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Archive for October, 2012

TV Preacher Peter Popoff Comes to Vancouver and Other Spiritual Things to Do in Vancouver
by Staff Writer

by Sandy Peters/Freelance  Writer/Special to Wisertraveller.org

Whatever your inclination, Vancouver offers a wide variety of places for religious worship. Whether you are Buddhist, Christian, Jewish are of Muslim faith, there is a place for you to practice your faith. But if you are of the view that religion is on the decline in the city, this definitely proved not to be the case at a recent nonpublicized crusade headed by the televangelist Peter Popoff.

A few weeks ago, several hundred people of all ages, silently filed into a large meeting hall at the Vancouver International Trade and Convention centre. My invitation came to me courtesy of a specially marked envelope mailed to me and delivered to an old address which promised that I would be the recipient of long-due blessings.

So a few weeks ago, I made my way to the meeting hall, carefully choosing a seat that was not too close but not too far from the front.  I carefully picked my way to a seat which placed me between an unfriendly man and woman and a jean-clad lone African man. Behind me, a lone elderly man sat quietly and a few rows back, I saw groups of South Asian families. Across the aisle, more people sat there obediently, and many were dressed casually and simply. A few wore casts and some sat in wheelchairs. Many people had a look of quiet desperation or longing.  Whatever the  reason, all wanted to witness miracles promised by the controversial TV preacher who mostly appears on late-night TV.

Judging by the size of the selected audience who attended the event, it is hard to believe that this is the same man who has been accused  by some detractors of conning the faithful and the naive of money. He has been accused of using questionable tactics to solicit money from people with brilliant targeted mail tactics. He has been ridiculed and parodied by comics and many vocal detractors have accused him of “fake healing.”  Despite this questionable past, the faithful who had gathered tonight  either sat quietly waiting for the preacher or queued in a short lineup to buy a $50 “Prosperity kit” containing things like a cross and a DVD.

Tonight the specially selected audience acted their most obedient, waving their arms  with religious fervour  and listening attentively to the silver-haired tall man from the Popoff ministry who song a gospel tune and delivered a short speech meant to pump up the audience.  When Popoff emerged shortly after, he proceeded to give the audience what they were looking for: answers to their prayers. Invoking “prosperity angels,” he exhorted and prayed loudly that the people there would be delivered from poverty, disease and sickness.  His son recalled how he witnessed personal healings himself.

With television cameras focused on myself sometimes and the rest of  the audience, it was hard not to feel bashful at times. But the glare of publicity never stopped many people from going up to the televangelist himself  to receive personal healing and blessings.

Despite all the negative publicity written about Popoff, I never witnessed anything that amounted to be staged healings. Instead, I saw people file up to the front of the room, forming two lines, to give testimony over receiving healings and blessings. A woman declared herself drug-free. A woman who wore a cast took it off shortly after Popoff gave some spirited healings.  Different people received healings and Popoff promised that they would experience a speedy recovery from their various sicknesses.  He scanned the crowd, and called out for people who would identify themselves as suffering from various diseases as well as people who wished for children.  Many people answered his call, except this writer who felt that he had looked into her own heart’s desires. But the television cameras were all too intrusive, so I remained silent.

He promised the audience that we, too, would be recipients of prosperity and blessings. He remarked that money from “unknown sources” would magically appear.

Shortly after the crusade, I received an offer from a financial company  offering me an interest rate that is too good to be true.  As of this writing, I am not yet the winner Lotto 649 but that doesn’t stop me from hoping.

In the strange but true section:  During a break at the meeting, one person who attended the crusade was offered a job delivering questionable  material from one of the attendees who dealt in a highly illegal and dangerous profession.

Perhaps Popoff should exhort his followers to be more selective when it comes to gaining prosperity from questionable sources.



The Peter Popoff Crusade attracted the faithful to the Vancouver Convention Centre


The Best Places to have a Spiritual Experience in Vancouver

1. Pacific Spirit Park

2. Banyon Books

3. Broadway Church

4. Any Place of Worship

5.  Stanley Park

6.  Jericho Beach

7.  Top of Dog Mountain

8.  Grouse Mountain

9.  Wreck Beach

10.  Experiencing  hot yoga


October 30th

General Interest

Celebrating Halloween and Other Things to Do in Vancouver
by Staff Writer

Whether you are young or old, Vancouver has plenty of venues to celebrate Halloween. From scary rides and haunted houses to dance halls hosting  Halloween costume contests, the city welcomes all who wish to participate in all things Halloween.

Over at the PNE, if you’re in the mood to get frightened, join up with some friends to see the always popular haunted houses, see monsters and take in comedy acts. (http://www.pne.ca/fright-nights/)

Touring the city is all the more fun if you ride the trolley during the annual Haunted Vancouver trolley tour. (http://www.vancouvertrolley.com/seasonal_tours_halloween.php)

Another thing to do is to drive around Vancouver to see many houses decorated in things that are spooky and in the Halloween spirit.  One house that turns heads annually is the  Dunbar Haunted House at 8934 Shaughnessy Street. It’s an organized event with a ticket booth and staffed by actors and over 100 volunteers that hopes to thrill and also use proceeds for Vancouver charities. Thousands of people have toured the house last year.

To get into the Zombie mood, you might consider going to the Zombie Combat Zone. Be prepared to get “killed” with paintball, located at the Panther Paintball grounds in Surrey. It’s a 45 minute interactive experience where your main mission is to hunt Zombies armed only with paintball guns.  This once a year fun comes with with convincing screams, plenty of fake blood and a sound track that will make you think it’s all real.

If you are in the party mood, consider dressing up and dancing with other like-minded people at various events around Vancouver.  Even the normally conservative Chinese Cultural Centre in Vancouver is hosting a party night. Check this out (http://www.clubzone.com/events/550851/vancouver/telus-world-of-science/halloween-costume-ball-2012)

Another spooky adventure happens in Stanley Park which is the site for the Stanley Park Ghost train. (http://vancouver.ca/parks/events/ghosttrain/index.htm)  Witness the amazing production of Alice in Nightmareland.

Foodies may want to try cutting a pumpkin and making pumpkin pie. Or how about just cutting up a pumpkin for fun.  It’s good to be young at heart sometimes. Why not?

In the spirit of all things Halloween, this site is proud to have produced another video. This one is spooky and sure to thrill. Watch if you dare!














October 20th

General Interest

October is Film Month in Vancouver
by Staff Writer

Although Vancouver just wrapped up another successful year hosting the Vancouver International Film Festival, film buffs can  check out some repeats this month by going to their website, http://www.viff.org/festival.  The festival ranks as one of the largest in North America, showcasing films from around the world.

Year-round, Vancouver is the place where local and international directors scout the city’s diverse locations to shoot their latest flicks. If you’re lucky, you might spot movie cameras in the city’s business districts, or in people-friendly places  like  the Chinatown district,  the Vancouver Art Gallery and the University of British Columbia.

Vancouver’s Trade and Convention Centre was not too long ago dolled up to look like exotic India in the Tom Cruise blockbuster, Mission Impossible -Ghost Protocol. (2011)  The popular movie,  Twilight-New Moon( 2009)  finds the characters in places like Stanley Park and Kitsilano.

If you want to do star-gazing, head to the city’s trendy bars and restaurants where you might bump into people like William Shatner, Halle Berry, Ben Affleck or Robin Williams.

In celebration of Vancouver’s commitment to the film-making industry, Wisertraveller.org is proud to have produced a short film that showcases the talent of an up-and-coming actor, Andy Yu.

Don’t worry it’s a little over two minutes and won’t take too much of your time.  Let’s make a toast to Vancouver, movie fans, directors, actors, acting teachers, etc.






October 15th

General Interest

Best Things to do in Vancouver during the Month of October
by Staff Writer

Oct 2012

So long summer, hello fall.  If you are a newcomer to the Vancouver area, you’ll find it’s never a dull moment.  Since the weather is unusually warm, it’s a good idea to use the time to walk around and explore the neighborhood on foot. I did this recently, and was amazed to discover fascinating new cafes offering outstanding brunch or sandwiches at a good price, or even a fancy coffee. It’s almost like being in Paris since  you can sit outside at one of Vancouver’s many patio restaurants where  you can gaze at the passersby, read the local newspaper or surf the Internet on your smartphone.

Noteworthy Delis

Vancouver has some top-notch places that offer amazing delis that feature outstanding meats, appetizers, seafood and main dishes.

Meinhardt Fine Foods -located at 3002 Granville Street offers the best rotisserie chicken I’ve ever tasted. It also gets sold out mighty fast which prompts me to call the store just to reserve a chicken.  Coming in either Italian and paprica, I admit to sampling only the  Italian chicken, (which I believe is free-range) and is moist, tender and very flavorful.  |Other items in the deli are equally delicious including the beet and goat salad, chicken pot pies and the Indian curries.  Though the prices are somewhat higher than other stores, the food is outstanding –just check out the lunch hour lineup. The deli earns top marks for its food as well as its polite counter staff. We recently feasted on some Indian food available at the deli. At $8.99, I received a take-out box containing a generous amount of rice, buttered chicken and a flavorful spinach dish.

The store also offers grocery items as well, but you will find the prices will be at the higher end.  Your mind will go dizzy at the vast amount and variety of tomato sauces and olive oil available.  Same goes for bakery items that are as delicious as they look.  If you go, bring lots of cash or just be prepared to browse.  If you are on a budget, buy a coffee and try one of the bakery items. It  won’t break your budget, but your gastronomic senses will be thoroughly satisfied.

Santa Barbara Market -1322 Commercial St, Vancouver.

This deli won’t break your budget and offers some of the best selection of affordable meats and cheeses I’ve ever seen.  Near the main deli bar, you will find a cooler that offers ends of meat, such as prosciutto at a great price.  Be prepared to wait a long time to make your selection with the deli clerk who will offer you a sample if you ask.  You’ll also find lots of things Italian here, such as sodas, breads, noodles and sauces.

Hiking Anyone?

Some of Vancouver’s hiking trails officially lasts until the end of October. If you are aiming for the great outdoors, be prepared and research the destination before you go.   Trails located just beyond Vancouver and in the Whistler area, include:  Brandywine Falls, Garibaldi Lake and Panarama Ridge.  Bringing emergency supplies are essential and hiking solo is not recommended.  Keep in mind, too, that sunset arrives sooner than it does in the summer months and you wouldn’t want to face the difficulty of hiking in the dark.

Closer to Home

Vancouver’s sunsets are always pretty amazing.  Take a camera or your smartphone and head to the beach early. You can sit down at Locarno beach to watch kayakers or joggers and be prepared to watch the skyline change colors. I’ve seen the sky turn into marvelous shades of pink to to blood orange.

The Arts Galore

Vancouver is the setting of the annual International Film Festival . ( see http://www.viff.org/. If you love movies, there’s sure to be a movie that will inspire and touch you.

Top-name musicians also find their singing voices in Vancouver.  Singer-songwriter great, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springfield, Barbra Streisand, Madonna all have played or are scheduled to play a concert in Vancouver.

The free publication, Georgia Straight  is a great weekly publication to turn to if you need to discover who’s playing this week in Vancouver.

Check out wisertraveller.org’s concert review on Madonna. http://wisertraveller.org/glitzy-stage-show-energetic-dancers-help-keep-madonnas-audience-transfixed/



Pumpkins for decoration of all sizes for sale at a Vancouver floral shop


Some gourmet items at Meinhardt Fine Foods




This writer likes the chicken at Meinhardt Fine Foods

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October 8th

General Interest
October 2012
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