VLAFF Vancouver Latin American Film Festival

Comments 3 by Rebecca Bollwitt

The seventh annual Vancouver Latin American Film Festival (VLAFF) continues film fest season in town, running September 10th – September 20th.

VLAFF will present 29 feature-length films along with 33 short films downtown at Pacific Cinémathèque, Granville 7 and the Vancity Theatre. There will also be events at the SFU Harbour Centra Campus, UBC Robson Square, and VCC. It all kicks off tomorrow evening at the Granville 7 with the award-winning Mexican film Arráncame La Vida (Tear This Heart Out), by director Roberto Sneider. Opening night tickets are only $10 and full festival passes are $120.

The festival will be showcasing Chile this year, highlighting its emerging and diverse film industry. Chilean features will include Reel Journeys: Shorts by Chilean Women, along with El Diario de Agustín (Agustín´s Newspaper).

I’m always a big fan of film fest documentaries and there’s no shortage at VLAFF with features like Chevoloution, La Terra Sin Mal, and Condor.

Tickets for all screenings are available online, at Videomatica (1855 West 4th Avenue between Burrard and Cypress) or the VLAFF box office at Pacific Cinémathèque (1131 Howe Street at Helmcken). You can follow the festival on Twitter @VLAFF for updates over the next few weeks.

Update: I have two tickets available for tonight’s screening of Arrancame La Vida. If you would like to win these passes, just leave a comment on this post. I will need to draw the winner by no later than 2:00pm and confirm they can attend tonight by 4:00pm. The screening begins at 7:00pm.
Update: Jason is the winner of the ticket, enjoy the show!

Update: I have two tickets to give away for the closing gala screening of La Buena Vida (The Good Life) for September 20th at 7:00pm over at the Granville 7 Cinemas. If you would like to attend please re-tweet this post or leave a comment below. This does not include admission to the gala party afterward (since it is a fundraiser) but tickets are just $20 at the door (Boss Nightclub (1320 Richards Street).

Vancouver Observer Wants Your Observations

Comments 2 by Rebecca Bollwitt

The Vancouver Observer is an online magazine that features news, headlines, entertainment and in-depth reporting from around our fair city. They’re getting ready to launch their new website design and are celebrating by hosting a contest looking for your best Vancouver observation. “Observe. And blog. Post your observations about our city on your website and submit a 400-word entry to the Vancouver Observer.”

Photo credit: John Biehler on Flickr

You will need to write a blog post (max 400 words) and email your link to contest@thevancouverobserver.com by Friday September 18th. The staff at The Vancouver Observer will pick some of their favourites and I am their guest judge who will then pick the best of the best blogservations.

The winner will receive a prize pack from Grouse Mountain, including the chance to zipline, as well as other goodies from around Vancouver. The winning entry itself will be published online, on the new Vancouver Observer website as well as in a special print edition on the e-magazine. The Vancouver Observer’s official launch party will take place October 6th at Ceilis downtown. You can follow their updates on Twitter @VANObserver.

Great Canadian Song Quest from CBC Radio 2

Comments 2 by Rebecca Bollwitt

cbcCBC Radio 2 is looking for the most inspirational place in Canada. One with such influence that the nation will vote on its importance and a Canadian music legend will come up with a song, singing its praises. All of this will happen through The Great Canadian Song Quest.

“Whether it’s a secret meeting place, a sensational signpost or a breathtaking wonder of nature, CBC Radio 2 wants to know! Canadians get the deciding vote on who writes and performs the songs from among Canada’s finest musical icons and emerging stars. The end result is an incredible cross-country playlist, with 13 brand-new, original songs for Canada’s playbook. Each artist will compose and record an original song, inspired by the locations chosen by Canadians from each province and territory.”

Nominations will be open September 28 – October 9th but they’re building the buzz right away. The idea is to campaign for your favourite place, which you would like to see immortalized in song, by adding supporting video, photos, Twitter updates and linking blog posts for your nomination. After all of the nominations have been collected, voting will run October 12 – October 23rd. The public will vote not only on the location, but also the artist that should compose and record the song about that location. The winning artists will be announced first on October 26th, followed by the locations on November 23rd.

Whether it’s Spuzzum, Barkerville, that giant hockey stick in Duncan, the slag heaps in Greenwood or the surf in Tofino. Tom Cochrane’s brief mention of Vancouver’s lights has served us well but it’s now BC’s time to shine in this ultimate country-wide mashup. I’m curious to see what places or landmarks people would like to hear about in a song but I have to say, I’m secretly hoping Surrey gets in there somewhere.

CRAVEvancouver Coffee Chat

Comments 1 by Rebecca Bollwitt

Next week I will be speaking at the CRAVEvancouver Coffee Chat, discussing “Back to School: Social Media”.


When: Monday September 14, 6:00pm – 8:00pm
Where: Pure Smile Studio (Suite 303-1110 Hamilton St)

CRAVEcompany focuses on three core models, the first being their book series. The printed CRAVEguide books have been issued for various North American cities and have been dubbed the “Urban Girl’s Manifesto”. These guides are business listings featuring companies that are locally run by women. The pages feature beautiful photographs along with company profiles and a quick Q&A.

They also host CRAVEparty, which are events in CRAVE cities that have entertainment, shopping, and networking opportunities. Finally CRAVEbusiness is a blog, online resource, and host of the coffee chat series.

My talk will be pretty informal and depending on the crowd it will feature either Twitter / Blogging 101 tips, or more intermediate lessons on how to use these social media tools in business. Tickets are still available for $25 (although selling out quickly) and the event will take place in Yaletown. For more information you can follow CRAVEvancouver’s own Arpen Thandi on Twitter @CRAVEvancouver.

Hiking on Blackcomb

Comments 6 by Rebecca Bollwitt

A few weeks ago we came to Whistler and rode the Peak to Peak gondola which runs between Whistler Mountain and Blackcomb Mountain.

When we got to Blackcomb we had done the quick Alpine Walk trail, which is a 60 minute loop we ended up completing in about 20 minutes. We had an appointment in the village so that’s about all we could do however John spotted a few other trails he wanted to conquer.

Blackcomb Trail Walk

Yesterday we set out on Blackcomb and headed over to the Overlord Trail, which branches off from the Alpine Walk. It’s longer, some parts are more steep, and the views are equally breathtaking.

Blackcomb Trail Walk

Blackcomb Trail Walk

Since it rained that morning everything was glistening and you could smell the alpine vegetation as it dried out.

Blackcomb Trail Walk Blackcomb Trail Walk

Blackcomb Trail Walk Blackcomb Trail Walk

We didn’t spot any bear but we did find some grouse as well as a marmot that was sunning himself on a big boulder.

Blackcomb Trail Walk Blackcomb Trail Walk

We reached our peak at Blackcomb Lake and looped back towards the lifts. It took us about 45 minutes to get out that far and if we had more time (the lifts shut down at 5pm in the summer) we would have kept going once again.

Blackcomb Trail Walk

Blackcomb Trail Walk

We’re heading back home today on the train and as always, I wish our stay would last a bit longer. Blackcomb keeps us wanting more and more each time we venture across its alpine trails, which I suppose is a good thing. It gets us out and about while exploring more of the region.

Blackcomb Trail Walk

We haven’t gone over to Whistler Village at all this trip as we’re staying on Blackcomb as well. It’s been really nice (thank goodness the rain stayed away an extra day) and I’m glad we got to spend more time on this side.

If you’d like to head to Whistler, visit my previous post to see how you can enter to win 2 round trip passes on the Whistler Mountaineer.