5 Reasons To Check Out The 2017 Vancouver Writers Fest With Kids

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The Vancouver Writers Fest is hitting Granville Island next week, and it promises to unite readers and writers of all ages through the power of storytelling and books, with events featuring both local and international writers that are designed to engage visitors of all ages.

Here are just 5 reasons to make a visit to this year’s Writers Fest a family affair:

1) Discover a diversity of events.

Whether your children are reluctant readers, or read voraciously, the Vancouver Writers Fest has an event that will spark (and fuel) a love of the written word. With 115 authors from Canada and around the world, and 95 panels, discussions and performances on topics as diverse as graphic novels, the refugee crisis, picture books about food, and conversations about the future of the Arctic, they’ve got something to delight you and your family. Check out the full lineup of events here.

2) The events are both educational and entertaining for children.

A little-known fact about the Festival is that one third of events are designed specifically for children, school groups and families. These events feature world-renowned authors who are specifically chosen for their ability to engage children and spark a love of reading. Each year, more than 6,000 students from around the Lower Mainland attend these events – making this one of the largest children’s literary events in BC – and events are also open to individual families and homeschool groups. These events are each designed to align with BC Curriculum goals, meaning they are both entertaining and educational! Check out a list of events geared towards younger audiences here.

Our mission is to bring readers and writers together to reimagine our lives and our world, through story and vibrant dialogue.

3) The festival is attended by world-renowned authors.

In its 30-year history, the Festival has presented luminaries such as: Margaret Atwood, John Irving, and J.K. Rowling, and as North America’s premier literary event, the Writers Fest continues to attract some of the world’s finest authors. Children’s authors for 2017 include multi-award-winning and best-selling author Gordan Korman, “Queen of Plasticine” author Barbara Reid, graphic novelist Cecil Castellucci, acclaimed children’s storyteller Cary Fagan, and Governor General’s Literary Award nominee Cherie Dimaline. See all of the participating authors here.

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4) Support the arts.

Words shape our world, and uniting renowned readers and writers with the literary legends of tomorrow will keep the art of writing alive for future generations. The Vancouver Writers Fest is a registered non-profit, charitable organization that operates with the support of public sector funding, ticket sales, advertising revenue, corporate sponsorships and donations.

5) Galavant around Granville Island.

With the festival staged in the cultural oasis of Granville Island, the Vancouver Writers Fest is set in the perfect location for a family outing. After your event is over, you can round out your day by visiting one of the many excellent restaurants and eateries, have a ball at the Kids Market, and go on a wildlife watching excursion along the seawall.

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Check out the full schedule of events for this year’s Vancouver Writers Festival, and book your tickets today.

Vancouver Writers Fest
October 16 – 22, 2017
Granville Island (various venues), Vancouver, BC
Buy Tickets

5 Ways To Enjoy The Wesbrook Village Festival On September 9th!

Wesbrook Village Festival
Date: Saturday, September 9, 2017
Time: 11:00am – 4:00pm
Cost: Free
Location: Wesbrook Village (3378 Wesbrook Mall, UBC)

The Wesbrook Village Festival is back, and this year promises to be bigger, better, and more booming than ever! There are so many reasons to head to this free family event and make a day of it.

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Here are just 5 of the family-fun favourites that you can expect from this year’s festival:

1) Free BBQ 

There’s only one thing that’s more rewarding than enjoying a day of fun with your family, and that’s FREE food! Leave the snack packs at home and nosh on some BBQ favourites while you wander through Wesbrook Village!

2) Live Music

Dance and sing along to live music – a fun way to get active outdoors!

3) Kid’s Zone

Kids can enjoy a range of activities, arts and crafts and more in the festival’s action-packed Kids Zone. From balloon-animal twisting, to sports games, to face painting, there’s lots to see and do when you visit with little ones in tow!

4) Entertainers 

Watch in awe as live, wandering entertainers dance, juggle and sing their way through the festival. Kids can giggle as fun characters provide entertainment, and families will love the lineup of singers and dancers that will be hitting the stage and performing around the grounds of the festival.

5) Goodies for sale by local artisans

Browse the goodies that will be available on site, and support local businesses! Peruse the tables set up by various local companies, purchase a range of products to take home with you, and enjoy the farmer’s market style setup!

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For more of what you can expect from this year’s event, check out this video:

Theatre Under the Stars – back for the summer!

Theatre Under the Stars presents High-Flying Hilarity with Mary Poppins & The Drowsy Chaperone

For more than 75 years, Theatre Under the Stars (TUTS) has brought soaring works of musical theatre to the crown jewel of Vancouver – Stanley Park. So much more than just a night at the theatre, TUTS interweaves a kaleidoscope of elements – setting, scenery, concessions, and quality art – into a fun, encompassing experience that is much greater than the sum of its parts.

This month, TUTS injects a delightful dose of magical entertainment into summer with Mary Poppins and The Drowsy Chaperone, running July 7 to August 19, 2017 at Stanley Park’s picturesque Malkin Bowl. On alternating evenings, audiences can indulge in high-flying adventures with a supercalifragilistic classic and an uproarious ode to golden age glam.

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One of the most popular Disney movies of all time captures hearts in a whole new way! The irresistible story and unforgettable songs are back, as everyone’s favourite nanny swoops in to teach the Banks family a lesson or two about love & imagination.

Practically perfect classics like ‘A Spoonful of Sugar’, ‘Chim Chim Cher-ee’, and ‘Let’s Go Fly a Kite’ come to life in the beloved musical – complete with brand-new dance numbers and spectacular stage-craft.

6.TheDrowsyChaperone_photobyTimMatheson_webThe Drowsy Chaperone

Bursting with show-stopping song and dance – this Canadian musical parody & five-time Tony Award winner whisks audiences away on a Jazz Age journey of love, laughter, and libation.

Alone in his modest, one-bedroom apartment, a musical theatre fan puts on his favourite cast recording. As the record spins, the colourful & chaotic characters of a fictitious 1928 musical spring to life – filling his living room with all manner of movie stars, gangsters, divas, and more.

 

Tickets from $30 to $49 at tuts.ca or 1.877.840.0457.

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#GoodTurn with Scouts Canada

Potential good deeds are all around us just waiting to happen! Scouts from across the country are challenging Canadians of all ages to help spread goodwill during Good Turn Week, April 29 – May 7by doing a Good Turn for a friend, family member, neighbour or the community, and encouraging the recipient to pay it forward. A simple gesture of kindness can be as easy as giving up your seat on the bus or helping a neighbour carry their groceries, or as ambitious as organizing a clean-up of a local park. One good deed is all it takes to make a difference and inspire others, creating a cycle of goodwill that will spread across Canada! To learn more about Good Turn Week and to participate, visit www.scouts.ca/goodturn.

Everyone can share their Good Turns at Scouts.ca/goodturnweek, or on social media by using #GoodTurnWeek and by tagging @ScoutsCanada from Saturday, April 29 – Sunday, May 7, 2017.

Shore Cleanup at Kits Beach

For some, the environment is a passing interest, but for Sara Bauman, it is not only what she loves, but what drives her choices and creativity. Sara has been an avid environmentalist since the ripe age of three. “Balloons are bad,” she said to store clerks who were giving away balloons. “Don’t you know after they deflate they end up in the ocean and hurt animals?” 10 years later, her passion for cleaning up the oceans has only continued. This year, Sara is training for her Bat Mitzvah, the ritual marking a girl’s passage from childhood to adulthood in the Jewish religion. Aside from intense Hebrew and Judiac studies, she has to plan, organize, and execute a community service close to her heart. Naturally, the oceans call and she is cleaning up her favourite Vancouver Beach where she spends many summer days. Join her and her crew clean up Kits Beach and help to celebrate Sara’s fourth beach clean up. The event takes place on April 23rd, from 10am until noon, starting at 1499 Arbutus Street. Meet at the playground and prepare to get to work! Don’t worry about getting dirty either, because tongs, garbage bags, and gloves are all provided. So join the shore cleanup to keep our oceans safe and healthy while supporting Sara in her path to adulthood.

Healthy Family Expo!

Are you looking for small steps to healthier, more active, eco-friendly family living?WCF - 200 x 100 #2 for blog post

Healthy Family Expo has the answers for busy Metro Vancouver parents at the Vancouver Convention Centre on Sunday, March 26th!

THIS EVENT TURNS THE TYPICAL EXPO ON ITS HEAD! Parents can taste and shop their way around 200+ exhibitors, including the Whole Foods Market Zone, London Drugs Health Zone, Toyota Outdoor Living Zone, West Coast Kids Healthy Baby Zone, Green Living Zone and more. But it’s the kids who will be blown away by the enormous Active Kid Zone, with a giant hamster ball track, rock climbing wall, Springfree Trampolines, run bike and sportball areas, Tumblebus & TumbleTown, Science World fireball show, Vancouver Aquarium AquaVan, Bobs & LoLo and Jessie Farrell concerts and very popular meet & greets with CBC Kids favourites Daniel Tiger & Super WHY!

Mark your calendar for Sunday, March 26th and grab your 2-for-1 Expo tickets online for a limited time with promo code WCF241, and you will be entered to win the early bird Springfree Trampoline prize! First 200 adults through the door will receive an adult ticket to Science World and partial proceeds of ticket sales support the Canadian Autism Network.

WCF - 200 x 200 #1 for blog postSharing is caring, so the Healthy Family Expo is giving away thousands in pre-expo prizes leading up to the $15,000 Grand Prize Showcase to be won at the main event on March 26th, including a one-year lease on a Toyota Prius c.

To get involved in the fun:

  1. Join the Expo Facebook Event to RSVP to win thousands in prizes from Expo partners at their March 23rd Facebook Party!
  2. Grab 2-for-1 Expo tickets for a limited time using promo code WCF241 (click for tickets!).
  3. Grab VIP Expo tickets to get a loaded gift bag and skip the line at the door! Only 100 available (click for tickets!).

WAMS Foundation Fundraiser!

It is that time a year again! The WAMS Foundation, Walk a Mile In Our Shoes, is hosting its 5th annual fundraiser at the Roundhouse community center on March 3rd! The WAMS foundation seeks to help MS sufferers fund alternative treatments, and with a country with some of the highest MS rates in the world, it is important that patients have options.

The fundraiser supports a different person each year, and this year it is for a woman named Shaneel. Shaneel is a wife, daughter and sister who has been living with Multiple Sclerosis for 12 years. She was diagnosed in 2005, just 6 days before her 25th birthday. At the time, she had her full independence working full time in the financial field with aspirations of climbing the corporate ladder.

Her initial symptoms that led her to visit the doctor was a combination of unusual feelings, which included numbness and tingling in her fingers along with a lack of balance and daily fatigue. Just days after her visit to the doctor and MRI tests, the results had proven that Shaneel has Multiple Sclerosis. This was just the beginning of the journey she was about to be faced with. Shaneel is severely affected by this horrible disease and needs our help to raise money for treatment in Mexico.

We ask that please purchase you tickets now by following the link below, as it assists us in having adequate food and libations for everyone (including of course, jello shooters). If you can’t attend but would still like to support Shaneel, please do so by clicking on the link and purchasing a ghost ticket or two.

https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/lyle-construction-presents-wams-5th-annual-fundraiser-tickets-31270369517?utm_term=eventurl_text

As a reminder, the WAMS foundation is a volunteer run not for profit organization. No one takes a salary and every penny earned goes to those who need it most.

Sleep Out to Support Covenant House

On any given night there are between 500 and 1000 young people living on the streets in Vancouver. Vancouver’s downtown streets are dangerous. Sexual exploitation, drug abuse, poverty and illness are commonplace. Many youth are re-victimized on the streets, having fled one unsafe situation only to find their circumstances are often worse. Exposed to the elements, lonely, afraid and without hope; this is the reality for kids on the street. Your support will enable Covenant House to connect with youth who are living on the streets and in need of immediate care.

On May 4, 2017, women will unite in the spirit of motherhood, and sisterhood, to share love and comfort with homeless young people. You can, too. Reserve a sleeping bag. Let your life be touched by a young person who needs to know you care. The Sleep Out: Mothers Edition is a specific call to action for women to spend one night sleeping on the street to raise funds to support our Street Outreach Program.You can help by making a donation to support a Sleep Out participant.

Join the Sleep Out movement and make a meaningful and lasting impact on the lives of homeless youth.

When: May 4, 2017 | 7pm – 7am

Where: 575 Drake St, Vancouver BC, V6B 4K8

Learn more about the Sleep Out

Christmas at Hycroft!

You will LOVE Christmas at Hycroft! There’s loads to see and do as you wander through all the nooks and crannies of the beautiful Edwardian mansion. Learn about this stunning building in the centre of Vancouver that has been a part of local history, and mystery too! (Word has it that the place is haunted…)

Inside you’ll find ALL THREE FLOORS decked in seasonal splendour thanks to our fabulous in-house decorators and corporate decorators, and the excellent variety of unique boutiques, crafters and over 25 local Artisans. Outside, Hycroft’s  Courtyard is a buzz of activity with entertainment, vendors, Emelle’s Catering Trailer and the traditional “Kitchen Creations” located in the Coach House. Don’t miss all those tasty snacks!

Tickets are $15 per person, but kids under 13 are free. The event runs from November 17th-20th and is open daily from 11am to 9pm and Sunday from 11am-6pm. For more information, visit Christmas at Hycroft. 

New MS Breakthroughs and WAMS Luncheon

From potential stem cell treatments to new biomarker discoveries, Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada’s vice president of research Dr. Karen Lee says the research work in multiple sclerosis continues to unveil new promising breakthroughs on a regular basis. “It is thrilling to see the kind of ground-breaking developments happening in MS research right nowwe are confident that more answers and improved treatments are on the horizon,” says Dr. Lee who will be attending this year’s Women Against MS (WAMS) luncheon in Vancouver.

Dr. Lee, who oversees day-to-day research operations and provides leadership for a broad range of initiatives around finding a cure and improving the quality of life for people who are affected by this chronic disease, gives an example of a new breakthrough presented at a recently held international MS research conference.

The study, presented at the 2016 European Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ECTRIMS) Conference showed that certain biomarkers found in the blood could detect levels of nerve damage in MS, Lee explained. Researchers from Switzerland looked at levels of the biomarker, and found that levels were high in people with MS, and were linked to the number of lesions, relapses, and disability. This biomarker holds promise in detecting and assessing disease progression in MS.

On November 17th, 2016, the MS Society of Canada will host the second annual Women Against MS (WAMS) luncheon at the Four Seasons Hotel in Vancouver. Through MS research-focused fundraising, WAMS strives to unite women to fight against a disease that universally and disproportionately affects women up to three times more than men. 

WAMS is a collective of professional women committed to raising research funds to end MS while participating in exclusive networking opportunities. The luncheon attracts leading professionals and organizations from a wide range of industries in support of the movement to end MS. In addition to supporting one of Canada’s leading health charities, the WAMS luncheon provides table purchasers and sponsors high profile exposure.

Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 15 to 40 and the unpredictable effects of MS can last for the rest of their lives. “Last year’s event raised over $85k for MS research thanks to those who attended. We are thrilled to be holding this event for a second time to continue this movement and bring together strong, passionate individuals who are fighting for such an important cause”, shares Tania Vrionis, MS Society of Canada, BC & Yukon President.

Ticket prices vary from $125 and up. For more information on this important event, or to buy tickets, visit: www.wamsbc.ca