10 Things I Read, Thought About or Noticed this Week

01 :: My Summer Anthem

02 :: Kitten My Yoga On

If you’re into yoga and helping kids, then please join or donate to my yogathon team! We’re raising funds for Big Sisters of BC Lower Mainland all while “kitten” our yoga on! It’s September 9 at David Lam Park!

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03 :: Ellen Degeneres is so Amazing

This woman makes me cry happy tears, every freaking time.

04 :: 24-Hour Movie Marathon—Can We Have in Winter?

I would love to do an all-day movie marathon, but not when the sun is shining. If you’re a vampire you should go!

05 :: Bloodline + House of Cards + (soon) Game of Thrones = All New Seasons

Again, why in the summer?! But I’m srsly stoked.

06 :: Fuck Trump

07 :: NDP + BC Greens = Government?

Hearing that the BC Greens will support a minority government led by the NDP makes me happy. But what’s next? BC Liberals say it’s their “responsibility” to form a minority government. That Christy.

08 :: Depression is a Real Thing

It’s good to hear that more and more adults don’t feel ashamed of their mental illness and are seeking support. As someone who has struggled with depression all my life, I can say that getting a physician’s consult has made a world of difference. There’s a basic foundation of wellbeing that’s missing when you have depression, and until it’s addressed, it’s hard to make sense of the doldrum. Good things happen, but you can’t help but feel malaise. Finding support that works feels like a veil has been lifted.

09 :: Stealthing is a Real Thing

If you don’t know this already, please be aware that consent means both parties have agreed to all aspects of the sexual activity…including whether or not you use a condom.

10 :: Cativersary

My cat and I celebrated our 2nd anniversary last month. Isn’t she cute?

26 Easy Ways to Help the Environment

My Little Sister (in the Big Sisters Study Buddy Program) and I came up with 26 easy ways to help the environment. We’re both pretty conscientious about our daily choices, but felt that there is always room for improvement. So, if you’re looking for easy ways to help the environment, here are 26 of them!

26 Easy Ways to Help the Environment

25 Easy Ways to Help the Environment

  1. Don’t smoke

  2. Throw away waste/recyclables/compost in their appropriate bins

  3. Don’t pick plants or cut down trees just because you want to

  4. Bring your own mug/thermos to the coffee shop

  5. Use things made with recyclable materials as much as you can

  6. Donate to environmental organizations

  7. Walk, ride your bike, or use public transit

  8. Watch nature channels and documentaries to learn more about the environment and how you can help

  9. Don’t waste water

  10. Turn off the lights and unplug outlets when you leave the room

  11. Plant more plants!

  12. Use revolving doors (they help conserve energy)

  13. Don’t run water while you brush your teeth (you can use a cup of water instead)

  14. Don’t use exfoliants with plastic microbes because they harm fish and wildlife

  15. Pay your bills online

  16. Use environmentally friendly lightbulbs

  17. Don’t wash your hair frequently

  18. Stir coffee with dry pasta instead of a stir stick

  19. Use a dishwasher instead of washing dishes by hand and only run it when it’s full

  20. Reduce or eliminate meat consumption

  21. Use a refillable water bottle

  22. Limit use of napkins (try using only one next time)

  23. Don’t put glass in the trash

  24. Eat + shop locally

  25. Support + use renewable energy as much as possible

  26. Volunteer!

VIFF 2016 Must See Films in Vancouver

I don’t think I’ll have time to see all my VIFF 2016 must see films, but I’m excited for the festival nonetheless. The Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF) is by far my favorite festival in Vancouver. Every year, I buy a six-pack pass for all my VIFF 2016 must see films, but it’s not nearly enough to catch all the flicks that peak my interest.

Here is my list of the top 11 VIFF 2016 must see films in Vancouver.

Top 11 VIFF 2016 Must See Films in Vancouver

VIFF 2016 Must See Films

Screenshot taken from VIFF.org.

All descriptions are taken from the VIFF website.
I have no affiliation with VIFF, just absolutely love it!

VIFF 2016 Must See Films 01 :: Julieta

After the raucous sex comedy of I’m So Excited and the psychological body horror of The Skin I Live In, Pedro Almodóvar brings us a vivid, female-driven picture that takes him back to a near-extinct genre: the heart-on-the-sleeve melodrama. Based on stories by Alice Munro, Julieta uses a familiar framework to house the director’s idiosyncratic style.

Buy Tickets :: Watch the trailer

VIFF 2016 Must See Films 02 :: The Teacher

The prolific Czech director-writer duo Jan Hřebejk and Petr Jarchovský (Divided We Fall) return to top form with the compelling Slovak-language dramedy The Teacher. Set in Bratislava during the final decade of communism, it examines the abuse of power at a middle school. Zuzana Mauréry (named best actress at Karlovy Vary) tears into the part of a lifetime as a terrifying instructor who heads the local Communist Party and uses her pupils to manipulate their parents for her own personal benefit…

Buy Tickets

VIFF 2016 Must See Films 03 :: Franca: Chaos and Creation

hen fashion insiders want to visit the territory where fashion, art and provocation meet, they pick up Vogue Italia, considered the world’s most important fashion magazine. With Franca: Chaos and Creation, director Francesco Carrozzini has made an intimate portrait of his mother, Franca Sozzani, the legendary editor-in-chief of the magazine since 1988. Encompassing both the ridiculous and the sublime, her astonishing but often controversial magazine covers have not only broken the rules but also set the high bar for fashion, art and commerce over the past 25 years. From 2005’s infamous Plastic Surgery Issue in which photographer Steven Meisel documented supermodel Linda Evangelista’s “makeover” to the legendary Black Issue in 2008, which featured only black models and—despite industry prognostications to the contrary—sold out in America and the UK in 72 hours, Sozzani was unafraid to take the industry by the scruff of the neck and give it a good shake. As the film shows, she remains deeply committed to exploring subject matter off limits to most and occasionally redefining the concept of beauty in the process.

Buy Tickets :: Watch the trailer

VIFF 2016 Must See Films 04 :: The Unknown Girl

Adèle Haenel (Love at First Fight, VIFF 14) confirms her place in the firmament of French movie stars with a riveting turn in Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne’s (Two Days, One Night, VIFF 14) latest drama. She plays Jenny, a committed young Belgian doctor who, when not training interns and making house calls, cares for the poor and needy at the clinic where she works. One day she receives a call from the police: a woman’s body has been found on a nearby riverbank. Might Jenny have any information that could help with the investigation? With a shock, she realizes that the woman was someone she had turned away from the clinic due to the lateness of the hour. With her conscience preying on her, she makes some inquiries of her colleagues and realizes that few seem even remotely interested in the fate, or even the identity, of the woman, who was black and without papers. So, driven by guilt, Jenny decides to investigate for herself…

Buy Tickets :: Watch the trailer

VIFF 2016 Must See Films 05 :: Sonita

The dismaying practice of selling teenagers into marriage is thrust into the damning spotlight in Rokhsareh Ghaem Maghami’s essential documentary. An Afghan refugee in Iran, 14-year-old Sonita aspires to be a hip-hop superstar like Rihanna. But such fantasies can’t fully distract her from the grim reality that she and her teenage friends all have prices on their heads. During breaks at school, she and her fellow refugees don’t talk about boys or pop culture trends, but how much their parents will get for them. When Sonita’s brother requires a dowry to pay for his own bride, her family decides that selling her is the best way to secure the necessary funds.

Buy Tickets :: Watch the trailer

VIFF 2016 Must See Films 06 :: Lights Before Water

Made in collaboration with the Cree community of Waswanipi, Lights Above Water is an extraordinary documentary that is equal parts observational and poetic. Shot over the course of a year, co-directors Nicolas Lachapelle and Ariel St-Louis Lamoureux’s film follows a group of young children through their daily lives as they talk about their home, play, hunt, and dance (a moment that triggers a particularly memorable Rihanna music cue). The camera manages to keep a distance, allowing the children to guide the film and express themselves, privileging the viewer by immersing us in their world. Expressive stylistic flourishes and striking imagery imbue the work with a lyrical quality unusual for documentary. A generous and humane meditation on identity and place unfettered by an issue-driven hook or a conventional narrative, Lights Above Water (a colloquial translation of “Waswanipi”) is the rare sort of film that refuses to impose its own agenda while transcending categorization and refraining from delivering a simple message. In so doing, it becomes a beautiful work of art to behold.

Buy Tickets :: Watch the trailer

VIFF 2016 Must See Films 07 :: Neruda

Another robust and inventive drama from Pablo Larraín (No, VIFF 12; The Club, VIFF 15), Neruda, set in 1948 Chile, is more about the transformative possibilities of art and the power of cinematic storytelling than it is a biopic of the great poet, politician and diplomat Pablo Neruda (played here by Luis Gnecco). In fact, while the spirit of the poet hovers over every frame of the film, Neruda, the personage, takes a back seat to Gael García Bernal’s terrific performance as Oscar Peluchonneau, a somewhat inept yet self-aggrandizing police detective who, Javert-like, makes it his mission to hunt down Neruda once the poet is forced into hiding due to his communist beliefs. That we are never sure of Peluchonneau’s reliability as a guide through the proceedings is a deliberate strategy, as is the complex depiction of Neruda—the man is not accorded saint-like status by any means. For Larraín, the mere facts are secondary to the film artist’s ability to create worlds, and to celebrate the power of art. It is, after all, the poetry that really matters.

Buy Tickets :: Watch the trailer

VIFF 2016 Must See Films 08 :: Cadence

Local filmmaker Alex Lasheras arrives on the scene with this debut feature, a unique psychological thriller dealing with notions of self-identity and reality. When the eponymous heroine begins to experience hallucinations during what is supposed to be a romantic getaway with her pop-star boyfriend, fear and confusion test her ability to distinguish the visions from reality.

Buy Tickets :: Watch the trailer

VIFF 2016 Must See Films 09 :: Personal Shopper

Re-teaming after 2014’s Clouds of Sils Maria, director Olivier Assayas and star Kristen Stewart journey into the uncanny with a terrific horror story that begins, innocuously enough, as the tale of Maureen (Stewart), an American in Paris who makes ends meet by assisting snobby and demanding supermodel-cum-fashion designer Kyra (Nora Von Waltstätten). Though ill-treated, Maureen gets her own back by surreptitiously making use of Kyra’s haute-couture outfits and camping out in Kyra’s luxury apartment when the designer is away. But Maureen is much more than just a mildly transgressive personal shopper: she is, in fact, a medium who makes forays into the psychic realm in an effort to contact the spirit of her twin brother Lewis, a lad who died of the same congenital heart problem Maureen herself suffers from. When one of her frequent wanderings through the creepy old Parisian house that she and Lewis grew up in seems to lead to a connection, Assayas ratchets up the tension with the finesse of a master. In her heartfelt attempts to contact the other side, just what has Maureen wrought?

Buy Tickets :: Watch the trailer

VIFF 2016 Must See Films 10 :: The Phantom Detective

Weird and rather wonderful, Jo Sunghee’s take on gumshoe mysteries, hard-boiled noir and vast conspiracy thrillers is every bit as idiosyncratic as you might expect from his previous films—all of which have played in VIFF. It’s set in a retro world without mobile phones and modern tech, and stylised in ways that bring memories of the Hollywood studio heyday rushing in. But at the same time it’s as Korean as kimchi (the underlying paranoid fantasies about a power-elite have a lot to do with Korea’s authoritarian past), and it has a gentle streak running through it which offsets the cruelty and violence. In short, it’s a typical Jo Sunhee movie.

Buy Tickets :: Watch the trailer

VIFF 2016 Must See Films 11 :: Nelly

Anne Émond (Nuit #1) returns to VIFF with the startling and sensual true story of Nelly Arcan (born Isabelle Fortier), a young escort-turned-award-winning writer whose lurid life, skilfully penned accounts of her exploits and tragic death became a cause célèbre in Quebec. Arcan’s first novel Putain (Whore) caused a sensation and enjoyed immediate critical and media success. It contained enough similarities between the prostitute protagonist Cynthia and Arcan’s own experience as a professional sex worker to press the media’s buttons, making for instant celebrity in the Québec pantheon. Mylène MacKay delivers a memorable and steamy performance in the title role of Nelly, or, more precisely, the four faces of Nelly. There’s Nelly, the tell-all writer; Amy, the rapturous lover; Cynthia, the top-shelf whore; and Marilyn, the sparkling “glitterati.”

Buy Tickets :: Watch the trailer

The Best Places to go in Vancouver

I was talking to a tourist recently who asked about the inside scoop on fun in Vancouver. I had so much fun imparting my local knowledge I decided to share my favorite best places to go in Vancouver.

The Best Places to go in Vancouver

Best Places to go in Vancouver

Ice Cream

Craft ice cream is a thing in Vancouver. I’ve spoiled myself so much with these delicious venues that I can’t even enjoy regular store-bought ice cream. My favourites are:


There’s no way I could list all the amazing food in Vancouver. I drool just thinking about it. But,the places you shouldn’t leave without visiting are:


Like food, the selection of booze in Vancouver is overwhelming. Craft beer, craft cider, and custom cocktails abound. Check out these venues:


Vancouver has some pretty nice beaches, but many of them get super busy in the summer. Here are my favorite beaches:

  • Third Beach (for a quieter day)
  • Kits Beach (if you want to meet young, hip, active locals)
  • Second Beach (if you’re with your kids)
  • Wreck Beach (it’s a nude beach)


One of the best things about Vancouver is the art. We’ve got a wide range of art galleries, from big to small, and private to public. These are the art galleries I go to often:


Take a stroll around these Vancouver neighbourhoods to get a feel for the local culture:

  • Mount Pleasant
  • Gastown
  • Lynn Valley
  • Hastings Sunrise


If you want to pick of something nice to take home with you, I recommend these souvenirs:

Vancouver Shows Taking Dance to a Whole New Level

Have you heard of MovEnt? It’s a dance organization in Vancouver that brings beautiful, experimental productions to the community and they have a series of shows this week.

Dances for Small Stage

Dances for Small Stage

Photo by Derek Stevens.

Dances for Small Stage “showcases new and established dance professionals from Vancouver and across Canada on a ridiculously small stage, in an unconventional venue with a friendly cabaret atmosphere.” At the Anza Club this week, twelve dancers will perform original works for delighted audiences.

I sit on the Board of Directors for this awesome company and I have to say that the Artistic Producer and all dancers involved are a passionate group of people committed to their art. It’s truly inspirational to see them work.

Come join us at the Anza Club October 20 to 23. Get you tickets here.

Dinner starts at 6:30
Show at 8pm

Show only: $20
Dinner, dessert + show: $45
Dessert + show: $30

Dancers include:

* Andrew Bartee * Agnes Tong * Burgundy Brixx * Caroline Liffmann * Dayna Szyndrowski * Heather Myers
* Judith Garay * Karissa Barry * Kirsten Wicklund * Loscil * Scheherazaad Cooper * Vanessa Goodman

Learn more here.

10 VIFF Films that Look Just Amazing

The Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF) is soon upon us. Tomorrow, in fact. I love this time of year.

In celebration, here are 10 films I’m totally excited to see.

10 VIFF Films that Look Just Amazing

10 VIFF Films that Look Just Amazing

Photo from VIFF.

All descriptions are taken from the VIFF website.


Based on the best-selling Man Booker Prize-nominated novel by Irish-Canadian author Emma Donoghue (she also wrote the screenplay), this is the story of five-year-old Jack, who lives in an 11-by-11-foot room with his mother. Since it’s all he’s ever known, Jack believes that only “Room” and the things it contains (including himself and Ma) are real. Jack (Jacob Tremblay) has never stepped foot outside of this tiny shed he shares with Ma (Brie Larson) because it’s a prison built for them by Old Nick (Sean Bridgers), their kidnapper. Although based on the shocking case of an Austrian father who enslaved his own daughter and had children by her, all entirely captive, the novel and this film dispense with brutality in favour of imagination, and immense sympathy and sensitivity. Despite such a life, Ma refuses to let her son suffer from the truth, concocting an elaborate fantasy that would have him believe that theirs is the only world that exists and that nothing lies beyond the shed’s walls. When Jack’s finally ready to take part in a dramatic escape, Ma must explain, and they both must act, soon finding themselves in an overwhelming outside world that, ironically, is perhaps more terrifying than the prison they’ve abandoned.

Get tickets.

Haida Gwai: On the Edge of the World

VIFF favourites Charles Wilkinson and Tina Schliessler (Peace Out, Oil Sands Karaoke) complete their eco-trilogy with a paean to breathtaking Haida Gwaii and the spirited people who populate it. The natural beauty of this culturally rich archipelago has served as a backdrop for tragedies such as outbreaks of smallpox and the exploitation of natural resources. And yet, the Haida Nation remains undaunted, drawing on 14,000 years of tradition in preparing for a showdown over the Northern Gateway pipeline and planning for a more sustainable future.

Get tickets.


Paula van der Oest’s feature is based on a shocking true story of injustice. When a baby dies on her watch, investigators turn their sights on nurse Lucia de Berk (Ariane Schluter). Discovering more suspicious infant deaths—and some strong but circumstantial evidence against the nurse—they arrest her and she’s put on trial before the nation. Labelled “The Angel of Death” by the media, de Berk is put through a crucible of fear and humiliation. Then doubts emerge about her guilt…

Get tickets.


A slow-burn thriller with a sly sense of humour, Andrés Clariond Rangel’s film features a first-rate performance from Verónica Langer. She plays Susana, a bored housewife who becomes a desperate one, slowly turning from discontent to evil as we watch in alarm. Her husband’s a big-shot businessman who pays her no attention, her friends are rich snobs and her days are full of luxury—and empty of anything meaningful. Then one day she hires Hilda (Adriana Paz), a younger woman of humble origins, as a maid. Slowly her life changes: she starts to remember the leftist activism of her college days, and she starts to cling to her new maid more and more. Hilda goes from employee to obsession and, finally, to prisoner.

Get tickets.

I am Nojoom, Age 10 and Divorced

In 2009, the story of Yemeni teenager Nojoom Ali’s bid to legally extricate herself from an abusive, arranged marriage to a much older man (which took place when she was just 10 years old) made headlines. Khadija Al-Salami has beautifully adapted the subsequent bestseller into an emphatic drama that features a wonderful performance from Reham Mohammed as the young Ali, and a striking backdrop of Yemen’s astonishing mountain villages and ancient “skyscrapers.”

Get tickets.


Shot clandestinely in Iran, at times with actors unaware that they were being photographed, Sina Ataeian Dena’s remarkable debut feature—the first in a proposed trilogy on violence in Tehran—sparks with a fresh, exacting compositional formalism not normally seen in underground Iranian productions. With an almost exclusive female cast, Paradise concentrates on the role of women in contemporary Iranian society.

Get tickets.

Songs My Brother Taught Me

Completed over four years on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, Chloé Zhao’s feature debut is remarkably assured and attentively detailed. Made with the cooperation of the Lakota people, who make a hard living in these marginalized Badlands, Songs My Brothers Taught Me rings with authenticity. The story concerns Jashaun (Jashaun St. John), a young girl torn between the strength of her roots and the allure of the outside world. Her older brother, Johnny (John Reddy), plans to abandon the reservation and move to Los Angeles with his girlfriend. When their estranged father passes away, Jashaun is tempted to investigate his mysterious cowboy lifestyle, leading her down an unlikely existential path of exploration to discover where she truly belongs.

Get tickets.

Big Father, Small Father and Other Stories

Vietnamese cinema has become much more mature and sophisticated in recent years, and Phan Dang Di has been at the forefront of the advances. Ever since he wrote the script for Bui Thac Chuyen’s Adrift he’s pioneered a grown-up approach to the way that social and economic themes intersect with sexual and psychological themes, and his explorations of same-sex attractions have opened the door to a small flood of Vietnamese commercial gay features. But Phan himself remains some way ahead of the pack.

Get tickets.

Ice and the Sky

Luc Jacquet (the Oscar-winning March of the Penguins) returns to the Antarctic to trace the fascinating life and groundbreaking work of French explorer and glaciologist Claude Lorius, now 83. Lorious began journeying to the Arctic and then on to the Antarctic as a 23-year-old in 1955—journeys that Jacquet vividly re-creates here—where he and his teams would spend long periods in isolation, trying to uncover the secrets that lay frozen in polar ice. Eventually, Lorius discovered that, by drilling into ice and extracting cores from enormous depths, then examining and carbon dating the air bubbles trapped within, one could effectively test far back into time. The link between man-made greenhouse gases and climate change became irrefutable.

Get tickets.

No Land’s Song

Before the Islamic Revolution banned solo performances by women, Iran boasted popular female vocalists like Delkash and Googoosh. No longer willing to see women’s voices silenced, musician Sara Najafi aspires to stage a concert in Tehran. Her brother Ayat helms this revealing documentary that details the bureaucratic obstacles and theological arguments that stand between her and such a seemingly simple goal. And while the women’s glorious songs lend the film uplift, it’s Sara’s courageous determination in battling institutional discrimination that truly inspires.

Get tickets.

What Up With All the Cigarette Litter?

Have you ever sat under a beautiful tree in your favorite park only to see cigarette butts scattered around you? It’s such a drag, right? And gross.

Litter really grinds my gears and cigarette butts are up there on my most hated litter list. Is it really necessary to just drop your cigarette butt on the ground? Can’t you be a responsible adult and dispose of it safely?

What Up With All the Cigarette Litter?

What's up with cigarette litter?

Yesterday, I spent the day picking up trash for the Shoreline Cleanup and after two hours I picked up over 2,000 cigarette butts just myself. There were 60 other people there who each picked up close to the same amount, or more. We picked up other stuff too, but those butts really stood out as the most prominent litter.

Cigarette litter isn’t just limited to the False Creek area. According to Shoreline Cleanup 2014 stats, cigarettes and paraphernalia are at the top of their “dirty dozen” litter list. The difference between the number of cigarettes gathered and the number two item, food wrappers, is 253,794. IN fact, there were more cigarettes cleaned up than all the rest of the “dirty dozen” list combined.

What the eff is up with that?

Animals mistake cigarette butts for food. Cigarettes are toxic. When animals eat these butts it makes them sick and they can die.

In British Columbia this year, there were almost 2,000 forest fires. On average, 39 per cent of forest fires are human caused. Irresponsible disposal of cigarette butts contributes to this.

Look, I’m not asking that smokers quit smoking, though I highly advocate it, but that they have consideration for the people, animals, and environment around them.

11 Beautiful Vancouver Hiking Trails to Explore

Since it’s summer + I made a seasonal to do list last week, I’ve decided to compile a list of beautiful Vancouver hiking trails to explore before winter hits. I perused the Vancouver Trails site, that also has a handy map, to help fill out this list. The West Coast truly is a beautiful place + the goal is to visit all 11 of these spots!

11 Beautiful Vancouver Hiking Trails to Explore

11 Beautiful Vancouver Hiking Trails to Explore

Vancouver Hiking Trails 01 :: Stanley Park

Vancouver :: Easy

Stanley Park is the obvious Vancouver hiking trails choice! I was there last weekend, walking Beaver Lake Trail, and the air was so thick + humid it actually felt like being in a butterfly sanctuary. Having grown up in dry Alberta, this is a wonderful feeling. I assume I’ll be at Stanley Park quite often this summer.

Vancouver Hiking Trails 02 :: Pacific Spirit Regional Park

Vancouver :: Easy

Pacific Spirit Regional Park is a Vancouver hiking trail located near the University of British Columbia campus. I haven’t been to this park yet, but apparently it’s got over 750 hectares of forest.

Vancouver Hiking Trails 03 :: Grouse Grind

Vancouver :: Difficult

The Grouse Grind in the most popular of Vancouver hiking trails. It’s s a 2.9-kilometre trail up the face of Grouse Mountain with a 2,800 elevation gain. According to their site, the average hiker takes 1.5 hours to reach the top.

Vancouver Hiking Trails 04 :: Burnaby Lake

Burnaby :: Easy

The great thing about Burnaby Lake is that it’s accessible easily by the skytrain. It’s also the largest lake in the Lower Mainland and has a 10km hiking path that loops around the entire park area.

Vancouver Hiking Trails 05 :: Deer Lake

Burnaby :: Easy

Deer Lake is an easy, flat hike in Burnaby, near the Burnaby Lake hiking trail. It’s one of those Vancouver hiking trails you can bring your parents to for a light, brisk stroll.

Vancouver Hiking Trails 06 :: Capilano Pacific Trail

North Vancouver :: Easy

The Capilano Pacific Trail is 7.5km following the border between North + West Vancouver. Vancouver Trails notes that the trail takes you through beaches, rocky shores, steep canyon cliffs and rain forest.

Vancouver Hiking Trails 07 :: Baden Powell Deep Cove to Lynn Canyon

North Vancouver :: Intermediate

I’ve been to Lynn Canyon to collect spring water, but I’ve never ventured through the Baden Powell Deep Cove to Lynn Canyon. The hiking trail takes you through views of Deep Cove and Indian Arm as well as great canyon scenery of the Seymour River and Lynn Creek. The trail has different start and end points so you’d have to arrange for another ride, or get back through public transit.

Vancouver Hiking Trails 08 :: Dog Mountain

North Vancouver :: Easy

Dog Mountain is a short + easy Vancouver hiking trail, but offers spectacular views of the city. It’s only 5km return but located further into North Vancouver than other trails mentioned here.

Vancouver Hiking Trails 09 :: Eagle Bluffs

West Vancouver :: Intermediate

Eagle Bluffs is located above Eagle Harbour in West Vancouver and reportedly has delightful views. It’s an intermediate hike with a bit of a slope.

Vancouver Hiking Trails 10 :: Mount Gardner

Bowen Island :: Intermediate

Mount Gardner is out on Bowen Island and offers views of Howe Sound, the Sunshine Coast, West Vancouver, and Burrard Inlet. It’s a great addition to a day trip out to the calm island.

Vancouver Hiking Trails 11 :: Lighthouse Park

West Vancouver :: Easy

According to Vancouver Trails, Lighthouse Park is one of the most beautiful Vancouver hiking trails in West Vancouver. It’s got some of the largest Douglas Fir trees as well as breathtaking views of the water.
That’s my list of 11 beautiful Vancouver hiking trails to explore this summer. Leave a comment and let me know your favorite!

Things to do in Vancouver this Summer

Bah humbug, it’s summer. Contrary to popular sentiment, the summer months are my least favorite of the year. How about let’s start raining again?! Hah.

Lucky for me, having summer as my least favorite season means that my least favorite season ain’t all that bad at all. Summer means plentiful patios, ice cream cones, nature walks and lazy lounging in the sun. It’s just all the damn people take up all the damn space and I get schweaty balls so move out of my way because I’m dehydrated and damp. (*Of course this is an exaggeration of my feelings. What I’m saying is that I favor rainy sidewalks to sunny crowds. I get cranky in the heat. Sorry!)

That being said, the Spring months were a tumultuous time for my personal life and grief has burrowed a home in my heart. Grief has gathered its rations, fashioned its twiggy sleeping nook and is ready to hibernate while the sun is at its peak. I’m tempted to follow suit. I miss those that I’ve lost and I want to pay my respects and honor them. There are no words from this humble writer that can express the gratitude, love, respect, wish, warmth and prayer that I have for those that have passed. So, I will leave it at that and tell you that I’ve decided not to give in (or at least try) to the hibernation and make a list of all the fun things to do in Vancouver this summer. Vancouver is amazing in the summer and I am so blessed that this is my least favorite season.

Things to do in Vancouver this Summer

Things to do in Vancouver this Summer

  1. Go camping.
  2. Explore Stanley Park. ✓
  3. Mega long bike ride.
  4. Do the Grouse Grind.
  5. Road trip. ✓
  6. Go to Portland.
  7. BBQs at the park.
  8. Play beach volleyball.
  9. Fly home for a weekend. (Nelson instead!) ✓
  10. Submit to three writing contests.
  11. Do this memoir writing workshop. ✓
  12. Go to Squamish or Whistler or both.
  13. Eat at the Food Truck Festival.
  14. Read at the beach. (Note to self :: find shade!)
  15. Go to Wreck Beach.
  16. Go on a photo walk.
  17. Have a kickass birthday in August!
  18. Eat Earnest Ice Cream like all the time. ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓
  19. Start a workout regimen. (Haha yeah, okay.) ✓
  20. Start journaling again.
  21. Go on dates. ✓ ✓ ✓
  22. Make art for this Boobies + Wieners show.
  23. Write for this Boobs call for submissions.
  24. Avoid most festivals, except when invited by cool folks. ✓
  25. Go to arts events.
  26. Visit Robert’s Creek on the Sunshine Coast.
  27. Eat the new Cartem’s Donuterie on Main Street. ✓
  28. Read books!

Want to join me on any of these fun things to do in Vancouver this summer? Post a comment or send me a message!

Best Vancouver Venues to Host Events

I love this city. One of the best parts about living in Vancouver is the plethora of great events and all the best Vancouver venues that host them. I’ve compiled a list of the top five best Vancouver venues to host events. The great thing about these Vancouver venues is that whether you’re going to (or hosting) an event or not, they’re all worth visiting.

Top Five Best Vancouver Venues to Host Events

Best Vancouver Venues to Host Events

Best Vancouver Venue 01 :: Hot Art Wet City

If you haven’t been to Hot Art Wet City then you need to go asap. Seriously. Not only do they feature neat art on the walls, but they host a variety of events to entertain your fancies. This week they’ve got Dr. Sketchy’s with Mr. Diva, Naked Girls Reading and Kyle Bottom’s Comedy Bucket. Run by Chris Bentzen, Hot Art Wet City is one of the best Vancouver venues for hosting events.

Best Vancouver Venue 02 :: The Cobalt

The Cobalt is one of those best Vancouver venues that pushes boundaries. I love this place for its sexy parties that include NSFW (Hip Hop Meets Striptease,) the Gay Agenda, Mr. + Miss Cobalt Drag Competition, Snag (Live Painting Art Raffle) and all the other shit that goes on there! It’s pretty cool, so go.

Best Vancouver Venue 03 :: Biltmore Cabaret

Let’s face it, the main reason Biltmore Cabaret is one of the best Vancouver venues is because of their weekly Kitty Nights striptease. I mean, come on, you gotta go! They also host bands (such as Timber Timbre tonight,) comedy and dance parties. It’s always a pleasure.

Best Vancouver Venue 04 :: The Beach

Maybe it’s not really a venue, but the beach is a great place to get a bunch of folks together and have a good time. Plus it’s free! You may have to hide your beer and make dibs on a shady spot but the waves, sand and breeze can’t be beat. You can actually rent picnic spaces in Vancouver too. Don’t forget a frisbee!

Best Vancouver Venue 05 :: Contemporary Art Gallery

I love the Contemporary Art Gallery. If you want intriguing art as the centrepiece of your event then this is the best Vancouver venue for you. Typically stand up cocktail receptions work delightfully well here. Whether you have an event or not, the Contemporary Art Gallery is worth a visit.

That’s my list of the best Vancouver venues to host events. Did I miss any?! Leave a comment and let me know.