I think Vancouverites love the Oregon Coast because getting there includes a road trip through lush and familiar Cascadian forests, along with the unbeatable proximity of a coastal campground where wind-swept dunes meet the Pacific. I like it because it’s wild, it’s rugged, it’s sunny and sandy. What made me fall in love, was learning about and experiencing its history first hand when John and I got to stay in the Heceta Head Lighthouse B&B last fall.
Located between Yachats and Florence, around the bend from Cape Perpetua Marine Reserve (where we watched from a highway viewpoint as humpback whales breaching) is Heceta Head Lighthouse. The iconic fifty-six foot monument is known as the most photographed lighthouse in America – and you can not only stay over in the light keeper’s house, it’s a darling B&B!
The Vancouver South African Film Festival (“VSAFF”), now in its 9th year, is proud to present features and documentaries that explore the culture, history and politics of South Africa – films that inspire, inform, and entertain.
Vancouver South African Film Festival
Where: Djavad Mowafaghian Cinema, Goldcorp Centre for the Arts (2nd floor) at 149 W. Hastings St, Vancouver
Festival Passes: $135 Weekend Festival Pass including Friday evening gala party. $100 Weekend Festival Pass (All films, no gala party). $55 Gala Pass (Friday night opening film and fabulous gala party at Fluevog Shoes in Gastown)
2019 Film Festival Lineup
Whispering Truth to Power: Friday, March 29 at 7:00pm Filmmaker and human rights lawyer Shameela Seedat tracks Thuli Madonsela, South Africa’s first female Public Protector (National Ombudsperson), as she builds her case against the country’s President, Jacob Zuma. Despite allegations of spying, humiliation in parliament and death threats, Madonsela forces Zuma to return public money unlawfully spent on the construction of his private home. Siyabonga: Saturday, March 30 at 11:30am Like a South African version of Roma, Siyabonga guides us at a leisurely pace through the real life adventures of aspiring actor Siyabonga Majola. One day he hears the surprising news that a movie is to be made in a nearby town and makes it his mission to be a part of the film. Based on real events re-enacted by those who lived through them, Siyabonga is at times funny, at times bittersweet, at times painful, but always thoughtful.
Becoming Visible: Saturday, March 30 at 1:30pm From acclaimed Durban artist Janet Solomon, this fascinating fusion of documentary and video art tells of the impact on local marine life by seismic exploration off the coast of KwaZulu-Natal. Nommer 37: Saturday, March 30 at 7:30pm Nommer 37 is a taut thriller inspired by Alfred Hitchcock’s film-noir classic “Rear Window”. Award-winning South African writer-director Nosipho Dumisa makes her feature debut and ratchets up the tension until it crackles. Frontiere: Saturday, March 30 at 4:00pm Each year VSAFF presents one film from an African country that is not South African. This year it’s Burkina Faso – a country with a well-developed and sophisticated film industry n Man Soos My Pa (A Man Like My Father): Sunday, March 31 at 11:00am The devastating news of a terminal illness brings a family together for the first time in many years. Dealing with imminent death, a father, mother and son must find the courage to forgive the terrible mistakes of the past. Set across three decades, ‘n Man Soos My Pa (A Man Like My Father) tells a story of broken family relationships, the struggles of forgiveness, and the emotional healing found in unconditional love. Ellen: Sunday, March 31 at 1:30pm Based on true events, Ellen describes the troubled relationship between a mother and her son Abie, whose problems with drugs are the centre of the story. It’s a relationship that will eventually drive Ellen beyond the edge and lead to Abie’s murder. Sisters of the Wilderness: Sunday, March 31 at 4:15pm Never been on a safari in South Africa? Never felt the adrenaline rush of excitement and anxiety as you come face to face with a rhino? Never tested yourself in a dramatically challenging environment? Here’s your chance to watch five young Zulu women on a life-changing experience in the iMfolozi wilderness, the oldest game park on the African continent. Kanarie: Sunday, March 31 at 7:00pm Set in 1985 against a backdrop of apartheid, religion, and war, Kanarie follows a teen boy, Johan Niemand, who has always been bullied in his small town for his flair for British new wave music and love of Boy George.
Win Passes to the Vancouver South African Film Festival
I have two VSAFF festival passes to give away, here’s how you can enter to win:
I will draw one winner at random from all entries at 12:00pm on Friday, March 22, 2019. Prize includes weekend festival passes, does not include opening night gala tickets. Follow the VSAFF on Twitter and Facebook for more information.
VSAFF is a non-profit event organized entirely by volunteers. All proceeds from the festival go to go to support Education without Borders to provide educational opportunities for disadvantaged and at-risk children through initiatives in South Africa and Canada.
One of the main things I love about living in Downtown Vancouver is that I can enjoy a relaxing vacation – with art, music, nature, and adventure – right in my own backyard.
Whether you’re coming from the Fraser Valley, the North Shore, or any other points in Metro Vancouver, here are 5 ideas for your next Downtown Vancouver Staycation (and scroll to the bottom to find out how you can win $250 for your next staycation!)…
I do a lot of arts giveaways so I know we have some awesome venues in Downtown Vancouver like The Vancouver Art Gallery, the Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art, the Contemporary Art Gallery, and then there’s the theatres! Check on listings at the Vogue Theatre, Queen Elizabeth Theatre, the Roundhouse in Yaletown, and the PAL Studio Theatre in Coal Harbour. At the Orpheum, architectural tours are also offered throughout the year.
Be a tourist in your own town! Head up to the Vancouver Lookout for 360° views, and Fly Over Canada is an experience like no other at Canada Place. Take a False Creek Ferry or Aquabus over to Science World and tackle hands-on exhibitions like the new Mirror Maze, or clock your sprint time at the BC Sports Hall of Fame at BC Place.
On top of providing a service and sharing my love for my city with my readers, I have also created this roundup to promote the fact that you can win a $250 Mastercard gift cardthanks to StayVancouverHotels!
That’s it! Now that you have inspiration and the chance to win some spending money, you can start planning your Downtown Vancouver staycation today.
StayVancouverHotels represents a group of 38 Downtown Vancouver hotels and offer competitive pricing, unique incentives & special event offers – they have the best hotel deals in the city! Follow StayVancouverHotels on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram for more info. Contest runs until March 31, 2019.
The VPD Recovered Goods Auction will take place on Saturday, May 4, 2019 comprising of goods recovered by the VPD and have gone unclaimed for the past six months. Many of these items will be auctioned off for a fraction of their original value.
VPD Recovered Goods Auction
Where: Able Auctions (13557 77th Ave, Surrey)
When: Saturday, May 4, 2019 at 9:00am (doors open to public at 8:00am)
Preview: Thursday May 2 & Friday May 3 12:00pm to 6:00pm. No viewing Saturday.
Admission: A mandatory $10 registration, catalogue, admittance fee per person
The auction is most-known for its high-end bikes, and this year almost 300 of the top-tiered will be auctioned off. This includes mountain, downhill, racing bikes and retro-cruisers. Other items include coins, stamps, tools, electronics, televisions, instruments, sporting goods. The selection of jewelry is appraised by a certified Gemologist.
The first items up for grabs are the bikes. The auction will start at 9:00am sharp. Once the bikes are completed, the rest of the merchandise will be sold.
Lower Lonsdale The Shipyards District is taking St. Patrick’s Day to a whole new level with Celtic Crawl and the Xplorer app. This innovative augmented reality experience has players “capturing” and sharing photographs of themselves with virtual Shipyards’ leprechauns and playing trivia and limerick games all in the hopes of winning prizes by visiting participating Lower Lonsdale eateries from March 15-31, 2019.
Lower Lonsdale St Patrick’s Day Celtic Crawl
Xplorer works on iOS devices 6S and newer as well as android devices which are ARCore compatible with a sufficient operating system.
Players register and download the new app, then by pointing a smart phone at the table at one of the participating restaurants or pubs, a leprechaun will appear, and jump around the table.
By capturing the leprechaun with a mobile phone, players are entered to win prizes such as a pair of Dayton boots ($850 value), jewelry from Celtic Creations ($600-800 value), a gift basket of assorted items from Lower Lonsdale businesses ($500 value) and a haircut, colour & blow dry service package from Elianes Hair Spa (approx $300 value).
Restaurant guests can also play Celtic Crawl Trivia, a mix of Celtic mythology, limericks and Shipyards history questions.
Players get five entries to the main prize draw on March 31st just for downloading and signing up for the app, five for each pub in which they catch a leprechaun, 10 for each leprechaun shared to Instagram, and one for each Celtic Crawl trivia question answered correctly.
The Shipyard District’s five uniquely distinct participating restaurants and pubs include Tap & Barrel, The Gull, Green Leaf Brewing, Sailor Hagars Pub, and Raglans Bistro.
Visitors to the participating eateries can also pose with the leprechauns for photos to submit to a Celtic Crawl Social Media Contest and win weekly smaller prizes by sharing any photos taken of the leprechauns to Instagram and tagged with #celticcrawl2019. The best photos will be recognized on Lower Lonsdale BIA’s Instagram account and awarded a prize.
Stay in the heart of Whistler Village without breaking the bank! Canada’s first ever “pod” hotel, Pangea Pod Hotel, is a boutique property that combines the best elements of a hostel and a hotel. The “chic shared” concept is changing the face of the travel industry in North America, and is setting a trend towards alternative accommodation worldwide. In fact it ranks #1 on TripAdvisor from 62 specialty lodging options in Whistler!
Pangea Pod Hotel
It’s just a few steps from restaurants, bars and the gondolas ascending Whistler Blackcomb, and Pangea has three communal areas for guests: The Living Room, a café and full-service bar; the all-weather The Rooftop Patio, with its own bar, standing counter, and sensational views; and The Toy Box, Pangea’s custom gear storage area for skis, snowboards and bikes (and space to dry off your wet outerwear).
While the peak winter ski season might be coming to a close (December was the snowiest on record in the history of Whistler Blackcomb), spring will be an even better time to hit the mountain – and to (re-)acquaint yourself with Pangea. In addition to the excitement of the World Ski & Snowboard Festival (April 10-14), the weeks spanning March to May are when mountain enthusiasts can enjoy Whistler’s superlative slopes without the peak-season crowds, meaning warmer weather, plenty of virgin snow, and stress-free parking.
As a thank you for the warm response from guests and reviewers, Pangea is offering a range of seasonally exclusive promotions, making this groundbreaking property an even more enticing place to frequent come spring.
Weekdays are Cheap Days: Receive a 15% discount when you stay 2-3 consecutive midweek days, and a 20% discount when you stay 4-5.
…And it Gets Better (a.k.a. Cheaper): Book your midweek stay between March 31 and May 30 and receive an additional 5% off (that’s on top of the 15-20% discount detailed above).
Pizzas and Drinks on The House: Get three friends to book pods for the same dates as you and you’ll get a complimentary artisan flatbread pizza and a beer (or cocktail) every day of your stay. Just show reception their confirmations when you check in.
And if you’re staying the weekend, be sure to kick off each day in style with the ever-popular Hair of the Dog Brunch, offered every Saturday and Sunday (9:00am to 1:00pm) in The Living Room. For just $25, enjoy your choice of a Mimosa or a Sriracha Caesar, followed by one of three gourmet Eggs Benedicts (salmon, bacon or spinach) plus a barista-made espresso drink. Not a guest? Not a problem. The Living Room is open to the public too.
Win a Stay
I’m giving away a two night stay at Pangea Pod Hotel! The winner will receive one pod (single or double occupancy) for any Tuesday and Wednesday night in April or May. They will also get breakfast in The Living Room (for two) both mornings.
Owned and operated by Rebecca Bollwitt, Miss604.com (since 2004) provides daily information about life in Metro Vancouver, events, community happenings and local history. It also features music, film, and television interviews along with travel features for day-trips and weekend getaways.
Online since 1997, Rebecca also started podcasting RadioZoom in 2005, co-founded sixty4media, a WordPress website development firm, in 2008, and co-authored the book, Blogging to Drive Business in 2010.
Read more about Rebecca »
Enter here to win 4 tickets to see Salmon Girl at Carousel Theatre (until Mar 20)
Enter here to win opening night tickets to Singin' in the Rain (until March 19)
Enter here to win a pne night stay at Pangea Pod Hotel in Whistler (until Mar 21)
Enter here to win weekend passes for the Vancouver South African Film Festival (until Mar 22)
View a complete list of contests »
*All contests are open to residents of Canada only, unless otherwise stated. Contest timelines are published on each individual post along with entry methods. Some contests may only be open to those 19 years of age and older. Winners are announced on the contest blog posts. Contest policy »