; Fun! Fun! Vancouver!: July 2012

Monday, 30 July 2012

Powell Street Festival - August 4 & 5

"The 36th annual Powell Street Festival will be held on August 4th and 5th, 2012 at Oppenheimer Park and surrounding venues! This year’s theme is BIG BANG-ZAI! Hope to see you there!"

If you're not familiar with the Powell Street Festival, it's an annual outdoors festival celebrating the Japanese Canadian community. It features performances such as taiko drumming, martial arts demonstrations, and my favourite, sketch comedy group Assaulted Fish!

Assaulted Fish will be @ the 36th Annual Powell Street Festival on Saturday, August 4 from 4:15pm to 4:45pm at the Firehall Arts Centre (280 East Cordova St. @ Gore Ave)! Their show is NOT to be missed! And what a bonus, it's FREE! (Note: General admission seating. Rated “PG”. No latecomers.)

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Honda Celebration of Light

The Fireworks are back! This time around, they only have THREE nights of fantastic colour bursting the sky. The Honda Celebration of Light begins TONIGHT!!

The competing countries are : Vietnam, Brazil, and Italy!

Friday, 27 July 2012

National Donut Day in Canada

I saw this on the news this morning. Let's help Canadian food blogger Steve Zussino with his efforts to bring National Donut Day to Canada!

Bring National Donut Day to Canada

The USA has National Donut Day, every June 1st! It hearkens back to the days of war when women from the Salvation Army would bring donuts to soldiers. Donut stores in the States give out free donuts on this auspicious occasion!

So why don't we have National Donut Day? Canadians love their Tim Hortons, don't they? If you want to help establish National Donut Day in Canada, then go sign this petition!

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

When a new Georgia Straight Comes Out

Lol! My friend had sent me this website a while ago and most of you probably have already seen it, but if not, check out Definitely Raining for a good laugh at our lovely city of Vancouver!

Monday, 23 July 2012

Roedde House Museum

Did you know that there was a museum in the heart of Downtown Vancouver's West End? It's called the Roedde House, and it's a "a late-Victorian home in the Queen Anne revival style. Built in 1893 for the family of Gustav Roedde, the city's first bookbinder, it has been faithfully restored to reflect the day-to-day life of a middle class, immigrant family at the turn of the last century."

For only $5 per person, a friend and I checked out Roedde House and even got a guided tour! It's a very interactive museum, where you're allowed to snoop around the vintage artifacts that adorn the establishment and sit on the Victorian style furniture. The only things they ask you not to touch are the old Victorian clothing and books that they have out on display.

Looking through a Victorian "View-master":


Vintage toy piano:



The most popular program available at Roedde House is their Sunday afternoon Tea and Tour special, where you get a guided tour along with a tea tasting for only an $8 admission price!

Roedde House is located at 1415 Barclay Street, in the West End of downtown Vancouver. For more information, check out their website. Go visit a piece of Vancouver history today!

Friday, 20 July 2012

Mary Poppins and Rent in Vancouver

WELL, today's post was supposed to be the one on hiking and how we should all go for a glorious hike this weekend. I wasn't counting on rain clouds, however!

So, here's something else you might want to do! Go see a musical!! I am absolutely amazed and stunned at the amount of musicals we have in town this summer! Altar Boyz, Xanadu, Buddy, just to name a few!

Why not check out the touring Broadway production of Mary Poppins, now on at the Queen Elizabeth theatre until July 22? It's half price over at Tickets Tonight and fun for the whole family! In fact, it's supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!

If you want something a bit edgier, then there's always Fighting Chance Productions' mounting of the musical RENT, now on at Waterfront Theatre until August 5th! Tickets for RENT can also be found at Tickets Tonight!

Have yourself a musical weekend!!

Hiking in Vancouver - Lynn Loop

I am not a hiker. But I don't mind doing it, because I do live in Vancouver, after all. And isn't that part of the reason why a lot of people move here? I really need to take advantage of the natural playground that we have at our doorstep. So, this past weekend, Alexis and I decided to do just that! So we hit up Google, and found this site that features hiking trails in Vancouver.

We decided on something that was Beginners' Level, and ended up with Lynn Loop, over on the North Shore at Lynn Valley. Fun!! It was supposed to be only 5K, and would take only about an hour.

See that nice little wooden path somebody built? Yeah. We thought it would be like that.

We were wrong.

Well, we were wrong only because we got LOST.

Lesson #1: Have a MAP!! Why didn't we take a screenshot of the map? Or pick up a map at the park? I don't know. But we didn't, and we were fools because of it.

4KM into the hike, we thought, Oh we are nearly done!! And we would have been, had we not detoured our way onto a DIFFERENT Trail.

See that path that says Lynn Loop Trail? We should've turned right where it says BOULDERS and then gone back to the start to complete our "loop."

However, we ended up going forward, up the Cedar Mills Trail, ending at the Third Debris Chute, and then going back taking the Headwaters Trail. After the easy-peasy jaunt along the Lynn Loop trail, this Headwaters Trail was like a giant slap in the face. We later looked at a map of the park and discovered that it was considered an "Intermediate" hiking trail. That would explain the rough terrain we found ourselves cursing at! "Should we call to get airlifted out?" we kept wondering aloud, but we knew that wasn't really an option so we just pushed on.

Now that we've done it, we're glad we can say we survived! Maybe our next hike won't be quite as ambitious, even though we didn't aim to be that ambitious in the first place!

It's summer, the sun is here, so why not make the best of the season and take in a lovely Vancouver hike!! Bring water, bring a MAP, bring a phone, Stay Safe, and HAVE FUN!!

Thursday, 19 July 2012


It takes two women to teach us what it means to be a man. Playwrights Andrea Loewen and Dani Bryant and Xua Xua Productions bring their play ARMED to the Pacific Theatre now until Saturday, July 21.

The story centers around Joe, who has seemingly lost his balls after his girlfriend gets a job promotion over him and winds up laying him off. It's a great allegory for what represents masculinity in our modern day and age. Is it the presence of two testicles between our legs? Is it how one fits into society's gender-biased roles, i.e. breadwinner, boss, soldier.

We are taken on Joe's trip of self-discovery as he MANoeuvres his way through a pressure-filled jewelery store, a testosterone-pumped boot camp, a triple feat of manly tests, a humiliating tattoo parloud experience, and a humbling playground encounter. Most impressive is the workout that actor Darren Boquist has to do every night on stage as Joe. They really put him through the ringer with that boot camp scene, and I was exhausted just watching him! The physicality of his role was definitely demanding and Boquist gave it his all!

ARMED is playing now until Saturday at the Pacific Theatre. You can buy your tickets online!

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Altar Boyz

Altar Boyz is DIVINE!! This musical was heaven!! I was literally laughing until tears were streaming down my face!! Hand to God, no word of a lie!

So here is my confession. I wasn't expecting much from this show. I mean, it's one of those shows you hear about, that is constantly on Off-Broadway but never quite makes it to Broadway, so really, how good can it be, right? Well, the Arts Club Theatre's production of Altar Boyz is simply magnificent! The basis of the show? A Christian boy band. Right? Isn't that all you need to know?

Jak Barradell rips up the stage with his stunning dance moves as the "bad boy" of the group, Luke. Jeremy Crittenden takes the lead as Matthew. Michael Culp adds in the exotic flavour as Juan. Brandyn Eddy is the out-of-place Jewish boy. And Geoff Stevens is the hilariously flaming Mark. The harmonizing and choreography is seamless! Each actor holds their own too, when it's his turn in the spotlight. My favourite numbers included the tongue-in-cheek Rhythm In Me, Mark's solo confession on Epiphany, and the rapping styles of Body, Mind & Soul!

The show sends up religion and boy bands in the most hilarious way you can imagine! Our expectations were exceeded beyond our wildest dreams! From the lyrics to the calibre of acting/singing/dancing, this show is a MUST SEE show of the summer! Between Altar Boyz and Xanadu, the Arts Club is doing well this season with fun, fantastic shows for Vancouver! So get the hell over there already!!

Altar Boyz plays at the Arts Club Revue Stage on Granville Island now until Sept 1!

Monday, 16 July 2012

Wine Tasting in Vancouver: LuLu Island Winery

Can't make it out to the Okanagan Valley for some wine tours? That's okay, you can stay right here in the Lower Mainland and get your fix! For the past few summers, I've made it out to Fort Langley where I found myself sipping on the succulent wines of The Fort Wine Company. Add to this a selection of meats and cheeses, and it makes for the perfect summer afternoon!

But if Fort Langley is too far off the beaten path for you, then you might want to stay closer to the city and just jut across to Richmond to visit the LuLu Island Winery, which is where I found myself on Sunday.

We took a tour of the facility and learned that LuLu Island Winery is owned by a Taiwanese couple, and that the current site was used as China House during the 2010 Olympics! I was around for the Olympics and tried to visit as many of the houses as I could, but did not know about China House, otherwise I would have tried to make it out here!

We were told that the grapes used for their wines do come from the Okanagan Valley, but that they are trying to grow their own grapes on site and hope to make a batch of wine from it soon!

The tour guide, Farrah, was as sweet as the Ice Wine, and she helped us all sample the assortment of products that they had at the winery. My favourite was definitely the Pinot Blanc ice wine, which tasted just like honey! Delicious!


Marina and The Diamonds

Had a stellar night last night at the Commodore at the Marina and the Diamonds concert!

It is always a wonderful venue to see an artist or band in such an intimate space. For those who did not make it out, you sure missed an electric evening of haunting vocals and awesome dance songs! She sang pretty much everything I wanted her to sing, except for Living Dead. I was happy enough letting loose to Primadonna, Shampain, and Radioactive. The opening number was Homewrecker, which she sang with a wedding veil on.

In terms of merchandise, there was a mens and a womens t shirt available, and that was about it. By the end, the mens' shirt had sold out!

The stage was simple, with just a neon sign in the background that said ELECTRA HEART (the name of her latest album). Also on stage was a coat-rack, which helped with her subtle costume changes - from donning a beauty pageant sash that read Miss Shellfish Bitch to a pink nightie.

So glad I got to see her! Thank you for coming to Vancouver, Marina!!

Monday, 9 July 2012

PNE Summer Concert Series 2012

Woot Woot!! The PNE Summer Concert series has been announced!!

We've got a little HEART coming our way:

We have some Backstreet Boy realness with Nick Carter on the roster:

Do you wanna play with the Queen of Hearts? Cause Juice Newton is gonna be there!

Maybe you wanna MmmmmBop with the brothers HANSON!

Rock out with Our Lady Peace!

And last but certainly not least, Holy Xanadu, it's OLIVIA NEWTON JOHN!!

Check out the PNE Website for the COMPLETE LIST of performers this summer!!

Free Summertime Movies in Stanley Park

Now that the weather is cooperating, why not head down to Stanley Park for some free outdoor movie nights?

Here's the upcoming schedule of films:

July 10: Zoolander

July 17 Spaceballs

July 24: The Lion King

July 31: Grease

August 7: The Blues Brothers

August 14: Monty Python and the Holy Grail

August 21: Labrinth

August 28: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

Just head on down to Second Beach to enjoy a free summer movie night every Tuesday. The movie starts at dusk and people are encouraged to bring blankets, lawn chairs and food!!

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Postcards: English Bay

Finally, summer has arrived in Vancouver!

How have you been spending the past few days of sunshine?

The other night, I went down to English Bay with some friends and caught the sunset. It was glorious. Looking forward to more summer nights ahead!! Here are some photos I took on my iPhone:

(Last photo by J. McKenny)

Friday, 6 July 2012

Nelly Furtrado is Still Trying to Make Her Comeback

Check out the second single from BC's Nelly Furtado's new album. The title track, Spirit Indestructible, is an alright song, but she's done better in the past. I'm surprised the lead-off single from this CD, Big Hoops, did not do better than it did.

This lyric video features Spencer West, who shows us the true meaning of a spirit indestructible. Find out why:

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Holding Out for a Heron

(photo from Flickr)

Last night Jill and I walked around downtown and found ourselves at the Stanley Park tennis courts gawking upwards at the multitude of Heron nests up in the trees. They nest here every year, and right now, it's the PERFECT time to go check them out. The baby herons have hatched and it's officially "Fledgling time" as the newborns are learning how to fly! We managed to watch one grip onto a branch and flap its wings for a good minute. It was a beautiful sight, and these birds are just majestic.

(photo from Flickr)

I couldn't leave without trying to capture one of them in flight, so here's what I managed to get with my little iPhone camera:

Of course it's nothing compared to the real thing, so make sure you get down to Stanley Park this month to check out this wonderful treat from nature! You can read more about the Great Blue Herons of Stanley Park here.

Wednesday, 4 July 2012


Being a Broadway snob, I wasn't sure what to expect with Arts Club Theatre's mounting of the musical comedy Xanadu, but let me tell you, I was IMPRESSED!! Thank you Arts Club for bringing it to the table! I saw the Broadway version and this was very comparable!
(Of course, there's no matching the luscious thighs of Cheyenne Jackson, mind you.

But anyone who can strap on roller skates AND belt out an Olivia Newton-John ballad has me giving a standing ovation! Everybody in this cast did a solid job, singing, dancing, and hamming up the 80s film that this is based on. It may have flopped at the cinemas, but it is finding new hilarious life on the musical stage, with a tongue-in-cheek irony that lets all of us in on the fun.

Light and breezy, this is the perfect summertime musical for everyone to catch! Even though one of the characters proclaims it to be like "children's theatre for gay 40 year olds" that doesn't mean you have to be a gay 40 year old to enjoy this!

It's got Greek demigods, leg warmers, short shorts, a Pegasus, fake Australian accents, and so much more! Gaelan Beatty as Sonny Malone, seems to be a pro in his roller skates and knee high socks! And you KNOW I wanted to be Marlie Collins' Kira every time she glided onto the stage, wind blowing through her hair and rippling her dress in all the right places! However, this was the closest thing to me becoming Kira:

Seriously, you HAVE TO GO SEE XANADU!!!

Xanadu plays at the Granville Island Stage now until August 4th! What are you waiting for? You have to believe it's magic!!