Category Archives: BC & Vancouver Activities

essays, articles, ideas and discourse about stuff to do and explore in Vancouver in specific and BC and Cascadia in general – outdoors, day trips, festivals and what have you

Dual Protests at the US Embassy in Vancouver + notes about making peace

On a rainy day in Vancouver, BC, pro-Palestine and pro-Israel protests tried to out-yell each other outside of the USA Embassy.

My friend Kris Krug went down to document the event and came back rather moved by the experience by seeing friends yelling at each other with no resolve and also the fact that we as humans haven’t developed a method to resolve these absurd conflicts predicated by race, religion, and territory.

Personally, I think we can do better. Respect, forgiveness, kindness, friendliness and ecumenicality for starters.

Here are Kris’ remarks:

the noted mr. krugIt makes me sad that in 2008 there is a such an immovable mountain of a conflict whose central tenants seem to be based on racism and religious intolerance. On both sides. All sides.

I feel sad and my had hangs a lil lower every time I hear about an escalation of the violence in the middle east. I like to be positive and optimistic in general and am frustrated not only in the terrible things that are taking place in terms of violence, but also that we don’t seem to even have the institutions in which we can seek forgiveness and resolution. I’m disappointed in all of us. (

Here’s KK’s post: Anti-Israel Protest @ US Embassy in Vancouver and video of the protests. The reaction from Sean Orr and Jonthan Narvey suggest a microcosm of how to resolve conflicts – ergo: have a chat and a beverage and start find finding things in common.

Narvey says:

Sean Orr and I trading accusations of supporting fascists, until we realized who each other were. Afterwards, deciding to grab a coffee sometime to discuss our political ideas and things webby. I’ve got quite a bit of respect for the guy since his and Krug’s bit of genuine heroismthe other day in the dark side-streets of Gastown. I must confess I find Orr’s alignment with the pro-Hamas crowd disconcerting and not particularly consistent with his standing up for justice on the streets of Vancouver. Perhaps I’ll end up winning him over to my side some day.

Protest the protest

Orr says:

And this is why, despite my constant disappointment with our leaders and the tyranny of our economic system, I am proud to be Canadian. I completely and fundamentally think Jonathan’s support of Israel is racist, imperialistic, and in opposition to world law; but as I stuttered to him in the pounding hail, I’d fight for his right to speak them. We talked a little bit about the fight and about art, then I crossed back over and joined in a chant or two of “End the Occupation Now” before returning home.

This podcast interview between travel writer and activist Rick Steves and Lord Alderdice called “Road Maps to Peace” provides some practical methods of resolving conflicts between cultures who have harmed each other for generations. Here’s the description:

Rick speaks with Lord Alderdice from Belfast, one of the key political figures who helped resolve Northern Ireland’s long-standing “troubles” between its Catholic and Protestant citizens. He shares his approach for addressing the tensions facing the United States and its allies today in overcoming terrorism and in designing road maps for peace.

We Need More Buses! A Campaign by Drivers for Riders (ps thanks)

Uploaded - 28108Excerpted from Meeting Friends at Health Show at Canada Place

… I can’t help but mentioning “More Buses Now!

This campaign, organized by the transit drivers union, is holding the government to their promises of more buses – not just new buses to replace the aging fleet, but a significant increase in the total buses to encourage ridership, and stop the overcrowding which leads to pass-bys, crowded conditions, and compromised service and safety.

Not fun for anyone – riders or drivers – watching the bus roll by on a rainy day with places to go – yuch.

Participate by sending your opinion to Transportation Minister Kevin Falcon.

More Buses Now! Ask Kevin Falcon very nicely
More Buses Now! Ask Kevin Falcon very nicely

I’m a daily transit rider (rocking the bus, seabus and skytrain – sometimes all in the same day) and certainly advocate for making transit more convenient and more comfortable rather than looking at public conveyance as a perk or service only for the dis-enfranchised.

I love riding and relaxing while someone else drives which is why I helped ringlead Vancouver Transit
Camp so continued big-ups to Translink for participating in the Skytrain Security Un-conference and huge ups to the organizers for putting this important dialogue in front of the public.

Finally, to really support transit and sensible transportation policies in general – anyone living in Surrey, be sure to vote for Paul Hillsdon for Surrey City Council and/or School Trustee – otherwise, be sure to read his plans for sustainable transportation in the entire region.


Karen Quinn Fung – transit activist and scholar, added some of my acerbic dose of punditry to the conversation in Public Perceptions of Transit Security:

Rolling Transit Museum

As I mentioned yesterday, if you haven’t heard Dave Olson aka Uncle Weed’s rant on transit police on his Choogle On podcast, I highly recommend it with some good humour – his delivery is spot-on, and he entirely captures my own feelings on the topic. (For those of you with delicate ears, he does use some abrasive and explicit language. Nothing worse than you’ll hear on the SkyTrain.) It also brings home an awful lot of issues for me – this is a bit of a long post as a result.


Perhaps you’re ready to write Dave off, because you think he’s of a different political stripe or has an entirely different set of values. That’s a legitimate reason to disagree with his delivery, perhaps, but not, I think, with his observations or the broader argument: that as citizens we have the right and perhaps even a duty to question how the presence of surveillance and constant visible law enforcement in our every day lives affects how we act and live in our communities.

Thanks to Karen for so gracefully sharing my spiel with transcription (which matches my stream of consciousness exactly – like stepping my own head). I do indeed ride transit everywhere i go (as in, in other countries and cities besides Vancouver) and like the other Dave OlsEn, i wish transit were free for the people!

Trainspotting a CP Classic on the Gastown Rails

Tis no secret i enjoy trains and would ride trains everywhere given a choice of trains, planes and automobiles. I noticed this noble Canadian Pacific train idling on the tracks by Waterfront station. I snapped some identification shots to find out the story from a transportation veteran like Stephen Rees.

My biggest question is: Can i ride this Halifax? Really, how do i get aboard with a berth and permanent seat in the bar car? Who’s running this train?

CP Train in Gastown CP Train in Gastown CP Train in Gastown CP Train in Gastown CP Train in Gastown

This train looks to be from the era of the Trans-Continental Pop Festival’s fabled “Festival Express” train from the legendary train+alcohol+LSD-powered cross-Canada tour of counter-culture bands (Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin, The Band) in 1970. I’d love to recreate that trip!

Side note: here’s how the tour went down:

Concert dates

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Olympic Sliding Venues Open for Self-Guided, $5 Tours

Be sure to add this to your summer agenda!

Self-guided walking tours of The Whistler Sliding Centre will begin on July 3 and continue until the end of August. Admission for these tours is $5.

Beginning June 15, free, self-guided walking, car or bike tours of Whistler Olympic Park will be available during park hours. Visitors interested in guided tours or tours of the ski jumps, however, must book in advance at or by calling 604.964.2455. Admission fees for guided tours of Whistler Olympic Park will vary depending on tour choice. Proceeds from the tours will be directed towards general administration and overhead relating specifically to the summer 2008 venue tour programs. Both The Whistler Sliding Centre and Whistler Olympic Park are wheelchair accessible.

Robbie Burns Dinner in Vancouver by Maple Ridge Pipe Band

Robbie Burns Dinner in Vancouver by Maple Ridge Pipe Band, 2008

I’ll be attending this Robbie Burns Dinner and am noting it here so i remember to rent my kilt.

Date: Saturday, February 9, 2008

Location: The Scottish Cultural Centre

Address: 8886 Hudson Street, Vancouver, B.C.

Time:: Cocktails at 6 p.m. and dinner served at 7 p.m.

Cost: $45 per person including dinner, entertainment and door prizes

This particular feast to the great Scottish bard (and noted ne’er do well and carouser) Robert Burns is put on by the Maple Ridge Pipe Band who are apparently the cream of the scene so i look forward to some excellent piping and drumming.


Robert Burns on Remembrance Day – Postcard #17 – With a head full of cold medicine, Dave reads a haibun poem for Remembrance day and then enjoys John Cairney reading from Robert Burns’ exploits and indiscretions in Edinburgh in a mighty brogue.

To a Mouse Cosmo reads Robert Burns’ classic poem “To a Mouse” in honor of the 248th anniversary of the Poet’s Birthday.

Seeking Orcas from the BC Ferry en route to Pender Island

Seabus Station Evacuated due to Smoking Vessel

Seabus Station Evacuated due to Smoking Vessel

Seabus Smoking

The Seabus (not sure if it was the Otter or the Beaver) began smoking heavily upon docking at Waterfront Station. After passengers disembarked and crew investigated the problem, the station was evacuated and firetrucks responded. The counterpart vessel waited in Burrard Inlet and didn’t immediately dock.

Nothing more to report at this time. Video forthcoming.

Seabus Smoking

See also:

One SeaBus breaks down The Province, Published: Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Uncle Weed Flickr photos tagged seabus

Remembrance Day Activities in Vancouver 2007

For this Remembrance day, i will be posting the final chapter of the White Poppies for Remembrance podcast series on Postcards from Gravelly Beach and then hi-tailing out of town, bound for the Sunshine Coast for some relaxing and remembering.

Cemetary by Gazoo
photo by Gazoo on Flickr

For those of you asking, here are some Vancouver 2007 Remembrance Day events via Vancouver parks board – all on Nov. 11th leading up to 11:11AM:

Remembrance Day Run – Hershey Harriers @ Brockton Oval
Remembrance Day Service – City Legion @ Grandview Park
Remembrance Day Service – Royal Canadian Legion #16 @ Memorial South Park
Remembrance Day Service – Japanese Canadian Memorial Society @ Japanese War Memorial, Stanley Park
Remembrance Day Service – Royal Canadian Legion #179 @ Victory Square Park

Art lovers head Northward for Monet to Dali | OlyBlog

Enjoyers of modern art (impressionalists to surrealists) should run to the bus stop immediately to head north for the Monet to Dali exhibit at Vancouver Art Gallery (that’s Vancouver BC eh).

The pieces on loan from the Cleveland Museum give a fantastic narration through the development of modern art sensibilities starting with early Monet’s (you get a great sense of Monet’s progression beyond the customary waterlillies stuff), plus Manet, Pisarro and Renior (including some from the original Paris exhibitions) – then moves on to a Cezanne, two van Goghs a sculpture room with a few Rodin bronzes before Matisse, Gauigan and a half dozen Picassos and a room of German experimentalists and Dadaists then surrealist collection with a huge canvas by Henri Rousseau, a couple of Dalis and finishes with a Henry Moore sculpture. Whew.

The exhibit ends on Sept. 17th so rush up as the crowds are growing as the deadline looms.

Here’s a fine camera phone snap to *really* convince you to go:

By the way, the Gallery Cafe is a great place to have a glass of wine and a cheese plate while listening to jazz al fresco and watching the Vancouverites stroll by.

Source: Art lovers head Northward for Monet to Dali | OlyBlog

Longboard Hockey League’s Chanley Cup Championship on the Sunshine Coast

As part of the Attack of Danger Bay longboard fest, the undefeated Chilliwack(ed) Meatheads will take on a All-Star team of LHL’ers including some of them ornrey looking dudes from North Shore Slashers. 

There is also a downhill race on Saturday and a slide comp on Saturday 8AM.  If you are in Vancouver, book a ferry ride and check it out – oh yeah, there is a parade too.  Who will hoist the Chanley Cup?  My money’s on King Brian.

Coast Longboarding says:


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