Meet Locals with Similar Interests through

Have you just moved to a new city? Want to meet the locals and make some friends trough a safe and friendly groups? Well, meetup_logothen try out It’s possibly the world’s largest network of local groups. makes it super easy for anyone to organize a local group or find one according to their interest.  The site has 10.8 million monthly visitors, and 11.1 million members (though this number is somewhat biased since many are inactive), but with 2 million RSVPs, the website mission to connect the locals through social groups is working.

Check out if your city is part of – there are apparently 45,000 cities that host these  Meetup events. For example, if you just moved  to Montreal and want to improve your French, you might decide to join the French Meetup. You don’t have to be a newbie in a city to join a group. If you want to improve your photography skills, or have started taken interest in hiking, you can find those too. Regions do play a role in how many members or how active a group is. The Japanese Meetup in Vancouver has over 1000 members and have 2 regular events every month for the last 5 years with each one with 20 people or more. Go to Calgary, and there is less than 300 members with about 5 members sign up for each event – not a sufficient  number to make good connections.
With so many things today being online, and connections only through the web, we’ve deprived ourselves from real socialization. This is a perfect opportunity to interact with real human beings once again – whether it’s to make new friends or for business purposes.
A lot of the Meetup groups are free to attend (unless specified for a special event, or if they charge a attendance fee per event – usually $1) This request for the small fee is usually to cover material costs and to have the group. The cost to run the groups on vary depending on the plan you choose: (all fees are in US Dollars)
  • $12/month for 6 months (a single $72 charge)
  • $15/month for 3 months (a single $45 charge)
  • $19/month for the month-to-month billing option

With any of the above plans, organizers can run up to 3 Meetup Groups without any further costs.

Again, for Meetup members to attend, it doesn’t cost anything unless the organizers ask for any, so start joining! As far as I know, there aren’t any limits to how many groups you join, so let the fun begin! 😀

Happy New Year!!!

IMG_20121231_233640Joya-no Kane @ UBC

Happy New Year everyone!! Sorry for not posting for several days…been a busy holiday season! But it’s been really fantastic! I hope everyone else had a good one too.

On the eve of 2012 and new year of 2013, I went to the Joya-no Kane at UBC. After living in Vancouver for 7 years, it was time to check out the Japanese bell located between the Asian Centre and Nitobe Memorial Gardens.

Joya-no-kane is a traditional Japanese Buddhist event in which the bell of a temple is rung 108 times on New Year’s Eve to cleanse oneself of the 108 (=many) bad things from the past year and to welcome the new year.There were around 100 people that came, so it probably did ring around 108 times 🙂

The Vancouver Buddhist Temple hosts the event every year at UBC, allowing each individual to ring the bell, pray, then go to the booth where you can pick up a copy of the Teaching of Buddha and a cup of amazake (warm sweet sake).

It’s definitely quite the opposite way of celebrating the New Year compare to western ways  – no shouting and partying. No fireworks. Other than the tranquil bell that rings into the night, there isn’t  any other sounds, even more so since you’re isolated at the edge of UBC.

Hope everyone has a great year!! All the best in 2013!!

VPL Events

Check out the link above to see FREE events at the Vancouver public library!
Topics for the lecture/workshop includes everything from health, illnesses, jobs, law, hobbies, traveling, book clubs and more!

About 3 months of future events are posted, so you can arrange them into your schedule well ahead of time.
Check to see date/time, location and whether or not registration is required, because you don’t want to miss them out!

Holiday Events in Vancouver

With Christmas around the corner, there are many events going on around Vancouver and the Lower Mainland.Here are the events you don’t want to miss!

ÖLights at Park Royal Mall in West Vancouver

Sails of Light Christmas at Canada Place
Date: now until Dec 30
What’s happening: different kinds of activities.See  beautiful colours on the 90-foot sails,  15 beautifully Xmas trees and some Woodward’s window displays. Complimentary hot drinks!!!
Charities: all in support of Strathcona Community Centre’s Food Security for Children Program.

3rd annual Vancouver Christmas Market
Location: Queen Elizabeth Theatre Plaza at 650 Hamilton
Date/Time: now until Dec 24th
What’s happening: vendors selling edible treats, gifts, authentic wooden decorations  Enjoy the lights, decorations, entertainment
Tickets: Admission Rates (including HST)
Adult (13 + years) $5 Mon – Fri 4pm-9pm & 11am-9pm weekends
Adult (13 + years) $2 Special! Mon – Fri 11am-4pm
Youth (7 – 12 years) $2
Child (0 – 6 years) FREE
Carousel Rides $3 per ticket; $10 per package of 5 tickets
Buy 1 entry ticket and have unlimited re-entry til closing night, Dec 24th @ 6pm.

Grouse Mountain Peak of Christmas
What’s happening: Meet Santa’s reindeer, Dance & Vixen (9am-10pm) in the Wildlife Refuge. The Grouse Mountain Chalet will be lit up with new Gingerbread Village. Experience sleigh rides, ice skating, Christmas-themed movies, and complimentary skating lessons.
Charities: Proceeds from Chalet’s light up in support of SOS Children’s Village – international children’s charity, providing long-term care for children in need. Proceeds from skate rentals will be donated to the Karen Magnussen Foundation, to put more of BC’s youth on the world stage now and in years to come.

Canyon Lights at Capilano Suspension Bridge Park
Date: now until Jan 5th, holiday activities running from 4pm-9pm daily.
What’s happening: Check out the 450-foot long, 230-foot high Capilano Suspension Bridge!  Lights will be lit, decorating the forest and bridge, Scavenger hunts, cookie decorating, caroling and glass blowing demonstration.
Adult ………………………………………… $31.95
Senior 65+ ………………………………….. $29.95
Student 17+ with ID ………………………. $25.95
Youth 13 – 16 ………………………………. $19.95
Child 6 – 12 ………………………………… $12.00
Family Rate* ……………………………….. $65.00

Lost Lagoon Fountain in Stanley Park
6,000 multi-coloured lights. Is easily visible form the Georgia St. Causeway from 3:30pm til midnight, until Jan 7th.

The Elm Grove at English Bay
12,000 lights cover six elm trees at the corner of Beach Ave at Bidwell St. On from 3:30pm  to midnight, until Jan 7th.

15th Bright Nights at Stanley Park
What’s happening: 2 million lights light up the park. Miniature train though winter wonderland!
Date: now until Jan 1 (closed Xmas Day) and is open 3-10pm, Sun-Thurs, 3-11pm Fri+Sat and 11am-3pm Wed, Sat and Sun.
Charities: BC Professional Fire Fighter’s Burn Fund.

Jewel Box of Lights at Bloedel Conservatory
Location: Queen Elizabeth Park: Bloedel Conservatory 4600 Cambie St. Vancouver
What’s happening: light decorations in the conservatory.
Date: 4:30-9pm now until Jan 1st (closed Xmas Day).
Adult (19-64 years)  $7.00 | Senior (65+ years) $5.00 | Youth (13-18 years) $5.00 | Child (3-12 years)  $3.50
Family (1-2 Adults of the same household and their children  $16.50

Van Dusen Botanical Garden’s Festival of Lights
Date: now until  Jan 1 (closed Xmas Day)
Location: 5251 Oak St. Vancouver
What’s happening: tons of lights decorate the garden. Every 30 minutes there is the Dancing Lights Show on Livingstone Lake, live holiday music,  festive food, meet Santa, entertainment, and choir concerts
Tickets: Adult (19-64)  $14.25 | Senior (65+)  $10.50 |  Youth (13-18)  $10.50  | Child (3-12)  $7.75
Family (two adults and their children under 19)  $32.50
Members  $11.25  VanDusen Family Members (two adults and their children under 19)  $27.25
Children under age 2  Free

St. Paul’s Hospital Lights of Hope
Location: St. Paul’s Hospital 1081 Burrard Street, Vancouver
What’s happening: 10 km of lights
Charities: donations are used for a variety of projects from purchasing life-saving equipment to world-leading research

Granville Island
Musicians, horse-drawn trolley rides & drink some delicious hot chocolate. Variety of activities for everyone to enjoy. Check out their website for more info.

Winter Solstice Lantern Festival
Date: Dec21 6pm-9pm
What’s happening: Come celebrate the 19th annual festival. The lantern procession starts at the Strathcona Community Centre, and will make its way to the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Park. There will be lantern creations, tea ceremonies and live music. Admission is free but donations are accepted.

Hope you get a chance to check out some of them! Happy holidays! 😀

Reflections 2013

Every year, the students in the IDEA (Illustration and Design) program at Capilano University take on the big task of managing the art projects to raise funds to support their learning and continued cultural ­enrichment. I know it’s a huge project, and a lot of work, cuz I went through it too. Though it seems that it gets bigger and bigger every year, so I can’t imagine what the students are going through in trying to push this project through.

The ‘Reflections’ project started off small when the program started out. Each student painted a iconic scenery of Lower Mainland, mostly in the Vancouver area. The paintings were scanned and produced into calendars. Both the original paintings and calendars were sold to raise funds.

As the program grew bigger, and the project picked up in the local media, retail and residents, so did the project. We started producing greeting cards, buttons, and other original paintings. It was a lot of work, but I did learn quite a bit from the experience, from painting, marketing, producing merchandise, printing, online stores, social media and so on.. so it was a valuable project.

Check out their promotional video on Youtube here.

You can also find out more and support their goals here on Indiegogo or follow their blog here.

tumblr_mc0c5eleYh1rioj6fo1_1280My friend Soobin L.’s christmas cards!!! 😀 I bought some! Please buy some too!

2 packs of four cards featuring holiday sweet treat illustrations by Soobin L| 8 cards | blank inside | $20

Their 2013 calendars. Hurry! 2012 is almost over!!

Reflections 2013 Calendar featuring the Reflections paintings by the Capilano University students in the IDEA prorgram

Lighthouse Park | by Lia M. | inkjet print, framed 12” x 16”| $60.00

CHIMERA – Fashion Show JCI

So my good friend Melody Young, graduated yesterday along with the other students of Class 138 which hosted CHIMERA – a fashion show. It was not only an opportunity to celebrate the hard and long days at John Casablancas Institute – a fashion, make up and hair school, but also to showcase their talent, and give back to the community by donating all net proceeds from the event to Covenant House, an organization helping underprivileged youth in Vancouver.

It was on Thursday, November 22nd at Villa Amato (88 East 1st Ave). Models wore footwear and clothing from sponsors such as Bootlegger, Unique and Trendy, John Fluevog, Alex Folzi –  just to name a few.
I’m uploading pics, but sorry for the really poor quality…>_< my cellphone camera is sucks!! T_T
It was actually my first time going to a fashion show, and it was great! I must say, I’ve never seen so many skinny people! I don’t know how their body survives…lol…I know it’s weird coming from a thin person myself (170cm -42kg or 5’7″ – 93lbs)…but I guess it’s different when you see someone else skinny. I see myself everyday, and have gotten too used to it.
Anyways, it was a very inspiring evening! 🙂

Reflection 2013

Every year the students of the Illustration & Design program (IDEA) at Capilano University run the fund-raising project called “Reflections” in which the students manage the entire project from exhibiting their paintings, to the design, production, marketing and distribution the products.

Each student paints a well-known scenery of the Lower Mainland. 13 of these are chosen to go in the 2013 calendar ($18 CAD). The rest are made into greeting cards and such.

Their exhibition to launch the 2013 Reflections info:

Reflections 2013 Painting Exhibition

The Ferry Building Gallery
1414 Argyle Ave, West Vancouver

April 17th from 6 – 8 PM
Exhibition runs from April 17th – 29th

Gallery Hours:
Tuesday – Sunday 11 – 5 PM

Meet the artists:
(same location as above)
April 21 from 1 PM

My friend Soobin is exhibiting her painting of the Lions Gate Bridge titled “Circles of Light”.

Come check out the paintings and support local emerging artists!!!

All proceeds goes to the student fund-raising project 🙂