Toronto FC vs Whitecaps FC

BMO Field – June 29, 2011

For the past 4 seasons soccer fans in Canada have heard about the success of the Toronto FC fanbase (unfortunately they haven’t been successful on the field).

With the addition of Vancouver to the MLS landscape this season, there is bound to be comparison between the two Canadian clubs.  Checking it out first hand I was surprised to see just how different yet similar the experience is.
Although BMO Field is the permanent home to TFC, it felt very much like the termporary Whitecaps FC home at Empire Field. Located on the edge of the Exhibition grounds, aluminum stands, open air concourses all echo the Empire experience.  Just a bit more polish showed this wasn’t a temporary stadium.
Missing from the TFC experience was the family-friendly entertainment and activations from the sponsors we are used to at Whitecaps.
The emphasis seemed to be on alcohol sales, as the number of inebriated individuals was surprising.
The on field performance was similar as the stadium configuration was similar and sadly both teams are on par with their level of play.
Hopefully when the Whitecaps move into the upgraded BC Place field later this season the experience will be even more divergent and the fan base will reflect the wider audience. A winning team on field will certainly help too!

The Dirty Mags – NXNE 2011

The Dirty Mags – Horseshoe Tavern – NXNE 2011

The very late 3 am time slot meant that a lot of people missed out on seeing this act but I’m glad we managed to catch them.
Knowing nothing about an act means you can view them with a completely open mind, the immediate appeal of The Dirty Mags stage presence made us want to see more.  Slightly emulating The Cults Ian Astbury, the lead singer’s swagger and an vocals kept the audience’s attention and tight sound from the rest of the band made the act worthy of a better time slot.
Perhaps when they perform at Rifflandia Festival in Victoria in September they’ll get a time that enables them to win over the West Coast audience.

Top 10 “Summer Live” Acts to check out this weekend

Summer Live Festival has begun! A free family-fun weekend is ahead and there are lots of things to see and do!  Here’s a run down of the events that caught my eye

1. Dal Richards Orchestra – July 10th : The incomparable bandleader is still going strong at 93 and will no doubt have the crowd swinging when he takes the stage

2. Mother Mother – July 8th : This local band gained attention when one of their singles. O My Heart, was used during the 2010 Olympic Games. For a young act, they’ve become seasoned stage performers, definitely worth a look!

Dan Mangan

3. Dan Mangan – July 10th : Acclaimed singer-songwriters are pretty common nowadays but Dan Mangan has managed to stand out from the pack.


4. Hannah Georgas – July 9th : Since winning Music BC’s Songbird West Songwriting Contest in 2008, Georgas has gone from the strength to strength, achieving many accolades and awards.

5. Hey Ocean – July 10th : Much buzz has surrounded this local act. An reportedly high energy live show makes this one to check out.

6. Neko Case – July 9th : This multi-talented songstress has been a staple of the Vancouver music scene since leaving Tacoma, WA in the mid 90’s for schooling at Emily Carr Institute of Art & Design. As a member of the New Pornographers as well as solo-artist Neko has more than paid her dues and has the well deserved respect of audiences and other artists all over.

7. Said The Whale – July 9th : As 2011 Juno Awards New Group of the Year, Said The Whale have a lot to live up to but from what I’ve heard and seen previously they’ve well on their way to surpassing expectations.

8. Kids Zone – July 8, 9, 10 : Since this is a family event there’s lots of activities to keep the younger audiences entertained.  Kids Zone features workshops on Kite Making, Origami, Puppet Making, Boat Making and Face Painting.

Sports Day

9. Sports Day / Activities – Jul 8, 9, 10 : Starting off with an old fashioned Sports Day, featuring Three-legged, Wheelbarrow and Sack Races, Water-balloon Toss, Bean Bag Toss, the sport zone will have sports activities of all types.  Drop-in family soccer, volleyball tournaments, badminton and tennis workshops are also in store.  BC Lion’s Football players will be on hand to hold all-ages kicking and throwing workshops.

10. Spirit Of The West – July 10th : No Vancouver event is complete without Spirit Of The West around to make the audience get up and party! For the last 30 years SOTW has been making everyday events into a feel good time.

Summer Live is a free, three-day festival in Stanley Park hosted by the City of Vancouver on July 8, 9 and 10, 2011 to celebrate Vancouver’s 125th anniversary . Activities run daily from 12 noon through 11pm at Brockton Point in Stanley Park



The Distillery Historic District Toronto

Amongst the renovated century old Victorian buildings of Toronto’s former Gooderham and Worts Distillery lay a National Historic Site with the charm and energy of relaxed European cafe culture and the hipness and vibe of New York’s SOHO or Chelsea neighbourhoods.
In the late 1800’s Gooderham and Worts was the largest distillery in the world, producing over 2 million gallons of whiskey and spirits annually. After 150 years of operations, changing times and economies meant the closure of the distillery but a new life soon followed as the site became one of the largest film locations in North America.  In 2001, restoration of the site began and within two years the present Distillery Historic District opened, becoming one of the top tourist attractions in the City.  In addition to the Victorian distillery and industrial buildings a growing collection of modern city homes and condominium building are bring more ‘life’ to the District as people live/work nearby.
Strolling through the pedestrian-only cobblestone lanes and into the restored heritage buildings one finds an eclectic array of offices, boutiques, cafes, restaurants, galleries and entertainment venues.  The public plazas often play host to varied events such as Toronto International Jazz Fest or Mountain Bike Festival.  It’s the perfect way to spend a day shopping, eating, learning and being entertained.

Grouse Mountain joins 2011 Vancouver Outgames

Grouse Mountain and the Vancouver 2011 Outgames have combined to provide a true west coast athletic experience for locals (in the know) and visitors yet to experience! The infamous “GROUSE GRIND” has been added to the line up of the Vancouver 2011 Outgames sports schedule as the 6K VERTICAL CHALLENGE.  Climbing nearly 2000m, racers will start the 6 km course on July 26th at 9am, from the foot of Grouse Mountain and race to the top of the most challenging hiking trail in the City commonly referred to as “Mother Nature’s Stairmaster”! This course will be one of the most (literally) breath-taking sport events at the Games!
The Vancouver 2011 Outgames will include 10 sport elements supported by GLISA (International Sports Association of North America) running from July 25 – July 31, 2011
The week-long festival also includes a Human Rights Conference and Cultural Celebrations

What’s On Weekend – July 8 – 10

The sun has come out and summer seems to have finally arrived! Just in time for some outdoor fun!

Friday July 8
– This weekend the big happening is Summer Live. July 8, 9, 10, Stanley Park comes alive with a major free festival of music, performance arts and sport. With acts like New Pornographers, Neko Case, Dan Mangan and Mother Mother it’ll be a great show! Bring the family and enjoy a weekend out in celebration of Vancouver’s 125th Birthday!

Saturday July 9
– Get out and help kick cancer below the belt…and maybe watch a little eye-candy as well.  The Underwear Affair 10k run/5k walk is Saturday afternoon. Get out and help the runners Uncover The Cure!



Sunday July 10

– At Rogers Arena for the second of two nights, it’s New Kids On The Block, Backstreet Boys with Matthew Morrison


2011 NA Outgames Adds To Closing Ceremony Line-up

The GLISA North America Outgames Vancouver 2011 Closing Party is a daylong festival of LGBTQ culture with non-stop entertainment throughout the day including concerts, DJ’s, drag shows, dance performances, medal presentations, a beer garden, the Breakfast of Champions and the Closing Ceremonies of the Vancouver 2011 Outgames. Today is the final day to purchase special early bird priced tickets to the party

The Vancouver 2011 Outgames has added more artists to the previously announced Closing Party line-up of Ace Of Base, Dragonette and Carole Pope.
Joining the party is a wide range of local talent including;
Kim Kuzma, Alice Ai, Matthew Presidente, Outgames theme song artists Sugarbeach will all perform alongside local drag divas Connie Smudge and Iona Whip.

Come OUT and Play -The Closing Party is sure to be a vibrant spectacle at Plaza of Nations. Gates open at 11 am. Special Early Bird ticket pricing sale ends today Thursday June 30 at