Of all public spectator events this is the one time you’re invited to be boisterous and loud but still there are ways to make it fun to have fun!
1. DO arrive early…the beer line-ups are long and you don’t want to miss the start of the game. 2. DON’T arrive drunk. It’s great to have a few pre-drinks but remember it takes a while to settle into your system. Timing is everything. 3. DO wear your team’s colours and cheer them on! 4. DON’T disgrace your team’s colours/jerseys by committing a felony when wearing them. I’m sure they they can do without you being branded as a “TeamX Fan” when you’re arrested. 5. DO engage in a some light hearted ‘trash-talk’ with rival fans. 6. DON’T turn the trash-talk into an all out brawl…a la European soccer hooligans 7. DO sit in the non-alcohol seats if you bring your kids and are looking for a ‘family’ experience. 8. DON’T throw things onto the field of play (except for special occasions…hattricks etc) it just delays the game. 9. DO streak if you really feel the need and if you’re willing to be publicly ridiculed and ejected from the venue. See #2 10. DON’T commentate or coach from your seat. We can all see what’s happening, if we wanted a play-by-play we’d have stayed home.
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.
It seems even mother nature is a Whitecaps FC fan! The sun and 22,000 fans came out to Empire Field on a bright Saturday afternoon to witness the debut of MLS soccer in Vancouver.
The storied Vancouver Whitecaps franchise has moved into the ‘big leagues’ and from the showing they displayed, they deserve to be there! Granted it was a match against Canadian rivals Toronto FC, who are perpetual bottom dwellers in the MLS table, but the enthusiasm and skills of the Vancouver side overcame the experienced eastern team. An ocean of white erupted as designated player Eric Hassli opened the Whitecaps account with a lovely goal in the first half and three more Vancouver goals followed (along with two Toronto ones, but we’ll gloss over those)
After the first goal broke the ice, the crowd really let lose, the casual fans being carried away by the spirited die-hards who’ve been longing for Whitecaps FC to take its rightful place among the top tier. When local boy, Terry Dunfield scored the volume rose even higher as Whitecaps drums were pounded and scarves where thrust into the sky.
The organization did a brilliant job of encouraging but also allowing the spirit and enthusiasm for the team grow organically. With a countdown to the big match ad campaign nudging this home opener to the top of city’s conscientiousness the rest happened on it’s own. At game day the crowds were early and ready for the action and the team didn’t disappoint, with a kick off celebration that included new BC Premier Christie Clark and NBA (and part-owner) Steve Nash beating the drums to welcome the players onto the pitch. A multi-cultural drum line was in the upper levels of the stands to help ‘drum’ up support but even without them I think this opening match would have ‘beat’ any other sporting event in the city for atmosphere. Mascot Winger was always a huge part of generating the cheers and noise around the games at Swangard Stadium but here in the large venue it’s harder for a little bird to make his rounds. It didn’t matter, the crowd shouted their own cheers (and jeers to the TFC fans) without any prompting from the winged mascot. With each goal the joy grew and grew until the closing whistle and it spilled out into the street around Empire Field and the party moved on.
A solid season ticket base, an enthusiastic supporters club in the Southsiders leading the cheers, and a talent team on and off the pitch all combine to elevate the team to a major force of spirit. The word of mouth from this display of Whitecaps fever will definitely spread through the city ensuring all games will have this amazing feeling (hopefully mother nature feels the same way and keeps us dry)
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!
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!
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
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.