Archive for July, 2013

Davie Village, Pride celebrations and other LGBT related events

Friday, July 26th, 2013

The time has come for the West End to come alive with the spectacular fireworks display and Vancouver to host its annual Gay Pride Parade and festival.

This is truly the time when Summer is in full swing in Vancouver and the West End district is the place to be, there are no shortage of events at this time of year, so please read on to find out the very best events in the area. We will also have a comprehensive list of resources for the Gay, Lesbian, Bi-sexual & Trans community.

MAJOR EVENTS
Picnic in the Park – At The Brockton Oval (Stanley Park) JULY 27th
This is a preview event leading up to the main Gay Pride event the following weekend. get down to Stanley park and bring your picnic along where you can enjoy the fun and festivities while networking to meet new friends.
There will be food on offer, a game of Tug of War and at 4pm you will get the chance to meet the Stewards who will be running the Pride parade for a much anticipated preview.

http://vancouverpride.ca/o_events/pride-launch-picnic-in-the-park-2/

QMUNITY EVENTS
Coffee at Qmunity JULY 29th
Pop by for some coffee and a chat with the Executive Director at Qmunity (formerly known as The Centre) Here you can discuss with Qmunity ideas and suggestions in ways to enhance the community that is Davie Village.

http://www.qmunity.ca/events/?cal_cat=5

G(r)ay and Glamorous!
If you are over 55 and are wanting to Strut your wares with pride, then this is the place for you! A wonderful event that is sponsored by the Pride Society.
Located at Barclay Manor which in itself is a beautiful historical location within the West End, this event wants you you to glam it up and wear the very best dazzling costume you can find, there will be prizes and lots if giggles in store!

http://www.qmunity.ca/events/?cal_cat=5&month=aug&yr=2013#

CELEBRITIES NIGHTCLUB EVENTS
GAY BINGO FOR LIFE at CELEBRITIES NIGHTCLUB – Every WEDNESDAY
Starting at 8pm – This is a great night to have some Bingo fun, lots of drinks, laughing and some excellent prizes and all for a very good cause… this event is on going on a weekly basis at the Celebrities Nightclub.

http://celebritiesnightclub.com/bingo-for-life-ft-joan-e-celebspride/

HISTORY CELEBPRIDE 13HR EXTRAVAGANZA
Join in the fun and festivities at Celebrities with a 13 hour marathon of excellent DJ’s to get your boogie on and celebrate the Vancouver Pride.

http://celebritiesnightclub.com/history-celebspride/

OASIS ULTRA LOUNGE
Oasis Ultra Lounge not too long underwent some incredible refurbishments and looks pretty classy indeed! With nightly events here are a couple of highlights!

KARAOKE
Every Tuesday night come on down and see Grogan who is hosting this fantastic night of entertainment, whether you are a budding singer wannabe or just want to sing your heart just because, then this is the place for you, there are excellent drinks specials and pretty awesome and entertaining staff to get you through the night.

A Deeper Love Drag Extravaganza – MONDAY JULY 29th
A benefit gala for Vancouver Pride, here you will get to see the brightest and biggest stars of the Drag scene, this will be an awesome night to remember…

http://oasisondavie.com/

THE JUNCTION PUB
Absolute Pride – August 3rd
Have an absolutely crazy time at the Junction and enjoy the very best drag show in town in celebration of the Pride festivities.
Doors open at 9pm and the music will be spinning till 4am.

http://www.junctionpub.com/events/absolut-pride/

PRIDE FESTIVAL & PARADE!
Vancouver Pride comes to the West End this Sunday August 3rd hot on the heels of the final celebration of light fireworks.
This weekend is sure to be fun, festive and full of eccentric people to get you in the party mood.

http://vancouverpride.ca/official-events/

DAVIE STREET PARTY Saturday August 2nd
Kick off the Pride weekend with a bang, Davie village will come alive with some amazing street partying to be enjoyed by all. Beginning at 4pm there will be an All Ages section to kick things off and this area will be free. From 7pm the actual street party begins for real, great stalls and live music will be sure to get the festivities on in style.

THE PRIDE PARADE – Sunday August 3rd
The parade begins at Robson Street and Thurlow Street, heads west to Denman Street, follows Denman to Pacific Street and Beach Avenue and finishes at the Sunset Beach Festival site. – See more at:

Parade begins at 12pm on Robson St to Denman St to Pacific St and Sunset Beach.

Exploring Stanley Park. Part 3. Wildlife of Stanley Park

Wednesday, July 17th, 2013

Stanley park will be celebrating its 125th birthday in August, we are writing about the highlights in a series of blogs leading up the special celebrations on August 24th & 25th 2013.

In our continuing series of where we explore the very best of Stanley Park we will like to introduce you to the large array of wildlife species that live within the park.

While staying at the Sunset Inn you may be quite surprised to see many animals casually taking a stroll close under your feet (and we don’t mean the small doggies that sometime reside in peoples handbags or the local domesticated cat), we are referring to the squirrels, raccoon’s and Skunk’s to name but a few that live in the West End like we do.

Wildlife is abundant in this city and if you keep your eyes open all around you, you will certainly see many many species of all walks of life (even the people watching is pretty incredible here too, so many weird and wonderful varieties of humans to check wandering the streets)! Joking aside, we will guide you so you know what kind of critters you will expect to see within the park and its beaches.

BIRDLIFE
If you take a peak up in the skies, there is no shortage of spectacular bird species of all varieties, these include Bald Eagles, Crows, Ravens and Herons.
Many of these birds have nesting sites throughout the parks, be sure to keep a beady eye open – you will see them all in action.
There are also quite a variety of differing Bat species in the park, we were lucky enough to have some Bat specialists stay at the hotel and on that very trip they had discovered a brand new species of Bat that was not familiar to them in the park.

The Bald Eagle population in Vancouver was limited to just a couple of pairs, one pair in Stanley Park and the other out at UBC, nowadays the population has grown to a very healthy size and you will be more than likely to see these huge majestic birds of prey in their natural habitats.

The herons are very famous in the park, especially as there are many of them who nest during the Spring season just above the Tennis Courts, to date there are more than 170 nests at any given time, these birds are known for therei huge beaks and large wingspan, they are quite the sight to behold.

The Goose population are also thriving in these parts too, and of course, Canada would not be Canada without seeing the Canadian Geese flying in their unmistakable V formation, it is not unusual to see them frolicking down by the beach, seawall and other areas around the city.

There are also sightings of elusive Peacocks in the park too, these birds are from the old Stanley Park Zoo that has long since shut down due to the living conditions there that were deemed not livable.

Here is some cool footage of a Raven interacting with a human for some help after it got itself into some bother with a Porcupine: http://youtu.be/hlwxLtFQcrY

MAMMALS
As well as the eccentric species of people that are known to visit the park, you will see no shortage of the cute and furry variety animals in the park.
The most popular Park and Urban dwellers in this area of the world are the large populations of Skunks, Raccoon’s, Rabbits and Squirrels.
At times you may get to see the Raccoon’s foraging for food in all parts of the city, some you will even see at the waters edge fishing for clams and mussels while enjoying a soak in the sea.

The Squirrels are the most visible all around the city, in fact, the Grey Squirrels that you will encounter were actually given to Vancouver as a present from New York where in the eastern part of North America is where they naturally reside. The Park was given two in the early part of the twentieth century, and, within a few decades the population has grown to a considerably large population, so much so that they thrive and have become one of the most dominant animals in the area.
Coyotes are very popular in and around Vancouver, yet they are hard to catch as they are quite elusive, if you are going to see them it will likely be after dark.

WATER DWELLERS
At the seawall and if you have a keen eye, look out along the water you may just see a head pop up from below the surface, this will likely be a sea lion taking a wee look at the tourists in between some hunting for fish.

Down at the Lost Lagoon there is no shortage of cool animals that reside around this small but stunning lake. As well as the herons wading in the water, take a look at the rocks and you will see Turtles, plenty of species of ducks and other wonderful birds.

For further information on the local ecology click here: http://stanleyparkecology.ca/conservation/urban-wildlife/other-wildlife-resources/

And of course the Vancouver Aquarium that is located close to the Lost Lagoon: http://www.vanaqua.org/

Exploring Stanley Park. Part 2. Family Activities

Wednesday, July 10th, 2013

In the second part of our ‘Exploring Stanley Park’ series we shall be explaining about the very best of family orientated activities you can do and the very best places to dine in with the family around the park.

VANCOUVER AQUARIUM
One of the more popular destinations within Stanley Park, the aquarium has something to offer for all ages in the family, with fabulous exhibitions that will wow the children, and, more in depth details regarding the local ecology of the Pacific North West waters for the adults to understand and enjoy.
Website and informationhttp://www.vanaqua.org/

WATER-PARK & SWIMMING POOLS
With Summer really settling in now and some hot days to enjoy when visiting the park why not take the kids to the Water Park for some splish splashing fun! The water park is located close to the Miniature Train and Aquarium.
Water park Informationhttp://vancouver.ca/parks-recreation-culture/stanley-park-water-park.aspx

There is also a great open air outdoor Pool to enjoy close to Second Beach and playgrounds within the meadows.
Second Beach Outdoor Pool: http://vancouver.ca/parks-recreation-culture/second-beach-pool.aspx

MINIATURE TRAIN
A huge hit with the children. A beautiful 2km train ride through the magical forests and lakes of Stanley Park, you will step back in time on a miniature replica of the Canadian Pacific Railway #374, famous for pulling Canada’s first transcontinental passenger train into Vancouver in the late 1880s.

STANLEY PARK PLAYGROUNDS
There are quite a few playgrounds for the young kids to enjoy while the rest of the family can just laze in the sun with a nice picnic, what a perfect way to watch the world go by and soak up the local wildlife and scenery.
Further information on the Playgrounds in the park:http://vancouver.ca/parks-recreation-culture/stanley-park-playgrounds.aspx

http://vancouver.ca/parks-recreation-culture/stanley-park-playgrounds.aspx

HORSE AND CART
Tired of walking? Love horses? Well why don’t you experience the park using the good old fashioned Horse and Cart…its pretty awesome!
Horse and cart information:http://www.stanleypark.com/Schedules%20&%20Rates_Group%20Rates.html

PITCH AND PUTT
Located close to the famous FISH HOUSE RESTAURANT, this pitch and putt could not be in a more idyllic location in the park. Here you can spend some leisurely few hours with a game that will keep everyone entertained, with 18 holes ranging from 40 to 100 yards, this is perfect for people who just want to have some fun and if you are a beginner, well begin here!
Further information:http://vancouver.ca/parks-recreation-culture/stanley-park-pitch-putt.aspx
The Fishhouse restaurant information http://www.fishhousestanleypark.com/

CYCLING THE SEAWALL
Stanley park is best seen while cycling around the Seawall, it is a stunning way to capture the very best scenery around the 10km seawall, it is also predominantly a flat ride so nothing strenuous, just a leisurely trip that will blow you away with the stunning setting of the North Shore mountains, Burrard Inlet and notable natural attractions that are dotted around the park.
Please see the front desk for Bike hire information and vouchers.
English Bay Bike Rentals information http://www.englishbaybikerentals.com/

Exploring Stanley Park. Part 1. Landmarks of the Park

Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013

Stanley Park truly is the jewel in the crown in the city of Vancouver – it is located right next to our district of the West End with Downtown Vancouver nestled by its side. On August 24th and 25th the park will be celebrating its 125th birthday and there will be plenty of celebrations to mark this occasion. Please check our website for upcoming details of the events as and when they will be announced. We will be writing a series of blogs so are up to speed with everything you need to know about this beautiful destination.

The park is pretty big, in fact, it is roughly the same size as the downtown core of the city itself with the sea wall encircling the outside perimeter of the park at a distance of around 10km. It can easily be explored in a few days if you wish to really look at what this stunning park has to offer. We will like to highlight the very best that Stanley Park has to offer, so let us guide you around so you know what to do once you come by and visit.

LANDMARKS OF STANLEY PARK
There are many notable landmarks to visit in the park that are full of art and natural areas of interest.

Lost Lagoon
The Lost Lagoon is an important area that has a major influence on the local ecosystem and biodiversity in the park, it was formerly a tidal mudflat until the Stanley park causeway was built through the middle of the park – now it is a body of freshwater that acts as a natural filtration system in the park. The flora and fauna is very rich around the lagoon and you will be mesmerized by the fantastic colours of the plant life. The animals that live here are quite diverse too, the lagoon is a natural sanctuary for a wide variety of species.

Beaver Lake
Found in the very middle of the park like a small oasis away from the main drag, this is an area that is a peaceful, tranquil spot that is great to just drift away and reflect.
Like the Lost lagoon, Beaver Lake serves a purpose for natural biodiversity and if you like Ducks, well there are plenty of species to take a look at.
The lake is actually rapidly disappearing due to human influences around the park and overtime has been filling up with sediment – conservationists are working very hard to try and save the lake from filling up altogether.

For further information on the Stanley Park ecology plans – please click here: http://vancouver.ca/files/cov/stanley-park-ecological-action-plan-01102011.pdf

Hollow Tree
One of the most significant landmarks in the park and has also been at the center of controversy over the years regarding whether or not the tree should be left alone or removed.
The tree is the remnants of the stump from a 700 year old Cedar tree and has been wowing people for many many years, it become a major feature by tourists since the park opened way back in 1888.
In 2006, Stanley park was seriously damaged by a major windstorm that swept across Vancouver and in the process felled many of the trees in the park along its western flank – many parts of the park were damaged as well as the sea wall which had to undergo major reconstruction. The hollow tree itself became very very unstable after the wind storm and many of the soils around the tree rapidly eroded.

Siwash Rock
35 Million years in the making this is a stunning beacon of a natural geological process on the western side of the park along the seawall.
Standing at a height of 18 metres tall (60 feet) the rock which is known as a basalt stack and is the remnants of magma that was forced up to the surface through a fissure from a volcanic dyke. It is a symbolic relic that has been ingrained in indigenous folklore. It is believed that the rock was a man who was transformed into rock “as an indestructible monument to Clean Fatherhood.”

Prospect Point
By far one the best vantage points to view the stunning scenery from Stanley Park of the North Shore, the Burrard inlet and English Bay.
There is also a cute cafe at the point so you can soak up the views and have a bite to eat while you are there.

For further information on the park: http://vancouver.ca/parks-recreation-culture/stanley-park-125.aspx