On Saturday evening, my sister had her wedding reception at Kirin at City Square. Just between you and I, my sister has been legally married since December, when she and her husband eloped to Maui and tied the knot there. Our mother though, required a large banquet to be held nonetheless, basically nullifying all the reasons why my sister eloped in the first place. Anyways, unfortunately, the reception was not the biggest event of the evening in Vancouver. That title belonged to Game Two of the 2011 Stanley Cup Final which was being contested just a few kilometres from the restaurant.

The date of the reception was booked well in advance of the start of the hockey playoffs but I felt sorry for my sister and her husband, as making people choose between those two events was tough. There was a somewhat last-minute declination that I suspect was because of the hockey game. I came fully prepared to the restaurant. I had an AM radio, my smartphone with mobile Internet, and my netbook. I also had my duties for the wedding. I was one of two greeters who received the guests, took their gifts, checked their names off a list, and escorted them to their table.

I was at the restaurant well before any guests arrived and I am somewhat embarrassed to say the first thing I did was to check for a free wi-fi connection. I did indeed find one and it was City Square’s public wi-fi connection. It would be this connection that would prove pivotal for the rest of the evening for many, many people. The game was being streamed live at the CBC web site and it started at 5pm. The wedding guests didn’t start to arrive until after 6pm. There wasn’t much for me to do to help prepare so I just sat at the greeters’ table with my netbook, watching the game. My brother-in-law actually did one better. He commandeered the projector that was supposed to be showing pictures of him and my sister and he streamed the game instead using his own laptop. The game was projected onto a sloped part of the ceiling, which gave the rest of the restaurant a good view as well. As soon as the game went up, a few of the waiters wandered over to come take a look.

There were sporadic moments where I had to take people to their tables and where I needed to be in some photos but I was pretty much able to watch the first half of the game. When all the guests had arrived, I was then able to sit at my assigned table. It was there that I discreetly put my netbook on the table so that everyone watch the game without having to look up. I didn’t miss a single goal, except for OT, when I was in the middle of telling the entire table my story of when I touched a bag of sand. I knew OT was about to start and I was about to shut up to watch the game again when I looked up and Burrows was already celebrating. Honestly, who scores 11 seconds into OT?

Once the game was over, I was able to eat in a much more relaxed manner. The rest of the evening went smoothly. Had City Square not had their free wi-fi, things would have been much more stressful. Thanks to my sister and her husband for letting us watch the game at their wedding reception!


  1. Thank you, Erwin, for all your help this past Saturday. Nobody can say that we didn’t come through for the Canucks fans at the reception! You are a good brother!

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