Kids In Vancouver: 4 Lakes To Explore In The City

Rice Lake | Photo: Flickr

Rice Lake | Photo: Flickr

BC boasts a bounty of beautiful lakes, attracting tourists from around the world to swim, boat and enjoy a quiet lakeside getaway, but there are some lesser-known watering holes located right in the Metro Vancouver area that are equally as enchanting.

All less than an hour’s drive from downtown Vancouver, these 4 lakes are worth the short trek, even if some are not suitable for swimming. Stroll, bike, bird watch, picnic or play in one of these sweet little sanctuaries, without having to leave the comforts of the city.

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Kids In Vancouver: 4 Lakes To Explore In The City

Got Plaid? Western Canada’s Biggest French Canadian Fest Comes to Metro Vancouver, March 4-6

Photo credit: Geoffery Kehrig | Flickr

Photo credit: Geoffery Kehrig | Flickr

Ready to wear your plaid with pride?

The largest festival of French Canadian culture on the West Coast is coming to Metro Vancouver, March 4-March 6. Festival du Bois rolls into the city of Coquitlam with a full weekend of live music from the heart of Quebec, traditional cuisine (including maple sugar pie) and plenty of Québécois cheer.

The setting for all this French Canadian-inspired fun is Mackin Park in the historic community of Maillardville. In the early 1900s, Maillardville was an ordinary lumber-mill town on the Fraser River. But in a bid to boost the local workforce, managers began recruiting French Canadian labourers from Quebec. Hundreds eventually ended up settling in the area, which became the largest Francophone centre west of Manitoba. Even today, the community stands out with its French street names, Francophone education system and even French-language Girl Guides and Boy Scouts.  Continue reading:
Got Plaid? Western Canada’s Biggest French Canadian Fest Comes to Metro Vancouver, March 4-6

Canadian Underwater Hockey Championships Coming to Vancouver

Photo credit: DavidUnderwater | Wikipedia

Photo credit: DavidUnderwater | Wikipedia

Turns out the playoff hockey season isn’t over in Vancouver, after all.

The Canadian Underwater Hockey National Championships are coming to Metro Vancouver. This unique take on hockey is played with masks and snorkels at the bottom of a pool. And from May 15-May 17, Canada’s best underwater athletes will converge on Coquitlam to duke it out for top honours.

The championship is organized by the Canadian Underwater Games Association. Since 1984, the association has worked to promote the expansion of underwater sports in Canada, including hockey, rugby, orienteering and even target shooting.  Currently, there are underwater hockey and rugby teams located in six provinces and one territory.  In Vancouver, teams practice several times a week at the UBC Aquatic Centre and CG Brown Memorial Pool in Burnaby. Each year, the best teams go on to compete in international competitions.

So how does underwater hockey work? Continue reading:
Canadian Underwater Hockey Championships Coming to Vancouver

French Canadian Fest brings back Diner en Plaid

Plaid is everywhere during the Festival du Bois |Photo courtesy of Festival du Bois website

Plaid is everywhere during the Festival du Bois |Photo courtesy of Festival du Bois website

It’s like Dîner en Blanc–only much more colourful. And significantly less formal. In fact, there could be arm wrestling.

Dîner en Plaid is back on February 17 as part of the lead-up to the French Canadian Festival du Bois, which happens in the suburban Vancouver community of Maillardville from February 26 to March 1, primarily at Mackin Park in Coquitlam.

Produced by the Société francophone de Maillardville, Festival du Bois is the largest francophone event west of the Rockies. Last year, it held the first Dîner en Plaid, a tongue-in-cheek nod to Dîner en Blanc, the elegant event that originated in France in which thousands of people dressed entirely in white converge on a secret location.

With Dîner en Plaid, the dress code isn’t as refined: just grab some kind of plaid. The colourful flannel honours the lumberjack heritage of Maillardville and celebrate its French-Canadian pioneering history. (The “bois” in Festival du Bois means “wood”.)

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French Canadian Fest brings back Diner en Plaid

Coquitlam Light Display

The City of Coquitlam is proud to present the largest free seasonal light display in Metro Vancouver! Now in it’s 4th year, the display takes 5 weeks to construct from from start to finish. Visit the light displays at Coquitlam City Hall, Spirit Square, Lafarge Lake and the Inspiration Garden. In addition to the light display, there will be caroling events through December and on Monday, December 22 at 7pm join in helping to form the largest group signing of Jingle Bells (the first 100 people there will receive free jingle bells)!

Things To Do In Vancouver This Weekend

Things To Do In Vancouver This WeekendMusic, walking tours, lots of food, and dozens of theatre options will keep you busy in Vancouver this holiday long weekend, Friday through Monday! Happy Thanksgiving!

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Things To Do In Vancouver This Weekend

Vancouver ‘burbs: Colony Farm Park in Coquitlam

Photo credit: jiwiz.com

The gritty stretch of Highway 1 heading east of Vancouver rarely features on sightseeing lists.  Downtown’s waterfront and majestic mountain vistas give way to suburban sprawl: rows of tract housing, congested freeways and industrial zones that speak to the city’s blue-collar roots.  But sandwiched in the midst of all this is an oft-overlooked bit of natural splendor: the Colony Farm Regional Park in Coquitlam, about a 40-minute drive southeast of the city.

Now, Colony Farm is no Stanley Park.  It has no waterfront or old growth forests or anything like that.  But it’s remarkable precisely because it’s a lush, intact piece of nature hemmed in on all sides by major highways, housing developments and even a pair of psychiatric hospitals.   I stopped by on a recent weekend and explored the park by bike.

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Vancouver ‘burbs: Colony Farm Park in Coquitlam