International Freeski Film Festival – IF3

Thursday, November 18th, 2010 — 8:20am PDT
Comments 9

The International Freeski Film Festival touches down in Vancouver this weekend with five sets of screenings at the Vogue on Granville. To get everyone amped up for the upcoming ski season (which is happening soon with all the snow on the mountains around here) the IF3 brings together athletes, filmmakers, industry leaders and fans.

The line up for Saturday November 20th, 2010 incudes:
Presentation 1 from 12:00pm – 2:00pm
Red Bull Media’s Cold Rush, Traveling Circus Episode 6, Chug Life Episode 8, Stept Productions’ NetWork, ESK Media’s Stadaconé

Presentation 2 from 2:30pm – 4:00pm
Dendrite Studios’ Out of the Shadows, Sweetgrass Productions’ Desert River, B4apres Media’s Azadi: Freedom

Presentation 3 from 4:30pm – 6pm
Inspired Media Concepts’ Like A Lion

Presentation 4 from 6:15pm – 8pm
4bi9 Media’s Gunnie Season, Level 1 Productions’ Eye Trip

Presentation 5 from 8:30pm – 10:30pm
Field Productions’ Side By Side, Poor Boyz Productions’ Revolver

Tickets are available in advance at Comor Sports or the Vogue box office for $14.49 per presentation or $64.99 for all films. Door prices rae $18 and $80.

I have two all-movie VIP passes (value $160 at the door) available to give away. If you would like to attend this weekend here’s how you can enter to win:

  • Leave a comment on this post about how you get active in the snow (1 entry)
  • Post the following on Twitter (1 entry)
  • RT to enter to win VIP International Freeski Film Festival passes from @Miss604

    I will draw one winner tomorrow morning, Friday November 19th, at 9:00am.

    Update The winner is Vanessa!

    Touring the Thompson Okanagan: Kelowna’s Hotel Eldorado

    Wednesday, November 17th, 2010 — 5:08pm PDT
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    The following photo essay was experienced and contributed by John Biehler exclusively for

    Kelowna's Hotel Eldorado

    After a full day of travelling around Kelowna, we arrived at the Hotel Eldorado. After checking in, our group met for dinner and we were treated to a special menu from the hotel’s Executive Chef, Michael Lyons.

    We started with scallop and bacon potstickers:
    Kelowna's Hotel Eldorado

    I opted for the Alberta AAA reserve beef tenderloin with Alaskan King Crab, bernaise sauce, whipped potatoes and vegetables:
    Kelowna's Hotel Eldorado

    The meal wrapped up with a ridiculously decadent Hot Chocolate Soufflé:
    Kelowna's Hotel Eldorado

    Kelowna's Hotel Eldorado

    Kelowna's Hotel Eldorado

    Michael is one of the hosts of Food Network’s “Chef Off!” television show. Rumor has it that he runs regular Iron Chef-style competitions with chefs from surrounding hotels in Kelowna. I certainly wasn’t expecting this calibre of food in Kelowna and the Hotel Eldorado certainly impressed me.

    Kelowna's Hotel Eldorado

    You can follow this unique lakeside boutique hotel on Twitter @EldoradoKelowna and browse their package deals (spa, wine, golf, or romance-themed) if you would like to book a trip there yourself.

    Related posts from the trip: Kamloops BC Wildlife Park, Wine: Quail’s Gate & Tantalus, Beer: Tree Brewing, Noble Pig, Frick and Frack

    John is an avid photographer, gadget geek and traveller. You can find him on Twitter and at where he discusses photography and all sorts of technology. All photos in this post were taken by John.

    Disclosure: Activities, services and dining experiences during the trip were compliments of Thompson-Okanagan Tourism.

    A guest post by John Biehler

    Guest contributor John Biehler is an avid photographer, gadget geek and traveler. He has filled in for Rebecca on several media travel trips and provides stunning video and photos from these adventures.

    From the Miss604 Flickr Pool

    Wednesday, November 17th, 2010 — 11:34am PDT
    Comments 2

    I figured a classic rain-soaked Vancouver day would be the perfect time to showcase a few photos from the Miss604 Flickr Pool. Capturing events, scenes, and moments around Metro Vancouver, the following images have all been submitted to the group by their photographers.

    Home Already.
    Photo credit: jules andre brown on Flickr
    His Best Friend
    Photo credit: kwazyon Flickr
    Photo credit: PiscesDreamer on Flickr
    Dead leaves and needles Around Delta Nature's Reserves Around Delta Nature's Reserves
    Photo credit: Winson Tang on Flickr
    Kids & Geese
    Photo credit: Clayton Perry Photoworks on Flickr
    Mixhell - Redbull Megahurtz - W2 - Vancouver, BC
    Photo credit: kk+on Flickr
    Photo credit: dahliaphoto on Flickr
    Photo credit: PiscesDreamer on Flickr
    White Roses Remembrance Day Remembrance
    Photo credit: PiscesDreamer on Flickr
    Follow the Rainbow
    Photo credit: colink on Flickr
    Photo credit: eych-you-bee-ee-ahr-tee on Flickr
    East Van
    Photo credit: kk+ on Flickr
    Tracking downtown
    Photo credit: Eyesplash on Flickr

    You may click on the photos to see more from each photographer and feel free to add your own to the Miss604 group pool on Flickr.

    History of Vancouver’s Houses & James Johnstone

    Wednesday, November 17th, 2010 — 10:02am PDT
    Comments 3

    If you have ever wanted to know about the history of your home and the people who occupied it before you, James Johnstone is who you want to track down. Over the years he has researched background information for over 800 houses in Vancouver and 300 of those in East Vancouver alone.

    1891 – Mount Pleasant. Vancouver Archives Item# LP 189

    His research is extensive and includes the creation of information booklets that you can even display in your home. These information kits include a historical demographic overview of your home, an explanation of nearby street names, how the house was built (and by whom), a year-by-year outline of who lived in your house (including their occupations), and where they were born.

    I caught up with Johnstone over email and asked him a few questions about his very unique occupation.

    How did you get into this line of work?
    “For most of my life I have worked in Japanese tourism. I majored in Asian Studies (Japanese language and history) at UBC and actually studied at Okayama University in western Japan for a total of two and a half years, part of that time on a Japanese Ministry of Education (Mombusho) Scholarship. While in Japan, my area of study was the development of Castle towns in the 16th and 17th century. I had to learn to read 500 year-old, brush-written primary documents called Komonjo. It was really interesting. When I came back to Canada, I chose to work in tourism, rather than do post graduate studies. After years of living in apartments in the West End, I moved into an old Edwardian house on Odlum Drive in the East End. The basement stairs whispered when you walked on them. The basement walls were incised here and there with cryptic graffiti that hinted at the stories of past residents. It was obvious to me that the house had tales to tell. To find out what they were I trundled off to the City of Vancouver Archives and dove into the wonderful world of house history research. Well, my first forays weren’t dives so much as enthusiastic wades into a pool of knowledge that got deeper and more rewarding the further I explored its depths.

    After I had finished my first draft of the history of my house, I got curious about context and wondered what connection my house and the people who lived in it had with the histories of the neighbouring houses. So next I researched all the houses on my side of the street. When I was finished that, I researched the houses on the other side of the street. This entire process was repeated after I moved to our present home on Hawks Avenue in Strathcona in October of 2000.

    When September 11 happened, Japanese tourism to Canada tanked. My consulting contract with the tour company I worked for was terminated. I was left with no income and nothing to give my new friends and neighbours on our block for Christmas. The only thing I had to give was a copy of the house history research I had done for the block. It was when one of my neighbours commented while thumbing through the pages I had given her, “You know, you could do this sort of thing as a business,” that I began to look at what had been my hobby as a possible career path.”

    209 Harris Street (Georgia Street) Vancouver Archives Item# SGN 342

    Have you always been passionate about local history?
    “I have always loved history, period. When I was very young I was into ancient Greece and Rome. I was born in Victoria and brought up in Kamloops and Richmond. I suppose my appreciation for old houses got its start in Victoria. In my teens and twenties I began to read about Vancouver’s history. I loved Chuck Davis‘ history columns in The Province and bought all his subsequent books. I would have to say that it was Chuck’s passion for Vancouver’s history that really made me appreciate what we have here in our city. (In 1985, I had the honour of escorting Chuck and a group he organized on a trip to Japan for the Expo in Tsukuba.) Eric Nicol and Michael Kluckner’s books were also influential. After I moved to Strathcona, I read Daphne Marlatt and Carole Itter’s collection of East End oral histories called OPENING DOORS and from that moment on I have become particularly passionate about Vancouver’s East End’s history. It’s like I have always been an East Ender… …People who come on the tours are always blown away at the richness of the history here and its not just about our Victorian and Edwardian architectural legacy, its the stories of the people who lived in them that makes a visit to Vancouver’s oldest neighbourhood so compelling.”

    What are some of the interesting facts that you discover when researching homes?
    “When I do a house history I go pretty deep. It’s like I feel I owe it to the ghosts of residents past, somehow. When I am slogging through the hundreds of birth, marriage and death records I have to go through to research any given house, sometimes I wonder, Am I the only one who is remembering you right now? And even though I know I have gone way overtime on a project with a limited budget, I can’t stop or leave things out. There’s almost a spiritual aspect to the work.

    On a basic level I find it fascinating to see just to what ends people would go to keep a roof over their head and look after their families. Particularly in the working class East End, there was no such thing as job security in tough times, and people changed jobs often. It totally blows me away how fragile life was back then, particularly for women. I can remember hundreds of instances of women dying during childbirth or shortly afterwards from infection. The number of people who died from TB, whole families in fact, one after another, was a huge shock.

    When you come right down to it, it’s not the earth shattering big events of history I find compelling so much, rather the fact that sometimes just making it here to Canada for a new start, staying alive and feeding your family, was a huge triumph. The more I learn about the people I am researching, where they came from, what propelled them to come here, who they married, and how they ended up, the more I want to know. With every piece of history uncovered, another mystery is revealed. I think that is what is so fascinating about working in this field.”

    If you could live in any house in Vancouver, which would it be?
    “That’s an interesting question. I have to say I actually love where I live. I have only lived here in Strathcona, the old East End, for ten years, but I consider myself an East Ender. Even with all its problems and challenges, Strathcona is a real neighbourhood, deeply rooted in its history and proud of its diversity. It’s not for everyone, but I love it… and maybe that’s part of why I love it…. and the more I love it, I find the more it loves me back.”

    This week you can attend a workshop with James Johnstone at the Vancouver Museum that will focus on Strathcona, North of Hastings.

    Where Vancouver Museum, 1100 Chestnut Street (Vanier Park)
    When Thursday, November 18, 2010 from 7:00pm to 9:00pm
    Admission $5.00 Non-members; Heritage Vancouver members free

    Johnstone also offers neighbourhood walking tours and runs a blog. You can connect with him on Twitter @HouseHistoryBC.

    Interpol Plays Vancouver January 2011

    Tuesday, November 16th, 2010 — 4:30pm PDT
    Comments 87

    Interpol is coming to Vancouver to play the Orpheum January 27th, 2011 and tickets go on sale this Friday, November 19th at 10:00am through Live Nation. Interpol’s fourth album was released in September and thanks to stations like The Peak in Vancouver, more and more people are discovering the brilliance of this independent act from New York City. Should you be unfamiliar with their work, here is a sampler to get started:

    I have a pair of “beat the box office” tickets to give away right now that you can enter to win using one of both of the following methods:

  • Leave a comment on this post naming your favourite Interpol song (1 entry)
  • Post the following on Twitter (1 entry)
  • RT to enter to win Interpol tickets from @LiveNation & @Miss604

    I will draw one winner at random from all entries this Friday, November 19th at 12:00pm.

    Update Mitch is the winner, congratulations!

    Wish.List Boutique Giveaway

    Tuesday, November 16th, 2010 — 2:27pm PDT
    Comments 151

    One thing I enjoy about Vancouver is that aside from franchises, chains and box stores, we have a wide range of independently-operated and locally-owned shops. One of such establishments is Wish.List Boutique on Broadway at MacDonald. It is a joint venture by a mother and daughter team that specializes in bringing designer beauty products, jewelry, cosmetics, and lingerie to Kitsilano.

    Photo credit: TheStyleSpy

    On November 17th and 18th the entire store will be 25% off as they host a shopping party from 5:00pm – 8:00pm each day. Stop in to take a look around and have a drink or a mini-makeover while you shop.

    In honor of this event they have offered up a giveaway for my readers. The prize package (valued at $80) is filled with goodies from Wish.List as well as a gift card to spend at the boutique.

    If you would like to enter to win this prize, please leave a comment listing your favourite accessory or beauty item for fall and winter. A chunky scarf, pendant necklace, carry-all handbag, scented candle, lotion… you name it.

    I will draw one winner November 23rd at 12:00pm. Wish.List Boutique is located at 2811 West Broadway in Vancouver.

    Update The winner is Martha!