2010 Olympic Memories

From February 12 – 28, 2010 Vancouver welcomed the world but more importantly woke up to the world and became a global city! The 2010 Winter Olympic Games finally arrived in Vancouver after a decade of pitches, plebiscites, planning, building, protests, decorating and some more protests.

In typical Vancouver fashion the very vocal naysayers seemed to have the ears and eyes of the public while the organizing committee went about their business.  Economic boom years at the start of the process gave way to an unprecedented economic bust right at the eleventh hour…sponsors went bankrupt, builders financing collapsed, income dropped & unemployment skyrocketed.  Were the Games in trouble? They weren’t in the financial shape they’d hoped to be but the committee persevered, they’d come this far…the finish line was in site
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By the time the Olympic Torch completed it’s epic journey along the longest relay in history, none of the ‘issues’ mattered…this was The Olympics and judging by the spontaneous euphoria that the people of Vancouver displayed they were in need of a party! Party they did…every moment for 17 amazing days thousands poured into downtown Vancouver! The pavilions were lined up with crowds wanting to catch a glimpse of the Olympic Medals at the Royal Canadian Mint or watch a concert at LiveCity Yaletown or even just enjoy the camaraderie of having a beer and watching the game on a big screen in Celtic House.

After years of being “No-Fun” Vancouver and being wary of congregating in large groups the populous had had enough and they got their wanted to show that it was indeed OK to have fun and enjoy the moment. Never in Olympic, and certainly not in Vancouver’s, history had there been such an exuberant display of national and civic pride!

Those who left town or stayed away realized they missed out, those who participated will never forget and everyone now knows that Vancouver, has what it takes to be a World Class City.

What were your favourite memories of the Games?

As we celebrate the one year anniversary of the 2010 Games, relive your memories with lots of activities throughout Vancouver. Check out where to “Share the Spirit” this weekend by visiting the City Of Vancouver website

Andrew Allen : New Artist On Tour

I have the good fortune to see a lot of artists and bands perform live many of them are new me and along the way there are some hits and misses.
One of the recent hits is Andrew Allen; a relatively new independant artist who is presently on the road touring in support of a forthcoming spring major-label album release.  While he is a unique artist in his own right, Andrew’s witty and energetic performance style is like a perfect hybrid of Jason Mraz, Jack Johnson and John Mayer.
Like many the first introduction to an Andrew Allen song was his stunning soulful single “Amazing” played during the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics. Since then he’s gone from strength to strength as his independently released EPs have lead to signing with EPIC Records, meaning a full length album is now in production. If the lead single “Loving You Tonight” is anything to go by, I’m looking forward to a feel good album.
Now on tour with Joshua Radin and Justin Nozuka throughout the U.S. and Canada if the show makes a stop in your town, please get out and catch it…you’ll be in for a treat!

Upcoming Tour Dates:
2/7 – Plaza Theater – Orlando, FL
2/8 – State Theatre – Tampa, FL
2/9 – Workplay – Birmingham, AL
2/11 – Jefferson Theatre – Charlottesville, VA
2/12 – HOB – Boston, MA
2/14 – Trocadero – Philadelphia, PA
2/15 – 9:30 Club – Washington, DC

Vancouver Chinatown Spring Festival Parade

Thousands of specators braved the rain to line the streets of Chinatown to watch the Chinese New Year Parade and help usher in the Year of the Rabbit.
Featuring the largest assembly of traditional Lion Dance teams in Canada, the Parade winds its way through Pender, Main and Keefer Streets in the heart of Vancouver’s Chinatown.  Organized by various Chinatown community organizations the whole parade has a very community vs commercial feel to it. Full of cultural spectacles and tradition; Lion Dancers, Flag Troupes, Family Benevolent Societies and Martial Arts teams.
Corporate entries are few and do not have the flashy, big budget entries as in other Vancouver parades. It’s great to see all ages participate in the parade, young cadets and junior lion dancers are marching and dancing along side troupes of seniors waving flags or performing traditional dances. 
While it may not build the same anticipation as having a man in a Red Suit wrapping it up like the Santa Claus parade this event has plenty of sights and sounds to entertain the family.  Firecrackers, colourful banners, flags and costumes compete with the vibrant Lion and Dragon costumes. The estimated crowd of 50,000 keeps the whole of Chinatown a buzz, even after the parade finishes, as the shops and attractions like Dr Sun Yat Sen Gardens and Park feature special events and activities.

Avenue Q – On Tour

Avenue Q : The Musical – The Centre in Vancouver – February 1, 2011

The touring production of the long running Broadway and Off-Broadway hit has made its way to Vancouver for 6 shows only.  Opening tonight and running until Saturday February 5th (playing nightly plus matinee on Saturday) I highly recommend checking it out.

Set in a New York City where puppets and people live together in perfect harmony…ok, so at times not so harmoniously…in an apartment building on Avenue Q.  The tenants cover all walks of life; humans Brian and his Japanese fiancée Christmas Eve, Kate Monster (a puppet), Roommate puppets Rod & Nicky, Trekkie Monster (a bit of a reclusive porn addict) and newcomer Princeton (a fresh-faced college graduate puppet).  Watching over the tenants is Superintendent Gary Coleman, of Different Strokes child actor fame.  This character was presumably intended to mock the plight of the child star but since his passing has become more of homage.

Hilarious music and lyrics along with some ‘full puppet nudity’ lift this musical about real-life situations into an extraordinary fun filled two hours. You’ll never look at puppets the same way again!

Although this opening night production had a couple of small technical glitches it’s still very worth seeing…try to catch this unique musical before it’s gone.  Look for tickets from The Centre In Vancouver online.

Where are you going to “Dine Out”?

Dine Out Vancouver is one of the city’s tastiest events!

Dine Out is your chance to try that place everyone’s talking about but you keep putting off! Now’s the time, choose from a multitude of restaurants offering $18, $28 and $38 fixed price menues.

It’s already begun and only runs until Feb 6th, so if you haven’t booked a table you’d better take a look through the amazing list and make your choice(s) now! 

This year Dine Out is also holding a number of exciting and unique cullinary events…Brasserie Mystere, Dine In The Dark, Secret Supper Soiree, Dine Academy are just some of the fun…visit the Dine Out website for details.
From out of town? No problem, Tourism Vancouver has coordinated some amazing Dine Out Accommodation specials with Vancouver Hotels…so you can have a night out after you Dine Out!

Let me know what restaurants you’ve tried or are planning on trying…hopefully I’ll bump into you at a table!

Roger’s Santa Claus Parade

Here comes Santa Claus! Here Comes Santa Claus! Right down Georgia Street…

Sunday December 5th is the Seventh Annual Rogers Santa Claus Parade in Vancouver.
Family fun pre-parade activities can be found at the Christmas Square in the Vancouver Art Gallery grounds from 1100 until parade time at 1300. Face Painting, Gingerbread Tent, Write a Letter Santa stations and performance are all part of the festivities.

After having fun at the Christmas Square get ready for the man in the big red suit as the parade begins at 1300. The Parade route begins at Georgia and Broughton Streets, running along Georgia to Howe and finally ending at Howe and Davie Streets.

Make sure to dress warmly as you’ll be standing for quite a while, bringing something warm to drink it always a good thing too. Stake out your prime viewing spot early as it will be crowded!

Have Fun!

Bob Saget – Is Not Danny Tanner!

We’re not in Full House anymore!

Best known as Danny Tanner from Full House and the Host of America’s Funniest Home Videos, Bob Saget’s stand-by comedy is no where near the family friendly fare of his former tv shows. Bringing his rapid fire comedy to town as part of his Strange Days Tour, supporting his new A&E TV show of the same name, Mr Saget involved and entertained a full house at the Vogue Theatre.  Unlike most entertainers he almost encouraged hecklers and right from the first moments, when he started having fun with and at the expense of audience members the stage was set for a raunchy, anything goes evening.
From the audience; Kirk has his sexuality questioned and mocked,  Mole (who showed off his name tattooed on his wrist) had his mental state & competence mocked, Antoine had his Polish heritage mocked.  Although not quite as misogynistic as his same named Entourage alter-ego, Bob made plenty of normally politically incorrect comments and profane one-liners about women being in power.  It seemed no matter what the audience whipped at him, Bob was able to hit it out of the park with quick witted zingers. Throughout the two hour show, stories about his father were intertwined with tales from his TV shows and costars.  Wrapping up the show with a 30 minute set of songs that were more ‘blue’ than blues but all the while hilarious, eliciting a rousing standing ovation from the audience.