by Rebecca BollwittDisclosure: Review — Our stay was compliments of the Westin Bayshore. Views and opinions are my own. Please review the Policy & Disclosure section for further information.
The thing about a Westin Bayshore Staycation is that even though you’re so close to every major thing in the heart of the city (galleries, shops, restaurants, theatres, attractions) it feels like a true resort getaway.
Westin Bayshore Staycation
John and I were sitting on the H2 Restaurant patio, fresh sea air rustling in the trees making strings of light dance in the late evening sun. It was a Wednesday evening and we were within 3km of home in Downtown Vancouver, but it felt like we were some place far away. I mean, we love home, but I know we’ve all seen a lot of our own homes over the last 18 months. It was a lovely break where our stress just melted away, just for the evening, like the caramel-drizzled gelato that topped the warm brownie we had for dessert.
The Westin Bayshore has everything you might want out of a resort: Two pools (one inside and one adjacent to the Seawall in the courtyard), a spa, fitness centre, a shop, coffee bar, a restaurant, a lounge, and more. And did I mention the views? You’ll either be looking west towards the courtyard and Stanley Park, or east across Coal Harbour with city and sunrise view like no other.
There’s also the signature Westin Heavenly Bed® which always lives up to its name. Other room amenities were handy, and I did appreciate the option of a wired internet connection on the desk along with WiFi, and straight USB chargers. I also liked that the windows opened. During our early September stay the Air Conditioning wasn’t crucial so I slid the floor-to-ceiling windows apart to let in a cool breeze and listen to ambient harbour soundscape.
The best part about this Westin Bayshore staycation is that… I get to share it with you! Well, not literally – I won’t be there – but one lucky Miss604 reader/follower will win their own getaway!
Enter to Win
I’m giving away a one-night stay in a Deluxe Harbour View Guest Room at the Westin Bayshore! Here are some of the many ways you can enter to win:
Fort Langley’s Grave Tales tours return this season, with spine-chilling stories told you walk through the Fort Langley village at night.
Fort Langley’s Grave Tales Tour
No tours on October 31. Tours are offered in English. One French tour is available on October 27, 2021 at 8:00pm. Masks are mandatory for guests. Physical distancing is to be maintained at all times. Tours will be outdoors, guests are asked to dress appropriately for the weather and to wear proper footwear.
Two Hour Tours at 6:00pm: These tours are the only ones where youth 17 and under are permitted, accompanied by a parent or guardian. Offered Friday to Sunday, October 15 to November 7, 2021. Tickets are $17.
Two Hour Tours at 7:00pm & 8:00pm: For adults age 18 and over. Offered Wednesday to Sunday, October 15 to November 7, 2021. Tickets are $22.00.
Three Hour Tours at 9:00pm: For adults age 18 and over. Offered Wednesday to Sunday, October 15 to November 7, 2021. Tickets are $29.30.
During the two-hour Grave Tales historic walking tours, heritage interpreters tell tales of misfortune in Fort Langley’s streets, cemeteries, and inside the Hudson’s Bay Company fort. Tickets are now available by calling (604) 513-4824 or in person at the Fort Langley National Historic Site visitor centre.
There’s a new outdoor animation exhibition coming to Surrey’s city centre. Flavourcel animation collective presents “I Spy A City” which will be featured at UrbanScreen at the Chuck Bailey Recreation Centre September 25, 2021−January 2, 2022. Ahead of the exhibition launch, Flavourcel artists will give a free talk at the Surrey Art Gallery on September 18th.
Flavourcel’s I Spy a City in Surrey
When: September 25, 2021−January 2, 2022 Where: Chuck Bailey Recreation Centre (13458 107A Ave, Surrey) Admission: No registration is required for the talk. No admission required for the outdoor exhibition.
For the talk at the gallery, masks are required for those over 12 years old. There will be a vaccination screening prior to entry. Space is limited to ensure physical distancing.
UrbanScreen is Surrey Art Gallery’s outdoor art projection venue located on the west wall of Chuck Bailey Recreation Centre. Riffing on the classic children’s game “I spy,” Flavourcel’s project captures different sights from across Whalley and the broader Surrey region in animated form. Each member of the collective specializes in a different form of animation, including hand-drawn, digital, and even clay. The result is an eclectic mix of moving artworks with a mesmerizing effect, starring flying cars, swimming salmon, and dancing street furniture.
During the talk on September 18th, Alia Hijaab, Lana Connors, and Josh Neu will speak about how the project came together, as well as their unique approach to animation. Visitors will learn more about how each member interpreted their own experience of Surrey to inform their artistic process and how the collective has come to forge their own distinctive identity in the local contemporary art community.
In conjunction with the exhibition and the talk, Surrey Art Gallery has released a new video in its Art Togetherseries of online programming. Flavourcel member Alia Hijaab instructs viewers on how to make their own pencil and paper animations at home. This video joins two other tutorials from Flavourcel members available on the Gallery’s’ YouTube channel, including Introductions to 1-Page Animation Loops with Joshua Neu and Wire-Frame Animation with Julia Song. A new essay by writer and cultural worker Madison Mayhew in the Surrey Art Gallery Presents publication will complement the exhibition. It will be available for free on Surrey Art Gallery’s website in October.
Visitors are encouraged to remain after the artist talk to attend the drop-in launch of the Gallery’s fall exhibitions:q̓ʷɑti̓cɑ: k̓ʷam̓k̓ʷəm̓ tə šxʷhəliʔ / Phyllis Atkins: Divine Connection, paintings and sculptures drawn from Coast Salish tradition that celebrate the artist’s connection to life and spirit and Sandeep Johal: What If?, multimedia artworks that uplift resilient South Asian women.
About the Artists
Flavourcel is an animation collective based in the unceded Coast Salish territories. Born out of a desire to break down the institutional barriers that limit animators and introduce play into their work, Flavourcel produces experimental animations in a variety of styles. From hand-drawn cell-shading to digital doodles, music videos, and gifs, each artist pushes the boundaries of the medium and challenges the preconceptions of how animated art should be made. Flavourcel includes Harlo Martens, Kat Morris, Josh Neu, Julia Song, Alia Hijaab, Chhaya Naran, Gil Goletski, Laurel Pucker, Lana Connors, and Chris Strickler.
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The Learning Disabilities Society of Greater Vancouver (“LDS”) has launched a new mobile outreach program, LDS Access, intended to work as a ‘classroom on wheels’ which will ensure access to critically needed learning support services in the Greater Vancouver region.
LDS Launches Mobile Classroom Service
As a registered non-profit, LDS has supported children and youth with suspected or diagnosed learning differences for over 50 years. They offer financially accessible, high-quality learning support for students. Hitting the road this summer, the mobile classroom enables access to LDS specialized support for children and youth with diverse abilities, in their own neighbourhood, eliminating barriers such as transportation access or financial circumstances.
“Our new LDS Access initiative furthers our commitment to provide accessible and inclusive support to all children and youth in our region with diverse abilities and to transform their lives through learning,” said Dr. Jennifer Fane, LDS Director of Education. “Our mobile classroom service will ensure that students with access challenges can receive our one-to-one instruction from our highly skilled instructors and support from our comprehensive LDS assistive technology suite in locations close to where they live.”
The mobile classroom, housed in a clean-energy electric mini-bus, is the first of its kind in BC and its design reflects public health guidelines for the pandemic. Special care has been taken in the mobile classroom design, including the addition of barriers between instruction units and modification of windows to ensure maximum airflow, to ensure compliance with all COVID-19 related safety protocols.
The exterior of the bus is wrapped in an original mural by the award-winning local artist, Carson Ting (whose work you may recognize from the Vancouver Mural Festival or Whitecaps FC’s It Takes a Village). Ting created the beautiful, colourful graphic to illustrate the nonprofit’s mission to empower children and youth, and to help further inspire creativity.
Many families have been severely challenged through the COVID-19 pandemic, especially those with children with special needs, and the LDS Access program will provide them with the same high-quality, one-to-one RISE (research-informed individualized student education) instruction provided at its leaning centers and in supported schools.
“We were overjoyed to learn about the new LDS Access mobile classroom service,” said Lauren, whose son struggles with a diagnosed learning difference. “We have experienced challenges accessing specific services for our son and LDS Access will be able to provide local support for our son previously unavailable to us.”
Thanks to financial and in-kind donations from community of supporters, LDS was able to develop LDS Access and will continue its push for excellence in all areas providing accessible and inclusive support for children and youth in our region.
Those interested in making a financial contribution to help vulnerable students with learning and related disabilities are encouraged to visit LDS’s Giving page. If you’re looking for support, LDS offers 16 programs for for children, youth, and families at school, in the home, and with the new mobile classroom. Follow on Facebook for more info.