Rhododendron Festival at the Shadbolt Centre for the Arts

I stopped in to the Shadbolt Centre for the Arts at Deer Lake for the annual Rhododendron Festival. The best part of the festival was watching all the kids (and adults) flying the little plastic kites that they made there. 

Another great part of the Rhododendron Festival was the Strawberry Tea service in the Cepperley House which is now home to the Burnaby Art Gallery. 

A great day in the burbs. 

Questions to Ask Before Committing

When people are dating and getting to the point when they’re serious about committing to a lifelong relationship they often begin to ask each other some important questions; it is only logical that they get an understanding of who they are committing to.

Sleeping in Full Make-up
Sleeping in Full Make-up

Sometimes people ask questions about who do you leave the toilet seat up, do you know how to get your dirty socks and underwear into the laundry basket, and other menial things like that.

Another important issue to be discussed is whether they want to have children. Of course that is an important understanding to have BEFORE you commit to marriage.

However, if the answer is “yes” to having children, there are a couple follow-up questions that should be considered.

For example, you should ask, and know the answer to the question; “do you believe that children should sit at a dining room table when they eat.”

This is a serious thing worth considering and knowing the answer to before you commit to a partner.

Along with that question, you may want to ask, “are you okay with letting kids watch television while they are eating.”

These are both important questions to know the answer to before committing to a partner. Of course there are other questions that you should know the answer to, but these are two of the big ones.

Are there any other really pressing questions that you think should be asked before committing to another person?

Poirier Community Centre Kid’s Swap Meet

Although the headline may lead you to believe that you can swap your kids at this meet, the reality is that you can only swap (buy and sell) stuff FOR your kids.

Poirier Community Centre
Random Odd Picture

If you are still interested in buying or selling the stuff your kids no longer use, the Poirier Community Centre is hosting a kid’s swap meet on May 1 from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

The Centre is currently looking for vendors to swap and sell gently used kids’ clothes, books, toys and more. Only 30 tables remain! (there is no truth to the rumour that there are only 30 tables).

To book a table, please call 604-927-4386 or sign up online at www.coquitlam.ca/signmeup. Search “swap meet” to register.

Poirier Community Centre is located at 630 Poirier Street in Coquitlam.

The Porta-Potty Blues 

No matter what kind of educational and interesting places you take your kids, there are other things that children will always find significantly more intriguing.

For example, there is nothing more intriguing to a kid than a portable toilet.    

The upright blue coffins are essentially upright cesspools. I find them incredibly disgusting.

However even though you may have implored, pleaded and may be even begged your children to use the toilet before leaving home, as soon as you get to a place where there is a porta potty children they instantly need to urinate. Or worse, have a crap.

What do you do?

Bard on the Beach 2016

Vancouver’s Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival begins its 27th season in Vanier Park on June 3, with an exciting lineup of plays, concerts and special events.

All tickets for Bard on the Beach went on sale April 6 for the 2016 season, which runs from June 3 to September 24.

The Festival’s summer-long celebration of Shakespeare starts with ROMEO AND JULIET on the BMO Mainstage, with Kim Collier (Hamlet, 2013) returning to Bard to direct this timeless romantic tragedy. It alternates with Bard’s Jessie Award-winning 2012 production of THE MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR.

In Bard on the Beach tradition, This high-spirited comedy and live performance is full of classic 60s popular music with Johnna Wright back to direct, this time on the BMO Mainstage, along with many of the original actors.

On the Howard Family Stage, in the Douglas Campbell Theatre, two of Bard’s best-known and award-winning actors make their Bard directorial debuts.

Bob Frazer directs the tragedy OTHELLO, setting the play’s jealousy and manipulation amidst the racism and violence of the American Civil War.

Lois Anderson directs a mythical and exotic setting of PERICLES, Shakespeare’s adventurous tale of a hero’s quest to find love, family and the meaning of life.

Something new for Bard on the Beach this year is their Family Nights: Lively pre-show activities with family package pricing available on July 6, August 3 and August 31 @ 6pm.

For run dates and ticket pricing, you can check out the Bard on the Beach website.

About Bard on the Beach:

Bard on the Beach is one of Canada’s largest not-for-profit, professional Shakespeare festivals. Established in 1990, Bard is an annual summer festival with a mission to perform, explore and celebrate the genius of William Shakespeare, surrounded by the natural beauty of Vancouver, British Columbia.

Play performances run Tuesday through Sunday with matinees on selected weekends and weekdays and some special events on Monday evenings. All evening performances start at 7:30 pm.

A Day in the Country

In contrast to my last post, this time I am reflecting on a day in the country with one of my daughters.

As an aside, it was an amazing experience to travel, even for a couple of days with just one of my daughters. The dynamic between her and I was profoundly different than when both of my twin daughters are with me.

Big Horn Sheep
Big Horn Sheep

The first thing that was a marvel to my daughter was the wildlife we saw. It is pretty cool for a city kid to get so close to wildlife.

The Cabin
The Cabin

Of course the entire cabin experience was also really cool for her. She loves to go out for “hikes”. The reality is we just go for walks around the area. She loves it and sings about “a hiking we will go, a hiking we will go…” Good times.

Lego Maniac
Lego Maniac

As well as hiking, we also love our Lego time. When my daughters are together they feed off each other’s energy and have a tough time concentrating on things like Lego. Having just one of my daughters with me was so different!

She was focussed on the Lego and keenly followed the instructions. Of course when she did get stuck I was there to assist.


Of course no road trip is complete without food. Roasted cauliflower steaks, pork loins from my friends at Meat Craft Urban Butchery, and oven roasted potatoes and mushrooms was dinner one night.

A funny note about the trip – daughter was excited about going on the trip with me for ten days leading up to the day of departure. Then on the day of departure she got a little sombre about being away from her sister, and then after we left she cried for the first 45 minutes. After stopping for dinner at 293 Wallace Street Restaurant in Hope, she settled in and admitted that she was actually having a really good time.

The fact that we arrived at the cabin at 10:30 at night, an hour she has never been awake until previously, and sitting outside with me watching the clouds move across a bright moon-lit sky while eating potato chips at midnight – it all made for a magical experience for her.

As we were driving home, I asked her what part of our trip to the cabin she liked best. Her reply, “sleeping in a sleeping bag” because she had never done that before.

You’ve got to love a kid’s perspective.

A Day in the City

Today I spent the day with one of my daughters back in my old haunts of Kitsilano. It was a funny feeling to visit some of the places in the daylight as they were places I most often visited very late at night in the old days.

I started at Benny’s Bagels for a coffee and, of course, a bagel. Same vibe as when I visited there in the late 1980s or early 90s. And the food was great.

 Next stop was the Naam Restaurant over on 4th Ave a bit east of MacDonald. Once again, this is a place I would typically have visited after midnight. In the old days I may or may not have had a couple of cocktails in me before visiting The Naam. Today? I had just had a cup of coffee at Benny’s!
Today at The Naam my daughter had their grilled cheese sandwich. The bread was wonderful. Thick and hearty slices the way my mom and dad used to make it back home on the farm.

 We also had a bowl of their soup of the day – a coconut and sweet potato with lime soup. A little thin on flavour but still enjoyable.

Oddly enough, the service at the Naam today was top notch. Attentive and friendly. Is that because of the time of day I was visiting? Hmmm.
 Over to Granville Island where we stopped for a visit to Bon Macaron Patisserie. I chose a bacon flavoured macaron while my daughter had the Oreo. My bacon flavoured macaron was great. The Oreo one? I have no idea. While at Granville Island I stopped to chat with a couple of guys at an olive oil pop-up. Daughter and I sampled a few unique olive oils before settling on a small bottle of butter-flavoured olive oil.

My daughters favourite flavour was the Blood Orange infused olive oil. Admittedly, it was excellent.

After the olive oil sampling we popped over to Terra Breads and bought a small loaf of sourdough bread with pumpkin seeds.

We sat outside and ate a couple slices of bread with a drizzle of butter flavoured olive oil on it.

All in all, it was a beautiful day to be alive.

Coquitlam Says Enough of Your Baggage

Coquitlam wants residents to know that no plastic bags, whether labelled biodegradable, compostable, or ‘municipality-approved’ are allowed in the Green Cart.

The City monitors contamination in Green Carts at pickup time and there are high contamination levels due to plastic bags being used to contain green waste.  Plastic, compostable bags, and other non-organic contaminants are not accepted by the compost processing facility where the green waste is delivered.

Contaminated loads may be rejected by the processor and/or the City may receive financial penalties for contaminated loads. Coquitlam needs the cooperation of all residents to help keep the City’s disposal costs as low as possible.

Only organic materials, such as yard trimmings, food scraps, and food soiled paper products are acceptable.  Residents may choose to wrap food waste in paper or newspaper or a cellulose-lined bag (e.g. Bag to Earth).

To help address contamination issues the City sends out information letters, followed by Notices of Violation, and subsequent fines for repeat incidents. Failure to observe the City’s bylaw regarding acceptable Green Cart materials can lead to a $500 fine.

The bottomline is that people need to stop putting their green waste in “plastic” bags whether you think it is compostable or not. If you don’t, well, it is likely going to cost you.

La Bohème at the Shadbolt Centre for the Arts

If you’ve been interested in the opera but don’t know where to the start, the Burnaby Lyric Opera and Shadbolt Centre for the Arts have the production for you – La Bohème, by Giacomo Puccini.

La Boheme
La Boheme

La Bohème is a beloved classic and one of the brightest stars in Giacomo Puccini’s repertoire. This musical masterpiece is a timeless tale of love, loss, deception and heart-break, with glorious music as only Puccini could write. It stands the test of time as one of the most popular operas ever performed and comes to life again with Burnaby Lyric Opera’s production team and the best of B.C.’s operatic talent.

The story of La Bohème centers around a poor seamstress, Mimi, and her poet lover, Rodolfo. They live in a dank Parisian garret amid a group of bohemian friends which include Marcello, a painter, and his lover, Musetta. There is constant flirtatious behavior and jealousy amid an underlying atmosphere of foreboding, culminating in Mimi’s death. This is a must see performance at the Shadbolt Centre for the Arts.

Burnaby Lyric Opera brings BC’s top young professional opera singers to the stage, giving you the rare opportunity to say you saw them here first and the talented individuals in La Bohème are no exception. The ensemble features Chloé Hurst, Kwangmin Brian Lee, Jason Cook, Gwendolyn Yearwood, Brandon Thornhill, Peter Monaghan, Stage Director Richard Berg and Music Director Angus Kellett round out the team.

Burnaby Lyric Opera is an Intermediate professional opera company presenting BC’s up and coming young opera singers in leading roles. BLO is the “jumping-off point” for young opera singers in BC on their way to the major opera houses of the world and this is your chance to see the next generation of great opera singers in action.

Burnaby Lyric Opera’s production team and the best of BC’s young opera singers bring this “must see” opera to life. Don’t miss it.

La Bohème is on at the Shadbolt Centre at 8pm on February 20, 25, and 27th as well as afternoon performances at 2pm on February 22nd and 24th.

For more information and tickets to La Bohème visit the Shadbolt Centre’s website.