A New Adventure



It has been a long time since I last posted. About 2.5 years if my math is correct. There has been a lot of soul – searching, a lot of exploration, and I feel I am honing in on a nice place for me to stake out a life for myself.

This has taken the form of Lovely Designs. I am taking it slow, unwilling to limit it, but rather letting it define itself for me. With each passing day I feel more freedom, and more inspired by the joy it is bringing me.

The site, which is primarily a blog at the moment, allows me to showcase design and designers and serves as a platform for my creative compulsions. The plan is to have a shop on etsy where I can sell my creations, but that will come. At the moment I am stretching my wings, testing my voice and getting ready to fly.



It feels good.





Ah, another sunny day. Being an honest-to-goodness West Coast Girl, I do love the rainy, foggy, cloudy days and I really don’t realize just how much I miss the sun until it finally reappears. So today I set out in high spirits to see what the day would offer. I had got only about a block, though, before I had to double back for a jacket. Although the day looked like summer, the air spoke of a different time of year! Equipped with season-appropriate clothing I tried my walk again. I wandered down Burrard St. towards the water where I encountered the new Vancouver Convention Centre. It has been under construction for the longest time, and is finally showing signs of being finished. I have to say, it is impressive.

Vancouver Convention Centre's green roof

It positively dominates the waterfront. It has been designed with an emphasis on being “green”. (If you go through their website you’ll actually find a section on “Corporate Values” – an unusually pleasant read.) In strolling along the pedestrian walkway that curves around the building, I had to appreciate the awe-inspiring nature of the structure. The location is perfect (by that I mean central), the view is incredible, and from what I could see of the inside they had left it simple and open so that the convention-goers could be immersed in the beauty of BC.

synthetic honeycomb

However, considering all of the apparent environmental considerations of this colossal structure, I was surprised to see that so much of it was a concrete garden. There is an enormous courtyard, which could be quite lovely, except that they only greenery in sight were some sad lonely bamboo fronds. As I made my way down the steps, though, I was happy to see evidence of greenery to come. If anyone has ever wondered how soil stays put on a steep slope, I saw a garden in partial completion and this is how they did it. I wasn’t able to find out what the rubber honeycomb is called, so if anyone knows please tell me.

If you head west along the seawall and look back, the enormity of the building hits you again along with it’s striking green roof which is tilted on a shocking angle (After all, what’s the point of a green having a green top if no one can see it?) Although I am dubious about how much good the “greeness” of the Convention Centre will do, it’s nice to see that organizations are embracing the idea of sustainability.


It is against my nature to write a scathing review. I believe that everyone makes mistakes and deserves second chances and the opportunity to redeem themselves. In the case of the Bellaggio Cafe, however, I feel justified to speak out.

I worked there for about two weeks almost two years ago. It is run by a husband a wife (we’ll call them Mr. & Mrs. B). I was hired by Mr. B with the understanding that I was to be made a server. After making me be a host for two weeks, Mrs. B decided that they didn’t really need anyone new. She told me she didn’t know why her husband had hired a new person, handed me a cheque and bid me leave. 

I was there as a guest with some friends around christmas, and our experience was very similar to the account that follows:

On Sunday, I went there for brunch with a girlfriend. At first, it was reasonably impressive. It was after the Vancouver Sun Run (blog post on that here) and so it was rather busy, but we were greeted with a smile and seated promptly. It was at that point that things began to slide.

No one came to greet us or take our drink order upon being seated. We waited about 15 minutes for our server to come up to us. We both ordered versions of eggs benedict and a freckled lemonade. It took about 8 minutes more for our drinks to finally be delivered plus another 5 minutes for our food.

Our server, I am sad to say did a “Drop & Dash”. Our food was dumped on the table, and without bothering to make sure that we had everything we needed, the server abandoned us. We were left staring at our plates in disappointment due to the sparing amount of hollandaise sauce. Fortunately a girl appeared with ketchup for our hash-browns and we both asked for some more sauce. What arrived at our table was a half-filled two ounce cup – barely enough for one order, let alone the two of us. We spent the following 10 minutes attempting to get someone to look at us, but every one of the staff was rushing about with their heads down. We had been in the restaurant for about 50 minutes before we had everything we needed to enjoy our  meal.

I wish I could say the pathetic service ended there, but it didn’t. Upon finishing our (now cold) brunch, we placed our knives and forks together and pushed our dishes aside to signal we were done. Another full 10 minutes went by before anyone noticed. The most astonishing part to me was that when the server gathered up our dishes, we weren’t asked if we wanted coffee, or tea, or anything else, he just took off again. we waited and waited and waited for the bill but it never arrived. Finally we placed our wallets and cards on the table in the universal call for the bill. Time ticked by…

In total, we were in there for almost an hour and a half. Now, we were out for a relaxed, “girl-time” meal, but instead of it being just that, we left feeling frustrated and ignored.

Having been treated badly as an employee and multiple times as a guest, the Bellaggio Cafe will never receive my business again.

img_4315This morning, at 08:20hrs, I was rudely awakened by loud music, an even louder announcer, tens of thousands of people, and countdown after countdown after countdown…

Back in grades 8 & 9, I participated in the colossal Vancouver Sun Run. I haven’t since, but it certainly is quite the spectacle. Since I was unable to sleep, I got up and dragged the boyfriend out of bed and went out to look. This is the second year that I have lived a block away from the starting line, and both times now I am happy that I didn’t just roll over, pull the blankets over my head and mumble sleepy complaints. The moment we stepped out the door, the energy in the air pulsed through me and and involuntary smile blasted its way over my face. My sister participated this year, but wasn’t running with a cell phone, so there was no way to find her. I sent out a good wish to her instead.

The sheer number of people is hard to fathom. The fact that they ALL wake up at an indecent hour on a Sunday to run 10 kilometers is incredible. I thoroughly enjoyed walking along the perimeter. Everyone was smiling and excited and happy to be there. 

I can’t think of too many better reasons for a whole city to meet on one street. Can you?

A Walk in Stanley Park



Spring seems to be poking it’s head up and blinking sleepily around at the world. Determined not to waste the lovely weather, Mike and I grabbed the camera and headed down to the lagoon at Stanley Park. Now, it’s no Bowen Island, to be sure, but it was nice to see some wildlife besides the pigeons, starlings and seagulls of Downtown. Right off the bat, we encountered a couple of the  magnificent swans. My experience with these fowl is such that I am more than a little respectful and wary, but I overcame my fear enough to crouch about a foot away so Mike could snap a photo for scale. They are enormous birds.



img_42702The ducks were also in their glory (if ducks can be said to be glorious!). It was quite sweet, actually. I noticed right away that they had paired off and would wander around two by two. Mike didn’t believe me until this pair – clearly protective of each other – had followed us around for a while. 


I lived for a time in West Vancouver among the urban raccoons and I know them to be vicious, dangerous animals, so it is always surprising to me to see them comfortable among humans. This one was quite interested in us and obligingly posed for us. Shortly after this was taken, however, he disappeared into the brambles and a horrible snarling skirmish could be heard. He re-emerged showing this true nature.


Naturally, as I post this, the gloomy rain has returned… I can but wait for the flowers of May to follow.

A World of Possibilities

Well, this is a newly rediscovered and re-born website! Life has moved on quite a bit since my last post. 

I graduated from the Film Arts Program (which was a wonderful experience) and got a role in an independent film the following summer. We moved into a fantastic apartment right in the centre of downtown vancouver in the fall of ’07 where we have been ever since.

Recently, I signed with King Talent and got new headshots done by Kevin Clark. Hopefully I’ll be sent out for tons of auditions soon!

Last fall I was accepted into Film Arts Program at Langara College. That link will take you to a page that describes the program. And I think you will see why I am thrilled to be working with this amazingly talented group. It runs from January to September. This is a fairly new course that grew out of Langara’s highly successful Theatre Arts – Studio 58 program.

In addition I am taking some online courses.

So my schedule is jammed until the fall. After that, I may be seeing some of you about a job or an audition. This blog is not really in service yet. If you are interested in my career, please go to my web site: http://www.morganballantyne.com

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