Canadian Knowledge Test 101 – The Stanley Cup

Many of you have either seen an Ice Hockey Game before or it’s on your bucket list, rightly so considering it’s Canadas National sport. But how much do you really know about the sport and its greatest competition to win the famous Stanley Cup?

The fight for the trophy is happening right at this moment and watching at least one of the games is definitely a point that you want to cross off your list. Unfortunately, there’ll be no live Ice Hockey events in Vancouver any time soon but there’s lots of sports bars streaming the games in a ‘stadium like’ atmosphere so you can get a taste of the passionate cheering for one of the teams and feel part of the Canadian sports culture.

Before you dive into this experience I’m here to give you a run down of the most important information when it comes to the Stanley Cup so you’ll understand better why this competition is so important for many sports fanatics.

The Stanley Cup, the oldest trophy competed for by professional athletes in North America.
Sir Frederick Arthur Stanley, Lord Stanley of Preston and son of Earl of Derby purchased the trophy in 1892 for $50 at the time to be presented to ‘the championship hockey club of the Dominion of Canada’. In 1893 the Montreal Amateur Athletic Association was the first team ever awarded with the Stanley Cup.

The trophy has been altered over time, e.g. rings and bands were added to the bottom of the bowl. Every time a team wins their names are going to be inscribed on the bands of the cup. Since it’s the only professional sports trophy where names are displayed like that, bands get changed to make room for new champions. Currently the trophy is about 35 ΒΌ inches high and weighs 34 Β½ pounds.

Ever since the National Hockey Association (NHL) took possession of the Stanley Cup in 1910 it has been symbolic of professional hockey supremacy. From 1926 onward only NHL teams have competed for the trophy.

Can you guess which team has won most Stanley Cups?
It was The Montreal Canadians with 23 times since the formation of the NHL!

When a team wins they celebrate it by passing the trophy around between each of the players and staff members of the team. Everyone gets to enjoy it for 24 hours, a tradition like in no other sport. What would you do if you had the cup for a day?

Now that you have a finer insight of why this competition is so important, let’s move on to understand the structure of it a little better, so you know what everyone is talking about.

Over the entire year teams try to collect points in order to qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs. In the end there’ll be 16 teams that have made it. The contest is divided into a West and East conference and each conference is then divided into two divisions. Once again: There’s 8 teams per conference, 4 per division = 16 teams total.
So far so good right?

The best team in each conference plays against the worst team in each conference and the second best plays against the second worst with the goal to win 4 out of 7 games against each other. The same applies for the 4 remaining teams that play against each other within their division. Makes sense? That means the two ‘mediocre’ teams of one division play against each other. I know, there’s a lot going on and I don’t want to make it more complicated or confuse you, so all I’ll say is that in the end the best team of the West conference will play against the best team of the East conference and that’s the big final. On the way there’s A LOT of matches to be played which tests the players resilience since hockey can be a brutal sport. One thing’s for sure it barely gets boring to watch.

There’s only 3 Canadian teams left in the Playoffs right now – the Edmonton Oilers, the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Winnipeg Jets – so better be fast and cheer on your favourite to help them win! Pick your sports bar and immerse yourself into this Canadian sport experience. Next Pub night we’ll try to go see one game together but until then a lot can change!

If you don’t have weekend plans yet, I recommend you put this on your list. If you have any questions, ask Tim. πŸ˜‰

I hope this post helps you as it helped me to understand this sport and its culture a little better. You’ll see, you’ll leave Canada as a real Hockey expert. I could probably write for many more hours, but I think I’d rather chat more with you about the Stanley Cup at tonight’s Pub Night, so see you there!

Cheers,

Laura πŸ™‚

What to do on the weekend?

No question, you should celebrate St. Patricks Day! But before you immerse yourself into this experience, let me give you a little bit of background knowledge.

Saint Patrick lived during the fifth century and is the patron saint of Ireland. His death is believed to have been on March 17, 461 which is the day of the celebrations. The probably best-known legend of St. Patrick his explanation of the Holy Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) by using the three leaves of a native Irish clover, the shamrock.

Fun Fact: The first St. Patrick’s Day parade didn’t take place in Ireland but in America in 1601.

1772 homesick Irish soldiers serving in the English military marched in New York City to honour the Irish patron saint. From then on the enthusiasm for St. Patrick’s Day parades grew. Today, people of all backgrounds celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, especially throughout the United States, Canada and Australia. Popular dishes include Irish soda bread, corned beef and cabbage and champ. In some places you find green beer, green rivers and of course people dressed in green black and gold.

If you’re really interested in the history, meaning and background there’s more stuff on the internet like articles, videos etc. πŸ™‚

INTERNeX is obviously going to an Irish Pub here in Vancouver to get the full experience. πŸ˜‰ Are you coming? Or do you have other plans to celebrate?

A good idea is to buy tickets on pre-sale or come early since it’s going to be super busy and it might be more expensive to get tickets at the door. But nevertheless there’s lots of things going on around the pubs as well. I recommend checking out the place in front of the art gallery or just wander across Granville street to take a peak of what St. Patricks Day might be like, but be aware there might be some intoxicated people along the way.

You don’t like partying? I’ve got another idea for you this weekend that involves cultural program. I heard a lot of you like dancing, so how about checking out the Vancouver International Dance Festival? There are performances this weekend in different locations and the tickets range from $20-35. If you want to find out more check out their website: https://www.vidf.ca/

Another good thing to do if you like to be more active outside and are into winter sports is spending the day at a local mountain like Seymour or Grouse for example. Enjoy the last days of the season before spring arrives and the slopes won’t be as good to ski or snowboard anymore! Right now mountains are easy accessible through a shuttle or public transit. A lot of gear can be rented on the mountain as well, so really there’s no excuse for you not to go. If you are lucky you even get an amazing view over Vancouver when you’re up there!

As always, I can’t wait to hear about your weekend at our next Pub Night!

See you then!

Cheers,

Laura πŸ™‚

New ‘Kids’ on the Blog

Exciting news, we have lots of New ‘Kids’ joining our crew! Let me tell you a little bit about them.

Here we have Sasha from Belgium, near Brussels. He’s already been to Toronto for a couple of months and loving his experience so far. I’d say we can make it even better! Back home he finished High School, not sure what he wanted to do after, he decided to take some time to explore Canada. Now he already knows, he wants to do something science related in the future. In Vancouver he’ll be volunteering in Stanley Park. One of his brother’s friends told him about his experience at Stanley Park and in Vancouver so Sasha thought he now has to see for himself. Another reason why he picked Canada is the vibe and mindset of the people which seems like a lot of fun. In general he wants to go with the flow, meet new individuals, learn about them, have fun and live life day to day. What a great attitude. πŸ™‚ In his free time he likes to play music on the piano, or bass guitar, learn things about science and history, and of course go out! He turns 19 on the 22nd of April, let’s make sure we throw him a great party. πŸ˜‰

Maria from Frankfurt in Germany will also celebrate her Birthday here in July. πŸ˜‰ After finishing High School she worked at her parents optician shop and discovered that she really likes it, so when she gets back home she wants to start working towards becoming one herself. For now she just wants to enjoy her time here, volunteering at a Cat Sanctuary, even though she’s more of a dog person. In fact she has her own family dog, Oscar. That doesn’t stop her from being excited to meet all the cats, taking care of them and enjoying their company, and who knows, maybe she’ll turn into a cat person afterwards? πŸ˜‰ She picked Canada because she’s never been here, and once she saw a documentary of Vancouver she thought to herself ‘wow, I have to go!’. Understandable. πŸ˜‰
While here Maria wants to take as much with her as she can. At home she’s a plant mom to many babies which she hopes survive in her absence. Other than gardening she likes to colour and meet friends.

Hannah is form Germany as well, near Cologne and is volunteering at a pre-school here. Back home she studies to become an elementary schoolteacher while she also works at a day care and as a babysitter, quite busy! The subjects she’ll be teaching are German, English and Math (which is her favourite out of the three). She picked Canada because the landscape fascinated her and she always wanted to come. Unfortunately she’s only here for one month because it’s her vacation time. That means she wants to do as much as possible and she’s flexible about all the activities that Vancouver has to offer! A few things she loves are horseback riding, going to the gym and hiking, I’d say she’s in the perfect place for that! Vancouver has so many beautiful trails for hiking, biking or riding! I’m sure she’ll have an amazing four weeks exploring the area. πŸ™‚

Paolo from Brussels in Belgium will be gaining some work experience in Digital Marketing while he’s here. In his home country he studies for his Bachelor in Business Management with focus on Marketing which he will finish once he’s back after four months in Vancouver. He’s a nature lover which is one of the reasons he picked Canada. He told me that he’s traveled a lot in the US already where his favourite spot was Yellowstone National Park with its big variety of landscapes and wildlife. He’s already seen a black bear, but while he’s in Canada he’d love to see a Grizzly bear and he says the ones on Grouse Mountain don’t count. πŸ˜‰ Pretty adventurous if you ask me! On top of that Paul would also like to visit the Rockies with Banff and Jasper National Park, I’m sure he can spot a bear up there! Other than discovering nature he also loves to run, ski, play basketball and chess, anyone up for a match? πŸ˜‰

Helena is a Work and Traveler from Germany who is not up for boring office jobs, or customer service. She’d rather like to get her hands dirty, be active on her job, a good idea for her would be a job at a farm she says. Back home she just finished High School and once she’s back she’ll probably study to become a pharmacist. Now though, she takes the chance to travel for a whole year before focusing on a career. When will she ever be able to do that again, she’s asking herself. That’s a fair question. πŸ™‚ Canada was her top pick because of the vast nature, wildlife and many opportunities. When she first arrived she felt a little overwhelmed, but I mean who can’t relate? Taking the step to go to a foreign country by yourself not knowing what’s going to happen can be scary, but also exciting! It usually takes a few days or even weeks to adjust, that’s totally normal, but then it’ll be all worth it. πŸ™‚ In her free time Helena likes to read phantasy books and to crochet, the coolest thing she made was a mushroom for her friend, she showed me a picture and I really wish I was this handy, it looks amazing!

Next we have Lea from Godoagne in Belgium. She’ll be volunteering at a rescue centre for domestic animals. Before coming to Vancouver she lived in Miami for 6 months, going to school to improve her English. My curiosity was wondering how she liked it and not to my surprise she enjoyed her stay in Miami a lot. The people were friendly, the weather always nice with lots of beautiful beach days and nights well spent with her friends. She thought it was funny that she experienced more people speaking Spanish than English but she likes the Latin music and ambience. To be honest this is going to be hard to top since Vancouver weather is only really nice during the summer months, but I’d say we’ll do our best to make sure she has a great time. We definitely have more nature to offer with the old growth forests, mountains and the rough Pacific Ocean which technically you can still swim in if you dare. πŸ˜€ When Lea is back in Belgium she’d like to study Social Work. There’s nothing specific on her bucket list which gives her the chance to be open towards everything Vancouver has to offer and see as much as possible. πŸ™‚ Her Hobbies include going out, reading and watching Anime, her favourite at the time is Demon Slayer.

Last but not least there’s Manon from Liege in Belgium. She already went to school in Vancouver and now it’s time for her to volunteer at a cat sanctuary until she goes back home to study law. What better way to spend time until university starts than hanging out with cats everyday? I guess there’s not much that can top it. She came to Canada because the organization she’s with offered a program in Vancouver and she really liked it. πŸ™‚ She’s already been to Quebec on the East Coast of Canada and mentioned how different the West Coast is. I agree, I think Quebec seems way more European whereas Vancouver has North American charm. Her favourite place to party here is the Cambie on Tuesdays for Latin Night and the Library Square on Thursdays. Looks like she’s been here long enough to know how the Vancouver party scene works. πŸ˜‰ Since she’s been here for a while she’s already crossed off many things on her bucket list but she still wants to visit quite a few places like Whistler, Grouse Mountain, or Vancouver Island. In her free time as you can tell she likes to party, but she’s also interested in reading, sports, cooking and of course eating the food after. πŸ˜€

I’m so excited for you to meet them all at our Pub Night!

Make sure you introduce yourself and see you there. πŸ™‚

Cheers,

Laura

What to do on the weekend?

No weekend passes where Vancouver doesn’t have something to offer!

This weekend the VMF Winter Arts is starting and they have a lot of cool things for you to discover! You should join us for a guided art walking tour through the city which reveals some inner workings of the festival and showcases many AR and light installations as well as murals and other public art. After that we’ll head over to the Vancouver Art Gallery where we’ll experience local poetry, music and food from across the Afro-Caribbean and African diaspora. There’ll be live performances, a bar, cafe, food trucks, market vendors, and a UV Face Paint & Sparkle Station. πŸ™‚ For those of you who want to expand their horizon further, there’s the VMF After Dark x Afroqueer YVR: Black Rave taking place, starting 9.30pm, letting you dive into the world of Black underground dance culture and music. Make sure not to miss it!
https://www.winterartsfest.com/


All the beer lovers listen up, I’ve got a great idea for you this weekend, or actually for the whole month of February. You can take part in Tasting Passports along TransLink’s Dine the Line to collect stamps at up to 64 participating businesses for a chance to win a great prize after only collecting 6 stamps! There’s many different trails depending on the region you prefer. Within each Ale Trail there is an array of craft breweries, restaurants, tap houses, liquor stores, outdoor activities, sightseeing, accommodations and more. Not only will you drink and dine, but further you can use it as a great way of exploring the city! Pick up a passport at any of the participating locations which you’ll find on their website and ask for a stamp with your purchase. I linked you a trail I think looks pretty cool, but feel free to browse and see what you might like:
https://bcaletrail.ca/ale-trails/brewery-creek-vancouver/


Since the weather will be pretty decent this weekend (for a winter day in Vancouver) why don’t you explore one of the many great walking or hiking trails in the area? Make sure you take a hiking buddy with you! Let me give you some suggestions:
The classic would be a walk around the sea wall in Stanley Park, it never gets old and every time you’ll discover something different. It’s also great to adventure on one of the many paths that lead through the park. πŸ™‚ Another one of my favourites is the Pacific Spirit Regional Park near UBC. You have many options on trails and beautiful views of the ocean along the way. It’s also great to explore the huge campus nearby with its beautiful Botanical Garden. Want to have a nice view over the city? Queen Elizabeth Park has the highest point close to the city offering an amazing view of Vancouvers skyline. If you want to go further out, Jug Island Beach Trail is another good one! It’s not too long and leads through the forest to a hidden pebble beach where you can spot some starfish if you’re lucky. Once you’re done take a walk around the pier in Port Moody, or check out one of the many craft breweries around.
Make sure you have the proper clothing, and if you end up adventuring on your own make sure you let someone know where you’re going and when they should expect you back. πŸ™‚

Whether you decide to have cultural, culinary, or outdoorsy weekend, I wish you loads of fun and stories to tell at our next pub night!

See you then!

Cheers,

Laura πŸ™‚

New ‘Kids’ on the Blog

Missed us? I know, we haven’t been around for a while, but let me tell you we’re back! And we’re back with a lot of new candidates who joined our crew over the last few weeks, so without further ado, let me introduce them to you in an easy-to-digest manner:


Name: Ricky
Home: Bruges, Belgium
What are you doing in Canada?
-> I’m doing a 3 month practicum at a Boutique Marketing and Communications company. I create mainly content for the company, but also for their clients, mostly in the form of video content.
What did you do before coming to Canada?
-> I’m graduating this year with my Bachelor in Digital Marketing.
Future plans?
-> Right now I’d like to use this opportunity to really see what I want to do and like, not just what schools tell me to do. After my internship and graduation I would like to study one more year, maybe in sales or video editing, like a year of specializing, then I’d like to start working.
Why Canada?
-> Canada has always attracted me for different reasons, like the culture, the people who are way way nicer than in Belgium. I think in Belgium everyone is kind, but not if you’re not white or aren’t born in Belgium. Also, the nature of Canada is so vast! I feel like in Vancouver you can easily move between different activities in the summer because you have mountains, rivers, lakes, and the downtown area, that way there is something fun to do for everyone.
First impression?
-> To say I really like it would be an understatement, I haven’t seen everything yet (far from) but what I’ve learned here is incredible, so far it was worth every penny and I’m so so glad I took the leap. People are very nice and open. I would say the people’s mindset and how they think about life and work is what really blew me away. I’m gobsmacked.
Bucket list?
-> I’d like to visit Whistler to ride a snowmobile or a buggy. Other than that I’d like to just explore Vancouver, BC, and the most important thing is learning a lot about other cultures.
Hobbies?
-> Calisthenics, socializing, racing, watching formula 1. I love spending time with friends learning new things about people. I also love to be creative with text and video content.


Name: Anna
Home: Berlin, Germany
What do you do in Canada?
-> I volunteer at a Preschool. I help out in a class that is part of their half-day program. The school is part of an organization that advocates for inclusion of children with disabilities.
What did you do before Canada?
-> Back home I am currently studying to become a secondary school teacher for German and English.
Future Plans?
-> When I go back I will write my bachelor thesis before hopefully starting my master studies.
Why Canada?
-> I wanted to go abroad to advance my English language skills. For me, Canada is a good mix between nature, city life and opportunities for great adventures.
First impression?
-> Vancouver is surprisingly versatile. There are so many different facets and the people are multicultural.
Bucket list while here?
-> Vancouver Island, the Rocky Mountains and explore the area around Vancouver itself.
Hobbies?
-> I love to read and watch movies/shows. In a new place, I enjoy taking walks and casually experience my surroundings while listening to music.


Name: Alessia
Home: Germany
What do you do in Canada?
-> Iβ€˜m doing Work and Travel for a year πŸ™‚ I will work in an office in Edmonton next month but at the moment I am focusing on travelling!
What did you do before coming to Canada?
-> Iβ€˜ve done an apprenticeship as an industrial management assistant and worked at a big company for a year.
Future plans?
I will study Sport and nutrition in prevention.
Why Canada?
-> I really love the combination of the big green landscape and various nature and the opposite city life.
First impression?
-> It’s a really nice city for the start of a Work and Travel. You get to know sooo many people in a really short time.
Bucket list while here?
-> I would love to see the northern lights, going to a concert and see the Niagara Falls.
Hobbies?
-> I love to play the guitar and piano. I used to do gymnastics and love going to the gym.


Name: Ida
Home: Emsdetten near MΓΌnster, Germany
What are you doing in Canada?
-> I volunteer at a not-for-profit film festival. I work in the office and do part of the accounting, Every two weeks I have to schedule the shifts for the staff at the cinema.
What did you do before Canada?
-> I did my training and worked as a wholesale and foreign trade clerk at a small company
Future Plans?
-> I want to work more in the sector foreign trade.
Why Canada?
-> Canada is a really great country, my parents went to Vancouver and Canada 25 years ago and they told me a lot of nice things about it.
First impression?
-> I like Vancouver, it’s a great city with a lot of different, friendly people.
Bucket list while here?
-> Rockies and Vancouver Island.
Hobbies?
-> I love dancing Zumba and meeting my friends to go out shopping or go to pubs.


Name: Marion
Home: Belgium
What are you doing in Canada?
-> Volunteering in Stanley Park with the main focus on observation of wildlife like eagles, orcas and waterbirds and hosting in the nature house of the park.
What did you do before coming to Canada?
-> Graduated High school
Future Plans?
-> Study Business in Brussels.
Why Canada?
-> Because the nature is incredible, you have the mountains and the sea. People are also very friendly. Finally it’s an English speaking country.
First impression?
-> Beautiful landscapes and friendly people.
Bucket list while here?
-> I want to go skiing and go to Tofino
Hobbies?
-> Listen to music, do sports (especially tennis), travel, paint. I am also a big food lover.


Name: Luisa
Home: Berlin, Germany
What are you doing in Canada?
-> I volunteer at a not-for-profit film festival. I’m in charge of the on-boarding process of volunteers: interviewing them, working with a website to keep track of the on boarding process, scheduling orientation days for them, etc.
What did you do before coming to Canada?
-> I graduated high school last year, doing a gap year right now.
Future plans?
-> Studying Psychology
Why Canada?
-> I wanted to come to Canada during high school already but it didn’t work out because of Covid.
First impression?
-> It’s a beautiful city with the perfect location between the mountains and the sea, very multicultural too.
Bucket list while here?
-> Whistler, Vancouver Island, Seattle, Whale watching.
Hobbies?
-> Skiing, spending time with friends.


Name: Hannah
Home: Germany 
What are you doing in Canada?
-> I’m volunteering in Stanley Park. My work includes monitoring birds and animals, for example coyotes, hosting in the nature house, digging invasive plants and mapping.
What did you do before coming to Canada?
-> I graduated high school and traveled trough Thailand and Europe.
Future Plans?
-> I would like to study Business Economics with a focus on Management and Marketing.
Why Canada?
-> Because of the nature and culture.
First impression?
I’m in love. I was really surprised (in a very good way) by this multicultural city.
Bucket list while here?
-> A lot of skiing, sea wall walk, Lynn Canyon, take the train to Seattle, meeting new people and get to know the culture.
Hobbies?
-> Skiing, meeting friends, listening to music, reading, going out, cooking and eating, swimming, traveling.

Name: Giulia
Home: Germany
What do you do in Canada?
I volunteer at an animal rescue charity. My primary task is assisting with the rehabilitation and
rescue of injured animals (for me mostly cats).
What did you do before coming to Canada?
-> I finished school and did my β€˜Abitur’
Future plans?
-> I’m not sure yet
Why Canada?
-> Ever since I was a little kid I wanted to go to Canada
First impression?
Beautiful, particularly at night!
Bucket list while here?
Visit Vancouver Island and go to an ice hockey game.
Hobbies?
-> Mainly reading and going to bookstores and libraries

Name: Jan
Home: Cloppenburg, Germany
What are you doing in Canada?
-> I have a placement in the area of marketing, so most of the time I’m in the office.
What did you do before coming to Canada?
-> I just graduated high school
Future plans?
-> I don’t really know yet. This internship hopefully helps me to find out.
Why Canada?
-> I wanted to go abroad to an english speaking country, but Great Britain was a bit too close for my taste and I really like the Canadian nature.
First impression?
-> I really like how there are so many facets to this city, you have the mountains really nearby, but also some beaches and the sea while still being in a pretty big city.
Bucket list while here?
-> Hopefully visit the Rocky Mountains and visit Seattle maybe. Theres no real strict bucket list that I have, just some places that would be nice to see.
Hobbies?
-> I love to photograph, to read or to workout.


Make sure to come and talk at tonights pub night! πŸ™‚

Cheers,

Laura πŸ™‚