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Vancouver Staycation Ideas and a StayVancouverHotels Giveaway

Monday, March 18th, 2019 — 9:41am PDT
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Sponsored by StayVancouverHotels

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!)…

1. Nature

Known as the city’s Crown Jewel, the obvious choice for exploring nature is Stanley Park. While I love the Seawall, here are some ideas for getting under the canopy and exploring a few other aspects of the park. There’s also CRAB Park, with amazing city and mountain views, and our gorgeous beaches (English Bay, Second Beach, and Third Beach). For more nature, visit the Stanley Park Nature House at Lost Lagoon.

Seven Sisters Stanley Park
Visiting the Seven Sisters of Stanley Park

2. Arts

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.

Orpheum Vancouver
The Orpheum – Photo courtesy of Vancouver Civic Theatres

3. Adventure

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.


4. Museums

There are exhibits like the Engine 374 Pavilion at the Roundhouse, along with dedicated museums like the Vancouver Police Museum (that also hosts events like Movies at the Morgue) and the Chinese Cultural Centre Museum & Archives. One of my favourites is Roedde House Museum at Barclay Heritage Square in the West End.

Gastronomic Gastown Tour

5. Food

I can’t make a list about the best things to do around Downtown Vancouver without mentioning the scrumptious dining scene! Since I’m not the foremost foodie in the city here are some of my favourite resources: The Scout Magazine Brunch Guide, the Straight’s Happy Hour Guide, Fine Dining in Yaletown, Coffee Shops in the West End, and Gastown Cocktails.

Win a $250 Gift Card

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 card thanks to StayVancouverHotels!

To enter to win, visit the contest page and tell StayVancouverHotels what you love about Vancouver in the spring. You can get another entry by sharing the contest link on social media and tagging #VanStaycation.

Click to enter via TwitterClick To Tweet

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 TwitterFacebook, and Instagram for more info. Contest runs until March 31, 2019.

Disclosure: Sponsored Post
Sponsored by StayVancouverHotels

GLORY at Gateway Theatre: Win Tickets

Tuesday, March 19th, 2019 — 11:05am PDT
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The inspirational, triumphant, and incredible true story of the Preston Rivulettes women’s hockey team, GLORY, is coming to the main stage at Gateway Theatre in Richmond this April.

Original cast of GLORY. Set and Lighting Designer: Narda McCarroll. Costume Designer: Cindy Wiebe. Photo: Barbara Zimonick.

GLORY at Gateway Theatre

When: April 4-13, 2019
Where: Gateway Theatre, Main Stage (6500 Gilbert Road, Richmond)
Tickets: From $29 online or call the box office at (604) 270-1812

A woman’s place is on home ice.

In 1933, four friends set out to prove to Canada that hockey isn’t just a sport for men. As they fight through the Great Depression, prejudice, and personal upheaval, can they overcome the odds and forge their own path to glory? Gateway Theatre is proud to present GLORY, the inspirational, triumphant, and incredible true story of the Preston Rivulettes women’s hockey team.

Hilda (Katie Ryerson), a natural-born mucker and grinder, brings together a team of fierce women, including her sister Nellie (Morgan Yamada) and the Schwartz sisters Helen (Kate Dion-Richard) and Marm (Advah Soudack) to compete in the Ontario Women’s League championship. With support from their coach Herb Fach (Andrew Wheeler), the women take to the ice and create hockey history.

Featuring electrifying dance choreography and original scores inspired by swing music from the 1930s, GLORY captures all the thrills, excitement, and tension of a great hockey game. Go Rivulettes!

Special Performances

Ticket and Wine Combo*: All performances except Friday, April 5. Save $5 per person when you buy four (4) or more of this combo to the same performance of GLORY.

Theatre Club: Dinner and Show*: Tuesday, April 9. Dinner at Kove Kitchen @ 5:15pm; Show at Gateway Theatre @ 8:00pm.

You Play Like a Girl: Why We’re Still Talking about Women in Sports: Join the panel of experts as they discuss gender equality in sports, how women in sports has changed over the past century, and what can be done to even the playing field. Panelists include:
(1) Patricia Vertinsky, UBC Professor: Social Historian in Sports Studies,
(2) Natalie Korenic, Coach of the Richmond Ravens, and
(3) Alexa Loo, City Councillor, Olympic Snowboarder.

*See website for full details.

Win Tickets

I have a pair of tickets to give away to the opening night performance on Friday, April 5th. Here’s how you can enter to win:

  • Leave a comment on this post (1 entry)
  • Click below to post an entry on Twitter
Click to enter via TwitterClick To Tweet

Follow Gateway Theatre on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram for more information. I will draw one winner at random from all entries at 10:00pm on Tuesday, March 26, 2019.

Stay in a Lighthouse B&B on the Oregon Coast

Monday, March 18th, 2019 — 5:33pm PDT
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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.

View from the private porch at Heceta HeadLighthouse B&B
View from the private porch at Heceta HeadLighthouse B&B. John Bollwitt photo.

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!

Heceta Head Lighthouse B&B
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Disclosure: Sponsored Post
Views are my own. Experience sponsored by Willamette Valley Oregon Wine Country along with Eugene, Cascades & Coast. Views and opinions are my own.

Vancouver South African Film Festival 2019

Monday, March 18th, 2019 — 12:03pm PDT
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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

Vancouver South African Film Festival

  • Where: Djavad Mowafaghian Cinema, Goldcorp Centre for the Arts (2nd floor) at 149 W. Hastings St, Vancouver
  • When: March 29-31, 2019
  • Tickets: Available online now.
  • Individual Tickets: $15 Regular Screenings / $12 Students.
  • 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:

Here’s how you can enter to win:

  • Leave a comment on this post (1 entry)
  • Click below to post an entry on Twitter
Click to enter via TwitterClick To Tweet

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.

VPD Recovered Goods Auction 2019

Monday, March 18th, 2019 — 8:27am PDT
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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
VPD Recovered Goods Auction

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.

For more info, visit Able Auctions online.

A Miss604.com guest post by Alexis Miles

Alexis Miles

Alexis Miles is a college student with a passion for writing, hiking, and live music.

Capture Virtual Leprechauns at the Lower Lonsdale St Patrick’s Day Celtic Crawl

Thursday, March 14th, 2019 — 11:40am PDT
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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 Celtic Crawl

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.

Celtic Crawl Social Media Contest

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.