Rifflandia Festival launches 2011 line-up

Rifflandia 2011 made its First Wave Line Up Announcement this week!
The Line Up to-date includes City and Colour, Broken Social Scene, De La Soul, Blackalicious, Ra Ra Riot, The Cave Singers, USS, Awolnation and many more!  These acts will be performing on The Rifflandia Park Stages. This recently announced new outdoor venue at Royal Athletic Park, allows the festival to reach a larger (all-ages) audience.
Acts performing at the traditional Rifflandia Night Stages all over town include: ARAABMuzik, The Besnard Lakes, Braids, Giant Sand, J Mascis, LA Riots, The Pack AD, Tokimonsta, Bonjay, Karkwa, Library Voices, Malajube, Pepper Rabbit, Suuns. The Victoria BC festival plans on announcing more amazing acts in the coming weeks!

The fourth annual Rifflandia Festival will take place September 22 – 25, 2011, in Victoria BC

What On Weekend – June 23 – 25, 2011

Summer’s officially here…let’s get the party started!

Thursday, June 23rd
90Six Dance Party featuring DJ Lady Miss Kier (from Deee-Lite), since I’m here in Toronto this looks like it’ll be on the agenda.
– back home in Vancouver there’s a great benefit event; heroes with heART: Katarina Thorsen’s Interactive Portrait Event!

Friday, June 24th
– In Vancouver you’ve got to check out Big Freedia, the Queen of Sissy Bounce at Post Modern
– R&B diva Rihanna is playing the first of two nights at Rogers Arena
– Norwegian singer/songwriter Sondre Lerche plays the Biltmore Cabaret
– The TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival kicks off 10 days of great events around town 
– Afterwork head to Canvas Lounge for another VICE Friday
– Celebrating it’s 25th Year the Toronto Jazz Festival kicks off with free concert by Aretha Franklin
Saturday, June 25th
– Rock trio Blonde Redhead play the Vogue Theatre
-It’s Queer Bash: Abba Hits vs Muppet Blitz at The Cobalt
– American Celtic Punk Band (how’s that for a description?!) Dropkick Murphys are at Commodore Ballroom
– At Five-Sixty, honour the 42nd anniversary of the riots with Stonewall Celebration!!!

Vibrant Colours at Kensington Market, Toronto

Brightly Coloured Vintage Clothing

Tucked away between Toronto’s Chinatown and Little Italy lies one of the oldest and most visited neighbourhoods.  Designated a National Historic Site in 2006,  Kensington Market is a vibrant and diverse neighbourhood.  As immigrants have come and gone from the ‘hood, they’ve each left a mark by the variety of goods and services available.
Fruit and vegetable stands line

Fruits and Herbs line the street stalls

 up alongside European cheese shops tucked in between butchers and bakers.  A long time tailor and haberdashery shop is near a Middle Eastern take-away, a tattoo parlour and an Army Surplus store. The partially outdoor market is a rainbow of colours and scents as

Colours are everywhere

vintage garments hang out beside new pieces from local designers which are nearby to a lively Caribbean Cafe. 

New designs from The Fairies Pyjamas

Each trip to Kensington Market brings out a new tapestry of this vibrant neighbourhood, stop by and paint your own picture.

Top 5 Ways To Fill Your Day At NXNE Festival

Since I’m in Toronto for North by Northeast Interactive, Film & Music Festival I thought I’d share the experience, with a few fun ways to fill your day at the Fest.

1. Learning; some great topics are covered in the hundreds of Interactive sessions.
2. Relaxing; the rooftop pool at host hotel Hyatt Regency on King is a great way to recover from the night before’s late night.
3. Parties; music organizations, labels, production companies and major brands hold non-NXNE events and parties at great spaces & venues all over town
4. Music; the largest component of the Fest is the music – hundreds of shows across the city including free shows every night at Yonge-Dundas Square. It’s a great chance to discover that new buzz band or unsigned gem
5. Eating; wrap up a late night with some amazing (and cheap) pizza in Little Italy. The next morning start the day with some tasty crepes and fresh fruit at Cora’s near the Hyatt and you’re ready to start all over again!

The Inn at Laurel Point

Japanese Garden at The Inn at Laurel Point

Perched on the outer edge of Victoria’s busy Inner Harbour, the Inn At Laurel Point is an oasis of tranquility. I recently had a chance to stay at the hotel again, it’d been a few years since my last stay.
Located at the end of a no-through street with only the harbour and some quiet condominiums as neighbours the Inn is positioned to offer each guest room great views over the water. The wings of the hotel wrap around a beautiful Japanese garden featuring meandering stone paths, ponds and waterfalls.  As you wander, you may catch the chef of Aura Waterfront Restaurant and Patio, located just off the hotel lobby, tending to his herb garden.  I know first hand that the Gardens make a great location for weddings and celebrations.

Erickson Wing accommodation

The Inn has two wings of guest accommodation, the Laurel Wing offers comfortable, well appointed standard rooms.  Also in this wing are the indoor pool and a small but good quality fitness centre. The rooms in the Erickson Wing are luxurious, spacious and modern appointed each with a large balcony overlooking the Japanese Garden or Inner Harbour.
The Inn at Laurel Point truly feels like a getaway resort but being just steps from downtown Victoria is has the best of both worlds and is definitely worth a look on your next trip to Victoria.

Burnaby Summer Concert Series 2011

Concerts in Deer Lake Park

If you’re like me and you don’t often venture beyond the Vancouver city limits, this summer is a great time to cross Boundary Road and head over to Burnaby for some terrific concerts in the part.  The Burnaby Summer Concert Series features a great line-up of acts playing in the great outdoors at the beautiful Deer Lake Park. It’s a terrific location on a nice summer evening to listen to hand out on the great lawn, listen to some great tunes with a scenic backdrop.

This year’s series features:

The Black Keys
Kid Cudi
The Tragically Hip
12th Annual Burnaby Blues & Roots Festival






















For more information and to win great prize packages to the Burnaby Summer Concert Series visit Tourism Burnaby

Oak Bay Tea Party

Canadian Forces Cormorant
Canadian Forces Cormorant fly-by

The Oak Bay Tea Party wrapped up it’s 49th year in spectacular fashion! Under beautiful sunny skies this fun community event closed with an air show over the waters off of Willows Beach.

Begun in 1963 as a ‘one time only’ community day, the event proved so popular it’s been the staple Oak Bay kick off to summer ever since.  Not only is the Oak Bay Tea Party a fun community event, the completely volunteer run weekend is also an opportunity

Oak Bay Tea Party
Sunny weather brought the crowds out to the Midway rides

for the following community service groups to benefit from the fundraising activities and concessions:
Oak Bay Kiwanis
Rotary Club of Oak Bay
Capital City Lions Club
Royal Oak Lions Club
Girl Guides of Canada
Oak Bay Sea Rescue Society

Corn on the cob
Corn on the Cob is a Tea Party favourite!

Kicking off with a parade through the Victoria suburb of Oak Bay and wrapping upwith the Air Show, there is something for everyone at this venerable fun fest.  Concessions selling corn on the cob and baron of beef are huge hits alongside the traditional fair food; hot dogs and mini-donuts. Midway rides for all ages, face painting, bands and dancing, competitions and games, bathtub races are all part of the weekend.

Catch a duck! Win a Prize
Fun and games for all ages

The main objective being for every one, young and old, to have a good time. And judging from the smiles on faces, even those waiting in long lines for ride tickets, everyone was indeed having a great time.  I’m sure as they celebrate 50 years in 2012 it will be an even bigger and better Oak Bay Tea Party than ever before.