Vancan Outta The Blue

Spirit Bear & Great Bear Rainforest Saved Thanks to the Power of Persistence


Twenty years ago, a 13-year-old BC boy began an inspiring journey that just so happens to have recently reached its pinnacle moment.

Simon Jackson rose to fame with a TV special that aired in 2005. I must have watched it four or five times. The subject of that special, his quest to save the Spirit Bear or as it’s known by its true name, the Kermode bear, is officially complete.


Simon Jackson

These gorgeous beasts can continue existing because of Simon’s work to save the Great Bear Rainforest of British Columbia. I believe the bear and that land owe Simon their existence. In a day and age where we’re all so consumed by what resources we have, it’s amazing that a young, now 33-year-old Simon could convince the powers that be to make the RIGHT decisions on a matter of this nature.

Back in high school, beginning in 2005 coincidentally, I was president of the Earth Club, which I also founded. Two years later before my graduation, I insisted that we donate some of our club money from recycling, $25o to be exact, to Simon’s organization, the Spirit Bear Youth Coalition. I’m proud to say now that I and the members we had in our club 10+ years ago helped make a difference in the long term.

What really made it come full circle and confirmed to me that donating to the SBYC was actually when I met Simon in 2007 the night I was given a City of Surrey Youth Recognition Award for Community Dedication. Simon was the MC for the awards ceremony and I was lucky enough to have a conversation with him before it all began. Even then, nearly a decade before he’d reach his ultimate goal, I knew I’d just met someone who was in fact going to go on to make a gigantic difference in all of our lives. Have no doubt, this does affect everyone because now the habitat of the Kermode won’t be destroyed, leaving it a desolate wasteland. It means it can forever be enjoyed by people who respect the Earth.

Needless to say, this achievement is solid proof that a young person can do great things if he or she puts his or her mind to it and is dedicated to the cause.

If you’re interested in a summation of the events that have occurred leading up to the recent accomplishment by Simon and what it all means, check out this post. SERIOUSLY, DO IT!!! 

Also make sure to give a looksie at his latest endeavours, CoalitionWILD and Ghost Bear Photography. Better yet, shoot him a follow on Twitter @dSimonJackson.

Thanks for reading. Until next time, peace.

(All photos courtesy Simon Jackson/Ghost Bear Photography)

POLL: Xmas Eve Dinner or Xmas Day Dinner
December 24, 2011, 11:59
Filed under: Archived: Miscellaneous

When is your main family gathering? Christmas Eve, Christmas Day or Both…or neither?

BC Place: A GRAND Re-Opening
October 1, 2011, 13:58
Filed under: Archived: Miscellaneous | Tags: , , , , , ,

By Josh Hall

The renovation and installation of a new retractable roof at BC Place has been, to say the least, controversial. To pretend that as a sports junkie, my opinion on the entire situation is not in the slightest biased, would be a lie to you reading this right now. As promised though, this is my recount of the evening’s activities, stadium wise, and why I believe every single person needs to experience the new BC Place.

It began with the walk up to the stadium. No, they didn’t spend $563 Million just for a new retractable roof. The pimped the hell out of BC Place. Just standing in line waiting for the doors to open, the exterior walls of the stadium are fresh. New signage, cleaned cement walkways, and hey, no revolving doors.

The line-ups outside were nuts, thousands upon thousands of people waiting to get in to see the magnificent job which had been done. Amid the crowds were the likes of Jim Pattison and Pat Quinn. It was a site to see. The atmosphere was palpable.

Finally, you walk in and the concourse has the same wideness to it but yet it’s different. The concessions are sleek and sophisticated. There are plenty of different food options to choose from. Sure, you can get your typical hot dog or burger, but why not get some curry or a beef on weck sandwich. They even have mini donuts, although in my estimation, they aren’t nearly as good as the ones from the PNE, not to mention they are two dollars more than at the PNE. If you are a beer lover, unlike me, expect to pay anywhere from $8.50-$11.50 for a brew. If you’re a Smirnoff fan, well you’re going to fork out $9. It’s what’s expected at a place like this. $3.50 for a bottle of water and $4.75 for a Hot Dog are some other key price marks.

The concourse and its passages from one to another are also the same as before, with the winding ramp like walk ways going up and down. But windows have been installed at nearly every level and now give you hundreds of amazing new views of our great city. Even the paintings on the wall let you know whose home this really is.

Then there are the washrooms. There are plenty of washrooms, that is for sure. If I am being completely honest, the washrooms were a bit of a letdown for me. They said going into the game and the re-opening of BC Place that you wouldn’t miss a second of the action, even if you weren’t in the actual bowl. Well that’s what the 1000+ TV’s in the concourse are for, but there unfortunately, was nothing in the washroom. I get it, it’s just the washroom but it just looked really plain. There weren’t even ads above the urinals. No colour whatsoever was to be found and I just thought, well, there could be a TV in here or even a TV above every 1-3 urinals. No I am not kidding.

But of course, it isn’t all about the concourse or the washrooms. It’s about the feeling you get during the game, the atmosphere and most definitely, that roof.

I was there one and a half hours before kick-off so I could soak it all in because as a sports enthusiast, having this kind of stadium, a state-of-the-art facility, in my own backyard, is special. I only wish it had been done before the Olympics. Regardless, the bowl is just amazing. Looking around and seeing 50K+ seats, albeit oddly coloured, is something you have to see to believe. Maybe it was just the occasion, the grand re-opening, but I keep going back to the atmosphere; it was electric before the players even hit the field for warm up. In regards to the seats, it was advertised that the new seats would be up to 5” wider than the old ones, but honestly, I still felt a bit cramped. Oh well, it isn’t really about the seats anyways.

I’ll just say this now: the staff, and that includes hosts, concession workers and security were all very kind and hospitable. At one point during the game, a group of three guys and two girls next to me were all drunk, and I had beer spilt all over my left side. Security was quick to act by removing some of them and my name and number was given to customer service after a security member had come up to inquire about information on what happened. I have yet to receive a call but I will keep you updated.

Finally, fifteen minutes until kick-off, and the announcement was made that I had been waiting for, for over an hour; they were going to open the roof. It is one 8 minute period you will never forget if you get the chance to see it. It was much like a curtain being drawn inwards towards the center and when it was finally all the way open, the night sky seemed to grab every fan out of their seats. The crown jewel was on display.

Speaking of sound, there were a few glitches. This is to be expected in any new stadium, but I would hope they had tested everything beforehand multiple times. Specifically speaking, the speakers seemed muffled at times and it was if they weren’t all on at the same time. Music would go in and out of being heard right above me and being heard from across the stadium. This is something that will no doubt be fixed.

The other feature that many should look forward to, given the opportunity to be in BC Place for an event, is the lighting. There are a couple different aspects to the lighting improvements. First off, as a Football fan, you can expect the field to be a heck of a lot brighter. The old BC Place had a sort of din to it, but now, it’s brighter than Einstein baby.

Secondly, are the lighting effects along the upper side windows. In a ring around the entire stadium are bubble like windows which change colour. The effects are spectacularly done for whenever the Lions score or during other high moments in the event you’re at.  I can only imagine what it looked like from outside. Again though were a couple very minor glitches. That being a few of the windows didn’t have any colour to them. They stood out among the rest like a sore thumb, but again, that could happen at any game or event and I am sure it will be resolved for upcoming games.

Again, the atmosphere is wild. A wave was started up during the 2nd quarter and I swear it could have gone the whole game if it were not for the occurrence of a major play happening, causing everyone to cheer and forget about the wave. I say it could have gone the whole game because the bowl is so large, there’s a good amount of time before you have to stand up to wave your arms again. As well, boy does it get loud?! Of course, that loudness is a tradition that has been built up over the years as a means to distract the Lions’ opponent when they are on offense.

If I could recommend one thing, it’s to bring a jacket or sweater, especially in the cold months. Once that roof opens up, the air is on you like white on rice.

Now listen here, I am not telling you any of this blindly. I know why people are angry about spending so much money on a new roof and renovations when that money could go to our homeless. Yes, I get that money could go to healthcare and education. Even though I know I’m not particularly a selfish person, maybe it’s the selfishness coming out when I say that Vancouver should feel privileged to have this kind of facility within its boundaries.

I grew up an athletic kid all the way through high school, so maybe I am jaded when it comes to having such sports facilities nearby. In my heart of hearts though, I feel like someway, there will be money available for healthcare, education and even the homeless, despite how much money it cost us for these renovations.

If you are one of those people who are semi-against it, or just don’t have your mind made up, GO TO AN EVENT THERE. If you have always been completely opposed to it, well, you are entitled to your opinion, and to you I say, not everyone can be happy. I think this is a case of you can’t judge a book by its cover. This stadium is in one word, impressive. It feels like it was just built yesterday. Take in an event there, soak it all in, and then tell me it wasn’t worth

Original Post on VSP

How I Hurt Myself at HNIC’s Play On

Yesterday was Day 1 of HNIC’s Play On Street Hockey tournament at Metrotown and I was taking part for the first time. Of course, you only make it to day 2 if you play well enough on Day 1.

Our team was called the W.A.S.P.’s and our first game was at 8:40am. Keep in mind this was the first time any of us had played an actual game together. We’d never practiced or anything.

The games are split into two 15 minute halves with a 5 minute break in between halves. It was the second half yesterday morning, when I was on a breakaway, deked to the left and my right knee just gave out on me. I missed the net too but besides that, I crumpled to the ground in pain.

I got up after a minute and walked it off, but didn’t play again in that game.

Our next game was scheduled for 1:20, so I got some ice between games and tried to make my knee feel better. It did feel a little better but leading up to the game, I was walking around a bit and it started to hurt a bit more. Well, I played anyways, which is a decision I’d like to say I don’t regret, but I kinda do. I ended up re-aggravating it badly and it was about 20x worse after the game than it was prior. What’s amazing I like to think is that I scored a goal as the ball squirted through the goalie’s pads and sat on the goal line. I made a quick jab at it and it went across the line. That cut the score to about 15-2.

It’s funny because we were in the division called Muckers. It’s essentially for beginner teams. There is no way in hell that any of the 3 teams we played that day (minus myself for the 3rd), should have been in our division. They were faster, and had much better control. It was clear they could’ve played in a higher division.

Anyways, the 2nd game ended, and I went to first aid, got some more ice then went and sat down with my friends. I told them I couldn’t go that evening for the 5:20 game. It sucked but my knee was effed right up. They understood and I asked one of them to walk with me home, which is like 5 minutes from Metrotown. About 1/4 of the way there, well..before we could get out of the Metrotown Parking lot, I was like, “I really think I should go to the hospital and get an x-ray so my pal helped me get over to the first aid again. I basically was Gandalfing it with my hockey stick. When we crossed the street, I even held my stick up to a car and said, “You shall not pass!”

So we get to the first aid, I’m in agony, and they give me some oxygen and call an ambulance. I ended up going in the ambulance, (which was my first time in one) and headed to Burnaby General. It was also my first time with laughing gas. It didn’t make me laugh and unfortunately, did not dull the pain. I was talking to the paramedic in the ambulance when he was asking me questions and I told him all I was trying to do was be like RYAN KESLER, playing on one leg and all. He laughed and reminded me that Kesler is making millions of dollars. We got to the hospital, I waited what felt like an hour in agonizing pain before a doctor saw me and gave me some morphine.

Rest of the long story short, I am now typing this to you from home…with torn cartilage and pulled muscles around my knee (I can’t remember exactly what he said). My leg is all wrapped up and I am on crutches for at least 4 days he said, at which point, I should re-evaluate my pain level. He prescribed me physio so this knee problem doesn’t linger and that should start within a couple weeks.

It sucks because I probably won’t be in a position to go downtown tomorrow for the Canucks game, but I’ll enjoy a cup win from my own living room just as much.

Game 6 is tomorrow, Go Canucks Go

May 7th VCOB Sports Update
May 7, 2011, 14:08
Filed under: Archived: Hockey, Archived: Miscellaneous

I recently gradded from Columbia Academy in Vancouver from their Broadcasting Performing Arts program. This video is an extra long sports update that I will be doing more of to practice until I can get a job in radio. It won’t be in sports right away necessarily, but Sportscasting is what I want to do long term.

PS: IDK why Youtube hates me, it has always done this, but ya, it cut off the very end of my video, maybe 5-6 seconds worth. Anyways, try to enjoy nonetheless.

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