Davie Day 2010

Sept 11th marks the third annual Davie Day in the West End. From Burrard to Broughton, Davie Street is closed to traffic and is taken over by entertainment, activities, information, food & beverage vendors.

The event really is for the while family, with something to keep every age (and attention span) interested: 
     Great entertainers are on the main stage (near Burrard); especially the very  popular Kim Kuzma and Shawn Hlookoff
     Movies and lots of activities for the younger crowd are in the KidZone at the Jervis end of the festival site. 
     Heritage & Arts displays for those looking for some culture and eductation with their day out. 
     Of course what street festival would be complete without some great food from the local merchants.

Come out and support the Davie Street and West End and be a part of the community!

(sadly I’m not there this year so have fun for me!)

Live At Squamish Music Festival

Live At Squamish Music Festival – September 4, 2010 

The inaugural edition of Live At Squamish (LAS) occurred over the Labour Day Long Weekend. This new multi-stage music and arts festival took over the Logger Sports Grounds and Hendrickson Fields in Squamish, BC for two days of good times.

My British friend Jim, who is a veteran of music festivals back home in England, and I both thought it was a really well organized, well run event. (Could have used a couple more signs on the highway guiding vehicle traffic to the site but that’s easily fixed next year).  I’ve been to a few festivals both in England and Canada and found LAS to be better than most.

with "Square The Bear"

Even though the ticket sales weren’t as high as I’m sure organizers, brandLIVE would have liked, I really admire their strategy of having a 5 year plan to make LAS a success. It shows they are in it for the long haul and are determined to do it ‘right’.  This year’s music line-up was a fairly low key mix of local and foreign acts like: Said The Whale, Jon & Roy, Seb Fontaine, Matthew Good, Dirty Vegas, Mother Mother, Bad Religion, Devo, The Decemberists.
Although a ‘bigger’ name would have sold more tickets I think they were wise to keep it simple.  This allowed them to work any kinks out without being overwhelmed by massive crowds. 
The whole vibe of this event was very chill and relaxed.  The venue itself was beautiful, the main stage had The Stawamus Chief as the backdrop, the smaller stages were set amongst the trees. There was lots of room between the stages too which meant there was very little overlap of sound, an issue with some other festival sites. The sound at all the stages was excellent, the clubZone dance stage has a great light show as well from Tony Pantages.
The layout of the whole site was very well done too. The vendors were set up around the edges of the field so no matter where you were you could still see/hear the main stage or they were in the transition areas between the stages to you passed them on the way between.  There was a great mix of artisans, corporate (Asus, Telus etc) and food vendors throughout the site. Each stage also had a beer garden along side, so it didn’t look like anyone was waiting very long if they chose to have an adult beverage.  Plenty of washrooms were located in a couple of areas and there was a set of sinks set up so people could fill up on clean tap water for drinking. The organizers encouraging people to bring their own containers to drink from eventhough there was beverages sold by the food vendors. I say kudos to brandLIVE for encouraging the use of tap water and reusable containers!
I cannot say enough good things about the organization of the whole event.

I’m looking forward to having plans on my Labour Day weekends for at least the next few years! See you there!

Turning More Tweeps Into Peeps!

Since the first word in Social Media is SOCIAL it seems a bit odd and anti-social to sit behind a keyboard and not actually interact.  So following on from our first tweet up of a couple weeks ago, that my friend Brian and I organized at Rogue Kitchen & Wetbar, Brian thought it was time for another.

Tonight we had an evening Tweet-Up at Cactus Club Cafe in Yaletown, the restaurant sat us at a table that had enough room to extend as people came and went over the couple hours we were there. During the evening  @AdrianEden @GreenscapeVan @Dalyn_Smith @NicoleGrima @DavidJeffries @MattFCA @JayHaa @Hummingbird604 @DonovanPee all came by.  We ate, drank and had some great conversations while getting to know each other better (it helps when you can use more than 140 characters). I think one of the best parts was the every one of us got to meet at least one new person who didn’t follow us or we didn’t follow previously.
Our aim is to make this a regular event, growing each time to meet more awesome tweeps! We will keep you posted on the next event, see you then!

Walking With Dinosaurs: The Arena Specatular

Walking with Dinosaurs:The Arena Spectacular – Rogers Arena – Aug 26, 2010

Based on the award winning BBC-TV series, Walking With Dinosaurs truly brings the giant beasts to life right in front of you. Led by an ‘archaeologist’ / host who guides us through the eras and tells the story of the dinosaurs, flora and fauna of each passing stage of dinosaur evolution.

Although it sounds like it should be, you would be mistaken if you dismissed this show as “for kids”.  Children and adults of all ages get something out of this presentation, little kids all around were screaming out the names of the dinosaurs (it’s amazing what little kids know!) and shrieking as each one lumbered and roared into the arena.  Adults were learning alongside their children and many were probably revelling in a little childhood wonder as well. 

This was the second year I’ve seen this show and both times I was amazed at the intricacy and realism of the dinosaur creations.  Even though you can plainly see the legs of the actor working the smaller creatures or the wheeled base of the giants, it’s incredibly easy to suspend reality and believe that we are in the Cretaceous or Jurassic periods.  The simplicity of the darkened set, surrounded by inflatable plants and flowers and filled with vast amounts of projections and lights allows your mind to complete the picture and take you back in time.

Although the tickets for this event can be high, depending on your city, if you can manage to I highly recommend seeing it, my description does not do it justice.

*warning for parents, younger sensitive children may find some parts of the show a bit frightening. The Dinosaurs roar quite loud, the arena is dark other than the floor/set and the first scene involve a predator dinosaur eating a newly hatched baby

KT Tunstall at Fairmont Pacific Rim

Summertime, friends, patios, martinis, music…what a perfect combination! That’s what we were treated to on Aug 25th at the Fairmont Pacific Rim as they along with EMI Music Canada a private performance by KT Tunstall in the Lobby Lounge.

I was a bit sceptical at first of how a concert performance, even an acoustic set, would sound in such a big open environment with massively high ceilings.  Plus how ‘private’ would it be in the Lobby of a major hotel.  As with everything Fairmont, they did an amazing job turning it into a great party with great sound.  As guests (a great selection of media, tourism and socialite types) arrived, mixed and mingled over some cocktails and appetizers, local singer/songwriter Jeff Johnson entertained the crowd.

After about an hour KT Tunstall came on stage and performed an hour long acoustic solo set covering music from her previous albums as well as forthcoming release “Tiger Suit”. KT was in fine voice and I was really amazed at the great sound in the Lounge, it really suited this style of performance.  I hope they continue to do shows like this in the Lobby Lounge, it’s a great intimate venue.  

Being a quite crowded space it made it quite easy to introduce ourselves to new people, since we often ended up standing right beside someone as space was limited.  It was great to be introduced to new people and their companies. Met great people from The Peak 100.5 and Vancouver is Awesome, learned about Silver Spoon Food Tours , Make It Show.

Turn Tweeps Into Peeps

Twitter and other social media are great at connecting the world and spreading the ‘word’ but how many of you come out from behind your keyboard to meet other social media users?

Recently my friend Brian and I had a small Tweet-up (Twitter/Tweep meet-up) at Rogue Kitchen & Wetbar.  None of us had been to Rogue Wetbar before either and I’d selected the location because they were very active on Twitter, so we could consider the venue a Tweep too. 

Have a casual get together that allows people to interact on a different level and with sentences longer than 140 characters.  It gives us a deeper look into our ‘real’ personalities vs the witty, pithy, attention seeking people we are online.  I’ve had a few other Tweet-ups to try to get to know the people behind the avatar, you already know you have similar interests, so get out and meet them, who knows who you’ll find.  Brian and I started off as Tweeps, met up and as a result I know consider him among my closest friends. 
I challenge you to turn your Tweeps into Peeps and get out and get to know some of those people you follow, friend or chat with online. You might be surprised to discover brand new lasting friendships!

100th Anniversary PNE Parade

20Aug2010 – 100th Anniversary PNE Parade

Dancing Elvis’, Lumberjacks, SuperDogs, Red Robinson, Giant Inflatables…these are not your typical entries in a Vancouver Parade but this was not just any parade.

Grand Master: Dal Richards

In honour of it’s 100th Anniversary, the Fair At The PNE revived a lost summer time tradition…the PNE Parade. Held annually until 1995 the PNE Parade was the kick off to the Fair and highlighted one of the last major events of the season (the Fair runs the last half of August, closing on Labour Day). 
Led off by the indomitable Bandleader Dal Richards as Grand Marshall, this 100th Anniversary revival celebrated all the achievements, entertainment and traditions associated with the last 10 decades of the Pacific National Exhibition; including
– Iconic concerts; Elvis in 1957 and The Beatles in 1964, hosted by radio legend Red Robinson.
– Sports; BC Lions & Vancouver Whitecaps at Empire Stadium, Vancouver   Canucks at Pacific Coliseum;
– Exhibits: Horse Shows, 4H competitions, Logger Sports, Monster Trucks
– Playland: Carnival Games, Fair Food
– Multiculturalism: Chinese Dragon and Bollywood Dancers

Most of all it seemed like this parade featured memories, you could see and hear from the older members of the audience as they mentioned past events and family trips to the Fair. Also, from the next generations as they visit with their children and form new memories that will last for the next century of The PNE/Playland

What are your favourite memories of the PNE?