• Archives
  • Aug12


    Helijet Vancouver-1

    I’ve enjoyed travelling over to Victoria with Helijet in the past, but on this occasion, I was onboard their Greater Vancouver Scenic tour to take in Vancouver’s beautiful coastal areas on a 30-minute loop starting at Helijet’s downtown Waterfront station helipad.

    We lifted off on a sunny midweek morning and headed over the city and across the North Shore to Grouse Mountain, Mosquito Creek, following along the mountain divide to Crown Mountain, soon diving into Capilano Valley. These views never grow old on the ground, but experiencing them at 5,500 feet is just stunning!

    Imagine your jaw dropping as the pilot continues past Grouse Mountain and over to the Lions, then circles around their peaks, soon adding a stunning view of Howe Sound in the distance. Trust me, mine did.

    The video above (view a larger version on YouTube) captures highlights of our 30-minute tour, taking in Brunswick Mountain and Lake, Deeks Lakes, Howe Sound, Sea to Sky Highway (at which point we descend to 2,000 feet), and then along the coast, passing Bowen Island and Horseshoe Bay, before making our way back to the city via UBC and Jericho Beach, Stanley Park’s beaches, English Bay, Burrard and Granville Street bridges, and through the downtown core back to the base.

    Our tour costs $299 per person plus tax; shorter adventures include a 10-minute False Creek Panorama tour ($149 per person) and 20-minute West Coast Spectacular tour ($224 per person).

    Helijet Vancouver-1-2

    All three tours depart four times daily, will fly with a minimum of two passengers, and require advance reservation. Visit the website for more details, including Helijet’s regular service to Victoria from either Vancouver International Airport or Vancouver Harbour.

  • Mar7


    Julia MacLean and Steve Maddock
    [Julia MacLean and Steve Maddock; photo by David Cooper]

    New Westminster’s Royal City Musical Theatre is currently celebrating its 25th anniversary season of bringing Broadway-quality musical productions to the Lower Mainland with Annie at the Massey Theatre next month.
    In true RCMT tradition, Annie will feature a 20-piece orchestra in the pit, dynamic costumes and sets, excellent choreography, and a large, talented cast to bring the show to life under the expert direction of Valerie Easton, with musical direction by James Bryson

    Royal City Musical Theatre Presents Annie
    Dates: April 16 to 19 and 23 to 26, 8 pm; April 13, 19, 20, 26, 2 pm
    Venue: Massey Theatre, 735 Eighth Avenue, New Westminster
    Tickets: Adults, seniors, $33; students, $24; available online

  • Mar5


    Dead Frog Uber Nut Brown Ale

    At 9% ABV, Dead Frog Brewery’s Uber Nutter Imperial Nut Brown Ale has a nice dark brown colour and is sweet, nutty, and full of taste. Its inherent bitterness also helps balance out the sweet notes of caramel, chocolate, and roasted nuts. While a snifter glass is recommended for enjoyment, we used a classic Belgian trappist glass for our sampling.

    Dead Frog uses a mix of Prairie 2 Row, Maris Otter Floor Malt, Carastan, Special B, Biscuit, Chocolate, and Black malts to produce this one.

    This Lower Mainland brewery is admirably competing with famous Belgian killers such as Mort Subbite and Gulden Draak, and we’re very OK with that!

    Find Dead Frog’s latest single batch, limited-release brew at BC Liquor stores in 650 ml bottles.

  • Feb18


    Le Meadow's Preserves-15
    [Le Meadow’s Preserves: Pear Quince Honey, Pear Citron, Claire de Lune, Balsamic, Classic British Trio, Banana Gone Gourmet]

    I recently had the chance to experience Geneviève Blanchet’s Le Meadow’s Pantry artisanal jams and marmalades. The Québécoise mother of two girls moved to BC 16 years ago, having worked in several kitchens, serving in fine dining, gourmet, and traditional restaurants. Classic foods have been of interest to Geneviève since discovering them on European adventures as a young woman.

    It was there that she learned to enjoy and preserve food according to season, exploring a bounty of great new ingredients and flavours. Once in Vancouver, she studied traditional Chinese medicine, and later received a traditional herbalist diploma. In addition, she’s a registered holistic nutritionist. Armed with all that knowledge up her sleeves, she’s now producing a line of handcrafted, small-batch preserves, cooked in copper jam pans and made a dozen at a time.
    Read the rest of the post »

  • Feb6


    The Hobbit poster

    Calling all J.R.R. Tolkien fans for a live theatre adventure! The Hobbit, Tolkien’s well-known, award-winning fantasy novel and children’s book, was originally written in the tradition of a fairy tale. Tolkien wrote the story in the early 1930’s to amuse his three sons. A sequel was requested by his publishers, and The Lord of the Rings followed.

    There have been a number of films and live theatrical productions based on these award-winning books. Playwright Kim Selody has adapted the story for Canadian theatre audiences.
    Read the rest of the post »

  • Dec23


    Volvo XC60-4

    Last week, we took a sparkly-new white 2014 Volvo XC60 T6 AWD out for several drives around the Lower Mainland. As we’ve previously leased an S60 (while living in Western Europe), we’re no strangers to the Swedish line of well-designed, practical vehicles.

    Volvo XC60-5

    Both the XC60 and S60 are considered Volvo’s two top-selling models in the lineup. The attention to both detail and comfort is unparalleled, with safety a top concern for the carmaker as well.
    Read the rest of the post »

  • Nov14


    Coquitlam Centre Unwrapped

    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. 
    Read the rest of the post »

  • Oct29


    The Fort Wine Company

    Over the weekend, a group of local writers left Vancouver for a day down ‘south’, exploring BC’s agricultural, heritage-rich, and scenic Fraser Valley belt.

    The Fort Wine Company

    Our day out included a fruit winery, pumpkin patch, turkey farm, nursery, and historic site. As we all have various pursuits when touring a new destination, these stops provided something of interest for everyone.
    Read the rest of the post »

  • Oct23


    Les Syphalides

    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.
    Read the rest of the post »

  • Sep19


    Surrey World Music Marathon

    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.
    Read the rest of the post »

  • Sep3


    Curious Flea banner

    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.
    Read the rest of the post »

  • Feb25


    Dining Out for Life launch-6
    [Sheena Sergeant, Lisa Martella at Dining Out for Life 2012 launch, Coast Restaurant’s O Lounge]

    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.

    Forage/Executive Chef Chris Whittaker
    [Forage Executive Chef Chris Whittaker]

    “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.

    Forage/Pacific provider salmon, Pemberton potatoes, sea asparagus, pickled huckleberries
    [Forage’s Pacific provider salmon, Pemberton potatoes, sea asparagus, pickled huckleberries]

    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.”

    Follow Dining Out for Life updates on Twitter and Facebook.

  • Sep21


    Ford Escape Launch-1

    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.
    Read the rest of the post »

  • Jul3


    old chuck wagons

    Can’t make it out to the Calgary Stampede this year? Bring your cowboy boots and hat down to Langley and help Township 7 celebrate their 12th birthday.

    2012 Stampede Collection/Township 7 Winery

    The Western Roundup party theme is in honour of being selected the Centennial Wine for the Calgary Stampede’s 100th anniversary!

    event poster detail

    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.

  • Apr13


    Scotiabank Open Fastpitch banner

    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.

    CDN Open

    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.”

    Young lady at bat

    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.

  • Feb29


    Dining Out for Life launch-6
    [Sheena Sergeant, Lisa Martella. Taken at Dining Out for Life launch, Coast Restaurant’s O Lounge]

    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

    – A couple spending $140 at a Dining Out for Life restaurant will provide meals for 10 people through Friends For Life and A Loving Spoonful

    – 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

    Sheena Sergeant, Ned Bell, and Lisa Martella
    [Sheena Sergeant, Executive Director of Friends For Life; Ned Bell, Executive Chef at YEW; Lisa Martella, Executive Director of A Loving Spoonful]

    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.”

    A Loving Spoonful banner

    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.