Summer Day Camps in Metro Vancouver

June 9th, 2011 @ 9:56am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

The highlight of my summers growing up would be that one week I’d spend over at camp on the Sunshine Coast. It was just seven days out of ninety but the experience will be with me always. While there are still full-on summer camp adventures available throughout the province, the next best thing (close to home) is a day camp program.

Photo credit: {Lina} on Flickr

I saw a tweet this morning from @TroutLakeCC about their day camp programs so it has inspired me to put together the following list:

Trout Lake Community Centre
Find adventure at the Summer Daze Day Camp
Our staff lead your kids through a summer filled with Ninja’s, Pirates, Messy Monsters, Mysteries,Superheroes, Holidays, and the Jungle. Join us for the summer! Role models and fun will be provided.

Toodle around at the Preschool Day Camp
Campers come join our Camp Leader in fun games, learning about the outdoors, exciting crafts, and journey’s to the park!

False Creek Community Centre
Preschool Explorers AM Summer Daycamp (ages 3-5)
Junior Explorers Summer Daycamp (ages 6-10)
Waterworld Adventures Summer (ages 10-12)
Youth Leadership Explorers (ages 12-15)

Kitsilano Community Centre
Kicks for Kids (ages 6-12)

Summer Day Camps 2011 (ages 6-12)
Nature Discovery, Wildlife Trackers, Outdoor Survival, Creepy Crawlies

North Vancouver Recreation
Delbrook Junior Outtrippers (grades 1-3)
Delbrook Senior Outtrippers (grades 4-7)
Lonsdale Crazy Crusaders (grades 1-3)
Lonsdale Kids Club (grades 4-7)
Seymour – Camp Andrews Fun Seekers (grades 1-3)
Seymour – Camp Andrews Real Adventures (grades 4-7)
Lynn Valley – Camp Kirkstone (grades 1-3)
Lynn Valley – Camp Nye (grades 4-7)
Website & Full Guide

Lynn Valley Centre
Writing camps, horseback riding camps, hockey camps, kayaking camps, music & art camps, and more.

If you’re looking for something a little more for your children and youth, check out themed camps such as the prestigious Digital Media Academy at UBC, Bloom Art Studios Arts & Crafts Camp, Vancouver Allstars Baseball Camp, Summer Science Camp at Science World, AquaCamps at the Vancouver Aquarium, and Theatre Under the Stars Musical Theatre Summer Camps.

Plaza of Nations & North East False Creek Open Houses

June 8th, 2011 @ 2:20pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

The people of Vancouver can have their say when it comes to the Plaza of Nations through a series of Open Houses this month. The memorable performance area from Expo 86 has been stuck in development limbo over the last few years and the future of the whole North East False Creek (NEFC) are is currently being discussed.

The High Level Review will identify policies, plans and strategies regarding the future land use, built form, urban structure, infrastructure requirements and public amenities for NEFC. The review will seek to clarify the future role of the area within the downtown, noting it is currently the location of transit-oriented citywide entertainment, sport and cultural activities. More specifically, the High Level Review will have the following objectives:

  • to identify a preferred land use mix and development capacity for the Northeast False Creek (NEFC) area;
  • to identify the location, function and role of the streets and identify the location of pedestrian/bike routes, including the waterfront walkway;
  • to identify major open spaces and gathering places;
  • to prepare a basic massing for the development sites, noting potential tower locations and heights, and podium requirements; and
  • to develop a public benefit strategy, after the preferred land use and structure plan has been developed

The NEFC area consists of the Cambie bridgehead/Concord Pacific site, the Plaza of Nations, the other Concord Pacific site near the viaduct, the Rogers Arena site, and BC Place stadium. The Open Houses will serve to inform the public about the latest proposal and spark discussions.

It takes a village
Photo credit: ecstaticist on Flickr

I spoke with Devon Kuiper who is a member of the False Creek Residents’ Association about the plans for NEFC. “One thing that’s great with these two developers [Canadian Metropolitan Properties and Aquilini Investment Group] is that they’ve been really pro-active with the community.” He said they’ve been coming out to their monthly meetings, asking for input, being transparent, and making sure they can meet the community’s needs. A concern is also the area between Science World and the areas that’s laid vacant save for a few festivals, Cirque du Soleil tents, and Olympic pavilions. “A park was supposed to be supplied which hasn’t happened yet. There’s design for a beach, a wharf… it’s a big lingering plan,” Kuiper added.

Part of the proposal from Canadian Metropolitan Properties and Aquilini Investment Group over the Plaza of Nations site includes a 40,000 square foot public gathering place by the water, apartment buildings, and removal of the casino. Kuiper says it will completely change the look of downtown and “the designs are amazing”.

Open houses (where you can view the designs) will take place at the following times and locations:

Thursday, June 9, 2011, 6:30 to 9:00pm, site walking tour 7:30pm
Saturday, June 11, 2011, 2:00pm to 4:30pm, site walking tour 3:00pm
Meeting Room B, Roundhouse Community Centre in Yaletown (181 Roundhouse Mews)

Sunday, June 12, 2011, 10:00am – 6:00pm
Rio Tinto Alcan Dragon Boat Festival, Athletes Way, Olympic Village

You can review the site maps and council reports online in advance.

Greek Day Vancouver 2011 & Greek Heritage Month

June 8th, 2011 @ 11:29am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

June is Greek Heritage Month in Vancouver which includes the always uplifting (and delicious) Greek Day festival on West Broadway in Kitsilano.

Photo credit: Magalie L’Abbé on Flickr

Sunday, June 26, 2011 from 11:00am to 9:00pm
The 21st annual Greek Day on Broadway
Free, family-oriented street festival on West Broadway from McDonald to Blenheim

Photo credit: Magalie L’Abbé on Flickr

Greek Day in Vancouver!
Photo credit: Michael Kwan on Flickr

Aside from Greek Day, there are dozens of other Greek Heritage Month events taking place around the city that include:

Sunday, June 12, 2011 at 12:30pm
Photographic Retrospective of Past Greek Days and the Greek Community
Free event at the Hellenic Community Centre, 4500 Arbutus, Main Hall

Thursday, June 16, 2011 from 6:00pm to 9:00pm
“Grecian De-LIGHT” Champaign Reception
Free event, adults only at the Chali-Rosso Art Gallery, 2250 Granville

Friday, June 17, 2011 at 6:00 pm
Intercultural Heritage Exploration – An evening with Inez Jasper (dinner included)
$60 but you can enter to win free tickets on Facebook
Salmon n’ Bannock Bistro, 1128 West Broadway

A full Greek Heritage Month calendar is available online along with more information about Greek Day.

Red Fish Blue Fish Victoria

June 7th, 2011 @ 7:23pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

There are many options for fish and chips in Victoria, from brew pubs to float-through windows at Fisherman’s Wharf – and I’ve explored most of them. Red Fish Blue Fish has been at the top of my list since Karen Hamilton told me about it years ago and this past weekend I was finally able to sample their seasonal seaside fare.

Red Fish Blue Fish, Victoria

Located on a dock off Wharf Street in Victoria, the queue for Red Fish Blue Fish was about three times longer than the full length of its converted freight container.

Red Fish Blue Fish, Victoria

It was a gloriously sunny day, and I had heard so many good things, that the 20-30 minute wait breezed by. In the meantime, take-out only patrons lucky enough to already score their lunches were sitting out on the dock, grabbing an Island Farms soft-serve cone, or enjoying the serenade of a nearby busker.

Red Fish Blue Fish, Victoria

Red Fish Blue Fish, Victoria Red Fish Blue Fish, Victoria

Red Fish Blue Fish, Victoria

As I was in Victoria to speak at Social Media Camp, I didn’t want to have a full order of fish and chips so I decided on the tacone. Red Fish Blue Fish’s tacones are wraps that taper at the end, making a cone shape. My mistake was ordering two tacones (since one was filling enough) but I wanted to get a good sampling of their food. So much for not stuffing myself before my speaking engagement… but it was worth it.

Red Fish Blue Fish, Victoria

Spicy Pacific Fish Tacone: Simmered in sweet-smoked chili adobo with pea shoots and lemon pickled onions. One for $5, two for $9. It wasn’t too spicy (I was expecting it to pack more of a punch) but it was full of flavour.

Red Fish Blue Fish, Victoria

Tempura Cod Tacones: Sweet-smoked chili adobo with pea shoots and lemon pickled onions. One for $5, two for $9. This was my favourite of the two. Classic, crisp, flaky, and still juicy.

Other items from their full Ocean Wise menu include (but are not limited to) a local shrimp roll (lobster roll style), curry or Kennebec hand cut chips, BBQ Fanny Bay oyster sandwich, the cod dog, and your choice of salmon, halibut or cod for the classic fish and chips.

Red Fish Blue Fish, Victoria

I could easily order a $5 tacone for lunch and be satisfied. If you’re in the area, you probably already now the goodness that is Red Fish Blue Fish but if you’re a visitor be sure to check it out the next time you’re in town. Tip: Follow them on Facebook or Twitter for updates as they do close early on poor-weather days.

Disclosure: I was not paid to write this post nor was I given a review sample. I paid for lunch.

BC Travel Tuesday: Week 9 Fairmont Empress Victoria

June 7th, 2011 @ 4:22pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

While the rain has been leaving most locals feeling a bit glum, we can all rest easy knowing that we have such a fantastic backyard in which to play when the sun sticks around for a nice long haul this summer. Nine weeks into the getaway giveaway series for BC Travel Tuesdays and we’ve been thrilled with the response. We’ve had a few Vancouver Island giveaways already and this is one of the biggest to date.
backyardbc is a new travel website designed specifically for residents of British Columbia. Essentially a “be a tourist in your own backyard” program, participating hotels & resorts offer residents of BC exclusive rates and specials, designed to motivate BCers to travel more within the Province. Each offer has its own unique reservation code, and all bookings are done directly with our hotel and resort partners. Visit backyardbc online, on Twitter, or Facebook and see more of BC!

The winner of BC Travel Tuesday: Week 8 Hotel Grand Pacific Victoria is Tamara (and she has been notified by email). This week’s property is also located in Victoria and is probably the most recognizable hotel in the city, if not all of British Columbia. It’s the prestigious, historic, regal, legendary, Fairmont Empress.

Fairmont Empress
Website, Twitter, backyardbc listing
Location: 721 Government Street, Victoria, BC
About: “Enjoyed by kings, queens and celebrities, cherished memories are created for guests of Afternoon Tea in the hotel’s historic Tea Lobby. A recent multi-million dollar renovation of each Fairmont Gold room and suite epitomize modern luxury accommodations in Victoria. A bounty of dining options with a farm to fork philosophy ensures the best of Vancouver Island is engaged in your dining experiences.”
Prize: Two nights in a Fairmont Gold room and their famous Afternoon Tea for two.
Value: $1500

To enter to win, leave a comment on this post and/or post the following on Twitter:

I entered this week’s @backyardbc @miss604 #bctraveltuesday contest #tt

Gift certificates for hotel and resort stays will be sent directly to each weekly winner so they can arrange their visit personally with the property. Some restrictions apply, based on availability. Must be 19 years of age or older to enter and win.

View all posts in the series by following or subscribing to my BCTravelTuesday tag. Open to residents of BC.