Archive for May, 2008

CP Spirit of 150 Rail Tour – Schedule of Events

CP photo

From June 12 to July 6, the CP Spirit of 150 Rail Tour will visit 33 communities in the Kootenays, the Rockies, the Shuswap, Kamloops, the Fraser Canyon and Vancouver as part of the year-long BC150 celebration.

The CP Spirit of 150 Rail Tour is co-sponsored by Canadian Pacific, which is operating, staffing and maintaining the train. The train includes the vintage Empress 2816 steam locomotive and support cars, two vintage passenger coaches, a vintage business car, a heritage baggage car converted into a travelling museum and a vintage stage car.

The museum car features a selection of artifacts from the “Stories of you, me and BC,” a major exhibition at the Royal British Columbia Museum.

The stage car features the sound of British Columbia, with a live band and stage show by The Motherlode. Visitors can enjoy and interact with costumed performers depicting some of B.C.’s most entertaining and notorious historical figures.

June 26
Mission: West Coast Express Station, 33200 N. Railway Avenue (Between Home and Welton Street) 12:45 to 3:45 p.m.
Abbotsford: Gladys Avenue (extension of Highway #11) and George Ferguson Way/W. Railway Street. 5:30 to 9:30 p.m.

June 27
Maple Ridge: North Mainline Track (Across from the Billy Minor Pub, 22355 River Road) 9:45 to 11:45 a.m.
Pitt Meadows: West Coast Express Station, 12258 Harris Road. 12:30 to 2:30 p.m.

June 29

Port Moody: West Coast Express Station (West end parking lot, corner of Moody and Spring Street) 12 to 4 p.m.

June 30

Langley: Production Way, between 200th Street and Fraser Highway 2 to 4 p.m.

July 1 – Canada Day

Surrey: Cloverdale Village Square, Highway #10 (56th Avenue) and 176A Street (Rear Parking Lot) 10 to 4 p.m.

July 4

New Westminster: Advance Parking Lot, east of Westminster Quay, corner of Begbie and Front Street. 10 to 2 p.m.

July 5

West Vancouver: Ambleside Park, Marine Drive and 13th Street 10 to 2 p.m.

July 6

Vancouver: Rocky Mountaineer Station, 1755 Cottrell Street. 10 to 2 p.m.

for places outside the Vancouver region see the CP web page

Vancouver (and the world) loses Luc Bourdon

Just a short time ago it was confirmed that the young up-and-coming Vancouver Canuck, Luc Bourdon, died tragically in a motorcycle accident in New Brunswick.

Bourdon, 21, was killed in a motorcycle accident near Shipagan, N.B., Montreal’s CKAC Radio reported. The accident occurred around 12:30 p.m. local time (8:30 a.m. PDT)… …Bourdon was the Canucks’ first-round draft choice in 2005, and played 27 games the following season. [The Province]

More information is available on Canucks and Beyond, including confirmed reports and updates. Our thoughts go out to Luc’s family.

[Hat tip: John Bollwitt for the heads up on this.]

Krazy! comics come to the Vancouver Art Gallery


Vancouver Art Gallery Exhibition

KRAZY! The Delirious World of Anime + Comics + Video Games + Art

May 17 to September 7, 200

I went to see Krazy! last week. It’s the first showing at the Vancouver Art Gallery (VAG) that I’ve been to in awhile, and as someone who spends far too much of their monthly income on video games, comic books and graphic novels it’s right up my alley.

The exhibit takes up two floors of the gallery, with the main floor being dedicated to comics and graphic novels along with anime and magna with the second floor turned over to video games and film. The show is curated by some of the big names of the featured industries including Art Spiegelman most famous for his Holocaust retelling Maus and Will Wright who created the Sim games such as Sim City and The Sims. The show offers an interesting examination of animation from cartoon stips in the newspaper with Krazy Kat to video games and modern computer animated movies.

It does not, however offer any context, something that is actually too bad since this is a rare opportunity to bring outsiders into the world of animation, and graphic storytelling.

Below the jump is my critique of the exhibit. It might sound negative, but really in total this is a good show and well worth your time. It’s certainly not perfect, but there is a chance that I’m being overly critical of it. I enjoyed my time going through the exhibit quite a bit, and would certainly recommend it to anyone regardless of their interest level in animated storytelling.


Clearing the log jam at Canoe Pass


Originally uploaded by Stephen Rees

The recent warm weather has melted the snow pack and started the “spring freshet”. The water in the river rises and cleans off all the logs and other debris from the banks, which then gets swept out to sea. Or, in this case into Canoe Pass which is one of the outlets of the delta. The current piles the debris up against the bridge, and the rise and fall of the tides does not always dislodge the longer trees. So the tugs are called. The link above takes you to a video of the Canoe Pass Renegade finishing off the remains of a large snag last weekend.

Bike to Work Week

Bike to Work Week, originally uploaded by Rob Baxter.

Metblogs acknowledges those brave souls who have got on their bikes for their first commute ride this week. Vancouver does make some efforts to try and give cyclists are reasonable route choice, but in my recent experience there are still way too many drivers who regard cyclists as legitimate targets. While the rest just don’t see cyclists, though this outfit should draw some attention.

Which, by the way, is why you need a helmet. Falling from a bike is unlikely to result in a head injury for a commuter. Being hit by a motor vehicle is.

R.E.M. launch tour at Deer Lake Park

R.E.M. live @ Deer Lake Park

They’ve recorded here, and claim to be planning on doing so again. They’ve launched tours here, and played secret club shows here. If it feels like Athens Georgia’s R.E.M. is in Vancouver as much most local bands, well that certainly did not dampen the expectations on the group as they kicked off their latest world wide tour in Burnaby’s Deer Lake Park. Headlining a three act show that included Modest Mouse and The National, the show is an early front runner for highlight of the local concert season, and was well worth even the steep ticket cost.

After the jump a closer look at each of the three groups’ performances as well as pictures from the Deer Lake Park show on Friday.


Vancouver’s nano sized Apple Store

Vancouver Apple Store - Opening Day

We’ve been following the rumours and development for years now, but finally Vancouver’s first Apple Store is open in Pacific Centre Mall.  The long lines died off once the 1,000 free t-shirts were gone, but it’s been packed with customers since with a ton of cross-over with the new H&M next door.

I skipped out on the opening since I was to tired from R.E.M. and the late show of Indiana Jonesthe night before to go, but I swung by a little after 6 and it as still full of shoppers.  It’s a small store, similar in size to mall stores in Phoenix and Toronto, and is not quite the accessory mecca that I had hoped that it would be.  Maybe I’m just cynical from being in Apple Stores in other cities or maybe I’m still disappointed I never got a second interview [jks] or that Apple had tried to hire two of my references instead of me [mbv], but it’s sort of underwhelming.

Oh I’m going to be spending way too much money there, though I’ll probably continue to get my computers via the online site if only for customizing options, but it’s just not as much of a must-go-to store as other Apple Stores.  Anytime I’m in Seattle you’ll find me in the University Village Apple Store, and if I’m in a city with an Apple Store I’ll go out of my way to go there.

Meanwhile the Vancouver one has only been open for two days and I’m already taking it for granted.

I’ll try not to get star struck…

Big time bloggers, Heather Armstrong and Maggie Mason, are in town for VidFest this weekend. And they are scheduling a meet-and-greet over at Granville Island tomorrow from 5 to 7 pm. Here are those details:

Dockside Brewing Company
behind the Granville Island Hotel
1253 Johnston Street
Granville Island, Vancouver B.C.V6h 3R9

I’m going to hop on the Aquabus and take a ride over to Granville Island right after work. I’m not exactly sure what I’ll say yet, and I’m actually nervous at the thought of meeting them. I know, that’s silly, but it’s true. While I’m not a mommy blogger at all, I read both bloggers’ sites every day. And I really do like Heather’s photos.

Eat it, Vancouver!

EAT! Vancouver logo
Oops, that should be EAT! Vancouver, my bad.

May 23-25 at BC Place Stadium. It’s a festival of food, and I really, really like food.

So where was all the traffic?

Burrard Street on Sunday by Cult Iconic on flickr

It was a lovely weekend, but CKNW didn’t find any traffic jams to report on. This is unusual when we have a long weekend and sunshine. So they called me to ask – why?

Best guess is that gas prices have a lot to do with it. Everyone has to commute, so that trip can’t be cut, but “discretionary travel” can be. There are always closer destinations, or you might decide to get out into the yard and catch up there rather than go to Bellis Fair Mall. The border crossing at the Peace Arch has construction work going on so there were only half the lanes available, and CBC were warning about that on Friday. But the ferries were not overloaded either.

Americans are coming here in fewer numbers, partly due to the lower US dollar, the economic downturn but also increasing restrictions at the border. They tended to drive here. They are being replaced by folk from further afield – China and Europe – who are less likely to drive when they get here.

Will we get used to higher gas prices and go back to driving? Only if incomes rise, something else gets cheaper or we decide to give up something else. Britain has much higher pump prices than we do – and has done for many years – but they still have chaos on the roads every bank holiday weekend. But the adjustment process is not going to be easy, and it doesn’t help that we have so few alternatives. Overcrowded transit and no trains off peak or at weekends on West Coast Express for instance.

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