International Pillow Fight Day is back and it's  one of Vancouver's most anticipated events.  International Pillow Fighting events have been organized in over 50 cities around the world and this Saturday from 3:00 to 3:30 pillow fighters of all ages witll descend on the Vancouver Art Gallery to fight on.

This marks Vancouver's 10 anniversary since pillows went flying in 2005. If this will be your first time attending the 2015 worldwide pillow fight event in Vancouver then you should come dressed to impress - whether it's your favorite pair of pyjamas, a scary mask or a formal suit.

The event itself is a lot of fun to participate in, but it's also great to take pictures of.  If you are hoping to take photos stay away from flying pillows and watch out!

Finally, there are a few rules to know about pillow fighting in Vancouver...

  • “Don’t talk about [Pillow] Fight Club!”
  • Don’t be in location until the exact minute.
  • Hide your pillows.
  • Rush in screaming “PILLOW FIIIIIIGHT!!!!!”
  • After 15mins of excruciating fun, leave.
  • Stay off the road and sidewalk. (don’t make this a police issue)
  • Do NOT hit anyone with out a pillow! (this includes but is not limited to people with cameras, bystanders, civic authorities, cars, use common sense!!)
  • “If this is your first [time] at [Pillow] Fight Club, you have to fight.Vancouver pillow fight flash mob 2014


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We have a few exciting months ahead in Vancouver and filming will kick off this week, bringing super heroes, big friendly giants and aliens to our city.

For you fans of Steven Spielberg, he will be filiming his production begining this weekend and will go all the way until June.  The filming is said to be kept undercover with the nickname 'Big Valley' where the actual movie being shot is the childhood favorite 'Big Friendly Giant' based on the book by Roald Dahl.

For the Star Trek fans, filming will begin at Vancouver Film Studios and various locations in BC starting next month and going until the end of September. This still untitled movie will feature Zoe Saldan, Simon Pegg, Karl Urban, Anton Yelhin and John Cho returning to their roles.

And local hero Ryan Reynolds will be back home to return to his role as Deadpool, the character he played in X-Men: Wolverine.

There is also a rumour that filming of Spiderman's Sinister Six movie will be looking to film in Vancouver as well.  This is not confirmed as of yet, so keep track of updates at comicbookmovie.com.

It should be a fun spring with all the filming going on.  Don't forget to check out the Creative Film List for all the details on what's being filmed in Vancouver.  Enjoy!

filming in Vancouver

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Did you ever want to eat dinner in the home of a complete stranger?  Well #dinnerparty YVR is back for its 3rd year, this Saturday March 28. More than 50 hobby chefs across Vancouver are inviting diners into thier homes for a multi-course meal.  The $40 price tag includes a home cooked feast complete with wine or beer, and all proceeds go to charities.

Bringing Vancouverites a little closer  together in the process, this event has doubled in size this year, with dozens of home chefs applying to host dinners.  

This year, all of the hosted dinners have their own themes.  From the sound of it, the options are as divrerse as Vancouver's own diverse communities. There are also special meals for people with vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free and lactose-free diets.

After the meal, participants are invited to attend the #dinnerafterpartyYVR after party, hosted inside new Meccanica building at 1st Ave and Quebec St.  This event will include desserts from Whole Foods and cold-pressed juices from the Juicery Co. by donation, as well as a DJ.  Should be a lot of fun.

The menu of Feasting in a Lebanese Forest

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Lenders have a recent tradition of cutting their rates this time of year, in the lead-up to the key spring home buying season. Our mortgage brokers shop for the most competitive lenders and banks in BC to bring you today's lowest rates free of charge.   

Contact us for more information and we will connect you with one of our fine mortgage specialists.

Closed Mortgage Rates

TERM                   FIXED                    VARIABLE

1-YR                      2.64%                   2.98%

2-YR                      2.24%                  

3-YR                      2.34%                   2.05%

4-YR                      2.49%

5-YR                      2.46%                   2.0%

 

HELOC                  3.10%

 

Open Mortgage Rates

TERM                   FIXED                    VARIABLE

1-YR                      4.39%                   3.55%

3-YR                                                    3.79%

5-YR                                                    3.30%

 

The above rates represent the typical discounted rates available to borrowers with strong credit, qualifying income and assets, on conventional real property that meets lending value requirements.  Rates are subject to change without notice. This data is for information purposes only and should not be relied upon without verification.

 

 


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For those that are interested, you are now able to get up close and personal with Stanley Park's herons using a new webcam that is streaming their nests live online.  You can view the long-legged Pacific great blue herons as they go about their daily lives - courting, mating, laying eggs and hatching in early April.

Stanley Park is home to one of North America's largest urban heron colonies and the camera will take viewers right inside their nests in the trees near the park board's head office.

Last year the heron colony had 116 nests and produced 131 fledgling herons.  Herons have been nesting in the park since at least 1921.  There are about 4,000 to 5,000 herons in Canada and the Pacific great blue heron has been disgnated a 'special concern' under the Species at Risk Act.

Great blue herons returned to Stanley Park in February.

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From 10am till 4pm Robson Square will transform into a Winter Wonderland to host Vancouver's Canadian Cancer Society Yukigassen Snow Battle 2015.  This is a Japanese sport which involves an epic three period snow battle with snow balls and flag capturing - and we are all invited to take part this weekend.

This is the 2nd year that this snowball fight which is an actual sport with an international federation created in Japan has been to Vancouver.  It was created in 1980 and the Canadian chapter was formed about 5 years ago where they hold their national championship in Jasper, and the winner goes to compete in Japan. 

Last year the event took place on Mount Seymour and this year it will take place in Robson Square where the rink usually is.   People can come along and sign up for a minimum donation of $5 for a pick -up game.  There will be refs and coaches there to go through the rules and if you want to play you will need to wear light athletic clothing and shoes you can run in.  Helmets will be provided. Sounds like a different kind of fun!

Photo Credit: Canadian Cancer Society

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The true sign that the seasons are changing is that the Vancouver Pitch and Putt golf courses will be opening tomorrow.

Longer days and warmer afternoons mean that an after-work or after-school round of golf at your nearby pitch and putt is now in the cards. There really is nothing better than spendng a springtime afternoon walking around a nicely maintained park and hitting a few golf balls now and then.

The 3 Vancouver courses including Queen Elizabeth Pitch and Putt, Rupert Park Pitch and Putt and Stanley Park Pitch and Putt have been closed since October and will be re-opening tomorrow.  The Richmond Pitch and Putt will open in April and Burnaby's Pitch and Putt is open year round.

Vancouver pitch n putt golf

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The cherry blossoms are out, already.  Many of the pink blossoms have been popping out since February, thanks to an exceptionally warm winter.  Each day, more trees erupt in pink, white and lavender.

All of which should make for a very interesting Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival this year - if there are any blossoms left.  This years festivial runs April 2-29.  The month long celebration is packed with cherry-themed concerts and dances, gala dinners, traditional fairs and more.

Some of the events worth seeing are Rock out under the cherry trees,  the Cherry jam Downtown Concert, the cherry blossom light show.  You can dance with a Bollywood-style flash mob or Sip and savour at a gala, blossom themed dinner at Sakura Night.  

You could also attend a traditional Japanese fair or enjoy a picnic under the blossoms, guided walks or group bike rides through the cherry trees and more

Photo sourced from Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival

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Moving can be an overwhelming experience.  There are so many things to think about and moving day can be very stressful.

Here is a handy check list to help keep you on track for a smooth move.

 

Telus TV, Home Phone and Internet Services

Moving your TELUS services is easy.  Remember to call 1-855-233-2301 as far as possible in advance of your move.  You should have the following information handy when you call:

  • TELUS account number
  • Account holder’s date of birth
  • Your contact information during your move
  • Full mailing addresses of where you’re moving from and to, including postal codes
  • Preferred disconnection and connection dates

Fortis BC: Start, stop or move your service

Call Fortis at least 2 working days in advance, and let them know that you want to stop service, or log into your account.  To start service there is a $25 application fee when opening a new account.  Some new customers may be required to also provide a security deposit.

Phone Toll Free: 1-888-224-2710               International: 1-250-979-4900

BC Hydro Add, Move or Stop your Service

Moving your BC Hydro service is easy:

To start, move or stop your service online, you will need:

  • Your new address and phone number
  • If you’re renting your landlord’s name and phone number
  • Click the link for an online form

Shaw Easy Move Form

With Shaw all you have to do is let them know where you’re moving and when and they will move your Shaw internet, television and home phone services to your new home. Click the link and fill out the form.  Shaw will contact you to confirm details and set up an installation time.

 

Canada Post Permanent Change of Address

You can redirect your mail for as little as $6.25 per month

When you are about to move click the link above to submit a permanent Change of Address.

Home Buyers’ Plan

This program allows you to withdraw up to $25,000 from your RRSP to purchase a home in Canada

Property Transfer Tax

Click the link above for information about Property Transfer Tax in B.C.

CMHC

Click the above link for everything you need to know about buying a home and mortgage default insurance from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

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One of the best ways to really get to know a city is by getting outside and walking.  And Vancouver is great for that, due to its walkability, you don't need a car to explore some of the best sights the city has to offer.

Each month you can lace up your walking shoes and explore Vancouver with one of the city's top walking tours.  Last month you could learn about Vancouver's slightly seedy past during the prohibition years with the popular walking tour company, Forbidden Vancouver.  This month you can join a small group of locals and tourists to explore historic Chinatown with the Tour Guys. What really sets these guys apart from their competitors is that their tours are free.  At the end of your tour, if you've enjoyed their 'performance', they hope that you'll show your appreciation of their hard work with a donation.  Over an almost 2 hour tour, your guide will share with you the rich history of Vancouver's Chinatown area that began in the late 1800's with the arrival of immigrants from China to work on B.C.'s railroads and in the mines, to  present day. You wll be introduced to some fabulous street art that you may not have known existed: The Beatty Street Murals - a painted block that was commissioned by the Steve Nash Foundation in 2007 and depicts many Canadian Icons such as Captain George Vancouver, Terry Fox and surprisingly, Jimi Hendrix who was raised by his grandparents in a now non-existent part of Vancouver, Hogan's Alley, and went to high school here. 

Vancouver's Millennium Gate in Chinatown

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Whether it be Horton, Eunice or Paul like mine, your middle name is part of defining who you are, and where you fit in your own family - so let's celebrate your middle name with all its guts and glory on Middle Name Pride Day!  This special day was founded by Jerry Hill, who established this day so people won't feel ashamed of their middle name and embrace it.  

Take pride and reveal your middle name to at least 3 people who don't know what yuor middle name is.  Also, call others by their middle name today.

'Middle Name Pride Day' is not to be confused with 'Name Yourself Day' which is alway on April 9th.  You knew that right?  Another 'very much not real estate related' useful fact.  Great for banter around the dinner table tonight.

Image result for MIDDLE NAME DAy

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The 11th  annual St. Patrick's Day Parade will turn downtown Vancouver into a sea of green this coming Sunday with marching bands, dancers and plenty of bagpipes.

The parade marks the climax of the Celtic Festival which includes dozens of music, dance and theatre events at venues around Vancouver.

Organizers estimate that more than 200,000 spectators will line the streets of downtown to cheer on some 2000 participants in the parade.   This years kick off will be at 11 a.m. sharp starting at the corner of Howe and Davie Streets.  The action then proceeds north along Howe for 5 blocks to Georgia.  The parade will wrap up at the corner of Georgia and Granville.

Afterwards, the party continues at Celtic Village on Granville St. between Robson and Nelson where you will find the Celtric-themed street party and market.  The Celtic Village runs both Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.  Good fun for the whole family

Photo credit: Michellerlee | Flickr

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While I was walking to the gym at 6:30 this morning it may have been a bit cool (just below freezing) but the sun was about to rise and we were off to another beautiful day in paradise. While winter isn't quite over yet, although it feels like it, the statistics are in and apparently this has been Vancouver's second warmest winter in 120 years.

According to Global BC meteorologist Yvonne Schalle - Vancouver's winter temperatures for the months of December, January and February averaged at 6.1 degrees with a maximum average of 9.0.  In February, a new maximum temperature record was set at 10.5 degrees, breaking the 1977 record of 10.4.  And yes, Toronto has experienced the coldest February in recorded history with an average temperature of -12.6 degrees - down from a normal average for the month of -4.5 degrees.  Oh...to be living on the westcoast - paradise.  Enjoy your day!

sunny day

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While the East Coast has been freezing over with one of its snowiest winters in memory, the South Coast of British Columbia has experienced record warm temperatures for much of the start of the year, with cherry blossoms beginning to bloom as early as mid February.

There are more than 90,000 floral trees in Vancouver, including over 40,000 Japanese cherry flowering trees, making the city one of the best locations in the world to catch the stunning spring blooms.

The annual Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival also celebrates the annual occasion with a number of events and activities in March and April.  Check out their interactive map to find out what is in bloom right now.

cherry blossom palm tree

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You will find dozens of masterpieces from the undisputed master of the pop art movement in Vancouver for the month of March at the Maison al warehouse at 1280 Homer St. in Vancouver.  The show is open from 11 a.m. - 6p.m. Monday - Saturday.  You will find some 80 prints and paintings on display which are part of an exhibition titled A differnet Idea Of Love.  Many of the works are from Warhol's so-called Socialites series including Marilyn Monroe with canary yellow hair and pink lips, Jane Fonda and Ted Kennedy.  The exhibit represents the largest collection of Warhol  works ever displayed in Canada.Today Andy Warhol is the top-selling artist in the world.  Collectors paid a total of $653.2 million for 1295 works that went to auction in 2014.  The exhibition is pulled from the private collection of LA businessman Ron Rivlin and the Andy Warhol Foundation for Visual Arts.

marilyn_pink

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