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Forests, Fires, and Stanley Park


Saturday, July 13th, 2019 — 8:40am PDT
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This month’s guest post is written by Micheal Murray, Communications Assistant with the Stanley Park Ecology Society (“SPES”).

Forests, Fires, and Stanley Park

With the summer in full swing and temperatures rising, so too is the threat of forest fires. The last two summers have been particularly hot and smokey in BC, and it’s been forecasted to be the same this year. 

While out-of-control forest fires pose a risk to people and property, fires do play an important role in ecosystem renewal. Forest fires burn away invasive species, insects and diseases and allow native species to regrow in their place. They also clear out dead debris and underbrush, allowing for more sunlight to reach the forest floor and foster new, vigorous growth. When trees are burned, they turn to ash and release their nutrients back into the soil, helping to make the ground more fertile. 

Douglas Fir - Talaysay Tours in Stanley Park
The thick bark of this Douglas fir tree in Stanley Park may withstand a forest fire’s flames.

In areas that are prone to fire, some trees develop thicker bark to protect themselves from the flames; thicker bark doesn’t catch fire or burn as easily. If you look closely at some of the larger Douglas fir trees in Stanley Park, you can see the charred remnants of past fire on their bark. 

Stanley Park has seen relatively little fire damage over the last 100 plus years. The great fire of 1886 that destroyed  Vancouver and much of Stanley Park was the impetus for a fire prevention program. A system of trails, hydrants and water mains was established in the Park beginning in 1910.

Illegal campfire near Cathedral Trail in Stanley Park.
Illegal campfire near Cathedral Trail in Stanley Park. Photo: Lauren Bell.

While climate change plays a part in increasing the risk of forest fires, people are by far the major cause of fires in Stanley Park with cigarettes, campfires and arson leading the way. Our Eco Rangers spotted this small fire along Cathedral Trail last week. 

“People MUST CALL 911 immediately.  Even if they smell or see smoke and can’t find the fire,” says Park Board Ranger Chris Penton. 

For more information on fire prevention, please visit the Park Board Kiosk at Second Beach in Stanley Park.  If you’d like to learn more about the ecology and history of fires in Stanley Park, join our “Forests and FiresDiscovery Walk on Sunday, July 14th at 2:00pm with forestry consultant Bruce Blackwell. Click here for SPES’s full event calendar this summer »

About SPES Saturday

Stanley Park Ecology Society

As a member of the Stanley Park Ecology Society, Miss604 wanted to offer the organization an opportunity to share their news, events, so we created the “SPES Series” years ago. This is where SPES can contribute and share stories with the Miss604 audience once a month. Follow SPES on Facebook for more information.

Sunrise Ridge Resort in Parksville is a Home Away from Home


Friday, July 12th, 2019 — 5:20pm PDT
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Media stay hosted by TrueKey Resorts

There’s a song by the band Augustana that goes, “I think I need a sunrise, I’m tired of the sunset.” They were singing about Boston, compared to California, but that sure resonates with me (especially since I lived in Boston for a year in my formative years, but I digress).

Sunrise Ridge Resort in Parksville

The east coast of Vancouver Island offers some incredible sunrises, without nearby buildings and mountains getting in the way, the morning light crests behind over mainland, across the Salish Sea, and paints the morning all the fiery colours of arbutus bark. The best place to watch this natural spectacle is in Parksville and I recently got to savour it at the aptly named Sunrise Ridge Resort.

Sunrise Ridge Resort in Parksville

Resort homes at Sunrise Ridge

Sunrise Ridge has all the resort comforts you need, from free Wi-Fi and fitness centre, to pool, outdoor fireplace (for some family s’mores nights), complimentary bikes for exploring, and a path to the beach where – when the tide is out – you can walk all the way over to Rathtrevor Provincial Park on the sand.

Sunrise Ridge Resort

The rooms are essentially shiny new apartments (studio, 1, 2 and 3 bedroom vacation homes), like the ones I covet daily when I look at listings in Vancouver. My home away from home had two rooms, two bathrooms, a kitchen island that could comfortably seat a large family – or me and my laptop, research, and mug of coffee.

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Disclosure: Sponsored Post
Views are my own. This is not a paid post. My media stay was sponsored by TrueKey Resorts.

Things to do in Vancouver This Weekend


Thursday, July 11th, 2019 — 9:35am PDT
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Markets, festivals, free dance events and movies – it’s summertime in Vancouver! Whether you’re up for craft beer and trivia, learning to salsa dance, listening to the symphony (with a playful twist), or catching a baseball or soccer game. Here are a bunch of events happening around Vancouver this weekend:

Things to do in Vancouver Chinese Gardens

Things to do in Vancouver This Weekend

Friday, July 12, 2019
Toast to the Coast
Coquitlam Summer Concert Series
2019 Greek Summerfest on Boundary
Wonderlust: Playland Nights VIP Series
VSO Presents Bugs Bunny at the Symphony II
Fridays on Front, Downtown New West
Trivia Night at Biercraft Wesbrook
City of Lougheed Summer Fun Series
Mozart, Poulenc, Stravinsky: Violin & Piano
Free Dancing & Lessons in Downtown Vancouver
Bard in the Vineyard at Township 7
Squamish Nation Youth Powwow
Shipyards Night Market
Richmond Night Market
Kitsilano Showboat
CBC Musical Nooners
Bard on the Beach
Dancing on the Edge Festival
Indian Summer Festival
SHIFT Theatre Festival

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Snack ‘N Snap at Metropolis at Metrotown: Win a Gift Card


Thursday, July 11th, 2019 — 8:52am PDT
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Sponsored by Metropolis at Metrotown

You’re invited to Snack ‘N Snap your way around Metropolis at Metrotown this month, enjoying larger than-life food art displays, savoury snack retailers, pop-up treat carts and more!

Metropolis at Metrotown Snack n Snap - Miss604

Snack ‘N Snap at Metropolis at Metrotown

Where: Metropolis at Metrotown’s Grand Court
When: July 11 to July 28, 1029

The giant pink donut, 10-foot lollipop tree and cupcake house is back! New this year, Metropolis has added an 8-foot pretzel and melting popsicle displays that will make you want to snack for real.

Metropolis at Metrotown Snack n Snap

During the exhibit, shoppers can snap endless selfies in front of the jumbo displays, share their photos on Instagram by tagging @metropolisatmet and #METSNACKNSNAP to enter for a chance to win a prize pack or a $500
Metropolis at Metrotown gift card.

You can also guess the jellybeans (hundreds, or thousands) on display in the case at the Grand Court for a chance to win a $1,000 shopping spree. There are also random contests for prize giveaways on Metropolis’ Facebook and Instagram.

Metropolis at Metrotown Snack n Snap

Workshop Wednesdays & More

Wednesdays (July 17 & 24) stop by for a DIY Sugar Cookie Decorating Workshop with @sugarsugarstudios. On Thursdays & Fridays (July 11, 12, 18, 19, 25, 26) you can Snack & Sample! Taste treats from retailers in the Grand Court from 2:00pm to 3:00pm. Samples are first come first serve, while quantities last. 

Win a Gift Card

To celebrate, and to get you Snack ‘N Snap’n at Metropolis at Metrotown, they have offered up a $500 gift card to a lucky Miss604 reader! Here are all the ways you can enter to win:

Click to enter via TwitterClick To Tweet

Follow Metropolis at Metrotown on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram for more information about their shops, services, and special events – and surprise giveaways.

I will draw one winner at random from all entries at 12:00pm on Thursday, July 18, 2019.

UPDATE The winner is Donna Maroulis!

Disclosure: Sponsored Post
Sponsored by Metropolis at Metrotown

Summer Walking Tours in Stanley Park


Wednesday, July 10th, 2019 — 10:50am PDT
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It’s called it the crown jewel of Vancouver for a reason, and there’s always something new to discover, explore, and enjoy in Stanley Park. From its 20km+ trail network, to its rose garden, and so much more between its Seawall borders. A great way to be a tourist in your hometown, or even to just enjoy this slice of 1,001 acre urban wilderness, is with a guide. Here are some great summer walking tours in Stanley Park that are running throughout the season:

Seven Sisters Stanley Park

Summer Walking Tours in Stanley Park

Talaysay Tours offers authentic cultural and eco experiences in Stanley Park and on the Sunshine Coast. Their three tours in the city include: Talking Trees Tour (my favourite), Spoken Treasures Tour, and a Forest Therapy Walk with Haida Bolton, BC’s First Certified Forest Therapy Guide.

With Talking Trees, a Talaysay guide/cultural ambassador will share the many stories of this region, as well as the intimate cultural and scientific knowledge of the Northwest coast trees and plants. On the Spoken Treasures Tour, Indigenous Cultural Ambassadors, you’ll walk along the Seawall and hear the stories, history and lore of Vancouver – through Indigenous Eyes.  This tour also shares our indigenous peoples’ relationship to the ocean, it’s ecology and stories.

Talaysay Tours

Stanley Park Ecology Society Tours are offered throughout the year, starting from the Stanley Park Nature House on Lost Lagoon. On the calendar this summer there’s the Indigenous Plant Use Tours on July 12th & 30th, and the Old Growth Ecology Tour on July 27th. On the Old Growth Tour you’ll join the Ancient Forest Alliance for a fun and informative old-growth forest ecology tour along Stanley Park’s Tatlow Trail. Learn about common tree and plant species, what makes old-growth forests unique compared to second-growth forests, and why BC’s ancient forests need protecting.

Lovers Trail Stanley Park

The Forbidden Vancouver Secrets of Stanley Park Walking Tour runs every Wednesday and Saturday at 2:00pm, featuring secret cemeteries and ancient ghost trees. Forbidden Vancouver brings their flare for history to the park as they shine a light on some dark secrets, from persecution, political intrigue, logging, hunting, disease, military installations, remarkable public art, ecological catastrophes, secret construction mega-projects, poetry, scandal, and murder.

For more information, tune into my monthly Stanley Park Ecology Society guest post, and follow my Stanley Park tag.

7 Things You Can’t Miss at the Vancouver Folk Music Festival 2019


Wednesday, July 10th, 2019 — 9:48am PDT
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The 42nd Vancouver Folk Music Festival takes place July 19-21, hosting a diverse and musically rich roster of artist at Jericho Beach Park. The lineup promises an extraordinary celebration of music and culture, in what is one of the most beautiful locations for an outdoor music festival anywhere!

Vancouver Folk Music Festival

Vancouver Folk Music Festival

When: July 19-21, 2019
Where: Jericho Beach Park, Vancouver
Tickets: Available online now or by phone (604) 602-9798. Kids 12 and under are free and can enjoy the the whole festival too, and a Little Folks Village.

Musical acts will play great music on five daytime and two evening stages, in a family friendly gathering of over 40,000 enthusiastic attendees at Jericho Beach Park.

Vancouver Folk Music Festival

The Vancouver Folk Music Festival has always taken pride in being inclusive, diverse, expansive in their definition of “folk” music, and this year’s line-up reflects that. They’ve programmed a festival that’s truly global in spirit, broad and eclectic in range, with something for everyone. 

7 Things You Can’t Miss at the Festival

1. Corb Lund – Everyone’s favourite real Albertan cowboy, is headlining the festival Main Stage on Friday, July 19th. Corb Lund’s distinct blend of Americana-meets-roots-meets-alt-country has attracted accolades from critics in Canada and the US, who have called him “one of the best contemporary country songwriters”. Joining Corb on the Main Stage on Friday are roots rockers Larkin Poe, francophone folk group Le Vent Du Nord, and Northern Ontario Cree band Midnight Shine. A great way to kick off the festival!

2. Pete’s Eats – Fabulous Food For Famished Folkies! You certainly won’t go hungry at this year’s Vancouver Folk Music Festival. The festival offers a variety of tasty treats, from meals to snacks at various locations throughout the park. There’s something for every taste, including vegetarian, gluten-free, lactose or dairy-free, Kosher or Halal, and sugar-free/low calorie options. And there’s even an adult beverage garden serving a fine selection of BC wines and craft beers! See full listing of food trucks and concessions here »

3. Festival Workshops – If you’re an avid folk festival goer, then you know that a lot of the magic happens at the festival workshops. It’s your chance to see many of the festival artists perform and interact in an intimate space. And there’s even the opportunity to learn a thing or two as well – the 2019 workshop schedule includes a Learn To Play Ukulele workshop on Saturday, July 20th! See the full Saturday and Sunday workshop and concert schedule here »

4. Zaki Ibrahim – The pick for breakout artist at this years festival, South African-Canadian artist Zaki Ibrahim is a globally distinguished singer, songwriter, and producer known for making music that defies any one genre. Ibrahim has emerged as one of Canada’s hip hop and soul icons, collecting two Polaris Music Prize nominations (shortlisted in 2013 and longlisted in 2018) and a Juno nomination for R&B/Soul Recording of the Year in 2009. Ibrahim will be performing at the Festival on Saturday, July 20th, check the schedule for times and locations. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to say you saw Zaki perform before she was big.

5. Little Folks Village – Vancouver Folk Music Festival has always been a family friendly event, and that continues this year with free admission for little folks under 12 when accompanied by a paid adult. The Little Folks Village is open all 3 days of the festival and includes plenty of entertainment and activities including:  a Face Painting Station, a Musical Zoo Playground, Madskillz Roving Performers, and so much more! Get a full listing of all activities and hours of operation here »

6. Sam Roberts – Headlining the Main Stage on Saturday, July 20th, The Sam Roberts Band brings the Canadiana to this year’s VFMF. Known for their legendary live show, the fiery spirit of Sam Roberts Band has carried them to stages everywhere from Letterman and Conan to Bonnaroo, Austin City Limits, Lollapalooza, and Bumbershoot, and alongside heroes like the Rolling Stones and AC/DC.

7. Artisan Market and Folk Bazaar – If you really want to get your folk on at this year’s festival, make sure you attend the Artisan Market and Folk Bazaar. It’s your chance to peruse the work of some of the finest artisans and artists around, and is a fabulous place to shop for the beautiful, the useful, and the one-of-a-kind. It’s also a great place find a new boho chic festival outfit, or even just a new scarf or hat! Get location info here »   

Follow the Vancouver Folk Music Festival on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram tag #VFMF2019 for more information and get your tickets today.

Disclosure: Sponsored Post
Sponsored by the Vancouver Folk Music Festival