Renfrew-Collingwood Community News

News stories from the Renfrew-Collingwood community in East Vancouver


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Easter Seals Camps make a difference

Join the Woman2Warrior fundraiser on Saturday, Sept. 30 at Swangard Stadium

Mohini Takhar Easter Seals Camp

At Easter Seals campsites, anything is possible, says Mohini Takhar.

BY MOHINI TAKHAR

“Camp is the best place on earth” is the famous phrase of Easter Seals BC/Yukon. Easter Seals provides accessible camps for children and more recently opened them up for young adults as well. These camps are extraordinary as they are designed for people with disabilities. They are located in Squamish, Winfield and Shawnigan. I have been going to Squamish for the past four years.

One word to sum up my experience is “magical.” And yes, I am talking about the version with fairy dust and wishes. You can be your own superhero if you want. At Easter Seals campsites, anything is possible.

At these campsites, children are able to face their fears and try things they have never done before. There is this activity called The Big Swing, but it essentially is ziplining. The first time I tried ziplining, I was probably thrilled but also terrified! The strangest thing is that it was the best feeling I’ve ever felt. That’s what this camp gives you. It will give you the opportunity to surprise yourself in wonderful ways. That’s the great thing about the camp. You can let go and be yourself, probably in ways you didn’t even know about. You kind of discover yourself and find the things you love.

Being yourself. It’s a bigger and more complicated topic for people with disabilities. My 24-year-old friend Emily Anderson says, “Camp gives me a sense of belonging, a place where I can just be me and not worry about not fitting into either the abled-bodied or disabled worlds.” Anderson uses a mixture of a crutch and a wheelchair to get around. She says, “When I was little, I didn’t want to go to camp, but by the end of the week, I didn’t want to leave.” Once you go to one of these camps, you’re in it forever.

Easter Seals Camps are magical

Children and young adults are able to face their fears and try things they have never done before at Easter Seals camps.

Easter Seals makes summer camp possible for people who need minimal and maximum support. Those who require minimal support wouldn’t need a support worker to assist them at camp as there are more than enough camp counsellors to help. This makes it possible for children with disabilities to experience summer camp like anyone else would.

The impact Easter Seals has on children and now adults is astonishing. Children have been going since they were six years old. Regardless if you’re in a wheelchair or not, you have the ability to be whoever you would like to be without limitations. It’s an amazing outlet that children can come back to every year. Throughout the years, I’ve become fierce and more confident. You have the opportunity to have random dance parties with some good friends and dance like nobody is watching. You tend to become a completely different person here, which is an amazing experience.

Easter Seals BC/Yukon relies on community support and special events so campers can have this one-of-a-kind experience. If you would like to send a kid to camp, please consider signing up for their upcoming event Woman2Warrior on Saturday, Sept. 30 at Swangard Stadium. Woman2Warrior is an untimed, five-kilometre run through grass, trail and track, featuring top-secret obstacles designed to test strength, agility, determination and endurance. To register check out woman2warrior.ca

Mohini Takhar graduated from Windermere Secondary and currently studies at Douglas College. In her spare time, she enjoys working with children and reading. She has spoken at events on behalf of the Centre for Child Development and is the 2016 recipient of the BC Council for Exceptional Children Yes I Can! award in the category of self-advocacy. thewritingsidee.blogspot.ca/

Copyright (c) 2017 Renfrew-Collingwood Community News

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15th Annual Renfrew Ravine Moon Festival, September 30, 2017

Twilight Lantern Walk Renfrew Ravine Moon Festival

Festival goers get ready at Slocan Park for the Twilight Lantern Walk. Photo by Ben Rosen-Purcell

BY JUNE LAM

With fall fast approaching, Still Moon Arts Society has been preparing for the 15th annual Renfrew Ravine Moon Festival, held this year on Saturday, Sept. 30.

The Renfrew Ravine Moon Festival is a signature festival that celebrates the full moon and harvest abundance, while honouring diverse cultural traditions. The festival will highlight art, music, environmental stewardship and community participation.

This year’s theme, Migrations, allows attendees to reflect on the global movements that occur every day, from the smallest of salmon fry to the largest of humans. Birds journey across land and sea to discover new places and build their nests; salmon and fish swim across vast oceans to spawn new life and continue the survival of their species and others; humans flow within and across boundaries to pursue new opportunities, reunite with loved ones or find safety.

With the current issues in our world, these systems of movement have played a significant role in people’s identity and relationships. As you yourself move through the festival and experience the installations of this year’s event, we invite you to discover your own stories and how you relate to this year’s theme.

MOON FESTIVAL SCHEDULE

Harvest Fair: 4–6:45 pm
Slocan Park

The event gets under way with the Harvest Fair, which will feature live music, food and a booths from local organizations, artisans and non-profit groups. Another featured activity is the Harvest Fair, a home-grown harvest competition, which features entries by local gardeners of some of Renfrew-Collingwood’s best fruits, vegetables and flowers. Enter for a chance to win some awesome prizes!

Twilight Lantern Walk: 6:45 pm

The Twilight Lantern Walk begins with a moonlit parade from Slocan Park to Renfrew Park. Festival goers light their own lanterns and walk the trails along the ravine, accompanied by live music as darkness falls. Passing by the river-stone labyrinth, the procession will be invited to a walking meditation surrounded by music and light. The parade then passes by various art installations and surprise performances until it reaches Renfrew Park.

Lantern Festival: 7:15–8:30 pm
Renfrew Park

At nightfall, time slows down as participants absorb the beauty of candlelight, exquisite lanterns, ethereal music and the shimmering stream. Just outside of the stream, you’ll find musicians playing at the main stage, a Tea Garden full of delicious treats for you to enjoy, and a finale spectacle featuring dancing, stilting, fire spinning and fireworks.

Leading up to the big day, there will be multiple lantern workshops throughout the month. Don’t have a lantern for the parade? For a small cost, varying between $10 and $25, come out to Slocan Hall (2750 E. 29th Avenue) to make one:

Sept. 16: Advanced Lanterns (12–4 pm) – no instructor present

Sept. 18, 19, 20: Bamboo Lanterns (4–7 pm)

Sept. 21, 22: Globe Lanterns (4–7 pm)

Sept. 23: Advanced Lanterns (12–4 pm) – no instructor present

Sept. 25, 26: Globe Lanterns (4–7 pm)

Sept. 27, 28: Glass Jar Lanterns (4–7 pm)

For more information, visit stillmoon.org or our Facebook page, @stillmoonarts.

June Lam is the communications coordinator at Still Moon Arts Society. She graduated from the Leadership Program at Windermere Secondary and is currently attending the University of BC. She is also an avid volunteer and has been involved in the Renfrew-Collingwood community throughout her high school career. 

Copyright (c) 2017 Renfrew-Collingwood Community News


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Logan the goat chews up Renfrew Ravine invasive plants

Logan the goat

Logan chomping invasive plants in the Renfrew Ravine. Photos by Bryden Fergusson

BY JULIE CHENG

On a Sunday morning in August 2017 in the Renfrew Ravine, about 20 enthusiastic volunteers turned out — plus one goat.

They were all there to pull, dig or munch invasive Himalayan blackberry and morning glory as part of Evergreen’s Uncover Your Creeks—Renfrew Ravine program.

Still Moon Arts Society invited Logan the goat (with professional goat herder Natasha) as a pilot project to see how goats can help keep invasive plant species at bay in parks. One-year-old Logan was the star of the show. He was gentle with kids, worked hard and ate constantly.

Evergreen is always looking for more volunteers!

The next Uncover Your Creeks Renfrew Ravine event is:

Sunday, September 24, 2017
9 am to noon
Meet at 29th Avenue and Atlin (across from the 29th Avenue Skytrain station)
Rain or shine!

More info: www.evergreen.ca/whats-on/event/uncover-your-creeksrenfrew-ravine/

 

Robin's goat cards

Robin from Still Moon Arts Society kept the volunteers going with her delicious goat cookies and inspired us with her whimsical goat art cards. Watch for her at the 2017 Renfrew Ravine Moon Festival on Saturday, Sept. 30 for more goat cards.

Copyright (c) 2017 Renfrew-Collingwood Community News


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Guacamole for justice

Join the Renfrew-Collingwood Food Security Institute on Thursday, September 21 for a screening of Min Sook Lee’s 2016 film Migrant Dreams, a documentary that explores the experiences of seasonal agricultural workers in Canada.

Guacamole for justice

Making the guacamole. Photo courtesy of the Renfrew-Collingwood Food Security Institute

BY EMMA WARNER CHEE

On August 23, 2017, the Renfrew-Collingwood Food Security Institute partnered with the Migrant Workers Dignity Association to offer a workshop called Guacamole: A Cooking Lesson for Justice. The Migrant Workers Dignity Association is a non-profit that supports migrant workers in learning and advocating for their rights, as well as in educating the public about the injustices faced by migrant workers.

Through an interactive, theatrical cooking lesson, the group made guacamole and learned about the injustices facing temporary farmer workers who grow our food, such as having to work long hours without overtime pay, being unable to access medical care and working in unsafe conditions. After the workshop, workers answered questions from participants and share some of their personal experiences.

The Food Security Institute aims to provide space for critical conversations about food systems. Join the institute on Thursday, September 21 for a screening of Min Sook Lee’s 2016 film Migrant Dreams (distributed by Cinema Politica), a documentary that explores the experiences of seasonal agricultural workers in Canada. A facilitated discussion will follow the film.

Please see the blog rcfood.wordpress.com or pick up an activity schedule from Collingwood Neighbourhood House for more information about this and other great events!

Emma Warner Chee is the urban agriculture assistant and summer student with the Renfrew Collingwood Food Security Institute.

Copyright (c) 2017 Renfrew-Collingwood Community News


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September 2017 issue of RCC News is here

September 2017 RCC News

This issue of the Renfrew-Collingwood Community News is full of the many wonderful people, events and programs happening in our neighbourhood!

Get your latest issue of the RCC News at your local coffee shop, grocery store, library and community centre.

Or click on the cover image to view the new issue.

In this issue:

  • Renfrew Ravine Moon Festival, Saturday, September 30
  • September a good time to move beyond work-life balance
  • New exhibit at Il Museo: The Venetian Ghetto
  • Easter Seals Camps make a difference
  • Collingwood Corner: Check out Nostalgic Vancouver Facebook
  • Banana Grove grocery celebrates 25 years
  • Guacamole for justice
  • Logan the goat chews up Renfrew Ravine native plants
  • Plus Collingwood Neighbourhood House fall recreation programs

Do you have a local story to tell or an event to share? We’d love to hear about it! Email rccnews-editorial@cnh.bc.ca.

The deadline for the October 2017 issue is September 10. We welcome story submissions from 300 to 400 words long. Accompanying photos must be high resolution in a jpg file at least 1 MB large and include a photo caption and the name of the photographer.


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Many reasons to love Renfrew-Collingwood

Renfrew Ravine Labyrinth

In Renfrew-Collingwood, there are many quiet areas, like the Renfrew Ravine labyrinth, where you can just sit and think. Photo by Julie Cheng

BY TONY WANLESS

I have been living in Renfrew-Collingwood for 13 years. Before that, I lived in more central locations such as the Cambie Street and downtown areas.

I have also lived in other cities in Canada, the United States and Europe.

R-C, as Renfrew-Collingwood is often called, seemed different at first. It was more Asian. Life seemed to move at a different rhythm than in other parts of Vancouver.

But now I would not live anywhere else.

Why? That is simple: It has everything I like.

This includes:

Many people. I like people – the way they look, the way they act, the way they talk, the way they eat. So I want to be around them most of the time. They make me feel like I belong to a group, or a big family.

Space. Although I like to be with people, there are times when I want to be alone with nature. I can do that in R-C. There are many quiet areas, like the Renfrew Ravine, where I can just sit and think.

Variety. Residents of Renfrew-Collingwood come from many different parts of the world and from many different cultures. This gives the neighbourhood an international feel that appeals to my wandering spirit and desire to learn. Every day, I can feel, for a few moments, like I am in China, Korea, Japan, Manila or Mexico.

Language. Renfrew-Collingwood is what is known as a “polyglot” neighbourhood. That means it is home for many different languages. I am originally Dutch, but my main language is English, and like many Canadians, I am also familiar with French, and less so, some knowledge of other European languages. Probably, because of that, I enjoy hearing and trying to learn other languages.

In Renfrew-Collingwood, I can pick up bits of Cantonese, Mandarin, Korean or Tagalog. Sometimes I hear other languages as well.

It is like travelling the world without leaving home.

Why do you love living in Renfrew-Collingwood? Please let us know. Email rccnews-editorial@cnh.bc.ca.

Copyright (c) 2017 Renfrew-Collingwood Community News


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Gathering of Canoes – 2017 Pulling Together Journey

Canoe-journey

Photos by Penny Lim

BY PENNY LIM

The Gathering of Canoes was a long-anticipated event, one of the Canada 150th birthday events and the culmination of the annual Pulling Together Canoe Journey. First Nations paddlers – including our very own Collingwood C.R.E.W. based out of Collingwood Neighbourhood House – started up the Sunshine Coast and participants joined in along the way.

Months of hearing of this historic undertaking coming to town. The day dawned. On July 14, 2017, a crowd waited breathlessly at Vanier Park for a sighting of these 23 canoes.

Canoe-journey-3

Here they come! The canoes circled in their protocol before landing. The paddlers asked for permission to land on the traditional territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations.

Canoe-journey-2

The excitement was heavy in the air. The ceremony was very inclusive, with the RCMP, Police Department and Mayor amongst the paddlers. The different tribes got to know each other, too.

Witnessing this moment was a privilege in life. Absolutely exciting and joyous! Electric waves of emotion.

Copyright (c) 2017 Renfrew-Collingwood Community News