Metro Vancouver Park: Traboulay PoCo Trail

Monday, January 31st, 2011 — 4:45pm PST
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It’s too hard to resist a stroll in the sunshine when the clouds part over Metro Vancouver which is why there were so many families, joggers, dog-walkers, cyclists, and bird watchers along the Traboulay PoCo Trail this past weekend.

How to get there
The three main entrance points for the trail are through Gates Park, Lions Park, and DeBoville Slough. Port Coquitlam is about 30-40 minutes outside of Vancouver heading East via Highway 1, Barnet Highway & Lougheed Highway, or Lougheed Highway 7.

Traboulay PoCo Trail

The Traboulay PoCo Trail network is 25 kilometers long and circles all of Port Coquitlam. The flat pathway is paved in some sections or covered in gravel and passes through a forest, over creeks, through meadows and along the riverfront. A large portion is also a part of the Trans Canada Trail.

Traboulay PoCo Trail Traboulay PoCo Trail
Traboulay PoCo Trail Traboulay PoCo Trail

Dogs are welcome (on-leash although I didn’t spot one that was) and there are waste baggies at several stations along the route. You can also find structured ‘lookout points’ and information placards. The trail is great for a run, walk, ride or for spotting wildlife namely about 150 species of birds that can be found along the trail.

Traboulay PoCo Trail

Plans for the PoCo Trail began in 1967 as a part of a Canadian centennial project. Taking shape in the 1970s, upgrades were made in 1997, and in 2001 it was renamed the Traboulay PoCo Trail in honour of the late Mayor Len Traboulay.

Traboulay PoCo Trail Traboulay PoCo Trail

Should you have a suggestion for the Metro Vancouver or Fraser Valley Park series, please feel free to contact me or drop a note in the comments below.

Modern Movie Classics at the Great Digital Film Festival

Monday, January 31st, 2011 — 10:54am PST
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The Great Digital Film Festival at Cineplex theatres across Canada will be showing modern movie classics on the big screen February 4-10, 2011. For $5 you can scoop up tickets for some of your favourites like my friend Keira did this weekend for Big Trouble in Little China.

Kalart-Victor 70-25 16mm sound movie projector
Photo credit: Cardon Arc on Flickr

Scotiabank Vancouver Theatre Schedule
Friday February 4: Back to the Future, Alien, Aliens, Predator

Saturday February 5: Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and Return of the King, Big Trouble in Little China

Sunday February 6: The Goonies, Ghost, Dirty Dancing, The Usual Suspects

Monday February 7: Alien, Aliens, This is Spinal Tap, The Blues Brothers

Tuesday February 8: Raging Bull, The Goonies, Back to the Future, 12 Monkeys

Wednesday February 9: This is Spinal Tap, The Blues Brothers, Lethal Weapon, The Hunt For Red October

Thursday February 10: Ghost, The Usual Suspects, Raging Bull, Fight Club

Showtimes range from 1:00pm matinees to 9:45pm late-night features. Tickets are available online, through the Cineplex iPhone app, or at the Scotiabank Theatre box office on Burrard and Smithe in downtown Vancouver.

Hotel Grand Pacific Victoria

Monday, January 31st, 2011 — 10:14am PST
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The Hotel Grand Pacific in Victoria welcomed John and I as their guests when we were in town for WordCamp earlier this month. I’m a big fan of many of the accommodations in Victoria, from resorts, to boutique hotels, and B&Bs and have walked by the Grand for years.

Grand Pacific Hotel - Victoria
Grand Pacific Hotel - Victoria Grand Pacific Hotel - Victoria

Conveniently located along Victoria’s inner harbour, the hotel sits next to the legislature and across from the Washington State ferry and former wax museum. Home to two restaurants, a cafe, fitness facility, spa, shops, and conference meeting rooms, it’s a fully inclusive facility. They even offer their own ‘Westcoast’ Afternoon Tea with a twist on the Victorian tradition.

Grand Pacific Hotel - Victoria
Grand Pacific Hotel - Victoria Grand Pacific Hotel - Victoria

The upholstered furnishings in the room were very classic but were accompanied by very modern amenities that tech-savvy travelers like ourselves truly appreciate.

Grand Pacific Hotel - Victoria Grand Pacific Hotel - Victoria
Grand Pacific Hotel - Victoria Grand Pacific Hotel - Victoria

iPod dock alarm clock, plenty of power outlets, tag-less ‘do not disturb’ system, doorbell, two LCD televisions, in-room coffee, and complimentary internet (although a cable connection, we bring our Airport with us whenever we travel to create our own WiFi).

There was even a vile of bath salts which may seem like a very basic perk, but you’d be surprised how often hotels with nice bath tubs do not even supply bath bombs, bath salts, or bubbles.

Grand Pacific Hotel - Victoria Grand Pacific Hotel - Victoria
Grand Pacific Hotel - Victoria

The morning we checked out we had dim sum in the hotel’s Pacific Restaurant. Turns out the national ice skating championships were going on that same weekend so Patrick Chan was having the same delicious experience at the next table.

Grand Pacific Hotel - Victoria

The teas were all from Silk Road Tea and our server explained everything from the type of leaves or blossoms, to why they use the traditional gaiwan.

Grand Pacific Hotel - Victoria Grand Pacific Hotel - Victoria
Grand Pacific Hotel - Victoria Grand Pacific Hotel - Victoria

We had to run to catch a ferry so we missed our third course however the seafood congee, dumplings, steamed buns and leaf-wrapped rice patties were a delectable start to our day.

Since our experience was cut short, the Hotel Grand Pacific has put together an amazing Chinese New Year prize package for one of my readers to enjoy as well. This includes:

  • A two-night stay for two people February 4th and 5th, 2011
  • Return flights for two on Harbour Air (downtown to downtown)
  • Dinner in the Pacific Restaurant on the evening of February 5th from the Chinese New Year menu
  • A choice of buffet breakfast or dim sum
  • There will also be a lion dance on February 4th at 8pm in the main lobby.

    As the prize is for this coming weekend the contest will be fairly quick. I will draw one winner Wednesday, February 2nd at 12:00pm. Here’s how you can enter to win:

  • Leave a comment on this post listing your favourite thing about Victoria (or if you’ve never been, what you would like to explore) (1 entry)
  • Post the following on Twitter (1 entry)
  • I entered to win a weekend getaway @GrandPacific in Victoria from @Miss604

    Grand Pacific Hotel - Victoria

    Fine print: The contest winner will need to claim their prize within 24 hours of email notification on Wednesday otherwise a new winner will be drawn. The elements of this package cannot be claimed separately as they are part of a full package deal exclusive to the Grand Pacific giveaway with

    Disclosure: Like many out-of-town WordCamp speakers, we received a complimentary hotel stay while in Victoria.

    Update The winner is @Kickpleat – Kickpleat. Congratulations and have a great time this weekend!

    The Arts Club Presents: Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf

    Friday, January 28th, 2011 — 11:41am PST
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    The Arts Club Theatre Company will be presenting Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? next month with an all-star cast of Gabrielle Rose, Kevin McNulty, Meg Roe, and Craig Erickson.

    Virginia Woolf
    Meg Roe, Craig Erickson, Gabrielle Rose, Kevin McNulty. Photo by David Cooper.

    “A late-night invitation for drinks at George and Martha’s descends into a boozy game of cat and mouse in this raw portrait of a marriage mired in regret and bitterness. A maelstrom of accusation and recrimination, this modern classic is cruelly funny and absolutely compelling.”

    The Arts Club’s Artistic Managing Director Bill Millerd says, “When I saw Blackbird Theatre’s production, I knew we had to bring it to the Granville Island Stage and let more people see it. The performances by Gabrielle Rose and Kevin McNulty are brilliant, and John Wright’s production is something that I know people will talk about.” The Blackbird Theatre production went on to be nominated for six Jessie Richardson Awards, winning two.

    The ensemble will bring Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? to the Granville Island Stage February 10th until March 12th, 2011. Tickets are currently on sale and I also have a pair to give away for the media opening, February 16th. Here’s how you can enter to win:

  • Leave a comment on this post naming your favourite Arts Club show to date (1 entry)
  • Post the following on Twitter (1 entry)
  • I entered to win tickets to “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” @TheArtsClub from @Miss604

    I will draw one winner at random from all entries next week, February 3rd. Just a reminder, you can bring your ticket to the Backstage Lounge on the day of your performance to get 15% off your pre-show meal.

    Fred Herzog’s Vancouver

    Friday, January 28th, 2011 — 10:58am PST
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    Earlier this month our globetrotting friend Henry brought me a Fred Herzog book from C/O Berlin. Herzog is known for his stunning colour photographs of everyday urban life. At a time when colour photography was looked down upon as an art form or creative medium, Herzog managed to capture our city like no other.

    My Fred Herzog Book - Thanks Henry!

    “Life may be colorful, but black-and-white photography is more realistic” or so it was said. For many years, color photography was considered an inferior and not particularly valuable medium. Classic black-and-white photography was undisputed in the art world, but artistic color photography was supposedly banal and amateurish, a commercial medium for dilettantes. In the early 1950s, Fred Herzog began to revolutionize established viewing habits and existing orthodoxies. As a pioneer of color photography, he developed a profound visual sensibility for the ostensibly inconsequential. His subject matter included Vancouver streets, supermarkets, gas stations, bars, urban and natural landscapes and again and again, people in their environments, visualizing the highs and lows of the (North) American dream.”

    C/O Berlin presents the first German exhibition of 80 photographs by Fred Herzog. A catalog accompanying the exhibition is published by Hatje Canz.

    My Fred Herzog Book My Fred Herzog Book My Fred Herzog Book

    Nowadays, photographers like Kris Krug, PiscesDreamer, Jeremy Lim, Sean Orr, Sean Doe, and other contributors to the Miss604 Flickr Group, manage to immortalize our city through the same kind of ‘everyday’ snapshots. City, work, child and adult life is still caught on film or digital media cards. A man waiting for a bus, a boy sitting in a shop’s doorway, or a woman window shopping — sometimes it’s those moments that can tell us the most about our city

    Prior to Herzog, my other favourite Vancouver photographers are Stuart Thomson and Leonard Frank. More than half of my favourite photos in the Vancouver Archives collection (from about the 1900s to 1940s) are attributed to those two.

    If you would like to check out more of Herzog’s work, there will be an exhibit at the Equinox Gallery February 9 until March 5, 2011. From what I understand, the gallery has most of Herzog’s collection and exhibits (with different themes) are not uncommon.

    You can also purchase the book that I now own on Amazon or at Chapters.

    Pink Cupcakes for Anti-Bullying at Take 5 Cafe

    Thursday, January 27th, 2011 — 2:22pm PST
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    The annual “Bullying Stops here – Pink Shirt Day” is coming up February 23, 2011 and a local cafe is serving up a sweet treat to raise awareness.

    Cupcakes for Pink Shirt Day Feb 23

    Visit your local Take 5 Cafe any day in February to purchase a pink cupcake for $2 and all proceeds will go to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Vancouver.

    The cupcakes will be baked fresh daily at the Take 5 Cafe kitchen in East Vancouver and on the morning of Pink Shirt Day, February 23rd, proceeds from coffee sales will also go to the cause. A full list of Take 5 locations can be found online.

    The following contains harsh language… as does bullying.

    Follow Pink Shirt Day on Facebook or Twitter to find out more about the cause, the event, and anti-bullying campaigns or programs in your community.