The free events of Vancouver 2010 are spreading the Olympic fever to every part of the city. Vancouver is in full swing and exceeding all expectations! Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics seem much more like the Summer Olympics…and I’m not saying this just because of the weather. The whole city seems to be engulfed in the Olympic spirit, there are so many family friendly free events in the city that everyone is having such a great great time!
My good friend Austin Nairn at the Vancouver Board of Trade shared this extensive list of ‘free events’ happening during the Olympics in Vancouver. I must say that this is by far the most comprehensive listing I have seen so far!

Cultural Olympiad Free Shows: February 12 – 28th
* ALL showtimes are PM
* TBC is to be confirmed, the act hasn’t been announced yet.
* There are more shows in and around Vancouver, but these are the free ones!
Fri Feb 12th – Venice Queen – 10:15 @ Ozone
Fri Feb 12th – Bedouin Soundclash – 10:00 @ Ontario Pavillion
Fri Feb 12th – Blue Rodeo – 9:15 @ Holland Park
Sat Feb 13th – Matthew David – 3:15 @ Ozonever
Sat Feb 13th – Jet’s Overhead – 8:00 @ Holland Park
Sat Feb 13th – Five Alarm Funk – 9:00 @ Holland Park
Sat Feb 13th – Daniel Wesley – 10:00 @ Holland Park
Sat Feb 13th – Califone! – 7:30 @ Livecity Yaletown
Sat Feb 13th – Hey Ocean – 8:00 @ Ozone
Sat Feb 13th – Bedouin Soundclash – 9:30 @ Ozone
Sat Feb 13th – Jessie Farrel – 10:00 @ Livecity Downtown
Sat Feb 13th – Default/Wilco – 6:15/10:00 @ Livecity Yaletown
Sun Feb 14th – Keisha Chante – 10:00 @ Ontario Pavillion
Sun Feb 14th – Mother Mother – 8:00 @ Livecity Yaletown
Sun Feb 14th – Rich Hope – 8:00 @ Livecity Downtown
Sun Feb 14th – Daniel Wesley – 9:30 @ Livecity Yaletown
Sun Feb 14th – Elliot Brood – 9:30 @ Livecity Downtown
Sun Feb 14th – Serena Ryder – 9:00 @ Holland Park
Mon Feb 15th – Sloan – 10:30 @ Atlantic Canada House
Mon Feb 15th – Serena Ryder – 10:00 @ Ontario Pavillion
Mon Feb 15th – Jet’s Overhead – 9:30 @ Livecity Downtown
Mon Feb 15th – Matisyahu – 9:30 @ Livecity Yaletown
Tue Feb 16th – Fresh IE – 7:30 @ Livecity Downtown
Tue Feb 16th – Alexisonfire – 9:30 @ Livecity Yaletown
Tue Feb 16th – Buck 65 – 9:30 @ Livecity Downtown
Tue Feb 16th – Eliot Brood – 10:00 @ Ontario Pavillion
Tue Feb 16th – The Trews – 10:30 @ Atlantic Canada House
Wed Feb 17th – DRUM! – 5:00 @ Livecity Yaletown
Wed Feb 17th – Corb Lund – 9:30 @ Livecity Yaletown
Wed Feb 17th – The Arkells – 10:00 @ Ontario Pavillion
Wed Feb 17th – Hawksley Workman – 9:30 @ Ozone
Wed Feb 17th – Hot Hot Heat – 9:00 @ Holland Park
Thur Feb 18th – Jully Black – 10:00 @ Ontario Pavillion
Thur Feb 18th – Keisha Chante – 8:00 @ Livecity Yaletown
Thur Feb 18th – Corb Lund – 9:00 @ Holland Park
Thur Feb 18th – Rumba Calzada – 9:30 @ Livecity Downtown
Thur Feb 18th – The Arkells – 8:30 @ Ozone
Thur Feb 18th – Our Lady Peace – 9:45 @ Ozone
Thur Feb 18th – Marianas Trench – 9:30 @ Livecity Yaletown
Fri Feb 19th – Deadmau5 – 9:30 @ Livecity Yaletown
Fri Feb 19th – DRUM! – 8:00 @ Ozone | 604.641.1246 |
Fri Feb 19th – Jully Black – 10:00 @ Holland Park
Fri Feb 19th – The Arkells – 7:00 @ Holland Park
Fri Feb 19th – Dan Mangan – 8:00 @ Holland Park
Fri Feb 19th – Sam Roberts – 9:00 @ Holland Park
Sat Feb 20th – The Arkells/ Sam Roberts – 6:30/9:30 @ Livecity Yaletown
Sat Feb 20th – Marianas Trench – 9:30 @ Ozone
Sat Feb 20th – Mother Mother – 10:00 @ Holland Park
Sat Feb 20th – DRUM! – 6:30 @ Holland Park
Sat Feb 20th – Hey Ocean – 8:30 @ Holland Park
Sun Feb 21st – The Odds – 7:30 @ Holland Park
Sun Feb 21st – 54-40 – 9:00 @ Holland Park
Sun Feb 21st – Jully Black – 9:30 @ Livecity Yaletown
Mon Feb 22nd – Colin James – 9:30 @ Livecity Yaletown
Tue Feb 23rd – Wintersleep – 9:30 @ Livecity Yaletown
Wed Feb 24th – Wintersleep – 10:30 @ Atlantic Canada House
Wed Feb 24th – Damian “Jr.Gong” Marley – 9:30 @ Livecity Yaletown
Thur Feb 25th – Illscarlett – 6:30 @ Livecity Yaletown
Thur Feb 25th – Wintersleep – 9:30 @ Ozone
Thur Feb 25th – Inward Eye – 11:30 @ Livecity Downtown
Fri Feb 26th – Tokyo Police Club – 9:45 @ Ozone
Fri Feb 26th – Inward Eye – 6:00 @ Holland Park
Fri Feb 26th – Illscarlett – 8:00 @ Holland Park
Fri Feb 26th – Marianas Trench – 9:00 @ Holland Park
Fri Feb 26th – TBC – 8/9:30 @ Livecity Yaletown
Sat Feb 27th – The Stills – 10:15 @ Ozone
Sat Feb 27th – Illscarlett – 10:00 @ Ontario Pavillion
Sat Feb 27th – Blue Rodeo – 9:30 @ Livecity Yaletown
Sat Feb 27th – Wide Mouth Mason – 9:30 @ Holland Park
Sat Feb 27th – Tokyo Police Club/Wintersleep – 9/10:00 @ Holland Park
Sun Feb 28th – Five Alarm Funk – 9:30 @ Ozone
Livecity Yaletown:
David Lam Park, Vancouver
Livecity Downtown:
Cambie St between Dunsmuir St and W Georgia St, Vancouver
Holland Park:
13428 Old Yale Rd., Surrey
Minoru Park, Richmond
Ontario Pavillion:
Concord Place, False Creek, Vancouver
Atlantic Canada House:
Granville Island

Teg Brar

Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics officially open today and World do we have a show for you! For most of us that live in Vancouver, there has been a flood of activity over the past few months. Construction, street closures and most lately transportation delays, reroutes, you name it! I thought I had seen it all when living in Sydney during the Summer Olympics of 2000…but I guess I had not! One of the really striking things in Vancouver during the 2010 Winter Olympics is the number of free events planned throughout the lower mainland. Here are my top favorite 5 freebies…
1. BC Pavilion, Vancouver Art Gallery (Robson Square, Robson & Howe Streets) This is the downtown hub for Olympic activity and live performances. Vancouver art gallery is open to visitors for free during the Olympics. You can skate at the GE Plaza open skating rink (skate rentals at $3). The International Media broadcasts will also take place from this venue. This location is also home to Ziptrek where visitors can zip midair six stories high over downtown Vancouver. Watch video. Quite amazing, I expect the lines to be long!
2. Celebration Village 2010 at the Edgewater Casino (750 Pacific Boulevard) Free daily entertainment and also features Chinese New Year festivities with lots of food vendors and shops.
3. Live City Yaletown will be abuzz with activity. Laser and waterworks show promises to be a treat. Water spurted high into the air will become a backdrop for a spectacular show. Watch video.
4. Granville Island has been transformed into the French Quarter. Visit it in heritage style by taking the shining new Bombardier street car from the Olympic Village Station on the Canada line. Watch video.
5. The state of the art will be demonstrated at the Ontario House (Concorde Place, Stadium Skytrain Station). Experience the power of innovation and imagination. Do the unthinkable and control the lights on CN tower and Niagara Falls! Watch video. Teg Brar

Free events Vancouver 2010

In December last year Maldives Tourism reported that resort workers went on strike late last year to voice their concerns over exclusion from the employment law. Unconfirmed reports also suggested that there was resentment between hotel management and staff due to local employees unavailable to work on Fridays due to religious reasons. It is rumored that recently a hotel GM suffered a serious assault at the hands of former employees who held a grudge.  The hotel and resort sector in the Maldives contributes about 30% to the economy and accommodations can range anywhere from a few hundred to thousands of dollars per night. One and Only, Taj, Banyan Tree, Conrad and the Four Seasons are present in this market.

It is so important for management companies to fully prepare their teams for challenges in diverse cultures and remote locations. I have heard of such cases in the past which are not only traumatic but can have a very negative impact on tourism in the region. Here are some basic tips that might prove to be beneficial in preparing individuals for international assignments:

-Proper training is crucial and is one of the most commonly contributing factors for failure in an international setting. In most cases the employee is superficially prepared with most of the learning taking place though books and videos etc. This is definitely helpful but in no way prepares an individual for a foreign assignment. Companies should invest in learning at the affective level with programs focused on issues such as cultural values, social and business etiquette, current affairs, history, religion, political structure and language.

-It is probably a good idea to send potential international managers on temporary assignments lasting a few months in order to get a taste of the lifestyle and culture. Even better is to have these managers work with seasoned and experienced hands.

-Our attitudes are directly influenced by our upbringing, education and training and as human beings we react differently to behaviors that are different than our own culture. Participative management in one environment might be seen as incompetent management in another. Managers must devote appropriate time to understand how things are done in different cultures and refrain from implementing changes abruptly. Studying cultural difference is the key to success in international assignments.

-Host employee compensation, incentives and rewards should be carefully considered in foreign countries. Money is always a motivator; however companies need to follow local compensation practices in most countries. Organizations that value and promote respect, job security, family, acceptance, opportunity for advancement and a satisfying style are able to attract and retain the best talent.

-Overseas assignments can be very stressful and frustrating with simple everyday matters where one feels very helpless and drained. It might be a good idea to encourage couples/families and promote dual careers which have proven to be helpful in the adjustment process.

-Education changes everything. Host hotels should incorporate training programs to educate and develop their staff.

-Last but not the least,  management and staff must be fully protected and personal safety made number one priority in turbulent situations. Hotel security must have a presence at all times.

Teg Brar

The Pearl Continental in Peshawar Pakistan is a landmark hotel in the country’s northwest not far from the Swat Valley. It is a five star property with an affluent clientele including foreigners which probably contributed to it becoming a target. BBC reports that a Serbian UN worker and injured a British and a German national. The attack killed 11 people and injured 52. Three men rode a in a truck and fired at the security guards at the main gate before driving the truck close to the building and blowing it up. The blast damaged parts of the hotel and could be see 3 miles away. It left a crater in the ground and severely destroyed parts of the Pearl Continental. Last September a bomb blast killed 53 people and injured 266. Luxury Hotel bombed in Peshawar Pakistan

The famous NY times is starting a new column called ‘Haggler’ with the purpose of making things right for people who have complaints and are disappointed with product or services. These people may have brought these concerns to the attention of the parties in question but failed to reach a satisfactory resolution. New Times with their heavy clout gives organizations another opportunity to win customers over. People can email their consumer complaints to . The Haggler will call the organization in question and get to the bottom of what has happened and hopefully provide a satisfactory solution for the consumer. This is another example of the power of the consumer voice and a clever way for New York Times to use their influence in building customer relationships. A good marketing ploy! Should the hospitality industry expect calls from the Haggler regarding guests that were not happy with their experiences? We’ll just have to wait and see! You can read the promotional article as published in the NY times here.

Teg Brar

Los Angeles times reported that recent research studies have concluded that coffee is not harmful to health. On the contrary it has the potential of protecting diabetes, liver cancer, cirrhosis and Parkinson’s disease. Previous studies suggesting coffee had an adverse effect on health were due to the fact that most coffee drinkers were also smokers. Read the full article ‘Read this over coffee’ in LA Times.

A receptive tour operator is a local tour company that specializes in Canadian Tourism experiences and manages products and services for incoming visitors most often booked through international tour operators. Receptive tour operators play an important role in the packaged travel industry.
When a tour operator is planning an itinerary in a market they are unfamiliar with – they seek the expert cooperation of a receptive tour operator. Read more…

Anyone looking to progress their career beyond the borders of North America should consider building a good CV. A CV is your passport to international success and well worth the time and effort. In North America employers are used to shorter resumes and consider information regarding age, marital status, nationality and sex to be irrelevant which is not the case in the global marketplace. CV is far more detailed than a resume and can easily run from four to eight pages in length. Here, I have outlined some simple format basics that you will find helpful in preparing a CV for your international career. Read more…

An Italian cruise liner ‘Melody’ carrying 1500 passengers was attacked by Pirates off the coast of Somalia around 180 miles north of the Seychelles. It was reported that six armed pirates in a rubber speedboat attacked the ship which sustained broken windows and bullet holes but continued on its journey with naval escort. The incident lasted for about 20 minutes and at one point they even tried to put a ladder on the bow but aborted the attempt as security personnel from the cruise line returned fire. There were no injuries reported, it must have been a total nightmare for the passengers and crew on board. Here is what Captain Ciro Pinto said in an interview with BBC…

by Teg Brar

Free Coffee at McDonald’s is creating buzz…it is a clever marketing strategy to get a slice of the Canadian Java pie! McDonald’s rolled out a new promotion in Canada offering free ‘premium roast coffee’ to consumers between 5:00am to 10:30am for two weeks (April 20 – May 3). No purchase necessary. The current state of economic affairs coupled with Starbucks closing stores and Tim Horton’s facing challenges…this is a good move by the fast food giant to get in on the coffee market in Canada. Coincidentally, Starbucks is also offering free coffee on Earth Day this Wednesday April 22, 2009…for people that bring their own cups. Read more…

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