Rainy days are just a part of living in Vancouver and when the sun shines for a few days in a row — revealing lush, green, natural views — we all remember its benefits. In fact you could almost say that the best part of Vancouver is all the rain because it makes us appreciate the sun that much more (although I won’t get ahead of myself on that). Another perk of a shower-filled day is that on occasion it ends with a blazing sunset or better yet, a sparkling rainbow or two. These multicoloured ribbons are the focus of this week’s photo feature from the Miss604 Flickr Pool:
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 on occasion I send these out to local bloggers to continue the series. Click, share, explore, and enjoy!
Blog: Urban Sketcher
How long has your blog been around?
I started my blog urbansketcher.ca in October 2012, just a month before I moved to Berlin for 3 months to live and work from this exciting city.
What is your role?
I do everything on the blog: owning, writing, photography, artwork, design, functionality, and software updates.
What does your site do/what is it about?
I talk about my practice of urban sketching, which I started back in 2010, and show the resulting sketches of my hometown Vancouver as well as the places I travel to. The impetus to start this blog was my 3-month Berlin stay from November to February — I wanted to document what I was doing there, mostly so I would remember it, but also for my family and friends in Vancouver to stay up to date on my activities while I was over there. So the first 3 months of the blog are chockfull of my Berlin experiences, a bit like a travel/sketching journal. It was a giant head rush to move overseas for a period of time, you feel like a newborn baby.
What can people see, read, and do when visiting your site?
It’s really a random collection of thoughts and sketches, mixed in with travelogue, observations about my hometown of Vancouver and the places I visit, my opinions on life. But everything is loosely centred around the theme of incorporating art into my daily life. For the purpose of this blog, the art is mostly in the form of decidedly lowbrow drawings of my surroundings.
Why do you blog?
I can think of five reasons right now:
- I blog first of all for myself: the blog is an artistic journal for me, and sometimes a travelogue. I find it easier to build on something when I know where I was coming from last year, last month, last week. Often, a thought or a sketch leads to a creative inspiration, which leads to another.
- I don’t have the best long-term memory, so the blog helps me to remember things I did and thoughts I had.
- I also enjoy writing, so I often write for the fun of it. I like to amuse myself with my writing, and I am thrilled if it entertains other people as well. The blog is a perfect outlet for combining my imperfect writings and imperfect drawings.
- I want to promote my Meetup group, Vancouver Urban Sketchers, and get people to come out and draw the city with me, to overcome their artistic self-criticism and just enjoy sketching at whatever level they’re at. I don’t really believe there is a “bad” drawing. You just have to get beyond the urge to see realism as “good”. If you want a realistic looking picture, take a photo! But don’t even get me started on how unrealistic photography can be.
- Finally, I hope to inspire others to be creative and to pursue their passions in life, whether that is making art or moving overseas for 3 months like I did. It was a breakthrough for me, a breath of fresh air, to move to Berlin at this stage in my life. We often limit ourselves, even without any hindrance from others, thank you very much, so I hope my readers get inspired to push beyond self-limiting beliefs.
What is the ultimate goal for your site, how would you like to see it grow?
I don’t have definite goals for my blog, apart from being committed to continuing it. But I hope to be open to whatever develops from it. For example, this interview with you has been a cool development — next thing you know, I’ll be on Oprah. Or whatever it is that Oprah is doing now. 😉
Read all entries in my Blogger Profile series and feel free to suggest a blogger for possible feature in the comments of this post.
Vancouver’s Parallel 49 Brewing has just released their latest craft beer, in collaboration with Portland’s Gigantic Brewing Company, called From East Van With Love. Paying tribute to their community in the title, this seasonal brew is a bourbon-aged imperial maple stout that offers a rich and dark combination of flavors including chocolate, roasted barley, and Canadian Maple Syrup.
“If you’re looking to try a craft beer with big and bold flavors, our Bourbon Aged Imperial Maple Stout is the beer to try. This collaboration with Portland’s Gigantic Brewing Company is something we’re very excited about.” – Michael Tod. [Source: Press Release]
Founded by self-proclaimed “beer geeks”, Parallel 49 is located in the heart of East Vancouver, just off Victoria Drive, and they would like to open their doors to one lucky Miss604 reader. The brewery has offered up a tour for two as well as two (650ml) bottles of From East Van With Love Bourbon Aged Imperial Maple Stout.
Here’s how you can enter to win this prize for the craft beer lover in your life:
- Leave a comment with the name of one of Parallel 49’s brews (1 entry)
- Post the following on Twitter (1 entry)
I will draw one winner at random from all entries at 12:00pm next Wednesday, April 3, 2013. Follow Parallel 49 on Facebook and Twitter for more information about their brewery and their seasonal beer. Must be legal drinking age to enter, win, and claim the prize. Please enjoy responsibly.
Update The winner is @oliverbikes!
The cornerstone was laid for the Carnegie Library on March 29, 1902 and it was then completed in 1903. In its 110 years, the memorable structure on Main and Hastings has been a library, a museum, and a community centre and it’s this week’s Archive Photos of the Day feature:
On March 25th, 1901 Vancouver requested and was granted $50,000 from US steel magnate and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie to build a library. Carnegie agreed to give the funds only if the city furnished a site and agreed to spend $5,000 a year. The city council accepted the Carnegie gift and its conditions. [VancouverHistory.ca]
The Vancouver International Auto Show is underway at the Vancouver Convention Centre (West) until Sunday, March 31, 2013 featuring the latest and greatest vehicles from the auto industry. I caught up with Ford Canada’s CEO Dianne Craig yesterday just as Ford’s “Ambassador of Innovation”, Hank the Robot, welcomed some of their dealers (there are 433 in total across Canada) and special guests to the auto show.
After a quick trip up the Sea to Sky with her sister, Dianne Craig said Vancouver is a slice of heaven on Earth, and she’s excited to be at the show this week to showcase her company’s offerings. “Obviously I’m biased, but we have the best product line — in my going on 28 years with Ford — we’ve ever had. It’s just an incredible lineup.”
As more people search for a smartphone connector before even looking under the hood of a vehicle, I wanted to specifically ask Dianne about the technology that is featured in Ford vehicles. Things like SYNC information and entertainment system, the Handsfree Liftgate, Parking Assist, and MyKey (a key with pre-programmed safety settings for young drivers). These are now affordable luxuries that tech-loving car owners have previously only dreamed about.
“Obviously we have voice-activated-take-your-pick. Whether it’s call my friend, pick my favourite restaurants, find wherever I need to go. But you know that’s the technology we have today but what is the future? What does that look like? Because the world has changed. People are able to listen to USA Today in their car. We have that app today and a number of other applications just to make people’s lives easier.” Ford has reached out to app developers to help bridge the gap between today’s technology and what the next generation of apps and processes will look like.
“The best thing that we have got to try to do is anticipate what customers will want 5 years from now. So, we do a lot of focus groups, a lot of listening to customers, a lot of competitive intelligence and then hopefully we stay ahead of the curve — and we’ve been pretty successful so far.”
“One thing you can bank on in the car industry is that it’s always changing and you always have to innovate. And one of the things we’re most proud of, even in the depths of recession, is that we never stopped investing in the product.” Dianne said that it’s important to hone in on product design and technologies but also not get too far ahead because at some point these technologies cost money — and that’s the balancing act.
While Ford has some Super Cars on the show floor, like the Shelby Mustang, Dianne said that the focus in Vancouver is definitely on eco-friendly driving.
“This is a very different market. If there’s anything I’ve learned about Canada — across Canada — is that there are very different markets but this market in particular is very green.”
At the auto show this week you can check out Ford’s electric and hybrid vehicles, and get behind the wheel of a hands-on driving simulator for a timed driving course and experience EcoBoost fuel economy with the power of a V8 in a V6.
“I’m just excited to showcase our products and encourage the folks here in Vancouver to come experience the show and hopefully take a test drive.”
Vancouver International Auto Show
Tuesday, March 26, 2013 to Thursday, March 28, 2013 from 12:00pm to 10:00pm
Friday, March 29, 2013 to Saturday, March 30, 2013 from 10:00am to 10:00pm
Sunday, March 31, 2013 from 10:00am to 6:00pm
General Admission $15; Seniors (65+) $10; Students (valid ID required) $10; Children 7-12 (when accompanied by an adult) $4. Family Passes for 2 adults and 2 children 12 and under are $30, and Multi-Day Passes (good for any 2 days) are $25. Taxes and/or fees, may apply to these prices. Tickets are available online or at the door.