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.

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.

 

Travis Green to coach the Vancouver Canucks

The Vancouver Canucks named Travis Green as their 19th head coach at a press conference Wednesday morning.

Green joins the Canucks from the Utica Comets, the club’s AHL farm team, where he also served as head coach. Under Green’s leadership, the Comets went 35-32-9 during the 2016-17 season; since 2013, he’s coached 304 games going 155-110-39.

The Castlegar, BC native played in the NHL after being drafted by the New York Islanders in 1989 and competed with the Anaheim Ducks, Phoenix Coyotes, Toronto Maple LEafs, Boston Bruins, while appearing in 56 post season games.

 

Source: Vancouver Canucks

Cougars sneak into Port Moody Millennium Line station

While TransLink usually deals with human fare evaders, two cougars managed to bypass security and wander the tracks on the Evergreen extension of the Millennium Line on Friday morning. In the security footage below, TransLink stated in their Facebook post that the felines triggered the guideway intrusion alarm as they walked through the Inlet Centre station in Port Moody.

The late night visit took place just after 4:00 am PDT, well after transit service concluded for the day. Transit staff checked track-side fences and involved the BC Conservation Officers for assistance. Inlet Centre station sits below Barnet Highway and is not elevated.

Cat red-handed… A pair of cougars set off the intrusion alarm last night at Inlet Station on the Evergreen Extension. The meow-nificent pair were spotted on CCTV walking along the guideway through the station! Morning staff searched the line and were unable to find the animals before morning service began. We're not pawsitive how the duo gained access to the guideway, and we will be inspecting fencing along the line to ensure there are no holes or obvious ways for wildlife to get inside. All stations have closed circuit cameras which allow us to see what triggers intrusion alarms at any point. While this incident involving cougars is a first, it's not uncommon to see wildlife on the system. Our staff worked closely with Conservation Officers for guidance and will closely watch the station for signs of the clawver cats return. ^sk

Posted by TransLink on Friday, April 21, 2017

Source: TransLink

Photos from Sakura-Con 2017

This past Easter weekend, Sakura-Con held its 20th anniversary of celebrating anime, manga and Japanese culture in the heart of Seattle. Many of the attendees this year came in cosplay, showing off their colourful, eye-catching outfits. If you couldn’t make it, you can always check out the photos on Gallery.

Minami is so excited he can watch Yuri Katsuki skate! Hinata's bringing his A game today! Uh oh. Tetsuro Kuroko can't find his teammates!
All Might and Midoriya team up to save the day! The Pharaoh has returned! It's the cast of Princess Mononoke!

 

Desjardins released as Canucks coach

Following one of the Vancouver Canucks’ worst seasons, the team announced this morning that Willie Desjardins would no longer be coaching the team. Also let go were assistant coaches Doug Lidster and Perry Pearn.

General Manager Jim Benning made the statement, adding that “…we felt this change was necessary as we continue to develop a young team and look ahead to the future.”

Desjardins joined the Canucks as head coach in 2014.

The Vancouver Canucks finished 29th in the 2016-17 season with 30 wins, 43 losses and 9 overtime losses for 69 points.

Sources: Vancouver Canucks, NHL

Return to Hyrule with the Zelda Symphony in 2017

The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses

Zelda fans find their seats at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre for the 2016 concert.

Vancouver Zelda fans, get ready for another musical adventure with The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses. The popular concert is back again and touring more cities across Canada, the United States and Europe for 2017.

Enjoy an evening of 30 years sights and sounds with this classic video game franchise. This year includes selections from the recently released The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and additional songs from The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword.

The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses stops in Vancouver on Thursday, November 30th, 2017 at 7:00 pm PST at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre. Other Canadian cities include Quebec City, Toronto, Edmonton, Calgary and Montreal.

Tickets are available in advance online through the concert web site.

Welcome spring with Sakura Days Japan Fair 2017

The Tea Ceremony in 2016

The tea ceremony is the embodiment of poise and hospitality.

After a long, cold and snowy winter, the bright pink blossoms of spring are just around the corner with the Sakura Days Japan Festival. Returning to VanDusen Botanical Gardens, this two-event celebrates everything Japanese in a fun festival atmosphere.

Spend the weekend with Japanese culture through live performances, music, food, arts, demonstrations and crafts and more under the pastel sakura — the Japanese cherry blossom. The gardens host this celebration from 11:00 am PDT to 7:00 pm PDT on Saturday, April 8th and from 11:00 am PDT to 5:00 pm PDT Sunday, April 9th, 2017.

As the festival takes place in the outdoors, bring appropriate attire as it may be raining. Parking is limited, so save the hassle and take transit (either the #17 bus, or walk from the Oakridge-41st Avenue Canada Line Station west along 41st Avenue, and then north along Oak Street) to reach VanDusen Botanical Gardens (about a 15-20 minute stroll).

Paid admission is required and tickets are available for purchase online.

Dates and countries revealed for 2017 Honda Celebration of Light

The United States of America's show in 2016

The United States of America’s show in 2016

This summer, the evening skies over English Bay will light up with a trio of pyrotechnic performances for the 2017 Honda Celebration of Light.

The three teams representing their countries in the annual fireworks competition are:

  • Akariya Fireworks for Japan on Saturday, July 29th
  • Jubilee Fireworks for the United Kingdom on Wednesday, August 2nd
  • Royal Pyrotechnie for Canada on Saturday, August 5th

On each day of the fireworks, live music, food and other activities are available to entertain the crowds. In addition to watching (for free) from the beach, there’s paid seating available.

The organizers behind the event are hosting a vote for the top three Canadian songs as part of Canada’s 150th birthday. To cast your ballot, visit the Honda Celebration of Light web site.

Source: Honda Celebration of Light

First experience at playing Breath of the Wild

Nintendo Switch demo

A Nintendo Switch with a demo of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

I had an opportunity to play the demo of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild on the Nintendo Switch earlier today. One of the most anticipated titles announced for the Nintendo Switch, the hype around Breath of the Wild is all real. Nintendo teased Zelda fans with videos to show how much detail went into developing this title and promised the most open and expansive adventure in the franchise yet. They’re not wrong about that.

First, let’s look at the Nintendo Switch itself. The whole console is the size of a Wii U tablet, but is easy to hold in handheld mode. I played The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild with the pro controller, which is Nintendo’s interpretation of an actual gaming controller like those on a PlayStation or Xbox instead of the smaller Joy Con that snap to the sides of the Switch. The pro controller felt light and comfortable; the buttons are easy to reach, and it’s wireless.

The game itself has a 20 minute limit. I didn’t make it far in the allotted time, wandering around, picking up items and cleaving Bokoblins in two, but it opened my eyes to just how massive Hyrule is. The game begins with Link waking up from a deep sleep. Before heading out into the open, there’s a couple of treasure chests containing items of clothing that can be worn. It’s important to remember that the environment affects Link now more than ever before. Certain clothing must be worn to keep him from overheating or freezing — a temperature icon exists onscreen to alert you to this.

A new item called a Sheikah Stone is an accessory that acts as a map and compass. Because the world is so immense, map points make it easier to set locations to come back to later. I’m sure its purpose expands as the game progresses.

Once out in the fields, it’s just breathtaking. The horizon is endless, mountains, rivers, forests, ruins and towns all as far as the eye can see. The first NPC (non-playable character) I met was an old man seated under a cliff with a roaring fire, cooking apples. After picking up a branch, I took some of that fire and proceeded to set some of the grass field on fire. Unfortunately, I had done so at the edge of a cliff and couldn’t escape and thus succumbed to the flames. But it was testament to how interactive the environment really is.

Seizing an abandoned axe, I promptly proceeded to cut down some trees. The axe also proved helpful defeating some of the roaming Bokoblins — a few swings easily felled these creatures. Upon expiring, they leave behind either horns or teeth which are collected for a later use. Apples are plenty, taking the place of hearts to replenish Link’s health.

Gone are the days of speeding across Hyrule as Link now tires after continuous running — a green circle appears when the B button is held down and depletes the longer it is held. Link can now jump on command and climb walls, no more vines or exposed brick to ascend or descend. It all adds to the experience.

I got a little confused using the in-game menus. Items acquired are stored in this menu, but the control sticks navigate these sub-menus where as the L and R shoulder buttons switch between the menu screens.

Another neat feature is the auto save. No more will you have to save your game (or forget to) as the game will periodically record your progress with a visual reminder to show it is doing so.

The graphics are beautiful; sticking with the cel-shading that first appeared in The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker, Nintendo has refined the look to improve the visual experience. 20 minutes is not enough to take in all that is The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. I look forward to playing it fully and enjoying the fruit of Nintendo’s labour.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild goes on sale, Friday, March 3rd, 2017.

Vancouver trades Burrows to Ottawa for Dahlen

Alex Burrows

Alex Burrows during a pre-game warm up with the Vancouver Canucks.

After 12 seasons with the Vancouver Canucks, winger Alex Burrows heads east in a trade with the Ottawa Senators. In return, Vancouver receives forward Jonathan Dahlen from Ottawa.

Burrows, who hails from Pincourt, Quebec, spent his entire NHL career (up until this point) with the Canucks. Known for his aggressive style of play, he was no stranger to controversy involving other players and on-ice officials. Burrows tenacity was a boon for Vancouver, especially scoring shorthanded or overtime goals when needed. During his 2016-17 season with the Canucks, Burrows scored nine goals, with 11 assists, earning 20 points.

Dahlen, from Ostersund, Sweden, started the 2016-17 season with the club Timra, scoring 24 goals, with 17 assists for 41 points. He has also played for Sweden’s national team in the 2017 IIHF World Junior Championship, as well as the under-17 competition in 2016.

Source: Vancouver Canucks

Sword Art Online movie in limited Canadian theatrical run March 2017

Get ready to enter the immersive realm of Sword Art Online in the anime title’s first feature film, Sword Art Online the Movie -Ordinal Scale- which is coming to theatres across North America. If you live in Canada, there’s only five Cineplex locations across the country that are showing this movie; the upside is they’ll have multiple showtimes.

These five cities include:

  • Calgary, AB – Cineplex Eau Claire Market Cinemas on March 17th at 7:00 PM and March 18th and 19th at 4:00 PM
  • Vancouver, BC – Cineplex The Park Theatre on March 17th at 7:00 PM and March 18th and 19th at 4:00 PM
  • Halifax, NS – Cineplex Cinemas Parklane on March 17th at 7:00 PM and March 18th at 4:10 PM
  • Ottawa, ON – Cineplex South Keys Cinemas on March 17th at 7:00 PM and March 18th and 19th at 4:00 PM and March 19th 4:30 PM
  • Toronto, ON – Cineplex Cinemas Yonge-Dundas and VIP on March 17th at 7:00 PM and March 18th and 19th at 4:00 PM

With a new game comes a new world. Technology has improved with new devices called Augma and a new game, Ordinal Scale. Donning the augmented reality headset, Kirito reunites with his friends from earlier adventures as they explore this new game and discover its dark realities.

Sword Art Online the Movie -Ordinal Scale- runs for two hours and will be shown in Japanese with English subtitles.

Source: Eleven Arts

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