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Experience VanArts Info Session and Workshops

Tuesday, October 17th, 2017 — 11:33am PDT
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Vancouver Institute of Media Arts (“VanArts”) is hosting an info session and workshops on Saturday, and you’re invited! Learn about the thousands of creative jobs in Vancouver and how VanArts trains people to enter a career as a video game or visual effects (VFX) artist; 2D or 3D animator; online, radio or TV broadcaster; professional photographer; web developer/designer/marketer; or a professional actor!

Experience VanArts Info Session and Workshops

Where: VanArts – 570 Dunsmuir St, Vancouver

For over 20 years VanArts has been the launch point for new artistic and creative talent. This weekend, meet faculty and students, choose a workshop and experience what it’s like to be working in one of these industries.

Info Session
Saturday, October 21, 2017 from 2:00pm to 2:45pm
Brief presentation of VanArts programs and student work, with Q&A and faculty introduction

2:45pm to 4:00pm break out program workshops with Department Heads and Instructors

  • Acting lesson with industry professionals
  • Step-by-step process for 2D/3D character animation
  • Voice-over and green-screen filming in our broadcasting studio
  • Portrait lighting demo in our photography studio
  • 3D modeling & engines for video games
  • Green-screen visual effects compositing for film
  • Design and development for the web

Door prizes will also be given away during the event.

Win a VanArts Prize Pack

I’m giving away a VanArts bag full of prizes (valued at $200) to one lucky winner that includes:

  • 1 DVD of Wonder Woman (visual effects worked on by VanArts grads)
  • 1 FIFA 18 videogame (PS4 or Xbox One version, to be determined by winner)
  • 1 Season set of “Rick & Morty” (animation worked on by VanArts grads)
  • 1 DVD of “The X-Files” Season 10 (starring William Davis, founder of acting development at VanArts)

Here’s how you can enter to win:

  • Leave a comment on this post (1 entry)
  • Like, comment on, or share this post on Facebook (1 entry)
  • Click below to get another entry by posting on Twitter:
Click to enter via TwitterClick To Tweet

I will draw one winner at random from all entries on Friday, October 20, 2017 at 12:00pm. The prize package will be available for pick up at the VanArts Info Session on October 21st.

Follow VanArts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for more information.

Disclosure: Sponsored Post
Sponsored by VanArts

SKOOKUM Festival: New Festival Coming to Stanley Park

Tuesday, October 17th, 2017 — 8:45am PDT
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Producers of Squamish Valley Music Festival are launching new festival experience in British Columbia next September. Located on the unceded traditional territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations, Stanley Park will be home to this brand new three-day SKOOKUM Festival that will celebrate diversity and creativity and showcase some of the very best in music, food and art.

sSKOOKUM Festival

SKOOKUM Festival

Launching September 7th – 9th 2018 at the Brockton field complex, the 17-acre site will have a first year capacity of 20,000 per day, and will feature multiple stages of today’s best contemporary music across broad genres, styles and cultures.

The site animation program will include branded environmental design elements; live and multimedia art installations, along with roaming talent and surprise pop-up performances. Meanwhile a sophisticated food and beverage program will provide unparalleled culinary experiences and tasting areas showcasing the best BC wines, craft beers and craft distilleries. The weekend will also include a series of late night events in the downtown core branded as “SKOOKUM After Dark”.

The full festival line-up will be announced in Spring 2018. For more information, follow SKOOKUM on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter with the tag #SkookumFestival.

Vancouver Haunted Trolley Tour: Win Tickets

Monday, October 16th, 2017 — 4:55pm PDT
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Vancouver’s iconic Haunted Trolley Tour is back for another year. This time it not only explores Vancouver’s haunted past but dives into its terrifying future.

Vancouver Haunted Trolley Tour

Hosted by The Vancouver Trolley Company

  • Where: Tour departs at The Irish Heather Gastropub, Gastown at various times throughout the evening.
  • When: On now until October 31st (closed Sundays and Mondays). Tours will run on Sunday, October 29th, and Monday, October 30th. Plan for 2.5 hours, must be 19+ years of age.
  • Tickets: On sale now

As the damp autumn evening transforms Gastown into an eerie place of shadows, stories and the occasional bump in the night, you will be whisked away by a trolley where you will see streets and homes, which seem normal, but if you look and listen close enough you will hear echoes of murders and other devastating events.

Your host will tell the gruesome tales of The Castelanni Milkshake Murder, the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver’s Lady in Red and more. You will drive through dank locations such as Stanley Park to hear about The Babes in the Woods and continue through the winding roads and mansions of Shaughnessy.

The tour stops to visit Mountain View Cemetery where the troubled spirits occupy their time. When you arrive at the Vancouver Police Museum you will climb the stairs to Vancouver’s first city morgue where over 15,000 autopsies have been performed, including Errol Flynn. You never know if you will stumble onto another autopsy in progress.

After visiting Vancouver’s spooky past, you will be transported into its terrifying future through the haunted Virtual Reality Experience, DREAMSCAPE, at Shebeen Whiskey House. In this 15-minute original live action, haunted experience, participants will put on virtual reality goggles and headphones becoming fully immersed in the adventure. DREAMSCAPE was filmed using 360-degree directional cameras to absorb viewers in the video as the thrilling experience unfolds. You will find yourself teleported into a series of dark, haunted locations filled with terrifying creatures and events.

Win Tickets

I have a pair of tickets to give away so that one lucky winner can enjoy the Haunted Trolley Tour this season. Here’s how you can enter to win:

  • Leave a comment on this post (1 entry)
  • Click below to get another entry by posting on Twitter:
Click to enter via TwitterClick To Tweet

I will draw one winner at random from all entries at 12:00pm on Sunday, October 22, 2017. The winner will be able to choose their preferred tour date/time (based on availability).

Follow the Vancouver Trolley Company on Twitter and Facebook for more information.

Haunted Houses to Visit in Metro Vancouver

Monday, October 16th, 2017 — 2:46pm PDT
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Houses, pop-up attractions, and historic sites are ready to offer Halloween fun (and fright) for all ages this season. From North Vancouver to the Fraser Valley, spooky fun and bone-chilling adventure await all those who dare enter these haunted houses:

Haunted Houses to Visit in Metro Vancouver This Halloween Season

Haunted Houses to Visit in Metro Vancouver

Click the links provided below to go to the full websites for each attraction. Prices are listed on the attraction websites, along with age appropriateness/recommendations for each event.


What: Potter’s House of Horrors
Where: 12530 72nd Ave, Surrey
When: October 6th through October 31st from 4:00pm to 10:00pm nightly. 4:00pm to 7:00pm is for Li’l Haunted (12 and under), 4:00pm to 6:30pm is Family Hour, and 7:00pm to 10:00pm is the ultra scary show.
About: Two Ultra-Scary Haunted Houses: House #1 Monstrosity. House #2, new for 2017, is Devil’s Descent. A terrifying vortex of rotted wood, rickety mine-shafts, punishing industrial machines, monsters and zombies. There’s also the Li’l Haunters, a kids-only attraction with two mini haunted houses that aren’t too dark or scary and contain no animatronics or actors. Additional features: Coffin Ride, Haunted Photo Booth, Xtreme Paintball Haunted Shootout.

North Vancouver

What: The Valley Haunt
Where: 1311 Appin Road, North Vancouver
When: October 20th to October 31st
Mon-Fri 7:00pm to 10:00pm; Saturday 6:00pm to 10:00pm; Closed Sunday
About: The Valley Haunt has taken off as one of must-see haunts in the Vancouver area. Karen and her 15 year old daughter, Paisia, have strived to upgrade and improve the haunt as the years go by. Two years ago, we began taking donations for the BC Professional Firefighters’ Burn Fund, an amazing organization. We were able to raise over $4000 for the fund and would love to increase that number in the following years. For the 2017 Halloween season, THE VALLEY HAUNT: CONTAINED will be returning with new themes and spine-tingling scares. Get ready for an even more blood-curdling, hair-raising, and bone-chilling experience.


What: Barclay Manor Haunted House
Where: 1447 Barclay St, Vancouver
When: Friday, October 27,2017 from 7:00pm to 9:00pm; Saturday, October 28,2017 from 6:30pm to 8:30pm.
About: For bigger, braver souls. Barclay Manor has been converted into a spooky scary house. Being a heritage home, it has its own natural creepiness. It takes approximately 5 min to make your way through the house. Pre-purchase your tickets or pay at the door.

What:Waldorf Haunted Hotel
Where: 1489 E Hastings St. Vancouver
When: Saturday, October 28, 2017 9:00pm until late
About: Named for the iconic East Van institution’s spooky vibe and mysterious past, this Halloween party combines world-renowned talent, three floors of music, theme rooms, incredible cocktails and surprises to create an original halloween experience that is sure to leave you with chills.


What: Haunted Village
Where: Burnaby Village Museum, 6501 Deer Lake Ave, Burnaby
When: Friday, October 27, 2017 to October 30, 2017 6:00pm to 9:00pm
About: Explore the Village in the dark of night. Come wonder at the curious, find the unusual and discover the unexpected. Visitors are encouraged to wear their costumes and dancing shoes! Everyone is invited to join the beautiful, Madam Monarch, for the Hill Street Bash. It’ll be a spooktacular time. The newly opened “Dead & Breakfast” at the Love Farmhouse will appeal to those who love adventure and off-the-beaten path experiences.

What: PirateHouse Fundraiser
Where: 5970 Portland St, Burnaby
When: Public night is Tuesday, October 31, 2017 from 5:00pm to 8:00pm
About: Consisting of an annual Halloween pirate-themed yard display and an online auction, PirateHouse began in 2013 as the brainchild of Dr. Julie Desroches to raise funds for St. Stephen Children’s Centre in Uganda.


What: Coquitlam Halloween House
Where: 332 Draycott St, Coquitlam
When: Friday, October 20, 2017 until October 31st, 6:30pm to 9:00pm nightly.
About: Celebrating 18 years! This family-friendly haunted house is wheelchair accessible. There are lots of spooky attractions suitable for all ages, lights and lasers, pumpkins and ghouls, and much more. Proceeds support Variety BC – The Children’s Charity.


What: Halloween at the Cannery
Where: 12138 Fourth Ave, Richmond
When: October 28th & 29th from 11:00am to 4:00pm daily
About: A Spooktacular Halloween weekend at the Cannery. Dare to explore the haunted house, encounter ghoulish cannery characters along the way, and see what tricks you have to play to get some treats.

Covenant House Sleep Out 2017

Monday, October 16th, 2017 — 10:23am PDT
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I’m spending one miserable night out on the street in Downtown Vancouver, in the middle of November, so that homeless youth won’t have to. It’s a small gesture, but it can have a big impact.

Covenant House Sleep Out

Covenant House Sleep Out 2017

The Covenant House Sleep Out takes place at Covenant House locations across the world, supporting local homeless youth so that they don’t have to spend another night outside. This year on November 16th, executives, public figures and well connected leaders in our community will once again sleep outside for one night in solidarity with those youth who may face many more cold, lonely nights until they find their way through the doors of Covenant House Vancouver.

Covenant House Vancouver provides support on various levels: Crisis Shelter, Drop in Centre, Street Outreach, and Rights of Passage.

Covenant House Statistics

  • 39% of Covenant House’s youth present with a mental health diagnosis
  • 70% have witnessed family violence
  • 50% of Covenant House’s youth present with an addiction problem
  • 95% of Covenant House’s youth report that Covenant House has helped them
  • 75% of youth feel more confident about their future after staying at Covenant House
  • Average length of stay has increased 83% in past five years (Covenant House knows that a young person’s success rate increases significantly with longer stays)

“Many of the kids have lived with violence or the threat of violence for much of their young lives. Feeling safe is a right we all have but one these kids have not enjoyed.”

Before we head outside on the night of the Sleep Out we usually split off into groups and speak with youth clients and volunteers. It is always encouraging to meet kids who went from being homeless, to the crisis shelter all the way through to Rights of Passage, Covenant House’s program that prepares them for the bigger world.

Those in Rights of Passage actually pay (an affordable) rent and get full access to programs provided that they have a job or they are in school. They end up learning basics like grocery shopping and budgeting, and once they are through the program (6 months to 2 years) they are supported when they eventually move out, even welcomed to return for the weekly communal dinners. The care just keeps going to ensure the youth become self-sufficient, gainfully employed, successful individuals.

Donate to my fundraising page here »

Photo by Covenant House

In 2013, my first Sleep Out year, over 600 participants around North America slept out for their local Covenant House. They raised over $3 million. Vancouver had 5% of the participants but raised 10% of the funds.

This will be my 5th Covenant House Sleep Out and I would love your support. $10, $20, $50, any amount you can donate directly to Covenant House through my campaign page would be of significance. Whatever amount you can spare can truly make a difference.

Thank you very much for your consideration and follow me on Instagram and Twitter for updates on November 16th when I sleep out on the street again. Follow Covenant House on Twitter and Facebook for much more information.