If you’re in the Metro Vancouver area, you can find anything from dining, to shopping and other events. There’s lots to see and do in Vancouver, and you’ll find some of it here. Be sure to view the Events Calendar for local celebrations.

Olympic Cauldron re-lit for end of 2018 Paralympic Winter Games

The Olympic Cauldron in Jack Poole Plaza next to the Vancouver Convention Centre was re-lit this evening to mark the closure of the 2018 Paralympic Winter Games. This is the second time the cauldron was used, following when it was first lit on February 8th, 2018 for the opening ceremonies of the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

Once the torch was fired up, remarks were made by Paralympic athlete Trevor Hirschfield, Olympic athlete Evan Dunfee, Vancouver Convention Centre General Manager Craig Lehto, and MLA Ravi Kahlon thanking Canada’s Olympic and Paralympic teams for their performance, determination and passion this year.

Olympic Cauldron Olympic Cauldron Olympic Cauldron
Olympic Cauldron Olympic Cauldron Olympic Cauldron

TransLink to add more ways to pay, introducing tap-enabled credit cards

If you’re like me, you probably keep your Compass card in your wallet. And, like me, you probably take your wallet out when going through the fare gates at a SkyTrain station, or stepping onto a bus. TransLink wants to change that with their new campaign to avoid keeping your Compass card in your wallet when tapping in and out on SkyTrain, buses, SeaBus and the West Coast Express. Why’s that? Later this spring, TransLink is taking advantage of Visa and MasterCards with the tap function to pay for fares instead of having to purchase a Compass card.

TransLink is looking to educate “wallet tappers” to take their Compass card (or other method of payment) out of their wallet, purse or bag, when entering or leaving a station or boarding a bus. If the cards are all kept together, the wrong card could end up being charged. That might be a huge difference as rides paid for using a stored value Compass card is much cheaper than buying an individual fare from a machine; or if you use a monthly pass for transit.

Using a Visa or MasterCard with the tap function doesn’t replace the existing Compass card, but is meant to provide more options, especially for people who don’t use transit often, or for tourists or visitors who aren’t committed to paying for a stored value card.

So remember, take your Compass card out when tapping in or out.

Source: TransLink

New SkyTrain cars coming in the next two years

Additional cars to increase capacity on both SkyTrain lines and the Canada Line is being accelerated according to an announcement made by TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond on Friday, February 23rd.

The first 28 cars destined for the Expo and Millennium Lines will arrive in early 2019, followed by another 28 cars toward the end of 2019. A further 24 cars are on order for the Canada Line which are expected before the end of 2020.

The original order of the cars was made in 2016 under Phase 1 of the region’s 10 year vision for transit which includes a 20% increase for rail service.

Statistics provided by TransLink show that ridership is up by 5.7 percent, reaching 407 million boardings in 2017.

LIVE: Announcement Regarding Increased Capacity on SkyTrain 🚇

Posted by TransLink on Friday, February 23, 2018

Source: TransLink

Olympic cauldron to be lit for Winter Olympics on February 8

Vancouver Olympic Cauldron

The Vancouver Olympic Cauldron in Jack Poole Plaza.

On Thursday, February 8th, 2018, the Olympic Cauldron in Jack Poole Plaza next to the west building of the Vancouver Convention Centre will be lit in honour of the upcoming Olympic winter games.

A tweet posted by the Vancouver Convention Centre asks visitors to wear their red and white to show support for Canadian athletes when the cauldron is fired u at 5:00 pm PST.

Other Vancouver buildings will glow red for our teams including Vancouver City Hall, Queen Elizabeth Theatre and Burrard Bridge.

The 2018 games are being held in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

Sources: Twitter, City of Vancouver

British Columbia anime conventions for 2018

Even Fire Emblem’s Leo has a couple cons written down in Brynhildr.

Kick off 2018 with Japanese pop culture, comics, gaming and horror by attending a convention this year in British Columbia. While there’s plenty of events in and around Metro Vancouver, the rest of the province still has a few places for fans to band together for fun on the island and interior.

For more information, lists of guests and to register, visit the links below to use each event’s web site.

  • Tsukino-Con – February 10th – 12th, 2018 at the University of Victoria in Victoria, BC
    Tsukino-Con celebrates everything anime and manga related for fans on Vancouver Island in a fun and friendly environment.
  • AniRevo Winter – February 11th – 12th, 2018 at the LaSalle College of Vancouver in Vancouver, BC
    AniRevo Winter is a two-day event to bridge the year-long wait until their summer convention, filled with guests, artists, vendors and more.
  • Harumatsuri – March 17th, 2018 at the Nikkei National Museum and Cultural Centre in Burnaby, BC
    Anime Evolution is holding a one-day event at the Nikkei National Museum and Cultural Centre in the format of a traditional Japanese festival, the matsuri.
  • Kelowna Fan Experience – March 23rd – 25th, 2018 at the Kelowna Community Theatre in Kelowna, BC
    There’s something for everyone at the Kelowna Fan Xpo who are into anime, manga, comics, sci-fi, movies, gaming and horror.
  • AniRevo Summer – August 3rd – 5th, 2018 at the Vancouver Convention Centre in Vancouver, BC
    AniRevo his quickly expanded to become Metro Vancouver’s largest Japanese pop culture festival with guests from North America and Asia, vendors, panels and more.
  • Vancouver Halloween Parade and Expo – September 28th – 30th, 2018 at Robson Square in Vancouver, BC
    Don your favourite outfit and join the “world’s largest cosplay stage” as you parade through Vancouver’s downtown core! There’s more than just a parade with guests, panels, and musical performances.

Vancouver added as stop on Final Fantasy concert 2018 tour

Distant Worlds: Music from Final Fantasy

Distant Worlds: Music from Final Fantasy at the Orpheum in 2013.

The immense universe of music from the Final Fantasy franchise returns to Vancouver for another performance of Distant Worlds: Music from Final Fantasy on Friday, June 1st, 2018 at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre.

Led by conductor Arnie Roth, this 100-piece orchestra and chorus recreates the many themes, ballads, melodies and operas from more than 30 years of  this popular video game series. Complementing the live music are scenes from the Final Fantasy games, presented in HD, enveloping both the visual and aural senses.

Tickets for this single evening show go on sale at 10:00 am Friday, January 19th, 2018.

Vancouver is the only Canadian stop mentioned so far for 2018. Other cities on the tour include Kansas City, MO, Los Angeles, CA, St. Petersburg, FL, Portland, OR, Paris, France, Cleveland, OH, and San Francisco, CA.

Source: Distant Worlds: Music from Final Fantasy

Festival of Lights returns to VanDusen Botanical Gardens for 2017

It’s that time of year when the lush VanDusen Botanical Gardens transforms into dazzling display of colourful lights just in time for Christmas.

Thousands of Christmas lights are strung along the garden’s many trees and bushes that brighten up the winding paths. There’s also live music and food trucks serving warm drinks and snacks, a carousel, musical instruments and more.

The Festival of Lights is on now until January 7th, 2018. Tickets are required for entry and available online or in person. Dress appropriately as it may be cold or wet. Parking is limited, but transit is always an option (either with the 17 bus or a short walk north from the 41 bus).

Can’t make it? Check out the photos from the this year’s event on Gallery.

Zelda symphony invades Vancouver like horde of Moblins

Fans filling the auditorium at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre.

Fans filling the auditorium at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre.

The wildly popular The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses returned to Vancouver to delight fans of one of Nintendo’s popular franchises with an evening of music and magic. The concert was held at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre, instead of the Orpheum (as in years past) on Thursday, November 30th, 2017. Attendees of all ages filled the auditorium, many in costume or decked out in their favourite Zelda gear to show their love for the games.

Energetic local conductor Kevin Zakresky kept the crowd engaged with his performances leading the orchestra, turning to the audience for cheers and applause. He even broke out the Wind Waker baton for a few of the songs.

Tour producer Jason Michael Paul started the evening off with opening remarks, including a statement that the concert would go on hiatus for 2018. He added that if we’d like to see the tour start back up again, fans would need to contact Nintendo to let them know there’s still a demand for it.

The journey back into the many worlds of Zelda began with the overture, a compilation of the themes and motifs of Link, Princess Zelda and Ganon. From there, we launched into heaving Great Sea from The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker. The calming music of the immersive Hyrule in the latest title, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild captivated the crowd. Images from the games were shown on a giant screen behind the orchestra, adding to the wonder and nostalgia. Other compilations included selections from the 3D classics The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask, the renowned The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, the colourful The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, and The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. Of course, there was also a reprise of additional melodies from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. The evening concluded with a classic, the Ballad of the Wind Fish from The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening. It was a beautiful way to finish off the concert.

Merchandise this year included a new tour shirt, updated poster, music books and a replica of the Wind Waker baton. As usual, the line for these goodies snaked their way up to the second level of the theatre.

Merch booth at the Queen Elizabeth theatre for the Legend of Zelda Symphony of the Goddesses #zeldasymphony

A post shared by Frederick Linsmeyer (@nephrus) on

Surrey Tree Lighting Festival for 2017 this Saturday

The 55 foot tree illuminates the plaza in 2016.

The 55 foot tree illuminates the plaza in 2016.

The annual tradition of illuminating Surrey’s largest Christmas tree returns Saturday, November 25th, 2017 at Surrey City Hall Plaza.

Enjoy live music, food trucks, a holiday market, fair rides and even a zip-line at this family-friendly event. Performances from over 20 different artists including Juno-winning artist Ruth B., alternative rock band Daysormay, and jazz-soul artist Krystle Dos Santos will take the stage next to choirs and other local acts. Of course, Santa and Mrs. Claus will be on hand with the city’s mayor and council to partake in the entertainment.

There’s no admission to watch the 55 foot (16.7 metre) tall tree when it’s lit at 6:30 pm. The Surrey Tree Lighting Festival begins at 12:00 noon and ends at 7:00 pm. Take transit for easy access to the venue, which is a short walk from the Surrey Central Expo Line station.

Remembrance Day 2017 photos

Vancouver’s Victory Square was packed with people for Saturday morning’s Remembrance Day ceremonies. The sombre mood was reflected by the grey clouds above, the silence pierced by the occasional crying child, the planes flying overhead and intermittent sounds of the 21-gun salute from Portside Park.

Remembrance Day 2017 Remembrance Day 2017 Remembrance Day 2017
Remembrance Day 2017 Remembrance Day 2017 Remembrance Day 2017

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