June 26, 2020

Canada Day roundup: Where to celebrate virtually on July 1 in Vancouver

Online and televised events to safely mark Canada's birthday

Getty Images

Have a look at some ways to celebrate virtually this Canada Day.

Canada Day Daytime Show

"Celebrate our country's cultural diversity, sporting excellence, Indigenous culture and languages, and the resilience of front-line workers."

The daytime show, Canada Day Across the Country, offers you a virtual tour of the celebrations. With hosts Serena Ryder and Pierre-Yves Lord, discover talented artists from Sudbury, Montréal, Québec, Moncton, Winnipeg, Yellowknife and Calgary.

Organizers say that the celebrations will also include a nod to the 40th anniversary of the national anthem "O Canada" and that, "many surprises await you."

When: 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. local time 
Where: CBC and Online
Cost: Free

Canada Day Evening Show 

The evening show, Canada Day Together, is a virtual and creative edition of Canada’s annual iconic celebration.

Hosted by Serena Ryder and Pierre-Yves Lord, the show features original artistic collaborations between performers from coast to coast to coast, including stops in Halifax, Toronto and Vancouver. 

The night winds up with a montage of the best Canada Day fireworks from past years.

When:  8 p.m. to 10 p.m. local time
Where: CBC and Online
Cost: Free


Canada Day Drumming Virtual Celebration 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Legacy 150 Celebrations Society is moving its nationwide celebration online July 1.

For the past three years, the event has been in 15 cities across 5 time zones with a 6-minute simultaneous drumming at 11:00 a.m. (PDT). This year, organizers reached out to more cities and are targeting 1000+ participants, first-come-first-served. Visit the event details page for participating cities.

When: July 1 at 11 a.m. 
Where: Online
Cost: Free

Hudson's Bay x Team Canada Present: The Canada Day Games

With the Tokyo Olympic Games postponed, Hudson’s Bay says it has teamed up with Team Canada athletes to celebrate our Canadian pride and the best of summer with the Canada Day Games. On July 1, Canadians are encouraged to wear their Team Canada Collection gear and participate in eight fun, lighthearted (but still competitive) outdoor events: Speed Sunscreening, the Burger Flip, Pairs Ice Cream Eating, Sprinkler Jump, Freestyle Strutting, Pool Noodle Javelin, Synchronized Celebrating, and Artistic Sparkler Dancing.

Of the Team Canada athletes participating are:

  • Antoine Valois-Fortier (Judo/Burger Flip)
  • Christabel Nettey (Athletics/Sprinkler Jump)
  • Heather Bansley (Beach Volleyball/Speed Sunscreening)
  • Jennifer Abel (Diving/Artistic Sparkler Dancing)
  • Justine Dufour-Lapointe (Freestyle Skiing/Pairs Ice Cream Eating)
  • Khamica Bingham (Athletics/Freestyle Strutting)
  • Sean McColl (Sport Climbing/Pool Noodle Javelin)
  • Skylar Park (Taekwondo/Synchronized Celebrating)

When: July 1 
Where: In your backyard 
Cost: Free

Canada, let's get together!

Jump into the online activities and join us as we explore different facets of Canada with popular Canadian personalities such as Chef Ricardo, former football player Étienne Boulay and travel vlogger Gunnarolla. 

There are also a number of activities you can join from home, such as a culinary challenge, a sporting challenge, and a digital treasure hunt.

When: July 1 
Where: Online  
Cost: Free

Canada Day House Party

The Canada Day House Party is a virtual concert that Canadians to enjoy from the comfort of their homes on July 1. The concert also raises money for the Canadian Mental Health Association. The lineup includes performances by Bonjay, Caveboy, Garcons, Dear Rouge, and Gord Sinclair of the Tragically Hip. 

When: July 1 between 3 p.m. and 8 p.m.
Where: Online  
Cost: Free; VIP package for $34.95

Abbotsford Canada Day Pet Parade 

While all pets living in Abbotsford are welcome to join the Virtual Pet Parade, everyone can view the furry best pal show from home. Dogs, cats, snakes, cows, llamas, and any pet is welcome to enter. Participants must submit a 10 second submission of their beloved pet showing its Canadian pride. All submissions will be reviewed by Abbotsford's Parade Judges who will select a Pet Parade Winner and award prizes for Best Canadian Spirit!

When: July 1 
Where: Online  
Cost: Free



Unswerving support for automated speed enforcement in B.C., poll finds


A few months ago, drone videos of empty streets in Europe served as a stern warning about what life at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic would look like.

Stores were closed and plazas had no tourists walking about. In North America, it took a few more weeks for vehicle traffic to dwindle considerably in most municipalities, as the need for social distancing kept individuals away from offices, restaurants and stores.

British Columbia is now preparing for Phase 3 of the COVID-19 restart plan, which will allow for what is described as “smart and safe” travel within the province. This will likely put more vehicles on our streets, as economic activity is slowly reactivated. On an anecdotal basis, we may already be noticing more vehicle traffic near our homes.

In 2018, Research Co. and Glacier Media began tracking the views of British Columbians on the concept of automated speed enforcement, essentially a reliance on technology to make sure that drivers are abiding by existing regulations. In many jurisdictions around the world, cameras or sensors are used to notice when a vehicle is speeding. A ticket is then issued to the vehicle’s owner, but no licence points are lost because the vehicle’s driver is not identified.

In 2020, we continue to see a high level of support across the province for four different types of automated speed enforcement. Seven in 10 British Columbians (71%) approve of using fixed speed cameras. These devices stay in one location, measure speed as a vehicle passes and can be placed in school zones or on other roads. This year’s findings are remarkably consistent with what the province’s residents told us in the 2018 survey (71%) and in the 2019 poll (69%).

Last year, the provincial government ordered the conversion of 35 existing red-light cameras into speed-on-green intersection cameras. These devices are now adequately equipped to capture vehicles that are speeding through intersections. In April, the province announced that more than 20,000 tickets had been issued through this type of automated speed enforcement.

Almost a year after these cameras were reactivated, public support for their use remains strong, with 70% of British Columbians endorsing speed-on-green technology on our roads. This is also consistent with the provincewide findings of the past two years (68% in 2019 and 70% in 2018). Speed-on-green intersection cameras are particularly well received by women (74%), residents of Vancouver Island (also 74%) and British Columbians aged 55 and over (77%).

While the cancellation of “photo radar” was one of the first items of business for the BC Liberals after forming the provincial government in 2001, things are different almost two decades later. Large majorities of British Columbians who voted for the BC New Democratic Party (NDP) (76%), the BC Liberals (74%) and the BC Green Party (65%) in the 2017 provincial election are in favour of speed-on-green enforcement.

Most of the province’s residents would also welcome different measures that have not been openly contemplated by the government yet. Two-thirds of British Columbians (68%) are in favour of mobile speed cameras. These devices can be moved from place to place and measure speed as a vehicle passes. The level of support for this type of automated speed enforcement was 63% in 2019 and 65% in 2018.

The most contentious form of automated speed enforcement is point-to-point, which relies on cameras at two or more distant points on a road. The average speed of vehicles that pass between points is calculated and tickets are issued to vehicles whose average speed over the distance was excessive. Approval for this type of automated speed enforcement has reached the highest level recorded (58%), up from 55% in 2018 and 51% in 2019.

It is important to note that the views of B.C. drivers fluctuate from the provincewide averages by one point or less when it comes to these four types of automated speed enforcement. This is not a situation where pedestrians, bike riders and public transit users are banding together to make things tougher for drivers. Sizable majorities of the province’s residents, whether they are behind the wheel or not, have steadily endorsed a move towards automated speed enforcement for the past three years.

Results are based on an online study conducted from June 13 to June 15, 2020, among 800 adults in British Columbia. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region in British Columbia. The margin of error, which measures sample variability, is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.


Vancouver's massive Greek Summerfest is all about food to-go this year

Take a piece of Greece home with you

Greek Summer Fest on Boundary/Facebook

Every summer, Vancouverites turn out in droves to celebrate Greek culture and food at the city's annual Greek Summerfest on Boundary Road.

But things are going to go a little - a lot - differently this year - their 34th - due to COVID-19.

For 2020, Greek Summerfest is focusing on the food, and will offer six days over two weekends of fantastic eats, all to-go.

Taking place on July 10, 11, and 12 and again on July 17, 18, and 19, Vancouver Greek Summerfest To Go will be set up as a massive hub for take-out fare.

"You can indulge in all your favourites like loukoumades (Greek donuts), souvlaki, BBQ lamb, spanakopita, and take a piece of Greece home with you. Celebrate great Greek food with Vancouver's expansive, diverse community," say organizers, who are still finalizing participants and details.

"Our top priority is public health and safety; we are taking steps to uphold social distancing, and follow cleaning protocols, and guidelines around mass gatherings."

Vancouver Greek Summerfest To Go

When: July 10-12 and July 17-19; 3-8 p.m. Fridays and noon-8 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays

Where: 4541 Boundary Road (@ East 29th Avenue).



Vancouver is getting its first all-cider taphouse restaurant

20 taps flowing with cider, mead, beer, wine, and kombucha

A flight of hard ciders. Photo: bhofack2/iStock

Vancouver will soon be home to a new restaurant that's all about those beautiful B.C. ciders.

The Cider House is prepping to open at 1602 Yew Street in Kitsilano.

The cider-focused spot has moved into the space previously home to Basil Pasta Bar. (Basil's original Davie Street location remains open.)

With 20 taps set to pour chiefly ciders made right here in B.C., The Cider House will be the city's first full-serve restaurant that's focused on the popular beverage.

The Cider House/Facebook The Cider House/Facebook

In addition to the ciders, The Cider House will be pouring local craft brews, wine, and kombucha. They'll even have mead, a wine-like fermented drink made from honey.

For eats, the new spot is promising a menu of healthy eats. Some teaser pics on The Cider House's Facebook page suggest there will be light bites and snackable items like fresh rolls, bowls, and chips and dips starring an array of vibrant, colourful fresh produce.

With finishing touches left to put on the space and final okays from civic powers that be, The Cider House says they are aiming to have this new "community oasis" open by Friday, June 26. Follow them on Instagram @vancitycider for the latest.


What are we reading? June 26, 2020

Each week, BIV staff will share with you some of the interesting stories we have found from around the web.

Alina Rosanova-Getty

Kirk LaPointe, publisher/editor-in-chief:

As if we don’t have enough to concern ourselves, this piece argues the U.S. banking system is about to collapse and there is little to avert it. Seems the banks went all-in on bets they couldn’t afford to lose. – The Atlantic


The author of an excellent new book on autocracy argues here that journalists are frightened of moral clarity. It’s a provocative piece in these important times for the craft. – The New Yorker


We can expect many take-downs of Donald Trump in the months ahead, but few will set the stage for the election campaign’s issues the way this does about the “unpresident.” – The New York Review of Books


Mark Falkenberg, deputy managing editor

In a blow to U.S. tech giants, which rely heavily on imported talent, the Trump administration suspended several kinds of employment visas this week. But Canadian success story Shopify Inc. sees a potential windfall.

“If this affects your plans consider coming to Canada instead,” Shopify CEO Tobias Lutke tweeted Tuesday. “If getting to the U.S. is your main objective you can still move on south after the H1-B rules change. But Canada is awesome. Give it a try.” – Bloomberg


B.C.’s official tally of old-growth forests paints a false picture, a team of scientists has found. Research for the province’s Old Growth Strategic Review suggests that while the estimate that 23% of B.C.’s forests are old growth is technically correct, that doesn’t tell the whole story.

“They are mixing in bog forests where the trees are no taller than me, and I am 5 feet tall, and they are mixing in high-elevation tiny trees,” said report co-author Rachel Holt. “They are old and valuable but they are not what you, or I, or anyone else thinks of when they think of old growth.” – Seattle Times


Timothy Renshaw, Managing Editor

An update on who is leading the horse race to find a COVID-19 vaccine – Seeking Alpha


For the sake of an economic recovery and a return to life as we used to know it, here's hoping there's an odds-on favourite in that horse race, because outlooks akin to this one from the International Monetary Fund are not getting any brighter


Meanwhile, Mother Nature might be looking to enlist robots as reliable soldiers in the fight to save what's left of the natural world and its growing list of endangered species. Lord knows, humans are proving to be subpar performers at best – Robotics Research


Tyler Orton, reporter

"Investors’ love affair with commercial property is being tested": Once a safe asset class for investors, commercial properties are approaching crisis mode — The Economist


“With Meng Wanzhou’s extradition, Canada must be laser-focused on the national interest”: Canada's former top spy breaks down the perils of a quid pro quo with China — Globe and Mail