Hundreds of pop culture items auctioned off in Vancouver – BC

WATCH: The Howard Blank collection auction is a pop culture supermarket. And as Squire Barnes reports, the past is within reach if you’re willing to pay the price.

Hundreds of rare pop culture collectibles are up for grabs in Vancouver this weekend as part of a unique auction. The lifetime collection of Howard Blank is on sale and bidders from as far away as Ontario are here to snatch some of the rarest items.

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The collection is full of little pieces of nostalgia, including movie memorabilia, vintage gumball and coke bottle vending machines, and more than 100 acoustic and electric guitars.

Some of the rare items include Andy Warhol signed serigraphs, B.B. King electrical guitar and original art work signed by Michael Jackson and John Lennon.

One of the most unique and prized possessions in Blank’s collection is the original rickshaw from the 1963 Elvis Presley film It Happened at the World’s Fair.

It was sold for more than $10,000 to an Abbotsford resident, who outbid the Graceland museum.

Blank says it feels surreal to see his entire collection getting sold off.

“You know the great roller coast at the PNE. Well imagine riding that about a hundred times. There were some unbelievable drops and unbelievable highs,” he says.

Before Blank got into the movie and casino businesses, he was the kid who never unwrapped his comic books, thinking instead they’d be worth something some day.

He started collecting when he was just 10 years old, working at the Vogue Theatre.

He was allowed to take all the movie posters home and that started his life-long habit of collecting things.

“I am the guy who wants to save everything,” says Blank.

His stuff spent years sitting in boxes at his home and a huge warehouse.

He says he decided to sell his collection because he felt the need to downsize and take care of his sick dad.

His father has since passed away, but Blank still found it in his heart to part ways with his collection.

Blank says he never had a goal on how much money he wanted to make.

“This was not really about the money, it was more about starting a new chapter in my life.”

But even though his collection is gone, once a collector, always a collector, says Blank.

“My wife says if you want it, go ahead, but something must be removed to replace it. This was stage one.”

PHOTO GALLERY: Take your pick! Some of the items featured in this year’s Howard Blank auction 

Rangers unhappy at no-call in OT loss

The New York Rangers returned home Sunday with a bad taste in their mouth.

Unable to hold a two-goal lead on three occasions in their 5-4 overtime loss to the Kings, the Rangers had plenty to rue in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup final at Staples Center on Saturday night.

But they were especially upset at a non-call early in the third period when Dwight King scored to pull the Kings to within one at 4-3.

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As Justin Williams moved the puck to Matt Greene at the point, the six-foot-four 230-pound King headed to goal as he had done all night. Rangers defenceman Ryan McDonagh engaged him at the top of the blue paint and soon King, McDonagh and goalie Henrik Lundqvist were tangled together like a three-headed octopus.

King somehow managed to tip Greene’s shot from the point as Lundqvist was unable to move.

Marian Gaborik scored 5:38 later to tie it at 4-4 and Dustin Brown’s tip-in of a Willie Mitchell shot ended the drama at 10:26 of double overtime.

On the wrong end of two overtime contests, the Rangers trail two games to none going into Game 3 Monday at Madison Square Garden.

Asked it was goalie interference on the King goal, a tight-lipped Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said: “Ask the NHL.”

Goalie interference is not reviewable under the current rules.

Lundqvist was clearly unhappy, throwing his arms up in disbelief after the goal as he was pinned under King and McDonagh. He talked to the referee during a TV timeout soon after, seeking an explanation.

Lundqvist said after the game that he just wanted consistency, pointing to a goalie interference penalty to Rangers forward Benoit Pouliot in the second period.

“If they don’t call that, you can’t call that they called in the second period,” said Lundqvist, who thought Pouliot had been pushed into Jonathan Quick.

“We have the same play and they score. Like I said, I don’t think it’s a penalty but you’ve got to stop the play if the goalie can’t move in his crease. And it’s not like I’m outside the crease. I play pretty deep. Just be consistent with it.”

Kings forward Jeff Carter was called for goalie interference in the first overtime period, after contact with Lundqvist that left the New York goaltender taking his time to get his equilibrium back.

Still Rangers forward Derek Stepan also didn’t like what he saw on the King goal.

“I don’t really want to get myself worked up right now,” he said. “From my point of view, I think that their (King’s) goal shouldn’t have even happened. But I’m not the one making the calls, I’m the one playing. I’m not the one that saw what he saw and we go from there.”

King was a thorn in the Rangers’ side all night, screening Lundqvist on Willie Mitchell’s second-period goal.

Vigneault tried to look at the positives.

“Both games we had opportunities,” he said. “We didn’t get it done. We’re going home in front of our great fans. We’re going to be ready for the next game. ”

The non-call was just one of many talking points. Like the Kings, the Rangers were punished for mistakes. And they had chances to score, with Jonathan Quick stopping Brad Richards at point-blank range in the third and Chris Kreider hitting the post in overtime.

Lundqvist pointed to the razor-edge margin in the first two games.

“It’s just one bounce here and there and it’s a different score. We came up short in two games. Now we have to go home to New York and turn this around.”

Stepan said the goal for New York was simple.

“Just relax and play. We’ve got to make sure we take care of ourselves, get home and get that Garden rocking.”

Los Angeles was judged to have yielded 33 giveaways Saturday, to 15 from New York. That’s 51 giveaways from LA in two games, compared to 25 for the Rangers.

Kings centre Anze Kopitar is expecting a Rangers pushback at Madison Square Garden.

“We can play better hockey. And we’ve done it before. Everybody knows that we’re going to have to do it at MSG because their building is going to be loud,” Kopitar said. “I’m sure they’re going to be very desperate. They’re going to throw everything at us that they’ve got and we’re going to have to match all of the above.”

The Rangers’ loss came despite leading 4-2 after 40 minutes. That snapped their 10-0 record when leading after two periods this post-season.

Forty-eight teams have taken a 2-0 series lead since the Stanley Cup final went to the best-of-seven format in 1939. Of those clubs, 43 (89.9 per cent) have gone on to win the Cup, including the 2012 Kings.

Home teams sweeping Games 1 and 2 of the Cup final have gone 32-3 (.914 per cent). But two of the exceptions were recent with Pittsburgh (2009 against Detroit) and Boston (2011 against Vancouver) rallying to win the Cup.

©2014The Canadian Press

‘Weekend at the Races’ in Montreal’s Little Italy – Montreal

Alessio di Marco knows a lot about Ferraris.

“Basically, these cars, they’re one of a kind,” he said.

On Saturday, he got to sit in the driver’s seat during the “Weekend of the Races” of Little Italy, a three-day annual event held during the Grand Prix.

The event is a family-oriented alternative to the downtown craze, where all ages can admire cars, enjoy the food, and get to the know the neighbourhood.

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“We’ve got make-up artists, there’s going to be games for kids,” said Marco Miserendino, one of the event’s organizers.

“They get to see the vintage firetrucks, climb on them, see them, touch them. There’s mini Ferrari cars that they can ride with the pedals.”

“The whole site is for car lovers, food lovers, and if you’ve got a little bit of Italian spirit in you, or if you like the whole Italian dolce vita thing, then there’s no better place to be,” Miserendino added.

The show attracts car enthusiasts from all over; mostly Montrealers, but also tourists so intrigued they decide to venture north.

This year, organizers expected over a quarter million people.

“The atmosphere is amazing,” said one father, who came with his daughter. “We truly enjoy being here, and we come practically every year.”

“Today we’re here from Laval,” said another mother. “We came here for the atmosphere – and we came here for the gelato!”

One of the many cars on display was a dragster, a car used for drag-racing that can go up to 180 mph, in just seven seconds.

The race weekend is also great, of course, for local businesses.

” These people get to see maybe things they wouldn’t normally come and see in Little Italy, so it’s an excuse to bring them in,” said Miserendino. “And once they taste it, they feel what it’s all about they keep coming back, so it’s important for merchants to put out their best foot forward and show what they’re able to do.”

Alessio was sure having a lot of fun.

“What I like the most about is all the people, and all the cars,” he said.

The event lasts until Sunday, June 8th, 10 p.m.

Historic Calgary house on the move

A 118-year-old mansion located in the community of Mission is moving to a new location on Sunday. The McHugh House was built in 1896, and has sat in the 100 block of 18th Avenue S.W. for more than a century. The home, once owned by the Calgary Roman Catholic Diocese, was slated for demolition before the city approved a $450,000 grant to preserve it as a historic site. The move will result in some road closures and minor disruptions in the east side of the Beltline It’s being partially disassembled, including removing every brick from the home, before crews move it two blocks to Humpy Hollow Park, located along 17th Avenue S.W. The move will occur between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. on June 8. The house will be travelling down Centre St from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. followed by crews working the rest of the day to get it on its new foundation. In order to make sure that the house is moved safely, there will be some road closures and other minor disruptions in the east side of the Beltline community:

18 Avenue S.W. will be closed between Centre Street and 1st Street S.W.Centre Street will be closed between 18 Avenue S.W. and 15th Avenue S.W.Humpy Hollow Park will be temporarily closed to the public.

Citizens can come watch the move, however all members of the public will need to remain behind any barricades set up along the route. The McHugh House is the sixth oldest in Calgary. It was built for John Joseph McHugh, one of three brothers originally from Ottawa who were prominent Calgary pioneers and ranchers. The house is an early, rare and intact example of Queen Anne Revival-style architecture in Calgary.

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MS Bike Tour celebrates 25 years of fundraising, cycling – Edmonton

Watch above: The MS Bike Tour from Leduc to Camrose celebrates 25 years.

EDMONTON – A steady stream of cyclists could be seen for kilometres south of Edmonton Saturday, as riders took off on the first leg of the MS Bike Tour.

The 185-kilometre journey starts in Nisku and makes it way to Camrose. The nearly 2,000 cyclists taking part in this year’s ride are raising money for Multiple Sclerosis research and much-needed support services for those living with the disease.

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    Facts on multiple sclerosis

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  • MS Bike Tour heads to Camrose

“I really want this disease to end,” says Anne Belohorec.

“I know so many people with Multiple Sclerosis,” she says. “It’s a difficult disease for them and for their families, their friends, their co-workers to live with.”

MS is a disease that attacks the central nervous system. It is unpredictable and can cause loss of balance, impaired speech and paralysis.

Belohorec has been living with MS for 30 years, but that hasn’t stopped her from participating in the MS Bike Tour for the past 20 years.

“She comes out every year, she actually gets out there on a tandem bike and rides a good 50 per cent of this route,” says Global’s Mike Sobel, who co-hosted the Saturday morning events with Daintre Christensen.

Now in its 25th year, Sobel and Belohorec agree the tour wouldn’t be what it is today with the support of the riders and organizers.

“The work that they do, raising the money on this tour, has gone so, so far to helping out these people who are suffering every day,” says Sobel.

“They’re there for us, they’re helping us. They raise more money every year. The kind of support is probably the biggest inspiration I’ve had through the years. And when I see that I have hope,” adds Belohorec.

While in Camrose, participants can enjoy a massage, beer gardens, and finish the evening off with dinner and dancing.

One-hundred thousand Canadians live with MS. Canada has one of the highest rates of MS in the world ranging from one MS case per 500 people to one per 1000 across the country.

25th annual MS Bike Tour Saturday, June 7, 2014.

Global News

25th annual MS Bike Tour Saturday, June 7, 2014.

Global News

25th annual MS Bike Tour Saturday, June 7, 2014.

Global News

25th annual MS Bike Tour Saturday, June 7, 2014.

Global News

25th annual MS Bike Tour Saturday, June 7, 2014.

Global News

25th annual MS Bike Tour Saturday, June 7, 2014.

Global News

25th annual MS Bike Tour Saturday, June 7, 2014.

Global News

25th annual MS Bike Tour Saturday, June 7, 2014.

Global News

25th annual MS Bike Tour Saturday, June 7, 2014.

Global News

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Nigerian girls given deportation orders in 2012 return to Regina – Regina

REGINA – The two Nigerian girls who were given deportation orders for illegally working while living in Canada on student visas, have been granted permission to return by the federal government.

Favour Amadi and Victoria Ordu arrived at Regina International Airport on Saturday evening.

“I just thank God, I thank everyone who has fought this battle for me,” said Ordu.

They were greeted warmly by dozens of supporters.

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“My heart broke when they left,” said Vianne Timmons, president of the university. “I’m really just looking forward  and thinking about all the stuff we have to do to to make sure that these two young women convocate in a couple of years.”

The girls were third year students at the U of R. In June 2012, they took jobs at Walmart without proper work visas. Both girls claimed they were unaware the work was a violation of their study permits.

“They are so grateful to everyone that helped to make this day happen. And they’re extremely happy, extremely happy. School starts July 2nd for them, and so, they’re going to go back and continue their studies,” said Kay Adebogun, who works as the girls’ immigration counselor.

For over a year after they were ordered to leave the country. Amadi and Ordu hid in various Regina churches, and eventually decided to move back to Nigeria last October.

“It shouldn’t have gone to the extreme that it went,” said Ralph Goodale, Liberal MP for Wascana, who brought the girls’ case to the House of Commons. He added, “I think we need to review these facts, review the rules, the operational procedures, the behavior of all of the parties involved to learn from this experience, and hopefully find a way to prevent it from happening in the future.”

Family and famous admirers pay tribute to Maya Angelou – National

WATCH ABOVE:  Maya Angelou the poet, author and activist was honoured today  a memorial service. Robin Stickley reports.

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – U.S. first lady Michelle Obama lauded poet, orator and sage Maya Angelou as the first person who let her know she could be a strong and smart black woman, joining other famous admirers and friends in a private memorial service Saturday that was filled with tears, laughter, poetry and song.

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Former U.S. President Bill Clinton said Angelou, one of the most famous black writers of the 20th century, was a woman who seemed to have lived five lifetimes in one. Others said the writer, who rose from poverty and segregation, gave strength to millions of women to live their own lives in modern America.

The memorial service led by the first lady, Clinton and Oprah Winfrey paid tribute to Angelou at Wake Forest University in North Carolina where the writer had taught for decades. Angelou died May 28 at age 86 after a life with important roles in the civil rights movement and the arts.

WATCH: Poet laureate mourns Maya Angelou

Obama told the audience gathered in a university chapel how reading Angelou’s poem “Phenomenal Woman” changed a little black girl who grew up on the south side of Chicago and whose first doll was a Malibu Barbie.

“She celebrated black women’s beauty like no one had ever dared to before. Our curves, our stride, our strength, our grace,” Obama told those seated in the wooden pews. “Her words were clever and sassy. They were powerful and sexual and boastful.”

Tall and majestic, Angelou added heft to her spoken words with a deep and sonorous voice, describing herself as a poet in love with “the music of language.” In January 1993, she recited the most popular presidential inaugural poem in history, “On the Pulse of Morning,” when Clinton opened his first term. She inspired many and became a mentor to Winfrey before she became a TV talk show host.

Clinton remembered that voice, and how Angelou chose not to speak for five years after she was raped by her mother’s boyfriend as a child.

“She was without a voice for five years and then she developed the greatest voice on the planet. God loaned her His voice,” Clinton said Saturday. “She had the voice of God. And he decided he wanted it back for a while.”

He said Angelou was a role model for many.

READ MORE: Inspiring words from poet Maya Angelou

“We could just all be up here talking about how Maya Angelou represented a big piece of American history. And triumphed over adversity. And proved how dumb racism is,” Clinton said.

The service included several rousing gospel songs. There were tears, but laughter too, as Angelou’s friends remembered a clever woman with a deep spiritual faith.

At the private North Carolina school, the writer was regularly addressed as Dr. Angelou out of respect for all the honorary degrees she received even though she never graduated from college.

Her magnetism also drew her into friendships with famous figures from Malcolm X and Nelson Mandela to Clinton and Winfrey.

Winfrey remembered Angelou as her spiritual queen mother, saying she always took notes when they spoke on the phone. She cried a few times as she remembered how Angelou was a vital part of her career, reminding her of the millions of people she has touched in her TV career.

READ MORE: Author, poet Maya Angelou dies at 86

Winfrey said she struggled to put what Angelou meant into words, then realized she owed the poet not words, but actions.

“I cannot fill her shoes, but I can walk in her footsteps,” Winfrey said.

Clinton said he first encountered Angelou through her autobiographical book I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. He grew up about 20 miles (30 kilometres) from where Angelou spent her childhood and said the author’s power was amplified because he was so familiar with her surroundings.

Clinton compared Angelou to a firefly who would light up at the most unexpected time, illuminating “something right before your nose you’ve been overlooking, something in your mind you’ve been burying. Something in your heart you were afraid to face.”

©2014The Associated Press

Local event raises over $130,000 to help Saskatchewan kids play sports – Regina

REGINA – Hundreds of participants took part in KidSport Regina’s 18th annual Fun and Fitness Corporate Challenge, playing a variety of unusual games, Saturday.

“We always bring up the example of hockey where $750 is sometimes not even covering just the registration,” said Lindsay Sutherland, provincial coordinator for Kidsport. “I mean, it’s hard for parents if you can’t afford it, and your child would really benefit from it, so that’s where we come in.”

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Last year, KidSport helped about 8,900 kids in Saskatchewan, granting $1.4 million to cover registration fees.

The event, located at the University of the Regina, included 34 teams this year, and a number of odd games, such as ‘shot in the dark beach volleyball,’ which featured a tarp covering the net and lower portion, not letting each team see each other.

Kassidy Smith, a recipient of the program’s registration fee coverage, spoke to the crowd at the event.

“I get to meet knew people, I get to do things that I love. And if I didn’t have sports, I kind of would be a little bit bored sometimes,” said the 11-year-old.

The teams are competed to claim the top prize – a trophy – but many agreed the real win goes beyond these games.

“So they can play sports like me and get the privilege, and, so it makes me feel better knowing that other kids get to play hockey and enjoy the sport like I have,” said Brandon Brezinski, who was on the Sasktel team.

Geoff Reed, decked out in a Red Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers costume, shared the same sentiments.

“They’re the next generation. Money shouldn’t be the object, they should be able to go do what they want,” said Reed, who was on the Clifton Associates team.

Grand Prix indeed: Edmonton woman waits a year for promised F1 package refund

WATCH: A death meant the trip of a lifetime to see the Grand Prix in Montreal had to be cancelled. But as Billy Shields reports, despite promises from the company who organized the tour, a refund took over a year to be processed.

MONTREAL — When Ann Brown bought her husband a 2014 Canadian Grand Prix package, it was supposed to tick a “bucket list” item from his list.

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But after the untimely death of a family friend, she said what ended up happening was that a Montreal-area tour company pocketed the money and resold the tour.

“This just blows me away. I absolutely trusted them and I wish I didn’t,” she said from her home in Edmonton.

“This was an opportunity to give my husband and his friend a trip of a lifetime.”

She told Global News that she ordered the package from a St. Lambert company called SportVac Voyages as a present for her husband in 2013. It included hotel, airport transportation, two grandstand seats and entry to a cocktail party.

The exterior of SportsVac on June 3, 2015.

Billy Shields/Global News

The problem?

As she isn’t a racing fan, Brown said she bought the $2700 tour so her husband could take his best friend.

“In 2013, I purchased two Silver packages for the 2014 Montreal F1 from Formula Tours,” Brown told Global News in an email.

“They were purchased for my husband Larry and his friend as a father’s day gift.”

But in the end, the trip had to be cancelled after her husband’s friend died from cancer complications in the spring of 2014.

At that time, Brown reached out to the company to see if it would be possible to get a refund — and that’s where the problems started.

“They’ve just been putting me off and putting me off.”

She supplied Global News with an email chain that seemed to indicate the company was working on resolving the issue.

“For months now their president has stated that he has a cheque sitting on his desk and he just needed it signed,” she said in an email.

“I was also advised that the package had been resold, so they were not out any money!”

Yet, despite these promises and on the eve of the 2015 Formula One race, Brown said she still has not been reimbursed.

Kimi Raikkonen’s Ferrari turns a corner in the 2014 edition of the Canadian Grand Prix, which Ann Brown said her husband Larry Brown was going to attend with a friend.


The company responds

Global News reached out to SportVac Voyages to find out the company’s take on what happened.

“Although our policy is clear, it goes without saying that each situation has to be examined from a human perspective,” wrote company president, Marc Savoie, via email.

“Over the last two weeks, we have had various discussions with the organiser, and confirm that, nothwithstanding clear company policy, a reimbursement will indeed be issued.”

Brown said she was overjoyed to finally have the issue resolved.

“This is the closest I have been to getting the money back and it only took one call from you!” she said in an email.

“The money should be in my account by tomorrow morning at the latest.”

In fact, Brown confirmed that she received her refund on Wednesday afternoon.

Saturday, June 7, 2014 on the Global Edmonton Morning News

The Edmonton Swiss Men’s Choir proudly presents Springtime in the Rockies, a choral and video celebration of Swiss culture in western Canada. The event features the Edmonton premiere of the documentary film Swiss Guides in the Canadian Rockies – Beyond Adventure. Tom sits down with Hans Voegeli to learn more about the film.

HOME DESIGN – Next week, the H&M at West Edmonton Mall will be the only store in Canada to sell the H&M Home Collection. They’re launching the collection next week when the newly renovated store re-opens. Kevin speaks with Emily Scarlett about the collection.

CRAFT BEER – The Edmonton Craft Beer Festival is a celebration of fine craft beer, delicious food pairings and community. This year, participants will have the chance to sample over 700 beers, ciders and meads from 47 different countries. Tom speaks with Claire Hanna about the festival.

WALK FOR MIRACLES – On Sunday, thousands of participants will take part in the 2014 Edmonton Walk for Miracles at Gold Bar Park to raise funds for the Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation. Tom sits down with Carolyn McKenzie and Neal Paulin to learn more about the walk.

SCARS – Terra MacLean from the Second Chance Animal Rescue Society (SCARS) stops by with a few dogs looking for their forever homes.

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