Toni and Guy Pay What You Want

September 22nd, 2009 @ 12:47pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

This Sunday Vancouver’s location of the world-famous Toni & Guy Salon will be hosting a “Pay What You Want” event with proceeds going to the David Suzuki Foundation. Participants will be able to select their choice of haircut from the new Toni & Guy Puritan Collection (images below) and they pay whatever price they like.

As this is sure to be a busy day at the salon so show up early to book your place; appointments will only be made on the day of the event. It’s a great time to get a new look for fall and also support the efforts of the David Suzuki Foundation. Find out more on the Toni & Guy blog or you can follow them on Twitter @ToniGuy.

Girls Fishing Trip

September 22nd, 2009 @ 11:00am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

We woke up at 5:30 in the morning on the day of our fishing trip, departing from Sonora Resort. The day before was action-packed for my sister and I so we were looking forward to getting out on the ocean for 4 hours of fishing (which translates to 4 hours of talking, hanging out, and eating snacks).

Sonora Resort - Fishing

Sonora Resort - Fishing

Our guide for the day was Kaitlyn, a knowledgeable fishing wonder woman who helped us learn the basics. Out on the water, us three girls had a great time as the sun rose, the fog lifted, and other boats (filled with testosterone) passed on by.

Our fearless guide, Kaitlyn

Sonora Resort - Fishing, View

My sister had a great big fish on her line, which we referred to as “the one that got away” for the rest of the trip since the line snapped on us. We were a bit quicker to the next bite although when I reeled it in we had to release it since it was a wild Coho Salmon.

Sonora Resort - Fishing Sonora Resort - Fishing

Sonora Resort - Fishing

Sonora Resort - Fishing

Despite only having a few nibbles, we did see some great action out on the water. The boat was lovely, our guide was great (and also went to school in Surrey – go figure) and we had some great fishing trip “bonding moments” to boot. I also enjoyed taking photos of the scenery, of which I’ll never tire.

Good morning

Sonora Resort - Fishing

You can view the rest of my photos from Sonora in my Flickr set. I have one more post coming up featuring our dining experiences, courtesy of Chef Matthew Stowe and the unbelievably nice staff.

Vancouver History Tidbits: Fountains

September 22nd, 2009 @ 9:00am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Even though Vancouver is surrounded by water there are man-made aquatic creations placed around the city which each have a unique story to tell.

Morning Gastown photowalk - Blogathon

Salmon Fountain-Shrine – Water and Abbott
Installed in 1987, this fountain was designed by Sam Carter, an instructor at the Emily Carr Institute of Art. It was commissioned in honor of Samuel Leshgold, a “Gastown enthusiast”. His family had the work made featuring salmon since he loved to fish. []

Fountain of the Pioneers – 500 Burrard Street
A popular lunchtime oasis for nearby office workers, the Fountain of the Pioneers at the Bentall Building was installed in 1965. Sculpted by George Tsutakawa it involves three elements, fire, earth and water.

Vancouver Aquarium

Killer Whale – Vancouver Aquarium, Stanley Park
Sitting at the entrance to the Vancouver Aquarium, the Killer Whale fountain by Bill Reid is a welcoming site for visitors. This bronze orca was unveiled in 1984 in the presence of Lt. Gov. Robert Rogers.

Photo credit: pkdon50 on Flickr

Swedish Fountain – Van Dusen Gardens
Installed in 1975, the Swedish Fountain by Per Nilsson-Ost was donated by the Swedish community. “Eight bronze panels depict Swedish involvement in B.C. industry.” []

King Edward VII Fountain – Hornby and Georgia
Tucked around the side of the Vancouver Art Gallery, this memorial fountain pales in size compared to the one on Georgia but it certainly holds a lot of history. It is a heritage monument in the City of Vancouver and when first installed in 1912 it featured bronze cups on chains. It was actually the main fountain out in front of the Gallery up until 1966, then it was removed. In 1983 it was “brought out of storage”. [City of Vancouver] Sculptor Charles Marega also did the Joe Fortes drinking fountain, the statue of George Vancouver at City Hall, and the pair of Lions that site at the entrance to the Lions Gate Bridge — just to name a few of his works around the City.

The final fountain I’ll highlight is one whose origins are currently unconfirmed, from what I can tell at least.

Jubilee Fountain – Lost Lagoon, Stanley Park
The fountain in Lost Lagoon or Jubilee Fountain is a year-round fixture in Vancouver. During the colder months it’s decorated with green and red lights to resemble a Christmas tree and when the hot summer heat is pummeling down it mists those passing by on the shore.

Photo credit: ihember on Flickr

For some reason, ever since I found out that Pauline Johnson was the one to name Lost Lagoon, I’ve been more drawn to it than ever. Lately I’ve been tracking down the history of Jubilee Fountain, which was installed in Stanley Park to celebrate Vancouver’s 50th anniversary. Reports I’m finding are conflicting as some say it was an original structure and others say it’s a hand-me-down, coming from Chicago after being at the World’s Fair in 1934.

Photo credit: Tyler Ingram on Flickr / Website

According to an article referenced on Wikipedia, “To build the fountain, Lost Lagoon was drained. Seventy piles were driven into the mud. On these a concrete mat was laid. The fountain was built upon this mat. The work was of necessity rushed; it was done in a month.” Harold Williams, engineer, of Hume & Rumble Ltd., supervised the work. Regardless of its origins, it’s certainly nice to enjoy its presence, power, and movement when you’re taking a stroll, watching the geese, or driving by on the causeway.

If you have a favourite fountain or sculpture around town, please feel free to share in the comments or add a photo to the Miss604 Flickr group.

Blue Man Group Contest

September 21st, 2009 @ 2:05pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

I’m getting pretty excited about the amount of concerts and festivals that are all happening in Vancouver this fall. One popular show making its way to town in just over a week is the Blue Man Group and I happen to have two tickets to give away to a reader.

Photo credit: qnibert00 on Flickr

This theatrical act consists of three “Blue Men” who play a concert with live and recorded music while also featuring comedy and incorporating multimedia in to the performance.

Photo credit: qnibert00 on Flickr

The Blue Man Group will be playing UBC’s Thunderbird Arena October 3rd and if you would like to enter to win the tickets simply leave a comment on this post or re-tweet this link. The winner will also receive two Blue Man Group DVDs, How to be a Megastar, LIVE! and Inside the Tube.

I’ll do the draw Friday September 25th and post the winner’s name here.

Update: I just drew the winner and it’s Vivian Chan (@vchan on Twitter). Thanks for entering, everyone!

Eco Tour at Sonora Resort

September 21st, 2009 @ 8:19am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

We returned to Sonora Resort after the Grizzly Bear tour for a spot of lunch before we headed back out on the water for an Eco Tour.

Sonora Resort from the water

The Eco Tour was run by Aaron, our knowledgeable guide who told us about everything from sea life and local animals to the history of the area and information about all of the other islands around us.

Morning at Sonora

Our first point of interest was over near Stuart Island where we got into the thick of the rapids. Strong tidal currents raise the water levels at certain times during the day, pushing the rushing water around and forming whirlpools. Our boat slipped around these tumultuous spots as we held on and learned more about the ebb and flow of the Pacific Ocean in this area.


We headed South-South West and looped back around to where the Stellar Sea Lions like to hang out on the rocks. Approaching this area you can get a strong whiff of the animals (and what they do on the rocks). Aaron made sure our boat slowed to a crawl and kept its distance so we didn’t disturb them.

Sea lions

Before we tucked around the West side of Sonora Island we went into an inlet where tugboats have gone over the last century to wait out the rushing currents. Remnants of the waiting tug crews can be found on the shore, almost as a monument to their industry and to say “we were here”.

Tugs were here

We headed West again and spotted harbour seals, white sided Pacific dolphins, and kept our eyes peeled for a plume of water or tail flipping out of the water in the distance. Aaron was on the radio with other boats who were out this morning and they had spotted a pod of Orcas. Unfortunately by the time we got out there they had already moved down the coast of Vancouver Island. However, the was a Humpback Whale still in the area.

Humpback Whale

Something was spotted off in the distance so we headed over to see if it was the Humpback. The boat’s pace slowed to a crawl and we got out our binoculars, cameras, and anything to help us spot signs of life on the ocean. We waited about 10 minutes then we took off again however as soon as the boat was turned around up came a big tail along with a plume of water as the Humpback surfaced. We looped back around, stopped the boat again and were able to take a few photos before he ducked down again.

Humpback Whale

The experience at Sonora has been amazingly unique and we were educated about how to respect the animals from both land and sea. I would have never thought I’d be able to observe both bears and a whale in a single day but it happened at Sonora.

Grizzly Bear Tour at Sonora Resort

September 19th, 2009 @ 6:02pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

We woke up before the sun this morning to head out on a Grizzly Bear watching tour. From Sonora, we hopped into a zodiac and were whisked away a good 45 minutes North East, over to the mainland.

Heading out on the bear tour

The boat ride over was half of the experience in itself as we slipped between islands, passed over rushing currents and dodged whirlpools. We also learned a bit about the area’s history and got some tips on bear safety from our guide before heading in to Orford Bay to dock.

Heading out on the bear tour

Once on land, we met up with Homalco Wildlife Tours who lead us to two of their five bear observation towers. After a heavy rainfall the night before, the creeks and rivers we crossed along the way were swollen beyond their regular banks. We watched the rushing water cascade over boulders and under bridges as we made our way to the first lookout.

Grizzly Bear (across the river)

At our first stop up on Tower 4, we saw a Grizzly make his way up and down the river as flocks of birds parted to give him some room to wander.

Afterward we made our way to Tower 5, which was on a spit directly where two rivers merge. From this vantage point we saw the most action including one bear catching a salmon while another tried unsuccessfully to swim on over and say hello.

Grizzly Bear

Grizzly Bear

Grizzly Bear with fancy footwork Grizzly Bear

Grizzly Bear - 1, fish - 0

Our morning on the tour was extremely fruitful and I had a hard time selecting which of my 173 photos I would be posting to Flickr. We headed into the lodge to grab some lunch while the clouds built up and let out a healthy hour-long downpour. The rain lasted until we suited up again and headed out for our Eco Tour, which I’ll cover in another post.

Grizzly Bear

Growing up in BC we used to camp every summer and explore every inch of wilderness our Province offered up (from Bella Coola to Cranbrook). From the time I was old enough to zip up my sleeping bag in a tent I’ve been avoiding bears and it wasn’t until today that I’ve had such a close encounter with them in the wild. I sincerely appreciate the opportunity we had to view these creatures (in a safe environment accompanied by professionals) and I’ll never forget this experience.