Man Up! play by the Boys Club Network

The Westcoast Boys Club Network Foundation (aka Boys Club Network or BCN) is pleased to present their acclaimed reality stage play Man Up! in Abbotsford from November 25 through 27, playing to a targeted audience of high school students, educators, youth workers, families and other stakeholders at the W. J. Mouat Secondary School Theatre.

Man Up! is the gritty, heart-wrenching, emotional and life-changing story of two determined eastside Vancouver educators, a group of at- risk boys on the sharp knife-edge of life, a handful or generous and visionary Lower Mainland businessmen from all walks of life, and the compelling four-year journey they took together – from the edge of frustration, hopelessness and despair, to the pinnacle of hopefulness and success. Man Up! Shares authentic, deeply personal stories of individual struggle, overcoming demons and realizing dreams.

BCN is a registered Canadian charity with a mandate to establish connectedness, trust and accountability to at-risk young men and help grow then into good men. The Network uses drama – more specifically the reality stage play – as a creative platform to spread their message of H.O.P.E. (Hope, Opportunity, Positive mentorship, Education) to communities throughout the lower mainland, to ignite discussion, and to inspire stakeholders to set-up new BCN chapters.

BCN independently operates seven chapters in Vancouver, North Vancouver and West Vancouver secondary schools with the cooperation and assistance of school districts and stakeholders in youth work and law enforcement. Close to 100 mentors, representing all facets of Canadian life, from break-even to billionaire, mentor a membership of more than 200 boys. The Network is grateful to Mr. Gino Bondi, a long-time BCN mentor and new Assistant Superintendent, Abbotsford School District, for introducing Man Up! to the city of Abbotsford, with its diverse population and eight secondary schools.


Man Up! messaging is entirely relevant to today’s students and educators, and parallels Curriculum Learning Outcomes in BC Secondary courses Planning 10, Health & Career 9, Drama Curricula, and lessons in Focus on Harassment and Intimidation. The supplied Companion Study Guide for Educators and Reflections on Learning student worksheets address topical issues like anti- bullying, personal accountability, gratitude, philanthropy and empathy. Buy tickets here!

Adult Night at Fort Langley!

What is more chilling than tales of love, mysterious burials, and hair-raising amputations during Fort Langley National Historic Site’s annual Grave Tales Historic Walking Tours? Try sleeping over inside the fort after the tour!

New for 2016, adults over the age of 19 can choose to rent an oTENTik tent for the ultimate Grave Tales night out. Tickets for the overnight packages go on sale today at 8 am. The oTENTiks each sleep up to six, so choose the date and number of persons in your party from 1 to 6 when purchasing tickets on Regular Grave Tales tickets, without the overnight portion, will go on sale September 1st.

Grave Tales is a historic walking tour through the village of Fort Langley, ending inside the historic Big House inside the fort. Heritage Interpreters tell tales of misfortune in Fort Langley’s cemeteries, streets, and inside the Hudson’s Bay Company fort.

Tours cover stories of Hudson’s Bay Company workers’ long dead, but still lingering spirits, including Louisa and William Emptage. Many claim to have seen Louisa in early mornings  searching for William at the Fort Langley cemetery. If you don’t manage to glimpse these two, the tour ends back at Fort Langley National Historic Site in the site’s most haunted building, which some claim is home to a young boy’s ghost who still wants to play.


Adult tours (19+ only please):

Facebook event

Fort Langley National Historic Site is part of Parks Canada’s system of national parks and national historic sites, which provide visitors with exceptional heritage experiences. This outdoor event will connect Canadians with nature as they explore the local area on foot.

Fort Langley Fun

Since 1979, people have flocked to Fort Langley on BC Day weekend to bring to life a tradition that goes back to the early 1800s: the arrival of the fur brigades. Every modern outdoorsman or adventure fan or Vancouverite who wants to get in touch with BC’s roots must come out this weekend to see this: dozens of men, women and children dressed in 19th century clothing will be “roughing it” in their canvas tents, cooking over the fire, and sharing their old-fashioned skills with visitors.

Have you seen laundry done by hand, with a washboard and ringer? Then be sure to visit our Washer Women. Like folk music? Check out the stories and songs three times a day. Are you into fashion? Be sure to see the fashion show July 31st at 1:30 pm. All weekend, you can mingle with the re-enactors who will be at their tents, showing off their old-fashioned wares, weaving, sewing and cooking.

Cretons, Wild rice, duck and bulrush shoots, bear sausage, stew cooked with hot rocks, bannock: sound good? No? That’s OK, you don’t have to eat it, but come and watch re-enactors facing off with their traditional dishes on Sunday July 31st at 4 pm. Come early to see them cooking over their fires and watch the re-enactors of all ages cook up their 1800s recipes, and see which dish the judges choose as the winner.

On BC Day, August 1st, bagpipe processions and an exciting canoe re-enactment on the Fraser River will take place between 12:30 and 2 pm. Then from 6-8 pm, don’t miss the FREE BC DAY concert in the fort. Live music with Celtic singer, Pat Chessell! Bring your blanket and a picnic or some take-out and enjoy a relaxing evening.

So grab your friends and come on out for a different kind of weekend. And while you’re going to time travel, you’ll need your smart phones: you’re going to want to share some awesome photos with #exploreBCday #langleyfresh and #fortlangleynhs for our photo contest.
P.S. There are even Pokemons, a gym and monuments on site! 

Help Raise Money for Autism Now

For parents of children with autism, accessing programs while raising awareness is vital, and Choices Markets has answered the call.

Choices Markets will host its 4th annual Puzzle Piece Campaign from August 1-12 at all eleven of its British Columbia stores. During the campaign, stores across the province will raise funds through the sale and purchase of puzzle pieces and there will also be charity barbecues on August 13th at all Choices locations. All contributions will go directly to Autism Speaks Canada to fund research, advocacy and community programs, as well as provide support for families across Canada that are impacted by autism spectrum disorder.

Autism Speaks Canada, is part of North America’s largest autism science and advocacy organization working both locally and nationally, to increase awareness about autism spectrum disorder, fund autism research and family services, and advocate for the needs of individuals with autism and their families in British Columbia and across all of Canada.

For more information, please visit or call 604-952-2266.

For more information about Autism Speaks Canada, please visit or call 1-888-362-6227.

Summer Fun at Rocky Mountain Flatbread

Keeping little ones busy during the summer can be a challenge, and there’s always a million extra chores for parents and caregivers. There’s also the need to prepare regular lunches and meals to ensure kids are fed and energized for all that summer fun!

Thankfully, Rocky Mountain Flatbread heeds the call of parents who need to keep the littles busy while also eating some tasty food! Every Wednesday from 11am – 12pm, moms, dads and caregivers can register to take their little one to the restaurant for parent-child workshops! Each week will feature a different activity, be it storytelling, yoga and dance, creating healthy snacks, faceprinting, crafts and tea party dress up events! Parents will have fun with their children participating in an unique activity, while kids will have a blast.

Best of all, stay behind afterwards to have a delicious pizza, full of healthy, local and organic ingredients that keep everyone fuelled and full!

Registration is required and class size is limited so be sure to register at to take part in these classes at the Main Street location!


Love a Little Opera

A new Lower Mainland opera company is celebrating their grand opening with a double-bill of shows designed to help young singers achieve their dreams. The West Coast Opera Studio, or WCOS, is a brand new opera company dedicated to showcasing local performers by creating opportunities for them to sing full roles. Entirely funded by arts lovers and the community, the project strives to help underfunded young singers as they prepare for full careers.At 7:30 pm on Friday, July 29, the West Coast Opera Studio will present two beloved short operas: Pergolesi’s La serva padrona and Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, featuring casts of talented students and graduates of those smaller, underfunded opera schools that couldn’t give them the same opportunity.

Founder Robin Eder-Warren says that West Coast Opera’s decision to stage an opera starring performers who hadn’t had the chance to sing many full roles came when she saw other small companies in Vancouver begin to disappear. “To pursue future careers in the art form, singers need to have resumes full of experience in a wide array of operas,” she says, “and with the closure of several small companies in the past few years, and the lack of funding from many schools, for many the only opportunities to perform come from what we call ‘pay-to-sing’ companies – and some singers, though they’re really fantastic vocalists, simply can’t afford that. That’s where West Coast Opera comes in.”

For this production, WCOS is teaming up with Opera Mariposa, the acclaimed local opera company that has been showcasing emerging young artists since 2011. “Mariposa was created by young artists, for young artists, and we’re thrilled to help give these singers the opportunities they desperately need for their future careers,” explains Artistic Director Jacqueline Ko, who is lending her voice to the tragic Dido and Aeneas as the Sorceress. “Without experience like this, pursuing professional opera can be next to impossible, even for singers as amazing as those we get to work with this summer. Everyone needs the chance to shine, no matter where they come from.”

The co-production is being funded by a campaign on the crowdfunding website Indiegogo, with a fundraising goal of $2500. Eder-Warren hopes that the city will come together to support the arts. “Any contribution, big or small, makes a difference to this project,” she says.

So get out and enjoy a night of culture with the whole family!

La serva padrona and Dido and Aeneas (by G. B. Pergolesi and H. Purcell)
7:30 pm on Friday, July 29  and Saturday, July 30, 2016
Metro Theatre, 1370 SW Marine Drive, Vancouver, BC
Tickets $20 ($18 students and seniors), available at and at the door or at (604) 266-7191

Quartets of Musical Fun!

We were so lucky to be offered tickets to a performance of the the Rolston String Quartet and Koerner Quartet at the Vancouver Academy of Music’s Koerner Hall. The idea of chamber music might not sound like the most fun you’ve had all week, but we’ll admit to being swept away by the sounds, the music, the passion, and the wonderful performance put on by the whole family.

The venue is beautiful and made for a great night out. Little ones will love to get dressed up for a night out at the symphony!

With amazing musicians were something to behold, with Luri Lee on violin, Jeffrey Dyrda also on violin, Hezekiah Leung on the viola, and Jonathan Lo playing up the cello, there was something for every music lover. The notes they hit and the passion they played with made everyone in the audience feel like they were part of every key.

We felt lucky to see two different quartets play the same stage and the whole night was a spectacular evening of entertainment.

Be sure not to miss next season if you get the chance!

Longest Day Road Race!

Keeping fit is key to living a healthy lifestyle, and there’s nothing like a run to get the cardiovascular system firing at full speed. For those who enjoy some lighthearted competition, road races are full of opportunities to connect with like-minded runners. For those looking to get exercise while supporting a good cause, look no further than the Longest Day Road Race, which supports the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF). The run is on Friday, June 10th and has a 5km, 10km and even a kid’s mile, so the whole family can participate. Some proceeds of the event go to supporting ongoing research for Type-1 Diabetes. “Our plan ensures there will be an ongoing stream of life-changing therapies moving from development through to commercialization that lessen the impact of T1D. We want to keep people with T1D healthy and safe until we reach our ultimate goals of finding a cure and the universal prevention of T1D,” said JDRF in a printed statement. Early bird registration is May 10th and closes June 8th, so be sure to register before max space is reached! If running isn’t your thing, those looking to support the cause can donate or sponsor a registered runner..

Project Empty Bowl

Since its inception in the early 1990’s Project Empty Bowl has fed thousands of individuals with HIV/AIDS locally and tens of thousands globally. It began when John Harton, a teacher in Bloomfield, MT, asked his high school ceramic students to make enough bowls to give a luncheon for the school staff. For $5 each, the guests received a simple meal of soup and bread, served in one of the handmade bowls. Guests were asked to accept their now empty bowls as a gift and to keep them as a reminder of all the empty bowls that still need filling. The money raised was donated to the local food bank.

The energy of those young potters, their teacher, and their guests breathed life into what has become the Empty Bowls Project. Since then, groups of potters have raised and donated millions of dollars to organizations like A Loving Spoonful that fight hunger the world over.

The premise of Empty Bowls is profoundly simple and has been repeated thousands of times by small groups and large. A few people get together to create bowls. They invite guests, as many as they have bowls, to share a simple meal and to donate a small sum, which provides food to those in need. In return, guests take home their empty bowl as a reminder of the continuing hunger within their own community.

In 1997, Rachelle Chinnery and Linda Doherty of Mudslingers Clay Studios brought the concept of Empty Bowls to A Loving Spoonful. They had the blessing and enthusiastic participation of the Potters Guild of British Columbia and the Canadian Craft & Design Museum. Together, they created Project Empty Bowl as a benefit for A Loving Spoonful.

Project Empty Bowl has become an annual signature fundraising event for A Loving Spoonful. The sole purpose of Project Empty Bowl is to raise funds so that A Loving Spoonful can continue delivering free meals and nutritional counselling & education to men, woman and children fighting HIV/AIDS.

Attend the latest event, to support this great cause, Thursday June 2, 2016 at 6:30pm at the Coast Coal Harbour Hotel. Tickets are $100 and go to an amazing cause.
Buy your ticket today !

Arts Umbrella Theatre and Music Expressions Festival!

Arts Umbrella announces its 2016 Theatre and Music Expressions Festival: an annual showcase celebrating the boundless creativity of young talent in the organization’s pre-professional theatre program, running from May 11 to 22, 2016, at Waterfront Theatre on Granville Island. With an expanded festival run of two weeks this year, five wonderfully varied productions highlight the talents of Canada’s next generation of theatre artists, including beloved favourites such as The Drowsy Chaperone and Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, and student-created originals such as Dangers of a Total War.

To hone their work, student performers have toured the productions in schools across the Lower Mainland, and worked with professional directors and designers. Both innovative and inspiring, the Expressions Festival enables these driven youths to take pride in their accomplishments by sharing their vision and ability with the community.

Don’t miss these amazing performances by local talent and support Kids in the Performing Arts!