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?

Vancouver Pride Parade 2010

Vancouver Pride Parade: August 1, 2010

The day started out under cloudy skies as the masses, some 600,000+ strong, gathered in Vancouver’s West End.
Even before the parade began the camaraderie and revelry was evident in the large diverse crowd.  Sitting with my friends from gayvancouver.net I was wedged in beside a lovely older lady, a recent retiree to Vancouver, who, with her partner, was very excited to celebrate her first Pride Parade.  On the other side of me were two happy little girls, excitedly blowing on their whistles and cheering loudly when the parade came by.
As the parade began with the traditional ride by the ‘Dykes on Bikes’, like clockwork the skies began to clear and the sun emerged to brighten and warm the afternoon.

As the weather got hotter so did the parade participants…both literally and figuratively!
The crowd was treated to over 100 spectacular floats and entries covering the whole spectrum of the community: corporate entries from banks and retailers, LGBT sports organizations and support groups marched alongside elected officials of most political parties who were followed up by nightclubs and restaurants.  Costumes ranged from simple shorts & tees to elaborate drag queens/kings to bikini clad go-go dancers.  The main 2010 Pride theme of Liberate was evident in many of the floats and groups as everyone aimed to get their particular message across, whether political, educational or just plain fun. And judging from the crowd…they had fun.
After nearly 3 hours the parade wound down but the party didn’t. People headed to the Sunset Beach Pride festival to continue the festivities into the evening….and organizers probably began thinking about next year…will you be there?

If you think this is something you’d like to see next year, why not enter Tourism Vancouver’s great contest…Party of Five to Pride! You and four friends could win flights, accommodation and food to Pride 2011. Enter at TourismVancouver.com

Canada Day 2010

Reigniting the Spirit of 2010! In our first opportunity since winter, my friend Brian and I, along with thousands of other Vancouverites, took to the streets again breaking out the red hoodies, jersey’s and Canada Olympic gear.  Thanks to the lessons learned in February, Canada Day 2010 seemed to have an added boost of patriotism this year.  Some Scottish tourists actually commented to me how amazed they were at the blatant patriotism on display (often emblazoned across our chests in a large CANADA).
Canada Place is host of the biggest Canada Day party in the west and pulled out all the stops to wow the crowd of new and old Canadians.  Beginning with the swearing in of a batch of new Canadian citizens, to a celebration of the Canadian Navy’s centenary, bands, dancers, street performers and the events were all topped off with the reignited Olympic Cauldron sitting in it’s newly finished water feature. It’s a great family oriented day out!
Wrapping up our day is the annual Helijet Family Barbeque at the Vancouver Harbour Heliport.  For the last few years we’ve gathered our families and friends, in the evening on July 1st to eat barbeque, drink, visit, watch kids play…then we all proceed down to the floating helipad for our exclusive view of the fireworks display over Canada Place.  It’s our unique Helijet tribute to Canada Day…family, friends and fun !