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Vancouver History: Prohibition

July 3rd, 2008 @ 9:15am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Given that I’m a media partner for the Canada Cup of Beer this Saturday, I thought it would be fun to delve into some local history when it comes to the spirited beverages.

Granville Street wasn’t always littered with inebriated revelers at all hours of the night and lining up like pageant contestants outside of booming clubs. Actually it used to be pretty dry in Vancouver for a few yeas as on October 1, 1917 prohibition began in Canada but (and it was already well underway in the US).

Rum runners in BC would sail up and down the coast, often with tens of thousands of cases tucked in away on lumber ships. One of such ships being the infamous Malahat, known as the Queen of Rum Row.

Rum Running of liquor from Canada or from Canadian ships to American boats off the US coast was a profitable business. Unlike the activities on the Atlantic, the Pacific Rum Running trade was much smaller and thus immune from Mafia interests. [Vancouver Maritime Museum]

BC’s prohibition ended in 1920 but from that point on (and until recent years) the sale of liquor would only take place in Government controlled stores – leading to the birth of a good ‘ol Cold Beer n Wine shops.

The first English-Canadian province to repeal Prohibition, BC became the source of much of the liquor smuggled illegally into the US before it too finally repealed its legislation in 1933. [KnowBC]

Some of the key players during the prohibition era actually helped form this city and even Granville Street as we know it, like the Reifel brothers and their father.

Henry Reifel began a brewery at Main and 16th on Brewery Creek. In 1908 Canadian Brewing and Malting on 11th and Yew later amalgamated several companies into Vancouver Breweries [see: more on Henry Reifel’s brewing]. Henry sold his brewing interests on retirement (in 1933) and donated property for the original Vancouver Art Gallery on Georgia. [Vancouver History].

His son George Conrad Reifel (brewmaster) sailed his liquor down the coast and with his brother Harry (Henry) Frederick built and owned the Commodore Block on Granville (in 1929) and the Vogue and Studio theatres in the 1940s.

The Reifel family donated much of their land to the city, including farmland in Delta known now as the George C Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary. Even the Reifel family home now serves as the regional headquarters of the Canadian Wildlife Service.

Update: After reading this post, Steve from Ubertor and Reachd passed along this article from The Vancouver Sun. It involves the beautiful home on SW Marine – Casa Mia – which is up for sale and was always my sister’s dream home when we were kids (and I’m sure it still would be now). The reason this all fits together is that it was built for George Reifel in 1932.

Update: In 2011, the mansion is either still up for sale, or up for sale again [VancouverSun]

Canada Cup of Beer This Saturday

July 2nd, 2008 @ 2:42pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

I’m a big fan of local brews and this city has a wonderfully blended history when it comes to beer (even the girl in the wet suit knows that).


Photo credit: Duane Storey on Flickr

In 2005 the folks at Just Here For the Beer decided it was time to put Vancouver on Canada’s beer festival map and they began hosting the Canada Cup of Beer.

Taking place this Saturday at Thunderbird Stadium (UBC) festivities will include fan-favourite voting in such categories as Favourite Canadian Lager, Favourite Microbrew Beer, Best Booth Display, Friendliest Servers, and Best Beer Name (to name a few).

In addition to the over 30 vendors and 150 beers to sample, there will be several brewmasters attending this year’s festival including:
Stefan Tobler – Okanagan Spring Brewery
Vern Lambourne – Granville Island Brewery
Derrick Smith & Tony Dewald – Dead Frog Brewery
Dave Vargas – Red Truck Beer Company
Peter Haupenthel – Dockside Brewing

The Canada Cup of Beer starts at 1:00pm and runs until 7:00pm, tickets are $20 and are available online (until Friday). You can also get them at the door ($25). This includes 5 sample tokens (1 token equals 1, 4-ounce sample, some specialty items are 2 tokens or available in 2-ounce pours). You can also attend a special movie event at the Ridge Theatre tomorrow with a combo ticket (movie event plus Canada Cup of Beer) for $25 total.

A Vancouver Girl's Guide to the iPhone Part 5

July 2nd, 2008 @ 10:04am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

I figured I would let everyone else do the blogging about the iPhone 3G coming to Canada and all the Rogers hate going around so I’ll pick up my iPhone chatter while continuing my girlie series.

I’ve been getting a lot of funny looks with my bedazzled iPhone, wrapped in a case I bought for a laugh at Bellis Fair a few months ago. I had a really cool pink silicone cover but I thought I would try out a hard case for a change. With the new Apple store in town and the iPhone officially coming to Canada I thought I would look around a bit more at case options (even though most of these are only available for purchase online).

– Starting off with a bang, there’s the Louis Vuitton luxury iPhone case:


(from The Unofficial Apple Weblog)

– There are also hand-stitched leather cases with screen protectors (something other cases omit):

(from Orbino)

Both of these cases (above) are featured as being one of the Top 10 Luxury iPhone Cases. Cases featured on that list range from $35 – $20,000 in price. Yeowsa!

– Via GeekSugar, there’s the Bond Street iPhone holster:


(from MyIncipio)

– There are printed designs like the Cherry Blossom case as seen on somagirls.tv:

– Not to be outdone by Louis, Juicy Couture offers up a fancy pink leather case as well:



(from ShinyShiny.tv)

– For something a little more plain, from Apple itself the Agent 18 Eco Shield:

– Lastly, Gizmodo calls this the “worst iPhone case ever” due in part to its “lady mirror” on the inside:

I admit a “lady mirror” isn’t really something I was looking for in a case. Honestly out of all the ones I mentioned above, the one by Apple seems the most appealing as I don’t really need something for my iPhone that could double as a carry bag for a snack dog.

I think Dave’s wood case is pretty darn sharp and I have recently switched back to my pink silicone from John Biehler. However, now that the iPhone will be here in just over a week I’m wondering where I’ll be able to find a sleek, functional and affordable case. I’m sure they will become more available around town and since the Rogers offers are so atrocious that might just leave more cases on the shelves for me to browse.

Surrey Canada Day 2008: The Music

July 1st, 2008 @ 11:46pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

I have to start off my last post about Surrey’s Canada Day celebration by saying it was one of the smoothest-run events we’ve ever attended. Folks could setup their tents, umbrellas, and chairs on the lawn in anticipation of the concerts meanwhile the midway was busy spinning away and the booths drew in thousands. Everyone was having a great time; there was laughter, cheering and spontaneous renditions of Happy Birthday Canada.

Here are some sights (sounds coming soon) as captured by John because well, he’s the one with the camera in our family and he knows how to use it. You can view more in his Flickr set.

Artist: Wil

Artist: Rymes with Orange

Artist: The Payola$ (Bob Rock and Paul Hyde)

From a media perspective, John and I had no issues getting where we needed to be in order to cover the event and were able to enjoy all it had to offer. Big thanks to the City of Surrey for having us out and I can’t wait until the Surrey Fusion Festival that is coming up July 18-20th in Holland Park (note the new sponsored badge in my sidebar). I’ll have three full days of coverage of that event so look for us out there that weekend.

Surrey Canada Day 2008: Morning Recap

July 1st, 2008 @ 4:50pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

We spent the early afternoon walking around the site of Surrey’s Canada Day celebrations.

There’s so much to see between the temporary maple leaf tattoos, stilt walking and gold panning, and that’s not even covering the midway or any of the two concert stages. Here’s the day in photos so far, captured by John.

Surrey Canada Day 2008

Surrey Canada Day 2008

Surrey Canada Day 2008

Surrey Canada Day 2008

Surrey Canada Day 2008

Surrey Canada Day 2008

Surrey Canada Day 2008

Surrey Canada Day 2008

You can view more photos in my Flickr set. We’re heading back on site now (after this quick pit stop to upload and blog) so we’ll have more coverage of the evening’s concerts later on.

Surrey Canada Day 2008: The Schedule

July 1st, 2008 @ 9:34am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Being a media sponsor of the Canada Day celebrations in Surrey this year means that I have over 12 hours of activities, attractions, concerts, food and all out fanfare to cover. This is a pretty daunting (yet fun) task for Western Canada’s largest Canada Day celebration.

We will have to navigate our way around the Capers parking lot party on Robson or the Robson Street celebrations at Bute, perhaps the Yaletown block party, or maybe even the festival at Canada Place – but once we hit that open road there’s no stopping til’ we land at the Cloverdale Millennium Amphitheatre.

Since it is such a long day we’re going to head out for the opening ceremonies around 1:30 but that doesn’t mean there still isn’t a lot to do this morning – especially when it comes to the kiddies. This free event begins at 10:00am and finishes up with fireworks at 11:00pm.

ON THE ROGERS FUSION STAGE
14:45 — Fresh Groove
16:30 — Elite Bhangra Dance Team
17:40 — Aliqua
18:40 — Halifax Wharf Rats
19:40 — WestStone Group presents Colette Trudeau

ON THE CHEVRON MAIN STAGE
10:00 — Site Opens (no earlybirds please)
11:00 — Mike Battie
11:45 — Bobs & Lolo
12:30 — Sam’s Rot’n Pot’n Pan Band
13:00 — Fresh Groove
13:30 — Opening Ceremonies
14:15 — Tribute to Quebec City 400 by Josee Allard
15:00 — Tracey Chamberlain
16:00 — Elise Estrada
17:00 — Five Alarm Funk
18:00 — Wil
19:00 — Rymes with Orange
20:00 — The Payolas
21:30 — Loverboy
23:00 — Fruiticana Fireworks

Parking is available at the Fraser Downs Race Track (enter off 60th Ave) and the 320 Surrey Central bus also cruises by there but be sure to check the holiday schedule.

We’ll be updating this post or creating others throughout the day to give you a taste of the atmosphere and good times in Surrey so stay tuned between trips to the BBQ or cooler for a nice cold one.

Updated Theme for Summer 2008

June 30th, 2008 @ 4:00am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Nursing our bronzed (and slightly pink) skin after a full morning and afternoon at the beach, we sat down to hammer out some final touches on the updated Miss604.com WordPress theme.

New Miss604.com Logo

Over the last week or so John has done the bulk of the leg work to give the site a fresh new look for the summer, adding in some fun elements, softening the look and feel and even managing (somehow) to get me away from my beloved Verdana font.

Hollering PHP language at each other from across the living room we hashed out the final details of this theme that was truly inspired by the lovely header and logo that Raincity Studios created for me this past year.

We hope to have another social media-related announcement coming this week, stay tuned.

Vancouver History: Nat Bailey

June 29th, 2008 @ 9:35am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

It’s a pretty rare thing these days to have a sporting venue named after an actual person and not a car manufacturer, internet company or soft drink, but what makes Nat Bailey more than a baseball stadium and the namesake of a Pale Ale at White Spot?


1956 President of the Junior Chamber of Commerce presenting an award for the cleanest kitchen to Nat Bailey for the White Spot. VPL Number: 83008. Photographer: Vic Spooner.

In 1924 Nathaniel Bailey (originally of St Paul, Minnesota) drove around to local baseball games in Vancouver, selling peanuts and refreshments to the crowds. He, “transformed his 1918 Model T truck into a travelling lunch counter, parking every Sunday at Lookout Point on SW Marine Drive… …a dime for a hot dog, a nickel for an ice cream.” [VancouverHistory]

Four years later Bailey opened the first White Spot Barbecue with its main feature – the car hop service located at 67th and Granville. Nine years later he replaced it with the White Spot Restaurant and Drive-in.


Photo credit: John Bollwitt on Flickr

Unfortunately in 1986 this original location burned down, “One of the city’s most beloved buildings, White Spot #1 was more than a restaurant to the people who had grown up with it. As it burned beyond repair, crowds stood on the street with tears in their eyes. Rush-hour traffic in south Vancouver came to a halt, and for a month afterwards, a solemn procession of cars passed through the deserted parking lot.” [WhiteSpotFAQ]

The Vancouver Mounties, who played at Capilano Stadium built in 1951 (on the edge of Queen Elizabeth Park) were sold to local businessmen in 1956, Nat Bailey being one of them. “The Mounties played in the Pacific Coast League from 1956 through 1962 as the relocated Oakland Oaks franchise, and from 1965 through 1969 when the Dallas Rangers moved back to Canada.” [wiki]

In 1978 Cap Stadium, with its new PCL team the Vancouver Canadians, was renamed in Nat’s honor after his passing that year.

Nat Bailey’s contributions to the city in terms of sport and business have been profound. I know that John and I still go to White Spot and although we’re not big into burgers (despite the tempting Triple O) “Nat’s Hearty Brunch” is a tough one to beat.