Gettin’ off grid

Yahoooooo . . . .as of about 2pm tomorrow I’ll be off-grid, offline and awfully happy for the next 10 days. I’m heading out on a 10 day camping and whitewater rafting trip and I couldn’t be more excited – about the rafting – oh yeah; the camping – for sure; being totally unplugged – jackpot!

I’m not ashamed to admit I’ve become an electro-gadget, social media, high-speed access junkie. Corporate blackberry, iTouch, laptop and oh yeah, my fav new toy, my smartphone  . . love them.   But I”m really excited at the idea of being unplugged and unconnected for a stretch of time.   Time to slow down, get back into a different rhythm and get out of my head and into a simpler daily routine.   I would miss my writing too much, so I’m taking an old school notebook with me, and hoping I have time for a few jottings . .but we will see about that.

Because one of the joys of getting into the backcountry is the sheer immediacy of life.  It’s not about convenience anymore, most of your day is taken up with just living.   Without power, without running water, without central heat, grocery stores and refrigerators, all of a sudden your days get really busy with the basic tasks needed to survive (and some fun adventurous stuff).  And your nights – well let’s just say I’m seriously looking forward to a good 10 hours sleep a night – which is about as much as I get in any 2 nights when I’m in town.  I’m one of those lucky people blessed with the gift of being able to sleep pretty much anywhere, anytime.  And I love sleeping outdoors so much (I sleep with my patio doors open pretty much all year-long – an Australian legacy) that I always get a great nights’ sleep in a tent.   Might not stay up too late, but sleep really well. 

Last year when we were kayaking and camping in Baja we found out our first night the meaning of “Baja Midnight” – that’s 9:00pm.  The sun goes down quickly in the hot, sunny countries and when you are camping on a desert island and have paddled all day in the sun . . .well 8pm seems like a darn fine time to go to sleep, and 9pm  is, well, Baja Midnight.  Conversely, we were up at first light and were treated to sights like schools of 100 or more dolphin swimming past our beach.  It’s not a bad way to live, in time with the rising and setting of the sun.   

We won’t be on a desert island this time, we will be a few hundred kilometres north and east of Vancouver, on the Nahatlatch River on the approach to the Stein Valley.   Boston Bar is the nearest civilization. 

The road in to camp

We will be doing our white water rafting with Reo Rafting but we won’t be staying at their luxury cabins, heck no, we are at the Apocynum Forestry site.  It’s basically an open patch in the forest next to the river.   It has picnic tables and pit toilets and that’s basically it, oh except for the bears!   But we are experienced campers – summer or winter – so I’m not overly concerned – we do careful bear caching and take lots of precautions.   

Home Sweet Home

And trust me, after the Juan de Fuca Trail on Vancouver Island a few years ago, this will be a cakewalk.  We went almost 48 hours without seeing another human soul on that trip – lots of bears, lots of cougar sign – when the hairs are standing up on the back of your neck you make tracks – fast – down the trail.  But we also discovered one of my favourite campsites ever – Sombrio Beach – where we sat one night at sunset on the white sand, by our little twig fire, watching a pod of humpback whale feeding on the kelp bed just offshore.   No money in the world can buy that experience.   And don’t we look glamorous in our matching “hiking” shirts – they were brutal, heavy cotton, but a great joke from Boutique Value Village – I even love costumes when I’m hiking!  We took this pic with the timer, I love it.

Sombrio Beach on the Juan de Fuca trail - one of my favourite places in the world

I’ll be taking lots of pic’s and you can be sure there will be a few stories after the trip.  And you can also be sure that come July 31 I’ll be the most thankful person in the entire universe to have a hot shower and lie in my down-pillowed bed with a cold beer and my phone in hand.   See you all in 10 days.

Here’s tonight’s soundtrack, You and Me and One Spotlight by Yellowcard. 

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Musings from a (sometimes) tofu munching hippie chick

“Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels… the troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. Because the ones who are crazy enough to think they can change the world… are the ones who do.”‘

I’ve always felt like a bit of a round peg in a square hole and I’ve never doubted that I see things differently.  A quick stroll through my blog will out me on that fast enough.  And having spent time living in some interesting places like Salt Spring Island, I guess I also qualify as a bit of a hippie chick.   It was while living on Salt Spring that I first got seriously into the three “R”s of sustainability – reduce, recycle and reuse.    At the time there was no garbage pick up on Salt Spring for the simple expedient that there was no garbage dump on the island – if you want to dispose of a bag of garbage, you had to take it down to the local market and meet the off-island truck that came over once a week and actually hand over your hard-earned cash to have it taken away – at the time it was $2.00/bag.  

Couple the inconvenience with the cost and most island residents learned really fast how to reduce their garbage output.   I can recall my mom coming to visit me and being at best bemused and at worst horrified that I washed out plastic bags, tins, bottles and then took them to the recycling depot.  Blue boxes are common now, but even a few years ago recycling was a novelty.   I started my first compost bin there and have had one everywhere I have lived ever since  – even here in my townhouse.  It works like a charm, it’s not smelly and doesn’t attract animals and the output keeps my garden glorious. 

What got me thinking about all this was an award-winning eco-comedy (as it bills itself) called How to Boil a Frog  that I watched recently.  It caught my attention for a couple of reasons:  it was shot in my hometown of North Vancouver by a local guy, Jon Cooksey,  it was really funny and it was really sensible.    One of the  basic premises of the movie  is that we simply use too much stuff and we can’t buy or shop our way out by buying “green” or “sustainable” or “eco-friendly” stuff.   We have to just stop producing, buying and using more stuff.   Here’s the trailer – you can appreciate Jon’s humourous style and sensible approach  – you don’t have to become a tofu munching vegetarian – just give up beef.   My little hippie girl daughter decided to try out a vegetarian lifestyle about a year ago and convinced me to join her and we have been quietly and happily reaping those benefits  for the past year.  And who knew that a condom was one of the best ways of saving the planet!

The film  got me thinking about how to simply consume less – not just keep consuming “better” or “greener” stuff, but just to simply buy, use, own  – less.   That’s where The Compact comes in.  The Compact is a movement that started in, of course, San Francisco, whose goal is to:

1) go beyond recycling in trying to counteract the negative global environmental and socioeconomic impacts of U.S. consumer culture, to resist global corporatism and to support local businesses, farms, etc; 2) to reduce clutter and waste in our homes (as in trash Compact-er); 3) to simplify our lives (as in Calm-pact).

I don’t think I’m committed enough to go the Full Monty  – signing up and agreeing to buy nothing new for an entire year.  Exceptions are made for things like food, toiletries, medications,  but everything else has to be bought second-hand, or traded or bartered for.    Think of living your whole life for a year off Craigslist.  Intriguing, but difficult.  But I am seriously all about reducing that amount of stuff that I have and simplifying my life.   I’ve started thinking of “stuff” as an ever-hungry beast – you have to keep working to feed the beast.  We stop owning our possessions and they start owning us and the only way to get off that treadmill is to just have less.   Less stuff = more freedom.   And I like freedom, a whole lot. 

And even if I can’t make that sort of whole life commitment, I am  trying to be mindful of the decisions, small and large, that I make every day: commuting to work (I take the bus), lunch and dinner choices (think local and sustainable – no strawberries from Chile in December) , buying coffee, choosing a vacation spot, and cleaning my home and clothes. Or better yet, stop and ask myself “do I really need that” and maybe decide no, what I already own is just fine.   I don’t need more stuff, what I really need is more time, more experiences, more life. So while reduce, reuse, and recycle is good, rethinking the way I act and live every day to simply consume less has so much more appeal.

At the same time, I won’t save the world on my own by eliminating all the conveniences of my everyday life in one drastic sweep.  I love to travel and I’m not ready (at least yet) to give up flying, even if I have a twinge of conscience every time those jet engines fire up.   I’m hooked on my electronic gadgets – I’m not going without my smartphone, my computer or my iPod, although I don’t rush right out to buy the latest gizmo and the computer I’m working on right now is at least 7 years old – practically neolithic.    But it still gets the job done, so I’ve stopped thinking about that shiny new laptop and I’m just going to keep plugging away with this one till it dies completely. 

Those are the sort of small, everyday decisions I’m working on.  It will take time, but small adjustments will add up. So before you buy, use, consume, throw away or waste your next item, maybe rethink your choice and consider if there is another alternative.

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world…”

A really interesting, thought-provoking  online magazine I’ve been reading for a while is Urban Times.   Check it out, I love that it bills itself as not only forward-thinking, but optimistic, which is a rarity. 

Soundtrack for this post . . .hmmm reaching waaaay back and exposing even more of my hippiness . . . I was watching PBS a while ago when the James Taylor/Carole King “Live at the Troubadour” concert came on.   It’s an amazing show, even if it’s not your usual taste in music.   Their obvious love of the music, of each other and sheer joy in their craft is just infectious.   And there is a harmony that James does on this track, whose lyrics are timeless, that gives me goosebumps every time.  A couple of true craftsmen doing what they do best, just a pleasure.

Mega-Post: The Writers’ Top 7 Songs of 2011 (so far) (via )

These guys obviously listen to a lot of music. I don’t know if I agree with their choices, but they are interesting lists and not Top 40. Post Break Up Sex from The Vaccines – very droll Monkeys seem to feature prominently in the lists. . .wondering a bit about that . . .

Mega-Post: The Writers' Top 7 Songs of 2011 (so far) Every once in a while, we'll be doing some joint "Mega Posts" where all four of us list our favorites on one topic, in one post. In this first edition, we each individually list our favorite 7 songs from 2011 so far. In our lists below you will see songs from epic-concept-hardcore albums, debuts, returns to form, and one from a guy who can't seem to make up his mind about retiring (we're looking at you, Trent). Only one song made more than one of … Read More

via

The 1500 Hits Party

1500 views of my blog.   Wow, I hit that milestone last night.  Thank you, thank you, thank you.  I’m thrilled, humbled, honoured.  If it wasn’t Monday and the weekend hadn’t been kinda harsh . . .  I’d be opening the bubbly.    

When I started writing I never thought I’d get even one reader – well maybe one or two from my friends who took pity on me, but 1500 hits in 9 months, I’m blown away.  Those might not be huge numbers for some bloggers, but for my little blog that’s just about my life, my thoughts, my random moments, I’m amazed.  I even have a couple of international subscribers now.  How awesome is that.   If I wanted the big numbers I’d have to sell out and start writing trash about trash  and next thing you know I’d be Perez Hilton . . .eeeewww, no thanks,  I’ll stay with what’s real and true for me and take my chances.

Despite having written 64 posts now, (really, 64!) one thing I still haven’t quite figured out is which posts will be really popular and which will only ever get a few hits.  I have laboured and anguished over publishing some posts that got almost no reaction, but were such a huge deal for me to write (“The Dealbreaker Lists”  – those were in drafts for quite a few months).  Then there are others that are quick, funny throw-aways that I toss  off in an hour when I’m bored and they get a huge reaction.   If I’m being honest there have been times when I thought about deliberately writing a post just for numbers or to get Freshly Pressed, that blogging Holy Grail, but I just can’t seem make myself do it.   If it’s not real, it’s no good.   Be real, be honest, put your heart out there.  I truly believe people know sincerity when they read it, or hear it, just as surely as they can sense fake a mile away.  There’s me in my Pollyanna glasses again. 

What is most rewarding are the comments I get from the honest, diligently written and laboured over, personally revealing posts.  It still sit with my finger hovering over the Publish button for those.  It’s not easy to put yourself out there for public consumption, but if you can’t write honestly, from your own heart and experience, it’s just not worth it at all.   When I posted “Love Letters” I got a lot of comments, and they were not all favourable.  One friend asked how I could possibly write something so personally revealing.  My answer is still  “How could I not?”.  My favourite comment came from my friend K who said that she was sitting reading the post,  listening to the Bad Timing video I’d added and sobbing her eyes out.   If you can write so powerfully that you move even one person  to tears, it’s not a bad day.  And it gives me some faith that I should keep this up.   Bebo, your grace and good humour in helping me put that behind me was an unlooked-for blessing, thank you for that.    I appreciate each and every comment I get, even a quick “love reading your blog”.  It’s what keeps me banging away on the keyboard late at night and thinking about new posts everywhere I go and in all the things I do.

There is a section of  the  Dashboard – that’s the behind the scenes part where I work on the posts – that gives you all your site stats.  Have to say it’s a blast to watch the numbers tally up and to go back over the year and see which posts got the most interest – and the least.  The all time leader, with 51 views in a single day, was “Trimming the Topiary” – my humourous  little expose on manscaping is right on top of the leaderboard and it took me all of an hour to write.   You just never know what will pique your audience’s fancy (apparently a Pinocchio penis tattoo does!!) but I sure had a good time doing the research and writing the post, and for the record, I’m a fan.  **Insert Huge Grin**

That was closely followed by “The Punk Rock Princess Party Playlist” – I got a ton of comments on that one as well as “We’re not Groupies, we’re  Band Aids”.  One of my guy friends wrote “you know guys would never get away with that” referring to crashing a private Blue Rodeo party and you know, he’s right.  But we got away with it and it was a riot.   “Facts you Never Knew About Roberto Luongo” also gets a lot of hits and searches – though for some strange reason those have dropped of lately . . . something about a riot . . .

Another section of the Dashboard I love shows you the search terms being used on browsers that land people on your blog.  It can be totally hilarious depending on what you are writing about – like say manscaping.   My search stats looked like a porn section for a week after that one.   Honest to god, the things people put into their search engines . . .incredible. I think I learned some new stuff just from reading those.  **Insert another Huge Grin**

I owe a huge debt of gratitude to my great friend and partner in crime, W.  I call her the wingman when I’m writing, but in truth she’s just as much a leader and me her wingman  in our adventures.   I know without a shadow of doubt that each of us on our own would not get up to half of the high jinks we do together.  And  I know that she will always have my back, no matter what, even if it’s a total Train-wreck night.   I had this “OMG” moment the other day when I was driving home, minding my own business, when I suddenly thought “What if the last four years of my life had never happened to me.   What if I’d never had the courage to get out of the bad situation I was in and went to my grave without ever having the adventures of the last four years”.   It was more than a random thought – it was one of those moments of crystal clear clarity when you KNOW, without a shadow of a doubt, you made the right choices.  I have never been happier, I have never had more fun and if it all ended tomorrow, well it would have been a heck of a ride.  But I’m sure looking forward to the next few years – we just have to keep upping the ante  – who knows where that’s going to end . . . .**Insert Huge Grin #3**

A final huge thank you goes to T, who got me started blogging.  We all go about our daily lives and I don’t know if any of us can really know, or appreciate, how our actions can affect  and change someone else’s life.  I’m sure (actually really sure!) that when you were writing your blog you never for a second imagined what a huge impact it would make on me.  But it did.   Your voice in my head keeps me honest and I still double-check my spelling and grammar every single time  –  wouldn’t want to fall afoul of the grammar police.   **Insert Final Huge Grin**  And I’m so happy that you have  found your own metier in songwriting  – can’t wait to see the fruit of those labours.   Post them up.  Live boldly.

About the hardest part of this post has been coming up with a soundtrack – one that doesn’t tip over into schmaltzy.   Hmmmm. I love Blue Rodeo and Head Over Heels always makes me want to a) jump up and dance and b) get naked and get happy – though not necessarily at the same time.   One of my fav verses of all time:

Well I know, one night together won’t make up for ten apart

I’ve been steady as rain nothing ever changes in my heart

Throw off the covers, open the window, I don’t care what we do

I’ve been standing for days, now I get to fall down with you.

And in a truly, truly serendipitous moment, I went YouTubing for a video and what came up – this rather dubious version shot on a camera phone at The Mint in LA – when the wingchick and I were there.  That blonde heading bobbing in and out of frame at the bottom left is W and I can hear my enthusiastic cheering over top of Jim’s singing – it  was the first night of our first road trip and we bonded over a true appreciation of good music and  Patron

**Really final last HUGE grin**.   Notes from Just Past Normal.

The backbone of a jellyfish

When I peeled my sun scorched eyes open this morning, it was with a profound sense of relief that I was in my own bed, in my own house, on my own.  Whew.   Decided on Friday afternoon that although I still can’t paddle, the fun and games of the Nanaimo Dragonboat Festival was too much to pass up, so messaged my team to say I’d be over on the first ferry Saturday morning, with plans to return around 5:30pm when racing was done.  Well it’s sort of worked out that way . . .I did go over on the early ferry . . .

It was a gorgeous hot sunny day when I arrived in the Nanaimo and the  team had a fantastic day of racing.  Two strong second place finishes seeded them into a good division.   Sitting on the sidelines all day can get long, but it was brightened considerably when I arrived for the first race and met  my replacement steersperson – well done girls, you got a Gorging Dragon to steer for you!!   Awesome.   So what if they just competed at World’s. . . and Trev looked like it . . .I wasn’t impressed, no really, not impressed at all.   And I’m willing to bet having that hunka hunka on the back of the boat pushed everyone to paddle like they meant it.   

I could have been a good, sensible teammate and rested in the shade and drank neutral  fluids like Gatorade, but what fun would that be?   So instead I packed along a few of my fav Rock Creek’s and starting putting those into my water bottle early on – it was after noon, maybe only just but it was after, I swear.   The team was in the very last race of the day, so I had a long afternoon to amuse myself and I guess maybe somewhere in there I forgot to reapply sunscreen.  I feel like a crispy taco today, lips all burned  – although they do have an awesome poutiness that would cost a fortune in botox, so it’s not all bad.   Years of hot weather training growing up in the Land of Oz means it will all turn to a lovely tan by tomorrow.  Sweet.

Despite the wind and difficult conditions on the water the races ran on time and last, but not least, we got  into the beer garden with the festivities already in full swing.  Being a stalwart bunch we threw ourselves into the partying with a vengeance  and made up for lost time.   There was some great dancing, great schmoozing and all sorts of craziness going on.   The theme this year was “Caribbean” and more than a few of the teams did the costumes up in style, Carman Miranda fruit headpieces and all.  Any suggestions about leaving were promptly shut down and I sure didn’t lack for offers of places to stay . . . those were interesting!!    I should have known the plan to be on the 5:30pm ferry home was doomed for failure  – I have all the backbone of a jellyfish when it comes to leaving a good party early . . .so I didn’t make the earlier ferry and was convinced (like it was really hard) to  stay  for dinner and the Paddler’s Party.  No change of clothes,  no toothbrush, no anything, , but you know, you just make do.

And while the party was fun, at some point in the proceedings a modicum of common sense kicked in and I decided to hightail it for the last ferry.   One thing I have learned is that what seems like a great idea  at night after a bunch of drinkies can be a whole lot less fun in the cold hard light of morning.   Not everything mind you, but some things . . . and I had a hankering for home.

As luck would have it, however,  my day was not yet over and I had saved the best for last.    While waiting for a  bus on the other end a really . . . interesting  . . . .guy decided to strike up a conversation with me.    So there I am,  it’s midnight and I”m sitting on the curb at the Horseshoe Bay bus stop and this guy felt the need to share that the reason he was going to Vancouver was that he’d broken up with his “old lady” and had to put his stuff in storage and was currently homeless  . . .but at least he didn’t have to worry about getting to work  . . . he’d been on disability for quite some time . . . .it didn’t pay much but he was sure that any day now “they” were going to buy him a house for everything they had put him through.   And if another woman “looked at him with love in her eyes” – that’s a direct quote – he was f**ing out of there.   Oh yeah, and he loved Vancouver because he had such good memories of his first time in rehab there.   Honestly, you can’t make this stuff up.  WTF – why me I was thinking with head in hands.   Thank god the bus came and saved me from that purgatory.

When I woke up this morning I realized that maybe there was a reason this charming stranger thought to strike up a conversation with me . . .not only was I sunburned and somewhat disheveled, I’d forgotten that in an enthusiastic moment I’d been stamped all over with little pussycat paw prints – a gift from one of the other teams.   Body stamps, like tattoos, are a “thing” at paddlers parties . . . and I have a somewhat vague memory of helping one of the pussycat paddlers stamp up the six-pack of a Navy guy . . .damn, that was no fun, none at all.  And I had bar stamps up and down my arm from the beer garden, dinner, paddler’s party.  . . .I guess I must have looked like a real fun lovin’ sort of gal.  

I’d post  up some of the fantastic pictures I took over the weekend . . . .except I seem to have misplaced my phone.  Had a few frantic minutes Sunday morning as I tossed out my pack and realized it was simply not there.    Thankfully it’s been located and will be back in Vancouver tonight –  it had a restful night in a hotel in Nanaimo.  

It’s not all fun and games though, we paddle as hard as we party and the team ended up winning silver medals in their division and are headed home tonight with hardware – that just rocks.   Another Nanaimo festival in the bag – island life is the best.   I’ll post up the pic’s when my phone makes it home.   Paddles Up.

Decisions, random thoughts and horoscopes

I’m drowning in writing ideas at the moment, but struggling to find a way in.   It’s driving me crazy having the storyline humming away in my brain with no way out.  So for now, some random scribblings – sometimes it gets me where I’m going . . .even if I don’t know where that is yet.

1.   I don’t usually get too much into my horoscope – well unless I really like what it says, then I’m all over it.    When I logged into iGoogle this morning, this was the horoscope for Aquarius, the quirkiest sign . . . that was quirky, not kinky . . though that might be applicable too . . .  And these were the first 3 images that came up when I searched for an Aquarius image – just what exactly is going on?   So I’m running with this for the day,  the week, or the year until some of it plays out, cause I’m really digging this one!  The universe telling me to follow my crazy ideas – like I needed encouragement. 

Your key planet Uranus can often be emotionally detached, but today it brings a sudden awakening of attraction and desire as it squares aesthetically pleasing Venus. But you’re not drawn to the same old things; instead, do something that pulls you into new territory. For now, the crazier your idea, the more satisfaction you can derive from acting on it.

2.   I need a new computer, this one is dying and it doesn’t have a web cam.   See 1. above.

3.  Be careful what you wish for, it can have unforeseen consequences.  If you are putting energy out there into the Universe about making changes, make sure you put out the right energy or at least carefully focused energy.  Otherwise you can find yourself going East, when you were thinking West. 

4. To stay or to go?    It will be a great weekend in Vancouver with another big event, Vancouver’s 125th Celebration, going on in Stanley Park over 3 days with lots of  entertainment and free, live concerts.   What’s not to love about Barney Bentall and the Legendary Hearts and Spirit of the West outdoors, on a sunny summer night in Vancouver.  Classic.

But my favourite dragonboat regatta of the season is on in Nanaimo this weekend as well.   Unfortunately still no miraculous recovery of the torn wrist ligaments so no paddling yet, but Nanaimo has, every year,  the most fun beer garden/dance party ever.   Gorging Dragons, Navy Dragon Anchors, Shibumi . . .add sunshine and alcohol and you have a recipe for a whole lotta  fun  . . .at least it always worked out that way in the past. . . .just saying.   And it’s an easy ferry ride on Saturday morning.   Hmmmm, feeling a bit bored and restless – see 1. above.     

That's how it's done
I came across this absolutely hysterical “recruitment” video from those crazy Navy guys.   But seriously, if you are offended by bad language and raunchy humour  (I’m not and its my blog) don’t click on this video.  I’m not kidding.  (and it that doesn’t make you want to watch, I’m not sure what will!)
 

5.  Home alone again.   My lovely daughter, who just got back from 3 months in Australia, is heading off to a friends cabin for a week.  I thought I’d be despondent, but I sort of got used to living alone.   Love her to bits, but another week of freedom and no responsibilities.  Hmmm, sounding pretty good to me.   And more time to work on 1. above. 

6.  I should be responsibly getting organized for the week-long camping and whitewater rafting trip coming up near the end of July . . .nope, not feeling very responsible.   It must be that crazy Uranus squaring with Venus . . . what other explanation could there be?  Lovin’ it that my blog got back to being a bit past Normal, this is NOT going to get me Freshly Pressed but I sure enjoyed writing it.

Today’s song could only be Third Eye Blind.   Out there with the Wounded, my fingers catch the sparks.

Fox Seeds names top three finalists

Here’s a quick follow up to my Local Music on Canada Day post  – Gentlemen Prefer Blondes was announced Monday night as a Top 3 Finalists for Fox Seeds.  Check out their new songs here.  Congratulations guys, playing at the Commodore in August is going to be amazing.    We will be listening for your music on CFox.

Fox Seeds names top three finalists.

Fox Seeds Top 3 Finalists

Reposted from The Vancouver Sun fmarchand@vancouversun.com  Blog: vancouversun.com/sound

The three finalists in this year’s Fox Vancouver Seeds competition were revealed Monday evening.

Vancouver rock acts Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Head of the Herd and Louder Than Love are all headed to the final showcase in the competition, which will be held at the Commodore Ballroom Aug. 24 with guest headliners The Trews rounding out the bill.

All three bands have earned full airplay of their music on 99.3 The Fox and will be included on the 2011 Fox Vancouver Seeds compilation. 

The platinum award winner will receive a prize pack that includes $10,000 in equipment, recording of a five-song EP with award-winning producer Garth Richardson, a songwriting session with Our Lady Peace’s Raine Maida, a demo recording deal, management and agency consultation agreements and a six-week publicity campaign.

Former platinum award winners include Nickelback, Bif Naked, Matt Good, Default, Daniel Wesley and Faber Drive.

“Fox Vancouver Seeds is unlike any other contest,” said CFOX program director Chris (Dunner) Duncombe in a statement. “Fox Vancouver Seeds provides B.C. artists with everything they need to gain national exposure by connecting them with top agents, managers, producers and songwriters from the Canadian music industry who, as partners in the contest, become the support team for the winning act.”

Following winning last year’s competition, Vancouver rockers Stars of Boulevard were signed by the Agency Group’s Ralph James and secured management with Yeah Management in New York City. They have since shared the stage with Danko Jones, Godsmack, Steel Panther and Papa Roach, and have also worked with legendary producer Bob Ezrin. They are currently on tour in the U.S. with Buckcherry.