VIFF 2009 Preview

Comments 3 by Rebecca Bollwitt

The Vancouver International Film Festival returns October 1 and for 15 days it will entertain the city with over 375 films showing on 640 screens.

viff 2009

This year’s line up is thoroughly impressive as 70 countries will be represented. VIFF got me hooked on documentaries last year and also re-kindled my love of Canadian film. This year 89 Canadian films will be showcased including a documentary by Pete McCormack called Facing Ali and the latest from Carl Bessai, Cole.

VIFF 2009 gala screenings:

  • Opening gala: A Shine of Rainbows – Vic Sarin, Director (Canada/Ireland)
  • Closing gala: Queen to Play – Caroline Bottaro (France)
  • VIFF 2009 series spotlights:

  • Canadian Images
  • Dragons and Tigers
  • Audience Award Winners
  • Spotlight on France
  • The Way of Nature
  • Non Fiction Features
  • VIFF 2009 Awards:

  • Dragons & Tigers Award for Young Cinema, presented by Brad Birarda & Robert Sali ($10,000 prize)
  • Canwest Award for Best Canadian Feature Film ($20,000 prize)
  • Most Promising Director of a Canadian Short Film Award ($2,000 prize)
  • Women in Film and Television Vancouver Artistic Merit Award
  • There are also five different audience awards so if you do make it out to a screening, be sure to text and submit your feedback.

    The Vancouver Film and Television Forum will also be taking place September 29th to October 2nd.

    The full program is now available online along with Festival Pass information. Tickets can be purchased starting September 19th.

    I’ll have more updates and film reviews over the next few weeks but in the meantime you can check out @VIFFVIFC on Twitter for updates from the festival.

    Vancouver HDR Photography Tribute: Sunsets

    Comments 3 by Rebecca Bollwitt

    Being stuck inside on a sunny day isn’t very pleasant. Being stuck inside on a sunny Vancouver day when I should be at the CCMA’s or at a speaking engagement is even less fun.

    To perk myself up a bit (and because these look cool in my feverish state) here are a few more photos to add to my Vancouver HDR tribute series.

    Downtown – Photo credit: ecstaticist on Flickr –

    Downtown – Photo credit: nomade_moderne on Flickr – Nomade Moderne Photography

    West End – Photo credit: thebobman on Flickr

    English Bay – Photo credit: Tyler Ingram on Flickr –

    False Creek – Photo credit: kennymatic on Flickr – @kennymatic

    Wreck Beach – Photo credit: olicanae on Flickr

    Spanish Banks – Photo credit: Basedigital on Flickr – Best viewed at original size

    Please click through and visit the Flickr collections from each photographer as they each have much more to offer. Also, as I only usually feature Creative Commons licensed photos, if you would like to get on my radar feel free to add your photos to the Miss604 Flickr Group.

    Timeraiser Vancouver

    Comments 11 by Rebecca Bollwitt

    Timeraiser is coming to Vancouver for the second time on September 24th at the Roundhouse in Yaletown. It’s “part volunteer fair, part silent art auction and part night on the town.”

    Timeraiser is an event targeted for those who would like to give back but not by necessarily writing a donation check. It matches you with agencies so that you can apply your skills to help them out in whatever capacity, and help out.

    This is Vancouver’s second Timeraiser event and participating agencies include the MS Society of Canada, BC & Yukon Division, Stanley Park Ecology Society, Vancouver Celebrates Diwali Festival, Big Brothers of Greater Vancouver, and many more.

    If you’re an artist or are interested in local artwork, the silent auction part of Timeraiser may also be of great interest. The idea is to not bid money on the artwork, but pledge volunteer hours instead. At the end of the auction they will announce the number of hours raised that will contribute to the community. To date the event has invested over $295,000 in the careers of 450 artists across Canada.

    You can read the Timeraiser FAQ for all of the details, or check out their website or Facebook page for more information.

    Tickets are $20 which also translates to a pledge of 20 volunteer hours over the course of 12 months (this can be updated at the event).

    I was invited to the media launch last night but due to being out with the flu I was unable to attend. However, thanks to one of Timeraiser’s partners, Molson, I have a few tickets to give away for this. If you are looking for volunteer hours to apply your skills to a deserving agency, please leave a comment below and I’ll draw some winners by the end of the week.

    Update: I drew two winners and they are Greg as well as Mandy – thanks everyone and have a great time at the event!

    Canadian Country Music Awards 2009

    Comments 2 by Rebecca Bollwitt

    canadian country music awardsThis afternoon Vancouver is hosting the Canadian Country Music Awards at GM Place.

    Thanks to Gabrielle Durning of the Uptown Giftbox Company, there will be a team of bloggers in the official Gift Lounge to cover a slice of the excitement happening all morning, noon, and night. A few weeks ago I put the call out to find some bloggers and some great talent stepped up.

    Gabrielle has not only put together the entire Gift Lounge for the awards but she has opened it up for liveblogging and live Twitter coverage from this group. Throughout the day performers, nominees, celebrities, and legendary talent will make their way through the Gift Lounge, and the blogging squad will be there to document it. From host Jason Priestley, to Paul Brandt, Jann Arden, and Reba McEntire.

    On top of that, each blogger will be getting their own gift pack which they can donate to the charity of their choice at the end of the awards. Gabrielle’s entire initiative is pretty innovative and dare I say a big step for blogging kind.

    Unfortunately when I got home from Twestival last night (where we raised about $3,000 for the BC Childrens Hospital Foundation) a fever hit me and from about 8:00pm until about 6:00am this morning I’ve been fighting it. With laboured breathing I’m trying to determine if I can make it through the day at the Gift Lounge but I’m also taking into consideration the fact that I don’t want to give whatever I have to hundreds of people.

    In case I don’t make it, you can check out any of the blogs listed here for coverage today and I believe everyone will be using #CCMA as the Twitter tag today.

  • Heather Watson
  • Fraser Valley Pulse
  • Stimuli Mag
  • My Urban Suburban
  • Allan Cole Roberts
  • Live Twitter Coverage of the CCMA Uptown Gift Lounge

    Update: The first photos are the day from the livebloggers are being posted.

    Photo credit: Fraser Valley Pulse on Flickr

    Update: Fashion blogger Terri Portratz is also at the CCMA’s in another capacity. You can follow her tweets, including her recent announcement of Jason Priestley’s arrival, on Twitter @tportratz.

    Terri and Rachel of Larry Designs with Jason Priestley – Photo: Hez

    Update: Erica Ehm is chatting with guests in the lounge. Check out Cole’s posts for some great photos.

    Update: The always fabulous Heather Watson (one of the livebloggers today) has some great coverage with plenty of photos.

    Update: Gearing up for the awards ceremony, here’s a quick list of what’s in store courtesy of Country Music Vancouver:

    CCMA Award Performers:
    Reba McEntire, Martina McBride, Terri Clark, George Canyon with Crystal Shawanda and Richard Marx, Doc Walker, Jessie Farrell, Aaron Pritchett, Emerson Drive, Johnny Reid, Gord Bamford, Paul Brandt and Jann Arden. There will also be special performances from Dean Brody, Victoria Banks and Tara Oram.

    CCMA Award Presenters:
    Martina McBride, George Canyon, Aaron Pritchett, The Higgins, Jason Blaine, One More Girl, Paul McGuire, Jillian Harris (from “The Bachelorette”), Amber Marshall and Graham Wardle (from the cast of CBC’s “Heartland”), The Wilsons, Shane Yellowbird, Patricia Conroy, Deric Ruttan, Jason McCoy, Colin James, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Hey Romeo and Ultimate Fan, Richard DeJonge.

    CCMA Awards’ Leading Nominees:
    Johnny Reid (six), George Canyon (five), Victoria Banks (five), Dean Brody and Gord Bamford (four).

    Hez with Mason Raymond

    Update: Heather Watson is reporting that some of the Vancouver Canucks have made it into the Gift Lounge.

    Update: More photos from Heather are available on her Flickr (above).

    Invent the Future with BC Hydro

    Add a Comment by Rebecca Bollwitt

    The Invent the Future contest is looking for your latest and greatest ideas on energy conservation, sustainable energy creation, a sustainable product, or even a sustainable lifestyle choice.

    inventthefutureHere are some of the basic details of the contest:

  • Open to young people ages 13 to 24
  • Individuals or groups (of no more than 2 people) can enter
  • Submission must be in the form of a video or essay
  • Essay submissions should be between 350- 500 words
  • Video submissions should be between 30 to 60 seconds in length
  • There is a ton of prizes to be won, from $2,500 to Flip video cameras and tickets to the 2010 Winter Olympics. There will be a people’s choice category and the grand prize winners will be selected by a panel of judges (which is where I come in).

    I’m on the prestigious panel of judges for Invent the Future along with big name film and television industry player, digital media innovators, and the Vancouver Canucks own Ryan Kesler. We’ll be judging entries based on their concept plan, feasibility, cost effectiveness, originality, and the quality of the submission (writing style or video production).

    You can check out the 2008 Invent the Future grand prize winners to get an idea of the submission styles. Below is the winning video entry by Sacha Husband (16, Vancouver) and the winning essay by Cameron Ring (14, of Fort Nelson) can be downloaded here.

    Entries for 2009 are already flowing in and can be viewed in this gallery online. I know I’m going to have a really fun time going through these.

    You can follow @InventTheFuture on Twitter and should you know any inventive and creative individuals (13-24) be sure to pass along this information. The contest closes November 8, 2009.