Forest Fire Risk

Now that summer is upon us, the temperatures soar and British Columbia’s dense forests dry out and become prone to forest fires. Small fires, including camp fires, are now banned through much of the province due to the risk. If you see a forest fire, call 1-800-663-5555 or *5555 on a mobile device. For more info, click here.

Canada turns 150

Canada celebrates its 150th anniversary since Confederation in 1867. Throughout 2017, communities across the country are hosting events to commemorate this occasion. Here’s to 150 years of the true north, strong and free! #Canada150

Stanley Park Rose Garden Path

Stanley Park Rose Garden

Stroll along the paths and take in the aroma of dozens of blooming flowers in the Rose Garden in Stanley Park. While summer is nearly over, it’s not too late to enjoy the colour, depth and selection of the roses, whatever the time of year may be. A collection of photos over the years are available for viewing on Gallery.

 

Helping those in Texas affected by Hurricane Harvey

Many Texans along the Gulf Coast need help because of Hurricane Harvey. Texas has treated me well when I’ve visited and now they need the support to get them back on their feet.

The American Red Cross is accepting donations online through their web site to aid those affected by the hurricane.

Four Yuri!!! on Ice Pop! vinyl figures to arrive in October

The hit ice skating anime Yuri!!! on Ice is the latest series to join Funko’s Pop! vinyl figure line-up this October.

Four figures, each in their skating outfits, were unveiled: Yuri Katsuki (Yuri), Yuri Plisetsky (Yurio), and two of Victor Nikiforov (Victor and Young Victor). Yuri is dressed in his eros costume, with Yurio in his agape attire, the fanciful uniform Victor wears for his free skate, and in his younger form, donning a crown of blue roses, and a gold medal around his neck.

Unlike most Pop! figures, these will stand on rounded plastic bases to show the detail of their ice skates.

Yuri Pop! figure Yurio Pop! figure
Victor Pop! figure Young Victor Pop! figure

Source: Funko

Canada showcased in anime short by staff who worked on film Your Name

If you’ve ever wondered what Canada would like if it were made into an anime, this would be it. The production staff behind the animated film Your Name created a 30 second short of winter in Canada for a promotional tourism campaign in Japan (in Japanese).

The video includes scenes in the Rocky Mountains at Jasper National Park and Banff National Park, two locations in Vancouver: Granville Island Public Market and the Drop sculpture at the Vancouver Convention Centre, Niagara Falls, along with another two stops in Toronto at Nathan Phillips Square and Toronto Harbour. If you look closely, you can see the signs for JJ Bean and Duso’s Italia in the Granville Island scene; a testament to the artistic detail that went into this video.

The contest is only open to Japanese citizens and closes Thursday, November 30th, 2017.

Source: あったかい、冬カナダ | カナダシアター

Market Mexico comes to Robson Square on September 16, 2017

Viva Mexico!

On Saturday, September 16th, 2017, Robson Square in Downtown Vancouver (between the Vancouver Art Gallery and Law Courts) will host Market Mexico in celebration of the North American nation’s day of independence, which coincidentally, is the same day.

From 11:30 am until 12:00 midnight, stalls selling all sorts of traditional Mexican fare including tacos, tortas, elotes, pan dulce and churros. In addition to these tasty treats, cultural handicrafts and artwork will also be for sale. Live music and films will offer entertainment during the event, with the Grito being performed at At 6:00 pm by the Mexican Consul General Berenice Diaz-Ceballos.

Market Mexico is a free event, on the ice rink level at 800 Robson Street.

Riding the bus in Matamoros

In Canada and the US, we’re all accustomed to taking the bus with these shiny new vehicles, accessible ramps, air conditioning and displays showing the next stop. In Matamoros, Tamaulipas, taking the bus is a whole new adventure and for the uninitiated, an eye-opening experience.

The vehicles are former school buses from the United States; they’ve been repainted from their traditional yellow and sometimes fancifully decorated with images of patron saints or soccer teams. The sides of the bus advertise their route, namely large shopping centres like Chedraui, Soriana or HEB. Maintenance is an afterthought; the tires are balding, some of them have rust, and even holes in the floors. However, you won’t find trash lying around or anyone smoking. The only form of air conditioning are the windows; most of them open and when the driver brings the bus up to speed, it’s refreshing. Gone are the rows of seats; they’ve been rotated to the side so they face the centre and railings along the ceiling help keep balance once the driver is under way.

Fares are reasonable at $9 MXN ($0.62 CAD/$0.50 USD); the drivers keeps their change in a little wooden box up front with the coins all neatly stacked. Even with the passengers being jostled by the uneven streets, the coins don’t topple over. Don’t expect to tap in with a pre-paid card or anything of the sort; it’s all cash based.

Sometimes there’s live entertainment on board. A musician will board with their guitar and amp and play for a portion of the ride, asking for donations before hopping off.

Most importantly, despite their worn down appearances, these buses are critical to Matamoros as everyone rides them. Students going to school, mothers out for their daily shopping, people going to work, and yes, tourists like myself.

With the bus, you get to see much of the city and it’s an easy way to get around. Matamoros retains a lot of its historic colonial-style architecture with brightly coloured homes, many surrounded by vibrant trees and greenery. There are some rough-looking parts, though looks can be deceiving. There’s a lot of charm and the bus helps you reach it in Matamoros.

Fire Emblem Heroes live-action trailer

Nintendo uploaded a live-action video promoting the new legendary heroes for their mobile device game, Fire Emblem Heroes. In the nearly three-minute long trailer the four legends, Ike (Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance), Lucina (Fire Emblem Awakening), Roy (Fire Emblem: The Blinding Blade) and Lyn (Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade), showcase their strength over various enemies, including a fearsome armoured swordsman.

While Ike, Lucina, Roy and Lyn already appear in the game, these four are special heroes and carry different weapons. Normally, Roy, as an example, is an infantry unit, but his special version changes him to a cavalry unit as he is mounted on a horse. He also wields the sword Blazing Durandal instead of the Binding Blade.

The four special heroes are available for summoning; though an in-game promotion lets you select one of these five-star heroes free; additional summons require orbs.

Fire Emblem Heroes is free to download on iOS and Android devices.

Source: Fire Emblem Heroes

Changes to BC Ferries polices regarding smoking, and staying inside vehicles

BC Ferries' vessel the Coastal Renaissance

BC Ferries’ vessel the Coastal Renaissance

Get ready for some big changes coming to BC Ferries if you like to stay in your car while sailing or go out for a smoke on the ships or at terminals.

Starting Wednesday, October 11th, 2017, passengers will be unable to stay in their vehicles on any enclosed decks on a ferry — this means the lower decks of the ships that are enclosed by the loading doors; upper vehicle decks are not affected by this directive. According to a release by BC Ferries, this is to be compliant with Transport Canada regulations for passenger safety, highlighted under section 152 of the Cargo, Fumigation and Tackle Regulations of the Canada Shipping Act. BC Ferries added that passengers can ask the upper vehicle deck on a vessel with an enclosed vehicle deck when they pay for their fare at the ticket booths; though this may not be fulfilled due to demand, vessel or other situations.

A list of routes affected include:

  • Tsawwassen – Swartz Bay
  • Tsawwassen – Duke Point
  • Tsawwassen – Southern Gulf Islands
  • Horseshoe Bay – Departure Bay
  • Horseshoe Bay – Langdale
  • Powell River – Comox
  • Port Hardy – Prince Rupert
  • Port Hardy – Bella Coola
  • Prince Rupert – Haida Gwaii

For smokers, as of Monday, January 22nd, 2018, you won’t be able to light up, or use an e-cigarette on any vessel or at any terminal or facility, even inside your own vehicle. This is due to changes to British Columbia law in 2016 that increased smoke free zone to 6 meters (19.6 feet) from 3 meters (9.8 feet) near any door, window or air intake. Because of the limited space on the decks, the increased buffer makes it hard to comply with this updated regulation.

Sources: BC Ferries [1, 2]

Naruto fans run Vancouver’s seawall like Naruto

If you’ve ever watched Naruto, you’ve probably noticed how the characters in the show run — with their arms stretched straight behind them. This method has garnered some interesting reactions from people (e.g. why do they run like this?) and even spurred some events online where people can meet up and run shinobi style. Well, in Vancouver, one such event was scheduled and, surprisingly enough, a crowd did show up at the tear drop sculpture by the Vancouver Convention Centre this afternoon to ninja dash along the city’s famed seawall.

1st Annual Run on the Seawall Naruto Style 1st Annual Run on the Seawall Naruto Style 1st Annual Run on the Seawall Naruto Style
1st Annual Run on the Seawall Naruto Style 1st Annual Run on the Seawall Naruto Style 1st Annual Run on the Seawall Naruto Style

So, how did it go? A handful of participants actually manage to hold up and made around the seawall to Science World on the False Creek side, and up to Kitsilano on the southern edge of English Bay. Others weren’t as energetic and stopped for a bowl of ramen instead.

But it was a great way to get outside, enjoy the sun, exercise and be with others who enjoy the Naruto series, and most importantly, have fun.

AnimeFest 2017 cosplay photos

Last week, I attended my first AnimeFest in downtown Dallas, Texas and for four days, I was surrounded by great cosplay. Despite being a day longer than most other conventions, I didn’t take too many pictures due to being confined within the lines for the Yuri!!! on Ice panels for two of those days, but for what I did see, you can see on Gallery.

Cosplay from Anime Revolution 2017

The smoky hot weather and long lines didn’t deter attendees as they converged upon the west building of the Vancouver Convention Centre this weekend for Anime Revolution.

Surprised tourists mingled with the costumed con-goers, snapping pictures of popular characters from Deadpool, My Hero Academia, Naruto, The Legend of Zelda and more!

There’s still one more day, as Anime Revolution wraps up on Sunday, August 6th. Photos from Saturday are on Gallery.

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