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Category: exhibitions Page 1 of 3

PNE Pre-Fair Press Conference & Preview 2019

Today I was invited down to the PNE, 2 days before The Fair’s opening season. I was here for a sneak peak of what guests can expect from this year’s run from August 17th to September 2nd, 2019.

Along with traditional media, I joined a tour around the fair grounds. The following is what is new and noteworthy, so that you can better plan your upcoming visit.

We started with a Press Conference announcing all the shows and exhibits for the 109th year. PNE’s The Fair continues to serve as an affordable and fun family event, for all ages and all interests. An occasion that brings everyone in the city out, and a way to welcome visitors from out of town. This year there will be hundreds of shows, performances, and exhibits throughout the 2 weeks. An estimated 700,000 individuals will walk through the front gate, as the largest ticketed event in BC.

New is “Revel District”, an outdoor area with a “Western zone” that includes beer booths, barbecue, and a bucking mechanical bull. As well as a “Mexican zone” with tacos and margaritas. Daily, its stage will host comedians, a strong-woman performance, and a nightly drag show.

Sure to be The Fair’s most well received exhibit, is “Snap Happy”. This gives event goers the ability to capture the perfect memory with stationary photo ops. More on that below.

At the Garden Auditorium guest’s can walk through the evolution of gaming with a self guided museum-esque tour.

Historically renown hypnotist Reeven comes back to The Fair, with the next generation. Son taking over for father: Reveen the impossiblist 2.0. People from the audience volunteer to become stars on stage. They are hypnotized into carrying out crazy actions, thus giving the crowd watching, the “World’s most funniest and most amazing stage show”. A must see!

Each night ends with “Electric Fire”. The closing show that sends rockets and fire into the dark sky, and coupling it with great music.

And speaking of great music the Summer concert series at the Chevrolet stage is taking you back to the 90’s with the likes of the Beach Boys, 98degrees, TLC, Vanilla Ice, and MC Hammer hosting his own house party.

Fan favourite shows like the Super Dogs, Knights of Valour, and Duelling Pianos return. And families can once again grab a seat in the park and watch a family friendly movies together.

There will now be tractor races for the kids at the agriculture and all the baby animals to pet and coo at will be back.

And of course, the prize home lottery returns, celebrating its 85th year. All this and more, all free with admission.

And for those looking to save further The Fair is made more accessible with various ticket promotions. Downloading the new PNE phone app get you in for only $2 on opening weekend, this Saturday August 17th and Sunday August 18th. Tuesday August 20th and 27th offers free admission for those visiting between 11-1pm. Thursday August 22nd is free admission for seniors. And on both Fridays August 23 and 30th, if you visit using translink, show your compass card at the gate and get two for one fair admission.

After the press conference, we were given a go of the “Snap Happy” exhibit before the crowds converged and there is a need to wait in queue for your unobstructed photo. They suggest taking many selfies here, however majority of the props do require a photographer. Like the pinwheel garden right as you enter.

Or if you want to ride the individual merry-go-round horse or hop into the single bumper car.

You can straddle a pink polka dot cow, or channel your inner super dog with this kennel with hydrant. Or maybe pop your head in to a game of whack a mole, which includes paddle. Or dawn a feather boa and strap on a guitar, and pretend you are head lining your own concert.

A 2D black and white roller coaster gives you the photo image, without the fear.

The wall of stuff animals explained what they did to the ones that the children don’t win.

The wall of colour changing sequins allowed you to customize your backdrop. But I preferred the wall of tinsel that gave you a rainbow sparkle backdrop.

Or you could wait for the crown of neon lights to change to the perfect hue.

The mysterious box that you could walk under, made selfies easier with 360 degree mirrors, and twinkling lights surrounding you.

For the foodie, you can sandwich yourself between two burger patties in this specialty couch.

Or give yourself cartoon ice cream cone wings or pizza wings with matching halo. They even have backdrops of mini doughnuts and swirling lollipops.

Across from this is a fully stocked concession. Here, you can see how it’s like to serve the fair candy and treats, instead of eating them. Giant lollipops and gummy bears, fully stocked pop machines, and cotton candy bags in a row.

There was also unique furniture crafted with whimsical poses and arms, giving them animated life. And pink sugar coated clouds with matching cushion to think sweet thoughts on, ended the hall of photo ops.

Next, at the “Transport 2050” booth they spoke to the future of transit and wanting to solicit the city more through surveys. You can help decide the direction that translink will take in future expansion. And to help get your here, they will have 5 extra buses shuttling people from Renfrew skytrain station to the PNE grounds.

Adjacent was showcase of buses, including Vancouver’s first double decker bus, launching in October. And the new Rapid Bus with its specialty route.

And the most unique of them all is the 1950 GMC refurbished into a travelling museum. Once the doors are opened you can head inside to learn more about the history of transportation from horse and buggy to ride sharing.

A similar story was also told across a scale model of the city, and a projector that brought it to life. This is the “Micro City” exhibit. A recording talked about the evolution of travel in our fair city, and the need to start planning for the future as more and more people converge. As the first of the public to see this, I definitely recommend checking this out.

Our tour started with all the newness to The Fair this year, and ended with one of the oldest at The Fair, year after year: “Jimmy’s Lunch”. Owned and operated by the Parson’s family, who have been serving their iconic hamburgers, most notably topped with mounds of fried onions, since 1929. They first opened opened in 1929, serving as a sit down dining establishment. At the time it was the largest restaurant under canvas in North America, and sat 200. Today, they are one of the most well known stands in PNE history. And to celebrate this history and their 90th year at The Fair, they were presented with permanent picnic bench and stand location. A ceremony and occasion we were here to witness.

A new lovely setting marked with the inscription “Presented to the Parsons Family in recognition of the 90th anniversary of Jimmy’s Lunch at the Fair”. A welcomed addition for family and friends to enjoy a burger on.

And lucky for us, we would get to do just that. Fun fact, approximately 900 tonnes of onions have been peeled over the 90 years, served across 4 generations of the family. And at the turn of the century, these very fried onions were actually named one of the 10 most memorable things to come of the 1900’s by “Vancouver Magazine”. And after getting a taste, I can see why they earned the recognition.

I would get the very second burger they have made for this 2019 season. An all beef patty kept warm and moist under a mound of well seasoned, fried onions. With it I had all the toppings including cheddar cheese, tomato, lettuce, and a ketchup relish between two white buns. It was delicious, best paired with their crispy fries. I wolfed everything down, slurping up strands of onions and licking the juices that ran down my hands.

And thus ended this little teaser. I will be back to cover all the new food stuffs next week, so be sure to stay tuned for that post and vlog. For more on the events and going ons, visit the link below.

PNE, THE FAIR
2901 East Hastings Street, Vancouver BC, V5K 5J1
604-251-7717
pne.ca

#WastetoWonder, Metropolis at Metrotown

Metropolis at Metrotown has done it again, they have yet another great feature in their Grand Court worth visiting. From August 8 – September 8, 2019 mall goers can marvel at the “Waste to Wonder” exhibit. The “largest flip flop and animal art exhibit in the world”, a one of a kind installation handcrafted by “Ocean Sole Africa”.

“Ocean Sole” is a not of profit focusing on environmental protection. “Not only are they creating employment for a country that has an unemployment rate of 40%, but they are also sending a message about how we can help our planet, our oceans and people; through creating beautiful art.”

They are making a difference by bringing awareness to both the amount of waste in our oceans and the need to protect endangered animals. Volunteers out of Kenya walk rivers, lakes, and oceans in search of loss and discarded flip flops that they can turn into works of art. So stunning are these installations that they are available for purchasing through an auction. The proceeds of which will go to the “Variety Children’s Charity”, helping kids in BC with special needs.

 The narwhal.

 The orca.

 The bison.

 The grizzly.

 And the caribou.

All five animals together are made from over 6,500 flip flops, requiring 2,500+ hours of work, by more than two dozen artists. Their gathering here is “Ocean Sole’s” largest exhibit to date.

There is also a beaver, an additional animal that has been commissioned. He has already been spotted “wandering around” downtown, but is now settling in Metrotown’s grand court for the month. This one you are able to get close to and take a photo with.

And as usual, Metrotown has created a fun way for visitors to win a $1,000 shopping spree. At either of the available kiosks, you can guess how many flip flops went into making the orca for a chance to win. Additionally you can win a prize package or a $500 Metropolis giftcard by visiting the “Waste to Wonder” exhibit, snapping a photo and sharing on line with the tags “METWastetoWonder and @metropolisatmet.

There are also a variety of different events to take part in during the duration of the showcase. The link with all the details will be provided below. For now, here are the dates and their brief descriptions.

August 8th: 1-3pm.
You can meet one of the “Ocean Sole” artists who will show you how he does! There are only 100 spots available for this and resignation is required. Each participant gets a souvenir and a keep sake photo.

August 14th and 18th: 2pm, 3pm, 4pm.
The upcycle bracelet workshop teaches kids of all ages how to make their own beaded braclet, crafted from the same materials as the animals today: discarded flip flops.

August 15th, 22nd, 29th: 12-4pm
Metropolis is having a plastic drive. Drop off any clean, one time use plastic container, straws, and/or plastic bag to help get them out of landfills. The first 800 customers who donates a full grocery bag of plastics each day will receive an reusable gift.

August 21st: 3 and 4pm.
Kiehl’s upcycle workshop. Bring your old Kiehl make up containers, and learn how to make them into green planters. This too has limited availability and requires registering.

I attended the media launch which included live music, various beverages, small bites, and a live demonstration from “Ocean Sole”. Our visit also included a closer than normal look and the rubber animals. When the exhibit opens tomorrow, they will be sectioned off to ensure they are kept safe and in good condition, for those who purchase them for a good cause.

The following are the small bites courtesy of “Forage” we was catering.


Beets with blue cheese.


Blue lemonade and Fruit punch. Non alcoholic.


Mac and cheese croquettes with house made ketchup.


Birch with maple syrup jelly over an heirloom tomato salad.


Chicken satay over rocks.

“MET Waste to Wonder” is open during mall hours daily August 8th to September 8th, 2019 and is a free experience for everyone to enjoy. Even more reason to visit the mall, outside of its air conditioning. Come by for a photo op, to learn something about each endangered animal, to take part in a unique workshop, and for the ability to win a shopping spree!

Metropolis at Metrotown, Grand Court
4700 Kingsway, Burnaby
(Lower Level, near T&T Supermarket and Toys R Us)

#METWastetoWonder
@metropolisatme
https://metropolisatmetrotown.com/event/waste-wonder/

 

Superpower Dogs IMAX, Science World

This year I have already visited Science World a handful of times. On each occasion it was after hours and adult themed. So today it was a whole new experience visiting during a busy day in summer, with a toddler.

We came to watch their newest IMAX movie, “Superpower Dogs”, but definitely took advantage of being able to explore the dome before and after it. Our guide and leader today was a 3 year old little girl, the child of my friend. And today’s post will be written from her perspective, covering the exhibits and showcases she was most interested in.

I was surprised by how busy it was on a random Friday. There were several youth camps and tour groups running around. Although everyone was cordial for the most part. Majority of the children playing knew to wait their turn and their parents helped to organize shared play. It was the pre-teens in those tour groups that pushed their way through and walked without consideration of those below their knees. My friend admitted that it is because of this increase in traffic and the additional “big kids” present, that during the summer months she avoids such hubs.

Luckily there is a section just for little kids, and one that I never got to see until today. The area comes with stroller parking, in a “lot” that is humoursly sponsored by “Impark”. It has painted stall lines on the ground and meters on the wall for the full “parking lot” experience. And I never realized how many areas around Science World had such spaces to park your stroller at, and how convenient doing so is for a family.

Entry to this play area comes with a height restriction and a nod of approval from a volunteer, helping to regulate it and how many are within it. Once inside, our little leader was immediately drawn to the climbing structure that centred the place. A netted structure that allowed her to climb up a spiralling staircase, scale up a slide, and crawl through a levelled tower. We were able to watch her through the netting as she popped up now and again. She climbed up and down, around and around multiple times, which also helped to tire her out.

This and all the other experiences were labeled, educating parents and caregivers on how much such play helped the development of children. Here, it was how climbing allowed children to see from different vantage points. That their understanding of how others have different view points develop between the ages of 3-4.

She considered playing in the water area that included a dome that released smoke, with buttons to push that made taps run, and a bevy of water toys bobbing about. However, she much rather play alone or with her mother than have to interact or get close to other children.

So instead, we played with clear building blocks on a surface that was lit with transitioning lights. But mom and I had to start playing first for her to be enticed into joining.

Next, we headed to the movie. Grabbing some popcorn on the way. It isn’t popped fresh, but it is at least healthy. They use sunflower oil which is better for you, with 80% less saturated fat.

Heading up to the IMAX theatre was a trek, but our toddler loved it. Walking up and down on the carpeted ramp became a game. I chased her, she chased mom, mom and her chased me. This proved to be more fun for her than the movie itself.

I on the other hand fully loved the show. Though we sat closer to the bottom of the screen, and spent majority of the movie cranking our heads around to take it all in. I can only imagine how much our little viewer could see. Luckily it was only a 50 minute long movie, but it was fully entertaining.

“Superpower Dogs” was narrated by Chris Evans who played the voice of one of the dogs, Henry; introducing other equally impressive dogs to the viewer. Henry works out of BC. He and his human partner are sent in after an avalanche occurs at Whistler mountain. They are dropped off by helicopter and start sniffing out any bodies hidden under the snow. We then followed a puppy named Halo who would under go similar training that Henry did, to get certified for the search and rescue team with her partner/owner. We also met dogs that helped patrol the oceans of Italy, saving those who fall over board. We learning about their autonomy and how they were built for such endurance work. There was also a dog that surfed and helped people and children with PTSD and anxiety. I was most impressed by the dogs that helped to hunt illegal hunters and poachers on the plains of Africa, being able to track their scent for up to 5 days.

Overall, this was a really well shot and well produced movie. The large screen and multiple subwoofers helped to draw you into the experience with a 180 degree view. I enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would, especially being a cat person. I learned so much, and would absolutely recommend it.

Next, it was slow enough to visit their feature exhibit, the Mirror Maze. But even with evenly timed entry intervals, it got crowded in the maze. It is already hard to find your way through with all the reflections, but more so as a smaller toddler, with those larger than you not seeing you. Although we were able to get out eventually.

We were able to pet, poke, and turn plenty in the nature exhibit, a science world staple and a section I myself remember visiting and enjoying when I was younger. Although as their staple exhibit that doesn’t change, I haven’t gone out of my way to return or go through it since. But for a toddler there was so much to see and do.

Wildlife pelts to pet, a scale to see how much you weight in comparison to other animals, and the memorable beaver damn that you can crawl into.

She especially loved the hollow tree that she and her mother could enter and climb together. And she marvelled at the wind machine, allowing her turn a wheel and direct where the wind blew and how the sand dunes in it were formed.

We also were interested in the bees flying in and out of science world and how they made honey.

She is at the age that loves balls, so spent the most time in the discovery area playing with them. We gathered rainbow balls and put them in to a series of tubes with streams of air that sends them through a maze of plastic, only to be shot out of it from the top. We spent the most time here chasing balls and gathering as many as we could

Then continued our ball play with the plastic ones in water. We threw them up and watched them slide down.

Around 4pm we were getting hungry and cranky, so mom knew it was time to go. But there was still so much to see and even more to do. There were also sections we didn’t get a chance to step into, so we complained and expressed how upset we were to leave. And in order to console us, we were told we would be able to return soon.

It was here, that I fully understood the appeal of an annual membership, and how Science World makes for a great afternoon for a young family. A place to go on a rainy day, or where you can to retreat to when it’s too hot and you need air conditioning. There is so much to see and do, with themed shows and live workshops, giving you plenty of reason to return often. For more information on the featured exhibits and all the IMAX movies available, or how you can get an annual pass for yourself, visit the link below.

SCIENCE WORLD at TELUS World of Science
1455 Quebec Street, Vancouver BC, V6A 3Z7
scienceworld.ca
https://www.scienceworld.ca/

Snack ‘N Snap at Metrotown

Metropolis at Metrotown is back with a new instagram-able showcase, offering everyone a fun backdrop to take selfies with. Where other places charge for such an attraction, it is free at their Grand Court.

From July 11th to the 28th 2019, you can “Snack ‘N Snap” your way through “larger-than-life food art displays”, coupled with sweet events and tasty samplings from retailers within the mall. Expect pop-up treat carts, cookie workshops, and plenty of giveaways.

The giant sprinkle donut is back, along with the 10-foot lollipop tree, the giant gumball machine, gummy bears in a row, rainbow cupcake, and ginger bread house. New is the 8-foot salted pretzel and two melting popsicles.

Even the garbage cans are wrapped as snacks: popcorn, soda, and layered cake.

Metrotown is inviting all visitors to take photos in front of their food displays and share them on Instagram by tagging @metropolisatmet and #METSNACKNSNAP. This enters you for a chance to win a weekly prize pack or a $500 Metropolis at Metrotown gift card.

You can also get a chance to win a $1,000 shopping spree by guessing the jellybeans. How many jellybeans are in the display case? Enter your guess on the kiosks adjacent to win. Regulars can enter daily, to better their odds.

  • For additional snack related fun on Monday July 15 & 22 a pop-up treat cart will be giving out samples.
  • On Tuesday July 16 & 23 if you follow Metropolis’ Facebook and Instagram accounts @metropolisatmet, you may be rewarded with a surprise giveaway.
  • On Wednesday July 17 & 24 there are workshops you can register for that includes decorating your own sugar cookies.
  • On Thursdays & Fridays July 11, 12, 18, 19, 25, and 26 between 2-3pm; more snack samples will be given out on a first come first served basis, while quantities last.

For more details and how to sign up for the workshop visit the Metropolis website with the link below. https://metropolisatmetrotown.com/events/2019/07/11/snack-and-snap/

Snack N’ Snap is open during mall hours daily fro July 11th to the 28th, 2019. It is a free experience for everyone to enjoy.

Metropolis at Metrotown, Grand Court
4700 Kingsway, Burnaby
(Lower Level, near T&T Supermarket and Toys R Us)

#METSnackNSnap
@metropolisatmet

Van Science Social 2019

Today I was invited to a behind the scenes look at some of Vancouver’s inspiring science hubs. We were going on a field trip to meet scientists and innovators from across the province. This was done with the goal of connecting social media and its audiences with the “wonderful and nerdy world of science!” This is the “Van Science Social”.

This year’s theme was the “future”, in celebration of Science World’s 30th anniversary. The occasion had us looking to the future, with the belief that it all is rooted in nature (pun intended). This trip included a stop at Vancouver’s oldest research garden, an urban nature exhibit; and Science World’s own feature exhibition, that looks at mathematics in nature.

Our day began at Science World, where we were given a warm welcome and a light up umbrella, that would protect us from today’s downpour. We heard about the future of Science World and what they do in and out of their location, to help propel the advancement of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics). Science World President and CEO, Scott Samson spoke passionately about giving kids located in the outskirts of our province, the same learning opportunities as those whose parents own a Science World membership. He gave us impressive statistics on how many they currently reach and teach outside of their dome.

Then like school children we funnelled into a tour trolley, enroute to our first destination: UBC’s botanical garden, the oldest research garden in BC. Here, we would learn what is available and growing in our own back yard.

We dawned recyclable ponchos and walked the garden grounds to sprinkling rain. And in groups, we got a taste of the team building activities they offer as workshops. Trust games and collaborative challenges requiring communication in this serene setting.

But UBC’s botanical garden is more than a pretty place to take a walk in. These grounds are home to many documented plants from around the world. And the garden serves as a platform for conservation and research efforts. This living museum has each plant and tree life tagged with a number, and logged into their database. It is recorded when the plant material becomes part of the collection and where it originated from; all with new species and varieties being added regularly. This is done through research expeditions, and in conjunction with other botanical gardens around the world. Done in hopes of building pockets of biodiversity, where green life flourishes in their natural habitat. “Biodiversity” is taking plants out in the world and protecting them in another spot. These gardens share seeds and help one another collect samples, to have as many back-ups for plant material as possible.

The garden also hosts an original cutting of the “golden spruce”. A famous tree (with its own book) that has great significance to indigenous communities. A cutting of it has flourished to an full fledged tree, and it is interesting to note that because it is growing in a different climate, it is adapting to its new environment and is no longer golden in hue.

In total there were over 30 thousand different plants, with many varieties I have never seen prior to today. And we didn’t even get to explore the full extent of the garden, like their Asian plant garden and mountain plant section. I will have to come back to do just that.

Our tour continued with their “Power up in the trees”, tree walk. Here, we traversed a storey off the ground; hanging on to a wobbly, but incredibly sturdy arial trail system. Made from aluminum, it is built with sustainability in mind. Giving tour opportunities, without having to disrupt nature.

Nine platforms on tree towers have you circling the open garden. Eventually it does descend and you wobble back down to the ground.

We concluded the outdoor portion of our time at UBC, enjoying a nice healthy lunch of mixed greens, wild rice, and oceanwise salmon in a butter sauce.

As we finished up, we heard from Science World’s marketing team and our hosts for the day. They spoke to their initiatives to further adult attendance at the dome. Not just parents with their kids, but adults to visit on their own. There are plans on utilizing the IMAX theatre more, as the world’s largest dome theatre. With plans to digitized it so that they can broadcast programming that speaks more to current events and society’s issues. To invite guests to come and learn, then use their planned forum space to discuss and enact.

Then it was back onto the trolley for stop number two on this year’s Van Science Social field trip.

We arrived at the Vancouver Museum, located in Vanier Park. Most noticeable as the building shapes like a Haida hat. This is Canada’s oldest civic museum. They are in the business of telling stories, and today we were here to hear the ones regarding interactions between wild animals and people. A retelling shared through writing and taxidermy in the showcase, “Wild Things”. And we were lucky enough to have the curator of the exhibition giving us the tour.

There is a room that simulated the sounds and feeling of rain. Like a walk in the wet woods, with a crawl through entry. Here you rested on beanbag chairs and listened to the water dripping and pooling, watching projected droplets drip on to a tarp. This was my favourite.

The next room featured salmon printed on acetate sheets, “swimming” with the help of fans.

The owl room was the curator’s personal encounter with an owl. Her experience written and simulated for all to share. You walk into a dark room and up to a lit screen, only to realize it is you that you are seeing on it. Then you look in the camera’s direction, only to be caught off guard by the owl perched above. This, a very similar sensation to what the author felt.

The deer room was the most memorable, a curated table that featured an elk as the guest of honour, with more elks on the printed wall paper and table cloth to match. This story spoke to traditional deer hunting practices and being thankful for the animal, cleaning it and sharing it with an entire village. Every part is used and nothing goes to waste.

The bird wall was for climbing. You perch yourself at various points and peep through holes to catch glimpses of feathered fowl.

And the remainder of the exhibit was a collection of taxidermy animals accounting for all the wild life that can be seen in our urban city; as well as a map with flags indicating where they were spotted.

We also had the opportunity to explore the other exhibits that was currently running. Like “Neon Vancouver, Ugly Vancouver”, recapping Vancouver’s history through glowing lights on billboards and awning signs.

And “Haida Now”, showcasing 450 artifacts from Haida Gwaii.

The series of children’s art collected from an Indian residential and day school was heart wrenching. I took the time to process what I saw. Taking advantage of the quiet space the museum provided, for those with as strong of a reaction as I had. Out of respect for the subject material I have not taken any photos, but instead encourage you to read their stories for yourself.

And of course the history of Vancouver told through artifacts in their permanent exhibit. This was a story of expansion and immigration told through every day objects and clothes long forgotten.

Then it was back on to the trolley for our last ride.

Here, we were transported to Science World and given free time to experience “Exploration of Numbers in Nature: A Mirror Maze exhibition”. I have actually been to the maze previously, so will defer to my original post below, but include a few new photos for your digestion.

The Mirror Maze at Science World

 

And then our full day ended with a reception, where we nibbled on catered bites and sipped on wine and beer. Cured meats and hard cheeses with crackers, spring roll bundles, miniature burgers and quiches, and chicken salad tarts.

But the feature was the celebratory cake. A two tiered work of chocolate and cream, sculpted to look like Science World’s dome in fondant. What a way to remember its past and look towards its future. And I am personally looking forward to the more adult themed reasons to visit the city’s most iconic dome.

Thank you Van Science Social for sending me on this field trip. I forgot the joys of missing “school” (work) for the day, in lieu of learning a different way.

Cloverdale Rodeo 2019

May’s Victoria long weekend marks another Cloverdale rodeo, one of North America’s longest running rodeos and country fair. And on this, its 73rd year it returns with plenty of competitions, live entertainment, food, and fun for kids and adults of all ages. We visited opening night and there was plenty that we didn’t get to see with scheduled performances and live exhibitions, so I do suggest planning to visit across multiple days in the future. The following is what we did enjoy and a few things to look forward to for the rest of the weekend, and next year.

The main attraction is definitely the Invitational Rodeo, featuring the world’s best Cowboys and Cowgirls, competing for cash prizes in this roughstock rodeo. Roughstock refers to horse and bulls not kept for meat, but instead for events like Saddle Bronc Riding, Bareback Riding, Bull Riding, and Ladies Barrel Racing.

The rodeo is like any other sporting event with the performing of both the US and Canadian national anthems to begin with, but with an opening ceremony that has flag bearers marching on horses as well.

Saddle Bronc Riding, Bareback Riding, and Bull Riding have contestants aiming to stay on their hoofed animals for no more than 8 seconds. Eight seconds is enough time for the judges to critique each rider based on their ability and flare during the bucking. Bronc riding can be either done bareback or with a saddle, while the horse attempts to throw off the rider. Only men participate in the above mentioned sports, but the women do have their own event; more on that below.

After each round of competition the winning rider takes a lap around the pen. They are also available after the rodeo for a meet and greet, where they take photos and sign autographs.

And unlike any other sport, a rodeo has clowns. Rodeo clowns in proper cowboy boots and a purple cowboy hat. They not only entertain the children with their painted faces and wrangler overalls, but they also stand at the ready in case a horse or bull needs to be distracted, and the rider pulled from harm’s way. But best of all, in between matches, they pass out lollipops to the crowd.

Ladies Barrel Racing is more about delicate accuracy; it has one rider on her horse going as fast as she can, while circling 3 strategically placed barrels. Knocking a barrel over adds 5 seconds to their time. And 5 seconds is a lot when the winner is the fastest to complete the track with no mistakes.

There is even a bucking event for the kids. Mutton Bustin gives 5 children in the audience the opportunity to ride an adult sheep. Children 3 years and older, and under 45 lbs. They must be wearing a long sleeved shirt, long pants, and running shoes; and are equipped with a helmet for safety. This portion of the rodeo was quick, the kids get on and fall off immediately. The result, a small tumble, and all the sheep who have lost their rider gathering together in the opposite corner. Like all the other rounds, time matters here, and the kid on the longest, wins.

The other events/shows are scattered around the fair grounds for spectators to approach and watch. Like the “West Coast Lumberjack Show”, performing all around the work since 1982. Strong men in flannel compete head to head in competitions such as the chair carve, hot saw race, axe throwing, log rolling, and standing block chop.

There is also musical entertainment between two live stages. The “Lordco stage” is located outdoors in the food truck area, with a congregating audience, by the drink garden.

And an indoor stage set up in the Agriplex, that is transformed into “Longhorn Saloon” for the long weekend. Here, there were more bars and a large dance floor.

If standing and watching isn’t your speed, there are plenty of games and rides to have your adrenaline going. Fan favourites like the Ferris wheel and merry-go-round are present, along with plenty of high flying and fast spinning rides. There are also plenty of games to test your skills and win stuffed prizes at.

And like any good fair there are plenty of deep fried and sugary sweet snacks to help keep you going all day. Majority of the vendors drove up in their food trucks, and have parked for the weekend. Many were familiar sights that I remembered from past years at the PNE. Like a gourmet poutine truck, one that offered up variations on the classic Mac and cheese, deep fried chocolate, mini doughnuts, and there was even a truck offering up bubble tea.

We enjoyed dinner at “Super long hot dogs”, serving up a foot long beef wieners on buns that match in length. My guest had the classic topped with fresh fried onions.

And I went for the new “King Spammy” topped with spam and pineapples warmed on their grill. This was the first time the employees working this stand had to make this; they tried their best, but this did not taste like a $13 hot dog. It was missing the cilantro that the menu listed, and the spam left in slabs were a nuisance to eat. As for taste, it tasted exactly as it sounds and it was lacking. It could have used some sweet mayo for moisture and a sauce for flavour. I found myself dressing it like a typical hot dog with the typical condiments of ketchup, relish, and mustard.

I had to try the new flaming hot Cheeto corn dog from “Chicky’s chicken”. This was your typical hot dog wiener battered in a sweet dough, coated in cheese; then rolled in crushed up, neon orange coloured Cheeto dust. It was salty and sweet with a touch of heat. But the flavour wore out quick, and I found myself craving for a sauce, something tangy to dip in, like sour cream.

But my favourite was the barbecue from the “Rib fest”, where award winning BBQ vendors were firing up their grill and offering up saucy cuts of meat.

There was also plenty of drinks to purchase. Plastic cups of wine, beer, and cider; varying ounces at $7.50 a serving. You purchase tickets from the booth adjacent, then redeem them at the pour bar.

And for those who want to do a little shopping, there is also a handful of vendors selling home made goods, services, and clothing from tented stalls. Soaps, dyed wraps and scarves, hammocks, and cowboy hats; to name a few. But be warm, many of them are cash only.

In short the Cloverdale rodeo is a fun tradition and a great way to get your family and friends out and about in Surrey. And every night, festivities end on a high note with a fireworks show, visible from any point on the fair and rodeo ground. And that itself is worth coming out for.

 

CLOVERDALE RODEO
6050A 176 Steet, Surrey BC
604-576-9461
www.cloverdalerodeo.com

Healthy Family Expo 2019

The “Healthy Family Expo”, held at the Vancouver Convention Centre this late March is Canada’s largest health and food event, catered for families. And it was a great way to spend a Sunday. I attended with my friend and her young family. Mommy, Daddy, Baby, Grandma, and me. And in doing so was treated to the ability to enjoy this “carnival” (as my 3 year old guest called it), through her wide eyes.

The convention centre was set up with booths and play stations, you jumped from one to another, exploring the wares and engaging those who stood behind them. Each ready to answer any of your questions as they arose. The expo serves as a great place for health conscious families to learn about new products that hit the market place. With the ability to try and taste, to see if any of it will suit their growing families.

Here are a few of the goods and games we tried and found noteworthy.

“Frog Friendly Coffee” features beans that are grown in the wild, not farmed. Raised and harvest on a rich biodiverse land without chemical sprays or pesticides. Every aspect of production is geared towards green, ethical, and sustainable practices.

“Anita’s Organic Mill” helps to boost the nutrition in your home baked goods with their whole grains and sprouted flours.

“GoGo Quinoa” offers their quality quinoa products to almost every store. Today they featured their pasta line of colourful fusilli made from chickpea, cauliflower, and lentils.

“Caulipower” offers a healthy frozen pizza and build yourself pizza crusts made using cauliflower instead of gluten. Their goal is to offer everyone’s favorite comfort foods by making them with cauliflower.

At the “LaCroix Sparkling Water” booth they had a kiddie pool of ice and gave everyone the opportunity to fish for a whole can sample. Rods with a string and a magnet gave you a chance to choose which flavour you wanted to pull from the icy waters. Each, free from artificial sweeteners, sugars or sodium.

“Coast Protein” was sampling their protein bars made from fruit, seeds, nuts, and crickets. They also spoke to how their use of crickets for protein helps to fight climate change.

“Blue Monkey” was a popular booth for their tasty coconut water, now available in other flavours like watermelon.

“Torill’s Table” was sampling their heart-shaped waffles made in the traditional Norwegian style. Each is filled with high quality ingredients like almonds, ground flax and whole grains.

“Quinoa Krunch” are wholesome snack bites made with 100% organic quinoa. No flours, no fillers, no other additives; just uniquely puffed organic quinoa.

At the “Chosen Foods” stand we tried their mayo and dressings made with pure avocado oil, free of preservatives and artificial ingredients.

“Loot Toys” introduced their bath time products in order to bring “magic and delight into what is often a battleground – your kids’ bathtime!” The “Bath Squiggler” is a bath bomb for kids. It fizzes and colours the water, leaving a cute sponge character behind. There are 24 in total to collect. And “Bubble Whoosh” is a skin-friendly, moisturizing foaming bath powder.

“Truly Tumeric” is based on out Vancouver and was featured on season 13 of “Dragon’s Den”. They offer whole root turmeric paste. It is easy to add a delicious and healthy scoop to any recipe.

“Pacari Chocolate” is dedicated to making the highest quality organic chocolates from Ecuador. They work with the cacao growers and acquired their knowledge, this enables them to create a fine chocolate with the best flavor and texture possible.

“New World Organic” is a local family making vegetarian foods in small batches from their factory in Burnaby, B.C. And today, we got a handful of their granola to try.

At “Everland Natural Foods” we tasted some of their dried fruit. They create products made without irradiation, GMOs, food colouring, or chemical preservatives. Each product is packed in eco-friendly ways that reduce their carbon footprint.

“Smart Sweets” gave you classic shaped and flavoured gummies at 3g. of sugar per entire bag. A take on the gummy bear and the red Swedish fish, paired with their own sour blasted “buddies”.

“Wild Coast Fruit Co.” gave out samples of their chocolate covered cherries and blueberries; boasting them as a “sweet little flavour boost” with no preservatives, additives, or artificial flavours.

It wasn’t all just eating and food, there were also booths showcasing the latest sensory toys of kids and even the best stroller for any one’s individual needs.

There was also a “ Family Rest Stop” area within the Expo. This area served as a great place to relax at. With picnic tables for parents and guardians to sit at. And games to keep the kids engaged. Our toddler got to play some basketball and she also enjoyed a giant game of plastic connect four.

We also took in the “Gumboot Kids Live Show featuring Jessie Farrell, Scout & Daisy, with special guest appearances by Daniel Tiger and True from CBC Kids.

In short, this was a great way to entertain your littlest family members, while keeping yourself up to date on the best parenting tools and healthiest food alternatives. For those who missed out on this unique showcase this year, be sure you bookmark the link below and mark your calendar for the 2020 convention. And keep in mind I only covered 30% of all there was to see and do on this day! So carve out the entire day to experience all of this fun filled event.

Exhibitors & Partners 2019

New and Noteworthy at the 99th annual Vancouver International Car Show

From March 19th to 24th, 2019 the Vancouver International Auto Show is back for its 99th year. Held at the Vancouver Convention Centre, it allows attendees the ability to get up close and learn more about their favourite vehicles, or find a new favourite; all under one roof. Which includes the latest rides from over 40 manufacturers. Everyday drivers like Honda, Nissan, Mitsubishi, and Ford. Luxury sedans from Genesis, BMW, Acura, and Rolls Royce. And supercars from Ferrari, Lamborghini, and Mclaren.

This weekend the Vancouver International Auto Show is the ideal destination for car enthusiasts and for those looking for their next vehicle. The latter is especially the case, as they are not able to sell you anything on the show room floor. Serving as an exhibit to walk through and ask questions, without the pressure of purchasing.

Today I arrived bright and early to take part in the press tour. A guided tour of what is new and noteworthy at this year’s show. This is just a recap of what we were shown, but there is so much more to see and do. For a more visual experience, check out my latest vlog, now up on my YouTube channel: MaggiMei.

 

Our time began with a self serve breakfast buffet featuring savoury pastries, eggs, hashbrowns, and bacon. A great hearty start to the long day ahead. Many of us would spend the day here, taking advantage of the later opening for the public, and the ability to take unobstructed footage.

The tour began with opening remarks from event show runners, a panel discussion highlighting the emphasis of electric vehicles and the move for all car manufacturers in this direction, as well as the rebates the province was providing as an incentive. Like the “Scraping program”, where car owners are encouraged to discard their old vehicles and get a new more environmentally friendly one. You can get a new electric vehicle (EV) for $6000 or $3000 for used.

We were also reassured of the relevance of this car show being held in Vancouver. From the dynamic backdrop of the convention centre to the sales stats: BC accounts for 19% of total car retail sales in Canada.

We witnessed the Ajac awards presented by the Automobile journalist association of Canada. Professional journalists, writers, photographers and corporate entities whose focus is the automobile and the automotive industry. They test drive and report on new vehicles, in various forms of media across the country. The awards bestowed are designed to inform Canadians about which are the best suited to Canada’s unique driving conditions.

This year the “Canadian Green Car of the Year” award went to the Nissan Leaf, with a representative claiming the trophy and speaking on behalf of the company.

The “Canadian Green Utility of the Year” went to the Jaguar I-Pace.

At the Subaru booth they unveiled the 7th generation, 2020 Subaru Legacy, which features more tech, performance, and safety than ever before. The former refers to their state of the art system that utilizes facial recognition software to monitor driver fatigue or lack of attention, triggering audible and visual preventative alerts as needed. This won them the 2019’s Best safety innovation award.

At Genesis they too had something new to share: the Genesis G90 with a new redesign, but with the same dedication to the sales experience. At Genesis they come to you for the whole purchasing process, from test drives, to credit checks, and every maintenance visit in between. Here, we also learned of the future for Genesis, including expansion, with 30 distributors across Canada and even more retail experience centres. As well as the launch of very first SUV, something to look forward to at next year’s auto show.

Next on the tour was the Lexus booth where we went to “experience amazing”. Here, one of their directors spoke to the brand continuing to look into the future while having fun in the present. The focus was on the trill of the drive, head turning style, and the exclusivity of Lexus ownership. He brought with him a first North American and Canadian unveiling.

There are only 12 Lexus LC to hit the Canadian market. With flare yellow paint, a carbon fibre roof, 21 inch aluminium wheels, and leather seats with trim accents in yellow; this is a vehicle sure to grab your attention.

The Lexus IS was presented in stealth black. Various shades of black inspired by calligraphy, curated by Japanese calligraphy masters. The IS with its black seats and red accents, and custom built self heated steering wheel is only available for 150 guests in Canada starting April.

We took a pause to learn about Hydrogen fuel and how car manufacturers are embracing a greener future, such as Toyota, Hyundai, and Honda. Fuelling with Hydrogen means you do so faster, while get a further range. Air (oxygen) is taken in, it is supplied to a fuel cell stack along with hydrogen. Electricity and water are then generated through a chemical reaction. The result, electricity is supplied to the motor, the motor is activated, and the vehicle moves. Then the water is emitted outside the vehicle. Currently Vancouver is the first in Canada to have a hydrogen fuelling centre, located on South Granville, with more new locations coming soon.

The goal is to have many more zippy electric vehicles with no emission driving around our city streets. Car share programs like Moto are jumping on board and even two new 7-Eleven locations will host hydrogen fuelling pumps in the near future. Along with this cleaner fuel source, 7-Eleven is dedicated to supporting the community with its “Renew program”. Each fuel up is marked with the planting of a tree. M

Next we headed to the upper floor of the convention centre, where the exotics and supercars were on display. The set up included 3 Mclaren Sennas from a private collection and the all carbon fibre model, curated and customized from Mclaren’s bespoke division.

The Mclaren Senna represents an accumulation of everything they have learned from participating in Formula 1, and translated it into a street legal vehicle. And what better name to bestow on their masterpiece than that of their most legendary F1 driver: Ayrton Senna. This is one of the most highly anticipated vehicles at this year’s show, and only it’s second time in Canada, but first Western Canada unveiling.

The Felino cB7R is a supercar proudly made in Canada, designed by former Canadian racing driver Antoine Bessette. Bessette is better known for his participation in Formula 3 and the prototype class at Daytona. His brain child is completely customizable, and includes a team to help coach you on how to drive this “beast” as well as maintain it. For now there are only 5 of them in the world, with only 2 spots left if you want to get your own in 2019. During the tour, many media folk compared the Felino to what Batman’s would drive when not using the Batmobile.

Our press tour also included some history. We paused at Terry Fox’s trans Canada marathon of hope Ford Econoline Van. This is only its second time on public display, and will go back into storage soon after this show. The presentation included a speech and question and an answer portion with Terry’s younger brother: Darrell Fox. Darrell was actually on the tour with Terry when he was 17. He noted that this was Terry’s home and bed when he was running across the country in the 80’s; running on an artificial leg with a goal to raise funds for cancer research.

In 2008 this historic Econoline underwent a full restoration by Ford. It took over 1000 man hours to rebuild this history. Currently 80% of the van is original, which includes the upholstery, having taken it apart and doing their best to clean it.

The message and Terry’s story is that anything is possible if we hope and try. An inspiring look at Canadian history, which school kids still learn about and pay respect to by running their own marathons annually. All in memory of this moment and point of pride for Canada by a Canadian.

We ended our tour at the Sonax booth, where the car detailing brand was instrumental at giving fans a close look at Ken Blocks’ iconic Hoonigan drift vehicle. It is no longer your run of the mill Ford Mustang. If you haven’t seen the videos of the “Hoonicorn” in action, goggle it. Its presence spoke to the importance of Vancouver’s auto market, understanding the cost and expense that Sonax paid to get it here.

The following are a few other noteworthy vehicles I documented in photo, when we were given the time to explore the convention grounds on our own. But once again there is just so much to see and capture, that it is advised that you visit yourself.

Acura NSX

The New Honda Passport

Rolls Royce Cullian

Ferrari 488 Pista

NSX GT3

Toyota Supra

 

In short a great time for car enthusiasts and those interested in learning more about cars. And with the nice weather you are sure to see some impressive local rides drive up to the convention centre this weekend. For more on the 99th annual Vancouver International Auto Show and to get your tickets for this weekend, visit the link below.

Vancouver International Auto Show

Vancouver International Wine Festival 2019, Tasting Room

In British Columbia we are well known for our wine country: the Okanagan Valley. So it is no surprise that every year Vancouver hosts its very own wine festival. A way to celebrate the bounty of our province, showcase our local products, and to be able to bring together other wineries and wine enthusiasts from all around the world.

This year, “Canada’s premier wine show” ran from February 23 to March 3, 2019. An eight-day celebration of wine and food across 54 events, including lunches, dinners, minglers, wine and food parties, a gala, and educational seminars. You were able to pick and choose between them all, purchasing your ticket accordingly. And this year just about every single one of those events sold out. I didn’t attend many, just my favourite, as documented in this post. If you attend only one event during this annual celebration, I highly suggest it be the tasting room. With 4 different time slots across 3 different days, there were many opportunities to participate in their most popular showcase.

“This year, the spotlight was on California, highlighting 53 wineries from the Golden State”. But in total 160 wineries participated, including ones from Australia, California, Napa Valley, New Zealand, Nova Scotia, South Africa, Spain, and Washington State. 160 wineries from 18 different countries with 1450 different wines representing. And at the “Tasting Room” you were able to try 725 of them from 16 different countries.

The “Tasting Room” at the Vancouver Convention Centre was the heart of the festival. Here we were able to try new wines that have yet to hit market, and exclusive bottles I wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford. Exciting new wines, some of your favourites, and the ability to purchase what you liked after in their shop. More on this later.

 

For the vlog recap of my two days tasting, visit my YouTube channel: MaggiMei for all the fun.

 

My coverage is across two days. Thursday, was the very first day of the “Tasting Room”,
with a lower attendance; whereas Saturday afternoon was one of the busiest. I am glad I visited both days as three hours really isn’t enough to fully explore what this event is all about. We ended up jumping from booth to booth, targeting ones with shorter lines to maximize our time. Although should we have chosen to, we were able to try every bottle from any booth. The exhibitors were all very cordial, they were all knowledgeable, and most importantly willing to share their offerings.

This event is great for wine enthusiasts. All ticket holders are able to mix and mingle in a room filled with the “stars” of the global wine scene: winemakers, proprietors, and senior execs. They come to Vancouver every year to pour and discuss their wines with all festival goers. And what made the event even more unique was that each winery was represented by a principal, someone closely involved in the wine-production process. This was often the person serving us our sips, with their name literally on the bottle they were pouring it from. These individuals were easy to identify with their name on a royal blue lanyard.

And once you have chatted up a “principal” and have found a bottle you want to take home, you can do so at the on site “BC Liquor Stores: Festival Wine Shop”. A sectioned off corner set with shelves and numerous bottles of wine. Once again, many of which aren’t available at your local liquor store. These were exclusive bottles yet to be released, or limited edition labels only available here this week. But all the wines served in the room were available for purchase. Those who didn’t purchase their desired bottles right away were disappointed. Those who did, took advantage of the event’s free bottle check and wine delivery. When you discovered a wine that you wanted to enjoy at home, buy it then leave it at their handy bottle check service. And then continue your tasting session hand free, repeating the shopping experience as necessary. And when you were ready to leave, you checked out your wines and took them with you. However, if you live in British Columbia, whether you’ve bought one bottle or several cases, your wine could be shipped free of charge to your nearest BC Liquor Store. This was such a convenient service, and a good reason to shop and spend more.

Remembering the scene last year we made sure to eat before each “Tasting Room” round. Those who didn’t found themselves lining up for cubes of cheese, grabbing shards of chocolate, scrounging up slices of meat, and devouring the vegetarian buns that were in limited supply. There was also coffee and ice cream for those who wanted some thing more dessert-like afterwards.

Event organizers suggested pacing yourself and to not swallow everything that is poured in your glass. Spit buckets were available at each booth and more were rotated around the room. I however don’t like spitting, just as much as I don’t like wasting wine. So swirled and swallowed each sip.

All the photos posted in this review are from a few of the winery offerings I found interesting and noteworthy. Like the Riedel booth. There we got a sneak peak of their new “double magnum” glasses, large goblets that fits a whole bottle of wine. They won’t be released until spring, so using it here was a treat. And take it from me, what you drink out of makes a substantial difference when it comes to wine, and these large glasses proved that size matters.

I was equally enamoured by their collection of mouth blown glass decanters. The “boa” was the smaller of the two and beautiful enough to be art when not used to aerate wine. The “Mamba” had a double chamber. It was spill proof to an extent, and was created for the perfect pour.

In short 2019 proved to be another great year for the Vancouver International Wine Festival. And this year’s “Tasting Room” has only gotten me more excited for the years to come. For more details on what you have missed out, visit the link below. And make sure you mark the date on your calendars for the next one in 2020.

Vancouver International Wine Festival Headquarters:
Vancouver Convention Centre West
1055 Canada Place
Vancouver, BC V6C 0C3

Blossom at Metropolis

Tonight I was invited to Metrotown’s latest art exhibit. So far they have done a wonderful job at bringing unique attractions and artistic pieces to the mall. They draw a crowd and give shoppers more to look at than just merchandise on shelves. And this one for March not only helps to beckon in spring, but it also gives you a great backdrop for your latest selfie.

Its launch tonight was celebrated by a lovely reception with traditional Japanese demonstrations, and opening remarks by the artist who created it, (from Vancouver creative arts studio Hfour), and the marketing director for Metrotown.

Invited guests ate by tables surrounding the exciting new art installation. Looking on to the artificial turf and the scene above it, where over 250,000 fabric cherry blossoms bloomed along side glossy mirrored spheres. From any side and at any angle it looked amazing. It doesn’t have a bad side. The only deterrent are the neon lights from the store’s surrounding the atrium. But with the right camera and the right app you can blur all of that out.

This was a treat to behold at night with only darkness coming through the skylight above, so I can only imagine how stunning it will be in the brightness of a sunny morning. And then how the light will reflect off the mirrors at various points throughout the day, thus changing the displays.

Here are a few photos I took to give you some inspiration, before you head there to capture it yourself. They were taken from the second floor looking down, with me laying flat with my head and camera before me, and looking at it from the sky (light) to the ground.

For refreshments tonight they were offering a passion fruit lemonade with a crushed sugar rim or a raspberry punch with a lemon slice.

For nibbles a wonderful selection of savoury and sweet canapés were being served on trays. Like these Chilli lime coconut prawns on a black puffed rice cracker.

Wild mushroom dumplings.

Pistachio crushed chicken balls on a stick, served with a passion fruit creme dip.

For dessert raspberry mini macarons.

Strawberry short cake.

Passion fruit brownies.

And the popular Uncle Tetsu’s fluffy and creamy Japanese style cheesecake that melts in your mouth.

David’s Tea and Purdy’s Chocolates were also on site offering up samples. The latter had a collection of their creamy chocolates in white and dark blended with mango fruit, matcha powder, and mandarin orange.

For entertainment there musicians and dancers from the Nikkei National Museum & Cultural Centre.

The musicians were dressed in traditional kimonos. They regaled guests with melodies plunked from the koto and blown from shakuhachi. The “shakuhachi” is a Japanese bamboo wood flute. And the “koto” is a Japanese stringed instrument that you pluck. It is like a cross between a harp and and guitar, but played before you like a piano.

Then five women dressed in black and white checkered kimonos with purple flower embellishments performed three traditional dances utilizing cherry blossom branches and colourful fans as props.

 

They also taught the crowd the correct way to fold and dress in a kimono. And I was luckily enough to be one of the volunteers. As the model I wasn’t able to watch most of my dressing happen, but from feeling it all I can describe the following to you.

Each kimono can be folded to fit your body proportion, size, or height. I witnessed a yellow robe for a grown woman, get pleated and folded down until it snuggly sat on the shoulders of a young girl. Girls before they are married wear robes with sleeves that are longer and often cover their hands. Women who are married wear kimonos that are much shorter on the arms, such as the one I dawned tonight.

A couple of women helped to dress me, with another standing on the side, ready to pass on the correct ribbon or sash to them. Arms through the spacious arm holes, one flap of the robe over the other. Any fabric in addition is pleated at the waist, this has the kimono looking like it is made of two separate pieces. Two fabric sashes are tied to keep the robe around the waist. They are pulled tight, but you are still able to breathe. The result was a figure and the feeling that I slimmed down a dress size or two.

Then the ornate obi (belt) is wrapped around, and tied off at the back with a lop sided bow. And lastly a piece of flexible board is then placed over your stomach, under the obi. This keeps things firm and doubles as a great place to store your fan or cellphone.

And the look would not be complete without the right hair accessories. In my case a red ribbon tied around my hair bun, and a hair pick with pink and white flowers, dangling petals, and tiny jingle bells, to it side.

The night and festivities ended with copious amounts of photos. Photos with our performers, photos of the art installation, and photos of all those in attendance with both.

To take part it all the beauty and fun visit Blossom at Metropolis at Metrotown between March 5 to 31, 2019. It is located at the Grand Court. There, you can also enter for a chance to win a $1000 shopping spree at one of the kiosks! And if you take any photos or video and share them online using the tags #METBlossom and @metropolisatmet, you are entered for a chance to win a weekly Blossom prize package, or the grand prize: a $500 Metropolis at Metrotown gift card.

There will also be free weekday evening performances and workshops that you can register for. Every Tuesday and Thursday for the month of March volunteers from the Nikkei National Museum & Cultural Centre will be hosting craft workshops like making your own sakura (cherry blossom) artwork, washi paper collages, traditional Japanese paper cutting, cloth and hair clip art, cloth wrapping, and flower arranging. Or you can take lessons on how to play Japanese chess, and learn how to preform a traditional Japanese dance with them.
On Wednesday nights for the month of March, you can learn to make own origami sakura blossom or how to do brush calligraphy from MUJI.

For all the class details, dates, and how to sign up visit the Metropolis website with the link below. https://metropolisatmetrotown.com/promotions-events/events/2019/03/05/blossom-metropolis/

 

Blossom is open during mall hours daily March 5-31, 2019 and is a free experience for everyone to enjoy.

Metropolis at Metrotown, Grand Court
4700 Kingsway, Burnaby
(Lower Level, near T&T Supermarket and Toys R Us)

#METBlossom
@metropolisatmet

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