Monday, 5 November 2012

An inspirational weekend - Part One

This past weekend the Velo Family had the pleasure to use the Vancouver Inspiration Pass to visit some of the attractions we've been meaning to do since moving to Vancouver in 2007. For those who aren't aware, the Inspiration Pass is available to anyone with a Vancouver Public Library Card, and give the bearer admission for a family of up to six people into numerous museums, galleries, parks and other attractions throughout the City of Vancouver over a two week period. Sadly, the program is so incredibly popular that although my husband managed to get one of the first passes, when I signed up this weekend, I was so far down the list that I won't get a pass until at least a year and a half from now. So, if you're not one of the lucky people to get on the list early, I hope my posts this weekend and next inspire you to visit some of these attractions anyway!

Coralie suited up at the Space Centre
This weekend, our sights were set on staying indoors since the rain wasn't going anywhere. After our kids finished their swimming lessons on Saturday, we crossed the Burrard Bridge from the Vancouver Aquatic Centre and headed to the HR MacMillan Space Centre. It's been on the list of things to do for years, and then this year, while watching some shows with our youngest all about the birth of the universe and the planets in our solar system, we knew it was time. The Museum itself is small, but the shows are worth it. For the first time, I got to have the planetarium experience, watching the a show all about the origins of the universe. Under a canopy of stars, stardust and solar systems I, and my family, were dazzled by the all the wonders of space.

Inside the planetarium
Etienne is all set for Deep Sea Exploration

After the space centre, we took a tour through the Museum of Vancouver, conveniently located in the same building. There, we got to see some amazing installation art by Tobias Wong, along with the some pretty cool, although disturbingly eerie sounding, old neon signs. We also walked through the history rooms, and the kids marvelled at the old clothes and toys. Etienne took a particular liking to the old 1950's car, which I suppose is because it is a bit of a novelty for him, having no memories of travelling in our family car almost three years ago. After the MOV, we took a quick jaunt to the Maritime Museum, before hopping on a bus and heading home six hours after we left the house in the morning. Three museums in one day, and overall a very successful day trip!

Self Portrait of Tobias Wong comprised of 13,138 dice
The room of neon
Cars are a novelty for the car-free family
A unique experience...we stumbled upon
the Orpheum sign being replaced

Sunday, our destination was downtown. We took the kids to the Vancouver Art Gallery, where they were showing an exhibit for Ian Wallace, which was an interesting combination of photography and painting. I don't think the children fully appreciated the experience, but you have to start a love of art somehow! After the gallery, we headed to the Orpheum. Believe it or not, this Inspiration Pass includes tickets for the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. Knowing full well our youngest would not sit quietly through a show, we left him in the capable hands of some good friends and the comforts of the Central Library while we took our daughter to the orchestra. It was a wonderful experience, and the music was absolutely beautiful!

The view of the orchestra before the show
So, with the help of the Inspiration Pass, we managed to pack a lot into one weekend. I truly hope this is something the VPL carries on for some time. It is an excellent way to see so much of our city when you're on a tight budget. It is especially beneficial for families, with admission to most of the attractions totalling anywhere between $50-100 for a family of four. Everything we did over the weekend were things we would have done sooner, had budget not been an issue. It leaves me excited for what we will get up to next weekend! To be continued...


  1. I believe you made a calculation mistake. There are so far roughly 400 holders for 5 passes at a library. Each holder keeps the pass for 2 weeks, 400/5= 80 holders for 1 pass. 80*2= 160 weeks to wait for each 80th person, and 160 equates to about 3 months of wait. So, it seems like you won't have to wait for over a year afterall! :D

  2. What an interesting blog, introduced by a thought-provoking photo. The unusual wall painting of the dwellings is also a strangely modern interpretation. Something like this hieroglyphic view of a park by Swiss painter Paul Klee,
    The image can be seen at who can supply you with a canvas print of it.