December 29, 2006 | Tips from Us >
Smithers, Sightseeing Tours
I recently rented the Disney movie Eight Below
about an expedition in Antartica that gets evacuated, leaving the husky dogsled team behind. And yes, I enjoyed it; it had all the required elements of a Disney family flick - adventure, love, friendship, drama, and of course, cute dogs. What I didn't expect was a little bit of Canada thrown in there too. While flipping through the bonus tracks on the DVD, I ended up watching "Running With the Dogs: The Making of Eight Below," and was surprised to find out the gorgeous "Antarctica" scenery was actually filmed on a mountain plateau outside Smithers
, BC (with a bit of Greenland and Stewart
, BC thrown in too). To really get a sense of the area's beauty, you will have to just rent the film, and watch the bonus features. And then perhaps visit.
December 22, 2006 | Tips from Us >
Gold River, Wildlife Tours
Check out this amazing video of an Orca Whale playing with a cameraman from the Australian Today show!
December 12, 2006 | Tips from Us >
Richmond, Festivals & Events
Last Friday evening, I was in Steveston, BC for their Spectacle of Lights event. My friends, Bren and Tim came along with their 2 children, Emma and Helen to enjoy the caroling procession and the lighting of the 40 foot Xmas tree. I was not sure what to expect but I was pleasantly surprised. After meeting up at the Steveston Museum, we meandered through the village, checking out the shop lights and decorations. A few of the shops really pulled out all the stops and had some impressive displays. We were one of the first groups to arrive at the starting point. The evening was cool and crisp, no rain! We had a chance to see the crowd gather. Lots of families, kids bundled up and dogs on leashes. Volunteers were giving away glow sticks, which were a HUGE hit with the kids. Emma loved her orange one and Helen was happy with her "yellad" one. I must say that I liked my green one too! Kids playing with each other and adults chatting - "Community Spirit." The caroling procession started with the arrival of Santa in the motorized Steveston Community hayride at No. 1 Rd and Moncton, in behind went the ROC Chorus. Once the kids saw Santa that was it! Off everyone went after the hayride. We all began caroling down Moncton to the Gulf of Georgia Cannery, where the tree lighting ceremony was going to happen. Tim, Bren and the girls got to greet Santa as the hayride was stopped close by. Emma was very excited about meeting Santa! However, Helen being only 2 was a bit shy but she didn't cry. After a few songs by the chorus to allow the crowd to gather. There were welcoming speeches and then Mayor Malcolm Brodie pulled the candy cane switch and the tree light up! "Wow! Pretty!" said Emma. The McMath band played a few tunes after and the crowd went on their way. Some went home, while others stayed to shop or eat. We choose to eat. We had done some research prior to deciding where to have dinner since Emma has quite a few food allergies which makes it a bit more challenging. No
December 05, 2006 | Tips from Us >
Find more information about Vancouver - Dining
I just read that the Raincity Grill
now has "BC's first totally local mid-winter restaurant menu."
Their 100-Mile Tasting menu consists of all BC ingredients that have been found less than 100 miles from the restaurant. It currently features Polderside Farms Duck Cassoulet Agassiz, described as ‘coco’ bean and pork belly ragout, house made Berkshire pork sausage, confit of duck leg. For dessert, Ricotta Cheesecake with roasted Denman Island crab apple,‘district of kent’ grown hazelnut wafer, sage honey. YUM!! You can't get more BC than that!
The Raincity Grill is well-known in Vancouver for its high-quality West Coast Cuisine. See The Tyee
for the full article.
December 05, 2006 | Tips from Us >
Campbell River, Festivals & Events
This past Sunday December 3rd with all the snow still on the ground my family made the trek downtown to enjoy Campbell River's 2nd Annual Winterfest Parade. Because of the snowy conditions there wasn't as many spectators as we expected but it was a wonderful community event. In the parage itself there were the Fire engines, elves, Frosty, Mr. & Mrs. Santa Claus handing out goodies, horses all decked out in red bows and such, newspapers and news channels showed up in force, the postal workers donated their time to gather letters from all the kids to Santa. The Mayor and a few Councillors waving to the crowd it was GREAT!! This being our 2nd annual parade it was about 15-20 minuteslong and I expect it will grow every year. It was thrilling to see all the kids running with their letters in hand and chasing after the candies and chocolate bars, they didn't care about the snow and the slush. The smiles on their faces made it all worth while. The parade ended at the Discovery Pier and Maritime Heritage Centre where the Winterfest Market opened for the first Sunday of the season. I couldn't believe the crafts, gifts, jewlery, knitted things like caps, scarfs, aroma therapy filled the air. It was a wonderful atmosphere and Santa was also available for pictures. There were hundreds of people so it was a little busy but everyone had a smile on their face and I was very proud of the volunteers and the citizens of Campbell River for showing their Christmas and community spirit. The Maritime Centre is also home to the BCP45 which a very historic boat in Canada because it was used by the Canadian Mint in the 70's-80's on our $5. This building was perfect for our Winterfest Market and I will be going the next two Sunday's just to be immersed in that wonderful atmosphere and maybe to make a purchase or two.
December 04, 2006 | Tips from Us >
Getting tired of the 2 hour commute to and from work? Can't afford a house in the city? These are some of the reasons why people look at living in a rural area. In Smithers, we get people inquiring on a daily basis about housing costs; what are the schools like; does Smithers have a golf course (yes, we have two)? Visitors passing through, stop at the Visitor Centre and tell us what a beautiful area we have. As residents of Smithers, we may be a little complacent about the beauty of our area but I think everyone here agrees that it is unique. Ongoing public debates rage in Smithers about possible projects including coal bed methane and WalMart. Destroying the natural beauty is the 'trump card' that every opponent uses.
December 04, 2006 | Tips from Us >
Lillooet, Historic & Heritage Sites
Find more information about Lillooet - Historic & Heritage Sites
Last month, my friends and I were invited to sample a set of three new cultural mini-tours that are being developed by the St’at’imc Nation in Lillooet
. The St'át'imc are the original inhabitants of the territory that includes Lillooet and ten other communities in the surrounding area.
If you’ve never been to this part of BC before, it’s an area of stark contrasts – particularly if you approach it along Highway 99 from Vancouver as we did. In a matter of just four hours, the highway traverses coastline, rainforests, mountain valleys, mountain passes, and glaciers before descending into an arid and dramatically scenic land of rugged canyons, mountains and plateaus that surround Lillooet and the mighty Fraser River.
As I pass through these varying landscapes, I’m always mindful of the fact that there was a time when the inhabitants of this land thrived without such things as automobiles, electricity and other modern-day conveniences… they thrived by learning to live harmoniously with the land. Fortunately, much of this wisdom has been passed from generation to generation. And in 2007, when the St’at’imc cultural tours become available to the public, visitors will be invited to gain some fascinating insight into these traditions.
The sample day-tour that we were invited to participate in consisted of three segments. The first was a narrated walk around the Lower Seton River Spawning Channel, situated just outside of town. Our guide Jennifer enthusiastically shared her wealth of knowledge on the history of the channel and explained some the many uses of the area’s local plants.
After the spawning channel tour, we made our way over to the Julianne Hall for a wonderful theatrical performance that included traditional singing and dancing. This was accompanied by a lunch feast of such treats as Smoked Salmon Pate or Herb-Roasted Venison on Fresh Baked Bannock, Venison - Barley Soup, and White Cake w
December 03, 2006 | Tips from Us >
Vancouver, Theatre & Performing Arts
Find more information about Vancouver - Theatre & Performing Arts
Last month, I attended an evening at the Orpheum to listen to the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra
. Sorry it has taken so long to write about it, but…yawn, I am still a bit sleepy from the event.
I purchased tickets to the first of the new Horizons series. Here is what the VSO had to say about the concerts: “The brand new Horizons series explores music that is cosmopolitan, bold, and adventurous.” Don’t get me wrong, I love the VSO. But except for the charisma of Maestro Bramwell Tovey, I would have to say the evening was anything but cosmopolitan and bold. The only adventure I had that evening was walking along Granville Street to get to the theatre.
In all fairness, despite not getting what I expected, the music was beautifully played. Just like a lullaby.