Top 5 Endangered Heritage Sites in Vancouver

Photo credit: Jasperdo | Flickr

Photo credit: Jasperdo | Flickr

It’s no secret that Vancouver is a city in transition.  Dozens of cranes dot the horizon and quaint older neighbourhoods are being reborn as hip urban centres.

But the price of those changes is lost heritage and history.  Heritage Vancouver just released its annual list of the top endangered sites in Vancouver.  The report warns that “heritage character homes are disappearing at an alarming rate,” while earthquake-readiness upgrades are being used as “an opportunity to demolish our heritage schools.”

Here are the Top 5 Endangered Sites in the city as identified by Heritage Vancouver. Each entry identifies a particular building under threat, a whole class of structures being lost or both. Continue reading:
Top 5 Endangered Heritage Sites in Vancouver

A Vancouver First: The “Craft Brewing” of Publishing

What do craft beer and books have in common? Read on to find out.  Photo credit: Don LaVange | Flickr

What do craft beer and books have in common? Read on to find out. Photo credit: Don LaVange | Flickr

There’s a new craft brewer (of sorts) in Vancouver.  What they’re selling is robust, fair-trade and, apparently, “very quaffable.”

It’s not beer, however.  It’s books.  Vancouver has just become home to a one-of-a-kind experiment in artisan publishing. A brand new independent publishing house called Nonvella, which describes itself as “the craft brewing of publishing,” is aiming to go where no local book publisher has gone before.

Nonvella’s focus is a genre known as narrative nonfiction – timely works of journalism, adventure writing, essay and memoir taken from real life.  What’s unique about their model, however, is the length of these stories.  Their specialty is long-form nonfiction that’s much shorter than a book but longer than the average magazine article (i.e. stories that are roughly the length of a fictional novella, but in nonfiction form – hence the catchy name, Nonvella.)

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A Vancouver First: The “Craft Brewing” of Publishing

Vancouver Introducing Gender-Neutral Washrooms in Parks

(Vancouver Park Board)

Two options for gender-neutral washroom signs, as presented by the Vancouver Park Board.

Vancouver is on its way to becoming the first municipality in Canada to officially offer gender-neutral washrooms in public buildings.

The Vancouver Park Board is taking the lead and is currently drafting plans to install or retrofit washrooms to accommodate transgender people in park facilities. “For some transgender people, going to a public washroom can create anxiety and fear,” explained Vancouver Park Board Commissioner Trevor Loke in an interview for the CBC.

The design of the washrooms themselves is unlikely to be revolutionary. They will probably take the form of single-occupant facilities with a locking door, similar to offerings currently available at select community centres around the city. What’s attracting more debate at the moment, however, is the signage used to designate them. Continue reading:
Vancouver Introducing Gender-Neutral Washrooms in Parks

Sharing the Best of Vancouver #VeryVancouver

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Star Wars Trilogy Production is Officially Coming to Vancouver

Photo credit: Scott Smith (SRisonS) | Flickr

Photo credit: Scott Smith (SRisonS) | Flickr

Grab your lightsabers. Star Wars is officially coming to Vancouver.

Industrial Light & Magic, the George Lucas-founded effects company that handles the Star Wars movies, has put down roots in Vancouver’s historic Gastown neighbourhood.  The company currently has some 130 employees and will be ramping up with up to 200 additional employees by this summer to handle the latest Star Wars trilogy.

The Gastown effects studio will be responsible, in part, for bringing the new Star Wars: Episode VII movie to life.  Scheduled for release in December 2015, the movie is part of the third trilogy of Star Wars movies.  It takes up where 1983′s epic Return of the Jedi leaves off.

The studio will occupy the 30,000-square-foot space on Water Street (not far from the iconic Gassy Jack statue) that formerly housed Pixar, according to an article in the Vancouver Sun.  While the initial focus of work will be on Star Wars: Episode VII, plans are for the studio to spend the next eight-10 years on Star Wars projects, including Episodes VIII and IX of the new trilogy.

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Star Wars Trilogy Production is Officially Coming to Vancouver