Splendor without Diminishment

By | Community, Events, Ian Power, News, Uncategorized

To the West lies the Pacific Ocean while the Rocky Mountains stand tall to the East, BC is one truly unique place to live in the world, let alone Canada. The Yukon to the North and the USA to the South, no one can deny the majesty of British Columbia. BC has the greatest diversity of Aboriginal cultures in Canada, home to 198 First Nations. For example, seven of Canada’s 11 unique language families are located exclusively in BC – more than 60% of the country’s First Nations languages.

Ten British Columbia Fun Facts:

  1. Queen Victoria bestowed British Columbia its name.
  2. BC was the 6th province added to Canada, and it joined confederation on July 20th, 1871
  3. The official motto of BC is “Splendour without Diminishment.” “Splendor Sine Occasu” in Latin.
  4. The longest river in BC is the Fraser, at 1,399 km
  5. The provincial flower of BC is the Dogwood
  6. Completed in 1921, the Peace Arch was built to mark 100 years of peace between Canada and the USA.
  7. BC is the only province in Canada to boast the West Coast Special – which means a person can ski and golf in the same day
  8. Women make up more than 37% of self-employed people in BC, second highest in Canada
  9. ORCA FM, the world’s first “all whales, all the time” radio station, was started on Vancouver Island in 1998
  10. BC is one of the top 3 producing regions of cranberries and blueberries in the world

BONUS: British Columbian residents are healthy! In 2014, BC’s population had the lowest percentage of smokers at 14.3% compared to all other provinces.

As you celebrate this great province over the long weekend, be safe! Happy BC Day to you and yours!

Ian Power




August for Animals is A-mazing!

By | Uncategorized

You’ve certainly heard the #BeHere campaign that’s been running for the summer, and the Greater Vancouver Zoo is extending that message to a more altruistic end – Be Here for Animals. August at the Zoo means Animals, Anniversary, Advocacy and out of this world fun!

Typically, when you donate to a cause the bottom tier donation is just for feeling good, but the Zoo is doing one better. For a donation of $10 or more you get a unique T-shirt, specially designed to be coloured in by you! They’re even holding a t-shirt decorating competition on their social media so you can keep the fun going from home!


And we know how anxious everyone is to be back in a learning environment during the summer, but fear not, the Zoo has your back on this one too! They’re hosting education and conservation talks every weekend till the end of summer so you can learn while you watch the animals in their habits. Pick a few favourites, or see them all!

  • August 4-6: Black Bear Cubs, enclosure 21.
  • August 11-12: Giraffes, enclosure 28
  • August 18-19: Western Painted Turtle, picnic area
  • August 24-25: Oregon Spotted Frog, vivarium
  • September 1-3: Cougar Cubs, enclosure 22A

I think those cubs are gonna steal the show, but make sure to take time for the Western Painted Turtles, one of their main rescue focusses for the summer and on their 48th Birthday Weekend. While the turtles may be slow, this weekend is gonna be fast and fun with live music, a bouncy castle and more great activities for kids of all ages!

#BeHere at the Zoo, I know I will!

Why Does Thursday Feel Like Friday?

By | Neil Morrison, News, Uncategorized

The one thing my co-workers and I all agreed on today, that is today feels like Friday. Not sure why it feels like a Friday. Perhaps it’s because everyone around here has their plans set for the weekend. Perhaps it’s because this weekend is the BC Day long weekend. Perhaps it’s because it’s been almost a whole month since the last long weekend ( but you’ve had the kids all day so…) I thought, ‘let’s look into this,’ so I googled, ‘Why Does Thursday Feel Like Friday?’ And you know who’s to blame? Tuesday and Wednesday. According to, ‘Researchers asked participants to list the words they most strongly associated with days of the week. They found that more words were listed for Mondays and Fridays as opposed to the middle weekdays, giving the beginning and end-of-the-week days a stronger identity. Mondays were labeled with negative words, as one would expect, like boring, hectic, and tired. Fridays were labeled with positive words like party, freedom, and release. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays carried less meaning, which allowed them to be more easily confused.’ So if we focus more on Tuesdays and Wednesday and what day they actually are, perhaps Thursdays will no longer seem like Fridays. Or, wine. There is always wine. 


The World Accord-ing To Me

By | Uncategorized

By no means do I consider myself a wine Connoisseur, but what happened to me after I turned 45 can only be described as some kind of, ‘metamorphosis’. I was always a guy who liked his beer. Again, not a beer snob but appreciated the flavour of various beers. From Guinness to a good light Pilsner, it was all about the beer. (Perhaps it had something to do with a magnum of wine when I was 16 years old at a park party that saw me in the ER for alcohol poisoning) When I turned 45 I remember a friend asking me to pick up some beer for a party we were going to. I remember thinking, ‘too many beers just bloat me now, I’m going with wine.’ I never looked back. Sure, I like to have a beer or two (or three, or five…) around a campsite, but when it comes to dinner parties, or the odd date (‘odd’ the key word here for the most part) I have now transformed into a man who prefers a good red, to a good Pint. And that leads me to ponder what’s next… Early Dinners? Driving 20k below the speed limit? Sandals and Socks? Cardigans? A White Honda Accord?

You can read all of my blogs at 

Smiling through the storm

By | News, Uncategorized, Vanessa Ybarra

For this week’s ‘Vanessa on Assignment’ I strolled Marine Drive in White Rock asking businesses whether they’ve been affected by the construction going on at Memorial Park. The city is expanding the space and as part of that have taken over around 50 parking spots permanently.

I spoke to David and Elizabeth Pacifici who are from Italy. They own Dolce Gelato located directly across from the pier in what’s now been turned into a construction site. The second I walked in I was greeted by a huge smile and “HELLO!” from both of them. We chatted for a bit. They told me how their revenue is down at least 70 per cent because of the lack of parking well…everywhere. Yet a smile never left their face. They cracked jokes about how they’ve become experts at being lazy and how they’re thankful they get along because these days there aren’t exactly a lot of customers to talk to.

Some would look at their situation as dreadful. All day long they’re forced to listen to the sound of jackhammers and sanders outside their door. Revenue is the worst it’s been since they opened in 2001. There’s no firm date from the City of White Rock on when the park project will be completed. Yet here they are, smiling and laughing their way through it.

They EVEN gave me a free scoop of gelato when I didn’t have cash (their store is cash only FYI). I felt bad taking it but they insisted.

Go visit them at 15045 Marine Drive when you have a chance. You won’t find a nicer couple.





By | Uncategorized

An interesting note came along with my mother’s tax return statement the other day. Because we qualified she received a GST credit from the federal government, but a surprise came a long with the GST receipt. The Province is giving back a credit as well. It’s called the, ‘BC Climate Action Tax Credit’. As their note states, ’To help offset the impact of carbon tax, the BC Climate Action Tax Credit provides households with lower and middle incomes up to $135 per adult and $40 per child annually. Little extra money in the pocket always helps. That’s the good news. here’s the bad. If you were unaware, ‘BC’s existing carbon tax is increasing $5 per tonne annually over the next 4 years – until it reaches $50 per tonne in 2011. Add that to the fact that the tax credit is paid in 3 instalments and we pay way higher gas prices that anywhere else in the province – in the country – what is $40 going to do every four months? And why did my mother receive this credit when she has never owned nor had a drivers license and has never driven anything motorized in her life? Instead of offering cheap and easy payments so you can gauge us some more via the pumps, let’s start making gas prices affordable for all. 


Cooking night from hell

By | News, Uncategorized, Vanessa Ybarra

On Tuesday night I thought I would up the ante and cook a creamy tomato soup and sweet potato curry dish for my boyfriend Deryck. I confidently drove to Price Smart, bought all the specialty ingredients (at least $40 worth, gulp!), got home and fired up the stove.

Ten minutes into my soup making session I realized it was going south fast. For some reason the recipe called for way more veggies than broth so in no time it started to look like a chunky stew. And the flavour! No matter how much garlic I added  to it it just tasted it just tasted like water. Derrick still ate the lumpy mess. Gotta love hungry tradesmen but it hardly looked like the photo above!

Feeling deflated but not defeated I picked myself up and moved onto the main dish. A coconut milk sweet potato  medley. Seems simple enough, what could go wrong! I prepped the veggies, tossed them in spices as per usual, went to open the can of milk and….it’s solid. A solid brick of milk. Maybe it went bad? Maybe this is some new trend?  Either way you can’t make a coconut milk dish without the COCONUT MILK!!

I could’ve tried melting it down or adding water or something to be honest at that point I was too flustered and near tears as the clock rounded 8pm to do anything at that point. So we ordered pizza. It wasn’t the exotic dine in I was aiming for but that’s what you get trying to attempt two new recipes in one night.

  • Vanessa xox
  • @VanessaLYbarra





Joysticks and Paddles memories

By | News, Uncategorized, Vanessa Ybarra

This afternoon our Pulse team got together to brainstorm our favourites memories from the 90s and 2K era. As you can imagine there was no shortage of nostalgia! From Msn messenger and MC Hammer pants to TGIF and mixed tapes everyone brought to the table what made those decades so special to them (and in most cases, tacky ha!)

The main thing that comes to my mind when I look back at the 90s is the video rental store in my hometown of Cloverdale. Every Friday my Dad would take my sisters and me down to ‘Joysticks and Paddles’  for our usual ‘five for five’ deal. Five movies for five days for five dollars. Can’t get much better than that!

Looking back I realize the place was pretty retro. First of all the outside literally looked like a barn complete with this huge dome ceiling and chipped blue paint on the outside. Inside, the place reeked of smoke and was covered in old stained carpet. But we didn’t care. My sisters and me would fling open the doors hitting the floor running up and down the aisles where we would meticulously scan each title for what felt like hours until we had the perfect VHS mix of Disney movies, rom coms and in the later years bloody thrillers to round out the weekend. We would then pull a large laminated tag from each movie we wanted and bring them up to the front where a woman would randomly disappear  for what felt like FOREVER and then come back with her arms piled high in VHX boxes for us to take home.

But wait, there’s more. At that point you were asked if you wanted to buy a gumball for 25 cents and if you get the black one then you get one movie free. Um….yeah! Me and my sisters must’ve spent hundreds of dollars on that machine over the years and never won. It didn’t matter.

Finally, the woman reminded us to ‘Be Kind and Rewind’ (what that meant at four years old I had no idea) but it sounded cool. Then, five days later we’d be back and repeat the whole thing over again. Today, everytime I drive by Joysticks and Paddles that’s now been turned into a pet store I can’t help but smile and laugh. Today, we rent movies using our thumb. Back then, it was an experience that I wouldn’t trade for anything!

– Vanessa xox


I WILL be watching the royal wedding

By | News, Uncategorized, Vanessa Ybarra

Unlike my Pulse colleagues I intend to have my tush firmly planted in front of the telly early Saturday morning to witness the marriage of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. In the Ybarra household you really don’t have a choice. Royal family obsession kind of runs deep in our family. My great aunt lived in London for 25 years and during that time she toured Buckingham Palace at least once a year. Ask her one thing about the British royal family and she would provide you with a full detailed report of the entire family tree and with such enthusiasm you’d swear she was related to them. When my Mom visited my aunt in the UK in her early 20s it isn’t surprising her knowledge of the royals rubbed off on her  and ultimately her own daughters. Growing up the goings-on at Buckingham Palace were a pretty standard topic around the dinner table. From Princess Margaret’s fling with a married man, to the Duchess of York’s toe scandal to Princess Diana’s multiple affairs (how does Prince Harry NOT look like James Hewitt) and of course William and Kate’s wedding, I hate to admit there aren’t many events or topics I don’t know about.Consider it force feeding Ybarra style. And so yes, on Friday night my sisters and my Mom will put on our tiaras, drink champagne and toast to Harry and Meghan. Yes, I get and understand a large portion of Canadians poo poo the pomp and pageantry not to mention millions of tax payer dollars spent on the royals each year. However for my family it’s just something we do and enjoy.


– Vanessa



Today’s kids owning the stage

By | Uncategorized

On Saturday I had the pleasure of judging the ‘No Borders Group Challenge Dance Contest’ at the Surrey Arts Centre sponsored by Pulse 107.7 FM. I have to say sitting and scoring six hours of dance acts ranging from tap, ballet and jazz to acro, hip hop and musical theatre I was blown away with the level of talent and skills today’s young dancers possess. When I took jazz and ballet as a young girl our routines consisted of simple jetes and pirouettes and we wore tacky sequenced jumpsuits and matching hats. Now the costumes and routines are so much more detailed and sophisticated. In almost every performance I watched dancers used each other’s bodies as springboards where they launched into the air to perform a split leap or some other crazy move all without the slightest hint of nerves or hesitation. Watching some of the hip hop and tap groups the speed of the routines was amazing. Your eyes literally couldn’t  keep up the moves changed so rapidly. In one boys tap routine the youngest performer was only four. FOUR! How that kid could memorize so many intricate steps and not break a smile or sweat was mind boggling! One routine that really stuck out is one ballet routine where the whole thing was performed in silence. Usually if a dancer’s mind goes blank a certain phrase or beat in the song will jog their memory and they’re usually able to jump back in fairly easily. However with this routine the dancers didn’t have anything to go off of. All they had was their inner metronome and each other for support which they pulled off flawlessly taking home a silver medal. I can safely say after watching and speaking with the various performers throughout the day, todays young millennial are sharp, focused, and fierce both on and off the stage. I can only imagine the level of energy and skill the next generation will bring.