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.

Interurban car 1207

A look back at the interurbans

Even though the Downtown Historic Railway is out-of-service, you can still experience the heritage interurbans online. Browse through pictures and brush-up on the routes these versatile rail cars took on their journeys through the Lower Mainland.

Anime Conventions

What is an anime convention?

Curious about what goes on at an anime convention? Ever wondered why people wear costumes to these events? Where can I find one that’s nearest to me? It’s my first time, what do I need to bring? Answers to these questions and more can be found in the all about anime conventions and the convention checklist articles.


Nintendo brings back NES with built-in games

Nintendo Entertainment System: NES Classic Edition

The Nintendo Entertainment System: NES Classic Edition is so convenient, it fits in your hand!

If you’ve longed for the days of classic gaming without the fancy graphics or gimmicky accessories, you’re in for a treat. Nintendo is bringing back the NES console, this time in a convenient compact format with 30 classic titles included in the Nintendo Entertainment System: NES Classic Edition.

No more blowing on the cartridges to get them to work anymore (even though that practice has been debunked), this miniature replica holds 30 games and connects to your television with an included HDMI cable. A power adapter and one retro-looking NES Classic Controller are also packaged together with the console, and all for the suggested retail price of $59.99. For those two player titles, a second controller is available separately at $9.99. Even better, the Classic Controller and Classic Controller Pro are compatible.

The titles loaded into the Nintendo Entertainment System: NES Classic Edition are:

  • Balloon Fight™
  • Castlevania™
  • Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest™
  • Donkey Kong™
  • Donkey Kong Jr.™
  • Dr. Mario™
  • Excitebike™
  • Galaga™
  • Ice Climber™
  • Kid Icarus™
  • Kirby’s Adventure™
  • Mario Bros.™
  • MEGA MAN® 2
  • Metroid™
  • PAC-MAN™
  • Punch-Out!!™ Featuring Mr. Dream
  • StarTropics™
  • SUPER C™
  • Super Mario Bros.™
  • Super Mario Bros.™ 2
  • Super Mario Bros.™ 3
  • The Legend of Zelda™
  • Zelda II: The Adventure of Link™

Saving your games used to be tough, but with the new check-point feature, you can save your progress and return later to pick up where you left off.

The Nintendo Entertainment System: NES Classic Edition goes on sale Friday, November 11th, 2016.

Nintendo Entertainment System: NES Classic Edition Box Art

Source: Nintendo

Photos from Carnaval del Sol 2016

Even though the dark Vancouver clouds threatened rain, Concord Pacific Plaza was basking in the sun from Carnaval del Sol, an annual celebration of Latin American culture. Performances from many groups including Argentina’s Entangados and the local Nahualli Folklore Society helped add colour to what would otherwise be another dreary west coast day. If the weather scared you away, there’s still time to pop by for a visit on Sunday!

Entangados Carnitas y asada a la Mexicana tacos Nahualli Folklore Society

See more photos on Gallery!

VIZ Media brings Haikyu!! manga to English fans

Haikyu!! volume 1

Cover art for volume 1 of Haikyu!!

Haruichi Furudate’s popular sports manga Haikyu!! is finally available in English for purchase in both print and digital formats as of Tuesday, July 5th, 2016 thanks to VIZ Media.

Shoyo Hinata is fascinated with volleyball, but what he lacks in height, he makes up in determination. Managing to play one game in middle school, he encounters the intimidating “King of the Court”, Tobio Kageyama. Vowing to get better to challenge Kageyama, Hinata finds that his rival now plays on the same team!

VIZ Media will publish the English adaptation of Haikyu!! monthly to bring it in line with the Japanese version and is readable on the VIZ Manga App, Nook, Kobo, Kindle, iBooks, comiXology, and Google Play platforms.

Haikyu!! made its first appearance back in 2012 in Weekly Shonen Jump and is also an anime series which is scheduled for a third season.

Source: VIZ Media

New Blue Exorcist anime to air in 2017

The countdown is over with the official Blue Exorcist web site unveiling a sneak peek for the next incarnation of the anime series: Blue Exorcist: Kyoto Impure King Arc. This animated version of Kazue Kato’s manga is expected to air in 2017.

While the official trailer is restricted to Japan, other YouTube users have uploaded it to allow fans outside of the island nation a chance to see the video.

Tied into this announcement is new promotional artwork which is freely available for download as a wallpaper on multiple devices.

In addition to all the new visuals, the vocal cast line-up for Blue Exorcist: Kyoto Impure King Arc has Nobuhiko Okamoto returning as Rin Okumura, along with Jun Fukuyama as Yukio Okumura. Remaining cast members include:

  • Kana Hanazawa as Shiemi Moriyama
  • Kazuya Nakai as Ryuji Suguro
  • Koji Yusa as Renzo Shima
  • Yuuki Kaji as Konekomaru Miwa
  • Eri Kitamura as Izumo Kamiki
  • Ayahi Takagaki as Kuro
  • Rina Satou as Shura Kirigakure
  • Hiroshi Kamiya as Mephisto Pheles
  • Keiji Fujiwara as Father Shiro Fujimoto

The announcement coincides with Blue Exorcist manga artist Kazue Kato attending Anime Expo in Los Angeles, California.

Sources: Anime News Network, YouTube, Blue Exorcist

Bleach manga series to end this year

Tite Kubo’s manga series Bleach is coming to a close. The 73rd volume hit Japanese store shelves today, July 4th, 2016.

Highschool student Ichigo Kurosaki unwittingly becomes a part-time soul reaper tasked following his ability to see spirits. Upon rescuing an injured soul reaper, Ichigo’s temporary assignment becomes permanent when the society he is reluctant to join depends on him to save it.

Published in Weekly Shonen Jump in 2001, Bleach has branched out into an anime, movies, video games and a live musical.

The final volume, numbered 74, has an anticipated release in the fall of 2016.

Source: Natalie

Carnaval del Sol warms Vancouver with Latin American culture

Mariachi at Carnaval del Sol

A live mariachi performance at Carnaval del Sol

Spice up your summer with some Latin American flair at the eighth annual Carnaval del Sol with countries from Central and South America bringing their culture to the Lower Mainland.

The food plaza hosts cuisine from dozens of countries; from Mexico to Colombia to Brazil to Argentina. Join in a game of soccer or learn how to salsa or get your heart beating with zumba. On top of that, live music and cultural performances come to life on the main stage. There’s fun for everyone, including activities for families with children.

Carnaval del Sol takes place Saturday, July 9th and Sunday, July 10th at Concord Pacific Place, 88 Pacific Blvd in Vancouver. Carnaval del Sol is easily reachable by transit with a short walk from either the Stadium-Chinatown or Main Street-Science World SkyTrain stations.

Blue Exorcist anime expected to return for second season

Even though the official Blue Exorcist web site now includes a timer, counting the minutes and seconds down to Monday, July 4th at 8:00 am JST (Sunday, July 3rd at 4:00 pm PDT) , word from Japan has spread that this for an announcement of a second season for the anime series.

The first season of Blue Exorcist (or Ao no Exorcist) aired in 2011 followed up with an animated movie, but aside from new volumes of Kazue Kato’s manga, no other anime-related news surfaced. A rumoured second season is slated to air in 2017 with an adaptation of the Kyoto Impure King Arc. Additionally, J-Rock band UVERworld might perform the opening; their song CORE PRIDE served as the first opening theme.

Source: Tokyo Otaku Mode

Canada Day events for 2016

A Canadian Forces exhibit at Canada Place in 2015

A Canadian Forces exhibit at Canada Place in 2015

Come and celebrate Canada’s 149th birthday with events all around the Lower Mainland on Friday, July 1st. There are plenty of activities the whole family can enjoy: from parades, live music, food to nighttime fireworks displays. Don’t forget to check your local community calendar for any festivities not included in the list below.

2016 Dragon Boat Festival photos

The rain and cold weather didn’t keep spectators and participants away from the 2016 Concord Pacific Dragon Boat Festival in Vancouver’s False Creek. Even though mid-June felt like February, the wet, grey skies were filled with the rhythmic sounds of drums, empowered cheers and the synchronized splashes of paddles.

The three-day festival ends on Sunday, June 19th. In addition to the boats, there’s also live music and food in Creekside Park, just outside Science World.

2016 Concord Pacific Dragon Boat Festival Pulling away from the dock Neck-in-neck!
Manoeuvring Dragon prow Finish line!

Additional photos are available on Gallery.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild formally named at E3

Archer Link amiibo

Archer Link amiibo

Nintendo drew the curtains on the window, finally giving everyone a glimpse into the wide world of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild at this year’s E3. Long awaited, this new title in the Legend of Zelda franchise brings more than just an expansive map to the series.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild breathes new life into the hero Link who now sports a rugged look with a blue outfit in contrast to the traditional green tunic. Adding a touch of realism, Link can cook and eat food. This is helpful in restoring his hearts or boost his strength for a short period. Weapons are scarce at first — Link must find them or steal them from his opponents, though they do wear down over time from use.

Floating across the water

The immersive environment lets Link wander — distant mountains are no longer a border. Forests, rivers and deserts are all waiting to be explored. Distance an issue, leap off a peak and soar the skies with the paraglider, or use the shield as a sled to descend snowy mountain tops. And like the real world, the weather can change on a whim — torrential rain can extinguish fires, whereas metallic objects, like swords, attract lightning.

Wolf Link returns to help

Set to launch in 2017 on both the Wii U and the Nintendo NX consoles, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is also amiibo friendly. There are three amiibos: Archer Link, Horseback Link, and the first articulated amiibo, the Guardian. The Wolf Link amiibo is also compatible with the game; tap it to have Link’s canine form join him to help fight off enemies. Be mindful of the wolf’s three hearts, once they’re depleted he disappears.

Source: Nintendo

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