Mental Health Camp 2010

Comments 6 by Rebecca Bollwitt

Last year my good friend Raul along with Isabella Mori (psychotherapist and blogger) started up Mental Health Camp, which was inspired by a panel hosted by Airdrie Miller at Northern Voice 2009. The event was such a success that they have added on to the organization team, secured a larger venue, and are expanding the program this July.

Into The Light
Photo credit: Sean Lande on Flick

“The motto for Mental Health Camp Vancouver 2010 is Breaking our Silence.  Setting us Free, Raul told me.  “We (Isabella and I) wanted to build on the success of last year’s MHC, where we began a conversation around how social media can help dispel myths around mental illness, and how the pain of silence, and how it impacts our mental and physical health.”

The conference is currently looking for speakers on a variety of topics and those who can speak from personal or professional experience with mental health or mental illness. “We are trying to bring awareness that depression, ADHD, anxiety and other mental illnesses should not be stigmatized,” added Raul. “We are trying to reduce the stigma by encouraging Mental Health Camp participants to speak about it”.

Mental Health Camp will take place July 10th, 2010 at the Aquatic Ecosystems Research Laboratory at UBC. You can follow updates and chatter online by searching for the tag #mhcyvr10 on Twitter or following @MentalHealthC.

May is Mental Health Month and this Monday is the start of Mental Health Week in Vancouver. In honor of this, CJSF 90.1FM from SFU will be live at Gallery Gachet on Cordova May 4th at 7:00pm with special musical guest Dan Mangan.

Fun Run Roundup for Spring/Summer 2010

Comments 2 by Rebecca Bollwitt

When composing my May 2010 Events post I realized that I missed mentioning several fun runs or fundraising walks happening around town. This has led me to put together my 2nd annual Fun Run Roundup for the summer season.

May 2010

  • BMO Vancouver Marathon: Happening the first Sunday in May, winding around Vancouver’s East and West sides.
  • Vancouver Sun Run: Canada’s largest 10km fun run happens May 9th. @VancouverSunRun on Twitter.
  • Envision Run For Mom: The 12th annual Run for Mom is May 9th (Mother’s Day) in Chilliwack.
  • CBI Hustle for Hunger: Happening in Burnaby, Abbotsford, and Victoria May 16th benefiting local Food Banks.
  • MOMAR: Mind Over Mountain Adventure Racing: May 22nd in Squamish. @Mr_MOMAR on Twitter.
  • Run for Light: The 30th annual fun run benefiting BC Blind Sports takes place May 28th. This is one of my favourites as it takes place at dusk around Stanley Park while runners are outfitted with glow-sticks.
  • PMC-Sierra Science Fairs Fun Run: Starting at Science World May 30th.
  • Run for Water: May 30th in Abbotsford. @RunforWater on Twitter.
  • Seawalk Run: In West Vancouver May 20th benefiting Canuck Place Childrens Hospice. @SeaWalkRun on Twitter.
  • World Partnership Walk: Sunday May 30th at Lumberman’s Arch in Stanley Park. @WPWVancouver on Twitter.
  • June 2010

  • Rhythm of Life: The Run and Walk for Everyone: June 6th at Burnaby Lake Park.
  • North Shore Credit Union Longest Day Road Race: June 18th at UBC’s Thunderbird Stadium.
  • Safeway Father’s Day Walk/Run 2010: June 20th at the Burnaby Lake Rowing Pavilion, benefiting prostate cancer research.
  • Scotiabank Vancouver Half Marathon & 5k: June 27th going from UBC to Stanley Park.
  • July 2010

  • Canada Day Rock: July 1st along Marine Drive in White Rock. @wwwTryEventsca on Twitter
  • August 2010

  • Mitsubishi City Chase: August 28th. @CityChase on Twitter.
  • You can also check out listings for the entire province on the Running Room’s website.

    Many of these runs and walks have options for various levels of participation (competitive, casual, kids, etc.) so click through to find out more about each. Should you have any other events to list, please do not hesitate to contact me.

    Top Five for 2010: Stanley Park

    Comments 1 by Rebecca Bollwitt

    It may seem cliche but when visitors ask me what there is to do in Vancouver the first item on my list is Stanley Park. I’m not talking renting some rollerblade or a tandem bicycle, doing the seawall then having ice cream in English Bay (although that is pretty fun). My idea of Stanley Park may be slightly different and so I present my Top Five things to do in Stanley Park for 2010.


    Photo credit: velkr0 on Flickr

    In 1940 the first performance of Theatre Under the Stars took place at the Malkin Bowl in Stanley Park. Since that time some of the most recognizable names in music history have graced the same stage. While Vancouver’s climate isn’t always favourable to outdoor performances, managing to catch a show on a starry oceanside evening surrounded by giant cedars is definitely worth it.

    Upcoming concerts this season include Massive Attack, LCD Soundsystem, Metric and more. Theatre Under the Stars is still going strong presenting Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat as well as Singin’ in the Rain this summer.

    Tip: You can either drive in past the Rose Garden (following the signs to park) or take the #19 bus all the way into the park. You can also leave the car downtown (or at home) and take a stroll along the seawall to get to Malkin Bowl.

    A slice of the Stanley Park Map
    While the seawall is the most-beaten path around the park there are several that will lead you alongside rippling creeks, around towering firs, past beaver-chewed branches, and over to some amazing lookouts this summer.

    Some of my favourite trails are the North Creek Trail (where I once fell off a giant log and into a pile of mud. Lucky for me John got it all on camera), Bridle Walk (it cuts through most of the park and can get you all the way up to Prospect Point), and the Beaver Lake Trail (a nice urban oasis where you can watch birds or float planes cruise overhead).

    Autumn in the Park Colours

    Tip: On a warm summer’s day leave the car at home and walk through the park to get to Third Beach. Take the Rawlings trail around the perimeter until you see the signs for the beach. You can also cut through on the Lees Trail, Lovers Walk, or Tatlow Walk.

    Bonus Tip: The 30th annual Run for Light by BC Blind Sports takes place May 28th on Stanley Park trails and the seawall. This fun run is at night with glow-sticks making for a really unique experience for participants and spectators alike.

    The Vancouver Aquarium
    Vancouver Aquarium
    After re-visiting the Aquarium in recent years I have come to discover that it is far more than a place to watch playful otters and graceful jellyfish. The regularly host educational programs for kids, workshops on ecological issues, or special holiday-themed events.

    The dolphins and belugas are popular attractions however their presentations are not strictly for entertainment and there is no jumping through hoops. The shows are brief and introduce the audience to the marine mammals, talking about how they arrived in the Aquarium (through rehabilitation or rescue) and how their species is dealing with environmental impacts within our oceans.

    You’ll probably learn quite a bit while still being able to play around in a tide pool, spot giant frogs, and get creeped out by the wolf eel. A recent edition is the 4D theatre which is currently showing Planet Earth: Shallow Seas.

    Qila and Calf @ The Vancouver Aquarium Stingy-sting-sting

    Tip: Around the back of the Aquarium near Painter’s Corner there is a gated walkway that will take you down and around some of the Aquarium’s pools. This is not an entrance to the facility but a neat (on the cheap) sneak peek.

    The Nature House
    Lost Lagoon Nature House
    Located in the old boathouse on Lost Lagoon, the Nature House is operated by the Stanley Park Ecology Society. It’s a great place to look out on the lagoon and bird watch as swans, cygnets, ducks and seagulls vie for your attention (or your lunch). Inside, there are interactive displays featuring information about some of the plants and wildlife in the park.

    Tip: The Stanley Park Ecology Society hosts monthly events that start out at the Nature House. The next one is a Creatures of the Night Bat Walk on May 6th at 7:00pm. The program is free an open to all ages.

    Get to know Pauline
    Pauline Johnson
    When you visit the Nature House you’ll also see a tribute to Pauline Johnson, one of my personal heroes. She is the one that gave Lost Lagoon its name and re-told many First Nations stories to English audiences (such as the legend of the Lions).

    From one of my posts about her:
    “Pauline Johnson (1861-1913) was the child of a Mohawk chief and an Englishwoman and as a writer and poet, she traveled across North America and England giving readings of her work and performing on stage. She retired to Vancouver and continued to write for the Province basing her articles on stories shared by her friend Chief Joe Capilano of the Squamish people of North Vancouver. In 1911, to support Johnson who was terminally ill and not wealthy by any means, a group of friends organized the publication of her stories under the title Legends of Vancouver… …She was even commemorated on a postage stamp in 1961 — being the first aboriginal-Canadian, first woman (other than the Queen), and author to ever be honored in this manner.”

    At the entrance to the Sequoia Grill parking lot Important woman in Vancouver history

    Tip: After you learn about Pauline at the Nature House walk over to Ferguson Point and visit her memorial, which was built in 1922. It’s tucked away before the turn off to either the Teahouse or Third Beach.

    There’s plenty more to explore in Stanley Park, from Pitch & Putt to lighthouses, however this is simply the “Top Five” so I’ll leave it at that. A complete list of Park events for 2010 is available online.

    Should you have a suggestion for my next Top Five location (either around Vancouver, Metro Vancouver, Southern BC, or BC) please feel free to do so in the comments.

    Tacos for Trey 2010

    Add a Comment by Rebecca Bollwitt

    The third annual Tacos for Trey event will take place May 8th at Lynn Valley Elementary School from 3:00pm – 6:00pm. Prior to receiving an email to my contact form I had not heard Trey’s story, nor had I heard of his disease (or difference as his family says).

    It was just a few years ago that Trey, who is now 6 years old, was diagnosed with MPS Type II, also known as Hunter Syndrome. On the family’s website Trey’s story is told:

    “During the appointment when were told that our child likely had something called Muchopolysaccharidosis (MPS). We were told that this would affect every part of his body. Specifically, we were told that Trey’s hands would curl, his bones wouldn’t grow properly, his organs would start to fail and his life span would likely be shortened significantly. For about 2 weeks, we cried. We cried and cried until we were so exhausted, we didn’t have the energy to cry anymore.”

    For the last few years family and friends have got together to support Trey, who receives weekly treatments at the BC Children’s Hospital. “Most people have no idea what it is, and many of the specialists we see also have never seen a person with MPS. Some things are known about the disease, but not everything. So what we have decided to do is believe and hope. Watching Trey doesn’t make that hard. We believe that Trey is going to be okay.”

    Tacos for Trey is a fun, lively and festive family event with music, face painting, balloon twisting, arts & crafts, food and a silent auction. The fundraiser is entirely community driven and organized by Trey’s family in support of the MPS II fund for MPS II research.

    “Today, you will find Trey playing street hockey with his family in the driveway. You’ll find him launching himself from the dock into Cultus lake. You’ll find him cooking up a storm in the kitchen. At six, Trey is a vivacious, creative and independent little guy who is a proud big brother to two.”

    For more information you can visit any of the following links, and please consider stopping by on Saturday May 8th for a taco fiesta to support MPS II research.

  • Hunter Disease eClinic
  • The Canadian MPS Society
  • The Hour Filming in Vancouver This May

    Comments 6 by Rebecca Bollwitt

    This morning it was announced that CBC’s The Hour (with host George Stroumboulopoulos) will be coming to Vancouver to do two shows May 18th and 19th.

    Strombo & MeThe show is filmed before a live studio audience so that means they need some Vancouverites to come fill the seats.

    You can sign up for free tickets through The Hour’s website and there are some guidelines to go over before you throw your hat in the ring. They also receive hundreds of ticket requests so please only submit your information once. Those selected will be notified by email.

    The guest list is currently unknown but it should be a neat experience regardless. I’ve had the chance to chat with George a few times and it’s always a pleasure.

    The CBC Vancouver Broadcast Centre is located at 700 Hamilton Street.

    Update The guests on for the Vancouver shows have been announced. On Tuesday May 18th guests are Betty Fox (Terry Fox’s mother) and District 9 Director Neill Blomkamp. On Thursday guests are Heritage Minister James Moore & Activist Rick Hansen.

    There has been a third Vancouver show added with guests Julio Montaner (President of the International AIDS Society), Our Lady Peace’s Raine Maida, actress Nancy Robertson (Corner Gas, Hiccups), & musical performance by Billy the Kid.

    Updated Guest List For the May 19th show Heritage Minister James Moore will be a guest along with Raine Maida and *just announced* the Sedin Twins of the Vancouver Canucks.

    Update May 19th, 2010 It’s official, Vancouver loves The Hour. The lineup outside was long, the studio audience had an overflow space, and the crowd hung on every word. The Betty Fox interview was amazing and I’m sure there were only a few dry eyes in the house.

    Photo credit: John Bollwitt on Flickr

    George stuck around after the show to meet and greet fans for well over an hour. Each person got to chat, get a photo, and just hang out – it was great to see that interaction. I know my mom was pretty darn excited to meet him too. We waited until everyone cleared out to get a few special shots and do a quick/fun/fluffy interview.

    Photo credit: John Bollwitt on Flickr

    If you don’t have tickets for tonight’s show just head to the CBC anyway and line up for Rush Tickets. They’ll pop you in the overflow room if there’s capacity.