Category Archives: Contest

Key to the City

I was at the Dublin the other day, having a snack with a friend (okay, and maybe a beverage). We got our bill, and it was 20% off. Later in the week, I was checking out a new chair at Red Brick and realized I would get an extra 10% off if I went for it. I decided to stop by the British Store for some sweets and a tea on my way home, and got 10% off my sweets.

How was I getting all these discounts? I have a Key to the City. No, not some giant, oversized, pretend key, but the hyperlocal New Westminster – specific key tag system put together by Tourism New Westminster. There are over 40 businesses who participate in this program, offering buy one get one discounts, percentages off, and other deals on goods, services, food, places to stay, and things to do just by flashing a key tag right before you buy.

The program continues until the end of April 2013 and there are about 250 key tags left available to buy for just $10 each (you can buy them right from Tourism New Westminster or at participating locations) but we have a keytag to give away for free! Comment on this post about how you’d use a Key to the City, and we will draw one lucky commenter at random, Friday November 9th at 3pm PST.



Freelancer Unconference This Saturday + Ticket Giveaway!

I never thought I’d be a freelancer, but here I am, doing it, and I am so happy to have made the switch. It is not for everyone but it works really well for our family. So, I’m really bummed out that I won’t be able to make it to the upcoming 3rd annual FreelanceCamp at The Network Hub – New West, taking place this Saturday September 15, from 9-5. It’s a full day unconference style event on all things related to freelancers, entrepreneurs and small business owners. But you should really go. Here’s why:

As unconference camps go, all sessions that will be held that day are decided that morning. Anyone who wants to lead a session pitches, and the attendees vote on which ones they like. The sessions then get scheduled on a board, where there are typically 3 to 4 sessions that happen every hour for the whole day. You can find out more info about the event here:

Photo by Jeremy Lim

There are lots of freebies to be received (moo cards!), and lunch (from Re-Up BBQ, Fathom, Pamola or Wally Burger) is included in your ticket price of just $15. Seriously – $15. That is an amazing deal. Note that The Network Hub will be receiving zero dollars. This year they’ve decided that 100% of the proceeds (after lunch expenses) will be going to They’ll be funding small business owners in the developing world, and will have a session on Saturday so that the attendees themselves can decide which projects the funds should go to. The pool of funds can then get bigger and bigger every year, and they can keep supporting more and more entrepreneurs in the developing world to help them sustain their communities.
Attendance is capped at 150 because of space constraints, so I recommend signing up ASAP. We are also super excited because The Network Hub has given us a pair of tickets to give away. To win, leave a comment and let us know what class you’d love to lead and sit in on if this was your conference. We’ll draw the winner Friday at 8AM using a random number generator.
(PS: If you are planning on going, but want to enter, go ahead and buy your tickets and if you win you’ll get your purchased tickets refunded)



Northern Voice Conference ticket giveaway

Northern Voice is an annual blogging un-conference held in Vancouver. The conference is next Friday and Saturday, June 15 and 16. Tenth to the Fraser has a ticket to giveaway! The ticket is the full meal deal – two days worth of conferencing, entrance to the party, and a t shirt! For the schedule and to see speaker bios, check out their website.

To win the ticket, just leave a comment on this blog post, and we’ll pick a random number on Monday afternoon at 3PM.



New West Wednesday: Relaxing Outdoor Spot

Last time, Briana asked what your favourite festival is, and it got me really thinking about how many lovely places there are to sit outside and enjoy the weather. Right now, my favourite place is Tipperary Park. I admit I’m biased – the farmers market is there every Thursday from 3-7 and as most of you know, RCFM is my employer. But, there is nothing finer than taking a ten minute break and wandering through the Friendship Gardens. Some of my earliest memories in New West stem from this park’s convenient location directly across the street from my old apartment.

Photo by Dennis Sylvester Hurd

What’s your favourite outdoor chill-out spot in New Westminster?

BONUS: Everyone who replies to us this week will be entered to win a $5 token to spend at RCFM and a limited edition ceramic double walled mug. We’ll use a random number generator on Tuesday June 28th at 4:00pm PST to pick a winner from the contest. Fine print: prize must be picked up at the market due to postal strike. Good luck!



Bloom Art Studio: messy & inspiring fun for kids

Wesley & Kale with their "shadows"

Wesley & Kale with their "shadows"

Note: Bloom Art Studio has offered a special contest for Tenth to the Fraser readers! Comment on this post to before April 21, 2011 and enter to win four free classes at the studio (valued at over $60). Plus, ‘like’ Bloom’s Facebook page for another chance to win!

Bloom Art Studio at River Market is a safe place for kids to get messy – without driving parents crazy.

Owner Kimberly Chiem recently invited me and Jen Arbo to bring our kids down  to experience one of her parent-and-toddler art classes. It was a simple activity I remembered doing when I was in elementary school: first the kids lay down on strips of kraft paper so the parents could trace them, then the parents cut out the silhouettes and taped them to the walls and windows for the kids to paint.

Our kids painted their “shadows” on the windows of the studio. Wesley glopped paint on the floor and all over the chairs. Kale channeled Jackson Pollock and started flinging paint against the window.

“Don’t worry about it,” said Kim. “I’ll clean it all up later.”

Wesley prepares an apple for stamping

Wesley prepares an apple for stamping

Magic words. At home, I like to craft with the kids, but I’m always a little leery of anything truly messy. It’s fun, but I always worry about the cleanup. In a space like Bloom, the kids are free to play with colour and form in a space that’s designed to handle mess. The washable paint cleans off their little wooden chairs and concrete floor. The wall is intended to be coloured on. And even the windows are fair game.

Wesley had so much fun that I brought him back another day, this time with his baby sister (aged16 months) in tow. That day’s plan involved fruit & vegetable stamping. Kimberly provided a plate with halved strawberries, bok choy, lemons, potatoes, apples and other produce and a selection of colourful paints. Once again the craft was simple (and messy): dip the fruit or veg in the paint and stamp it on paper.

Even my littlest enjoyed this craft, and when my son finished his prints and asked if he could have a brush to paint free-form, Kim was happy to go with the flow. A few little artists joined my son in asking for a brush, while others happily kept dipping & stamping their veggies.

Little Nora enjoyed painting too

Little Nora enjoyed painting too

Bloom Art Studio offers a variety of classes and events for kids, including “mini-camps” over Spring Break March 21-25. You can sign up for a series of lessons or opt for the drop-in rate ($8.57 + tax during the winter session). There are even some activities for grown-ups: a monthly Occasional Knitter’s Group (launching March 25 at 7pm) and a Japanese Hand-Built Pottery Class.


P.S. New West – the winners are (belatedly) announced

Toby Barazzuol's poem "She slipped softly from a summer stream, as seamless as a summer's dream" is displayed on the north side of River Market in huge lettering. You can see it from the SkyTrain and from the pedestrian overpass linking the quay and Hyack Square. Photo: River Market.

Toby Barazzuol's poem "She slipped softly from a summer stream, as seamless as a summer's dream" is displayed on the north side of River Market in huge lettering. You can see it from the SkyTrain and from the pedestrian overpass linking the quay and Hyack Square. Photo: River Market.

A while back we partnered with River Market to host the P.S. New West poetry contest. River Market selected the winners and gave them the prizes, but their email to me with the winners’ names got lost in my email inbox. I just rediscovered the note today (oops). My inbox is a scary, scary place. Anyway, a bunch of you have been asking me about the winners, and here (belatedly) is who won. Sorry about the delay!

The winner of the PS New West contest is Toby Barazzuol. His poem reads: “She slipped softly from a summer stream, as seamless as a summer’s dream.” Toby’s poem is posted on the north side of River Market in huge lettering for all to see.

Wilson Becket submitted the poem that was voted as being the favourite by those that visited the site. His poem reads: “Where you want to be, for food, fun and laughter, you’ll find it at the Quay.” Wilson was awarded the iPad.

Today was the River Market launch of its anchor tenant, Donald’s Market (more on that in a later post). It’s part of River Market’s phased launch, which they compare to a multi-course meal. The ‘appetizer’ was the mini events held on the patio, including Donald’s pop-up market around Thanksgiving. The official opening of Donald’s is the second course, to be followed shortly by the opening of more food vendors. The third course includes the opening of Pedagogy Toys in early 2011, along with some new restaurants and catering companies.

FYI for those who want to keep tabs on what’s up with River Market, the best place to find up-to-date information is probably the River Market Facebook page.


I Love Transit Night at the Heritage Grill (plus, a contest!)

Update: the winner is … Jessica! She wrote,

I have a few friends who despise transit, but I like it! Why NOT pay the discounted UPASS fare and get unlimited travel around our great city?! It’s so fun travelling via transit when special events are happening because you could meet to many people it’s crazy; Olympics, Canada Day, etc. I also like the texting feature where they will text you times for the next bus; it’s super helpful. The bus is where you don’t need an excuse to not do homework, stress, worry about life…it’s my down time to just reflect. Some bus drivers are awesome characters! GO TRANSIT.”

Thanks everyone for playing – and sharing what you love about public transportation! The winner was picked via a random number generator.

Photo: Waferboard (via Flickr)

Photo: Waferboard (via Flickr)

This week is I Love Transit Week over at the Buzzer Blog. TransLink blogger Jhenifer Pabillano describes it as “a low key but sincere celebration of what people like about transit (even though there’s much we don’t like!)” All this week, The Buzzer Blog will be publishing essays, photos and interviews about transit, and you’ll see some of these also in the printed edition of the August Buzzer on SkyTrain and buses.

Tenth to the Fraser will be participating too. Look for two pieces related to transit in New Westminster to be published this week, one from me and one from frequent contributor Rob Jones. Transit and transportation is a huge issue here at the nexus of the Lower Mainland, so if you feel inspired to, feel free to submit a guest post about your take on the issues. You might also like to re-read Rob’s piece about his daughter’s love for Columbia SkyTrain Station and perhaps visit the current library exhibit illustrating New Westminster’s transportation history.

Then, on Thursday, July 15, Jhenifer is hosting an evening transit meetup called I Love Transit Night at New Westminster’s Heritage Grill. “I Love Transit Night” will feature food, fun and games. Here’s a link showing last year’s live meetup.

Plus, The Buzzer has offered us a Summer Commuter Prize Pack to give away to our readers. To win, just leave a comment on this post sharing an anecdote or commentary that illustrates what you like about public transportation. We’ll pick a winner via random draw at the end of I Love Transit Week and announce it on the blog. (Please be sure to leave a valid email address in the comment form so that we are able to contact you if you win!)

The prize pack is a tote bag filled with stuff for a summer commute, including:

  • TravelSmart tote bag
  • TravelSmart water bottle
  • Personal hand-held fan
  • Travel pillow
  • Mini puzzle for passing the time
  • A granola bar snack
  • Vanity Fair magazine
  • 2010 Olympic transportation map
  • Transit stickers and buttons
  • 3-zone bus pass (available after July 16)

If you’re in the mood to read more about transit in New Westminster, here are a few more good reads from our archives:


Roses are red, violets are blue … who wants to win an iPad? Maybe you?

P.S. – Post Script Poems for New West – a River Market Arts program in collaboration with Tenth to the Fraser

P.S. – Post Script Poems for New West – a River Market Arts program in collaboration with Tenth to the Fraser

Seek the child’s yellow-chinned delight at the buttercups in the grass – Briana

wistful summer sunset pumpkin faces kissed smooth by river wind dancing laughing -Jen

wild blackberries turn my tongue blue; sandcastles big enough for me and you -mica

Dreams of friends and fireflies whispering long into the night. -Mark

Your every breath a poem, your every laugh a song, oh my summer love – Briana

Mark Shieh, owner of the River Market in New Westminster, is one cool cat. I met him at a meeting of the Quayside Community Board shortly after my daughter was born last fall, and the more I get to know him the more excited I get about what the market will have to offer when its metamorphosis is complete.

Mark’s ambition goes far beyond selling bread and bok choy.  His market is to be a place of culture and community, a place of inspiration. River Market‘s grocer may not officially open its doors until September, but the team behind the market’s renaissance is already reaching out to the New Westminster community through a simple contest in collaboration with Tenth to the Fraser called P.S. New West.

It’s a collection of brief one-line poems about summer and posted online to share with the world. Each one is a cool and tasty thought to linger over on a hot summer night. Read the entries online, star your favourites and write one of your own. The most-starred poet will win a special edition River Market iPad, and one lucky person will win the grand prize and see their poem celebrated in a ‘grand’ way.

P.S. New West is part of River Market’s Arts program, which will include an official Artist in Residence and commissioned public art installations in and around the market. From what I’ve seen of the new plans for the revitalized market, it will be a far edgier, artsier Quay than we had before. It’s just the kind of place New West needs.


CONTEST: Score a spot on the guest list at the River Market launch party

As announced at the last New West Downtown Residents Association meeting, tomorrow is the ‘big reveal’ of the River Market‘s anchor grocer, and an equally mysterious top-secret program called ONE.

We’ll find out what it’s all about tomorrow, but until then, let’s have a little fun. If you’d like a spot on the guest list at an exclusive VIP launch party courtesy of River Market and Tenth to the Fraser, leave a comment on this post with your best guess about what ‘ONE’ could be.

Here’s a hint: a Tenth to the Fraser source says it has something to do with a piggy bank…

Go ahead and take a stab at it. Everyone who comments will win a spot on the guest list for the launch party, and our favourite answer will win a complete set of Tenth to the Fraser’s New Westminster-lovin’ 1″ buttons (coming soon thanks to @punkvspunk‘s Artfag button-press).

Update: the answer was revealed in an email from River Market today. If you want to join us at the pre-opening event, just leave a note on this post and we’ll add you. Thanks to everyone for playing along … and I think dearheart wins the buttons!

Update II: River Market owner Mark Shieh likes what y’all have to say. He says he’ll arrange for personally deliver a specially selected bag of groceries from Donald’s on the Market’s new Bullitt delivery bike to the person who comes up with the best acronym for ONE.


We have a winner!

Thanks to everyone who entered the contest to win a $100 gift certificate for Bamboo Yoga. We’ve read through the entries and chosen the winner: Marcy Koopmans, for her double-length Haiku. ‘Cause deep down, we all love someone who stretches the rules.

Here’s the winning Haiku:

Untitled, by Marcy Koopmans

Buildings of brick and
cobbled roads rumble, shudder
beneath hands and feet

Old and new hold hands
twist fingers, metro, small, in
shadow of bridges

And thanks again to Svetlana Balysheva from Bamboo Yoga for generously sponsoring the prize!