Social Distancing in Vancouver Parks During COVID-19 Outbreak

Comments 1 by Rebecca Bollwitt

Enjoy Vancouver Parks but stay apart, is the headline of an email I received from the Park Board this morning. Their message urges everyone to continue to practice social distancing even in the open air.

Seven Sisters Stanley Park

“We’re not to be out playing basketball. We’re not to be out sitting together in large groups at the beach watching the beautiful sunsets that we have,” was the massage from Dr. Bonnie Henry, BC’s Provincial Health Officer on Friday (March 22, 2020).

Since most indoor public places are closed, she does encourage going outside in order to get fresh air and aid with our mental health. However, social distancing is still to be practiced, even in the fresh air.

Social Distancing in Vancouver Parks During COVID-19 Outbreak

Social Distancing in Vancouver Parks During COVID-19 Outbreak

People not in self-isolation do not need to remain indoors. However, everyone needs to avoid being in close contact with people in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19. To protect yourself and others: 

  • Keep at least 2 metres (6 feet) from others 
  • Visit parks and beaches during less busy times
  • Limit the number of visits to parks and beaches to provide opportunities for others to access 
  • Avoid gathering in groups 
  • Limit high-touch recreational activities such as volleyball or frisbee
  • Wash or sanitize hands after touching communal surfaces
  • Stay home if you are feeling sick, especially if you are coughing or experiencing a fever

 The Park Board and City of Vancouver continue to work with public health officials and multiple partners on the COVID-19 response. The situation is evolving quickly so direction from local health authorities and the City of Vancouver may change.

UPDATE from the Park Board March 22, 2020: “We are closing all public outdoor recreation facilities within parks and beaches. Volleyball, skate parks, field sports, tennis, and more are now closed.” Logs are being removed from English Bay Beach and parking lots for Vancouver Parks will be closed.

Read more in my COVID-19 info series here »

Diesel Bird Festival Online with Dallas Smith and More

Add a Comment by Rebecca Bollwitt

It’s a live concert from a safe social distance! The Diesel Bird Festival will feature some of Canada’s favourite musicians and hosted by Dan Davidson on Instagram.

Diesel Bird Festival

Diesel Bird Festival Online

Where: Instagram
When: Saturday, March 28, 2020 at 11:00am (March 29 TBA)
Cost: FREE

“We have to do our best to take care of each other by staying away from each other,” say festival organizers which include Dan Davidson, Travis Nesbitt, Joel Jelinski, and Chuck Erman. “We want to give music fans an excuse to stay in and enjoy themselves. They can have an intimate music festival right from their couch.”

Confirmed Lineup

Dan Davidson
Dallas Smith
Clayton Bellamy
Nice Horse
Andrew Hyatt
Jason Blaine
Aaron Goodvin
Aaron Pritchett
Jo Jo Mason
The Recklaws
Josh Ramsay
Wide Mouth Mason

Jason McCoy
Jess Moskaluke
Eric Ethridge
Meghan Patrick
The Dungarees
Kristin Carter
Matt Lang
Shawn Austin
James Barker Band
Corb Lund
Big Sugar
Shawn Hook

Kudos to the team and Blxck Marketing for getting this up and running so quickly, with some wonderfully consistent branding to boot!

The official schedule has not yet been released (it’s expected Monday, March 23rd) but I’m sure you’ll want to tune in for the whole thing anyway! You can support the effort through donations here which will go to Red Cross Canada. Follow on Facebook for more info and updates.

Related: Free Concerts to Watch at Home During COVID-19 Distancing; COVID-19 Resources & Ways to Stay Entertained

Small Business BC Digital Meetups During COVID-19 Isolation

Add a Comment by Rebecca Bollwitt

When I started my company 12 years ago, one of the first (and best) resources I used was Small Business BC. They are continuing to offer support at this time, including creating a lineup of online webinars with relevant topics to help navigate the current business landscape. 

Here are the Small Business BC Digital Meetups already on the calendar this month:

Small Business BC COVID

Small Business BC Digital Meetups

Additional Resources from Small Business BC

According to a survey (conducted by Small Business BC, BC Chamber, Community Futures and BCEDA) 90% of businesses are “currently being impacted by COVID-19”. Of those impacted, 83% are seeing a “drop in revenue, business, or deal flow”. Here are some additional resources:

The office at Waterfront Station remains closed at this time but if you do have any questions you can send a contact form inquiry and follow Small Business BC on Facebook.

Related: My Profile on Small Business BC; COVID-19 posts on Miss604

Vancouver’s Centennial Mascot was Tillicum the Sea Otter

Add a Comment by Rebecca Bollwitt

It’s Throwback Thursday which means I’m browsing the City of Vancouver Archives (and other online museum resources) for inspiration for this week’s history post. One character that kept popping up in my searches was a mascot, all around town. Turns out it’s Tillicum the Sea Otter, the official mascot of Vancouver’s Centennial (1886-1986).

Vancouver's Centennial Mascot was Tillicum the Sea Otter
Tillicum the Otter at Robson Square. Archives # 2011-010.1951.21.

Vancouver’s Centennial Mascot was Tillicum the Sea Otter

Snapping photos with locals, walking in parades, wearing a sash in official capacity at the PNE, Tillicum had quite the engagement schedule — and would have been totally Insta-famous today. From Canada Place and Science World, to Robson Square and Stanley Park, here are some of Tillicum’s adventures:

Tillicum the Sea Otter
Tillicum at the Museum of Vancouver. Archives #2011-010.1950.04
Vancouver's Centennial Mascot was Tillicum the Sea Otter
Tillicum at the Pacific Central Station. Archives #2011-010.1947.28
Tillicum the Otter Mascot Collage
Vancouver Archives collection of Tillicum about town!
Tillicum the Sea Otter
Tillicum at Canada Place. Archives #2011-010.2719
Tillicum the Sea Otter
Tillicum at Stanley Park. Archives #2011-010.1948.21
Tillicum the Sea Otter
Tillicum at Science World. Archives #2011-010.1947.12

The largest celebration of the Vancouver Centennial was Expo 86, which was opened on May 2nd by Prince Charles and Princess Diana.

Browse more Archive Photo series posts here »

Buy Megaphone Magazine Online and Support Your Local Vendor

Add a Comment by Rebecca Bollwitt

They are the friendly faces you see every day on your street corner, but with social distancing during the COVID-19 outbreak, Megaphone Magazine vendors won’t be out for the foreseeable future. Many of the vendors who rely on street sales will see a significant decrease in their income. The good news is that you can now buy Megaphone Magazine online and support your local vendor.

Megaphone vendor selling outdoor

Buy Megaphone Magazine Online and Support Your Local Vendor

Megaphone is an award-winning street paper sold by 175 homeless and low-income vendors in Vancouver and Victoria. Vendors buy each magazine for 75 cents and sell it for $2—keeping the profit. By selling Megaphone, people experiencing poverty, homelessness and health challenges can earn income through meaningful, dignified work.

“Our vendors are not only vulnerable to income insecurity, but also to COVID-19 as many have compromised immune systems due to other illnesses (COPD, diabetes, HIV, HepC, etc.), not to mention substandard housing and limited access to healthy food and personal hygiene supplies,” says says Megaphone Executive Director Julia Aoki. “While COVID-19 makes vending less possible, it also makes the financial support more crucial.”

In lieu of in-person purchases, Megaphone is encouraging its customers to purchase its latest edition of the monthly magazine through the online store here. Customers can either choose to purchase the magazine for the $2 cover price, or select a higher price point to include a tip. After the purchase, supporters can either direct the funds to their usual vendors by emailing, or Megaphone will distribute the income among all active vendors. Customers will receive a PDF version of the latest issue of Megaphone magazine via email.

Follow Megaphone on Twitter and Facebook for more info.

Explore From Home with the North Shore Culture Compass

Add a Comment by Rebecca Bollwitt

North Van Arts has officially launched the North Shore Culture Compass (Culture Compass), an easily accessible free online platform that catalogues and visualizes the cultural, artistic, and historic institutions and destinations of North Vancouver, West Vancouver, and the region’s First Nations communities.

North Shore Culture Compass

North Shore Culture Compass

The Culture Compass encourages local residents and tourists alike to connect with the arts, heritage, and stories of the North Shore.

“The North Shore Culture Compass will help define what North Shore culture is today by making culture more visible and convenient to access, fostering collaborations, and encouraging a better understanding of our shared home,” says Nancy Cottingham Powell, Executive Director of North Van Arts. “UNESCO recognizes that cultural mapping is critical in preserving both the tangible and intangible components that comprise a community — this interactive tool is a way to appreciate all the North Shore has to offer.”

The Culture Compass is submission-based, with all listings uploaded for free. Listing information includes an image, a short description, an address and a web link to the organization, event, or cultural landmark. With the support of the North Shore community, the Culture Compass currently features more than 400 listings of regional points of cultural and historic significance. Listings are searchable by keyword and organized into 10 distinct categories:

  • Creative & Cultural Industries
    Businesses that provide the creation, production, manufacturing and/or distribution of goods and services that are cultural in nature (recording studios, costume designers, creative software design).
  • Cultural & Natural Heritage
    The legacy of buildings and/or sites, physical artifacts, activities, and intangible attributes of a group or society, of historical, cultural and educational value that are inherited from past generations.
  • Cultural Spaces & Facilities
    A physical space, building, or site that hosts cultural activity where people gather to experience arts or heritage-related activities.
  • Cultural Organizations
    Organizations that represent arts, heritage, and ethno-cultural interests in the community. These are usually non-profits.
  • Festivals & Events
    A period or program of activities, events, and/or entertainment celebrating and/or educating one or many social cultures.
  • First Nations
    Places, stories, events, customs, and traditions that represent the culture of local First Nations.
    *Listings follow appropriate sharing protocol and are uploaded in close consultation with the Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations
  • Intangibles & Stories
    Non-physical aspects of a particular culture, including traditions, customs, and practices, aesthetic and spiritual beliefs, lore, artistic expression, and language.
  • Public Art
    Original, one-of-a-kind work that creatively reflects the culture, heritage and/or natural environment of the site or surrounding area.
  • Public Institutions
    A public body that operates accessible facilities and services for the public good, including but not limited to schools and local authorities.
  • Service Organizations
    A voluntary non-profit organization where members meet regularly to perform charitable work either by direct hands-on efforts or by raising money for other organizations.
North Van Archives Collage
Towers, balloons, goats! North Vancouver Archives

Fun Things I’ve Already Discovered

On top of some of the artists and artisans I’ve already discovered, there are some great nuggets of history in the Intangibles and Stories Section.

Thanks to the North Vancouver Museum and Archives I discovered that Balloon Logging was a thing. Balloon logging on the steep, difficult-to-reach slopes of the Seymour Watershed had once been an experiment conducted in the 1960’s by the Balloon Transport Company. Convinced that a state-of-the-art, aerial load-lifting apparatus would revolutionize the lumber industry, Chester R. Matheson patented the idea in 1962 and introduced balloon logging to forest-rich British Columbia in 1963. It only lasted three days. Find out why »

In 1923, there were 400 pet goats in North Vancouver, and in 1910 there was a Japanese Tea Garden that featured a 33 metre-tall tower!

To access or upload a listing to the Culture Compass, visit the website and bookmark some of the new (and old) sites and venues you find so that you can visit in the future.

Related: Virtual Museum Tours in Vancouver