Archive for October 2014

Last-Minute Halloween Activities

Halloween at the Hotel Vancouver 2014

The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver will host one of the city’s largest Halloween parties on Friday, October 31. There will be live DJs, a massive costume contest, professional dancers, and a comedic conjuring of the Lady in Red – the hotel’s famous ghost.

Stanley Park Ghost Train

Each year the Stanley Park Ghost Train takes our riders on a journey through a magical world, themed by Halloween and other creepy tales.
The theme for 2014 is “Mother Goose’s Ghastly Garden”. 

The Ghost Train operates from Friday, October 10 to Saturday, November 1, 2014, and is closed on Monday, October 13 for Thanksgiving.
PLEASE NOTE: The train is covered, but dress warmly.

It’s not just a train ride. You can also enter the Spooky Barn, visit the pumpkin patch and pumpkin-carving tent, dress up for the costume contest, and go on a lantern-lit walk.

For tickets and more Information, please visit:

Fright Nights

Come and face your fears at PNE Fright Nights. PNE opens from October 10 to November 1 and features 7 haunted houses, including a brand new house, 13 rides, The Monsters of Schlock, back for 2014 the Kinshira Fire Performers and other terrifying shows and attractions.

Location: 2901 E Hastings St, Vancouver, BC 

For tickets, location, attractions and more INFO,

Carve a pumpkin and dress up your house

Go to your grocery store or pumpkin patch and carve a pumpkin. If you’re really into Halloween, decorate your house and spook your neighbors. It’s a great way to be in Halloween spirit!

Local community events

Don’t forget to check out events that will be hosting in your neighbourhood! Volunteer in a haunted house event or go trick-or-treating with younger kids. Also, don’t forget to check out the creepy decorations around your neighbourhood!

Dress Up!

The best part of Halloween is dressing up! Check out some local costume shops and dress up for Halloween!

Vancouver Halloween Costume Shops

North Vancouver Halloween Costume Shops
  • Boo La La Costumes - 152 East 2nd Street, 2nd Floor, North Vancouver,  Phone: 604-986-4880
  • Party City - 879 Marine Dr, North Vancouver,  Phone:(604) 929-9202

Burnaby & New Westminster Halloween Costume Shops
  • Columbia Costume Rental42 Sixth Street, New Westminster, Ph: 604-524-0413
  • Hollywood North Costume Supplies - 3735 1st Avenue, Burnaby, Ph: 604-299-2000

Surrey Halloween Costume Shops

Langley Halloween Costume Shops

  • The Party Bazaar - #100 – 19888 LANGLEY BYPASS, LANGLEY PHONE: 604-510-5585

You can also DIY your own costume! Check out some videos on YouTube and make some easy and affordable Halloween costume. 

- Lu

Movies to Watch This Halloween

Photo courtesy of: Duncan Harris

It’s that time of the year – Halloween, my fellow earthlings. One tradition we do during Halloween, no matter where we come from, is to watch good ol’ horror movies. That’s exactly why I’ve prepared this list of movies that I highly recommend you watch this Halloween season.

As an Asian, I know there is a stereotype that Asians make a mean... weird... sometimes, nasty horror movies. But let me be the one to tell you that they are indeed really scary, which is why I’ve included some of them in this list. However, most of the movies that I will recommend are English movies because, well, it’s a good way to learn the language (although foreign movies with subtitles also help you with spelling)! So let’s get this list started:

(In no particular order of scariness)

1. Insidious (Chapters 1 and 2)
Scariness: 9/10

I just watched this recently and man, I regret putting this one off. This is a story of a kid who has the ability to astral project and unfortunately, he got trapped in the further. I do not want to spoil anything and so all I can tell is this made me scream and scared of my own shoulder.

2. El orfanato (The Orphanage)
Scariness: 7/10

This is a Spanish horror film by the Guillermo del Toro, the same producer of Pans Labyrinth (I also recommend this movie). You know those movies with a sad ending that makes you hate the movie? Well, this one is different. I guess I already hinted that this movie will have a sad ending, but like I said, this one is extraordinary. This is a story of a family who moves into an orphanage house and turns it into their home. One day their son goes missing and a mystery of the mother’s past plays into this accident. After I watched this movie, I literally felt sad for at least a solid 2 hours. That’s why I recommend this! Not that I want you guys to feel sad. Maybe I want you guys to feel sad so you will know how it feels like to lose a son.

3. Shutter
Scariness: 9/10

So this one is a Thai movie. And if you ask me which one of the Asian countries makes the meanest scary movie, I’d say Thailand for sure. This movie is so scary the US decided to make an American version (so you can watch that one too), though I really recommend the original because of all the elements. Anyways, this one is a story about a couple who become hunted when ghosts started showing up in the photos they take.

4. Phone
Scariness: 6/10

This one is a Korean movie and I think they go second after Thailand when it comes to scariness of horror movies. Phone is a movie about, and I quote wiki, “a complex and disturbing love story that involves possession and ghosts.” Sorry, I don’t even know how to summarise this for you. Even Wikipedia says it’s “complex”. I’ll tell you one thing though, moments near the ending you’ll be like “whaaaaaaat??”

5. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
Scariness: 5/10

I’ve only seen the 2003 version and not the 1974 one. This is a slasher movie and if you’re not into that, you can still watch this. Because, well, this is far from being gore. In my scale anyways. This is a really sad and just...sad movie to watch. Couple of friends got massacred. I guess people like me watch it for the adrenaline! But hey, there’s a few screams in this movie.

6. Silent Hill
Scariness: 7/10

I watched this one when I was a kid and so it was pretty scary for me. Till now though, I would not watch it by myself. This movie is based on a video game, but I’m telling you this one is really scary. A woman brings her daughter in a town called Silent Hill in hopes of curing her daughter’s illness. After an accident, she awakens only to find out that her daughter is missing and the rest is ghost story for you to watch. Yeah, that right. I’m not telling you anything. I dare you to watch this and roam the hospital hallways. Alone.

7. The Conjuring
Scariness: Unsure

I’m a little unsure how to rate this one because everybody says this is one hell of a scary movie, so scary that people would have to talk to priests or would need a bible on their bedside table after watching the movie. I’m not saying that it’s not scary. It is, because I really remember myself not being able to go to the bathroom alone. Hehehe. Anyways, you can watch this one alone (if you have the guts) but it won’t linger like others have proclaimed. Right, back to the summary. This one is about a family who are terrorized by ghosts in their house so paranormal investigators come to help them. Oh, and Annabelle is a doll form this movie who is getting her own movie this October! I think this will be a good one because it’s a real doll. Dun.dun.dun.

A list with seven movies is a little odd (pun intended). However, I ran out of good scary movies to list (please don’t judge my definition of “good”). I just don’t want to list some scary movies here that do not have a good plot. And a lot of the scary movies I know are either psychological thrillers or super duper gore ones. You can also notice that The Grudge and The Ring are not on the list. That is because I do not wish, even on those people that I dislike, to get traumatized. Yes, the grudge and the ring are really scary for me that I wasn’t able to sleep silently after watching it. I even know people who won’t really watch it because of how scary it is.

And so that’s it my fellow earthlings. Go ahead and at least watch one from this list! Make you sure you watch it at night and get some home buttery popcorn ;)

- Anonymeh

“A casual stroll through the lunatic asylum shows that faith does not prove anything.”
― Friedrich Nietzsche
Wednesday, 29 October 2014
Posted by Unknown

An Old-School List of Things To Do During Halloween

Photo courtesy of: Nick Taylor

Did you know that over half of the world doesn’t celebrate Halloween? (Well, now, you know!) Of course, that does not mean it is less important than other annual celebrations.

Because the country where I was born does not celebrate Halloween, it was one of the exciting things I had looked forward to when I first came to Canada. I had heard fantastical tales all about the wonders about this festival which gives free, yes FREE, candy to children as long as they dress up. When the day actually came along, I was more than self-conscious about wearing a bright-orange smiling pumpkin (though I was only 11). Of course, there was nothing to be scared about; Halloween is great fun, always spiced with scary stories, regularly filled with autumn treats, and there is never a lack of things to do. Ever year, Vancouver offers various events and activities that enliven the Halloween spirit in the city.

The Fright Nights at Playland is one of the quintessential Halloween events that a typical Vancouverite goes to every year. I think it is overrated, but it is a great experience to have; you get to experience free rides and 7 haunted houses (I strongly suggest the carn-evil), some performances, plus the usually Playland stock. The decorations are amazing, with dressed-up professionals hiding amongst the visitors ready to scare the crap out of you. A word of warning though, line-up can get crazy the closer it is to Halloween (up to 1-2 hour waits for Haunted Houses). But overall it is a memorable experience, definitely worth a try.

There are also haunted houses located all over Vancouver, be it renovated homes, temporary set-ups, or rented community centres--someday we’ll probably start seeing haunted vans roaming the streets! These are great if you like a good scare. A couple of good ones I’ve heard about: the Dunbar Haunted House, the China Town Haunted House, and the Reaper’s Haunted House and Maze.

You can also go old-school and do the neighbourhood trick-or-treat. Just dress-up, ring the doorbell of any decorated house and say the magic words. Try to stay in the suburbs though, as apartments usually don’t hand out candy (some business districts also hand out candy: Yaletown, Metrotown, and parts of downtown.) On a side note, I would like to remind you not to eat any sketchy “candy” that has been opened or is “self made”!

If you are feeling more of the I-just-want-to-stay-at-home vibe, there are still a multitude of fun things to try. For example, I spent an entire Halloween carving pumpkins. They are cheap, they look great pretty much regardless of skill…and if you can’t carve them all, you can eat them! It is also a great time to make…more interestingly shaped foods (‘finger’-biscuits, meringue ghosts, anything pumpkin spiced…) and stretch back to enjoy some cheesy, or really, really, scary (or both) movies.

Really, the possibilities are endless. This fun and scary holiday is not one to miss out on! This week, don't miss out on fun Halloween activities--head outside and discover the wonders of Halloween!

- Selena

The Cure to School Envy

"Once again, school begins."

From the news to shoe sales to blog magazine themes, this message is plastered in nearly every corner of the city like a slap to my face whenever a new school year is just about to start. Surely, everybody's Facebook News Feeds and Twitter is flooded with reactions towards the annual phenomena.
Every year, there are always students who can't wait to back to school. On the other hand, there are also those who are groaning at prospect of homework and classes. If only they knew how much I envy them all... 

I, like many other immigrants in their late teens, will not be part of the student population this term. We all have different reasons, of course, and it ranges from personal choice to no choice at all. Wherever we are on the spectrum, we all face the same problem: what are we supposed to do with all that free time?

Fortunately, Vancouver has countless to offer to those of us who are looking for something to do and they fall under two categories:

If you can't go to school, go to work.

Getting a job is easier than you might think. I should know because for someone with unimpressive credentials, I managed to scrounge an honest work in an office. The trick is to ask for some guidance.

Besides your parents and friends, you can reach out to immigration centres such as the ISS of BC and SUCCESS which offer aid for any immigrant-- even us youth!-- who are looking for employment. Some of the help they provide us include narrowing our job search, teaching us how to write awesome resumes, and giving us tips on how not to suck at interviews.

Although getting work will take a lot of hard work and patience, it is completely worth it. Not only would we get cash, we would also up our work credentials this early in the game of employment. We may not get our ideal jobs at first try but we can expect to have a better one in the future with our gained Canadian experience to work in our favour. And have I already mentioned cash?

If you don't have homework, have a hobby.

What hobby? Any hobby. Absolutely anything that interests you. If you can think it, count that Vancouver has a group or club for it.

A budding artist? Join the Vancouver Urban Sketchers! They pick a place in the city and sketch whatever they see. Amateurs are welcome.

If writing is more your thing, I heard some good stuff about Pandora's Collective. Fancy name, I know. They host at least three monthly events in  Vancouver like the Twisted Poets Literary Salon and Word Whips.

If you're the type who wants to better the world one small step at a time, have a shot at volunteering. Now that school has dragged students back to their classrooms, organizations will be looking for volunteers to fill the spots many students have left. I found my volunteering opportunity at The website is not only filled with volunteer postings but event announcements as well. Speaking of, VANITY also has monthly posts about upcoming events that you might want to check out.
Being a scrawny kid, I myself am looking to add some meat in my bones what with winter fast approaching. I decided to enrol in Tai Chi classes and take a fitness membership offered in one of the many community centres in the city. Each local community centre provides workshops and classes ranging from martial arts to gardening. You check out the programs available to you at


Getting a job or a hobby, whichever you choose (or if you plan to do both), it is important to understand what they have in common: both require you to step out of the comfort of your homes and reach out to what you want. This new world may seem scary but we cannot let it freeze us from living our lives. Let us get out there and show the world that we may not be in school yet, but that doesn't mean we can't.

- M.R.

Thank You!

Thanksgiving is a holiday where, according to Wikipedia, Canada "celebrates the harvest and other blessings of the past year." It's a time to be grateful. But what should we be grateful for? We need to be grateful for the blessings that we receive on a daily basis. Below is a list of unsung heroes that we need to be thankful for:

- soldiers and police who sacrifice/sacrificed their lives for our safety

- construction workers that work their bodies off for the best of the community

- farmers who work endless hours to keep food on our tables

- teachers who give knowledge to the learning people

- bus drivers who take us to where we need to go

- media content producers to keep us entertained

- programming geniuses who produce and/or maintain social networking sites to keep communication alive

- friends who are there with you in every step of the way, and parents and family who look over and love us unconditionally

Of course, these aren’t all the people we should be thankful for. There are more on the list, and if I listed them all, then this blog post would not end. Personally, I’d like to thank you for reading this post, and being a part of the VANITY Blog family. Thank you for being an awesome person!

If you see someone who you think we should all be grateful for because of their actions, why not give them a simple "thanks buddy for being so cool" compliment? Because of these people listed above (and of course, there are many more), our lives are made easy.

I've got one question for you: who are you thankful for? Comment down below!

With gratitude (and then some),

Sunday, 12 October 2014
Posted by Unknown

What's Up, Vancouver? (October 2014)

Photo source: monnibo

Vancouver Book Fair
October 4-5, 2014
UBC Robson Square
PumpkinFest 2014
October 5, 2014
2121 Marine Drive, West Vancouver

PNE Fright Nights
October 10, 2014 - November 1, 2014
PNE Playland
Stanley Park Ghost Train
October 10 - November 1, 2014
Stanley Park

Festival of Chocolate
October 15 - November 10, 2014
Various locations

TEDx Vancouver
October 18, 2014
Queen Elizabeth Theatre

Haunted Vancouver Trolley Tour
Tuesdays to Saturdays from October 18, 2014 to October 31, 2014
Canada Place

Vancouver Halloween Parade
October 19, 2014
Davie to Granville to Smithe to Howe

Vancouver Writers Fest
October 21-26, 2014
Granville Island
Haunted Village
October 23-26, 2014
6501 Deer Lake Avenue, Burnaby
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Vancouver Immigrant Youth (VANITY) Blog is an online space made for youth, by youth. Here, you will find stories and experiences written by youth immigrants who once felt how challenging it was to be a newcomer in Vancouver. If you are a newcomer in Vancouver (or anywhere in Canada), we hope to give you all the resources you need to feel comfortable in this country. We hope to give you tips and advices on how we adjusted to our lives here as youth immigrants. Through this site, we want to empower you to bring out your full potential.





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