What’s on this Weekend! July 28 – August 1, 2011

What’s on this weekend? What’s NOT on this weekend!?
There’s so much happening, I can’t keep up!

Happening all week long is the Vancouver 2011 North American Outgames ; sports, culture and human rights conference all rolled into one event. Visit the Outgames website for all the activities happening around Vancouver, Whistler, Burnaby and beyond.

In case you haven’t noticed a few rainbow flags around town, it’s also Pride Week in Vancouver.  Parties and Parades and Persperation (if we’re lucky to see some sun) will be the order of the day, check out the Vancouver Pride website for details on the multitude of events.

There are a few events that I’m hoping to be able to check out, so maybe I’ll see you at one of the following:

Thursday July 28
Outgames Live Showcase at Five-Sixty featuring DJ G-Luve, Carole Pope, Armstrong Jr. and Peter Breeze
– strut your stuff at The Pride Ball on the east side at The Cobalt

Friday July 29
– The big event to start off the evening is the Caya Davie Street Dance Party powered by Telus ; stroll, strut and shake your thang as Davie Street is closed and transformed into one big party from Burrard to Bute Street.
DJ Dave Aude is mixing it up at Celebrities Nightclub
– Get out your IronRod and dance to the beats at Open Studios.
– I have a feeling the Four floors of Five-Sixty won’t be the only things stuffed as Bearracuda takes over.
– DJ Adam Dreaddy &  Lisa De Lux take The Helm for a Pride Edition of Bounce – Cool beats to bounce to!

Saturday July 30
– At Rogers Arena – grunge icons Soundgarden play with Queens of the Stone Age and Meat Puppets. (funnily the support acts seem quite appropriately names for Pride Weekend!)
– Taking the Bell Pitch at Empire Stadium, LA Galaxy (minus David Beckham) take on Whitecaps FC
– The Closing Party and Ceremony takes over the Plaza Of Nation Outgames Celebration Site for the day, performances by DJ Adam Dreaddy, Diversity Project, Carol Pope, Sugarbeach, Tracey Bell, Kim Kuzma, Dragonette, Ace of Base and more.
Celebration of Light Fireworks festival begins in English Bay at 1030 as China takes to the sky, followed by Spain on Wednesday Aug 3rd then Canada Saturday Aug 6th
– Make your own fireworks at Five-Sixty’s ultimate Pride Celebration – Rainbow Night aka Slut Puppy with Legendary DJ Frankie Knuckles and drag diva Lady Bunny.
– If hip hop is more your thing get to Pub 340 and the Pride edition of Big Primpin’

Sunday July 31
– the big event of the day is the Pride Parade, 140 parade entries and three quarters of a million people will take over the west end to take in the parade then the Pride Festival at Sunset Beach.
– after the parade head over to Plaza Of Nations for The Anthem Party with performances by DJ Abel (Miami), DJ Eddie Martinez (NYC), Wynter Gordon and Tyrell Witherspoon it’s sure to be a great day
– still looking for more? head east to The Waldorf and SPIT vs BLOW PONY vs YES YES Y’ALL pit the party people of Vancouver against Portland and Toronto to create and epic fest!
– if you still haven’t had enough hit the late night party at Gorg-o-mish for United: Pride with DJ Paulo and DJ Adam Dreaddy

Monday August 1
– find a patio, rest, chill, catch-up and compare notes with friends and sleep

And they’re off! The 2011 Outgames Flag Relay is on the move

From the Mountains, Sea and Land the 2011 Outgames Flag relay is making it’s way to the Opening Ceremony at the Vancouver Art Gallery at 6pm today.

Starting off at Vancouver City Hall for the joint launch of Pride Week Van Pride and Vancouver 2011 Outgames (11:00am – 1:30pm) this free event feature the Running of the Flags, BBQ, speakers, lawn games, In Council Proclamation and much more!

After the Raising of the Outgames Flag and the First Nations call out for the Athletes,  three runners will take the flags in ceremony to their respective starting points at UBC, SFU and by Helijet to Whistler & Grouse Mountain where 111 runners will carry the flags on to the Vancouver Art Gallery and the lighting of the Cauldron to open the 2nd GLISA North America Outgames.

The Opening Ceremony will also highlight some of the Outgames athletes and feature live performances by Destineak, Tyrell Witherspoon, DJ / drum performance with Waacouture, Out in Harmony & Friends Choir and Sugarbeach, who will perform their 2011 Outgames theme song ‘Come on Out’.

What’s on this Weekend! July 21-25

WOW! There’s so much happening this time of year that I want to check out, I can’t keep up…you all will have to attend some of these great events and tell me all about it.

Thursday July 21
– if you can get down to Venue and check out Cults, I saw them at NXNE and they are great!
– downtown TV On The Radio are playing the second of two nights at Commodore Ballroom, they’re worth a listen too!
– legend, Thurston Moore (Sonic Youth) is holding court over at the Rickshaw Theatre
– NY synthpop group, Cold Cave are at The Biltmore Cabaret
– Local Vancouver folk/blues artist Buckman Coe is performing with David Newberry at Media Club
– looking to get your dance on? Head to The Helm with another edition of We Like Boys
– for some good tunes and cocktails stop by 1181 for Cocky Thursdays with music by DJ Adam Dreaddy

Friday July 22
– Funny man Rob Schneider brings the laughter to The Vogue Theatre
– join NY indie rockers Les Savy Fav / Handsome Furs at The Rickshaw Theatre
– The Helm has Flaunt Fridays with DJ SKLA and the vocal talents of Tonye Aganaba
– for some ‘Family Values’ join Gene Simmons and his clan at the River Rock Show Theatre

Saturday July 23
– during the afternoon, hope for some good weather, and head over to Brockton Oval in Stanley Park for the Vancouver Pride Society’s Picnic In The Park : beer garden, children’s area, DJ’s, BBQ, games and more.
Yuck with Unknown Mortal Orchestra are at The Biltmore Cabaret
– at Five-Sixty it’s their Pride Week Kick-Off Celebration

Sunday July 24
even God took one day off, so rest up because it’s going to be a busy week coming up!

Monday July 25
– it’s the start of the Vancouver 2011 Outgames, the running of the Flags starts at City Hall at 1pm wrapping up at the Vancouver Art Gallery for the Opening Ceremony at 5pm. That evening head to The Outgames Opening Party at Five-Sixty
– your Monday night alternative is over at Keefer Bar for The Price Is Gay: prizes, drinks specials, music and fun are all on the menu

Football Friendly – Whitecaps FC – MCFC

Empire Field – July 18

Lots of excitement in front of both nets

After one of the rainiest July weekends on record, I’m sure more than a few in the Whitecaps head office were thrilled when the clouds parted and sun burst forth over the Bell Pitch at Empire Field as the Whitecaps welcomed Manchester City Football Club, of the English Premier League.  Having installed a grass pitch over top of the usual turf field combined with the unseasonal wet weather created a ‘perfect storm’ of unfortunate circumstances for the Whitecaps as the grounds became waterlogged and deemed unplayable for their MLS game versus Real Salt Lake on Saturday.  Fingers and toes were crossed for the weather gods to smile and dry out the pitch enough to be playable for the first ‘big’ friendly of the Whitecaps MLS era.
Thankfully two days of drier weather and countless hours by grounds crews and restoration teams managed to make the pitch playable for the 7pm kick-off.  In spite of the drama, a festive atmostphere took over the grounds as the 24,000+ crowd gathered.  Many took the opportunity to get their picture taken with the FA Cup brought on tour by current cup holders MCFC.

FA Cup

As the match began a good mix of supporters of both teams were treated to a well played, exciting game.  Especially good for the home side, who sit last in the MLS table, playing a lively, effective first half to go into the break leading 1-0.  After the half, and a wholesale substitution of players on both sides another thrilling half as both teams had good opportunities, Man City scored twice and Whitecap keeper Jay Nolley made some excellent saves to keep the score to just 1-2 for Man City at the final.
Bringing teams of this calibre and being able to ‘play up’ to their level will certainly win over the fans and give the Whitecap players some extra confidence in their play going in to the later half of the regular season.  If this many turn out for a quality friendly at Empire Field, great crowds should be seen once the team moves into BC Place downtown. We can hardly wait!

Underwear Affair 2011 – Uncover The Cure

On a bright sunny Sunday evening in Vancouver, hundreds of people dropped their pants and ran through the streets!

Brian Webb and Alex Mentele display their Maple Leaf and Stars & Stripes!

No, it’s not a flash mob or the latest social craze, it’s the 6th Annual Underwear Affair! The 10km run or 5km walk to raise awareness of cancers below the belt is one of most fun and sexy fundraising events of the year.
This was my second year attending, no not as a runner, but as a supporter of friends running…someone has to document the event with the photos.  Brian Webb and Alexander Mentele got into their skivvies and represented their cross border friendship (Alex is from Seattle and the sole USA runner registered at the event).
It’s a super fun atmosphere around the run site at the Seaforth Armory as everyone gets into (or is it out of) costume.  Prizes for best costumes and team challenges really makes some people

Creative Team Costumes Abound

get creative with their outfits.
The run begins at 6pm (the walk startsimmediately after) and the first runner was back across the finish line in about 35minutes.  As I was photographing near the finish line I was surprised to see Brian approaching so

Some Costumes Required Extra Balance To Wear Running?

soon, he’d had a great run, finishing in a personal best 10km time of 44:59, good enough for 15th place men’s finisher and 18th overall! Alex had a great run too, beating his goal with a time of 49:45, within the top 50 men.  Impressive results from a field of 598 runners!
Most importantly, the boys combined to raise $2000 (and growing) to help Uncover The Cure!  Overall the event raised an impressive $630,000 for Cancer research.

If this sounds like the kind of event you’d like to participate in, registration for Underwear Affair 2012 is already open.

BC Lions "Felions" Cheerleaders Are On Hand At The Finish Line

Toronto FC vs Whitecaps FC

BMO Field – June 29, 2011

For the past 4 seasons soccer fans in Canada have heard about the success of the Toronto FC fanbase (unfortunately they haven’t been successful on the field).

With the addition of Vancouver to the MLS landscape this season, there is bound to be comparison between the two Canadian clubs.  Checking it out first hand I was surprised to see just how different yet similar the experience is.
Although BMO Field is the permanent home to TFC, it felt very much like the termporary Whitecaps FC home at Empire Field. Located on the edge of the Exhibition grounds, aluminum stands, open air concourses all echo the Empire experience.  Just a bit more polish showed this wasn’t a temporary stadium.
Missing from the TFC experience was the family-friendly entertainment and activations from the sponsors we are used to at Whitecaps.
The emphasis seemed to be on alcohol sales, as the number of inebriated individuals was surprising.
The on field performance was similar as the stadium configuration was similar and sadly both teams are on par with their level of play.
Hopefully when the Whitecaps move into the upgraded BC Place field later this season the experience will be even more divergent and the fan base will reflect the wider audience. A winning team on field will certainly help too!

Top 10 “Summer Live” Acts to check out this weekend

Summer Live Festival has begun! A free family-fun weekend is ahead and there are lots of things to see and do!  Here’s a run down of the events that caught my eye

1. Dal Richards Orchestra – July 10th : The incomparable bandleader is still going strong at 93 and will no doubt have the crowd swinging when he takes the stage

2. Mother Mother – July 8th : This local band gained attention when one of their singles. O My Heart, was used during the 2010 Olympic Games. For a young act, they’ve become seasoned stage performers, definitely worth a look!

Dan Mangan

3. Dan Mangan – July 10th : Acclaimed singer-songwriters are pretty common nowadays but Dan Mangan has managed to stand out from the pack.


4. Hannah Georgas – July 9th : Since winning Music BC’s Songbird West Songwriting Contest in 2008, Georgas has gone from the strength to strength, achieving many accolades and awards.

5. Hey Ocean – July 10th : Much buzz has surrounded this local act. An reportedly high energy live show makes this one to check out.

6. Neko Case – July 9th : This multi-talented songstress has been a staple of the Vancouver music scene since leaving Tacoma, WA in the mid 90’s for schooling at Emily Carr Institute of Art & Design. As a member of the New Pornographers as well as solo-artist Neko has more than paid her dues and has the well deserved respect of audiences and other artists all over.

7. Said The Whale – July 9th : As 2011 Juno Awards New Group of the Year, Said The Whale have a lot to live up to but from what I’ve heard and seen previously they’ve well on their way to surpassing expectations.

8. Kids Zone – July 8, 9, 10 : Since this is a family event there’s lots of activities to keep the younger audiences entertained.  Kids Zone features workshops on Kite Making, Origami, Puppet Making, Boat Making and Face Painting.

Sports Day

9. Sports Day / Activities – Jul 8, 9, 10 : Starting off with an old fashioned Sports Day, featuring Three-legged, Wheelbarrow and Sack Races, Water-balloon Toss, Bean Bag Toss, the sport zone will have sports activities of all types.  Drop-in family soccer, volleyball tournaments, badminton and tennis workshops are also in store.  BC Lion’s Football players will be on hand to hold all-ages kicking and throwing workshops.

10. Spirit Of The West – July 10th : No Vancouver event is complete without Spirit Of The West around to make the audience get up and party! For the last 30 years SOTW has been making everyday events into a feel good time.

Summer Live is a free, three-day festival in Stanley Park hosted by the City of Vancouver on July 8, 9 and 10, 2011 to celebrate Vancouver’s 125th anniversary . Activities run daily from 12 noon through 11pm at Brockton Point in Stanley Park