Vancouver Tweetup on Friday

Title: Vancouver Tweetup
Location: The Lions Pub, 888 West Cordova Street
Link: Click here
Description: Time to disconnect from Twitter and the Internet and head out to our next Tweetup. The Lions Pub offers a variety of continental entrées, appetizers and superb burgers, mouth watering fish & chips and an extensive selection of domestic and imported beverages.

Complimentary appetizers will be provided by the pub

RSVP here and ReTweet here.

Start Time: 17:00
Date: 2009-04-03

As always, check the schedule right here at for upcoming events, and feel free to recommend events for the calendar to info [at] vancouvertech [dot] com.

What is Vancouver doing for Earth Hour?

Or rather, what is Vancouver turning off for Earth Hour?

This Saturday, March 28th, from 8:30pm until 9:30pm, whatever you do can be meaningful, even if it is just flipping off the light switch.

What else can you do to support this event?

What will you be doing — watching the darkness from up high, huddling around candlelight, or gathering in the streets? Or perhaps streaking naked through the dark streets, drinking pre-chilled beer, etc.

Unfortunately, Juno street concert celebrations will be going on downtown at that time. Do they plan to recognize Earth Hour? What else is happening in Vancouver? Some ideas:

  • Grab some darkened dinner at a participating Vancouver restaurant, with Dimming for Dinner
  • Check out Granville Online’s list of 21 ways to spend Earth Hour. My favourite: “15. Have a really good conversation with someone who’s usually attached to their iPhone or Blackberry.”

Where will you be Dining Out For Life?

Dining Out For Life is tomorrow, Thursday March 12, and over 200 restaurants around Vancouver, from Whistler to White Rock, are participating. Go ahead and dine at one of the participating restaurants, who will donate 25% of their food revenue from meals sold during this event. All money raised will go to A Loving Spoonful and Friends For Life, Lower Mainland charities supporting local people living with AIDS.

Not in Vancouver? This annual dining fundraising event will be taking place across the US and Canada in over 46 cities in the coming months.

Where will you be in Vancouver? Bon appetit.

La Bodega or Lolita’s sound good…

Blogger night @ Vancouver Opera’s Rigoletto

Tomorrow night, Saturday March 7, five prolific Vancouver area bloggers will be attending Vancouver Opera‘s performance of Verdi’s Rigoletto and live blogging (well, before, during intermission, and after at least).

These bloggers are Delicious Juice, Miss604, NetChick, A View From the Isle, and So Misguided.

Stay tuned to Vancouver Opera’s own blog for the play by play. (Yes, Vancouver Opera has their own blog, as well as a twitter account @vancouveropera and a manga version).

And if you don’t know much about opera, you just might be surprised.

Vancouver Opera Rigoletto poster


As a young, tech geek opera fan, it’s refreshing to see the recent technologically inclined efforts of opera, alongside the Met Opera’s live HD broadcasts around the world (yes you can eat popcorn and watch opera). By this, opera is getting to the masses, to a younger audience, and interacting with new forms of web-enabled social interaction.

Verdi‘s Rigoletto is a particularly accessible and beautiful opera, rated as the 9th most performed in North America. It’s melodic, Italian, and quick paced (uh, comparatively to others, see Wagner).

Here is one of my favourite arias by one of the greatest contemporary sopranos. This will make you melt. Who can guess who this performer is! I will continue to post pieces on Tumblr from this opera in the coming days, to give you a glimpse into this great opera.

Performances are March 7, 10, 12, 14, and 17, and tickets are still available.

Update: Day two of sharing great Rigoletto performances, here’s more. It’s “Questa o quella” recorded in Milan in 1902 (yes 1902!) by Enrico Caruso, without a doubt one of the greatest tenors, but possibly more importantly, a true innovator in the musical recording business. Isn’t this appropriate talking about innovation coming from opera, considering what Vancouver Opera and others are doing to promote themselves now? The song is translated as “This woman or that… are just the same to me… If today I love this one… I’ll probably love someone else tomorrow.” And you thought opera wasn’t fun…

Here’s Pavarotti doing his thing:

Update: I was able to attend last night’s March 17 Rigoletto finale. It was excellent, although it seems harder to please an opera audience when stunning Met Opera performances are available live in movie theatres around the world these days. It is breathtaking to witness the Met performers and sets, however it’s still special to see a live opera in an opera hall, and I guess this is how local opera will always be unique.

I found the set, on loan from the Calgary Opera, last night to be lacking. It was cages and chains similar to a UFC ring. Sure it was refreshing to see a different take on Rigoletto, one being more sinister, austere, and existential, than an otherwise warm and ornate Renaissance set. But I find basic sets make it more difficult for an audience to escape into the story.

Eglise Gutierrez is magnificent as Gilda and Caro nome was captivating as only a few sopranos can do. She also handled the acting nicely, being more complex than a locked away naive character might be otherwise.

Moving forward, it will be increasingly difficult for local opera houses to compete with the Met and any other top production that will be beamed across the world. However, with an excellent orchestra, two leads (Gutierrez and Donnie Ray Albert as Rigoletto) who could really connect with the audience, an enthusiastic, full house, and active appreciation of its internet fans, the Vancouver Opera is poised to continue its success.

I look forward to seeing how Vancouver Opera continues to push its tech boundaries, offering new ways to experience and market their shows, as well as appeal to a different, younger audience.

Vancouver tech posts of the week

Here again are the top posts of the week, according to Vancouver Tech:

Northern Voice Presentation + Bongo Preview by Giant Ant Media is a beautiful, visual post about Giant Ant’s presentation at Northern Voice. The post is also a sneak preview to their upcoming documentary Bongo, covering a bunch of Dar es Salaam streetboys record a hip hop album. Be sure to watch the sneak peak video.

@Bell Canada backpedals, Twitter SMS now — almost — free, well from Engadget, is not Vancouver-centric exactly, but responds to the noise last week about the Bell Canada and Twitter deal to bring back Twitter text messaging to Bell Canada customers. What was originally to be a no-added-cost service, ended up being a disappointing “premium” service. However, it turns out that all the complaining has paid off, and… Twitter is now free for these Bell Canada customers. It turns out complaining, moaning, and groaning does seem to do the trick in the backwards telecom market of Canada. See also how iPhone pricing eventually gave Canadians the 6GB data plan, and newly added incoming SMS fees were erased (well, not yet).

We Saw Darcy Hordichuk at the Airport by Darren Barefoot is a simple, ad hoc, on the fly blog post, which shows the beauty of blogging — its immediacy and capacity for social ambush — in order to capture the sighting of a Canucks fourth-line enforcer.

And, up at Whistler, according to the great Whistler Blackcomb Snow Report blog, there is So much Snow ! I can vouch for that, after my big days up there on Thursday and Friday.

Vancouver tech events: Third Tuesday March

Keep track of Vancouver tech events on VancouverTech’s calendar, on the right of this page. Coming up:

Title: Third Tuesday March
Location: Republic, 958 Granville St, Vancouver, BC 604 669-3266
Link out: Click here
Description: PLEASE NOTE: Due to St. Patrick\’s Day, this month\’s THIRD TUESDAY is on Monday the 16th…

Speaking this month, is internet star, John Chow: How to run a million dollar business on 2 hours per day.
Start Time: 19:00
Date: 2009-03-16
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Twitter and Bell Canada get text messaging going again, but beware, not for free

About a year ago, Twitter cancelled their text messaging service for their Canadian users, claiming high costs to them. Today, on their blog, Twitter announced it was back on, but only for Bell customers. This would allow Twitters to update their Twitter status and receive updates from those they follow via text message.

The Twitter announcement claimed “There are no limits and no added fees (beyond your normal texting plan).” However, now according to Bell, each incoming AND outgoing Twitter text message will cost users 15 cents each, even if you have an unlimited incoming or unlimited all messaging service.

This is a disappointment from either or both of these companies. At first, it looked to be a sign of progression, but now even worse than before. Other options for Twitter are TwitterBerry for Blackberry or Twittermail for Twitter using email. However, still the best way to use Twitter on a mobile device is with the iPhone.

Thanks to @robroc for this info.

Vancouver tech posts of the week

Coming of a noisy and buzzworthy Northern Voice, here are two powerful posts, both must-reads for the Vancouver tech community:

Miss 604: Northern Voice 2009 Citizen Media and the Olympics Robert Scales and Andy Miah

This liveblogged entry from Northern Voice captured the energy and quick pace of the presentation by Robert Scales and friends on social media during the Olympics. Speaker DaveO says, “we’re not here to live stream the women’s figure skating in prime time… We own as much of the culture about the olympics as the IOC does… People are coming and i plan to welcome them and make cool stuff.”

Citizen media, or “ambush media,” will undoubtedly become a significant part of future Olympic coverage. Will it happen in Vancouver?

Tris Hussey: Coping Digitially hits and hurts the mark:NorthernVoice 2009

This is a very powerful post at the intersection of technology and reality. Kudos for Tris for a breath of honesty in space clouded by technology and fancy tools for accessing and spreading information. To learn more about this initiative, read Mental Health Camp 2009 – A proposal, on Hummingbird604‘s blog.