10 ways the Grey Cup Festival is more than Pigskin

Grey Cup

As you’re likely aware, the 102nd Grey Cup Festival is coming to Vancouver November 26-30. The Grey Cup was here in 2011 but won’t be back now until 2023 so I’m planning to make the most of this! For those wondering, the Grey Cup is the Championship game for the CFL. Although I’m not the biggest football fan in town I am stoked for this Festival for the following reasons:

  1. Streets closed. I love any festival that turns roads into pedestrian streets and lines them with booths, food, music and activities.
  2. November is not known to be a fun month. It’s getting colder and we’re getting less inclined to be out and about. What better way to show off your favourite new scarf than at a street festival. Bundle up and get involved.
  3. Beer. And Music. The Red Truck Tailgate Concert Series is three nights of three different genres of music in a beer garden. I’m thinking flip cup, beer pong and beer cup tower building with tons of fun strangers all wrapped up with a dance party.
  4. Tim Hick and One More Girl. Friday night JRFM hosts the concert stage. I am a huge country music fan and love to see the streets of Vancouver covered in plaid. I’ve seen Tim Hicks perform before and he knows how to get a party going.
  5. Olympic Throwback. I am still nostalgic about the beer tents and street parties of the 2010 Olympics. Any opportunity to re-live those days when sports fans and party people of all ages came together to make Vancouver the best place on earth gets me really excited.
  6. Face paint and team spirit. Football fans have some crazy ways of showing their team colours and I like getting my photo with them.
  7. The parade. Who doesn’t love colourful floats and crazy characters all cruising down the street to music. I especially like floats that throw candy.
  8. Sponsors. This event has some great sponsors. Sponsors usually give away free stuff and I could use a new water bottle.
  9. Sports fans. Sports fans are the kings and queens of day drinking.
  10. Canadian tourists. There’s something awesome about chatting to a guy with a crazy accent and then finding out he’s actually from the East Coast. Football fans from all across the country will be in Vancouver for the sole purpose of having a good time and watching the game on Sunday.

I like events. I like events that get the community outside on crisp fall days. I like events that encourage families to bring their kids down and throw a ball into a hoop for a pair of promotional sunglasses. I like meeting new people and I love meeting people from other cities that love Vancouver.

The 102nd Grey Cup Festival runs from Wednesday November 26 – Sunday November 30 around Jack Poole Plaza, downtown Vancouver. The full festival guide can be found here.

Flashdance Master Class for this Dance Beginner

FlashDance

As a kid I was more of a tree climber than a dancer. As an adult that theme continued and I haven’t acquired any grace that I’m aware of. When one of the first blog opportunities that came my way was for a Flashdance Master Class taught by cast members of the world-famous musical currently touring North America I couldn’t think of anything more awkward. So I figured I should do it.

I arrived at the downtown Steve Nash Sports Club on Granville Street with my tights on and an open mind. Upon arrival I was issued a pink Flashdance sweatband so things were off to a good start. I joined Katherine Roarty and Brandon Stonestreet on the floor of the studio for a chat while they stretched out their sculpted dancer legs. Katherine and Brandon are ‘swing dancers.’ They’re required to know the roles of each of the dancers in the show so they can step in and understudy at a moment’s notice. Despite this, they were both incredibly upbeat, outgoing, bendy and keen to chat about Flashdance coming to Vancouver. Both agreed this is great gateway performance for those not familiar with the musical theatre genre, “it’s an iconic movie. People arrive at the theatre knowing they’re going to have a good time,” grinned Brandon. “The stage show has 16 more songs than the movie and the character development goes a lot deeper so they leave feeling like they’ve seen something new.” We agreed the 80s has a charm that no other decade does; a loud, crazy, vibrancy with big hair and brightly coloured leg warmers, now reserved for Halloween parties.IMG_20141112_201658

When I asked if the two, both from New York, were enjoying Vancouver it was a somewhat self-serving question. With the sun shining into the studio I already knew that the answer would be enthusiastic. “Love it!” beamed Katherine. “I went for a run around Stanley Park this morning and then climbed your Grouse Grind!” She smiled, which led me to believe she was crazy as she was just about to teach a dance class and perform a Broadway show later that night, “I tried poutine,” added Brandon.

After our chat the room began to fill with Steve Nash Fitness enthusiasts. I positioned myself at the back and hoped for the best. “As long as you’re having fun you’re doing a great job!” shouted Katherine as the music started. And I actually did. I was one of the least coordinated and kept finding myself stop and watch our Flashdance masters. They made the moves look so effortless and unsweaty. Katherine and Brandon took us through a basic dance warm up, a few moves that included a jazz walk, with feeling, and then we learned a short routine.

I was definitely one of the least able to count to eight and move my feet at the same time but the atmosphere was fun, flamboyant and animated, just like the 80s. Although this is the first time Steve Nash Fitness  Clubs has partnered with a musical, bringing a dance class to its members, I doubt it’ll be the last. What a entertaining way to burn a few calories, meet some Broadway celebs and listen to some great music. I still think I’m a better dancer after a few cocktails but I was surprised how quickly I got into the groove attempting to flip my hair back and pop my hip in time to the music, definitely skills I’m taking with me.

Flashdance is in Vancouver through November 16 at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre.

Falshdance

Katherine Roarty and Brandon Stonestreet, of the Broadway musical Flashdance, led the class

What’s Going On? Conveyor Belt status update!

Jenn Wint

This past April my near and dear trusted advisor, confident and longtime friend Terri Potratz packed up her life in Vancouver and moved to Montreal. She was offered a job with Spafax as Editor of the APEX Airline Experience Magazine, an airline industry publication. I am so proud of Terri for being brave and jumping when an amazing opportunity for personal and professional growth came her way. She has always been an ambitious, independent person and I admire her taste for adventure and confidence when making a leap of faith. I noticed after she’d been gone for a few months that her blog was no longer active. A new city, job and lifestyle were taking over and there wasn’t time to keep it up, she told me. I felt sad but I am also one for seizing opportunity and thought I would suggest filling in for a while.

My name is Jenn Wint and I am a writer, digital media enthusiast and public relations aficionado. My passions include country music, wine with girlfriends, running and field hockey and my involvement with the Now That’s Ugly society. I have been considering starting a blog for a while but often wonder if I have enough to say or anything that would be worth reading. So in my quest to keep Terri’s Conveyor Belt alive and give myself a space to write about lifestyle, events and all things Vancouver, here we are. I will make sure we get Montreal updates from Terri and I will do my best to be as informative, interesting and witty as she is, one can dream right?

I thank you in advance for your readership and your patience. To learn more about me you can follow me on twitter and instagram or google my name and see what comes up. If you have an event or story idea get in touch at jenniferwint@gmail.com.

KNOWSHOW Vancouver Events

knowshow

It’s that time of the year again, when the lifestyle reps, skateboarders, snowboarders, culture editors, and related connoisseurs of cool descend upon our city for Canada’s biggest lifestyle tradeshow, held at the Vancouver Convention Centre.  Beyond scanning the aisles of booths during the 3-day tradeshow, there are a number of events during the week that are not to be missed.

One of my favourite nights last year was a bus trip up Grouse Mountain for a night of ice skating followed by beers in the pub (can we do that again please?) but the agenda for the 2014 KNOWSHOW has plenty to keep the week full, so here are a few of my top picks for what to do:

After the media preview tomorrow afternoon, head on down to Fortune for Hip Hop Karaoke (a weekly staple), followed with a performance by Grandmaster Flash.  Sorry, let me repeat that one more time.  GRANDMASTER FLASH of the Furious Five, first hip hop artists to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, he who brought us The Message.

jody morris

In between hip hop karaoke and the Grandmaster, head on down to Fortune’s Projects Space (middle floor) for a photo exhibition and book release by Jody Morris, whose photographs will take you under bridges, over airplanes, and all over the world.

FREE THINKERS

Thursday will be a goodie as well, with our local heroes Lifetime Collective launching the 6th issue of their Free Thinkers zine, a biannual collection of interviews, photographs, and other influences that inspire the brand and creative thought.

And just a reminder, if you’re tweeting or instagramming any events, be sure to use the #KNWSHW tag so you’re thrown in the loop.  Enjoy!

 

Obakki Warehouse Sale

obakki warehouse sale

It’s back! The most wonderful time of the year: the Obakki Warehouse Sale, always a sale of the most epic proportions.

This sale will offer Fall/Winter items from last season, as well as the recent Spring/Summer pieces from 2013.

While you count the minutes to the sale, head on over to see what the Obakki Foundation is up to these days. Their initiatives to bring clean water, agricultural stability, and educational support to communities in Africa have provided over 400 water wells and brought water to more than 500,000 people.

The Foundation is also currently running a competition through their Facebook page where you can vote on their next #goodlove scarf colour until November 8! For every 500 scarves sold, a village in South Sudan can be provided with clean water.

Tempt Cider Contest & Giveaway

Tempt Cider Giveaway

Tempt Cider is a new alcoholic cider from Denmark that has recently launched in Canada (Alberta, British Columbia, Newfoundland, and Ontario only so far), featuring notes of strawberry and lime.

We’re running a fantastic contest to introduce you to this tasty new beverage – all you have to do is tweet me how you release your inner temptress (your Halloween costume idea/image..hot date ideas..what you’ll buy with your $50 Victoria’s Secret gift card..your favourite music to get down and dirty to..totally open to interpretation here!), and I will select a winner at 5pm (PST) on November 2 to take home this killer prize pack:

·         A case of Tempt Cider (24 cans)

·         A mask

·         A $50 gift card to Victoria Secret

·         Two Tempt Cider branded glasses

·         A Tempt Cider branded iPhone case

·         A Tempt Cider branded chapstick.

Now get tweeting to @tpotratz with the hashtag #temptress, and go ahead and like their Facebook page as well – it’s full of tempting ideas and fun dares for you to pull off once your cider buzz kicks in.




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