Tag Archives: British Columbia

Visit the City .. not the Stereotype

They say that there is no such thing as bad publicity. That may be true but at a certain point you need to ask yourself if your promoting or parody-ing.

The recent Olympics in Vancouver brought a lot of publicity to Canada, British Columbia, and Vancouver. The Olympic ceremonies tended to feed the common stereotypes that the world had for Canada. The problem is that it was Canada that was presenting that view of itself.

That basically gives permission for others to do the same thing.

In Victoria, we recently hosted NBC’s Today Show. They flew to Victoria on the floatplane from Vancouver, went to the Empress for Tea, and then ate some fish and chips. Now I hope, as many local businesses do, that this will mean more tourists and dollars for the local economy.
Yet it just bugs the hell out of me.

The Myth: They get on the nice little floatplane and make some cute little jokes about whether a little old plane like that is safe or not

The Reality: The Twin Otter flown by Westcoast Air is a Canadian designed legendary airplane. It would have been nice if they had managed to plug the local Victoria business, Viking Air, that recently put them back in production. They secured orders from all over the world – including the US Army’s Parachute team, so they are probably a pretty good little airplane.

The Myth: Tea at the Empress, a classic taste of England here in Victoria.

The Reality: While that ‘a little bit of Britain’ got a few tourists in the 60s, 70s, and 80s we really have moved on. The Empress is still an icon on the inner harbour but the Grand Pacific, Laurel Point, and Delta’s Ocean Point hold up pretty well themselves. And High Tea may be a nice treat we have dozens of coffee houses that really represent the local culture much better.

The Myth: A spot of fish and chips. Again the ‘Bit of Britain’ view takes front and centre.

The Reality: Fish and Chips is on the menu in many spots and I was glad to see Red Fish, Blue Fish in the spotlight. But really, the massive number of choices around town for the foody crowd deserve a little better. The fact that the annual ‘Dine Around‘ event was on at the same time would have been a nice mention as well. We probably have more good Sushi places than good Fish and Chip shops. And don’t even get me started on the gastropubs, and microbrews…..

So how could they have gotten a better view of Victoria, well:

Just saying ….


WordCamp Victoria 2009 – Victoria BC Nov 14

Register: WordCamp Victoria 2009 – WordCamp Victoria (Victoria, BC) – Meetup.com.

In slightly more than a tweet, I wanted to plug the upcoming WordCamp Victoria event. After what sounded like an excellent event in Vancouver a couple months ago, some engaging folks on this side of the water have put together an event for Victoria’s Social Media/Networking/Blogging, <Insert additional new media tag here> groups.

Ross Bay Cemetery – Old Cemeteries Society of Victoria

Recently did a some fall photos at Ross Bay Cemetery. Always feels a little strange talking about going to Cemeteries but Circle of Life and all…

In the process found nice resource at Old Cemeteries Society of Victoria.

Ross Bay Cemetery has the oldest surviving formal landscape design in BC and is a superb example of a Victorian-era burial ground. Its profusion of unusual trees and plantings, winding carriageways, graves with intriguing marble, sandstone and granite monuments, all bear witness to the people buried here.

via Ross Bay Cemetery – Victoria BC.

The also do great work for other current and past cemetaries. There interactive map of Pioneer Square (Quadra and Rockland – beside Christ Church Cathedral and opposite the Y) is an great look at the origins of Victoria.

What’s On in Victoria?

Victoria is a wonderful place to live but, in my experience, not always an easy place to get to know. I was here for 3 years before I even figured out major events such as Symphony Splash and Feast of Fields. In the last couple weeks I’ve had been two additional experiences.

One was trying to find out when the Victoria Day Parade was (Stop – Even I got that the Victoria Day Parade happens on Victoria Day). Meaning what time did it start..

The second was seeing a sign in the middle of Oak Bay Avenue for the Oak Bay Tea party. Which I had no idea was happening this weekend.

In the first case I couldn’t find the parade start time with a lot of searching. In the second I didn’t think to look. Both convinced me I needed another information source.

Now don’t get me wrong, there are some  great sources out there like; Calendar of Events (linked from City of Victoria), Events Calendar (tourismvictoria.com), and Harbourliving. What was missing for me was a way for this information to get in my face. I wanted a way to have these events show up in my desktop, on my iPhone, and in the daily reminders that ‘bing’ on a daily basis.

While I would love someone to step up and provide a solution,  this week I tried to build something to solve this problem. In the short term, I’ve rolled up a solution with Google Calendar that I’m sharing at www.meetupvictoria.com. We’ll see how it goes.

BC Election Tuesday, May 12, 2009 – Web style

Starting to see stuff out for the upcoming Provincial Election. Following the recent US E-lection, it is safe to say that we are going to get more web-friendly electionering this time around.

In addition to the first online registation system for voters, the regular web will provide a large chunk of the information delivery. I’m a fan of http://www.publiceyeonline.com/ as the home of all the ‘inside Victoria” stuff. The regular media outlets, the party web sites, and Google News round out the top hitters here.

The online sources, whether the more classic website or the more blog-like commentaries, should be well represented across the whole political range.

Probably the most hyped technology from the US election – Twitter – will make a appearence in force in the next 6 weeks. I’ve updated my twitter to follow @ publiceyeonline and @VaughnPalmer
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The local newspaper (or at least someone who reads it) has done a great job with updates @timescolonist

If you want a different point of view there are a number of electronic publications such as The Tyee .

The sleeper technology is going to be the media (audio and video). Will podcast and livestreaming become part of campaign coverage? Will it be generated by the parties, the large media outlets, or relatively independent third parties.

Next: The online candiate checklist.