cultural insitution. The Carnegie Library was opened at Main and Hastings in 1903.

Carnegie earned the major part of his wealth in steel industry. He built the Carnegie Steel Company which in 1890s was the largest and most profitable industrial enterprise in the world. Later, he sold it to J.P. Morgan who created U.S. Steel.

… Carnegie spent his last years doing extensive philanthropy works. Following his benevolent works, Carnegie established a number of libraries throughout the United States, the United Kingdom, and other English-speaking countries. In total, he had funded around 3000 libraries in different countries. – Source

Today, the building is the Carnegie Community Centre, offering a variety of services to the community in a safe and welcoming environment.

Along Kitts and Hadden Park
Kits Point & Hadden Park. Photo credit: dennissylvesterhurd on Flickr

Hadden Park
Harvey Hadden was a wealthy Englishman who visited Vancouver in 1891 and began to buy up land (reportedly spending over $1 million on real estate). According to Chuck Davis’ History of Metropolitan Vancouver, Hadden once owned the Birks site (North East corner of Hastings and Granville), 160 acres in Capilano Canyon, Hadden Hall (Capilano Golf and Country Club sits there now), and more.

In his will, he bequeathed $500,000 to Vancouver parks. In 1957, parks at Georgia, Adanac, Woodland and McLean were purchased with his bequest. Hadden Park at Kitsilano Beach, popular today as an “off-leash” park for dog owners, is on land purchased by Hadden from the CPR (in either 1928 or 1929) and donated to the city. –

Although this is but a sampling of individuals who have had a lasting impact — born in Vancouver or not — they are a part of a unique group who gives back to the general population because they can, and because they care.

An Afternoon Drive in Iowa

Monday, January 2nd, 2012 — 4:28pm PST
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It’s become a tradition for John and I to return to his hometown in Iowa to ring in the new year. During our winter visits, we usually do our first photowalk of the year, sliding around the ice-covered streets and crunching through knee-deep snow.

Us in Iowa on New Years Eve Winter 2009-2010 in Iowa

When we arrived this time around, we were welcomed by some very Vancouver-ish weather instead and while we haven’t gone on a winter wonderland stroll just yet, we did drive over to the Mississippi today with our cameras ready to fire. I wrote the following post on my iPhone as John took the driver’s seat:

Afternoon Iowa Drive

Summer’s thousand shades of green are muted as winter paints the patchwork countryside with a dim and faded brush. Hills roll by capped by farmhouses, silos, cherry-red barns, and groves of bare-limbed trees.

Afternoon Iowa Drive

The odometer drops as we enter river towns that share names with other places. Each has their own gas station, food mart, and bubbled water tower. Steeples on main street churches are the closest thing to heaven around until you pass another network of industrial silos.

Afternoon Iowa Drive

Afternoon Iowa Drive Afternoon Iowa Drive

Afternoon Iowa Drive

Afternoon Iowa Drive Afternoon Iowa Drive

Afternoon Iowa Drive

After about hour of heading East, the Mississippi appears at the foot of the highway exit. The water reaches right up to land, appearing to lack any type of bank or slope.

Afternoon Iowa Drive

We explore antique shops, have some lunch by the river, and stop at the gas station for a pit stop — and to soak up some free WIFI from the car.

Afternoon Iowa Drive

Afternoon Iowa Drive Afternoon Iowa Drive

Afternoon Iowa Drive Afternoon Iowa Drive

The highway slips under us once again as we make the slingshot trip home, chasing the fiery orange sunset as it dips behind hills and bends in the road.

Afternoon Iowa Drive

While it lacks majestic peaks and sea-sprayed shores, Iowa is full of heartfelt beauty in January – even without its usual white blanket.

Changing Vancouver Then and Now

Thursday, December 29th, 2011 — 10:15am PST
Comments 2

Thanks to Bob from Vancouver is Awesome, I discovered a new blog to add to my link list. It’s Changing Vancouver and it features “then and now” images of our city.

As Bob kindly noted in his post, I’ve had my own Vancouver History: Then and Now series, I’ve helped the North Vancouver Museum promote their Then and Now Digital Photo Contest and Entheos Fog has an amazing Flickr set where he personally takes the present day photos to match the historic photos.

Changing Vancouver launched on Boxing Day and they have already published a month’s worth of posts. It’s being run by local historians Andy Coupland and John Atkin – two men who definitely know about this city’s 125-year history.

What impressed me, aside from 27 posts in 2 days, is that they’re not just publishing photos. They’re writing out the history of the locations as well:

“The Alhambra Hotel at Maple Tree Square where Carrall and Water Streets meet looks almost identical today to the 1931 photograph on the left. That’s because it’s recently had a comprehensive restoration by Acton Ostry Architects for Salient Developments, who seismically upgraded the building while putting it back to close to original appearance. In the meantime it didn’t look quite as tidy – as this 1968 image shows.”

Changing Vancouver even shares its secrets about how the image comparisons are captured and aligned. The authors state that: “it’s a companion blog to the Changing City blog which tracks contemporary development projects in Vancouver BC and buildingvancouver a blog that looks at who built some of the heritage buildings that are still standing in the city.”

If you’re a fan of local history, would like to learn more, or would like to see how our city has changed over the years, this new blog is worth bookmarking. And, if you haven’t already done so, check out AuthentiCity – a blog by the City of Vancouver Archives.