Come together in the spirit of the season and Shine Bright in New West from December 1, 2021 – February 1, 2022. Everyone in the community is encouraged to put up holiday lights and engage in a variety of activities to enjoy the winter in the city.
Sponsored by the Downtown New West BIA, City of New Westminster, ReDiscoverNewWest and the New West Record, you can join Shine Bright all season long while you enjoy light displays, at-home and outdoor activities, and on stage productions.
Shine Bright New West
Highlights include the following free events and activities around Downtown New Westminster:
Shine Bright Winter Solstice Party December 21, 2021 Dance in the new season and gather with loved ones, decorate for the holidays, and enjoy good food together! This family-friendly event features light displays from ACNW Artists-in-Residence Ellie Niakan and Catherine Chan, and a dance mix from Royal City Sound. Brought to you in partnership with New Westminster Family Place and the Arts Council of New Westminster.
Shine Bright Downtown All season + special late night shopping events Downtown New Westminster will be illuminated with sparkling lights all season long. Come together for Shop Night where local businesses will be open late on December 9, 16, and 23. Each of those night there will be a photo booth, DJ spinning tunes, and more. Shop Mila + Paige, Found Boutique, The Refill Stop, Good Omen, Steel & Oak, and the River Market.
Shine Bright Light Tour & Contest Vote on your favourite light displays around town by January 1, 2022. Find a map of all of the participating displays here.
Holiday Food & Craft Market December 11-12, 2021 10:00am to 4:00pm It’s the New West Farmers Market’s 2nd Annual Holiday Food and Craft Market returns to New West City Hall. This market will feature over 80 small local businesses including preserves, alcohol, produce, gifts, food trucks, and more.
Shine Bright On Stage Productions Enhancing the full roster of activities and light displays throughout the city, the Anvil Centre will have window performances for all to enjoy along with eight separate live performances of music, dance, and magic that will take place on Level 1 and 3. Acts include local musical duo, Ed & Salve Dayo in an all-ages sing-along, Quayside voices will warm you with their pop and seasonal songs, actor Ryan Leslie Fisher will have you laughing with his Dandy show, New West Poet Laureate, Elliott Slinn and storytellers from Culture Chats will bring their poetry and stories to life!
Enjoy Shine Bright on stage with these ticketed performances starting at $20 for adults, $10 for students in the afternoons at the Anvil Centre, and $35 for adults and $25 for students in the evenings.
Locarno Band December 16, 2021 7:30 to 9:30pm in the Anvil Theatre
The Kerplunks December 19, 2021 2:00pm to 3:00pm in the Anvil Ballroom
An Evening of Wonders December 22, 2021 9:30pm at the Anvil Theatre
RupLoops December 23, 2021 2:00pm to 3:00pm in the Anvil Theatre
Seasonal Celebration with Kellie Haines with puppets December 29, 2021 2:00pm to 3:00pm in the Anvil Ballroom
Triology (Miles Black, Bill Coon and Jodi Proznick) December 29, 2021 7:30pm to 9:30pm in the Anvil Ballroom
Axé Capoeira December 30, 2021 2:00pm to 3:00pm in the Anvil Ballroom
Blackthorn with Shot of Scotch Vancouver Highland Dancers December 30, 2021 7:30pm to 9:30pm in the Anvil Ballroom
Win a Prize Package
I have a generous prize package to give away that includes a pair of tickets to a #ShineBrightNewWest stage production of the winner’s choice plus a $100 gift certificate for Angelina’s Dutch Corner! Here’s how you can enter to win:
The Jewish Community Centre of Greater Vancouver has announced that the 29th Annual RBC JCC Sports Dinner will take place live, in-person at the Hyatt Regency Vancouver on February 23, 2022 with keynote speaker Alex “A-Rod” Rodriguez. A virtual version of the event will also be broadcast to guests who are unable to attend in person or prefer to enjoy the event from home.
RBC JCC Sports Dinner Featuring Alex Rodriguez
Where: Hyatt Regency Hotel Vancouver (655 Burrard St, Vancouver)
When: Wednesday, February 23rd, 2022 starting at 5:00pm
Speaker Sponsor ZLC Financial has, once again, made it possible for organizers to bring an A-list personality to the Vancouver stage. Alex Rodriguez invests in world-class startups and partners with leading global companies across a variety of industries. While best known as one of the world’s greatest athletes (a 14-time MLB All-Star and a 2009 World Series Champion with the New York Yankees), for more than 25 years Alex has led a team of experts building high-growth businesses and enhancing the value of more than 30 companies in the A-Rod Corp portfolio.
Alex is also an Emmy Award-winning MLB analyst for Fox Sports and ESPN. He’s been a judge and investor on ABC’s Shark Tank, mentored financially distressed ex-athletes on CNBC’s Back in the Game and currently co-hosts the podcast The Corp. Alex is committed to creating opportunities for young people to succeed, and serves on the Board of Directors of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade.
Past speakers include: Earvin ‘Magic’ Johnson, Drew Brees, Joe Montana & Jerry Rice, Shaquille O’Neal, Sir Charles Barkley, ‘Sugar’ Ray Leonard, Tommy Lasorda and many others.
Celebrating professional and local athletes, the RBC JCC Sports Dinner raises much-needed funds to provide scholarships and programs for members of the community who wouldn’t otherwise have access to these services. When the COVID crisis began the JCC quickly adapted to hold the community together, creating new and innovative programs that allowed children, youth and families to remain supported and connected. Proceeds from the dinner ensure no one is left behind, and helps open doors for a better tomorrow.
The Cadillac Raffle is Back x2
On the heels of last season’s popular province-wide Cadillac Raffle and 50/50 Draw, the upcoming event features not one, but two raffles, courtesy of Vehicle Sponsor Dueck Auto Group. The Ultimate Cadillac Raffle is on now with a draw date of December 20, 2021. One lucky winner will choose between two amazing Cadillacs, the remarkable 2021 Luxury XT4 or the sleek 2021 Sport CT4 AWD. Wherever you go, you could arrive in style, but only if you get your tickets before December 20, 2021. Starting at $50 a ticket.
The 50/50 Draw jackpot is over $20,000! The winner will go home with half pot just in time for the holidays. Tickets start at $10 for a 5-pack. The next Cadillac Raffle starts January 3, 2022 so check back for more details soon. Raffles are available to anyone over 19 in BC.
The legendary Live Auction will feature custom packages like a luxury cycling tour in Europe from Great Explorations, a dream soccer vacation to Glasgow Scotland with the Celtics FC, donated by Mike & Lisa Averbach, and a VIP weekend with the LA Chargers courtesy of South Street Development — who is also sponsoring the exceptional Silent Auction. The Silent Auction is open to the public and includes wonderfully curated sports memorabilia, travel experiences plus great wines and spirits from Legacy Liquor.
Miss604 is the proud Social Media Sponsor of the RBC JCC Sports Dinner
The in-person show has been carefully planned by committee members and staff currently to allow for a 50% capacity of attendance with proof of double vaccination. The recent lifting of restrictions on indoor gatherings has provided some optimism for the capacity to be increased, however the organizers are monitoring the situation and will reassess as the event date approaches.
For over 20 years, Debra Abraham worked with the Ministry of Children and Family Development and she kept seeing the same results, the same families, the same challenges until one day she decided that to truly make a difference and feel fulfilled, she needed to make a change.
Now seven years later the Unique Get Together Society (“UGTS”), the organization she founded after submitting her resignation, has thirty staff members and a team of volunteers who empower Indigenous, marginalized and underserved communities, individuals and families in three regions of BC.
Unique Get Together Society – How It Began
Before she left the Ministry, Debra had already been subcontracting with other organizations, alongside one of her own children, and working with children with special needs that had behaviour challenges.
“One thing I’ve learned working in social services, especially when it comes to youth, is that regardless of your abilities, behaviour has a message. Behaviour is communication. Most kids or youth can’t put into words what they’re feeling inside so they express it in other ways. It really is their cry for help.”
One of the organizations she worked with told her she was really good at what she was doing and that she should start her own, and she did! She cashed in her pension and just knew, this was her path.
It was just Debra and her son for the first few years at UGTS, getting things up and running, starting with programming for special needs children.
“More than anything, when we started seven years ago, we wanted to bring kids with special needs into summer camps, after school programs, and soccer – we were the first organization to start special needs soccer in Port Moody.”
She wanted these kids to have the same childhood as her children. To have friends they could hang out with, and talk about what they did over the summer.
“So that’s how we started, we started taking kids for hikes in nature – away from all the destruction of everyday noise of the city. You have to look past the disability and look at what was actually there, what they can actually do.”
They went around the Tri-Cities, Vancouver, Squamish, up to the Britannia Mine Museum, and as Debra puts it: “We just had fun!” Things just started happening from then on. UGTS started getting calls about programs for children who didn’t have a special needs diagnosis, but had behaviour challenges.
“A lot of these kids had a lot of trauma that went on in their lives. Their parents, caregivers, whatever that may look like, I always tell people: It’s not a blame game, it really and truly isn’t because they do the best they can. When you work in this field, the parents and caregivers, they just want to get through the day and keep a roof over their head and food going, and get kids off to school and just those basic needs – and have a break for themselves.”
Debra says that it’s something she’s always been aware of being a part of the social services system for so long. “While we do support the individual, that entire circle is broken because we don’t support the family as a whole. That child comes with a family, and whatever is happening at home is coming with that child.”
I often think back to how John and I spent out fifth wedding anniversary: It was a staycation in Richmond where we went to Steveston for the day, did some shopping, had some wonderful food, and spent some really nice quality time together. It’s no surprise that my latest enchanting staycation experience was also in Richmond; it’s so close to home but you feel like you’re really on a getaway.
Richmond Staycation at the Versante Hotel
At the new Versante Hotel (just opened this summer) you can take in the beautiful art and unique features of an affordable boutique hotel that has five star amenities – all within a quick train ride from the airport or Downtown Vancouver.