What’s On Weekend – November 24-27, 2011

The Biggest Event this week has to be Grey Cup 2011; BC Lions vs Winnipeg Blue Bombers for the Canadian Football League championship.

Thurs Nov 24
– Grey Cup fever is alive and kicking, after the days CFL Player Awards, there are a host of Team Parties throughout the city.
– It’s Thursday so that means “We Like Boys” is happening at The Helm

Fri Nov 25
Telus Streetfest kicks off at Beatty & Robson Streets, experience concerts, activities and fun all through the weekend.
Molson Canadian House, private concerts and beer garden, opens its doors at Vancouver Convention Centre West for the next three days.
– So many events are happening thoughout the city and weekend, consult 2011greycupfestival.ca for more ideas and activities
– Canadian rap artist Shad is at the Commodore Ballroom

Sat Nov 26
2011greycupfestival.ca continues
18th Annual Art For Life Auction happens at the Rocky Mountaineer Rail Station
– Sealed with a Kiss Presents rocker Andrew W.K. at the Rickshaw Theatre
The Watchmen take on the Commodore Ballroom stage

Sun Nov 27
– GAME DAY – The 99th Grey Cup Championship gets under way at 3:30pm PT, some single tickets have been released.
– after the game, get your game face on or at least your Mo, celebrate and help raise some funds at the Man Of Movember Gala at 1181

What’s On Weekend – November 17 – 20, 2011

There’s always something fun in the city…here’s some for this weekend!

Thursday Nov 17
– check out the preview launch of the new Rubble Gallery on Powell Street
– at the Rio Theatre, catch the second installment of the ‘Friends of Dorothy Film Series‘ hosted by the Queen of East Van, Isolde N Barron, this week’s double bill is “Some Like It Hot” and “Hedwig & The Angry Inch”
– still on the east side, The Biltmore Presents: Peace, Wax Fingers, No Kind of Rider, and World Club
– moving west, it’s another Thursday & another “We Like Boys” at The Helm

Friday Nov 18
– The 15th Annual Culture Crawl kicks off 3 days of visual arts: shows, performances and installations abound all across East Van
– UK rockers Noah & The Whale will wow the Venue
Sealed With A Kiss presents Tune Yards at The Biltmore Cabaret
– Canadian songstress Feist is before a sell out crowd at The Centre for Performing Arts In Vancouver.

Saturday Nov 19
Election Day! Get out and vote in your municipal elections!
– Jetset Crew hosts The Original 007 James Bond Party presented by Belvedere Vodka at the Vancouver Club.
– the legendary blues man BB King is onstage at the River Rock Show Theatre.
– At Five-Sixty, everything is dandy…or is that just the headliner, Prince Poppycock, as Guilty Pleasures becomes the next big fundraising event.
– then stick around and enjoy another edition of Slut Puppy with resident DJ’s Adam Dreaddy and Quest with a midnight performance from Diva Iona Whipp

Sunday Nov 20
– all eyes are on the BC Lions as they take on Edmonton Eskimos in the Western Final to determine who plays in the Grey Cup next weekend.

Canucks really are For Kids

The Vancouver Canucks‘ “Canucks For Kids” Charity is a major part of the Canucks community endeavors but they do more than just donate cash to support children’s charities.

12 Year Old Cole Armour Sings The Anthems

The organization and players really make an effort to support & encourage children. The Canuck Placehospice is a major benefit to young patients and their families. Players make visits to children’s hospitals, and make public appearances around the community so youth can meet their heroes and have good role models to look up to.
At the game last night, against New York Islander (a well played 4-1 win!) the team’s support of children was wholly evident.

Amelia from Vancouver Angels Minor Hockey lines up amongst her hockey heroes

12 year old, anthem singer Cole Armour brought the house to its feet (well, if they weren’t already standing for the anthems, they would have stood for him) with his belting renditions of the Star Spangled Banner and O Canada.
A local youth player, standing alongside their idols, is always welcomed and introduced in the starting line up.
At the first intermission there is traditionally a short game for midget / peewee players. It’s so great to see the little kids scurrying across the ice and

Gold River Hawks Minor Hockey play during 1st intermission

I’m sure they’re ecstatic to be skating on the same ice as their hockey heroes.
It’s great to see the team from top to bottom really stands behind their mission to support and encourage children.

St Louis makes the Canucks sing the Blues

Canucks v Blues – Oct 26, 2011

In a rather lacklustre performance the Vancouver Canucks lost 3-0 to the St Louis Blues at Rogers Arena.  Following a previous night’s Canucksloss to Edmonton in which Roberto Luongo let in 3 goals and was pulled, Cory Schneider started in goal against the Blues. Lu has had to bear the brunt of the negativity towards the team as they get off to a rocky start of the long season. However since he didn’t play and they still lost with Schneider letting in just as many goals, Luongo cannot be blamed on this night.  Somehow the fans have overlooked the fact that the Canucks are not scoring goals, it doesn’t matter how many goals are let in, you still have to score to win.
Vancouver is a major hockey city and has one of the best fan bases in the NHL with over 360 consectutive sellouts. Having just heard a keynote speach at the Tourism Industry Conference by Canucks C.O.O. Victor de Bonis addressing all the great accolades and support the Canucks players, management and ownership have recieved and how they give back to the community, it seems in contrast to this game.  The players seemed to not have any drive to get the job done and as a result the fans were subdued and unhappy with the results. With the excitement of last seasons Stanley Cup run still fresh in people’s minds they expect more from their team. 

Fin tries to generate some excitement as Canucks lose to Blues

The organization is well run, the players love to play here, the fans love the team so what’s going wrong? Hopefully, the Canucks can get out of the October slump and start winning. Then the fans will get back behind their team…after all We Are All Canucks.

Whitecaps score first win in the new BC Place

Whitecaps v Real Salt Lake – BC Place Stadium – Oct 6, 2011

Vancouver played host to, third in the Western conference, rivals Real Salt Lake for the second match in their new home, BC Place.
The crowd was smaller than the sell out that greeted the first BC Place match but was in no way less raucous…without the large contingent of visiting fans the Southsiders cheers carried throughout the pitch.

Camilo scores!

As the time ticked on the cheers grew louder as Vancouver maintained control and carried the lead throughout the match. Coming in with nothing left to lose, the post season is out of the question, Whitecaps played a lot of their younger players, to get them some needed experience for next year’s campaign. They played eagerly, demonstrating their abilities and desire to be part of the regular make up of the squad. Camilo scoring off of a hand-ball penalty kick gave the team the extra boost of confidence in the first half. Following up with a second hand-ball penalty in the second really gave the crowd and team cause for cheer.  As the RSL players seemed a bit awry, the ‘caps seemed to at long last be playing as a team, when

A scoreline we'd like to see more often!

Khalfan scored his first MLS goal late in the match, and the ‘caps first goal in open play in BC Place, cementing a 3-nil victory, it nearly blew the roof off (if it hadn’t already been opened at the start of play).

Whitecaps FC return to BC Place

Whitecaps FC v Portland Timbers – BC Place Stadium – October 2, 2011

Pre-game entertainment provided some of the few exciting moments in a lacklustre Whitecaps loss

When BC Place Stadium intially opened in 1983, Vancouver Whitecaps of the North American Soccer League played the first sporting event in the stadium, against North West rivals Seattle Sounders.  Following the Friday grand opening BC Lions game, Sunday afternoon saw the current MLS Whitecaps FC make their debut at the newly renovated BC Place Stadium. 
Taking on their other North West rivals, Portland Timbers, the

Whitecaps "Southsiders" supporters enjoy seats right down to pitch level

Whitecaps put on a great opening show for the sell out crowd of 21,000 fans.  The normally cavernous stadiums upper bowl was hidden behind a row of cable suspended sails, creating an intimate setting for an afternoon of football.  The addition of soccer specific seating brought the fans closer to the action as additional seating brought the seats right down to pitch level on the west end and south sides of the stands.  

Whitecaps take their historic debut kick-off at the new BC Place

The exciting pre-game show featured the usual drumming in of the players, anthem singing, flags and fireworks.  A contingent of junior players lined the field and kicked dozens of comemorative balls into the stands and boosted the fans in anticipation of the game ahead.  The pre-game also included 15 year old Branden Tomash scoring the ceremonial first goal on the Bell Pitch at BC Place.  Unfortunately, this was the only goal the local fans would celebrate as the Timbers beat the ‘Caps 1-nil.

BC Lions Raise The Roof on BC Place

BC Lions vs Edmonton Eskimos – BC Place – Sept 30, 2011

With fanfare & anthem sung by Sarah McLachlan the 'new' BC Place debuts

A crowd of 50000+ packed into the new and improved BC Place to witness the Lions beat the Eskimos 33-24.  It seemed many arrived early to get their first glimpse of the interior of the new Lion’s Den for the first time since closing in April 2010 to undergo a $563million renovation. The building should win over the naysayers who were in favour of bulldozing the stadium and starting from scratch.  Judging by the costs of other recent large scale projects the $563 seems like a good value.  It seems that just the concrete shell is all that remains of the old BC Place and even then much of it has been torn away and replaced with glass.  Gone is the famous air suspended, dingy domed mushroom cap, in it’s place is the new crown of suspension beams holding up a new retractable roof. The seats are permanently covered with the field of play open to the elements when the roof is open.  Seeing the roof open for publicly for the first time was impressive and took no where near the advertised 20 minutes to open. Taking less than 10minutes to open up and reveal strands of lights, glittering like stars above us, hung from the support beams.  [cincopa AkEA_saln6g4]
New windows surrounding the upper level seats contain LED lighting which flash orange and black for each Lions win. New, larger seats and seating configuration make the audience viewing experience more comfortable.

New LED lit windows 'celebrate' with BC Lions colours

Even though it was dark, the natural light and air makes the whole visit more comfortable.  An amazingly clear HD scoreboard screen is the second largest stadium screen in North America, after Cowboy Stadium in Texas.

While the old domed roof provided an echo amplification of the crowd noise, making it seem deafening to the opposing teams, it also made the audio sound terrible, the new roof does away with the echo so sound is much better.  On opening night however, it seems that someone forgot to turn on the upper level speakers so sound wasn’t great at first, the verdict is also out until a major concert tests the acoustics of the venue.
Another one of the most noticeable features of the renovations on the concourse is the amount of glass, replacing each of the fortress-like airlock, revolving doors, new two story windows and doors greet guests and special guests as well as many new windows around the

concourse.  The removal of the slow revolving doors has also sped up entering and exiting of the building so even with a large crowd the lines move quickly.  The only lines that didn’t seem to move quickly were at the concession stands, fans were greeted by excessively long lines and concessions running out of some food items. However, with a very large walk-up crowd, of nearly 10000, that’s a lot of extra bodies to accommodate and this was already the largest regular season attendance in years so ‘teething pains’ were bound to happen.  I’m sure by the time the Grey Cup rolls in to town in November all these glitches will be worked out.
With BC Place also being the new home of the MLS Vancouver Whitecaps, whose audiences are smaller, the stadium has an alternate seating configuration that will be unveiled with much anticipation on their first home game Sunday Oct 2nd.