Rescue Me: Timmy The Tabby Looking For His FURever Home

21 Mar

We are big supporters of those that do the tireless and often thankless work of looking after animals that others have either lost, injured or abandoned. One of those organization that does great work in our community is VOKRA, Vancouver Orphan Kitten Rescue Association.  Every now and again we will be featuring some of the cats they have in foster waiting for their furever homes. Today, we’d like to introduce to a very handsome cat named Timmy.  This handsome boy is an 11 year old long haired tabby. We hear he has a sweet disposition and enjoys the company of people and might be good with another house cat his own age. Timmy is diabetic and does require insulin injections twice a day and he’s good with receiving his injections, so you should be comfortable with giving them.  Timmy does need to be kept on a regular feeding schedule, but other than that, he’s good natured, enjoys hanging in the sunshine and watching the birds. Note, if you are not familiar with VOKRA’s policies, they do have a strict indoor cat policy.  Timmy is currently with one of the many great foster families which form part of VOKRA. If you are interested in adopting/meeting this handsome TimmyVOKRA-AngelaMcDonnell2boy, please contact VOKRA directly. We, of course, welcome any shares of this information so Timmy can find his FURever home.

Photo Credit: Angela McConnell



A Crime Thriller The Butcher Comes To The Cultch March 20th to 31st

20 Mar

TheButcherThe Cultch and Prime Cuts Collective invite you to take a ride on a philosophical crime thriller, The Butcher.  Who is the Butcher? At a police station a mysterious old man is found wearing a foreign military uniform and a Santa hat. A butcher’s hook hangs around his neck, and gouged on the end is a business card with the words, “Arrest me,” scrawled on it. As a lawyer, a police officer, and a translator struggle to unravel the truth, they uncover a past that won’t stay buried, and a decades-old quest for justice that must be served.  Dark secrets come to light. A past that won’t stay buried. A decades-old quest for justice that must be served.  The production we hear is not what you might expect and will have you guessing the entire time.   The Butcher takes place in the Historic Theatre at The Cultch March 20th to March 31st. Tickets start from $22 and are available online at The Cultch.

What others are saying about The Butcher:

 “Can a play about torture be too entertaining?”
The Globe and Mail

“A devilishly clever piece of work”
National Post

“A live entertainment game changer”
Toronto Stage

“[A] funny, horrifying, serpentine stage thriller” 
CBC Arts

Be Plastic Wise – Take The Pledge

19 Mar


PlasticeWiseIn case you haven’t heard the news, our oceans are inundated with microplastic. The Vancouver Courier reported last week that Ocean Wise scientists were sounding the alarm … saying that microplastic pollution is threatening ocean life right here in Vancouver”. The Courier’s article goes on to say that “Dr. Peter Ross, vice-president of research at Ocean Wise and a leading microplastic expert, said his team found 1,258 tiny particles of plastic in one cubic metre in a sample of seawater taken from the waters near the Vancouver Convention Centre.”  “To put that in perspective, scientists collecting samples off the coast of Qatar last year found an average of 0.7 particles per cubic metre.

These numbers are alarming and should grab everyone’s attention.  Plastics are making their way into our food supply. As a City situated on the water, we need to do better, MUCH better. What is needed is action, not talk.  Global News quoted Ocean Wise President and CEO John Nightingale “some are estimating that by 2040 or 2050, there will be more pounds of plastic in the ocean than there are pounds of fish.” Honestly, that statement is horrifying to us as it is to many others. So the initiative Plastic Wise has been created to help us create a better environment for all.

We see plastic lying around everywhere every day. Whether it’s floating in the Fraser River, garbage left behind, or dog bags used to clean up dog poop, then just dropped somewhere to be picked up later, but never are. The day before Ocean Wise made this announcement of their new campaign, we drove down our residential street and within 2 blocks saw 4 plastic bottles lying on the side of the road.  These bottles were just a short distance from City of Vancouver storm drains that connect to the Fraser River. The Fraser River as you might imagine contains a host of fish and wildlife.   We have recently been reading about the harmful effects of plastic in all areas of life. Whether it’s storing food, water bottles, plastic bags for shopping, plastic bags for garbage, products you buy with excess packaging. The facts are startling, but we can and should do better MUCH better and cumulatively people can make a difference.   So we have taken the Ocean Wise Pledge and plan to do better. We invite you to do the same.

For us making changes is all about breaking old habits and creating better ones. We suggest tackling one thing.  Some simple things you can do include:

  • Organize or Participate in a Clean Up Whether a Shoreline or Your Block
  • Buy and Use a Refillable Coffee Mug
  • Buy/Use a Refillable Water Bottle
  • Have Your Own Stash Of Reusable Grocery Bags
  • Recycle.Reuse.Refill
  • Buy Bulk
  • Pack Lunch With Reusable Containers
  • Buy Products With Minimal Packaging
  • See A Plastic Bottle Lying About, Pick It Up
  • Buy Refillable Bottles of Household Cleaners
  • Give Up Gum – Did You Know “Gum is made of a synthetic rubber, aka plastic.”
  • Use a Razor with Replaceable Blades Instead of a Disposable Razor
  • Consider Making Your Own Cleaning Products
  • Use Metal Straws Instead Of Plastic Straws
  • Use Matches Instead of Disposable Plastic Lighters/Invest in a Refillable Metal Lighter
  • Give Up Single Use Plastic Bags

What will you do to use less plastic?  We’ve already tackled a lot of the items on this list, but certainly not all.  Integrating and adopting small changes is the key better habits for your health and that of our environment. To take the pledge, visit Plastic Wise. On this site, you will find some great information about microplastics. Check out Microplastics in 60 Seconds to find out what they are, and all the places they come from. Together we can make a difference.

Photo Credit: Ocean Wise

What’s On East Van: March 16th Edition

16 Mar


Our weekly feature What’s On East Van sets out lots more cool events for the upcoming week.  Beyond the week, we invite you to check out our Event Listing which is updated daily and features events for the month and beyond.

Out At The Inn – Russian Hall – March 13th to 17th

Everything falls apart in this hilarious comedy about a lesbian couple who try to make their dreams come true of running a bed and breakfast out in the country.  They live with unusual neighbours, serve unconventional guests, and receive the help they desperately need from the unlikeliest sources.  Tickets are $20 and available online from Leaping Thespians.

Rocky Horror Picture Show – Rio Theatre – March 16th

If you love the Rocky Horror Picture Show, the Rio Theatre is hosting another showing for their late movie this Friday night. Doors at 11:00 pm, show gets under way at 11:30 pm.

The After After Party – The Cultch – Until March 17th 

If you are looking for a shameless night of fun with the girls, we hear this is the show to see.  It’s wild, it’s outrageous but at the heart is the essence of female friendship.  This is the last weekend to catch The After After Party at The Cultch. For tickets, visit The Cultch.

History Walk With James Johnstone March 17th

Historian James Johnstone will lead another history walk in East Vancouver this Saturday, March 17th.   This one focuses on the Working/Wild Side of Vancouver’s East Side and begins at 10:00 am. To learn more or reserve your spot, visit History Walks In Vancouver.

Gem & Mineral Show – Hastings Community Centre – March 17th & 18th

If you love rocks, gems and want to learn more about them, you have a great opportunity to do just that at the Rock & Mineral Show happening this weekend. The event happens at the Hastings Community Centre, 3086 East Hastings Street from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm this Saturday and Sunday. Admission is by donation.

First Pick Handmade YVR – Heritage Hall – March 17th and 18th

Over 30 designers from across Canada will be featuring some unique items at First Pick Handmade YVR happening at the Heritage Hall this Saturday and Sunday.  Happens Saturday and Sunday from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm. Admission is $3.00.

Live Music, Comedy & Entertainment

Looking for some fun and humour, The Dirty Betty Show happens at Café Deux Soleils this Friday at 8:30 pm. Don’t forget Tangent Café hosts live jazz music every Sunday evening at 6:00 pm. This week it’s Braveheart & Cole Schmidt. The Winter Farmer Markets continue with Saturday’s being held at Nat Bailey Stadium from 10 am to 2 pm and Sunday at Hastings Parking 10 am to 2 pm.  To see more of what’s on in East Vancouver, check our Event Listing.

Image Credit: June Hunter 

Aleph Eatery Where East Meets West

14 Mar

AlephEateryWe recently stopped in to check out a new spot Aleph Eatery located at 1889 Powell Street. Aleph Eatery features Middle Eastern cuisine in a bright modern space that is at the same cozy.  All the food on the menu is designed for sharing and items come in the order listed on the menu.  We were a group of 4 so tried a variety of items starting with a sampler called Silk Road which included eggplant, labneh, hummus, zaatar and honey. It was served with an amazing flatbread filled with herbs, onion and oil called chimichurri saj. Our group will likely return for just this dish alone, the labneh which is a yogurt cheese was a big hit.  Next up was a flavourful Fattoush Salad with cucumbers, tomatoes, croutons and a pomegranate vinaigrette.  After that we tried the Halloumi Grilled Cheese Sandwich with fig jam and served with some of the best tomato soup any of us have ever had.  This course was followed by Turmeric Cauliflower served with tahini and sliced almonds. This dish will have you wanting to eat your vegetables if you don’t already. Next up was the Ultra Crispy Potatoes served with tahini dressing, Aleppo and roasted red peppers. Last but not least, another big hit, the Coconut Chocolate Tart which was light, rich not overly sweet, but packed with flavor.   Aleph Eatery offers a few unique cocktails and a wine menu comprising mostly of wines from Lebanon and Israel.  The menu is vegetarian, but even if you aren’t vegetarian, you will walk away satisfied.  We recommend stopping by and checking out this sweet spot.  Aleph Eatery serves lunch, brunch and dinner Wednesday to Sunday.   Aleph Eatery does not take reservations unless you are a group of 8 or more. If you encounter a longer than expected wait, local distiller Odd Society Spirits is just the street for a pre-dinner cocktail as is the Trans Am Restaurant just a couple of doors down. To meet the creators behind this concept, check out this cool feature on Novus TV.

We Tour VOKRA: Vancouver Orphan Kitten Rescue Association

13 Mar

VOKRASaves.JPGWe recently had the pleasure of taking a tour of VOKRA, Vancouver Orphan Kitten Rescue Association.  Their intake facility is based in East Vancouver on Wall Street.  This non-profit was founded by two amazing ladies Karen Duncan and Maria Soroski who along with their  army of volunteers do great work in our community.   Army is a great way to describe the operation of this non-profit, particularly as it relates to the organization of it. From the volunteers, to the fosters which number over 350, the medical staff, the feeding and care of the cats in their care at the facility, the fundraising, the day-to-day operations of the facility. It takes an army to do the work that they are able to do.  VOKRA started 19 years ago and became a non-profit organization 18 years ago. Karen and Maria created the organization in part to deal with the large feral population in Vancouver and have made great strides with their Trap-Spay-Neuter program.  Through this program, their hard work and passion for what they do, they have now been able to keep down the numbers of feral cats/kitties coming into the facility. Their focus has shifted somewhat to focus more on lost, injured and abandoned cats. Unfortunately, due to rental restrictions in Vancouver, pet rescue organizations are seeing more abandoned cats.  As one that’s assisted in reuniting pets that are lost, the sheer volume makes us wonder why cats are allowed outdoors. If you wish to adopt from VOKRA, note they do have a strict indoor cat policy.  They’ve witnessed first hand what happens to cats that encounter coyotes, raccoons, cars and disease. Their focus is on education and responsible pet ownership which we applaud.

What we also learnt is the amazing support network that VOKRA has built up over the years. People volunteer their time and give resources to this organization, but VOKRA regularly gives back as well.  They are located in an area where there is some low income housing and if a senior or low income resident comes looking for food for their cat, if they are short that month, VOKRA has them covered.  This organization is a labour of love. We think these women deserve medals, keys to the City, or a day or two off.  If you are interested in volunteering at VOKRA whether it’s fostering cats, helping with paperwork or fundraising, check out Volunteering at VOKRA.

Going forward we will be featuring some of the cats in foster waiting for their FURever families.  For now, we leave with some photos of cats currently in their care.


First Pick Handmade YVR Happens At The Heritage Hall March 17th & 18th

12 Mar

FirstPick-Spring2018_postcard_v1.0First Pick Handmade YVR is happening this weekend at the Heritage Hall, 3102 Main Street, March 17th and 18th, 2018. This is a curated event of 30 Canadian men’s and women’s fashion accessory designers. They will be on hand with a limited run of items.  First Pick Handmade will transform Heritage Hall into a 3,300-square foot pop up boutique department store for the person that values Canadian design and quality materials.   The event will include a combination of long standing designers as well as newer start ups.  The common thread all these designers share is high quality construction and materials. The event will showcase clothing, jewelry, linen garments, towels, hemp Ts, wedding chic, bikinis, accessories, shoes and bags, for both men and women.  Some of the local designers featured include Bikini Empire, Dhalia Drive, Frances Felt, Rouge Textiles, Jessica Reddittm Daub & Design, Winterluxe Recycled Cashmere to name just a few.

First Pick Handmade was created and curated by Janna Hurtzig  who is the founder/designer behind Winterluxe Recycled Cashmere and Astrosatchel labels.  Hurtzig has been part of Vancouver’s handmade scene since 1988 in a variety of roles including co-organizer of Shiny, Muddy Fuzzy.  We are expecting to see some beautiful items this weekend.  First Pick Handmade YVR runs this Saturday and Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 pm. Entrance is $3.00 at the door.

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