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Day Job

happy 150th birthday, canada!

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3rd year working canada day down at the pan. hella crowded, sunny + hot.

but hey ocean!, dragonette and sam roberts performing, plus overnight stay, comped in-room dining and back-to-back-to-back indiana jones on tv helps.

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happy 150, peeps! hope everyone had a good one!

Day Job

christmas breakfast wish at the pan part II

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it’s my 2nd year of being a part of pan pacific’s amazing christmas wish breakfast! and i recruited some of my influencer friends to help celebrate and spread the word!

every year, the pan pacific holds its epic toy drive – one of the largest in canada. vancouverites are invited to come down and donate a new, unwrapped toy to the lower mainland christmas bureau, in order to make christmas special for families in need.  as a thank you, the hotel provides a complimentary, hot buffet breakfast on the house. the event has been going strong – it’s now in its 29th year!

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my influencers and i stayed over at the hotel because of the insanely early call time of 530am (!) even though it was hella early, it was fun for all of us to see all the generous donations being dropped off and the city of vancouver fire department volunteers stacking the toys into what would become a two-story high christmas “tree.”

the good noise gospel choir, langley ukelele and goh ballet provided the entertainment, while global bc and rock 101 were broadcasting live on-site. new this year! my friend sam helped us to set up a couple of cool custom snapchat filters – just for the occasion.

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this year’s event clobbered last year’s event, setting a new record. here’s the final numbers:

over 5,000 vancouverites dropped off 22+ tonnes of toys, 2,000 bikes and $21,000 in cash donations, while our culinary team cooked up 18,000 eggs, 12,000 sausages, 450 pounds of hashbrowns, 6,000 croissants and 3,000 muffins for the hungry crowd. all in the span of three hours!

some pics:

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see the complete 360 pano of us (my media table) here, courtesy of john biehler.

at 9am, the firefighters took down and carted away the 2 story tree of toys – all in about 20 mins. i gobbled down my second breakfast and then went to my room, jumped into bed to get a snooze in before noon check-out!

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what a great way to kick of the holiday season by helping to take care of the thousands of families who wouldn’t otherwise be able to celebrate christmas.

for an archive of all the tweets, click here for our storify wall. for a gallery of all the instagrams, click here. for more photos, press play for the slideshow or click here for my flickr.

thank you to my influencer friends and to everyone who came out to support christmas breakfast wish. see everybody next year!

Day Job

lights of hope at st. paul’s hospital

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every year, our hospital’s foundation puts up their lights of hope display in front of the entrance to st. paul’s hospital. featuring over 10km of lights, 100,000 bulbs and hundreds of sponsored stars, it is our biggest fundraiser of the year, raising much needed funds for the hospital’s greatest needs.

last year, a record $3.15M was raised over the holidays. since its inception in 1998, the lights of hope has raised over $28M, funding equipment throughout the hospital including the ER and maternity ward.

the lights of hope also marks the beginning of the holiday season, which sees hundreds of thousands of vancouverites coming by to take that seasonal selfie and to capture the pretty, pretty lights.

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some might think it’s garish, and even i think it’s a tad loud – like, carnival lights loud – but it does photographs well and it does help to raise much needed funds for the hospital, which is the most important thing.

Day Job

TED reception at the pan

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TED is in town this week and last night the pan pacific hosted a special private reception and dinner for the delegates. here’s a few pictures i took of the set up in our oceanview rooms.

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we served a menu that included sushi, vegetable tempura with yuzu remoulade, classic antipasti, housemade wild bc mushroom ravioli with black truffle pecarino and aged balsamic glaze,braised boneless osso buco gremolata with crispy parsnip, seared snapper with sundried tomato crust, caponata eggplant braised tomatoes with pine nuts and capers, grilled new york steak arugula with fresh shaved parmesan and housemade flat bread.

at the pasta bar, one could top off one’s plate with quattro formaggi, neopolitan, italian meat sauce with pancetta, seafood, vegetables or meats.

and the dessert bar included chocolate dipped cheesecake lollipops, yokan green tea matcha squares, mango lemon spheres and fancy brownie squares.

hopefully the TED delegates enjoyed themselves very much. for more pictures, click here for pan pacific’s flickr.

Day Job

a day in the life of a CSICU nurse

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things i thought i’d never see/know about, were it not for my job:

chest tubes and anchoring sutures being removed, cough pillows, happy face non-skid socks, sternum wire cutters (it’s EXACTLY how it sounds), emergency pacemakers to pace patients and give them higher heart rates if needed.

last week, i shadowed a cardiac surgery ICU nurse and live-tweeted her day in my ‘day in the life of’ series for providence/st.pauls.

some sample tweets:

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i am, as ever, in awe of the work that medical professionals do to save lives.

surprisingly, i have not reached the threshold feeling of being sick/faint. click here if you’re interested for my storify wall. nothing too graphic, but if you’re squeamish at all about blood (even reading about it), take a pass.

Day Job

christmas wish breakfast at the pan

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there’s not many things in this world that could get me up at the crack of dawn, but being a part of pan pacific’s 28th annual christmas wish breakfast did just that. it helps that i got to stay over at the hotel too.

every year, the pan pacific holds its epic toy drive – one of the largest in canada. vancouverites are invited to come down and donate a new, unwrapped toy to the lower mainland christmas bureau, in order to make christmas special for families in need.  as a thank you, the hotel provides a complimentary, hot buffet breakfast on the house.

this year’s event took place on november 26, between 6am-9am. with a call time for staff being 530am (!)

even though it was hella early, it was worth it, seeing all the generous donations being dropped off and the city of vancouver fire department volunteers stacking the toys into what would become a two-story high christmas “tree.”

the noise gospel choir, the goh ballet, the langley ukulele ensemble entertained the crowd and the whole thing was broadcast live on-site with global bc and rock 101.

this year’s event turned out to be a record-breaking one. here’s what the numbers looked like:

5,000+ vancouverites dropped off 17+ tonnes of toys, 1,000 bikes and more than $22,000 in cash donations, while our culinary team cooked up 11,000 eggs, 11,642 sausages, 1,152 pounds of hashbrowns and 4,600 croissants for the hungry crowd. all in the span of three hours!

some pics:

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what a great way to kick of the holiday season and get into the festive mood. looking forward to next year.

for an archive of my live-tweeting of the event, click here for our storify wall. for more photos, press play for the slideshow or click here for my flickr.

Day Job

a brilliant evening

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every year, my work’s foundation mounts brilliant!, the most spectacular evening of fashion and dance to support much-needed mental health and addiction programs at st. paul’s hospital. the gala event at commodore ballroom sells out weeks in advance, with many of the attendees going all out and dressing up flamboyantly.

this would be my first year live-tweeting it and i found that the brilliant! event did indeed live up to its name. the annual event truly is a labour of love, with over 300 of vancouver’s most fashion-foward designers, hairstylists, make-up artists and performers all volunteering their time and talent.

this year’s theme was fairytales: from darkness into light, featuring thoroughly modern interpretations of classic tales, such as alice’s adventures in wonderland, the gingerbread man, the little mermaid, the swan princes, cinderella, sleeping beauty, little red riding hood, snow white and the seven dwarfs, beauty and the beast, hansel and gretel and robin hood.

some photos:

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the night was a resounding success. the live auction items and donations raised over $1.45M dollars, shattering last year’s record of $300,000. now in its third year, brilliant! has raised over $2M over the past three years.
to see a recap of my tweets, attendees’ tweets, photos and videos, check out the storify wall i created for the event.

Day Job

a day in the life of a resident doctor

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ever wonder what it’s like to be a resident doctor?

i found out with my “a day in the life of” initiative at work. last week, i followed a group of resident doctors over the course of a twelve hour shift and gave our followers a candid snapshot into a typical workday at st. pauls’ hospital, a clinical academic teaching hospital in downtown vancouver. i fielded questions from our community, posted photos and video for the behind-the-scenes snapshot.

it was illuminating, especially how many patients they see on rounds and how much the time was needed to report on patient care and treatment. and on top of that, resident doctors attend teaching rounds, focusing on different medical topics and spend 2-3 hours reading and studying every day.

here’s some sample tweets:

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fun fact: when i asked my group of docs what their favourite medical show was, the answer was unanonimously house; grey’s anatomy being the worst.

at 12 hours, it was a hella long day and i was dog tired by the time i got home. i can’t believe these are the hours that doctors work every single day. and with compassion, patience and understanding. now that i know what the doctors have to deal with when a patient is admitted to hospital, i have so much more admiration for them.

for my full day with them, click here for the storify link for all the tweets from the event.

Day Job

diner en blanc at canada place

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i may not be participating in this year’s diner en blanc soiree, but i certainly knew where it was going to be held before most of the 4,500+ revelers did. that’s because working for pan pacific vancouver, i got the inside scoop that the location was going to be the north end of canada place. that’s downstairs and right outside the hotel.

and i was tasked to take some photos and post it to the social channels. some pics:

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like any crowd-participating event, i liked the concept of it when it first launched in vancouver years ago. i remember i wanted to go, but couldn’t find any friends who were interested. (early adopter, i guess) but now  it’s grown into a monster, with a ridiculous wait list in the thousands and expensive fee to attend (even though most people are bringing their own food, chairs and table)

having been a wedding and event planner in my past life, i’m all for grand productions and small details, but i feel that since diner en blanc, while indeed pretty to look at, has became too show-y and pretentious for my liking. too exclusive and so much try on alot of the attendees’ part.

me personally, i would’ve rather broke bread with people at the counterpart event, ce soir noir.  perhaps it makes me feel like how i did back in high school, when i may have wished to be friends with the popular kids for a hot minute, but came to the realization that i relate more to the outsiders/nerds/artsy-types who much more interesting and more my jam?

Day Job

social media at the pan pacific vancouver

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no better day to start working than on canada day.

call me crazy, but i just couldn’t pass up on the opportunity to manage the social media for pan pacific vancouver. double duty! fortunately, this is a part-time, contract position, so i’m thinking slash hoping that this might just work out with my new job at providence.

so why not start on july 1 – a day in which 450,000 canadians descend on canada place for fireworks and festivities? luckily, it wasn’t a throw her in the deep end and see if she can swim day. it was behind-the-scenes orientation, including meeting some of the staff, touring “the bowels” of the hotel and having a get acquainted dinner at the cafe pacifica.

i was even invited to stay overnight in a harbourview room, in order to get familiar with the guest experience.

some photos:

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the highlight of the day was, of course, the fireworks. and what better place to watch them than on the 8th floor swimming pool deck with unobstructed view?

what a treat to be welcomed so warmly into the family. i’m thrilled to be a member of such an iconic hotel in vancouver.