The start of the Chinese New Year has come and past but the festivities continue. This weekend, the annual Lunarfest is taking place in front of the Vancouver Art Gallery. The parade of 180 sheep as finally arrived at its final destination! The herd actually lights up in the dark! And if you are inclined to do so, you can actually purchase one to bring home!





There were also these creepy white mannequin kids amongst the sheep. I don't think they should have included them haha.



Part of Lunarfest is Dumpling Fest. It is a basically a variety of types of dumplings that you can purchase and try. Pretty pricy though. There's also hurricane potatoes and zucchinis available.



Further into the tents, people were found making arts and crafts.


The Lanterns of Three Little Sheep. Their bodies are filled with lanterns created by kids! There was suppose to be also "The Great Wall of Lanterns” but it was not delivered in time from the US.




Visitors can also contribute to the Lanterns of Three Little Sheep by creating their own.


People can participate in a dumpling making lesson as well.



Organizers of Lunarfest also invited a number of local emerging and established artists to share their interpretation of the Sheep year with the rest of Canadians. They each painted a sheep and they are on display at Lunarfest. They are very beautiful art pieces!











Google and Jelly Marketing co-hosting a night of inspirational marketing presentations on Tuesday, 17 February 2015, at Hootsuite headquarters.


Marketing representatives from Google and Jelly showed us how to utilize technology to take the marketing game to a whole new level and grow your business.

The first hour, people mingled and noshed on canapés provided by Canapés and Cocktails catering and had cocktails provided by Lavish Liquid and KisConsulting.


I loved these temari sushi. Also loved how they placed everything on a wooden platter.

Smocked Tuna, Japanese Pickle, Smocked Salmon, and Dynamite Temari Sushi.

Porchini Arancini (White wine risotto, Vancouver Island Porcini mushrooms, smoked mozzerella, reggiano cheese). These were very popular; they almost disappeared as soon as they were put out onto the table!

Canadian Slider (Prime rib mini patty, aged cheddar, maple bacon, pickle, parmesean aioli). Mmmm.



Lychee infused vodka cocktail. Yum!



After everyone had a bite to eat and a drink, we settled down into the meatier portion of the night.

Fab Dolan from Google told us that this night is a call to action. He taught us that change happens exponentially.

"If we continue to see things in linear teams, we'll fail to see threats...and opportunities." 
Take the newspaper ads for example. A graph showing the newspaper ad revenue looks like a great linear graph...until it took a nosedive. New technology caused this and if you didn't pay attention to what was happening around, you will be left in the dust and miss the opportunities that arose from the change.

"Nothing should push marketers in new directions with greater urgency than the changing expectations of consumers"
Make your marketing memorable - personalization and immersion. And use data to personalize and understand the customer. Take Google Now for instance, it takes info that you used to have to search for in your email to make reminders. They made life easier for the user.

Fab Dolan brought up the example of the cool Volkswagen Canada x Walk Off the Earth ad that let consumers know that there were different models of its Beetle from which to choose; the ad on Youtube uses three different versions of the same song, letting the user chose which version to one to watch - it also seamlessly transitions between them!

We should all be Moonshot thinking - instead of focusing on mere 10% improvements, aim for 10x gains - the moonshot! It is really thinking outside the box because there is no box. e.g. Project Loon - bringing the internet to everyone, powered by balloon.

There are lots of technology Google as available for marketers to use and create new and innovative marketing campaigns with. 

Jelly Marketing is a digital marketing and PR agency, and a Google Partner. Some of their customers include LEGO, and the Greater Vancouver Zoo. Darian Kovacs of Jelly Marketing shared some of their customer stories and how they use analytics and reports to show results of their efforts to the customer.

He also showed this amazing video of "viral spray" for customers who want to make their videos go viral. Hahahha!

Swag Google gave the attendees. One is a cool LEGO card holder with a screen wiper and pen. Apparently, Google has a history with LEGO - when they first started, the had their servers on racks made of LEGO! And the Google logo is made up from the colours of that LEGO. Cool, eh?

Jelly also gave us some raspberry jam as a parting gift. Amazing ingredients!

All in all, it was an educational and inspirational night. Thanks Google & Jelly!


Friday, February 20, 2015

COINFEST 2015
Friday, 20 February 2015 at 9:30 AM - Sunday, 22 February 2015 at 11:30 PM
downtown Vancouver
Free-to-attend events at venues that accept Bitcoin, incentivizing adoption while educating the public. CoinFest is also decentralized in Vancouver at the local level, occurring at several venues over a period of three days. The bulk of the events are on Saturday, culminating in a grand final conference at the Sandman hotel.

Lunarfest
Fri, Feb 20 & Sat Feb 21: 11:00am – 7:00pm, Sun Feb 22: 11:00am – 6:00pm 
Vancouver Art Gallery Plaza
Started in 2009 and built to be a Vancouver Winter Olympics Legacy event, LunarFest is Canada’s premier presenter of contemporary expression in Asian arts and culture. It endeavours to reach new Canadians and those who have been here for many generations to share in the diversity of Canada. It also encourages and fosters the collaboration of Canadian and International cultural presenters to create new forms of artistic expressions. LunarFest is a festival that brings together Soul, Art and Life on one stage.

Dumpling Fest
Fri, Feb 20 & Sat Feb 21: 11:00am – 7:00pm, Sun Feb 22: 11:00am – 6:00pm 
Vancouver Art Gallery Plaza
Eat dumplings at Lunarfest. Although not the most unique or delicate cuisine, dumplings do play a significant role in Asia festivals, such as Lunar New Year, and people’s daily life.

The Dragon of Glory – Jhuo Lan Dragon Dance Team
Feb 20 12:30pm / 3:00pm / 5:30pm 
Feb 21 11:30am | Lighting Ceremony 5:00pm 
Feb 22 1:30pm / 4:30pm
Vancouver Art Gallery Plaza
Performing in Canada for the first time, Jhuo Lan Dragon Dance Team, an award winning dragon dance team from Taiwan, will bring four of their world famous dragon dances to LunarFest.

Winterruption 2015
Thurs, Feb 19, 2015 - Sunday, Feb 22, 2015
Granville Island, Vancouver
Welcome to Winterruption on Granville Island, our 10th annual, truly unique Vancouver winter festival! It’s been a decade since the first ever Winterruption Festival on Granville Island, when Vancouverites and visitors alike take a February break from the cold, grey winter for a burst of colourful art, music and dance! Art is at the heart of Winterruption, and this year, it’s bigger than ever – literally! Marvel at Giants, the largest outdoor mural ever created by Brazilian artists OSGEMEOS on Ocean Concrete’s six gigantic silos.

Year of the Goat Celebration at International Village
Thurs, Feb 19, 2015 - Sunday, Feb 22, 2015, 11am - 8pm
88 West Pender Street Vancouver Canada V6B 6N9
The Year of the Goat Celebration at International Village marks the start of the lunar calendar, bringing traditional Chinese Spring festivities and rituals to the community of Vancouver, with exhibition and sales booths on Main Level showcasing Chinese New Year festive items, souvenirs and gift wares, multicultural live performance on stage, lucky draw …. ; PLUS a festive Chinese New Year Heritage Village on the Upper Level of the mall, displaying the true colour of traditional livelihood, arts and culture, and culinary delights of Chinese New Year.

BC Home + Garden Show -  $15.00, $12.00 online
Wed 4pm - 9pm, Thur, Fri 12pm - 9pm, Sat 10am - 9pm, Sun 10am - 6pm
BC Place, 777 Pacific Blvd, Vancouver
The BC Home + Garden Show is the most trusted resource for every home improvement project, inside and out. With Canada’s favourite home, horticulture and landscaping specialists including HGTV’s Bryan Baeumler and design darling Janette Ewen, seminars and live demos from Vancouver’s culinary masters, and more than 425 exhibitors and features designed to whip any home or garden into shape, there’s innovation, inspiration and expert advice at every turn.

UBC Tennis Centre Open House
Friday, 4pm - 7pm
UBC Tennis Centre, 6160 Thunderbird Blvd, Vancouver, BC
UBC Tennis Centre is excited to invite you to attend our upcoming community open house. The Athletics and Recreation Department and the UBC Tennis Centre are proud to host an exciting event to celebrate our community for which we are all grateful. UBC A&R has also partnered with Wesbrook Village and the University Neighborhood Association (UNA) to truly make this a collaborative community event. This FREE open house will be held on Feb 20th 2015 from 4pm to 7pm at UBC Tennis Centre. Activities, food, music, prizes.

MakeSpaceforS P R I N G - by donation
Friday, 20 February 2015 from 6:30 PM to 9:30 PM
HiVE Vancouver 128 West Hastings Street #210 Vancouver, BC V6B 1G8
Join us for our first Nerd Jam of 2015 where we look at decluttering our lives and inventing ways to re-purposing items to encourage deeper social connections in our city. To kick start your spring cleaning, please bring 1 unwanted item to donate to the invention process.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

COINFEST 2015
Friday, 20 February 2015 at 9:30 AM - Sunday, 22 February 2015 at 11:30 PM
downtown Vancouver
Free-to-attend events at venues that accept Bitcoin, incentivizing adoption while educating the public. CoinFest is also decentralized in Vancouver at the local level, occurring at several venues over a period of three days. The bulk of the events are on Saturday, culminating in a grand final conference at the Sandman hotel.

Vancouver Winter Farmers Market, Food Truck February
10:00am - 2:00pm every Saturday until April 25
30th and Ontario Street in the East Parking lot and Plaza of Nat Bailey Stadium
Fresh, local, organic foods & crafts. 60+ vendors, hot food, music! Rain or Shine! Food Truck February! February is here and we’ve double the number of food trucks on-site all month long. We've asked the food trucks to create a NEW Market Menu item using market products from their fellow vendors and market shoppers (that’s you!) will decide who does it best. Don’t forget to vote every week - see us at the information tent for the official voting!

Lunar New Year Celebration 2015 at Wesbrook Village
Saturday, February 21, 2015, 10:00am - 2:00pm (Lion Dance will begin at 11:00am) 
Wesbrook Village, UBC
The Wesbrook Village is keeping up tradition and helping usher in the Year of the Sheep! Celebration includes all the necessary essentials - lion dance, fortune cookies, pastries - and even more this year. So come out to soak up the good fortune and welcome the Lunar New Year!

Chinese New Year Celebration at Oakridge Center
Friday - Sunday, mall hours, 10am - 12:30pm
Oakridge Centre, 41st & Cambie, Vancouver
Chinese lion dance performances, complete with a tour of the centre where the Lucky Lion will bless participating merchants and bring in prosperity, good luck, and good fortune for the year. You can also enjoy a beautiful good fortune garden in the West Galleria from February 18 - 26, complete with cherry blossom trees, park benches and Chinese lanterns, experience the spring outdoors.

Ladner Seedy Sat/Sun & Garden Expo - by donation
Saturday & Sunday 10am - 3pm 
Harris Barn, 4140 Arthur Dr, Ladner, BC V4K 1A7
Seedy Sat/Sun brings together garden enthusists of all levels, urban farmers & seed savers who are passionate about gardening. Bring your seeds to swap, visit garden & seed vendors. Door prizes and 8 wonderful speakers over 2 days starting with BRIAN MINTER at 10am Sat. and THOMAS HOBBS at 1:30 pm. For a full line up of speakers, workshops & events go to ……. ladnercommunitygarden.blogspot.com

Eastside Flea @ The Wise Hall
Saturday, 10am - 4pm
Hide Map The Wise Hall & Lounge 1882 Adanac Street, Vancouver, British Columbia V5L 2E2
Just under 40 local vendors selected for goods we ourselves would want to buy or see at the market, whether vintage, new, used, or handmade! * cool vintage clothing & collectables * household goods * vinyl records * rarities & memorabilia * posters, paper goods & art * small furniture * handcrafted & vintage jewelry * succulents & plants * natural locally-made body care * quality handmade items * local small businesses * your friends & neighbours selling! *

TravelExpo
Saturday February 21 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM 
East Building, Hall B Vancouver Convention Centre 999 Canada Place Vancouver, BC, V6C 0C3
Want to be the first to hear about the hottest destinations for 2015? From the latest travel trends to all your old favourites, we've got every corner of the globe covered and want to get you there! Amazing one-time deals, massive savings and priceless expert travel advice await you. Admission is free and don't forget your passport! On-site bookings, prize giveaways, live music, kids' activities and much, much more.

BC Home + Garden Show -  $15.00, $12.00 online
Wed 4pm - 9pm, Thur, Fri 12pm - 9pm, Sat 10am - 9pm, Sun 10am - 6pm
BC Place, 777 Pacific Blvd, Vancouver
The BC Home + Garden Show is the most trusted resource for every home improvement project, inside and out. With Canada’s favourite home, horticulture and landscaping specialists including HGTV’s Bryan Baeumler and design darling Janette Ewen, seminars and live demos from Vancouver’s culinary masters, and more than 425 exhibitors and features designed to whip any home or garden into shape, there’s innovation, inspiration and expert advice at every turn.

Lunarfest
Fri, Feb 20 & Sat Feb 21: 11:00am – 7:00pm, Sun Feb 22: 11:00am – 6:00pm 
Vancouver Art Gallery Plaza
Started in 2009 and built to be a Vancouver Winter Olympics Legacy event, LunarFest is Canada’s premier presenter of contemporary expression in Asian arts and culture. It endeavours to reach new Canadians and those who have been here for many generations to share in the diversity of Canada. It also encourages and fosters the collaboration of Canadian and International cultural presenters to create new forms of artistic expressions. LunarFest is a festival that brings together Soul, Art and Life on one stage.

Dumpling Fest
Fri, Feb 20 & Sat Feb 21: 11:00am – 7:00pm, Sun Feb 22: 11:00am – 6:00pm 
Vancouver Art Gallery Plaza
Eat dumplings at Lunarfest. Although not the most unique or delicate cuisine, dumplings do play a significant role in Asia festivals, such as Lunar New Year, and people’s daily life.

The Dragon of Glory – Jhuo Lan Dragon Dance Team
Feb 20 12:30pm / 3:00pm / 5:30pm 
Feb 21 11:30am | Lighting Ceremony 5:00pm 
Feb 22 1:30pm / 4:30pm
Vancouver Art Gallery Plaza
Performing in Canada for the first time, Jhuo Lan Dragon Dance Team, an award winning dragon dance team from Taiwan, will bring four of their world famous dragon dances to LunarFest.

Year of the Goat Celebration at International Village
Thurs, Feb 19, 2015 - Sunday, Feb 22, 2015, 11am - 8pm
88 West Pender Street Vancouver Canada V6B 6N9
The Year of the Goat Celebration at International Village marks the start of the lunar calendar, bringing traditional Chinese Spring festivities and rituals to the community of Vancouver, with exhibition and sales booths on Main Level showcasing Chinese New Year festive items, souvenirs and gift wares, multicultural live performance on stage, lucky draw …. ; PLUS a festive Chinese New Year Heritage Village on the Upper Level of the mall, displaying the true colour of traditional livelihood, arts and culture, and culinary delights of Chinese New Year.

Chinese New Year on the Heights 
Saturday, Feb. 21 from 12 to 3 p.m.
Hastings Street (between Gamma & Boundary)
Hastings Street comes alive with music and dance, as traditional and colourful lion dancers perform special blessings to bring luck and prosperity to Heights merchants. Lucky Heights shoppers receive a fortune cookies and red envelopes, which contain special messages and the chance to win various Heights gift certificates!

Grand Opening and SHHH
12pm - late
1715 Cook street, Vancouver, Buzzer #104
VHS has moved into its new home on 1715 Cook street, and is mostly unpacked. Its time for an open house and party to show off the new space to everyone. Open House (Noon – 5pm) Never been to a hack space before? Dying to see VHS’ new space? This is the perfect time to visit! VHS members will give you a tour around the space, show off some cool projects, and answer any questions you have. Many of our members share an interest in 3D printers, laser cutting, machining, crafting, electronics, robotics, programming, electronic music, and art. We welcome enthusiastic amateurs, or anyone with something interesting to share! A BBQ will available on VHS’ roof patio, so you can bring your own grillables.

Vancouver Chinatown Spring Festival – Cultural Fair
Saturday, February 21st to Sunday, February 22nd from 2pm to 4pm
Sun Yat-Sen Plaza (50 East Pender Street)
Come see the Cultural Fair for more Chinese New Year festivities. By popular demand, the Cultural Fair will be held on both days over the weekend on February 21st and 22nd. This celebrative fair will feature multicultural performances; special lion dance; military demonstration; martial arts demonstration and more.

Maker Faire 101
Saturday, 21 February 2015 from 6:30 PM to 10:00 PM
MakerLabs 196 Kingsway Vancouver
Maker Faire 101 is an evening of meeting and greeting, asking and answering, showing and telling. Come out and meet some Makers and see their projects (a mini mini mini Maker Faire, if you will). Find out from the organizers what it takes to participate as a maker or volunteer. Have some snacks and beverages. Stay for a screening of Maker: The Movie.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

COINFEST 2015
Friday, 20 February 2015 at 9:30 AM - Sunday, 22 February 2015 at 11:30 PM
downtown Vancouver
Free-to-attend events at venues that accept Bitcoin, incentivizing adoption while educating the public. CoinFest is also decentralized in Vancouver at the local level, occurring at several venues over a period of three days. The bulk of the events are on Saturday, culminating in a grand final conference at the Sandman hotel.

Ladner Seedy Sat/Sun & Garden Expo - by donation
Saturday & Sunday 10am - 3pm 
Harris Barn, 4140 Arthur Dr, Ladner, BC V4K 1A7
Seedy Sat/Sun brings together garden enthusists of all levels, urban farmers & seed savers who are passionate about gardening. Bring your seeds to swap, visit garden & seed vendors. Door prizes and 8 wonderful speakers over 2 days starting with BRIAN MINTER at 10am Sat. and THOMAS HOBBS at 1:30 pm. For a full line up of speakers, workshops & events go to ……. ladnercommunitygarden.blogspot.com

BC Home + Garden Show -  $15.00, $12.00 online
Wed 4pm - 9pm, Thur, Fri 12pm - 9pm, Sat 10am - 9pm, Sun 10am - 6pm
BC Place, 777 Pacific Blvd, Vancouver
The BC Home + Garden Show is the most trusted resource for every home improvement project, inside and out. With Canada’s favourite home, horticulture and landscaping specialists including HGTV’s Bryan Baeumler and design darling Janette Ewen, seminars and live demos from Vancouver’s culinary masters, and more than 425 exhibitors and features designed to whip any home or garden into shape, there’s innovation, inspiration and expert advice at every turn.

Chinatown Spring Festival Parade
Sunday, 11am
The 1.3-km long route starts at the Millennium Gate on Pender Street (between Shanghai Alley and Taylor Street), proceeds east along Pender Street, turns south onto Gore Street, turns west onto Keefer Street and then disperses on Keefer at Abbott.
The Vancouver Chinatown Spring Festival Parade will return for the 42nd year on Sunday, February 22nd, 2015. This signature event of Vancouver's Chinatown will feature lion dances, cultural dance troupes, marching bands, martial arts performances and much more. This is an annual cultural extravaganza not to be missed. The parade will begin at 11 am. The Year of the Ram in the Chinese Lunar calendar will begin on Thursday February 19 in 2015. Come see the sights and hear the sounds of the festivities!

Vancouver Chinatown Spring Festival – Cultural Fair
Saturday, February 21st to Sunday, February 22nd from 2pm to 4pm
Sun Yat-Sen Plaza (50 East Pender Street)
Come see the Cultural Fair for more Chinese New Year festivities. By popular demand, the Cultural Fair will be held on both days over the weekend on February 21st and 22nd. This celebrative fair will feature multicultural performances; special lion dance; military demonstration; martial arts demonstration and more.

Lunarfest
Fri, Feb 20 & Sat Feb 21: 11:00am – 7:00pm, Sun Feb 22: 11:00am – 6:00pm 
Vancouver Art Gallery Plaza
Started in 2009 and built to be a Vancouver Winter Olympics Legacy event, LunarFest is Canada’s premier presenter of contemporary expression in Asian arts and culture. It endeavours to reach new Canadians and those who have been here for many generations to share in the diversity of Canada. It also encourages and fosters the collaboration of Canadian and International cultural presenters to create new forms of artistic expressions. LunarFest is a festival that brings together Soul, Art and Life on one stage.

Dumpling Fest
Fri, Feb 20 & Sat Feb 21: 11:00am – 7:00pm, Sun Feb 22: 11:00am – 6:00pm 
Vancouver Art Gallery Plaza
Eat dumplings at Lunarfest. Although not the most unique or delicate cuisine, dumplings do play a significant role in Asia festivals, such as Lunar New Year, and people’s daily life.

The Dragon of Glory – Jhuo Lan Dragon Dance Team
Feb 20 12:30pm / 3:00pm / 5:30pm 
Feb 21 11:30am | Lighting Ceremony 5:00pm 
Feb 22 1:30pm / 4:30pm
Vancouver Art Gallery Plaza
Performing in Canada for the first time, Jhuo Lan Dragon Dance Team, an award winning dragon dance team from Taiwan, will bring four of their world famous dragon dances to LunarFest.

Year of the Goat Celebration at International Village
Thurs, Feb 19, 2015 - Sunday, Feb 22, 2015, 11am - 8pm
88 West Pender Street Vancouver Canada V6B 6N9
The Year of the Goat Celebration at International Village marks the start of the lunar calendar, bringing traditional Chinese Spring festivities and rituals to the community of Vancouver, with exhibition and sales booths on Main Level showcasing Chinese New Year festive items, souvenirs and gift wares, multicultural live performance on stage, lucky draw …. ; PLUS a festive Chinese New Year Heritage Village on the Upper Level of the mall, displaying the true colour of traditional livelihood, arts and culture, and culinary delights of Chinese New Year.



What better way than to spend Valentines Day learning about chocolate? ChocXO held two bean to bar tours showing us the chocolate making process in their Richmond facility on February 14th, 2015.

The Richmond location has only been open for a few months but ChocXO has been existance for 30 years. You may not know this but they make and distribute chocolate to buffets in Las Vegas e.g. Bellagio, cruise ships and other places around the world! They are also the only company in North America that makes the chocolate they serve.



In the back, there is an educational wall area where guests can learn about ChocXO's bean to bar story through the process of growing, fermenting, drying and processing cocoa beans.


Windows also give a peek to what the chocolatiers are doing in the kitchen.

And in the corner, there's a chocolate tasting station where you can take shots of liquid chocolate! Mmmm!


The chocolatiers lead us through the facility, telling us the story of ChocXO chocolate.

Chocolate starts as fruits that grow on trees. Flowers grow all over the branches and are pollinated by flies, which then grow into a cocoa pod is very big like a football and one pod will contain about 24 cocoa seeds. The above pod is a dried one, it's much bigger ordinarily!

The pods are then are cracked and fermented for flavour development; the covering over the individual beans actually tastes very sweet like a mango. After fermentation, they are dried on racks, then sent to ChocXO in burlap sacks.

ChocXO imports its own beans, from mainly Central and South America, and can process about 25 kilograms of beans a day in this facility in Richmond. Because batches are smaller, they can afford to experiment on recipes. Successes can then be sent to their large scale processing plant in Irvine, California.

ChocXO specializes in producing high quality, single origin chocolates. Single origin chocolates are made from cocoa beans from a single farm, producer, cooperative, or small region unlike ordinary chocolate bars that may have been made from a mixture of beans that come from all over the place. The result is a refined chocolate, the best you can ever get. The 80% chocolate in the photo above was made from a rare cocoa bean that was thought to be extinct! It tasted amazing.

In the kitchen, cocoa beans are roasted first. Mmmm smells so good!


Crushed and shells sucked out using the winnower.

Then pulverized, using the grinder,

and the paste refined in the refiner.

The process turning cocoa beans to chocolate is all very loud!

Further in there were a few more elaborate equipment that help make different types of chocolate and truffles.

 Mmm a chocolate melter.

In the olden days, they used a conche to melt chocolate.

One shot depositor fills the mold quickly.

 These are put into the fridge for about 20 mins.

And voila! Peanut butter cups! YUMMY!

 We got to taste some other chocolate made in the kitchen. So delicious!










After the tour, I tried ChocXO's dark chocolate mocha. It was very rich, almost like hot chocolate! It was a lovely end to event!