Stella Artois Canadian Draught Master 2010

September 15th, 2010 @ 2:09pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

This Friday Stella Artois is hosting a competition to find their next Canadian Draught Master. 16 beer enthusiasts will get their chance to pour that perfect pint of Stella and the winner will earn a spot at the national championships. The event takes place at Doolins on Granville at 7:00pm and I just happen to be one of the judges in search of the perfect pour.

Stella Artois challenges Vancouverites to pour the perfect pint at B.C. regional Draught Master Competition
2009 Draught Master in Vancouver Photo credit: tequila partners

In order to qualify as a judge, I will be getting an education in the 9-step ritual Stella pouring process. This includes: the preparation, the chill, the unveiling, the liquid alchemy, the crown, the beheading, the judgment, the cleansing, and the bestowal. The process doesn’t happen on its own as it includes the use of that classic Stella Artois chalice, angles, temperatures, and the signature foam cutter.

Stella 9-Step home pouring kit Stella 9-Step home pouring kit

To share in this Belgian beer goodness, I have a two 9-Step Home Pouring Kits to give away that include 4 chalices, a foam cutter, and a bottle opener. Here’s how you can enter to win:

  • Leave a comment on this post (1 entry)
  • Post the following on Twitter (1 entry)
  • RT to enter to win a Stella home pouring kit from @miss604

    I will draw two winners at 12:00pm this Friday and they will be able to pick up their kits at Doolins that night (or we can arrange delivery next week).

    Update My two winners are Troy and @AliEvolution on Twitter. Congratulations!

    Fine print: Must be 19 years of age or older to enter. No purchase necessary.

    Timeraiser Vancouver 2010: Agency Preview

    September 15th, 2010 @ 11:29am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

    Timeraiser Vancouver is just over a week away and the momentum has been building. The event pairs non-profit organizations with volunteers who pledge their time at a giant one-night event at the Roundhouse in Yaletown. Here’s a quick preview of some of the participating organizations that are looking for volunteers.

    Big Sisters of BC Lower Mainland
    Canadian Cancer Society
    Canadian Hemochroamtosis Society
    Canadian Mental Health Association
    Canadian Paraplegic Association (BC)
    Canucks Autism Network
    Compassionate Eye Foundation
    First United Church
    Immigrant Services Society of BC
    Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation
    North Shore ConneXions Society
    Out On Screen
    Pacific Parklands Foundation
    Peace it Together Society
    Scouts Canada, Pacific Coast Council
    Sustainability Television
    Take a Hike Youth at Risk Foundation
    The Canadian Youth Business Foundation
    Theatre Terrific Society
    TRAC Tenant Resource & Advisory Centre
    Urban Native Youth Association
    West End Seniors’ Network
    Women Against Violence Against Women

    Each one of these agencies and organizations is looking for volunteers in a variety of capacities. For example, the Canadian Cancer Society is looking for an Event Manager, and Women Against Violence Against Women is looking for IT and administrative support. Participants find the agency that they would like to support and then they bit on pieces of artwork from local artists in a silent auction. The winning bidder gets the artwork and the volunteer experience.

    360 video of last year’s Timeraiser by Gus Fosarolli on Flickr

    View the full agency listings on the Timeraiser site and click “Show Agency Details” to read up on each. Should any of these be of interest, make sure you attend the event next week. Tickets for Timeraiser are $20 online.

    Just a reminder, my WestJet contest is in full swing until September 22nd. I have to send a HUGE “Thank You” to the Timeraiser organizers for choosing to partner with me for this giveaway. Not only is it a fantastic prize (2 round trip tickets to anywhere WestJet flies) but the event supports so many local causes. The winner’s name will be revealed on the contest post, on Twitter, and at the Timeraiser event September 23rd.

    Follow Timeraiser Vancouver on Facebook or Twitter for news and updates.

    Music Therapy Ride 2010

    September 15th, 2010 @ 11:00am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

    Last week I was a guest speaker at the Nimbus School of Recording Arts in Vancouver. I had a great discussion with the business students (that ranged from managers, concert promoters and band members) at this school of rock and I also learned a bit about the Music Therapy Ride.

    For nine years now the Music Therapy Ride, which is a motorcycle convoy from the Lower Mainland to Whistler, has raised over $350,000 for local causes. The funds then go toward music therapy programs and this year, the ride committee is aiming to build a recording studio at BC Childrens’ Hospital, as a part of the Band Wagon Legacy Project.

    Music Therapy is the skillful and creative use of music to improve health, well-being and quality of life. Qualified therapists help people of all ages and abilities to help people reach their fullest potential through music. Music has helped an inspiring young woman, Megan McNeil, express herself and promote a cause that she holds dear.

    Will to Survive, written & performed by Megan McNeil, produced by Garth Richardson of Nimbus.

    You can register now for the 2010 Music Therapy Ride, which will depart from the River Rock Casino on September 18th at 9:30am.

    Motorcycles, passengers, and cars are welcome although there is limited space for cars. Participants are also given a special group rate if they would like to stay overnight at the Fairmont in Whistler.

    You can read more about the ride (and celebrity guests Raine Maida & Chantal Kreviazuk) on the Music Therapy Ride site or follow on Twitter @MTRBC.

    VIFF 2010: Preview and Picks

    September 15th, 2010 @ 8:08am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

    The Vancouver International Film Festival starts at the end of September and tickets went on sale this past Sunday.

    I’ve been covering the VIFF for about three years now and each time I do, I start by mining Marina Antunes for information. She helps run the RowThree podcast and blog, which is in my opinion, the best movie site around. She has posted her top picks for this year’s festival and I sat down with her to find out how and why she made these selections.

    “My list is really Canadian-heavy, this year is a really good year for Canadian film. I was really impressed,” says Marina.

    City of Life
    Director: Ali F. Mostafa
    Notes: “This one isn’t Canadian but it’s the first feature film written, directed and produced in the United Arab Emirates. From what I can tell it looks like your basic city/life drama but it’s a great first look at the city of Dubai.”
    Program Link

    Fathers & Sons
    Director: Carl Bessai
    Notes: “This is sort of a sequel to Mothers & Daughters from 2008,” says Marina, which starred the late Babz Chula. “Mothers and Daughters won the Canadian Images Audience Award and we knew [Bessai] was going to use the prize money to make this film.” She adds that Fathers & Sons looks very funny and should be just as touching, but from a male perspective.
    Program Link

    Director: Carl Bessai
    Marina’s notes: “It’s been on my radar for about a year and I didn’t know it would play here. I really want to see this because I’ve never seen Carl Bessai do a genre film, and here he’s doing a type of Groundhog Day time travel drama. The reception was sort of mixed at TIFF but his films do really well here – for good reason – so it must be a East versus West Coast thing.” As a side note, Marina is a huge Carl Bessai fan and through her recommendations over the years, I need to thank her introducing me to his work.
    Program Link

    End of Animal
    Director: Jo Sung-He
    Notes: “This is a Koren film from a new director who has done one short film before. It’s a post-apocalyptic film that the British Film Institute has called a “pocket-sized” apocalyptic film. I think this will be the international premiere for the film and it was selected by the director of the Dragons & Tigers program at the VIFF.” Marina says that it might have been called “pocket-sized” simply based on the budget and anything “post-apocalyptic” is worth seeing for her.
    Program Link

    Director: Ingrid Veninger
    Notes: “This is part of the Canadian Images line up and it’s a coming of age tale of two teenagers who sort of like each other. The girl is going on a trip to Slovakia and she invites the boy along with her family. The trailer looks beautiful.”
    Program Link

    When talking about various genres Marina lights up, post-apocalyptic, coming of age, and even period pieces. However she started to beam when introducing the next film, which she simply describes as “EPIC!”

    Mysteries of Lisbon
    Director: Raul Ruiz
    Notes: This is based on Castelo Branco’s novel which has never been translated to English (from Portugese). “It’s a story that Portuguese people are familiar with because it’s been everywhere, forever,” says Marina who is of Portuguese heritage herself. The film runs about 4.5 hours long. “It’s sort of a mystery, romance, period setting, it’s the biggest production ever out of Portugal and it’s both a mini-series and a film.”
    Program Link

    You can read more from Marina on Row Three, which is currently providing team coverage of the Toronto International Film Festival.

    Back at The Vista
    Photo credit: 7-how-7 on Flickr

    The Vancouver International Film Festival runs September 30th until October 15th presenting films in the following series: Africa Today, Ecologies of Mind, Arts & Letters, Audience Award Winners, Canadian Images, Cinema of Our Time, Dragons & Tigers, Films for youth under 18, High School Program, Nonfiction Features (Docs), Galas, Spotlight on France, and Special Presentations.

    Tickets for individual films and full festival passes are now on sale online, by phone, and in person at the Vancouver International Film Centre on Seymour at Davie.

    Special Note is very proud to be an Official Media Sponsor for this year’s Vancouver International Film Festival. I will be providing coverage of the gala parties along with film reviews and maybe even a few giveaways. I am very excited about this sponsorship and am excited to spread the word about this year’s fantastic line up of films.

    My Drop in the Drop Zone for Easter Seals

    September 14th, 2010 @ 2:01pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

    Easter Seals Drop Zone 2010This morning I suited up and took an elevator to the top of the AXA Building on Hastings at Burrard. Along with over 50 people who will each have their turn on the ropes today, I repelled myself down 20 stories (200ft) in support of Easter Seals Canada.

    Yesterday I posted a tweet about my participation and asked if anyone could come and take some photos. Turns out I had a bit of an entourage this morning as Bev Davies, Raul, Jakob and Cole from Nordica, and Keith along with my husband, my mother and Keira came by to take photos and cheer me on.

    Although you’re safely strapped in (thanks to the amazing crew from Cliffhanger) it’s still quite scary to back onto a ledge, swing your legs over, and lower yourself down a building. My hands clamped and eyes focused on the rappelling device. I began my descent.

    Photo credit: Keira-Anne on Flickr

    A million thoughts rushed through my head. Should I turn and look at the view? Should my legs be straighter? This rope is getting warm.

    Half way down I thought about all of the extraordinary things I get to do. In the last 10 months alone I went ziplining, I swam in the Caribbean, I walked on the Swiss Alps, I covered the Olympics, I went sailing, I walked across the Brooklyn Bridge, and I played baseball at the Field of Dreams. I am so thankful for these amazing opportunities. I then thought about the cause. Easter Seals gives amazing opportunities to those with disabilities across Canada and makes sure they lead a life full of self-esteem and self-determination (while having some fun along the way).

    Photo credit: Keira-Anne on Flickr

    After seeing my small feat for a big cause this morning I hope that you will consider donating to Easter Seals. Should you chose to do so, a minimum $20 donation will enter you into a draw to win a 2-night stay at Tinhorn Creek Winery. I will keep the contest going for the rest of today.

    Thank you to everyone that came out this morning, the other participants for their fundraising and promotion, and to all of my readers who check in every now and then to see what I’ve gotten myself up to.