Happy 124th Birthday Vancouver

Comments 5 by Rebecca Bollwitt

Update February 2011: Read about Vancouver’s 125th anniversary.

It was 124 years ago today (on April 6, 1886) that the City of Vancouver was incorporated.

The [incorporation] ceremony was delayed when it was discovered no one had thought to bring paper on which to write down the details. Someone had to run down the street to the stationery store! The ceremony was held in Jonathan Miller’s house. The population of the city was about 1,000.VancouverHistory

Archives location #: GN dr 18

On May 3rd, 1886 the first municipal election was held.

It was an at-large vote which elected ten aldermen and the mayor (Malcolm MacLean). There was no voters list, 499 votes were cast. In one of the first by-laws passed by Council, five wards were created, each electing two aldermen for one-year terms of office.VancouverHistory

Vancouver Archives location #: GN dr 21

The first meeting of Vancouver’s first city council happened May 12, 1886. During my tour of the Vancouver Archives I was able to hold a book of the minutes from this very meeting — it was a surreal feeling.

City of Vancouver Archives

Within these minutes of the first city council meeting there lies the first hot topic up for discussion, a petition to lease a 1,000 acre military reserve from the federal government, which would be used at city park space. This space as we know it is now Stanley Park.

Over the years the landscape has changed dramatically — there is no longer a cattle farm at the North end of Burrard Street, False Creek stops at Main Street, and the Denman Arena (where Vancouver won the Stanley Cup in 1915) has been replaced with a grassy harbour-side park.

Photo credit: Ecstaticist on Flickr

We’ve hosted the world on several occasions and we’ll never forget the experiences we had in February and March of 2010. It’s the best city in the world — it’s home. Happy Birthday Vancouver.

Vaisakhi 2010 in Metro Vancouver

Add a Comment by Rebecca Bollwitt

With tens of thousands in attendance each year, Vaisakhi is one of the region’s largest annual cultural celebrations. Vancouver and Surrey will host events April 8th, 10th and 17th.

Photo credit: cozy on Flickr

Vaisakhi (vaisakhi, also known as Baisakhi) is an ancient harvest festival in Punjab, which also marks beginning of a new solar year, and new harvest season. Baisakhi also has religious significance for Hindus and Sikhs. It falls on the first day of the Vaisakh month in the solar Nanakshahi calendar, which corresponds to April 14 in the Gregorian calendar.

Vaisakhi is one of the most significant holidays in Sikh calendar, commemorating the establishment of the Khalsa in 1699; which marks the Sikh New Year. It also is observed as the beginning of the new year by Indians in West Bengal, Kerala, and some other regions of India. – Vaisakhi.ca

Vancouver’s Vaisakhi parade will take place April 10th at 10am, departing the Ross Street Temple and heading up to Main street at 49th. There is a Meetup group if you would like to meet up with others to enjoy the festivities and parade at 11:00am that day.

From the wall of the Meetup group: “One of the best things about Vaisakhi is the food. Every Punjabi restaurant and house along Main Street offers free food to passersby. I rolled my way along Main sampling untold varieties of curried chick peas, pakoras, samosas, Kashmiri chai, and other delights. Little kids shoved bags of candy into my hands, not the other way around!”

Street Closures in Vancouver will include:

  • Westbound traffic on Southeast Marine Drive, from Ross to Main Street
  • Main Street from Marine Drive to 49th Avenue
  • 49th Avenue from Main to Fraser
  • Fraser Street, from 49th to 57th Avenue
  • East 57th from Fraser to Ross
  • Ross Street from East 57th to Southeast Marine Drive
  • The Vancouver Aquarium is also hosting Vaisakhi Day celebrations April 10th and 11th. They will have Bhangra dance performances, aquatic-themed henna tattoos, and complimentary samosas (served daily from 11am while supplies last).

    Photo credit: cozy on Flickr

    With over 19% of the population being Sikh, this is one of the city’s largest annual events.

    The Vaisakhi 2010 Gala takes place April 8th at the Bombay Banquet Hall in Surrey. This will also host the 8th annual turban tying contest [cknw].

    The parade will be April 17th and will begin at the Gurdwara Dashmesh Darbar Temple (12885 85th Ave). The usual route is between 124th and 128th streets, then 72nd and 88th avenues (I have no confirmation on this for the 2010 event).

    Vancouver Craft Beer Week

    Comments 2 by Rebecca Bollwitt

    Vancouver Craft Beer Week is coming up May 10th until the 16th as the city celebrates local brews and the tradition of fine artisanal beer.

    Vancouver Craft Beer Week

    Consisting of signature festival events and independently organized satellite events in participating retail stores and restaurants, VCBW aims to attract the widest demographic possible in order to further grow the craft beer culture of the region.

    I had the chance to visit the judging panel a few weeks ago where dozens tasted, sipped, and ranked craft beer in preparation for the BC Beer Week Awards. There I met Chris Bjerrisgaard (of TrueCask.com), @BCBrews, and @AndyTheBeerman who gave me a crash course in craft beer.

    “Craft beer fans are a community,” Andy told me as he spoke about the passion many of them have. The typical craft beer fan can probably list off several food pairings for pretty much any beer type you throw their way. Chris said the beauty of beer is that you have your four main ingredients (barley, hops, yeast and water) and then you can add whatever you like to the mix — from berries to spices. With over 80 styles of beer out there, the possibilities for delicious combinations are near endless.


    For a place that has only recently made its mark in the craft beer realm, Vancouver has increasingly become a destination for those looking for micro-brews and brew-pubs alike. However “beer geeks”, as they call themselves, have a keen interest in watching a wave of change pour over more local dining establishments.

    During our conversation it was mentioned that some restaurants have pages upon pages in their wine menu while only offering two or three kinds of beer. Andy said if the roles were reversed, it’s like offering your customers only one type of wine — from a box — on your wine list. They gave kudos to restaurants such as Vij’s who have actually dedicated their entire beer menu to Storm Brewing. Praise also went out to the Alibi Room, and St Augustine’s.

    The craft beer community aren’t snobs when it comes to beers, it’s more about them knowing this fantastic secret and wanting to share it with the world. The goal is to share this enthusiasm for craft beer while educating everyone from the casual drinker to those with the finest of palettes.

    For more information check out CAMRA Vancouver (The Campaign for Real Ale), and the upcoming Vancouver Craft Beer Week site for announcements over the next few weeks. You can also follow @VCBW on Twitter for news and information.

    Update April 19, 2010 Tickets for several VCBW events are now on sale. View the complete listing online.

    Sanafir Then Muse

    Add a Comment by Rebecca Bollwitt

    Last Thursday I met Keira at Sanafir on Granville and despite getting the call that my site was down just as we were finishing up, we still had a delicious lunch.

    Lunch at Sanafir

    Our menu items were everything from seared tuna to salmon wraps, naan bread, butter chicken and baklava. When you’re sitting in the space with papyrus on the wall and authentic Egyptian light fixtures you forget for a moment that you’re sitting right off bustling Granville. Sanafir’s space is beautiful with an upper level complete with bed seating, for those who want to dine, drink, and dish with girlfriends in this festive area.

    Lunch at Sanafir Lunch at Sanafir

    Lunch at Sanafir

    Lunch at Sanafir

    Lunch at Sanafir Lunch at Sanafir

    After our savouring our power lunch we went our separate ways; Keira to her John Mayer concert at GM Place and I to my Muse show at Pacific Coliseum. Now, I had heard that Muse was currently the best live band in the world but I had no idea I was in for such a treat.

    Photo credit: John Bollwitt on Flickr

    Silversun Pickups opened up the show and played a solid set. I’ve been a fan of theirs for the last few years and have always missed them when they’ve played smaller venues in town like the Commodore or Richards on Richards (RIP). They put on a great show and are very active on Twitter, I recommend following them @SSPU.

    Photo credit: John Bollwitt on Flickr

    Once the draped columns that looked like city towers dropped to reveal Muse it was on. A wall of crisp powerful sound moved across the coliseum and wrapped itself around everyone in attendance. The band began with Uprising as the lighted columns cranked out the lyrics in time, “they will not control us”.

    Photo credit: John Bollwitt on Flickr

    The crowd pumped their fists, sang along, and became entranced by the music. The band’s songs are simply epic.

    Powerful political messages mixed with Peart-like drum solos, piano ballads and throat-ripping lyrics. They have it all and I’m glad local stations like CFOX and The Peak are playing their tunes. I was so stoked to see Map of the Problematique live as well as it’s one of my all time favourite driving tunes.

    Photo credit: John Bollwitt on Flickr

    Muse covered quite a bit of their catalog in the show, although the crowd of thousands kept up the pace and continued to sing along to the most obscure lyrics. At the end of the performance dozens of giant blood-shot eyeballs dropped from the ceiling revealing red confetti when popped. But that wasn’t all — encores ensued.

    Photo credit: John Bollwitt on Flickr

    As we left John looked over and said, “they could have charged double for that.” With our tickets being almost $60 after taxes and fees, I still agreed without question.

    Muse continues their tour with stops in Phoenix, Tuscon, Las Vegas and San Francisco this week.

    Disclosure cmp.ly/2 – our meal at Sanafir was complimentary.

    Back Online For Now

    Comments 22 by Rebecca Bollwitt

    I wanted to write a post to address the recent attacks on Miss604.com. These weren’t your regular spam or virus attacks, these were mighty serious. There wasn’t much I could have done to prevent these, or to get my site back online, but by detecting vulnerabilities or even the attack early, you have a better chance at a speedy recovery. Continue reading this post ⟩⟩