Mattress Vancouver

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Vancouver Language School

Attention Foreign Students Studying in Vancouver.

Before you move into a furnished home there are three things you should consider about the mattress you will be sleeping on for the next three to twelve months:

1. Its Condition – What is the age of the mattress? Are the springs in good condition? Does the mattress have a disturbing odour? When you remove the sheets, are there stains covering the surface?

2. Mattress Size – When you lie down on the bed, are your feet sticking out over the end? Is there enough room to stretch out? Is the bed an appropriate size for the room it’s in?

3. Bed Bugs – Is the mattress currently in a building that is on record with the Vancouver Bed Bug Registry? Did the mattress come from another location that may have had a bed bug issue? Is their evidence of bed bugs along the seams of the mattress?

If any of these questions cause you concern, discuss them with your landlord, home-stay parent or placement supervisor. If you need to buy a new bed, a Simmons Mattress Gallery professional can help recommend the perfect mattress for your Canadian lodging.

Your time abroad should be spent in comfortable setting. Consider a new mattress.

Vancouver Language School

Complimenting Capitalism

As a consumer in a capitalistic society, you have choices for what you buy and where you buy it. There is no one warehouse for shampoo or light fixtures and fortunately we all don’t have to buy the same ugly trainers. We are free to spend our money on any product we deem economically superior.

The consumer’s responsibility is product comparison. Finding the lowest price and best terms is a demanding second job. Fortunately, some companies are making it easier for the consumer. Their prices and the quality of their products places their item or service on a level far above their competition.

Simmons Mattress Gallery is one of these companies.

SMG is currently offering up to 60% off on beds in their warehouse. That is a massive markdown that can’t be beat.

They are also offering free delivery. Customers don’t have to lift a hair.

SMG will also remove and recycle your old mattress, an environmental benefit that will help you sleep even more soundly at night.

Save money, buy a quality product and have it delivered. Simmons Mattress Gallery has it all covered.

Vancouver Pest Control

The recent discovery of bed bugs in a Vancouver library book has embarrassed the city’s lending service and reopened the inquiry into how prolific the bed bug problem is in our city.

The bugs were found in a book borrowed from the Mount Pleasant Library.

Since the incident, the library has done a thorough search of their stacks. Their work has turned up no evidence of further infestation. It may have only been the one book, stored near an infected mattress or couch that acted as a temporary home for the critters – unlucky for the library.

The fact that the bugs were found in an item other than furniture or clothing illustrates how prolific the problem is in our city. Bed bugs are everywhere, but those infected are keeping their mouths zipped.

Unlike a public library, homeowners can silently try to deal with bed bug issues without the prying eye of the public. Victims call a pest control service, they move to a hotel for a few days or go on a ‘vacation’, they buy all new mattresses and when they get back, the Taylors will ‘still’ be sending little Jenny over for play dates. A convenient solution with little-to-no public humiliation.

Until there is a strategy to wipeout the bugs for good, private pest control will be the public’s best option.

Bug Problems

“Let’s Get Crafty”

Christmas crafts sales are a one-stop shopping centre for all those people on your list that need something simple but festive. From ornaments, to wreathes, to salt and sweet treats, you’ll find everything under the broad blanket of Christmas crafts.

This weekend hosts a number of Christmas craft fairs around the city. Simmons Mattress Gallery suggests the following sales:

Friday, November 25th

-9th Annual Chilliwack Christmas Craft Crawl

Various times and locations in Chilliwack

-North Delta Potter’s Guild Christmas Pottery Sale

Artspace Studio (11425 84th Avenue)

-Richmond Potter’s Club Christmas Sale

Richmond Cultural Centre (7700 Minoru Place)

Saturday, November 26th

-Dunbar Community Centre’s Annual Craft Fair

10am – 5pm (4747 Dunbar Street)

-Renfrew Community Centre’s Craft Fair

10am – 3pm (Eastt 22nd and Renfrew)

-Strathcona Community Centre’s Winter Craft Fair

601 Keefer Street, Vancouver

-Urban Artists’ Craft Fair

10am – 5pm Roundhouse Community Centre

-Woodside Gallery Christmas Arts and Craft Show

10am – 5pm (2226 Lougheed Highway)

Homemade Christmas Gifts

Wish Upon A Star

Since 1998, St. Paul’s Hospital in downtown Vancouver has been creating a public light display to raise funds for various projects and causes connected with the hospital.

This year, the ‘Lights of Hope’ display intends to raise $1.9 million in corporate and private donations. The St. Paul’s Hospital Foundation has already raised a total of $16 million since the conception of the light show.

The set-up for the lights began on November 5th, when a 100 volunteers helped erect the carefully planned display. It is estimated that the lights would span 10 kms, if attached as a single line. That would be quite the sight.

If you would like to donate, visit the charity’s website: http://www.helpstpauls.com The site suggest many creative ways to give, from security stock, to a mention in the will, to a monthly donation. Whatever you can afford to give, they’ll use.

The projects that the hospital wishes to fund are: the purchase of a new CT scanner, two 3D-capable echocardiography machines, bronchoscopy equipment, for the detection of lung disease and the completion of the Diagnostic Treatment Unit.

The official opening of this year’s Lights of Hope display will be on Thursday, November 24th.

Light Up the Stars Tonight

West End Realtor

It helps to have connected friends, especially friends who speak your language. Anthea Poon, Vancouver’s Top Multi-Lingual Realtor, is a valued friend of Simmons Mattress Gallery. We recommend her work for any potential buyer or seller actively looking for a Vancouver realtor – especially if they speak Mandarin or Cantonese.

Anthea’s main focus of work is Vancouver’s West End, but she also services the Greater Vancouver area. She has built her own West End database for potential buyers. This is a invaluable resource for potential condo owners.

You may recognize her face from her prominent bus advertisements that have been circling the city. With a B.A. in marketing, Anthea knows how to get your listing in front of the eyes of potential buyers.

Selling or buying a home can be the most important decision you make. Let Anthea aid the process.

To enlist the service of her real estate team, call or email her company. She will gladly reply in English, Mandarin, Cantonese or French. That’s the benefit of talented friends.

Blues To Be There

The historic Yale Hotel and Blues Bar is closing its doors after 130 years of operation. One of Vancouver’s finest small-act musical venues, The Yale will close for twelve months to undergo a much needed renovation plan. November 21st will be the final show day.

Opened in the 1880s, The Yale was one of only a handful of buildings to survive the 1886 fire. It became a musical frontier in the early 1900s and has been supporting emerging and established blues, jazz, R&B and soul acts ever since.

The renovations will help The Yale take on Vancouver Heritage status. The renos will also improve the facilities in the club. Planned improvements include an upgraded sound system, a hardwood dance floor and a raised roof above the stage area.

The final five nights will feature 5 genres of top-end local and imported talent.

Wednesday, November 16th

-The Best of Boogie Woogie

Featuring Kenny “Blues Boss” Wayne

Thursday, November 17th

-The Best of Country and Classic Rock

Featuring Chilliwack

Friday, November 18th

-The Best of Electric Blues Guitar

Featuring David Gogo

Saturday, November 19th

-The Best of Rockin’ Soul Blues

Featuring the All-Star Blues Revue

Sunday, November 20th (Afternoon)

-Big Band Blues

Featuring Dal Richards

Sunday, November 20th (Evening)

-The Best of R&B, Soul and Blues

Featuring Brickhouse and special guests

The Yale: Vancouver's Only Rhythm and Blues Bar

Random Fact: From 1889 to 1911 the Yale was renamed The Colonial,

before returning to its original handle.

Public Warning

Warning: A deadly virus is finding its way into homes across Vancouver. Families are being warned to educate their loved ones before the viral outbreak reaches epidemic levels.

The symptoms are tired springs, midnight sag and motion distrubance. These three manifestations have caused many citizens to lose a full night’s rest. Sufferers may appear bag-eyed, lethargic and irritable. Any person displaying these signs should not be approached.

The outbreak is thought to be contagious, with many homes having two or more affected beds.

Luckily, Simmons Mattress Gallery has found a cure.

The Beautyrest mattress line can rejuvenate the energy depleted by the infected beds. With the purchase of a Beautyrest mattress, sufferers can return to their regular sleeping schedules overnight.  Patented non-flip pocket coils will support the weight of the inflicted patient, offering a comfortable layer of cushion. The coils’ individual nature limits motion transfer between sleeping partners. Beautyrest’s quality design will prevent sagging over time, keeping the virus at pay.

Prescriptions can be filled at the Simmons Mattress Gallery on Broadway in Vancouver and on Schoolhouse Road in Coquitlam.

The Virus Is Not Yet Airborne. No Need For Radiation Suits.

Old beds should be discarded immediatley. Simmons Mattress Gallery suggests using one of Vancouver’s four mattress-recycling companies. 

“Heart of the City”

Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside is an area of the city that many of us choose to avoid. The poverty level scares us, the open drug market makes us nervous and the prostitution reminds us of the dangerous hold of addiction. So we divert our travel routes, choose alternative venues and leave the issues for the community to deal with on their own. It’s a coping mechanism that most of us subscribe to.

One thing we can’t forget, even if we choose to turn our backs, is that the DES is full of people. People who have a past, present and future. People who value the community they live in. People who are artistic, creative and passionate.

As a part of Vancouver’s 125th Anniversary Celebration, the DES community will be celebrating the ‘Heart of the City Festival.’ The festival will showcase the talents of many of the area’s current citizens, as well as document some of the rich stories from the neighbourhood’s past.

Events are running all week. For more details check the festival website:

http://www.heartofthecityfestival.com/

Dunbar Haunted House

Looking for a family scare this weekend? Check out the Dunbar Haunted House, which ironically, is no longer located in Dunbar.

The annual scare factory has moved locations, due to the increased volume of visitors that the house has received over the past seven years. The new location is 8934 Shaughnessy St., near the Marine and Cambie Canada Line station.

The house has now become a community project, taking almost four months to create.

With props, live actors, dramatic settings and an animated soundtrack, the walking tour is a theatrical buffet of scaredom.

This year’s theme is “Barbaric British Columbia.” The word from the crypt is the house will showcase a number of iconic images from BC history and culture – possible frights include the undead crew of the S.S. Beaver, the resurrection of Bill Vander Zalm’s Fantasy Garden and the impenetrable Tim Thomas.

The haunted house opened for business on Oct 14th and will close its doors at midnight on Halloween.

Entry costs $10 for adults and $5 for children under 12. All proceeds are distributed between the B.C. Fire Fighter’s Burn Fund, the Christmas Bureau and the Vancouver Police Union Charity Foundation.

For younger visitors, the house offers a reduced rate, performerless walk through on Saturdays and Sundays, between 11am and 7pm. At 7pm, the actors take their place to offer the true, spine-tingling spectacle.

We’ll see you there… if you dare.

Spooky Family Fun

Mattress Break-Up (Curbside)

Do the people who abandon mattresses on the streets think they are helping the homeless? Do they believe there is a magic mattress collector that trolls the alleys at night looking for soggy discarded beds? One would wonder…

With the recent ban on mattresses at city transfer stations, beds are being illegally abandoned all over the city.

Last year 1,500 mattresses were discarded illegally on city streets. This year, with the $20 surcharge in effect, frugal, lazy citizens have dumped over 5,000 mattresses.

The city has used taxpayer money to send out special vehicles to collect the unwanted beds. It has been a massive resource drain on the collection department’s budget. All this because people did not want to properly deal with their waste.

It’s a shame.

The good news is that more beds then ever are being properly recycled. Thanks to the new ban, over 47,000 mattresses were given to Lower Mainland recycling agencies in the first half of this year.

If you are looking to properly dispose of your old mattress and do not want to pay the $20 fee, consider one of the three mattress recycling companies operating in and around Vancouver.

Here is a list of the companies and their minimum charge:

Canadian Mattress Recycling - If dropped off, CMR will charge $12 per item. This is the cheapest option. They also have pick-up options starting at $72.00.

Mattressrecycling.ca - This company charges $12.50 per dropped off item. With a professional website and David Suzuki’s endorsement, this company appears to be the most respectable operation in the Vancouver area. We have also featured this company in an earlier post on mattress recycling.

Recyc-Mattress - This is the most expensive option. Recyc-Mattress charges $15 per item.

A mattress dumped in a landfill takes decades to decompose. Do your part and recycle your bed properly.

Mattress Abandonment

Word Exchange

Language is a toolbox from which we borrow implements to cut, shape and model our thoughts. From Facebook posts, to journal entries, to private poems, our soul is portrayed through the words we connect together.

This month, writers and readers from around the province will have a chance to celebrate the expressive power of writing. The 24th Vancouver International Writers and Readers Festival will be held on Granville Island from Tuesday, October 18th to Sunday, October 23rd. It begins with an interactive session with the children’s author, Paulette Bourgeois. Bourgeois is the creator of the ‘Franklin’ series that adults and their children have enjoyed since 1986. The discussion is aimed at young readers. Primary teachers and encouraged to bring their classes down for this midmorning discussion.

The final event of the festival is the Governor General’s Award Party, where four previous recipients of Canada’s highest literary achievement will discuss the award and it’s social merit.  The four writers, Nino Ricci, John Pass, Joan MacLeod and John Vaillant, will each read a short passage from their decorated work.

In between these bookends, will be a number of author seminars, publishing and writing workshops, poetry slams and literary debates.

The Vancouver festival will also host a short story and poetry contest for emerging writers. Deadline for submissions is October 23rd.

For more details on the contest and the festival events, visit http://www.writersfest.bc.ca.

Share Your Words

But words are things, and a small drop of ink, falling like dew upon a thought, produces that which makes thousands, perhaps millions, think. -Lord Byron

Cook With Class

Tired of taco night and boring pasta dishes? Want to rekindle your culinary passions? Looking for things to do around Vancouver that don’t involve a mattress?

The Arts Club Theatre Company is hosting celebrity cooking classes for Vancouverites to learn and indulge in the fine art of food preparation. Head chefs, from a variety of restaurants around the Lower Mainland, are teaching the classes. The lessons include a full meal, wine tasting and a hands-on learning experience.

Hosted at private homes, the lessons are an opportunity to learn cooking techniques in a casual environment, where the product can be enjoyed in the setting it was intended for.

The experience is also a fundraising opportunity for the Arts Club Theatre program.

Tickets are $125 per person. There are five planned events being offered before the New Year. Each class is unique and specific to the chef who is hosting.

Your PVR recordings of Hell’s Kitchen can only take you so far. Learn how to cook extravagant meals without Gordon Ramsey telling you where to stick it.

For more information, visit the Arts Club Theatre website.

Culinary Theatre

Meadow Maze

Summer is winding to a close and fall is starting to show on the leaves. This is great news for corn lovers in B.C. as the fields are filled with this year’s crop. It’s also the time of year when farmers with an entrepreneurial artistic side, can turn their land from simple fields of corn into complex harvest labyrinths.

One of the largest mazes in the Pacific Northwest is located in Pitt Meadows. Appropriately titled the ‘Meadow Maze,’ this year’s design boasts 6.3 kms of pathways. The theme is the Vancouver Zoo. Previous themes include: the PNE, the Golden Ears Bridge and ‘eat local.’

The corn maze design begins on a computer, where a designer creates an image and then maps out the pathways. The maze is then cut when the corn is a foot high using a tractor with GPS compatibility. Before the cut, there are nearly 1 million plants in the field.

Visitors to the maze are encouraged to bring water and a hat. The Pitt Meadows location occasionally closes when the temperature is too high. The average walker takes about 1 1/2 hours to complete the maze. The fastest time for this years design is 35 minutes.

The Meadow Maze also boasts a full concession and market area, plus a petting zoo and hay rides.

Pitt Meadows Maze

*From Experience: Do not watch “Children of the Corn” before a trip to the Pitt Meadows maze.

Nanaimo Second Morgage

Nanaimo is quickly becoming the Mecca of education on Vancouver Island. With Malaspina’s transformation from a community college to Vancouver Island University, students from across the country are making the Harbour City their home.

The University has nursing programs, trade opportunities and one of the most respected Ed programs in the province.

But unfortunately, unlike many European countries, education comes at a price. This month scores of students will be looking for ways to pay their tuition, textbook and living expenses.

If you have a child who will be attending VIU or if you are planning to return to school, you may need to look beyond the usual student loan option. A Nanaimo second mortgage can aid you in your quest to come up with the funds.

A Nanaimo mortgage financing package is a viable option for paying for education costs. All that is needed for the loan is home equity.

If you own your home outright or have a current mortgage package, a Nanaimo mortgage credit loan can be yours with a quick five-minute application.

Visit our website for more details on your Nanaimo second mortgage.

‘Big Ride’

Amateur and pro cycling enthusiasts around the Lower Mainland have been training, tuning and timing for months in preparation for this weekend’s Gran Fondo ride from Vancouver to Whistler. The ride is 120 km, along one of the most beautiful highways on the planet. Take part or encourage a friend or family member as they climb towards Whistler Village.

This is the second year of the mass cycling event in Canada, a phenomenon that was born in Europe and given the Italian name of Gran Fondo – roughly translated as ‘Big Ride.’ The event is not a race, but awards are given to the top finishers. It features riders from a variety of skill levels and backgrounds. This year’s amateur category is sold out, but the pro category still has room for last minute entries.

The race will start at Thurlow and West Georgia at 7:00 am, with amateur riders staggered back to Seymour Street. The race will finish in Whistler Village, with the finish line closing at 4:00 pm. There will also be a celebration event afterwards, featuring the music of 54-40.

Canadian Gran Fondo

Summer’s Finale: The Pacific National Exhibition

The Pacific National Exhibition is back to close out summer with a bang. The fun started Saturday and continues until Monday, September 5th.

Poke around the agricultural exhibits, take in the hilarious and amazing antics of the Superdogs and watch the night sky light up with Pop City’s nightly pyro celebration. With tons of activities for families during the day, including family theatre, the nights belong to the musicians. The Summer Night Concerts series will host a different performer every night until the final show on Labour Day. This year’s big draw is Kenny Rogers on Monday, August 29th, the Annual Evening with Elvis on the 31st, hosted by the immortal Red Robinson and the “Pretty Woman” soundtrack makers, Wilson Phillips, on September 1st.

General admission is $20, but all children under 13 are free. VanCity (the bank) is also offering $5 admission for there customers on Wednesday, August 24th. Another way to save on admission costs is to come on August 27th. If you are the holder of a Whitecaps ticket, you will receive free entry into the fairgrounds.

For more information on the Pacific National Exhibition, visit their website or check out their smart phone daily schedule.

SUPERDOGS!

Take-Off Fridays

You wouldn’t think the airport would be a weekend destination spot, but YVR has other plans. This summer, experience ‘Take-Off Fridays’ at the Vancouver International Airport for games, family events a live DJ and multicultural mingling.

The final Friday event is August 27th. The fun starts around eight in the morning and wraps up around four at night. The festivities are spread out over both the domestic and international terminals.

Activities include face painting, dancing, food specials and the ‘money machine.’ The latter offers each contestant a chance to grab as many YVR bucks as they can. The catch: you need to grab them while standing in a closed wind cylinder. Each ‘buck’ you grab can be used towards purchasing items at stores around the airport.

The backdrop to this event are the finely carved and crafted First Nation artifacts that routinely offer travelers a glimpse at the beautiful history of the first West Coast peoples.

Come and enjoy the richness of YVR with the whole family. Your kids will love it and you will be reminded of how lucky we are to have such an amazing airport to welcome and bid farewell to travelers from all over the world.

Great House of Stone

Zimbabwe is a country with deep political problems. It’s economy has been suffering for more than a decade and personal freedoms have been being steadily reduced as its president for the last twenty years, Robert Mugabe, struggles to retain control. It is far from a safe region to visit.

This is a tragedy for art lovers around the world, as Zimbabwe is home to Africa’s finest stone sculptors. The word Zimbabwe actually means, ‘Great House of Stone’ in the Shona language.

Fortunately, many of the stone pieces being produced in the country are now part of a traveling exhibition that will be visiting Vancouver for the next month. The works are being shown at the VanDusen gardens. It is the only Canadian stop on the world tour.

The pieces are strategically displayed around the gardens amongst the beautiful flora that Vancouverites have come to love.

Two of the artists behind the works, Passmore Mupindiko and Patrick Sephani, are giving daily lessons on stone art. The two artists are currently traveling with the stones and the exhibitions two curators, Vivienne and Joseph Croissette.

There is no extra cost to see the sculptures or to attend the daily stone workshops.

Zimsculpt

Summer Colour with a Surrealist Flare

The Vancouver Art Gallery is currently hosting “The Colour of My Dreams: The Surrealist Revolution in Art.” The exhibition began in May and will run until September 25th. Simmons Mattress Gallery encourages you to inspire your own dreams by witnessing the amazing works on display at the VAG.

Surrealism was a reaction to Sigmund Freud’s investigation into the meaning of dreams. André Breton wrote the manifesto of the movement in 1924 and encouraged artists to create works that focused on the unconscious mind over perceived reality.

Part of the exhibition highlights the connection between Pacific Northwest First Nations art and the Surrealist movement. Apparently, many of the contributing artists looked to First Nations art for inspiration.

Kwakwaka’wakw Headdress from Alert Bay

Another theme of the exhibition is the influence of cinema. Still a relatively new medium in the early half of the 1900s, film was able to put images in motion and create a fluid canvas on which perspective could be manipulated. From avant-garde films to Charlie Chaplin, to Betty Boop, cinema created a fictional world that the surrealists saw as similar to their own artistic ambitions.

Artists on display include: Salvador Dali, Max Ernst, René Magritte, Alberto Giacometti and many more.

A Walk in the Park

Looking for an educational activity for the family this weekend. All Discovery Walks is offering a interactive tour of one Stanley Parks secret bogs. The tour begins at Lost Lagoon at 1:30 and ends around 3:30.

Vancouver Community College Science Instructor, Maria Morlin will be hosting the walk that will focus on the role of bogs and wetlands in forest ecology.

This is an excellent opportunity to subtly get your children back into an academic setting. You may want to research the topic of bogs beforehand with your family, to get them thinking about the subject matter. While on the trail, encourage questioning by modeling. Maria will be happy to answer any questions you or children bring to light.

Educators might also want to take part, specifically those working with students in Grades 3 and 4. ‘Habitats and Communities’ is a big part of the Science curriculum for these grades. Maria’s tour may inspire you to organize your own forest walk in the fall.

If you do plan on attending, you may want to wear appropriate footwear. We suggest boots.

Tickets are $10 and may be purchased at the start of the tour.

Beaver Lake

Malkin Bowl Welcomes Ben Harper

On Friday, August 28th, the Malkin Bowl Summer Concert Series welcomes Ben Harper to Stanley Park. This is one of the most anticipated outdoor shows of the season. Tickets went on sale in May, but there are still some being sold online. If you see one show this summer, catch Ben Harper’s set in the park.

Harper is touring on his most recent album, Give Till it’s Gone. Like most of his previous works, the album contains a strong message of hope, mixed with the pain of life. Always spiritual, Harper’s tracks reverberate with healing and religious conviction. But even with their strong Christian message, Harper’s words attract a strong secular audience that can relate with the pain and joy of love’s handiwork.

If you have never heard Harper’s music, download Live from Mars. Standout tracks include “Please Bleed,” “Women in You” and the quintessential mix-tape track “Walk Away.”

Harper will be playing between the cedars and beneath the stars at the beautiful Malkin clearing. Bring a blanket and some friends and let the one-man choir receive your heart.

Ben Harper Playing the Slide Guitar

British Columbia’s Mattress Store

In a province where you can ski the slopes in the morning, golf in the afternoon and spend the evenings on the beach, BC residents know that a comfortable mattress is an essential element to a busy day of west coast fun-and-play.

With the variety of activities that fill our waking hours, it is nice to have a consistent reliable mattress to collapse on when the sun finally sets.

That is why BCers continually choose Simmons Mattress Gallery as their BC mattress store.

Simmons Mattress Gallery has been providing BC residents with quality beds and exceptional service for years. In the last seven, we have distinguished ourselves from the competition by achieving the Consumer Choice Award for mattress store.

We are proud to carry all the top models from the Simmons Beautyrest line, a mattress series defined by the revolutionary non-flip pocket coil.

For an undisturbed sleep that will leave you rested for all BC has to offer, go with a Simmons mattress. You can find the entire series at our Coquitlam mattress store and our Vancouver mattress store. Try one today.

English Bay Sunsets

The Best Place On Earth

British Columbia issued license plates for the Olympic year with the slogan, “Best Place on Earth.” Many Easterners saw this as another west coast hyperbole that proved the level of our conceitedness.

But for those of us who call BC home, the phrase holds more truth than the sharp-tongued retorts of the critics.

BC is one of the most diverse provinces in the country. It has the mildest winter weather and the least humid summers. It is is home to the country’s most beautiful city, Vancouver, and It is also the proud parent of the Vancouver Canucks, the only Canadian team to get past the opening round of the 2011 NHL playoffs.

Our province has some of the lushest parks in the country, the most epic skiing conditions and one of the only stretches of shoreline worth surfing in Canada.

We showed the world we could host a party in 1986 and we did it again in 2010.  The BC acronym is synonymous with a higher level of living that folks from all over the world recognize.

Part of that living experience is the proximity to the most elite mattress store in the country, Simmons Mattress Gallery. The BC mattress store, offers the top Simmons Beautyrest beds at prices that are worth the drive from St. Johns.

If you’ve never slept on a Simmons, you’ve never experienced the west coast. Come see why this truly is the best place on earth. We’ll be waiting with a mattress, two free pillows and some of the BC’s finest (mattress professionals).

Lead On Kesler

Support comes from beneath. It stabilizes the main structure. It is the foundation on which outstanding achievements are made possible.

For the Vancouver Canucks, that support is the tireless playoff performance of Ryan Kesler. Bloodied and bruised, number seventeen is currently leading the NHL in playoff points, but most nights it is his work away from the net that is earning him respect around the league.

Killing penalties, winning faceoff’s and banging the boards, Kesler is giving it all this post-season. He is supporting a team whose top players (Daniel and Henrik) have mysteriously disappeared. He has stitches across his lip from an errant puck in Game Five; when asked if he wanted anesthesia for the wound, he refused it, saying it would only slow him down.

His fearless play and defensive stamina earned him over twenty-one minutes of ice time in Game Six against the Nashville Predators. Setting up both goals, Kesler earned the praises of Predator Coach Barry Trotz: “As I said when I was going by him, if he doesn’t play that way we’re probably going to Game 7 and we might win the series, but he played to a level that few people can reach in a series.”

Kesler, in a post-game interview with Scott Oake of the CBC, claimed that Trotz’s comments were humbling.

Now the assistant captain is carrying the Canucks into the Western Conference Finals, a feat managed only three times by the franchise.

Without him, the Canucks might be counting the clubs in their golf bag. With him they are the most powerful team in the NHL, destined to play for a chance at the Stanley Cup.

Lead on Kesler. You have a whole city on your shoulders.

Vancouver International Burlesque Festival

Are you looking for a unique theatrical experience that will arouse your senses, bring you to tears with laughter and inspire your passions at home? Of course you are!

This week, our city hosts the Vancouver International Burlesque Festival. For three nights, international stars will join the performers of Vancouver’s growing burlesque scene on two different stages.

On May 5th and 6th the show will take place at the Rickshaw theatre. There will be three performances each night, with single and ensemble acts.

On May 7th, the action moves to the Vogue Theatre. This night will include a long line-up of stars that will perform from 8:00 on.

If you are curious about the burlesque artistry and would like to get involved as a participant, there are workshops being offered on Saturday May 7th at the Chicken Coop at 2280 East Hastings. Tickets are $20 per class. There are three classes being offered at this location along with a make-up class at the Prophouse Café.

General Admission seats for the nightly performances are $20. There is also the option to purchase tickets at fourteen VIP tables.

So pull out your fans and your fishnets and take in some sultry theatre at the 6th Annual Vancouver International Burlesque Festival.

Hollywood North at the Waldorf

The Waldorf Hotel has seen a resurgence in recent years, becoming the place to be seen for young hipsters around town. The redone Tiki lounge is the main attraction, serving pineapple swirly-strawed girly drinks alongside PBR’s.

Last week, the hotel added another hat to its already crowded rack. The latest enterprise, by the rejuvenated Vancouver landmark, is a film series being shown every Wednesday. The title of the series is “Vancouver Sometimes Plays Itself.” The weekly series will feature films shot in Vancouver between 1964-1988, the years before the X-Files got its claws in the Vancouver Film Industry.

The weekly MC will be the series creator, Elvy Del Bianco. Bianco will introduce each film explaining the areas where it was shot along with relevant history and trivia. Bianco will also be joined by a number of guest speakers including UBC professor Tom Scholte.

The films will be shown every Monday night. Last week’s feature was “Sweet Substitute.” This week will be “Explosion.” The following week is “That Cold Day in the Park,” a Robert Altman sexual thriller.

The series wraps on Monday, June 13th with the film “The Squamish Five.”

Waldorf Tiki Bar

Pink Inspiration

“Loveliest of trees, the cherry now

Is hung with bloom along the bough,

And stands about the woodland ride

Wearing white for Eastertide.”

-A.E. Housman

Pink is the colour of spring in Vancouver. It floats above our heads and flutters to our feet. It lines our streets and patches our parks. It brightens the grey skies of April and whispers in our ear, “May is not far off.”

The Cherry Blossom Festival is a unique celebration of Vancouver’s relationship with the pink flowers of the Japanese Cherry Tree. This year the festival is running from March 26th until April 22nd. On April 16th, at the VanDusen Botanical Garden, the city will distribute 3,000 new cherry trees to property owners who have paid a reduced rate of $40 per tree. The trees are being sold as part of the celebration around Vancouver’s 125th birthday. They are the pink candles on our cake.

The festival is also hosting a public bike ride on the same day as the VanDusen handout. ‘Bike the Blossoms’ will begin at 11am at Devonian Park in the West End. If you can’t make this date, you can download a PDF of different blossom bike routes for your own private viewing.

Need to express your love of the pink? Enter the Haiku Invitational poetry contest. Put your thoughts into three simple lines of 17 moras and submit your poem before the May 31st deadline. The winning submissions will be featured on Translink spaces around the Lower Mainland.

So get inspired Vancouver and enjoy the yearly offerings of the cherry blossom.

“It’s Not The Same Without Sculpture”

If you happened to go for a beach stroll along English Bay last Friday morning, you may have noticed some extra  “wrapping” around some of Vancouver’s public sculptures. Five figures were wrapped with plastic ribbon to announce the sad, expected departure, of the 40 pieces of public art involved in the Vancouver Biennale outdoor exhibit. The ribbon was labeled with the phrase,  ”It’s not the same without sculpture.” The situational irony is heavy, as Vancouverites will have to say goodbye to a number of massive sculptures that shared their community for the last two years.

Commissioned for the years surrounding the Olympics, the Biennale art added a sense of humour and fun to a city that has often been lacking in both of these areas. The project reflected cultural influences from around the world by using the work of 37 artists from 15 different countries. The pieces lined our beaches, sat in public parks and spoke to us from the sidewalk.

Now with the project timeline coming to a close, the sculptures that many of us enjoyed on a daily basis are being auctioned off. The proceeds, collected from the sale of the current figures, will finance future projects, educational packages and artists in residence programs.

Simmons Mattress Gallery’s three favourite pieces from the first round of sculptures were:

1. King and Queen – by Sorel Etrog

(obviously we have a passion for king and queen size beds)

2. Pillows – by Liu Jianhua

(nothing goes better on top of a Beautyrest than a pillow)

3. We, 2008 – by Jaume Plensa

(love the ‘white man’ at Sunset Beach)

For a full map, download this helpful pdf. Enjoy the art while it lasts Vancouver.

"A-Maze-Ing Laughter" By Yue Minjun

Vancouver’s 125th Birthday Celebration (Part 1)

This Wednesday, April 6th, marks the official start to Vancouver’s 125th Birthday celebration. There will be an all-day event at Jack Poole Plaza, the site of the Olympic Cauldron. The festivities will begin at 2pm and continue until 10pm.

The opening event will be a drop-in street hockey tournament. This will be followed by an organized youth tournament featuring teams from Thunderbird, Sunset, West End, Britannia, Riley Park and Killarney communities.

From 6:00 to 7:00 will be the Official Ceremonies, with a giant birthday cake and speeches by Mayor Gregor and other dignitaries.

The big draw will be a performance by Vancouver’s own classic rockers, 54-40. They will hit the stage around 8:45 and will play until 10:00. During the performance, the plaza will become the backdrop for a video and light installation titled Time Drifts, by Berlin-based artist Phillipp Geist.

In the spirit of our ever-loving cycling mayor, there will be a bicycle valet option for those of you choosing the two-wheeled commute.

Gregor has also promised to unveil other events as the year progresses.

The Olympics were just the beginning Vancouver! Let’s celebrate who we are and where we came from!

Blow Out The Candles

Vancouver Earthquake Preparations

As the world tries to come to grips with the damage caused by the recent earthquake and resulting tsunami in Japan, here at home, people are starting to fear that the next big quake could occur somewhere in the Pacific Northwest. This has many Lower Mainland residents thinking very seriously about their preparedness level.

To address these concerns, citizens can visit the British Columbia Earthquake Preparedness website for tips on what to have ready and what actions to take in the event of a massive earthquake. The site is an excellent resource for preparing your loved ones for an environmental disaster.

Remember to Hold On!

Here are a few quick tips for your family to work on:

1. Know the safe areas of your home that can be used for cover.

(heavy tables, desks, archways)

2. Know the dangerous areas of your home.

(near windows, beside large appliances, near shelves)

3. Signup for a first-aid course.

4. Plan and practice safe evacuation routes from your home.

5. Have a plan in place if your family is separated. Organize a contact number of a family member or friend who lives in another area of the Province.

6. Make sure every member of the family knows how to turn off the gas incase of a leak.

7. Have a list of emergency contacts posted near your main phone. You can also add these numbers to the contact list on your cellphones.

8. Prepare emergency supplies for at least 72 hours.

This should include: first aid kit, tarp or small tent, water (lots of it), water purification tablets, non-perishable food, flashlights, am/fm radio, batteries, toiletry items, fire extinguisher, wrench, shoes, gloves and if possible, sleeping bags.

Gregor, Bike Lanes and Tojos – The Best of the City

The Westender Magazine has just published its annual Best of the City reader’s choice awards. From dining, to shopping, to health and fitness, the results are in and some of them are a little surprising.

In the people section, Mayor Gregor Robertson seems to be in every category. He’s third in the Most Wonderful Vancouverite category behind David Suzuki and our timeless captain Trevor Linden. He’s first in the Most Trustworthy Politician, in front of Spencer Chandra Herbert and ‘None’. But Robertson is also second in Most Spectacular Failure and second again in Biggest Windbag. Conflicting messages from the voters…

The city’s new bike lanes also seemed to be a dividing issue, with people either loving or hating them. The bike lanes won Best Use of Taxpayer’s Money and also came first in Worst Use of Taxpayer’s Money. The lanes also won Most Spectacular Failure, ahead of the wonderful HST.

Clear favourites in the foody section were Tojos for Chef and Japanese and surprisingly, the White Spot, which showed up on a number of the categories for casual fare.

We were a little surprised that Mattress Store was left off the list. We know it’s not nice to brag, but we’re pretty sure Simmons Mattress Gallery would have received top honours

What’s In A Name?

Interested in the historical past of many of Vancouver’s most prominent streets and sites. There is an excellent book out in publication called “Namely Vancouver.” It is written by Tom Snyders, with the help of Jennifer O’Rourke. The book is organized alphabetically and lists almost all of Vancouver’s street names and neighbourhoods. Each entry includes the origin of the name and when possible, a brief history of the site. You can flip through and look up different street names you’ve always wondered about, or look up all the areas you ever lived, or just start on page one and work your way through. Some of the entries are a little dense with their historical references, but the real gems are the stories that Snyder includes.

Here are a few of our favourite finds:

Jericho (Beach) – Named after Jeremiah (Jerry) Rogers, Jericho was once a thriving logging camp. Jerry ran the camp and according to Snyders, treated his employees with dignity and provided fair wages. The camp was given the nickname Jerry’s Cove. It seems that over time, maybe through slurred after work libations, the name morphed into Jericho. Jerry would later become a justice of the peace.

Jericho Beach (Looking Towards Downtown Vancouver)

Wreck (Beach) – This popular nudist spot is named after the man-made breakwater that was built in 1928 using three log barges, a floating grain elevator, four former U.S. World War I freighters and an ore carrier.

Broadway (Home to Simmons Mattress Gallery) – 9th Avenue was changed to Broadway in May of 1909, in hopes that the area would take on a New York Broadway kind of feel. The name change was also instituted to encourage American investment in the area.

“Namely Vancouver” is published by Arsenal Pulp Press

Shopping Cart Art

One of the most alluring aspects of Vancouver is our dedication to the Arts. All around our city, there are indoor and outdoor installations featuring the work of local artists. From the public statues erected for the Olympic year, to small galleries on Granville Island, to the always-inspiring work of Bill Reid at the Museum of Anthropology, Vancouver is proud to display the talents of Canadian artists.

One of the smaller galleries that is making a name for itself for its historical and cultural exhibits is The Pendulum Gallery. The Pendulum is located at the base of the HSBC tower. It is a seven story, glass-covered atrium, created with the help of the City of Vancouver to promote cultural and historical exhibitions.

Last month, the Pendulum showed a photography exhibit titled “Swedes in B.C.,” which documented the life of Swedish immigrants.

This month, the gallery will be showing the work of Taizo Yamamoto. Yamamoto has produced an exhibition of intricate drawings titled “Shopping Carts and Recent Drawings.” The works present artifacts and single subject sketches of downtown life. The shopping carts are presented as still lifes, a vehicle holding the possessions and survival instruments of absent figures. The detail is truly amazing and worth the trip downtown.

So come out and support the work of local artists. You will walk away with a new appreciation for your own community and the projects it inspires.

Yamamoto’s work will be shown until March 5th.

Much More Than a Receptacle For Groceries

Vancouver: Still the Number One Place to Live in the World!

For the fifth year in a row, Vancouver has been voted the most livable city in the world! The poll was conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit. The group uses three broad categories to make its decision: stability, healthcare, culture and environment, education and infrastructure. Vancouver received a perfect rating of 100 in the categories of healthcare, education and culture and environment.

The second place finisher, just 2.3 percentage points below Vancouver, was Auckland New Zealand.

But what would Vancouverites say when asked ‘what makes us the best’? They would probably mention the cleanliness of our city, the mild weather, the security (you can basically walk down any street and feel comfortable), the dining options, the Olympics, the proximity to the mountains, the transit and bike lanes, the parks (Stanley being the jewel) and the people.

There is an infinite number of reasons why Vancouver is such an amazing place to live, but we like to think it’s the mattress shopping. Simmons Mattress Gallery has been providing quality beds and professional advice to Lower Mainland residents for years. This service has sent thousands of citizens off to work well rested and happy with their lives. We’re not saying we did it all, but we certainly played a part.

Congratulations Vancouver, this truly is the best place to live.

Sunset Beach

Reliving the Olympic Moment

Get ready for round two.

The City of Vancouver has announced plans to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games this February.

The party will begin on the February 11th weekend. Free events are being planned that will take place at different locations around the city. Yaletown will have a nightly light display created by local artists, the Creekside Community Centre in the Athletes Village will be hosting a hockey sledge race and other Olympic activities for families, and Granville street will be closed between Smithe and Dunsmuir for the over 19 bar crowd.

The city will be announcing other events, closer to the date, at Vancouver.ca.

Some of the employees at Simmons Mattress Gallery are planning on reliving the magic of the Gold Medal Hockey Final by watching a taped copy of the game with a few friends. Remembering Crosby’s goal in overtime still brings shivers. The pride displayed that night by millions of Canadians was enough to warm the hearts of the most hardened separatists. That moment will never fade with time. It will always bind us as a nation; Canada’s Gold.

So pull out your red mittens, paint your face and share some memories of those two special weeks that we all shared together.

High Fives For Everyone!

Reducing Landfill Waste; One Mattress At A Time

In the City’s continuing effort to reduce landfill waste, a new surcharge will be laid on any mattress being discarded at the Delta landfill. The charge is $20 per bed.

Mattresses will no longer be considered general garbage at all Vancouver Transfer Stations and landfill sites. There will now be a limit on the number of mattresses that one customer can drop at a time. The mattresses will also be left in a separate area from the regular waste. These limitations were put in effect on January 1st.

Simmons Mattress Gallery would like to applaud the city for implementing these measures.  Mattresses are almost 100 percent recyclable or compostable and make up a significant portion of the waste dumped in our local landfills.

If you have just purchased a brand new Simmons and are looking for an ethical way to dispose of your old mattress, contact Mattressrecycling.ca. They are the first and largest mattress recycler operating in British Columbia. The price for a mattress drop-off is $14. The warehouse is located at 7885 North Fraser Way. If you would like your mattress picked-up, Mattressrecycling.ca charges $55.

Breaking Down Your Bed

For more information of mattress recycling visit metrovancouver.org.

On A Mission

“I know that intersection! That’s downtown.”

Though the boom years of the “X-Files” are over, Vancouver still is being sought as a shooting location for film and television productions. This past week, the big news around the city was that “Mission Impossible 4” had begun shooting. Tom Cruise was spotted at two public locations doing action scenes. The first was underneath the Burrard Bridge, just up from the Aquatic Center, in the West End. Tenants in the towers surrounding the set were able to watch Cruise perform a number of action sequences. The paparazzi arrived late and were under-the-gun to capture a shot of the megastar.

Later in the week, the crew set up outside the brand new Vancouver Convention Centre, across town. The neighbourhood was given a redress, standing in for an unknown city in India. Filming went late into the night, with Cruise performing a dramatic chase scene through parked traffic.

If you are looking to see Cruise in the flesh, you won’t be directed to set with giant signs that say Mission Impossible. The production company has chosen the code word ‘Aries’. So if you’re in the hunt, keep your eyes open for small white signs with green or orange arrows and the title “Aries” in the center.

Tom Cruise On Set In Vancouver

Other productions, currently shooting in Vancouver, are “Apollo 18,” a sci-fi picture concerning NASA’s last attempt to land on the moon and “The Grey,” a film about a group of stranded men who are stalked by a pack of wolves. “The Grey” stars Liam Neeson. It is expected to be released sometime in 2012.

Public Lights

Looking for holiday events for the whole family?

A great, relatively cheap, activity this holiday season is a Christmas light tour.

Once you finish dinner, pack the kids in the car, put on a CD of Christmas classics and drive through the city on a treasure hunt

Document your adventure with a digital camera.

Have a ballot sheet, where your kids can vote on the most creative, the most absurd, the most classic.

A great starting or ending point is the tree at English Bay. Park the car and take a walk underneath the strings of lights.

If you’re looking for a longer walk, take the family to the Vandusen Garden’s Festival of Lights. The light display will run from December 10th till January 2nd. The lights turn on at 4:30 and shut off at 9. The family rate, for two parents and their children is $29.75.

Time a factor?

Try going for a walk in your own neighbourhood. Check out all the displays and appreciate the effort that went into the many multicoloured mosaics of light.

Just remember to get home at reasonable time.

Wouldn’t want the young one’s to lose any sleep.

Happy hunting.

St. Paul's Hospital (Downtown Vancouver)

All Aboard The Christmas Train

The Christmas Season is here; Starbucks is offering their eggnog Latte, the stores downtown are staying open longer and the Christmas train is set to leave the station this Friday in Stanley Park.

Always a Vancouver favourite, the annual train ride is a holiday classic.

Titled ‘Bright Lights in Stanley Park,’ the train runs through the Stanley Park forest, which is lit by thousands of coloured lights.

It passes through different theme areas that are synched to the music being played from small speakers on the train itself.

There are interactive elements for the kids as well, with a costumed Gingerbread Man and a petting zoo.

The park employs student volunteers to act as festival ambassadors for the event. They are aided by the regular park staff and the other volunteers who help make Bright Lights one of the most spectacular lightening displays in all of Canada.

Tickets are $9.00 for adults and $6.00 for youths. They can be purchased online through Ticketmaster for any night as long as it is one day prior to the date you wish to ride. For day of tickets, you will need to head down to the park as early as possible, as most rides sellout hours before.

Make sure to bring a non-perishable item for the food bank and a small monetary donation for the Vancouver Firefighters Burn Fund.

Bright Nights in Stanley Park

Recommended Reading

Even with the age of personal electronics in hyper-drive, it is still nice to relax before bed with a good book. The paper bound kind.

This week Simmons Mattress Gallery would like to post a few of our favourite reads to inspire this timeless nightly ritual.

1. The Millennium Series – This Swedish crime series has won fans all over the world. All three books are essential reading for literary lovers. Stieg Larsson has crafted a trilogy that throws you directly into a world of family intrigue, sexual exploitation and modern investigative practices. The strong female protagonist, Lisabeth Salander, is part Nikita, part Sherlock Holmes. Avoid the temptation to watch the films first.

2. Stanley Park – Nominated for the Giller Prize in 2001, this is the first novel by local writer Timothy Taylor. Set in Vancouver, the novel revolves around the factual unsolved murder of two children in Stanley Park. It has wonderful descriptive culinary passages, as the main character is a chef. You may also notice a strong resemblance between the novel’s description of the fictitious coffee company Inferno and the Northwest based barista house, Starbucks.

3. Mister Pip – This is an understated novel by New Zealand author Lloyd Jones. Set on an unnamed Pacific island in the midst of a civil war, “Mister Pip” details the power of a single piece of literature to educate, inspire and mystify. Mr. Watts, the only white man in a community of islanders, uses Charles Dickens’ classic, work, “Great Expectations,” to teach a schoolhouse full of forgotten children the value of life and the written word.

We would love to hear your own suggestions for essential bedtime reading.

Moving Carefully

The first thing you did after buying your new home: purchased a new mattress from Simmons Mattress Gallery.

“If this is going to be a fresh start,” you thought to yourself, “I should probably buy a mattress that takes advantage of the increased bedroom size.”

We couldn’t agree more. That tired old relic you have been sleeping on for years needed to be tossed.

The Dreaded Hide-A-Bed

But what about all your other personal belongings you plan to transfer over to your new place? Have you made arrangements to move them? Are you stressed just thinking about the prospect of loading all your furniture into a rental van?

Rid yourself of this unneeded anxiety. Hire a moving company to transport your furniture to your new home.

Simmons Mattress Gallery suggests going with Careful Movers.

Careful Movers are a Western Canada based company that specializes in local and long distance moving across North America.

They offer free estimates and provide advice and assistance from your first consultation till the last box is placed inside your new home.

Like the mattress professionals at Simmons Mattress Gallery, the men and women that work for Careful Movers are all trained moving professionals.

Visit their website for more information or call them direct.

Their toll free number is 1-888-801-0581.

Don’t stress over your move. Let your mind focus on that beautiful new Beautyrest and all the tranquil nights you will spend on it.

The Votes Are In!

The Consumers’ Choice Award is an honour handed out to a very select group of businesses across North America.

The purpose of the project is to “publicly identify those establishments which have been voted by consumers as being their choice for excellence.” The winners are judged not by a panel, but by the consumers purchasing the product. There are two categories, business and consumer. A gold winner is announced for each category.

The awards are handed out at a prestigious Gala Award Ceremony in November.

This year, Simmons Mattress Gallery will be recognized for the seventh year in a row for outstanding customer service and product integrity.

Our stores in Coquitlam, Vancouver and Victoria have been recognized by the voting public as being the very best in the mattress industry.

Neil Wurst will be accepting this year’s award on behalf of Simmons Mattress Gallery.

Neil is the General Manager and mattress visionary behind all three, Western Canada, Simmons Mattress Gallery locations.

This year’s awards will be aired on television at the end of the month.

Stay tuned for further details.

Parade of Lost Souls

If you find yourself wandering aimlessly this Saturday night, all dressed up in costume with no where to go, join The Secret Souls Walk. Formerly known as The Parade of Lost Souls, this interactive social gathering of artists, performers and creepy characters traditionally takes place on Commercial Drive.

In years past, the Souls Walk received permission to shut down Commercial for an all-engaging street party. This year, things are a little more subversive.

The parade route will not be announced publicly until the day of the event. Business owners and private homeowners who have buildings along the route have been contacted ahead of time. These folk have been encouraged to participate in the set decor of the evening’s events. The non-profit group Public Dreams has offered to lend props and supplies to anyone along the route.

Workshops have also been offered for those interested in building shrines, working with puppetry and or choreographed or individual zombie dancing. (Think Thriller meets Hipster)

The night will begin at Britannia Community Centre, between 5pm and 9pm. From this location, the damaged souls will be entertained with an interactive celebration of mysticism. They will then be given the deadly coordinates to navigate the parade route.

The main creative power behind this year’s movement is the Dusty Flowerpot Cabaret. They have been working hard to revive the Soul Walk, which was cancelled in 2009 due to lack of funding and organization.

So wander down to East Van this Saturday and take in a grassroots spectacle of bone-chilling entertainment.

The Secret Souls Walk

Bachelor Advice

You’ve just signed a two-year lease on an apartment in Yaletown. You finally get to move out of that dark basement just off Commercial. You’re young, single, and moving up in the world. But what now?

Before you go moving all your old stuff to your new pad, Simmons Mattress Gallery would like to offer a few hints on how to pimp your new bedroom:

1. Buy a new bed. One that says I am a lover not a wuss. Your single mattress from when you were sixteen is not going to fly. (Tip: the lower the frame, the more fun you can have without worrying about a falling Fail.)

2. Bed placement is key. Put the bed in the middle of the room. That’s where it belongs. Now lets get down to business.

Bed Placement is Key

3. Lose all memorabilia associated with your ex. That means get rid of the cute picture frame, the stuffed orca and that concert t-shirt you still go to bed in.

4. Go to a furniture store, we won’t mention the ‘I’ word, and buy some ambient lighting. Japanese style floor lamps are good for setting the mood.

5. Sell off your cumbersome stereo and buy a simple iPod dock with some decent speakers. Then download some Drake.

That’s a start. We’ll let you handle the rest. Just remember, start with the mattress.

Hunt, Gather, Sew and Sell

Eco-fashion and art merge in the work of Natalie Purschwitz, a recipient of a 2010 BC Creative Achievement award. In a yearlong research project called Makeshift (September 2009-Sept 2010), Natalie wore only clothing and accessories she designed and made herself. This included her shoes, undergarments and coats. Natalie documented her journey on a blog that gained worldwide attention.

Natalie On Her East Vancouver Rooftop

Natalie Purschwitz on Her East Van Rooftop

She described her project as part conceptual art, part fashion design, and part social experiment. Having taken training in anthropology, visual art and design she wanted to examine the convergences of ‘clothing,’ ‘living,’ and ‘making.’  Only three weeks into the project Purschwitz confessed to being very tired. The steep learning curve and the task of maintaining a high level of creativity and innovation were not easy. As an example, her first shoes were rudimentary foot coverings, constructed of leather and wood. In addition to making clothing for herself, Natalie was still operating her own business, the Hunt and Gather clothing line.

Purschwitz’s clothing, as you would imagine, combines the functional with the conceptual. Utilizing used, found and organic materials her clothes are contemporary and futuristic, while maintaining a hand-made feel.

A $2,500 prize accompanies the award Natalie received this week. She also now has the honour of using the BC Creative Achievement Award seal, signifying creative excellence.

Simmons Mattress Gallery applauds Natalie Purschwitz and wishes her continued success.

A River Runs Through Us

“It is wonderful to feel the grandness of Canada in the raw,

not because she is Canada

but because she’s something sublime that you were born into,

some great rugged power that you are a part of.”

-Emily Carr

Sometimes, in the bustle and hustle of our daily routines, we occasionally forget we live in one of the most environmentally charged countries on the planet. Just behind those coastal mountains, that we often take for granted, are a host of diverse habitats teeming with untamed wildlife and vibrant ecosystems. Supporting them are river systems that run into three separate oceans and carry, what is soon to be the worlds most sought after resource, across North America. The water from this network feeds life into our forests, provides us with drink and powers our cities. These rivers are the veins of life that carry our Canadian blood to every corner of our country.

"Mount Cheam and the Fraser River" by EJ Hughes

On September 26th, British Columbia will be celebrating BC Rivers Day, a day to acknowledge the mighty power, fluid beauty and environmentally vital traits of the river systems contained in British Columbia.

This is the 30th year BC will be celebrating this event. Activities have been planned across the province for this Sunday.

Here are a few of the events taking place around the Lower Mainland:

Langley

BC Rivers Day Festival – live music and interactive displays including salmon habitat demos, streamside tree-planting and  bird house building.

Location: Williams Park

Time: 11 am to 4 pm

North Vancouver

World Rivers Day – educational outing at the Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve. Focus is on salmon in the Seymour Valley.

Location: Rice Lake Gate

Time: 10 am to 2 pm

Port Coquitlam

Rivers and Trails Festival – organized trail ride through Peace Park, community displays, local entertainment and boat building.

Location: Peace Park (1470 Kebet Way)

Time: 12 pm to 4 pm

If none of these activities attract you, grab a group of friends or some family and head up to the mountains on your own. Find a stream or major waterway and spend 15 minutes or more admiring its environmental impact. We guarantee the experience will renew your appreciation for Canada’s river systems.

The Neglected Room

The summer renovations are all completed. You finally finished the kitchen, the deck has been re-stained and the children’s rooms have all been repainted. The house is finally ready.

But wait. You may have neglected one room that often gets overlooked: the spare room.

With Thanksgiving and Christmas coming up faster than you would like to acknowledge, the time is coming for guests to enjoy all the hard work you put in improving your house.

But they will need a room to sleep in while they visit.

It may be too late to repaint and the carpet will have to wait till next year, but you could improve their sleeping surface with a brand new mattress from Simmons Mattress Gallery.

Let’s be honest, the mattress in there now is the saggy one you abandoned three years ago, when you upgraded your bedroom.

Why let Auntie Louise suffer? She doesn’t deserve it. And a rest-deprived houseguest is an irritable companion.

So throw out the droopy dud that’s currently in there and head to one of Simmons Mattress Gallery’s two convenient locations.

Louise will appreciate your purchase for years to come.

Louise's New Mattress

Indulge in the Freaky!

Prepare for the bizarre! The Fringe Fest is back in Vancouver!

From September 8th to the 19th.

Hosted in a variety of venues all over town, the festival will feature 82 performance groups in 617 shows. Thirty of these shows will be BYOV (Bring Your Own Venue). These performances will feature artists presenting their works in untraditional settings such as the back of bicycles and fire escapes.

There is a one time, five-dollar membership fee for attending the festival. The tickets themselves will only cost you $10 on weekdays and $12 on weekends.

Since there are so many shows, all performances will start exactly on time. No latecomers will be admitted. (They seem to be fairly strict about this.)

Some of the shows that are already creating a buzz are:

7 (X1) Samurai – A wordless show based on Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai film by mime and clowning expert David Gaines.

Freud vs. his Ego – Another one-man project about the most famous psychoanalyst of our time.

Miracle in Rwanda – Leslie Lewsis takes on the role of up to seven Rwandan genocide survivors who hide in a bathroom for 91 days to avoid being captured.

After each performance, the audience will be asked to rate the show. These reports will be used to select the Public Market Pick of the Fringe.

The festival will run until the 19th of September.

Looking At The Numbers

Vancouverites Preparing To Sleep

On an average night in Greater Vancouver, how many people do you think are sleeping on uncomfortable mattresses?

With an estimated population of 2.1 million, Simmons Mattress Gallery would guess that about 10% of Vancouverites, that’s over 200,000 people, are not receiving the comfort they deserve from their bed. Seems like a large number to us.

But why? Is it apathy? Do they know their mattress is not up to par, but choose not to do anything about it?

Possibly.

Maybe they believe there aren’t any alternatives – that all mattresses are lumpy and sagging.

Friends, there are better mattresses out there. And you need to try them.

Simmons Mattress Gallery has a showroom full of mattresses that will make you wonder why you ever slept on anything else. From the top-of-the-line Beautyrest Black, to the economically priced DeepSleep, Simmons mattresses provide an unparalleled level of comfort.

If you are one of the 200,000 people sleeping on a less than adequate bed, make the short trip to the nearest Simmons Mattress Gallery to experience horizontal heaven. Don’t settle for mediocrity, when you can have the best in the business. Let the mattress professionals find the ideal bed for you.

100 Years of Fun

The Pacific National Exhibition is celebrating a 100 years of West Coast fun and entertainment. The party begins this Friday with the PNE parade at English Bay. The fair will officially open the following day, Saturday, August 21st. It will run for two weeks, concluding on the Labour Day holiday.

This year’s concert series includes Bryan Adams, Spirit of the West, Cyndi Lauper, Trooper, Little River Band and a can’t miss performance by the punk priestess herself, Joan Jett. Admission to the evening’s musical performances is free with your PNE day ticket.

The classics will be back as well, including the 4-H agricultural festival, the West Coast Lumberjack Show and of course, the Superdogs!

Nightly fireworks will be supplied by KABOOM!: A Pyro Musical Spectacular. The music selected for the ariel bombardment includes a wide spectrum of artists from the last century. The sky will be set ablaze each night at 10:15.

The PNE gate pass will be sold for $20.00 on site or $16.80 online. For a combination Fair/Playland Ride Pass, the price is $42.75.

For more information check out the PNE website: http://www.pne.ca/index.html.

Stay For the Nightly Concerts

I Saw You…

Man viewed Woman

When: July 31st

Where: The Number 22 Bus heading into Downtown

You got on at MacDonald and Broadway, heading for the fireworks. You were with your friends, I think one was named Olive. You wore a purple dress with white embroidery. I sat across from you pretending to listen to my iPod. You look tired, well beyond tired. Your friend was talking about her trip to India. I was listening, but you seemed to be having trouble. I saw your head bob more than once as you fought back sleep. It was only 7:30, but for you it looked like 3:00 in the morning. Your friends continued to talk with each other and you continued to bob. Then you looked up and saw me watching you and smiled…

I wanted to say something witty, to comment on your shoes, or make a joke about narcolepsy. But my tongue was tied, pasted to my mouth with the ease of your smile.

You were beautiful, but I could see the bags under your eyes and a secret behind your pupils.

Why were you so tired? What had you been doing the night before? Why hadn’t you slept?” These were all questions that raced through my head until your friends dragged you off the bus, just after Pacific.

It’s been four days, but I can’t get you off my mind. You haunt my thoughts.

If I could rewind time, use the playback option on my PVR, I would offer one comment. One simple sentence. One piece of advice from a man across the aisle:

“You owe it to yourself to buy a new mattress, preferably a Simmons.” With that simple phrase I would stand up and move to the doors.

You would stand to thank me, but this time you would be speechless. All you would be able to do is smile. A thank you, with the lifted corners of your mouth. That’s all I would need. Content I would exit at the next stop, looking back only once to meet your tired eyes through the window. My gaze: A simple, you’re welcome.

Air Quality Concerns

Just before dozing off on your Simmons, you may have noticed an odd sight on the skyline, these last couple of nights. A giant orange-red ball has replaced the sinking sun in the westward sky.

Red Sky at Night

No, smog levels have not risen to apocalyptic proportions. And no, it’s not a harvest moon (wrong side of the horizon).

The reason for the burning ball: the forest fires in B.C. are sending so much ash into the atmosphere that they are affecting the way we view the fading sun.

There are now over 400 active forest fires blazing in our province.

This may be a staggering number, but in reality, the figure is close to par for this time of the year.

What is concerning is the rate at which these fires have sprung up. The average number of new fires per day is currently about 55.

Fire crews are working around the clock to contain the blazes, but with so many fresh burns, its a wonder the whole province isn’t a sea of flames.

And while Lower Mainland residents may not see the fires firsthand, we are experiencing the effects.

The sun’s peculiar disguise is a sign that air quality has deteriorated to a dangerous level. Metro Vancouver posted an advisory warning residents to avoid strenuous activity and to limit outdoor exposure for infants and the elderly.

Showers could come as early as Saturday, but till then, enjoy the new occupant of the evening sky and remember to take care of your lungs. If you’re feeling any new discomfort you should definitely contact your doctor immediately.

Karate Kid in the Park

“We make sacred pact. I promise teach karate to you, you promise learn. I say, you do, no questions. “

-Mr. Miyagi

The Karate Kid

For all those children of the 80s who were brought up on adventure classics like the Goonies and Star Wars, rejoice. FreshAirCinema is bringing classic popcorn films back to the big screen; well, back to a big blow up screen.

FreshAirCinema is hosting free outdoor movie nights around the province for the next month and a half. Locations and times can be found on the company’s Facebook page titled: Free Outdoor Movie Events in BC.

This week’s can’t-miss-feature is the ‘original’ Karate Kid, starring a young Ralph Macchio as Daniel Larusso and Pat Morita as the zen master, Mr. Miyagi. The movie will be screened at Ceperley Field, the large grassy area just behind Second Beach, in Stanley Park. The start time will be 9:30.

Last year’s performance of The Princess Bride brought out huge crowds to the same setting. So get there early, bring a blanket and spread out.

Other outdoor free shows around the Lower Mainland this summer are:

August 7th: Wizard of Oz at Holland Park in Surrey (9:00)

August 8th: Back to the Future at David Lam Park in Yaletown (9:00)

August 9th: The Never Ending Story at McSpadden Park in East Van

August 13th: E.T. at Harbour Green Park in Coal Harbour

USA Kicks Off Vancouver’s Celebration of Light

“And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air

Gave proof thro’ the night” that Van City was still there


The Celebration of Light, formerly the Symphony of Fire, returns to Vancouver tonight for four nights of spectacular ariel visuals.

This year there will be four countries competing: United States, Spain, Mexico and China.

The United States will open the fireworks festival tonight with a tribute to the Big Band Era. The theme of their routine, put together by the Rozzi’s Famous Firework team, is ‘In the Mood.’

The shows will then run every Wednesday and Saturday till July 31st, when China will close out the festival.

The countries will be competing against each other under the categories of geneal concept, colour, originality, quality of production and correlation of music.

Last years festival was not judged, but the 2008 winner was Canada’s Archangel Fireworks Inc., with their theme of ‘Attack.’

This year the fireworks will be shot from two separate barges setup in English Bay.

Here is a list of some of the top viewing spots:

English Bay Beach

-You can hear the music from the loudspeakers, the waterfalls from the barge are all visible and the ariel explosions are directly overhead.

Burrard Bridge

-Spots fill up fast and you have to stand the whole time, but the bridge is an awesome elevated location.

From a boat in English Bay

-If you or a friend is lucky enough to have a boat, find a spot in the bay and enjoy the show from the water. If there is any extra room on your vessel make sure to call us.

(Safety note: Make sure your boat is equipped with a spotlight to find your way back through the maze of other ships once the show has wrapped)

Vanier Park

-Not as close as English Bay, but the crowds are more bearable and the sight lines are excellent.

(Musical note: If you are watching the fireworks from a distance, make sure to bring aportable radio and tune into Shore 104fm to listen to the corresponding music.)

Celebration of Light

If you have any opinions about the performances, feel free to share them with us as comments on our blog.

Enjoy!

Vancouver’s Top Outdoor Pools

With the hot days of summer finally here, Simmons Mattress Gallery has put together a list of the top three outdoor pools in Vancouver. So pick your favourite and make some time to cool off.

1. Kitsilano Pool

-Kits Pool, as it is referred to by the locals, is located adjacent to Kits Beach on the West Side. It is Vancouver’s only heated saltwater pool and is the longest outdoor pool in Canada. With a breathtaking view of the mountains in the background, Kits Pool is also one of the most scenic settings to take a dip. It has lanes for length swimming and a shallow area for the kids. Adult entry is $5.15 and children below 12 are $2.60 each. After a swim, you may want to take in a free performance at the Kitsilano Showboat, located directly behind the pool.

2. Second Beach Pool

-Once a cold salt water pool, Second Beach is now a heated fresh water pool on the southeast corner of Stanley Park. It is 5 feet deep at its maximum. There are lanes for swimming, but they are not nearly as long as the lanes at Kits. This pool is mostly for families and those looking to splash around on a hot summer day. There is also a great concession stand located just behind the pool that serves sinfully greasy fish and chips. (Always remember to wait half an hour after eating before returning to the water to avoid cramps)

3. Maple Grove Park Pool

-Located in Kerrisdale, on Vancouver’s West Side, Maple Grove Pool is strictly for families with small children. It is essentially a wading pool, but after a well needed renovation a few years back, Maple Grove Pool is one of the most stylish pools in the city. After your done playing in the water, take the kids to the park for some bocce ball or hit the giant swings for some high flying fun in the sun.

Maple Grove Park Swimming Pool

This is East Van!

Commercial Drive? The Clutch Theatre? The Foundation? Trout Lake? Strathcona Park? The Main Street Hipsters? Vancouver Specials?

What do you think embodies East Vancouver?

Is it the people who live between Main and Boundary and the Fraser and Burrard Inlet? Is it the hippie gardens and the multi suite character homes? Is it simply a feeling or a colour?

Now is your chance to share it with the world.

This is East Van: A Community Photography Project, is looking for submissions for any photographic work that highlights what it means to live in East Vancouver.

The photographs that are chosen will be published in a book. The publishers are hoping to showcase a broad scope of what life is like in East Vancouver right NOW!

Contributors will not be paid for their submissions, but they will be credited and each photo that is chosen will receive a full page spread. There will also be the option for up and coming photographers to include their contact information at the back index.

So pull out your old SLR or charge up your digital equivalent and hit the streets.

All entries can be sent to: submissions@thisiseastvan.com.

The deadline for submissions is August 15th.

No Words Needed

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