Lunch Meet Vancouver

Tuesday, July 10th, 2012 — 1:34pm PDT
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lunchmeetLast week Vancouver Public Spaces Network and Space2Place hosted their first Lunch Meet. An immediate success, trending city-wide on Twitter, this free outdoor event will take place every Thursday in July.

The concept is simple, head to the 300 block of Abbott Street (at Cordova) anytime between 11:30am and 1:30pm to meet a neighbour, eat your lunch, get lunch from a food truck, and enjoy some music.

A report on last week from VPSN: “Lunch Meet transformed the 300-block of Abbott Street into an urban cafeteria, offering a long-table dining experience and a range of exciting culinary choices. Many participants took advantage of the lunch specials offered by local businesses and food carts, while others chose to pack their own lunches. Local DJ Rocky Fisher provided musical entertainment throughout the communal outdoor meal.”

Follow the Vancouver Public Space Network on Facebook and Twitter to find out more about their events and initiatives.

Blogger Profile: Briana Tomkinson

Tuesday, July 10th, 2012 — 11:19am PDT
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Over the years I have profiled bloggers from the Northwest Territories to the Fraser Valley, anyone that interests me and that I hope will interest you as well. A few years ago I started asking a standard set of questions and I’ve sent these out to a few local bloggers for this week’s series. Click, share, explore, and enjoy.

Briana Tomkinson

BrianaTBlog: Tenth to the Fraser
Twitter: @10thtothefraser
Facebook: /10thtothefraser

How long has your blog been around?
My husband Will and I started the site in October 2008.

What is your role/involvement (developer, owner, blogger etc.)
Co-founder, developer, blogger and editor! I’ve been involved in every aspect of the site, but I’ve also had a lot of help along the way.

What does your site do/what is it about
Tenth to the Fraser is about life in New Westminster, what people are thinking, doing and saying within our six-square-mile city.

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Khatsahlano Music & Art Festival 2012

Tuesday, July 10th, 2012 — 9:34am PDT
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Khatsahlano! Music + Art Festival is Vancouver’s biggest free outdoor music event and they’re ramping up to bring a full line-up to six stages along West 4th this month. They’ll have over 30 of the city’s top talent at the 10-block street fair this month.


What A festival with entertainment, a massive garage sale, participation from merchants and artisans, and free live concerts.
Where Along West 4th between Burrard and MacDonald in Kitsilano.
When Saturday, July 21, 2012 starting just before 12:00pm and running until about 8:00pm.

On the Car 2 Go Stage at Balsam, you’ll find acts like Ladyhawk and Bend Sinister. The Vine Stage will have Portage and Main, 41st and Home, and Redgy Blackout. There’s also the No Limits Stage at Yew, the Maple Stage, Cypress Stage, and The Peak Burrard Main Stage. Peak artists such as The Zolas, The Matinee, Headwater, Kathryn Calder, Jeremy Fisher, and Ali Milner will all perform. Last but not least, don’t miss the Beyond Scarlett MacDonald Stage with Jordan Carrier, The Oh Wells, and more.

The festival is free to attend and be aware that there will be transit re-routes in place to ensure this is a fully pedestrian zone for the day. Get out and explore Kitsilano, West 4th, discover local artisans, and celebrate Vancouver music at Khatsahlano.

Blogger Profile: Michael Kwan

Monday, July 9th, 2012 — 1:34pm PDT
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This week I am reviving my Blogger Profile series that began back in 2006. Whenever I am asked “How do you find good blogs to read?” I suggest that if you have one favourite blog already, check and see if they have a link list, blog roll, or “suggested reads” section. You’ll find the blogs recommended by someone you already enjoy and from there, you can keep jumping around a network of bloggers, discovering new favourites along the way.

Over the years I have profiled bloggers from the Northwest Territories to the Fraser Valley, anyone that interests me and that I hope will interest you as well. A few years ago I started asking a standard set of questions and I’ve sent these out to a few local bloggers for this week’s series. Click, share, explore, and enjoy.

Beyond the Rhetoric
Credit: Michael Kwan

Michael Kwan

Blog: Beyond the Rhetoric
Twitter: @michaelkwan
Facebook: /beyondtherhetoric

How long has your blog been around?
Beyond the Rhetoric launched in 2006, but its story actually dates back to 1999. It started as an e-mail newsletter called Now That’s Entertainment, which eventually evolved into a Geocities website. In 2006, after finally acquiring my own domain, I “relaunched” Now That’s Entertainment as Beyond the Rhetoric and the rest is history. That backstory explains why my YouTube channel is “nte604,” for instance, instead of “BeyondTheRhetoric” or “MichaelKwan.”

What is your role/involvement (developer, owner, blogger etc.)
Owner. Operator. Blogger. Administrator. Sales Manager. Slave Driver.

What does your site do/what is it about
Beyond the Rhetoric is a mish-mash of several topics. The initial goal was simply to “tell it as it is” and “go beyond the rhetoric,” as it were. Today, many of the posts focus on entrepreneurship, working from home, life-work balance, and the business of freelancing. I also do a number of restaurant reviews and movie reviews, as well as posts on local events, grammar, writing style, personal development and inspiration.

What can people see, read, and do when visiting your blog?
I’ve made a commitment to having new content every day (except Saturdays) on the blog, so people can expect something new to read every time they visit. The comment section on each post is always open to feedback and discussion; some posts have sparked some interesting debate and I encourage everyone to put in their two cents. Even though Beyond the Rhetoric is my blog, I don’t want it to serve simply as my soapbox. It’s meant to be a platform for mature and intelligent conversation.

Why do you blog?
As a freelance writer, I’m always working to improve my craft. While I certainly get a lot of ongoing practice writing for my clients, Beyond the Rhetoric gives me a place where I can freely write about whatever comes to mind. It allows me to explore different topics while (hopefully) engaging with my audience. At the same time, it serves as an ongoing portfolio for my business, giving potential clients some insight into my typical writing style.

Even outside of my business, though, I feel that the blog gives me a platform where my voice can be heard. The great thing about the Internet is that the barrier to entry has been set quite low, granting regular people the ability to widely communicate with readers all around the world. I have regular traffic coming from places like Singapore and Australia; if it were not for the Internet and blogging, this would likely not be possible.

Michael Kwan (i.e., Me) Michael Kwan (i.e., Me)
Photo credit: Michael Kwan / Michael Kwan on Flickr

What is the ultimate goal for your site, how would you like to see it grow?
When I launched Beyond the Rhetoric in 2006, as mentioned above, I figured it would serve as a good ongoing portfolio of my writing. It would be a good passive and ongoing marketing tool. That’s true, but the bigger goal is to grow it in something that is bigger than just me. In the last little while, for instance, Aaron Koo and Lesley Chang have signed on to be regular contributors to the blog, in addition to the occasional guest post that I receive. As the blog grows, I hope that the number of “voices” on the blog grows with it.

While I certainly don’t foresee it becoming something like the Huffington Post, I would like to see Beyond the Rhetoric grow to become a more substantial part of my career. As much as I enjoy writing for my clients, there is just a greater sense of satisfaction when you know you’re writing for (or managing) something that is truly your own.

Follow Michael: Beyond the Rhetoric, Twitter, Facebook.

Read all entries in my Blogger Profile series and feel free to suggest a blogger for possible feature in the comments of this post.

MLS All-Star Jay DeMerit & Community MVP Alan Bates

Monday, July 9th, 2012 — 11:34am PDT
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Vancouver Whitecaps FC’s captain Jay DeMerit has been selected for the MLS All-Star team this month. The centre back was voted in by fans online, through Twitter, and text.

DeMerit will join the likes of David Beckham (LA Galaxy), Dwayne De Rosario (D.C. United), Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy), and Thierry Henry (New York Red Bulls) on July 25th at PPL Park in Chester, Pennsylvania. The “2012 MLS All-Star First XI” will take on current UEFA Champions League holders Chelsea FC and the match will be the culmination of five days of festivities hosted by the home-field Philadelphia Union.

Last week, Vancouver Whitecaps FC also announced that local Alan Bates has been nominated for the 2012 MLS W.O.R.K.S. Community MVP award. Bates is involved with the Vancouver Street Soccer League and could win a $10,000 to the charity of his choice and a trip to the All-Star game.

Alan Bates is a doctor in residency studying at the University of British Columbia (UBC), where he has one year left until he finishes his doctorate in psychiatry. Bates who has studied the issue of homelessness and mental illness up close knew that something had to be done to help the most vulnerable. He became involved in the Vancouver Street Soccer League to try and provide some help to the most vulnerable population, some of have mental illnesses. The Vancouver Street Soccer League provides these individuals with a voice, while giving the participants an outlet to exercise in a safe and positive environment. The League has also provided its participants with a greater sense of community.

Bates truly got a once in a lifetime experience when he got to travel to Paris, France last year as Head Coach of the Canadian Men’s Street Soccer team for the Homeless World Cup. In Paris he saw first hand the positive impacts that the sport can have on the lives of individuals. “Street soccer is a great form of therapy for many people, as it shows them there are so many positive outlets out there,” noted Bates.

Earlier this season the Southsiders launched a retro scarf fundraising campaign to benefit the Vancouver Street Soccer League. John Knox, a founding member of the Southsiders told me: “The VSSL isn’t just a recreational league for people to kick a ball around – it’s a means of bringing people together to begin building self-esteem, confidence, health and hope. It’s all about empowering people to find their way to a better life.”

Fans can vote online for Alan Bates — vote now and vote often until 2:00pm PT July 13, 2012.