Friday, March 15, 2024

Burrowing Owl Estate Winery earns Canadian Wine Industry Award of Distinction

Burrowing Owl Estate Winery in Oliver, British Columbia

British Columbia's Burrowing Owl Estate Winery was awarded top honors at the 2024 Wine Industry Awards in Penticton, BC on March 12, 2024. The ceremony recognizes workers and vineyards of the wine industry in BC. 

The winner of the Canadian Wine Industry Award of Distinction, regarded as the highest form of peer recognition in the Canadian wine industry, was the Wyse family of Burrowing Owl Estate Winery in Oliver, British Columbia. 

"The Wyse family's unwavering focus on premium quality wines, along with their pioneering commitment to the environment, has made an enduring mark on the BC wine industry," said Wine Growers Canada’s President & CEO, Dan Paszkowski. "The dedication of three generations of their family to an innovative, energy efficient winery, a culinary and wine tourism destination and to the conservation of the burrowing owl, their winery namesake, leaves a huge legacy on the wider wine industry in British Columbia and across Canada." 

In addition to Burrowing Owl's winery and tasting room, it features an on-site restaurant and ten guest rooms. Oliver, a town of 5,094, is Canada's wine capital located in the heart of the South Okanagan Valley. More details: Oliver Tourism Association.


Thursday, October 12, 2023


British Columbia's Parliament Buildings

Just in time for the spooky season (aka Halloween), Tourism Victoria has put together a TOP TEN HAUNTED PLACES IN VICTORIA list. I've been to eight of them; here are a few photos from my travels. For the complete list and descriptions, click on here

Craigdarroch Castle

Rogers Chocolates

Fairmont Empress

Gate of Harmonious Interest, Chinatown

And if you're ready to do a cool walking tour this Halloween season, John Adams' Discover the Past Walking Tours "weaves together Victoria’s ghosts and the stories behind them, bringing the dark history of our city to life." 
Book online at

Friday, September 29, 2023


Emily Carr, Untitled (self-portrait), 1924-25, oil on paperboard
Vancouver Art Gallery collection, Emily Carr Trust

The Vancouver Art Gallery (VAG) is launching a yearlong exhibition with highlights from the permanent collection of Emily Carr paintings. 

Emily Carr: A Room of Her Own explores the intersection between celebrated Canadian artist Emily Carr and the Vancouver Art Gallery. 

The exhibition, opening September 30, 2023 and on view through September 8, 2024, presents a selection of Carr's paintings from VAG's collection of 252 works of art -- the most important collection of Carr's art in the world. 

Presented in a single room and guiding visitors via a timeline, the works offer a full range of Carr's artistic production: watercolors, canvases, oil on paper works, charcoal drawings, ceramics and textiles. 

A Room of Her Own highlights four key areas:

  • Carr's education abroad and early beginnings
  • VAG's first exhibition and significant acquisitions in 1937-38 respectively
  • Major conservation efforts led by VAG staff
  • The role the Carr Collection  played in the Gallery's decision to relocate to its present building

Through archival materials and the works of Carr, this exhibition uncovers the ongoing connection between the Carr Collection and VAG, and the importance of Carr's placement in the new Vancouver Art Gallery at the Chan Centre for Performing Arts opening in 2028.

The exhibition is organized by the Vancouver Art Gallery and curated by Senior Curator Diana Freundl

750 Hornby Street
Vancouver BC V6Z 287


Sunday, April 30, 2023



The Seattle Kraken, which joined the National Hockey League's Pacific Division of the Western Conference in 2021, calls Climate Pledge Arena their home. The team's name, Kraken, is derived from the mythical kraken of Scandinavian folklore and its resemblance to the native giant Pacific octopus, found in the waters of Puget Sound. The colorful logo was created by Seattle's Cody Pearson Design

"Kraken: A fabulous Scandinavian sea monster perhaps imagined on the basis of chance sights of giant squids. It appears in literature in a poem of Alfred, Lord Tennyson's juvenilia called "The Kraken".

 Source: Encyclopedia Britannica

Vancouver's Sylvia Hotel opened on May 13, 1913 as a 70-unit apartment building. Known then as Sylvia Court, it was the tallest building in the city. In 1975, the City of Vancouver designated the Sylvia a heritage building, one of the few publicly accessible heritage buildings in Vancouver.
The hotel is located on English Bay in Vancouver's West End. Boston ivy, a trademark feature of the hotel, covers more than half of the property in seasonal colors. The vines are the legacy of one of Sylvia Court’s first tenants, Mrs. Kenvyn, who started the plant after World War II.

On July 2, 1954, the medieval themed TILTING ROOM opened at the Sylvia Hotel, making it Vancouver's first cocktail lounge. Pictured above is a photo I took of the hotel's cocktail menu while visiting Vancouver during the city's 2018 Celebration of Light, an annual fireworks competition. 
This year's fireworks competition on English Bay, Honda Celebration of Light, will be held July 22-29, 2023. The three countries participating are Australia, Mexico and the Philippines. I took the fireworks photo from the Sylvia Hotel while dining on their outdoor patio.
PS: The burger and fries were delicious! 


Wednesday, November 30, 2022


The tour begins at the CPR Steamship Terminal Building, located across the street from the BC Parliament Buildings pictured here. ©SueFrausePhoto

What better way to see the sights and taste the delights of Victoria BC than on a culinary walking tour in December? Off the Eaten Track (love the name!) is offering a Cozy Christmas Self-Guided Food Tour this holiday season.  

Included in the $45 passport are seven foodie stops along the 1.5 km downtown route plus a downloadable audio tour. Walking time is approximately two hours, but there's no time limit. Spend the day in BC's capital city while leisurely doing your tasting tour.

The tour begins at the CPR Steamship Terminal Building on Victoria's Inner Harbour, where you'll pick up your passport, GPS-triggered APP (they'll help you get started) and some savory Nuts & Bolts party mix. From there you'll walk along the Inner Harbour and up Government Street to Rogers' Chocolates for peppermint cream. The company was founded in Victoria in 1885.

The Festival of Trees at The Bay Centre features 70 decorated trees.

Then it's on to Bon Macaron Patisserie for holiday-flavored macarons, followed by a stop at nearby Artisan Wine for a festive glass of wine or soda. Pop inside The Bay Centre to take in the colorful Festival of Trees, followed by the Dutch Bakery & Diner for some traditional spiced shortbread. The last two stops include cheese from L'Apero Wine and Cheese Bistro, followed by the final stop at Chocolat & Co. for truffles.

  • Offered thru Dec 31, 2022 (closed Dec 23-26)
  • Available Tuesday-Saturday, 10:30AM to 5PM
  • App works on both Apple and Android phones

Friday, November 18, 2022


Mayne Queen arrives on Saturna Island
©SueFrausePhoto (2006)

BC Ferries' Mayne Queen will make its last official full-time run on Saturday, November 19, 2022. The ferry first entered service 57 years ago in 1965, and for the majority of that time served the same run through the Southern Gulf Islands

Locals know it as Route 5, a tentacular connection between Vancouver Island, Pender, Mayne, Galiano and Saturna Islands. According to BC Ferries, crew aboard the Mayne Queen are family and "quick to jump a car that won't start or return to work in emergency situations." Island legend suggests "the Mayne Queen may have even reversed course a time or two for a backpack, accidentally left behind by a child rushing to school." 


The Mayne Queen will be at the following ports on Sunday, November 20. Community members are welcome to board the vessel as walk-ons for a short visit, but must disembark before it departs for its next stop. No passengers or vehicles will be carried from port to port.

Otter Bay (Pender)            1:50-2:20 pm

Lyall Harbour (Saturna)    2:55-3:25 pm

Village Bay (Mayne)         4:00-4:30 pm

Sturdies Bay (Galiano)      4:55-5:25 pm

Photo courtesy BC Ferries

Wednesday, November 09, 2022



Trump International Hotel & Tower in Vancouver (2017)

Bye-bye Trump, Hello Paradox! Former U.S. President Donald J. Trump no longer has free room and board when he visits Vancouver. The Trump International Hotel, which opened in 2017, closed its doors in 2020. 

In April 2022, the Paradox Hotel Vancouver made its debut in the former Trump property. Located in downtown's Coal Harbour, it is the flagship location for Paradox Hotel Group, whose other properties include the Summit Lodge and Aava Hotel in Whistler, plus locations in Phuket and Singapore. 

Located in the 63-story twisty tower designed by the late Vancouver architect Arthur Erickson, the hotel features 147 guest rooms on the lower portion of the tower.  Among the amenities at the hotel on West Georgia are an indoor pool and walk-out whirlpool, fitness center and Xylia Natural Spa.
A hotel room at the Paradox Hotel. 

Dining options at the Paradox include Karma Lounge (open daily at 11AM); Mott 32 (a modern approach to Chinese Cuisine) and the Mansion Night Club (open Friday-Saturday evenings). In-room dining is available via Karma Lounge.

1161 West Georgia Street
Vancouver, BC

During the week of 11/06/22, a check on the hotel's website lists room rates starting at $236.55 CAD ($175.49 US).  

hotel room at the Paradox Hotel Vancouver.

Burrowing Owl Estate Winery earns Canadian Wine Industry Award of Distinction

Burrowing Owl Estate Winery in Oliver, British Columbia British Columbia's Burrowing Owl Estate Winery was awarded top honors at the 20...