Birds of a Feather – Fraser Valley Bald Eagle Festival, Nov 19 – 20

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Photo: Rob Weiss

From my first sighting, I have been fascinated with Bald Eagles.  I am inexplicably drawn to the sight and sound of these majestic Raptors.  Their calls stir something in my heart and the sight of them catching an updraft and soaring simply mesmerizes me.  To my great delight, my love for Eagles is a shared passion and this November 19 – 20, eagle enthusiasts and aficionados from around the world will be congregating in the Fraser Valley to share their passion.  It’s time for the 21st Annual Fraser Valley Bald Eagle Festival, celebrating the Season of the Eagles and Salmon.  This is the lower mainland’s fastest growing festival and home to the largest recorded number of eagles in an area that is only 2 square kilometres in size.

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Birds of a Feather – Fraser Valley Bald Eagle Festival, Nov 19 – 20

Salmon Smorgasbord – Kayak the Harrison River

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Eagles feasting on salmon Photo: Rob Weiss

Against all odds, each and every fall, millions of BC salmon fight an epic and awe-inspiring battle.  These fish courageously make their way from the mighty Pacific Ocean to travel upstream on their quest to spawn.  Rivers and spawning channels across the province team with life.  Like the salmon, paddlers, photographers, and fishermen also flock to the rivers to partake in this natural phenomenon.  My paddling partner and I find ourselves joining this annual migration and our destination of choice is the Harrison River.

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Salmon Smorgasbord – Kayak the Harrison River

Jellyfish and barnacles: underrated seafood you might love

Blue Water Cafe chef Frank Pabst | Photo credit Brandon Hart

Blue Water Cafe chef Frank Pabst | Photo credit Brandon Hart

Ever tried jellyfish, sturgeon liver, or smelt? What about gooseneck barnacles, sea cucumber, or whelks?

Perhaps you’re wrinkling your nose right about now and wondering,”What the heck is a whelk?”

(Hint: executive chef Frank Pabst is holding one, above.)

Blue Water Cafe is featuring these and other under-appreciated sea creatures throughout February during the restaurant’s 11th annual are Unsung Heroes festival. The month-long event promotes sustainable seafood by urging diners to try something a little (or a lot) different from what they’re accustomed to eating.

The idea is to bring awareness to local and unique seafood and to avoid species that are over-fished or harvested in ways that can damage ocean beds. It’s a goal also promoted by the Vancouver Aquarium’s Ocean Wise conservation program, of which Blue Water Cafe is a founding member.

Don’t worry: you don’t have to finish your plate or forgo the salmon you know you’ll love.

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Jellyfish and barnacles: underrated seafood you might love

Top Canadian Films at the 2013 Vancouver International Film Festival

Oil Sands Karaoke Photo credit: VIFF

Oil Sands Karaoke Photo credit: VIFF

The Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF) kicks off this Thursday, September 26 and runs until October 11. Besides attracting top directors from all over the globe, VIFF always includes a cool cadre of Canadian-made films.

The Canadian Images series showcases the best of Canadian feature-length and short films. This year, 75 films were selected out of approximately 600 submissions.

On Sunday, Inside Vancouver blogger Remy Scalza shared some of his festival choices with you, now it’s my turn. Below you’ll find some of my Canadian film picks. From two hapless Quebecois cycling fundraisers to west coast salmon warriors, there’s a range of must-see Canadian cinema during this year’s Canadian Images.

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Top Canadian Films at the 2013 Vancouver International Film Festival

Free Salmon for Everybody: Sunday August 28

healthy grilled pink salmon

Vancouver is a fishy town and salmon is king.  Residents here know their sockeye from their chinook from their coho.  But one variety that hasn’t gotten a lot of attention is the mysterious pink salmon.

That’s all about to change.  The second Pink Salmon Festival is this Sunday at oceanside Hadden Park, by the Maritime Museum in Kitsilano.  More than 1,400 kilograms of pink salmon will be grilled and sauteed for visitors.  And the best part:  You can get a plate of pink salmon for free.  Continue reading:
Free Salmon for Everybody: Sunday August 28

Exploring the Gulf of Georgia Cannery: B.C.’s Salmon Museum

The huge runs of sockeye earlier this summer left Vancouver flush with fresh, wild salmon.  But this year’s bumper crop hardly compares with the mega-runs on the Fraser River from 1880-1900.

It was during that era, way back in 1894, that the Gulf of Georgia Cannery opened its doors in the little fishing village of Steveston, outside of Vancouver.  Once the leading producer of canned salmon in British Columbia, the cannery survives today as a fascinating museum.  Inside, you’ll discover everything you ever wanted to know about harvesting and processing salmon, plus lots about local history.

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Exploring the Gulf of Georgia Cannery: B.C.’s Salmon Museum