Earth Hour 2011

Earth Hour 2011: March 26, 8:30pm - 9:30pm

First conceived in 2007 by the World Wildlife Fund and the Sydney Morning Herald, as a way to highlight the need for action on climate change, Earth Hour saw 2.2 million residence of Sydney Australia turn off non-essential lights for one hour.  Other cities and countries adopted Earth Hour in 2008 and now in it’s 5th Year, the goal is for more than one billion people to participate by simply flicking a switch.

Earth Hour 2011 takes place March 26th from 8:30pm to 9:30pm local time.  It’s easy to take part, save energy and maybe be a bit romantic at the same time.  Flick off your non-essential lights and electronics, light a candle and enjoy the company of the ones you’re with playing a board game, telling ghost stories or it’s the perfect opportunity for an intimate candlelit supper.
If you don’t feel like staying home, many local restaurants and hotels are taking part and offering Earth Hour specials. Check out Pan Pacific Vancouver, Fairmont Waterfront, Fairmont Hotel Vancouver or Yew Restaurant at Four Seasons Vancouver for just a few of the special promotions happening this year.

Top Vancouver Attractions for Spring Break

As Spring is upon us and students are out on Spring Break, parents are probably seeking out family activities to occupy and entertain the little ones.

While a trip to Disneyland might be on everyone child’s wishlist there is still plenty of fun to be had locally to make everyone happy. Leave the hustle and bustle of the work week behind and see the city from a different perspective by being a tourist in your own town for a day!

Here’s a few of the more popular attractions in Vancouver:

Grouse Mountain: “The Peak of Vancouver” is a year-round playground for the whole family. This year’s heavy snowfall means it’s still ‘winter’ on the mountain, head up for

Grouse Mountain Super Skyride

snowshoeing, skiing, snowboarding, skating or skip all those and just head straight for the Chalet and the many restaurant and lounge options.

Capilano Suspension Bridge: Since 1889 Cap Bridge has been ‘wowing’ visitors as they cross the bridge 70m above the Capilano River. The TreeTops Adventures carry the adventure on throughout the forest and gardens.

Vancouver Aquarium: Canada’s largest aquarium houses a

Vancouver Aquarium Dolphins

vast array of flora and fauna within the heart of Stanley Park. Beluga Whales and Dolphin shows draw large crowds but perhaps the Otter habitat is the most popular destination within the aquarium.

Dr. Sun Yat Sen Chinese Garden:  The first garden of its kind outside of China, these Vancouver Gardens are a beautiful oasis on the edge of Chinatown. Splendid colours abound as the trees and greenery start to bloom, contrasting with the dark, stark stone laid throughout the gardens.

New & Old Worlds side by side at Dr Sun Yat Sen Gardens

Granville Island Public Market: The stunning arrays of colours, wafting aromas and hustle and bustle of the Public Market make every trip a sensory overload. Fresh produce, baked goods and tasty savouries, sit alongside unique merchants and artisans.

Science World at Telus World Of Science: It’s all hands on at Science World! Rotating exhibits make sure children young and old will find something new and interesting with every visit.

Stanley Park: Sitting on the edge of downtown Vancouver this 1000acre oasis is one of the world’s largest urban parks (New York’s Central Park is 843acres). With beaches, gardens, forests, attractions, sports, eateries all within the park there’s something to entertain every family member.

Colours come alive at Springtime in Stanley Park

 

Dining Out For Life 2011

http://www.diningoutforlife.com/vancouverDuring a long week it’s always nice to take a break and go out for dinner, this week it’s even better because you can ‘give’ while you get grub!

Go out Thursday March 24, 2011 and participate in Dining Out For Life, an annual fundraising event to benefit people living with HIV/AIDS.

Visit one of the participating restaurants restaurants from the Fraser Valley to Whistler and 25% of the meal revenue will be supporting A Loving Spoonful and Friends For Life. As an added bonus, buy a bottle of Sumac Ridge Estate Winery and they will also donate another $1 for every bottle sold on the day.

Visit a Vancouver Island participating restaurant and presenting sponsor Stella Artois will donate $1 from every sale, in addition to the 25% restaurant revenue, to support Aids Vancouver Island 

It’s a great way to give back and help while doing something you will probably do anyway this week!

Enjoy your meal!

Top 10 Theatre (musical/play) Etiquette Do’s & Don’ts

In our continuing series of Top 10 Do’s & Don’ts we come to Theatre, although similar to going to the movies Theatre does have it’s own etiquette so everyone enjoys the show.

1. DO arrive on time, you may not be allowed to enter the auditorium if you’re late.
2. DON’T need to be overdressed, no need to get out your Sunday finest, just dress comfortably, casually and appropriately.
3. DO switch off your mobile phone or at least put it on silent.
4. DON’T not talk or whisper during the performance, it not only disrupts the audience but can distract the performers.
5. DO bring cough drops and tissues so you can preemptively stifle a cough or tickle in your throat or a sneeze.
6. DON’T bring snacks or beverages into the auditorium, you’ll have a chance to nibble and sip during the intermission.
7. DO applaud, laugh and exclaim as appropriate but do not go overboard, the patrons are here to see the performance onstage not the one you’re putting on.
8. DON’T sing along at a musical, save it for karaoke or Sing-Along-Sound of Music. Buy a soundtrack and sing along to your hearts content in the car on the way home.
9. DO bring your child (it’s never to early to expose them to the arts) if the production is appropriate and you think your child can sit quietly and still for over 2 hours.
10. DON’T feel obliged to participate in a standing ovation. Applaud the end of songs, scenes and finale but standing can be reserved for those moments you’re moved by a once in a lifetime performance.

CelticFest Vancouver

Coinciding with Saint Patrick’s Day the annual celebration of Celtic heritage, CelticFest Vancouver brings Celts from all country’s, not just Ireland, to downtown Vancouver. With a wide range of ticketed and free events on offer throughout the downtown core from March 16 – 20, 2011 CelticFest is Western Canada’s largest Celtic Festival.
Dozens of concerts, dances, pub & restaurant specials happen all over the city most of them are free to the public. Check out the schedule to find something nearby and of interest to you!  The Celtic Village & Street Market runs Saturday and Sunday on Granville Street with entertainment, food and vendors sharing the Celtic experience.
The Highlight of the weekend is the CelticFest Parade on Sunday March 20th.  Running from Howe & Drake Streets north to Georgia, ending at Granville & Georgia near the Celtic Village.
Even if there isn’t any Celt in you, head out and get your jig on!

The Martha Stewart Show

After our day trip adventure to The Ellen Show in November, my friend May applied for tickets for other shows to give us an excuse to make other mini adventures.
This time is took us New York City and The Martha Stewart Show.
Although the trip itself was longer the experience at the taping was much shorter and smoother. As one would expect of Martha Stewart it was very well organized. We had confirmed tickets so had to arrive at the Chelsea Studios at 0830 for a 1000 taping. (vs the hours we had to wait for Ellen to start).  It was just a short wait outside as they checked in the guests in small numbers and took them through an airport style security check.  An efficient coat check and pick up of release forms lead us to a couple of small but comfortable waiting rooms.  Shortly after everyone was in the rooms warm up comedian Joey Kola came in and gave the rooms the few simple rules and how to’s about the taping.  We found out that Joan and Melissa Rivers would be the guests as well that there would be cooking segments, segments on allergies and contest introductions.
After the introduction, we were taken in groups into the studio, the studio itself is an amazingly detailed recreation of a New York City loft. Seating just 175 people it felt intimate even with the massive number of crew on set as well.  This was a live broadcast so everything had to be seamless and the set changed quickly in commercial breaks. It amazed us how efficiently everything happened, for each change over there was a people cleaning, prepping and primping the moment the tape stopped rolling.
Joan and Melissa were as humourous as expected and were part of the cooking segments with Martha. Joan has been on the show more than any other guest so there was a comfortable comeraderie between the two ladies. After their segments, Dr Dean Mitchell discussed allegens in the home, this segment was a highlight as it featured two sets of audience gifts. Everyone in the audience recieved a Honeywell Air Purifier and new Martha Allergy-Wise Bedding pillow and pillowcases from Macy’s. The following segment featured Lori Sandler of Divvies Bakery an allergen-friendly bakery making Blueberry Cake.  The audience all recieved a copy of the Divvies Bakey Cookbook plus chocolates.
At the end of the show Martha stayed and took about 10 minutes worth of Questions from the audience.  It was impressive how accommodating and interactive the show was for the audience. We were allowed to take photos right up to and after the cameras rolled as well there was another Ask Joan & Melissa segment during the show that took questions from the audience and the show photographer took pictures for the show’s Facebook.  
As the show wrapped and Martha finished everyone departed the studio in an orderly fashion to be met at coat check with our pillows and a gift back with the rest of the ‘goodies’ including a certificate to mail in for the air purifier (thankfully we wouldn’t have to fly home with that in our luggage).  It was quite an amusing sight to see a hundred plus people walking down 26th Street with pillows under their arms.
In the same amount of time we had to wait for The Ellen Show to allow us into the set, we had completed our Martha Stewart Show experience. We both agree that we would totally do it again.
You should try it too if you’re heading to NYC, in addition to the confirmed tickets there’s usually a few stand-by tickets available on the day of taping.
We’ll see what show we can get on to next and keep you posted on our next TV taping adventure!

Priscilla Queen of the Desert: The Musical

Currently in previews at The Palace Theater on Broadway, Priscilla Queen Of The Desert: The Musical is based on the 1994 movie of the same name.
The a rousing tale of three drag queens discovering themselves as they take a road trip across the Australian outback in the title character…a big pink bus.
While camping is a part of their journey across the country, CAMP is a big part of the show! While not in the traditional Broadway musical style, the show highlights some great choreography and vocals to some of everyone’s favourite pop songs.  Starting off with a rousing rendition of “It’s Raining Men” sung by ‘The Divas’, a threesome of ladies who sing the numbers when drag queens perform & lipsync; “Sempre Libre”, “Shake Your Groove Thing” “MacArthur Park” or “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun”.  A number of these big production numbers are ‘drag shows’ within the show and feature over the top costumes, in fact there are 320 costumes used in this production. From a movie that won the Oscar for Best Costumes, the musical has a lot to live up to and indeed it does.
Other smaller numbers, like “I Say A Little Prayer”, “Always On My Mind” and “We Belong” help the story along, featuring the vocal talents of the very capable casts.  Leads Will Swenson, Tony Sheldon and Nick Adams have spent the last 12 weeks in Toronto before bringing the production

Leads: Tony Sheldon, Will Swenson, Nick Adams

to Broadway. This trial has given Swenson and Adams time to grow into their roles and I’m sure it helped them get used to the small costumes and very high-heels, Sheldon has played Bernadette in every production since the show debuted in Sydney in 2006 so was already ‘wearing’ the role like a dress.
Familiar music, outstanding sets and costumes along with a good story make Priscilla Queen Of The Desert a feel good, dancing in your seat, sing-along (but please don’t) rousing good time!
If you get the chance to see it when it in previews or when opens on Broadway March 20th, or even in London’s West End, you will have a smile across your face when you leave.