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Top 8 Must-Visit Christmas Events in Vancouver 2019

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Let the festivities begin with Christmas markets, holiday performances,
and thousands of twinkling lights in Vancouver.

Tis the season for cold winter nights, hot cups of apple cider, and enjoying all things festive. The holidays are upon us, and one of the best things about this time of year in Vancouver is the amount of Christmas cheer in the city.

Whether you’ve been going to the German market for years or you’ve always wanted to take the gondola to skate on top of Grouse Mountain, Vancouver offers something for everyone—and every occasion.

Dress up for Goh Ballet’s The Nutcracker, bundle up for the Bright Nights Christmas Train, or see your favourite holiday movie interpreted by the VSO. Here are the top eight events happening in Vancouver this 2019 Christmas season. And they’re perfect for the whole family.

1. Goh Ballet’s The Nutcracker

Queen Elizabeth Theatre
December 20 – 22, 2019
http://www.gohnutcracker.com/

Spend a night at the ballet and experience Goh Ballet’s The Nutcracker with the accompaniment of the Vancouver Opera Orchestra bringing Tchaikovsky’s beautiful and memorable score to life. You’ll escape inside Clara’s journey through the Land of Sweets, see the Nutcracker battle the evil Mouse King, and marvel at the grace of the Sugar Plum Fairy.

2. Fly Like Santa

FlyOver Canada at Canada Place
November 21, 2019 – January 5, 2020
https://www.flyovercanada.com/events-promotions/

Get ready for an experience that truly takes your breath away. FlyOver Canada’s family-friendly flight simulation ride gets a Christmas upgrade over the holidays. You can smell the festive scents, see all the twinkle lights, and feel the wind on your face as you soar across Canada and the North Pole.

3. Aurora Winter Festival

PNE Hastings Park
November 22, 2019 – January 5, 2020
https://www.aurorawinterfestival.com/vancouver/

Step into the winter village of Aurora and see the holiday magic come to life. You could spend an entire day experiencing the skating rink, light displays, market, amusement rides, and a massive tube slide in the middle of it all. It’s touted as Canada’s largest winter festival, and it certainly lives up to its name.

4. Vancouver Christmas Market

Jack Poole Plaza
November 20 – December 24, 2019
https://www.vancouverchristmasmarket.com/

Entering its tenth year, the Vancouver Christmas Market is a holiday staple in this city. With over 80 huts of local vendors, you can fill your belly with German treats, walk through the towering Christmas tree with 36,000 lights, and hop on the carousel—just make sure you don’t spill your cider (or mulled wine).

5. Bright Nights Christmas Train

Stanley Park
November 28, 2019 – January 1, 2020
https://vancouver.ca/parks-recreation-culture/bright-nights-train.aspx

If you want to see what three million dazzling lights looks like, head to Bright Nights at Stanley Park this season with the whole family. Grab a hot chocolate, ride the Christmas train, and experience the plaza full of breath-taking light displays. You’ll be singing carols all night long.

6. Robson Square Ice Rink

800 Robson Street
November 30, 2019 – February 28, 2020

Enjoy a quintessential holiday date night and skate hand-in-hand in the middle of Robson Square. Bring your own skates or rent a pair and skate for free in the heart of downtown Vancouver. This isn’t your average skating rink—there’s something extra magical about this holiday tradition.

7. Home Alone at the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra

The Orpheum
December 18 & 20, 2019
https://www.vancouversymphony.ca/event/home-alone-2019/

Merry Christmas ya filthy animal! Experience the classic holiday movie Home Alone in a completely new way—accompanied by the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. Settle into your seat and hear the movie score played live while you watch Kevin McCallister protect his home.

8. Peak of Christmas

Grouse Mountain
November 22, 2019 – January 5, 2020
https://www.grousemountain.com/peak-of-christmas

Take the gondola up, up, up to the peak of Grouse Mountain and experience Christmas underneath the stars. Skate along the 8,000 square foot pond, marvel at the light installations, and enjoy a holiday movie at the Theatre in the Sky.

Surrey604 is an online magazine and media outlet based in Surrey, BC. Through writing, video, photography, and social media, we secure an intimate reach to the public. We promote local events and causes.

Arts and Entertainment

eGaming Canada – Your guide to becoming a better player

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With the continuing rise of technology, eGaming is growing in popularity. No longer confined to teenagers hooked on the latest video game, eGaming is now big business; in fact, it’s been estimated that the eSports industry alone is worth as much as US$1.5 billion! So it’s unsurprising that Canadian players are looking to get in on the action, for both eSports and slots. We can help you figure out where to begin, for example at a no deposit bonus casino, where you can try your luck without risking your money.

  • No deposit bonus casino offers you a free bonus to win
  • Read online reviews before choosing your casino and slots
  • Play responsibly
  • It is always important to read the various game rules before playing

The concept of free spins

At most casinos, the largest selection of games is that of slot machines. Usually, when you play a slot, you pay every time you spin the reels. Free spins are exactly what they sound like: an opportunity for you to spin for free. This feature allows you to spin without using your own money. Free spins come as bonus features in particular slots, or some casinos may give you free spins as a promotional bonus, which we’ll discuss below. You’ll find a list of all slots with this feature on Freespinx.

Those who prefer social and competitive gaming may wish to take a look at Canadian eGaming operator Canada eSports League. Targeted toward Canada’s seven-million strong amateur gaming community, the League is Ontario-based and trains amateur gamers, later connecting them to professional gamers. And that’s not all – this exciting portal also helps various organizations to extend their marketing activities to all those people interested in eGaming. By developing amateurs into pros, the Ontario eSports League is considered by many as a thought leader.

Some more information about no deposit spins bonuses

Like many other marketing organizations, casinos use sales and marketing tactics to attract and retain players. Players, on the other hand, see these tactics as ladders to winning big in their games. One such tactic is the no deposit free spins bonus. Most casinos offer anywhere between 50 and 300 free spins to new players. Some even offer more. It’s up to you whether you take or reject this offer. If after taking up a no deposit spin bonus you think it is not working out, you can even opt-out.

Some casinos offer free spins right at the start, i.e. at the time of your registration. A few other casinos watch your gambling activity, and, after a certain number of wagering requirements have been met, offer you this feature. Please note that in most cases, free spins come with certain conditions that you may have to fulfill. For example, your casino might require you to wager 10x or 50x your winnings to get this feature. Some free spins bonuses are tied to only specific games and not all.

Summary

Becoming a successful gamer is mostly down to luck, but as mentioned, there are things to help you on your way. You can earn really big by hunting for attractive features like the no deposit bonus or free spins. This way, you don’t erode your bankroll at all. The second way by which you can benefit is by enrolling in amateur esports platforms like the one we discussed above. This is a different type of gaming, but these platforms help amateurs hone their skills and become professionals later on.

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Things to Do in Surrey on a Rainy Day

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Things to Do in Surrey on a Rainy Day

In Surrey, British Columbia, it is not uncommon for the city to see as many as 175 days of rainfall each and every year. That means there are plenty of days when you may need to find something to do inside. When you can’t visit the area’s parks or spend time at a sporting event, there are some outstanding experiences still to be had throughout Surrey.

Plan a Day at Home Having Fun

One of the best ways to spend time on a rainy day is to stay home and enjoy some downtime with a group of friends. Skip the chores and instead find a few fun things to do together. This could be pulling out a board game to play, for example, or getting seven or eight people together for a card game, for example, there are some Poker variations which are ideal to practice at home, with picturesque names like Anaconda o Death Wheel. Put on some good music and chat as everyone has some fun together. You can enjoy a simple meal, stream a movie in the background, and enjoy a few good drinks along the way. You don’t always have to leave home to have a good time if you have the right people around.

Check Out the Area’s Museums

If you’re looking for a cultural experience and a bit of education along the way, tour one of the best museums in Surrey. The Fraser Valley Heritage Railway Museum is an excellent experience into the history of trains in the region. The Surrey Art Gallery can be the perfect place to explore various displays including stunning modern art from locals. The shows here change often, making it worth a second or third trip. For those that love cars, the BC Vintage Truck Museum is a fun trip. This collection of antique cars and trucks is informative.

Tour the Urban Safari Rescue Society

An indoor facility, the Urban Safari Rescue Society is a unique gem in the heart of Surrey. This rescue facility takes in exotic animals surrendered by owners. They care for and display these species while also working to educate the public on why they shouldn’t be pets. There are 160 exotic animals here. You can learn about the animals and, in some cases, get up close to touch them.

Sip Some Wine at the Vineyard

While it’s true the grapevines and the vineyard itself is outdoors, it’s still possible to visit Vinoscenti Vineyards on a cool and wet day for an excellent experience. This location is perfect for those who want to learn about making wine as well as sample a few unique flavors. The wine collection here is impressive, too. Tours are available throughout the year for couples and groups.

Take in a Show or Something Special

With a wide range of shows and performances happening throughout the year in Surrey, it’s rather easy to find something that is perfect for your tastes. If you love comedy, visit The Giggle Dam Dinner Theatre. You’ll enjoy some fantastic food and laugh the night away. For those looking for more of a professional performance, the ACT Arts Centre often has a performance or two available. They offer beautiful dancing and theater productions throughout the year. For modern shows and musical performances, head over to the Anvil Centre.

Get Some Friends Together for Simple Fun

Why not head out on the town to do some bowling? Clover Lanes is one of the largest Surrey-area bowling alleys in the area. You can also check out one of the breweries in the area, spend some time at the movies, and enjoy some shopping at the Central City Shopping Centre or The Shops at Morgan Crossing.

No matter what your plans are, there is something fun and exciting to do in and around Surrey even when the weather isn’t that grew. If you’re looking for a way to spend a few hours, you can always just invite a few people to your home to relax and have some fun together. It’s easy to stay busy even on a dreary day here.

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Surrey Steps Up celebrates positive youth-driven initiatives in Surrey

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Surrey, BC – Hundreds of youth filled City Hall on Friday evening to showcase and celebrate the positive contributions that young people are making in Surrey. Initially created as a follow-up event to an anti-bullying contest in 2014, Surrey Steps Up has gained continued popularity, with this year’s event highlighting over 25 community projects.

“Every day I see the positive impact that youth are having on our community, and it goes without saying that the growing success of Surrey Steps Up boils down to the tremendous efforts of the youth themselves,” said Mayor Doug McCallum. “It is always inspiring to hear from the next generation of leaders and celebrate the positive contributions they are making in their schools and community. Surrey has endless opportunities for youth, and this event is a great way of encouraging more young people to see what is possible when you step up and play a positive role within the community.”

Surrey Steps Up is driven by Surrey’s Youth Planning Team, with the support of the City of Surrey, Surrey RCMP and the Surrey School District. Highlights at this year’s event included over 25 youth-driven community projects, celebrating everything from good deeds to creative art and performances. The event also included a dance jam, Tik Tok dance challenge, interactive activities, a sensory-friendly zone and prizes.

For more information, visit www.surrey.ca/stepsup

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Museum of Surrey’s latest exhibition explores how we’re all connected to the Arctic

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Surrey, BC – A scientific and cultural journey to the Arctic is the theme of a new travelling exhibition opening Thursday, March 5 at the Museum of Surrey.

Arctic Voices uses interactive experiences, photos, videos and real specimens to convey that the Arctic is more than just snow, it is home to people and a surprising diversity of wildlife. Find out what affects the Arctic and in turn, how the Arctic has an impact on the whole planet.

Pounce, hop, push and crawl your way through animal life in the majestic North. Travel with scientists as they catch and tag Arctic whales, and then go on a “garden tour” to see how plants have adapted to survive and thrive in this beautiful environment. Listen to stories from the people who inhabit this region, as they share their knowledge about the land and their unique culture. You can even try Inuit throat singing.

“The Arctic is a place of rapid change, and despite its seemingly remote location, it is connected to all of us,” said Lynn Saffery, museum manager. “We are pleased to unveil this travelling exhibition in our feature gallery and take our visitors on a journey to the majestic North, all without leaving Surrey.”

A co-production of the Canadian Museum of Nature and Science North, Artic Voices runs March 5 to June 28. The City of Surrey invites members of the public to an exhibit spotlight on Saturday, March 14 from 1 to 4 p.m. The free family friendly event will include sustainable crafts, plant-based gelato from Umaluma and an appearance by Elsa and Anna (between 1:30 and 3:30 p.m.)

The Museum of Surrey is located at 17710 56A Avenue. For more information, call 604-592-6956 or visit surrey.ca/museum.

About the Museum of Surrey

Museum of Surrey is a people museum that showcases Surrey’s communities and cultures using dynamic storytelling in changing exhibits and programs that are hands-on, participatory, family friendly and fun. The Feature Gallery, TD Explore Zone, Indigenous Hall and program areas are places where visitors can learn about Surrey, share and contribute their stories, connect with each other and be engaged.

About Science North

Science North is Northern Ontario’s most popular tourist attraction and an educational resource for children and adults across the province. In 1996, Science North created a specialized unit to sell the award-winning exhibitions and multimedia theatres created by Science North’s highly skilled staff scientists and in-house production teams. Science North is an agency of the Government of Ontario. For more information, please visit sciencenorth.ca.

About the Canadian Museum of Nature

The Canadian Museum of Nature is Canada’s national museum of natural history dedicated to helping shape the attitudes of Canadians toward their natural environment through research, discovery and education. A founding member of the Alliance of Natural History Museums of Canada, the museum is working with partners in Canada and internationally to expand its national service and to develop programs about the natural environment. For more information, visit nature.ca.

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Surrey Art Gallery celebrates 10 years of digital and interactive art with new book about Urban Screen

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Surrey, BC – Celebrating the 10th anniversary of Surrey Art Gallery’s UrbanScreen, the Gallery launched its latest publication, Art After Dark: 10 Years of UrbanScreen, on January 25 at the opening reception for its winter exhibitions.

Hot off the presses, this book presents a survey of what has become one of Canada’s leading venues for the outdoor display of projected new media art. It features images and essays by scholars, artists, critics, curators, and poets on every exhibition presented at the UrbanScreen over the past decade.

“Since its origin, Surrey Art Gallery has been committed to presenting contemporary art in its various forms,” said Mayor Doug McCallum. “In response to the challenge of presenting digital media, the Gallery established the UrbanScreen in 2010. Since its inception, UrbanScreen has become a venue where artists can introduce and connect audiences to digital art. I want to commend Surrey Art Gallery for its innovative and visionary work on this emerging field of contemporary art.”

In 1998 the Gallery established the TechLab to support the production and presentation of digital media, at a time when data projectors were too expensive for most artists to acquire, and personal computers were rare in most studios. In 2009 a new challenge to the Gallery was posed by a team of artists in residence in the TechLab.

During an artists’ residency at the Gallery’s TechLab, as part of their work creating a massive database of digital photographs, Sylvia Grace Borda, M. Simon Levin, Dennis Rosenfeld, and Jer Thorp speculated that their photographic artwork should no longer have to conform to the conventional rectangle of paper or a screen. As they built relational structures to organize and present the metatag-connected database, they instead imagined, with the increasing power of data projectors, a largescale, architectonic, and interactive experience of their artwork.

The Gallery responded to the challenge of these artists, and in 2010, in collaboration with the City’s Public Art Program, established the UrbanScreen as a permanent venue to support artists and artwork that engages and connects audiences to interactive digital art. This venue, which premiered as part of the Vancouver 2010 Cultural Olympiad, continues to serve as the public art investment for the Chuck Bailey Recreation Centre and host exhibitions curated by the Gallery.

Since its early years, the Gallery has maintained a practice of listening and collaborating with artists to anticipate and inform the development of its venues and future programming investment. Artists have been consistently consulted about UrbanScreen—from the original concept of its form and functionality through to its equipment rebuild and enhancements in 2015—and continue to advise on its ongoing operations. Artists specializing in new media technology form the majority of those serving on the UrbanScreen Advisory Committee. Because of this collaboration between institutions and artists, each project presented at the venue has left a legacy, building its technological capacity. Each artwork has stood on the shoulders of the artists and artworks that went before, as new code is shared, new equipment is added, and the user manual is updated with lessons learned.

UrbanScreen continues to call to the imagination and creativity of artists with its ongoing commissioning program for new projects. Each year artists experiment and test their ideas at the venue, and annually new artworks are premiered, often employing newly developed technology, and presenting projects made possible only because of the capacity of the venue and its context.

Art After Dark: 10 Years of UrbanScreen brings together writing by artists, scholars, critics, and curators to share the artworks and voices of the incredibly innovative artists and production teams, as well as the mentors and young emerging artists, who have contributed to UrbanScreen over the past decade. Funded by grants received by Surrey Art Gallery, this publication is expected to be of international interest to the global digital art community.

As with all the Gallery’s publications, Art After Dark: 10 Years of UrbanScreen is available for free download on the City’s website: https://www.surrey.ca/culture-recreation/30364.aspx.

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