Photos from the CIBC Run For The Cure 2009

On an early October 4th morning, I ventured down to Concord Place with Rebecca to check out this year’s CIBC Run For The Cure. Across the entire country of Canada, people were running and walking to raise money to help find a cure for breast cancer. Being that we were invited to check out the festivities, I knew it would be a great opportunity to get some more practice in with my Nikon D90. This would be the first, large scale event with my new camera, so it was tough to pass up.

I should mention that this is the first time since 2007 that I haven’t participated in the Run For The Cure. We were invited to run by the organizers if we wanted, but the jam filled weekend of BarCampVancouver and other sixty4media projects kept us fairly swamped that weekend. Perhaps next year, and I’m always up for a good run, no matter what the cause.

That being said, here’s a selection of photos that were some of the best to me. I’m still getting a handle on technique, but these types of events are incredibly fun while difficult to shoot. So many great opportunities for getting great captures, but you just have to be in the right place at the right time.

CIBC Run For The Cure 2009

CIBC Run For The Cure 2009

CIBC Run For The Cure 2009

CIBC Run For The Cure 2009

CIBC Run For The Cure 2009

This cat was cruising along on top of this guy’s head as he set out from the start line. With all of the dogs participating in the event, I can see why. Still, the way it’s perched on top of the hat makes me think that this is a regular thing. Just need the perfect Lolcats caption for it.

CIBC Run For The Cure 2009

Pamela Martin, ladies and gentlemen. Quick eye contact, raised my camera, and she flashed me that perfect, Channel 9 smile.

CIBC Run For The Cure 2009

CIBC Run For The Cure 2009

I saw these three in the distance. They were all pushing themselves to make it to the finish line, coming in around the top 10% of all the other runners. One of them waived to go ahead and finish without them, but they instead locked hands, one of them let out a “we can do this!”, and put their heads down to finish that last 100 meters together. Kind of pulled on the heart strings.

CIBC Run For The Cure 2009

A “most interesting man in the world” moment.

CIBC Run For The Cure 2009

You can see all of my photos from this event on Flickr. Rebecca has a full write-up as well.

Going for a boat ride with Wantsa

Last week, I had the extreme pleasure of being invited on a boat cruise for the launch of a new start-up in Vancouver, Wantsa.

I have yet to actually use their service, but all that I have heard so far seems to be very interesting and promising as to what Wantsa is looking to accomplish.

The Wantsa Engine is an application found within social networks that lets you and your friends exchange recommendations on trusted businesses, services and organizations. In return, you enjoy exclusive discounts and incentives from a valuable network of recommended companies. Even better, every time you engage with a business or organization, we’ll make a donation to the cause of your choice. []

What I think is the most important element to their overall mission is the goal of giving back to the world as much as they are looking to be successful. By using their engine, you get what you want while giving back to charities that you would like to support.

This event was quite the gathering of people in the new media community of Vancouver, and the event was an amazing success. While the food and drink was abundant, so was the opportunity to hear all about Wantsa from the entire crew that was spread around the boat.

This also means that it was a great opportunity to shoot some photos while out at sea.

Wantsa Boat Cruise & Launch Party

Wantsa Boat Cruise & Launch Party

Wantsa Boat Cruise & Launch Party

Wantsa Boat Cruise & Launch Party

Wantsa Boat Cruise & Launch Party

Wantsa Boat Cruise & Launch Party

Wantsa Boat Cruise & Launch Party

Wantsa Boat Cruise & Launch Party

Many thanks to the Wantsa crew for a smashing event and the best of luck with their endeavor. And of course, you can see all the photos from this event on Flickr.

Red carpet photos from the 2009 Juno Awards

As apart of the day job, I had the opportunity to shoot some photos at the red carpet event for the 2009 Juno Awards last weekend. Some of Canada’s best known musicians and performers came through to talk to members of The Beat morning show, so I did my best to shoot through the thick crowd of fellow media members, such as other photographers, producers, TV cameras, etc.

Here’s a few of my favorite shots.

2009 Junos Red Carpet for The Beat 94.5fm
Elise Estrada
2009 Junos Red Carpet for The Beat 94.5fm
Sam Roberts
2009 Junos Red Carpet for The Beat 94.5fm
MuchMusic VJ, Leah Miller and Dallas Green of City and Colour
2009 Junos Red Carpet for The Beat 94.5fm
Mike Reno of Loverboy
2009 Junos Red Carpet for The Beat 94.5fm
Elvis Costello and Diana Krall
2009 Junos Red Carpet for The Beat 94.5fm
Sarah McLachlan

You can see all of the photos from that night on Flickr, and I’m fairly impressed with how some turned out compared to others. All of these were shot with my Canon S5IS, and I took some time after this to learn more about my camera in anticipation of having more opportunities like this. You never know what type of situation you’ll be in when you get to shoot events like this, and it really made me feel like a newbie standing there.

People have asked me a few times as to what I thought about the whole experience, and to be completely honest, it was just another day on the job. However, when Elvis Costello walked up with his stunning wife, Diana Krall, I did have a brief moment of where I couldn’t believe how close I was standing to a man of great talent, if not a lasting impression on rock and roll history. That would have to be my highlight of the Junos.

Surrey Winterfest 2009

Surrey Winterfest 2009 This past Saturday, Rebecca and I ventured out to Surrey to cover Winterfest 2009. I say “cover” because we were asked specifically by the city of Surrey to come out to not only enjoy the festivities but to also provide coverage of the day’s events as they happened.

Many of the folks that we met were excited to see coverage of Winterfest happening on, and there were a lot of praises coming from people who were very familiar with the exposure that Surrey gets from Rebecca’s posts about the city as well as everything else in the lower mainland. I think it’s safe to say that these people are getting what grassroots media coverage can do for a city on a hyper-local basis, even if it is strictly web based content. I think that says a lot.

Check out the various posts on for the full coverage:

I wasn’t providing commentary as much as being a photographer on the grounds, trying to capture as much of Winterfest 2009 as I could with my camera. There were people everywhere, plenty of things to see and do, and the entertainment on stage kicked off with some great stuff for the families while wrapping up the night with rock show that was an amazing lineup for a concert that cost you nothing to attend.

That being said, here’s a collection of photos that I took, and you can see the entire set on Flickr as well.
Continue reading “Surrey Winterfest 2009”

An evening at the Molson Brewery for Brew 2.0

A couple of weeks ago, I was contacted about Brew 2.0, an event that was being held at the Molson Brewery in Vancouver that was to help celebrate the 50th anniversary of the operation. Even better, this little shindig was being put on for social media folks like myself, plus a lot of familiar and not so familiar faces in the tech community in this city.

Yah beer!

The concept for the night was to invite a bunch of bloggers down to be apart of this celebration, try their beer, have some amazing food, learn more about the people behind the brewery, get a tour of the facility, and basically be treated to a rather amazing evening. That suites Rebecca and I just fine.

Brew 2.0

Brew 2.0

Brew 2.0

All in all, I was immensely impressed by not only the event, but my overall opinion of Molson has changed quite a bit. Of course, they were generous hosts, but even Geoff Molson, the great-great-great-great-grandson of founder John Molson[wiki], was there to give us a great history of the brewery in Vancouver, and good friend David Drucker was there to capture his introductory speech on video.

Probably the best part of the night was when Duane said to Geoff Molson, “You make a pretty good beer, but can you do a keg stand?” And Geoff honestly answered yes, but this remains to be seen.

Gord Rickards pouring beer for us

The other treat of the evening was to have Gord Rickards, co-creator of Rickard’s various brews, pouring my Rickard’s Red from the tap. After spending $7-$9 per single cup of beer at Canucks games, it doesn’t seem so bad after meeting the guy and drinking his beer for free. He also gave us a wonderful tutorial on the basic ingredients that go in the various beers that they make there, even letting us sample various grains that they use.

When we took a tour of the cannery floor, I asked Gord if he ever gets tired of seeing his beer put into cans with his name on it. He didn’t blink when he said no, and I didn’t doubt that answer before I even asked it. Shortly thereafter, they pulled about 8 cans off the line before they went through the pasteurization process. We went upstairs and had Rickard’s Red that was two minutes old, unpasteurized. They were cold and very, very tasty.

Micro-brews will always have a special place in anyone’s heart (and liver) who enjoys beer, but an evening like this helps you to understand that even the macro-brew folks are working just as hard to produce great beer. The next time you turn your nose up at a Molson Canadian could be a missed opportunity of having something that isn’t as bad as you think. Additionally, the Canadian we were given was the freshest, tastiest brew that any of us had ever sampled. Maybe it’s proximity, but the truth is that it was good.

The 50th Anniversary Gold Standard is something that will not go into production as much as brewed especially for marking the occasion. Trying it out, I can say that it’s really good. Creamy, kinda like an IPA, but that’s the best I can describe it.

I can’t say enough good things about the folks at Molson. Every aspect of the night exceed expectations, and it continued the next day when each attendee had a case of Rickard’s delivered to them. Since Rebecca was invited in addition to myself, we got two. Trump card once again, Molson. Thank you!

See more reaction around the blogosphere from Raul, Tris, Tanya, Arieanna, Ryan, and the Molson Community Blog. More photos can be seen in the Flickr set.

Photos from the Surrey Fusion Festival 2008

Last weekend, Rebecca was contacted by the city of Surrey to come out and help cover the events of the Surrey Fusion Festival. The three days of food, live performances, vendors, and artist displays were brought together for the soul purpose of putting a variety of ethnic flavors that comprise the areas of the lower mainland into one place. And let me say, they did an amazing job of pulling it off.

Surrey Fusion Fest 2008

Once again, I played photographer for the day, gathering shots for coverage on The organizers understand and recognize the reach that a hyperlocal blog like Rebecca’s has, so they wanted to make sure that they did everything they could to spread the world about the event, even if it’s after the fact.

Surrey Fusion Fest 2008

Here’s a variety of shots that were my favorite of those three days.

Surrey Fusion Fest 2008

Surrey Fusion Fest 2008

Surrey Fusion Fest 2008

Surrey Fusion Fest 2008

Surrey Fusion Fest 2008

Surrey Fusion Fest 2008

Surrey Fusion Fest 2008

This last photo is by far my favorite out of the whole bunch, and it’s not because of the photo quality or how the light hits the shot just right. It’s the fact that when we saw these prawn crackers, we more so thought about how it would taste. The spelling didn’t catch us until after the fact.

Surrey Fusion Fest 2008

With hope, those “pawn crackers” helped to make you understand how great the Surrey Fusion Fest was this year, and I really hope that the momentum is there to do it again next year. The whole gathering was laid back and a great atmosphere that one has to experience to really enjoy.

If you would like to see more photos, please see the entire set on Flickr, and Rebecca has some great posts highlighting the festivities from day two and three. Our social media ninja in arms DaveO even made a guest post to give his perspective, and he was just as pleased with things as we were.

Checking out WordCamp Fraser Valley out in Langley, BC

WordCamp Fraser Valley You could say that this style of WordCamp is a bit out of the ordinary. In fact, I’m not sure that many WordCamps are held in casinos, but this event is pretty nice in the fact that there is an amazing space out here for gatherings, meetups, and conventions like this.

WordCamp Fraser Valley is a growing push to move web related camps like this out of the downtown core and into the mysterious world away from the ocean waters. Wifi, reasonable sources of power, plenty of water, a huge room, podium, PA system, projector, and a screen. What more could you really need for a WordCamp?

Well, it might be better if something like this was a bit longer, but an all day event at a location like this might be tough. If you head down the escalators, you might be enticed by the various ways to gamble your money away, so you’re probably better off sticking to your laptop like myself and get some content out while checking out your RSS feeds.

The list of presenters tonight are a good group of folks. Raul kicked off this WordCamp with a session on switching from Blogger to WordPress, and it was a great way to introduce newbies with a way of letting go of your worries and do more with blogging in general. Even if you don’t have a blog or are just beginning with your blog, these concepts are worth considering.

Gary from BlurFur, the folks who have headed up this event, made a last minute presentation on business blogging after another speaker was unable to attend. A topic that is largely ignored, and often not even thought about, businesses should be doing more blogging. Period. If you want a way to reach your customers directly, then this is it. Promote your product, talk about your industry, or publish your your press releases on your blog, there are many avenues you can take when it comes to adding a blog to your business.

More topics are being presented tonight, so I will let Rebecca’s live blog speak more to what’s going on, not to mention that she is also one of the presenters tonight. She will be speaking about adding custom sidebars to your posts and pages, something we are big fans of doing. Kulpreet is currently speaking about security to WordPress, and John Chow will bring his evil, money making ways with blogging to the room.

I have to say that I am really impressed with tonight’s turnout. It’s always great to see people from various aspects of blogging. And yes, there are people that don’t even have a blog and are here to find out more. If that’s someone like yourself, then check out a WordCamp sometime. The WordPress community not only does geek stuff and talk about code, but we also like to share the things we know.

Playing photographer at the Vancouver Dragon Boat Festival 2008

Entrance to the Vancouver Dragonboat Festival 2008

About a week and a half ago, I had the extreme pleasure of joining Rebecca on a really cool experience of covering the Rio Tinto Alcan Dragon Boat Festival for the festivities of 2008.

Cycling teams through

People come from all over to compete in this event, not to mention watch and enjoy the festivities.

The Festival was created to show off Vancouver’s growing cultural diversity and to promote racial harmony among Canadians – new and old. Vancouverites were invited to the festival to experience spectacular food, entertainment, arts and children’s programming reflecting Vancouver’s cultural diversity. At the same time, interest in paddling was taking off and more and more teams formed and registered each year.

Twenty years later the Festival still fulfills its mandate to promote cultural harmony among Canadians. It has developed into one of Vancouver’s most anticipated summer family events. [dragonboatbc]

Throw ring, win tinfoil!

This was just a little bit more than the run of the mill walking around, shooting pictures, and seeing the sights. Thanks to Anita, we had media passes to the event.

Pretending to be in the boat

Rogers team stretches before racing

Probably the best thing about the media access for this event was being able to ride in the media boat and follow the racers as they went from start to finish, paddling along until their bodies couldn’t give anymore.

Warming up


Keeping guard

Good game

With my trusty camera, I decided to try something a little different and shoot some video with it of an actual heat or two.

The Dragon Boat Festival is a real passion for some of these racers. There’s a community that comes from the numerous teams, and the action is just as intense. This is something that you don’t really get a sense of until you get away from all of the tents and vendors on dry land. When you get down to the water level, it’s a whole other experience that I’m really glad I had the opportunity to see.

Launch Party Vancouver 3

I had the opportunity to hang out at Launch Party Vancouver 3 on January 25th at the Lamplighter in Gastown. It was chalk full of all sorts of people in the ever so progressing Vancouver tech scene. Even though that is a geeky thing to say, good and interesting things are happening in the Vancouver tech community.

Kdon taunting Duane

As the wine seemed to be never ending, I took my camera around and took some various shots. Taking photos with flash is never to my liking, but I’m adjusting more and more to how my new toy works. See all of my photos from the night here, but ace photographer Duane was officially on the prowl with his gear here.

Photo by Duane Storey
Photo credit: duanestorey on Flickr

Speaking of photos, one of the reasons we were there is that Rebecca was invited for a photo shoot as being one of the top women in tech here in Vancouver. Can she code in C+? Probably not, but as fast as she has taken to learning PHP and becoming a crack WordPress ninja tells me that she could learn it pretty quick if she wanted to. She also kicks some butt at her day job, so you could say that she’s really on top of her game.

Probably the coolest thing that I can’t stop talking about from that night is the free, 1GB thumb drive that were given away courtesy of Sun. Yes, the same Sun that you are thinking of, and they were there for the official launch of a software platform specifically aimed at helping tech startups be tech startups with their Startup Essentials program. Notice a theme there?

I didn’t take nearly enough time to explore the other folks who were demoing their products at the event as much as I took the opportunity to get caught up with some faces that I haven’t seen in quite sometime. Life has become too hectic to see everyone that I’d like, so it’s good to get a chance to get reacquainted.

Dave and Jordan

If you’d like to see more details on the various folks demoing their latest and greatest, check out

Looking forward to the next edition of the Launch Party Vancouver. It’s a great way to keep the community in Vancouver familiar with each other. Otherwise, it’d just be a bunch of faceless people with products and URL’s. Gathering for good drink and food is a nice touch, geeking out optional.