Canadian Web Hosting Blog and News

Canadian Web Hosting attends TEDxVan

We had the pleasure of attending TEDxVancouver 2014 last weekend. “TEDx” is an independently organized TED event that combines live speakers and TEDTalks videos.

Themed “TILT” this year, TEDxVan brought in a panel of speakers from a wide range of backgrounds, telling inspiring stories and sharing their “TILT” moment. This series of talks focused on transformation and changing perspectives. TEDxVan hoped to motivate the audience to step out of their comfort zone and to shake traditional views.

Senior Geographer of the US Bureau of the Census Keith Elwood was first to speak on his expertise on GPS mapping. He emphasized that our technology should be used in combination with common sense and to be careful of our over-reliance on tools. (ie. don't walk off a bridge just because your GPS tells you to keep going forward!)

CTV News Anchor Coleen Christie tackled our society’s confidence in mainstream media and news. (Do you trust the content on your news-feeds?)

Then renowned Host, Producer and Speaker Riaz Meghji introduced Victor Chan, who stole the show with his amusing recollection of meeting the respected Dalai Lama. He shared with us his experience of meeting a girl, his affair with her, and how they ended up getting kidnapped together, and then how that led his first encounter with Dalai Lama. (The girl had very good connections.)


Dr. Terry Pearson’s fascinating focus on translating basic research discoveries into applications for clinical diagnostic medicine inspired us to think outside of the box, while art and science clashed on stage when Dr. Jennifer Gardy and award-winning cellist and musician Peter Gregson showcased origins of culture through graceful “notes of DNA". (We think they would make a great couple.)

We will never forget Lesley Kim’s talk on her miscarriage and a tragic accident that resulted in the loss of her left eye. Her positive attitude and efforts in fundraising for Seva Canada brought the audience to a standing ovation. (We weren't the only ones who were tearing up.)

Sexologist Dr. Jessica O'Reilly examined the benefits of a "monogamish" relationship, Urban Experimentalist and Award-Winning Author Charles Montogomery explained the components of a happier, healthier community and former Whitecaps Captain Jay Demerit shared his journey into the big leagues. Obakki Foundation Founder and Creative Designer Treana Peake told us her story of childhood poverty and her efforts to give back because of a stranger's goodwill.

And finally, Lululemon Founder and former Chairman Chip Wilson gave us a sneak peek into his business tactics. (Sex, property, money, and yoga all in one afternoon!)


Aside from the speakers, TEDxVan also brought in dancers, singers, and other local performers and artists that made the event unforgettable.

Inspired at Queen Elizabeth Theatre #TEDxVan A photo posted by Canadian Web Hosting (@cawebhosting) on


Live art mashup #TEDxVan

A photo posted by Canadian Web Hosting (@cawebhosting) on

The venue was designed for an experience that was tangible, transforming the digital into the physical. We can't wait to participate again next year!

Sheila W.


Canadian Web Hosting goes volunteering!

Canadian Web Hosting visited Union Gospel Mission on Tuesday. Some of our staff spent the morning doing some hands on volunteering in their kitchen.

Matt C., Kings W. and Sheila W. working hard to prepare lunch for residents and staff.

Union Gospel Mission is an urban relief organization with locations spread throughout Metro Vancouver. The organization aims to overcome poverty, homelessness, and addiction. The facility we visited is located in Downtown Eastside, an area that is noted for high level poverty, drug use, sex trade, crime and violence. Senior Development Officer Nicole Robson took us on a tour of the building and explained that there are many people who live and die within those eight city blocks of Downtown Eastside and never have the opportunity to leave the area their whole life. UGM’s aim is to help this group of individuals overcome their situation by providing them with basic needs of food and shelter, and then provide assistance and education to help alleviate their poverty and addictions.

Our donations and support to UGM helps provide for men, women, and children alike. Services include outreach, emergency shelter, alcohol and drug recovery programs, affordable housing, and much more.

We had an amazing experience working alongside the friendly staff and we look forward to visiting again in the following months.


Sheila W.





How Volunteering at Lunapads Turned Into a Canucks Win

This post isn't exactly about our Canucks winning but please read on, this is about success and community.

Last fall during one of the Social Media Week panels, I had the opportunity to indirectly meet the two co-founders of Lunapads but it wasn’t actually until a few weeks later that we had the chance to bring our initial meetup offline. As previously blogged, meeting offline is important to further relationships with people in our local community. During EastVanLove, one of the two co-founders, Suzanne (on Twitter at @Luna_gal) was able to promote her own fundraiser for their trip to Uganda with a non profit organization called Shanti Uganda (on Twitter at @ShantiUganda). Their offices are next to one another in East Vancouver. Since they needed volunteers and more importantly, since Lunapads reached out directly to me to help the cause, I knew that I could help out. Back in September, they gave their time to share their social media experiences with a room filled with eager individuals from the education to the non profit world, from the finance to the tech industry, and so and so forth. In a way, volunteering for them was a way to say thank you for their own previous contribution that I had the honour to be a part of.


Uganda in Africa: the travel destination

From their story page, “Lunapads [on Twitter: @Lunapads] International is a women-owned and operated social mission-based business based in Vancouver, Canada. Our goal is to help individuals have healthier and more positive experiences of their menstrual cycles, and by extension, their bodies overall. Lunapads' mission is to create more positive and informed relationships between menstruators, their bodies and the Earth. We embrace a global perspective, in terms of well-being and empowerment for women and girls, as well as toward our responsibility with respect to sustainability.” Their mission also include: pad donations, mentoring women entrepreneurs in the community, business community support and volunteerism in action.

The evening was fantastic. Everyone started trickling into the red themed office, and mingled over an extensive food spread including various cheeses, crackers, vegetables, several dips, savory and sweet pastries, chocolate and more. They also had different types of wine being poured throughout the event that had been donated. They had a silent auction in one room in which I even won a pair of Canucks tickets thanks to a kind, anonymous donor - that's the Canucks win I was referring about; talk about highlights! About an hour and a half after the start time, we had the chance to listen to both co-owners along with Shanti Uganda talk about their journey from the beginning until now, their trip expectations and goals. All of the speeches were very touching and heartfelt. They both mentioned and knew ahead that this trip would be life changing when they'd get to see their impact first hand.

Lunapads CoFounders

Lunapads co-founders: Suzanne Siemens (back left) & Madeleine Shaw (front right)

One of the most compelling moments of the night was when Madeleine (On Twitter: @Luna_Diva) spoke to the huddle of volunteers before things kicked off and the message was about being open, friendly, owning a sense of respect and common sense but most importantly, she was conveying her own appreciation towards the group giving back. It was exciting to know that through their trip, they’d be able to meet some of those girls and women that they help through their products. Being there reminded me that as a global internet company, we, too, have to appreciate the fact that our own products can reach and impact anyone in the world. It’s great to be aware that we have strong leaders running terrific social enterprises around us and that makes our city of Vancouver BC that much more vibrant.

As companies like Lunapads continue to grow and expand, we’ll be there watching and supporting some of the various organizations around us, as we remind ourselves that each entity is making its own impact. In the end, we also feel the same way about our customer base. We provide that ongoing support continuously to help everyone around us move forward and we help them be successful.

If you’re interested in following their current trip, you can join them on their Facebook page for photos and latest updates. On a final different note, go Canucks go! I had to throw that in.

Kevin Liang
CTO / SEO Guru


EastVanLove Brings Community and Non Profit Organizations Together

As a member of the Vancouver community, our team members enjoy taking time to connect with other locals to see what’s happening around town. As of late, one of our current community related endeavours has been to be more in touch with local non profit organizations to find out what they are currently doing and also, where they are going as we continue to grow our own corporate social responsibility efforts. We find that it’s important to be aware of the great work that is happening around us and in some cases, become an ongoing fan and supporter in certain causes like our recent post on our involvement with the Union Gospel Mission.

#EastVanLove Tweetup Poster

Last month, one of the interesting and moving tweetups called EastVanLove (@EastVanLove), hosted by at the Hood (@thehood604), was exactly related to those specific topics: non profit organizations and volunteerism. Each organization spoke about their involvement in the East side of Vancouver, their community building, the positive impact that they strive for, and how the community can get involved. The event itself included some time for networking, a panel that shared highlights about their organizations in a quick five-minute presentations and some time for questions and answers. The diverse line up included the following 6 speakers and to make things easier to connect with them, I added their sites and Twitter handles.

  1. Peter Wrinch (@pwrinch) from Pivot: / @pivotlegal
  2. Caroline MacGillivray from Beauty Night Society: / @beautynight
  3. Dave MacDonald (@davemacdonald) from Reach Multicultural Family Centre: / @REACHCHC
  4. Diane Roberts from urban ink productions: / @urbaninkVan
  5. Harsha Walia (@HarshaWalia) from DTES Women’s Centre:
  6. Fen Hsiao from Potluck Café: @potluckcafe

Today over lunch, I had the honour and privilege to catch up with Dave MacDonald, from Reach Multicultural Family Centre, to revisit this event and talk in more depth about volunteerism and their current projects. One of his interesting points on volunteerism is that, in his opinion, there are two types of volunteers: 1) those who want to offer their skills or expand their current skills and 2) those who want to do good deeds for the community putting aside the emphasis of any particular skills.

For example, an accountant could decide to help out people by providing free tax help while another volunteer could decide to volunteer for a different project that requires little experience or very little expert skills. Through our conversation, he shared a recent example where a potential volunteer wanted to help out his organization with their own values in mind, however, the skill potentially offered wasn’t what his organization needed at the time. Therefore, what the volunteer could offer and what the organization needed, wasn’t the right fit in the end.

As a prospective volunteer, you must approach any non profit organizations like any other interviews where you might want to do a bit of research ahead of time to find out if your own skills would be something that the organization at hand needs in the first place. You must be able to fill a need and ideally, your own ideas and values will match with theirs.

As a non profit organization, it’s important to understand what current needs are needed, so that when a volunteer comes knocking on your door, you must be ready to communicate what kind of support could be used. From Dave’s point of view, he’s seen over the years that it is sometimes difficult for non profit organizations to turn down volunteers.

The conclusion is that when it comes to volunteering, there needs to be a clear match between what the volunteer can offer and what the non profit organization needs. There are so many great organizations around the Vancouver area and the people in it like Dave make it that much more exciting and vibrant to be a part of our community.

In the future, I’ll continue sharing our own support and involvement with our community and also, how some of our own customers take great pride in doing the same. If you know of any great other non profit organizations whom we should talk to, please leave us a comment below.

You can also read more thoughts on this past event via the Vancouver Observer’s article by Kelly Marion, Stephanie' Chua’s Storify story and/or the picture stream and keep up with the organizers including Ajay Masala Puri (@masalapuri), Kimberley Ong (@kimieong) and Stephanie Chua (@steph_chua) to find out about their upcoming events.

Until then, whether you’re an individual or an organization, you should consider taking some time to give back as much as possible.

Kevin Liang
CTO / SEO Guru


Union Gospel Mission: Feeding hope. Changing lives.

Back in March 3, 2009, we published a press release announcing that our company ( donated $5,000 to the Union Gospel Mission (UGM) and over two years later, we’re still supporting this wonderful, local, non profit organization. In this article, we take a step back as the year comes to a close. It’s now December and the weather has significantly gotten colder over the past few weeks recently. When the weather drops, it becomes harder and harder for those less fortunate individuals who are on the streets to make it through the winter. We feel fortunate that we have the basic necessities here at home, however, our minds turn towards those who lack those basic needs. UGM is a terrific, resourceful non profit to get involved with. You can also connect with them via Twitter at @ugm, their Facebook page or YouTube.


Outside of their new building

About UGM
UGM is an urban relief organization based in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. With eight locations throughout Metro Vancouver and the city of Mission, UGM is positioned to help those who need it most. The heart of the Mission is to demonstrate God’s transforming love, ease the burden of the most vulnerable, rebuild the lives of the broken and offer dignity to those who feel cast aside.

What is the mission of UGM?
Union Gospel Mission is determined to restore the God-given dignity of people by sharing and demonstrating the love of Jesus Christ, providing without discrimination:
- Meals, shelter, outreach and chaplaincy services that relieve suffering and renew hope
- Life recovery programs that offer freedom from addictive lifestyles
- Education and job preparation that equip for successful living
- Affordable housing that fosters community and personal contribution
- Preventative programs that build healthy families

Their slogan is: "Feeding hope. Changing lives."

The other week, we had the opportunity to visit their new facility, have lunch with one of their staff members and learn more about their programs. It's amazing what they do. They start serving meals as early as 6:30 am throughout the day, serving hundreds of meals daily. They have many regular volunteers and also, drop in volunteers. We learned that if you want to volunteer on a longer commitment basis, you'd have to attend a volunteer session. We also had the chance to tour some of their offices, classrooms, their computer labs, and some of their lodging facilities.

Here are some photos from our visit:

The front of the building

One of the posters in the reception area

Lunch offerings

The sign outside

Finally, they just celebrated their 71st Annual Christmas Celebration and you can watch their video:

Union Gospel Mission's 71st Annual Christmas Celebration from Union Gospel Mission.

Kevin Liang
CTO / SEO Guru