Coquitlam Centre’s Fifth Annual Unwrapped returns on Tuesday evening, November 26. Combining a night of charity shopping and food sampling, Unwrapped includes special offers, discounts, and ‘glam’ stations. Check out the most fashionable holiday-inspired looks and get ready to dazzle during the holidays.
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Posted in: Ballet, Dance, Events, Lower Mainland, North Vancouver
Coastal City Ballet, established in 2011, opens its 2013-2014 fall season with the romantic reverie “Les Sylphides,” with two exclusive Lower Mainland performances. The evening’s program will also include the thrilling pas de deux, Pas d’Esclave, from Le Corsaire as well as pieces by award-winning local choreographer Wen Wei Wang and Brazilian choreographer Renata Pacheco.
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The Surrey International Marathon Society is pleased to announce the lineup of exciting cultural artists who will perform along the marathon route and at the finish line for the Second Annual Surrey International World Music Marathon on September 29.
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Following on the heels of its inaugural June success, River Market’s Curious Flea is back for the next edition on September 14 and 15. The organizers also just announced that the successful shopping and social event will now be held quarterly.
Since opening its doors late in 2010, River Market at Westminster Quay has engaged the curious. The market is divided between the Hungry Floor on the first level — with Wild Rice Restaurant and New West landmark, the Paddlewheeler Pub — and the Curious Floor upstairs, where visitors can try a circus class, learn an instrument, or rent desk space by the hour.
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Posted in: Charity, Dining, Events, Lower Mainland, Vancouver, Whistler Blackcomb, White Rock
Dining Out For Life, BC’s largest restaurant fundraiser, returns for its 19th year on Thursday, March 7. Nearly 200 restaurants have signed on to contribute 25% of their total food sales from breakfast, lunch, and dinner to two great Vancouver charities, Friends For Life and A Loving Spoonful.
Both vital organizations support people living in our communities with HIV/AIDS.
“The loyalty and commitment of our long time participating restaurants, from White Rock to Whistler, never fails to amaze and inspire me,” says Sheena Sargeant, Executive Director of Friends For Life. “And the support of our Honourary Executive Chef, Chris Whittaker, from forage Restaurant, who’s commitment to sustainable farm-to-table dining, helps draw attention to our focus on living well and supporting our local community.”
“And it is so wonderful that our twelve new restaurant partners, who have been drawn from across the Lower Mainland and the downtown communities, recognize that there is an ongoing need to support people living with HIV/AIDS in our communities,” adds Lisa Martella, Executive Director at A Loving Spoonful.
2013 also marks a new bonus for those dining out on March 7: the Vancity 20% Off Tuesday Savings Card, offering a 20% saving on food purchased every Tuesday until February 2014 at the 15 participating Lower Mainland restaurants. The card is just a small token of appreciation to those guests who visit a participating restaurant on March 7.
Don’t forget to fill out the form at any of the Dining Out for Life restaurants for a chance at some great prizes including two roundtrip flights on Helijet and dinner for two at Victoria’s Blue Crab Bar and Grill plus an Ocean Magic Cruiser Tour from Prince of Whales Whale Watching Tours, tickets to a BC Lions or Vancouver Giants game and more.
“When you dine out on March 7th you are putting food on the plates of many individuals and their families living with HIV/AIDS,” says Martella. “A couple spending $80 at a Dining Out For Life restaurant will provide meals for 5 people through A Loving Spoonful.”
Posted in: Automotive, Coquitlam, Dining, Environment, Events, Interior Design, Lower Mainland, Sustainability, Technology
I was invited to spend an entire day out with Ford Canada, on the last stop of their 2013 Escape SUV launch tour yesterday. The gorgeous stretch of late summer weather added to the fun-filled day. We set out in teams of two in sparkly new Ford Escape 2013′s to experience its road handling, convenience features, and state-of-the-art technology.
Starting at the Delta Burnaby Hotel, we were greeted by the Ford media team, and given an introduction to the day’s activities as well as an ample hot lunch spread. Little did I know that one in six customers purchase an SUV, and that Ford’s Escape happens to be ranked #1 in Canada for eight years running.
Savvy consumers look for practical features as well as safety and fuel efficiency. This one offers some pretty amazing cargo space and the 2013 model has been totally redesigned from the ground up with a larger interior, better fuel efficiency, a new overdrive system and several components made of recycled material.
For example, 25% percent of the carpeting is made of reused plastic bottles, taking millions of bottles out of landfill each year. Soybeans are used in the seat and headrests. Ford strives to find better ways to build their cars smarter.
We first drove to Coquitlam Centre to test our skills and play at the Escape Cargo Challenge tents, create an action video (I chose skydiving and hope to post a link to the video soon), try hands-free parking, and socialize with one another over snacks and coffee.
This was also the spot where we tested the Escape’s hands-free lift gate feature. With a simple kicking motion gesture, the system is activated and pop goes the back gate! It’s programmed to recognize leg motions only (and is customizable to individual needs), so as to avoid accidental opening of the gate by way of a bump on the road or an animal passing by! This technology builds onto Ford’s Intelligent Access push-button start.
Interesting to note that Ford is the first to use gesture-based technology in this spunky, durable SUV. So no fumbling for keys once you’re in the Escape.
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Posted in: Events, History, Lower Mainland, Music, Wine
The Western Roundup party theme is in honour of being selected the Centennial Wine for the Calgary Stampede’s 100th anniversary!
Festivities at the Langley winery will include:
- Live daytime performances by Danny Davies, Roger Schmidt, and Lisa Nicole
- Line dancing by the Silver Diamond Country Dancers
- Kids Corral (bumper cars, swing carousel, mini golf, piñatas, horseshoe toss, crafts room, and carnival games)
- Delicious BBQ and other treats prepared by White Spot, paired with limited edition Centennial Selection collector’s wines
A Western Roundup Anniversary Party
Date: July 14, noon to 4 pm; evening concerts 7 to 10 pm
Venue: Township 7 Winery, 21152 16th Avenue (at 212th Street), Langley
Cost: Daytime festivities by donation; evening concert $20
Partial proceeds from will support the Fibromyalgia Well Spring Foundation, a charity whose goal is to provide health, education, food and recreational facilities to Fibromyalgia sufferers.
Posted in: Events, Lower Mainland, Sports, Surrey
Just in time for baseball season, the Scotiabank Canadian Open Fastpitch International Championship, one of the top three Fastpitch tournaments in the world, is looking for committed volunteers to help support this exciting community event.
From June 30 to July 9, over 80 teams from around the world will compete in Surrey at Softball City, Cloverdale Athletic Park, and Sunnyside Park. This event will provide a unique opportunity to volunteer with a high-profile community sporting event.
“Last year’s tournament would have been impossible without the 400 plus dedicated volunteers who helped make the event a success,” says Greg Timm, Chairman, Canadian Open Fastpitch Society. “Volunteering at the tournament is a perfect opportunity for teens looking to log community service hours, retirees or the family who likes to get involved.”
Volunteers of any age or background can take part in this event. Areas needing volunteers will include scorekeeping, security and parking, transportation, tickets and gates, field crew, and more! Anyone born between 1998 and 2001 and is a member of Softball BC will have the opportunity to volunteer as an official Scotiabank Canadian Open Fastpitch Batgirl and work closely with an elite fastpitch team throughout the tournament.
More details will be available at the next Volunteer Information meeting on Tuesday, May 1 at 7 pm at the Sandman Signature Hotel in Langley at 8828 201 Street.
Interested volunteers may also complete an online application form. Each volunteer must commit to working a minimum of 20 hours during the event. In exchange for their time, each volunteer will receive free admission to all playing venues, one complimentary item of event apparel, and one complimentary meal per volunteer shift worked.
About the Scotiabank Canadian Open Fastpitch International Championship
The Scotiabank Canadian Open Fastpitch International Championship is operated by the Canadian Open Fastpitch Society, a registered not-for-profit society dedicated to advocating and encouraging the development of the sport of softball by staging a first class, family oriented elite international fastpitch event.
The event is devoted to providing young, high caliber, female athletes with the opportunity to expand their potential and ability by fielding elite level fastpitch teams, offer exposure to potential university and college scholarships, provide a source of inspiration and mentorship to the youth of the sport and provide an entertaining, fun-filled sporting experience for the Scotiabank Canadian Open Fastpitch spectator.
Posted in: Charity, Dining, Health, Lower Mainland, Vancouver, Whistler Blackcomb, White Rock
Founded in 1991, Dining Out for Life is an annual HIV/AIDS fundraiser that 55 North American cities actively participate in. To date, the event has raised over $3 million. In Vancouver, that amount translates to 250 restaurants aiming to raise $200,000 in support of people living with HIV/AIDS.
A few facts about Dining Out for Life:
- Dine out for breakfast, lunch or dinner at any of the 250 participating restaurants from Whistler to White Rock and across the Fraser Valley
- The Gastown/Downtown Eastside maintains the highest HIV infection rate in North America, affecting 30 per cent of the local population, mainly women
- In 2009, the majority of AIDS cases were reported in Ontario (50.9%), followed by British Columbia (25.0%), and Alberta (16.1%)
- Friends For Life provides holistic support services to people living with HIV/AIDS and other life-threatening illnesses
- A Loving Spoonful provides free, nutritious meals to men, women and children living with HIV/AIDS in Metro Vancouver
This year, Executive Chef Ned Bell of YEW at the Four Seasons Hotel will team up with the Dining Out for Life organization as honorary chef to help this vital fundraiser benefitting 18,000 British Columbians currently living with HIV/AIDS.
Bell is “excited to have this opportunity, together with Yew restaurant + bar to support two great organizations that provide invaluable nutrition and therapeutic services – Friends for Life and A Loving Spoonful. Dining Out for Life is about giving back to the community and also giving yourself a break. What a better way to give than to treat yourself and your friends for a night out on the town.”
The big day is Thursday, March 29. 250 Dining out for Life participating restaurants will contribute 25% of their food sales to support both A Loving Spoonful and Friends for Life. As well, event sponsor Stella Artois will donate $1 from every bottle of beer sold throughout the evening.
Click here to locate a participating Dining Out for Life restaurant across the Lower Mainland. Support two vital organizations at once and perhaps even discover a new favourite dining spot in the process!
Photo courtesy of Wink Photography.
The 2011 Festival of Chocolate is a great way to sample chocolate in all its variations, with several unique events happening around the Lower Mainland.
Over the weekend, my husband and I attended the Rubens Chocolate High Tea in Port Moody.
This was an excellent way to spend a couple of hours indulging in delicious homemade chocolate creations and savouries.
We started our tasting with a selection of savoury sandwiches and a choice of hot beverage (coffee drinks, hot chocolate and hot chocolate infusions, as well as tea were on the menu).
Once we’d finished our sandwiches, we were led to the gelato case to select a flavour to marry with a homemade mini Belgian waffle.
This was the bomb! A warm Belgian waffle, drizzled with warm Belgian chocolate followed with a scoop of (in my case, Chocolate Coffee Crunch) gelato on top was simply divine.
My husband chose the Gianduja gelato: a hazelnut concoction equally fabulous atop his waffle.
To finish the tasting, we were served fruits (fresh and dried), nuts, pretzels, potato chips, cookies along with two cups of warm dipping chocolate (milk and dark) for a fondue.
The plate also arrived with a mini chocolate cupcake with chocolate frosting and chocolate shavings.
This is an event that chocolate lovers should not miss out on! Not only is the event well priced at $35/person, but the Port Moody shop is a serious find for chocoholics. While at the event, I also photographed some of their beautiful truffles. Included in the price is a six piece box of chocolates to take home.
The event continues as part of the Festival of Chocolate on the following two Sundays: October 30 and November 6, with two seatings daily, noon to 2 pm and 3-5 pm. Tickets are still available online. Don’t miss out, as there’s limited seating in the café; once the tables fill up, you’re out of luck!
Rubens Chocolate is located at 146 Brew Street in Suter Brook Village, Port Moody.
The 2011 Festival of Chocolate is just around the corner. Hundreds of chocolate-themed events will take place across the Lower Mainland from October 15 to November 10, showcasing local chocolatiers, artisan chocolates, pastry chefs, bakeries, wines, beers, whiskeys – all things chocolate and all things that pair WITH chocolate.
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