Renfrew-Collingwood Community News

News stories from the Renfrew-Collingwood community in East Vancouver

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February 2013 is here

Get your February 2013 issue of the RCC News at your local coffee shop, grocery story, library and community centre.

RCCNews February 2013Click on the cover image to view the new issue.

In this issue:

  • Collingwood Cinemas: A cultural meeting place
  • Ramada Hotel on Kingsway bought by city of Vancouver
  • Eating Out in RC: Poor Italian Restaurant
  • Quick Mind, Quick Feet: Claire Fergusson works to follow her softball dreams
  • Collingwood’s newest community garden
  • Artists welcome neighbours to Art House in the Field

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Collingwood Cinemas

A cultural meeting place


With their passion for movies and entertainment, it is no surprise this husband-and-wife duo took over the old Raja theatre. Naz and Mike Jamshedian love to draw groups of people together.

They met 18 years ago through a mutual friend and have been together for 17 years. Now they have the Collingwood Cinemas (3215 Kingsway ) and an active, sporty 10-year-old son.

With 18 years of experience in the theatre industry, their dream was to have their own venture. This came true in 2010 when they opened up Denman Cinemas in Vancouver’s West End. Unfortunately, the landlord pulled the rug out from underneath them and they lost the theatre in October 2012.

However, they remained positive and persevered. In November, they took over and created Collingwood Cinemas.

This warm couple are enthusiastic about building community. They want a place where you walk in and recognize faces. They hope for a sense of trust to emanate and for people to be true neighbours to each other.

When they first started, they weren’t sure what to name the place so they held a Facebook contest, letting the community give their input, sharing a tiny piece of the place.

“Places like this have to be preserved for a cultural meeting venue,” said Naz.

She opens up the theatre for different focuses, providing a space for meetings and events.

About 150 people from a church group, in early January, held a mass ceremony one morning.

During Christmas, there was a free screening of Madagascar 3. Naz said there was an excellent turnout after promotions at schools and the Collingwood Neighbourhood House.

Collingwood Cinemas requires a lot of love and attention. Naz and Mike made a few renovations, upgrading the sound systems to digital and installing cushy red seats that rock gently.

“We want to make it a personal movie experience,” said Naz.

In the future vision, she said she wanted it to be a place where people can stop by and talk to them. Be friends. She also, eventually, wants to have a dine-in service for the balcony area.

At Denman, on average, Mike booked about three to four events per week. Some of them were birthday parties and some were fundraisers. He hopes to have the same results at this new location.

He admits the movie business is always going down, especially with Netflix, high-definition TV and big multi-screened theatres, but he believes Collingwood has a chance against the odds.

When asked what makes them stand out, “cheaper prices, customer service, less commercialized and more community based,” said Mike.

They are advocates for charities, open to hosting fundraisers. That bond of connection is what they hope to achieve when people attend one of their events.

For movie genres, they mix it up with mainstream media, Bollywood flicks and cultural films.

This February, Skyfall will be playing and they will be hosting the Serbian film festival.

To book an event, call Mike at 604-671-0148. For updated information on movies and times, check out their Facebook page ( or the website (

Prices (incl. Tax)
Regular movies
General: $7.95
Tuesdays: $5
Seniors (66+): $5.95
Children (2-10): $5.95

Bollywood movies
General: $10
Tuesdays: $5
Seniors (66+): $8
Children (2-10): $8

Deanna Cheng is a resident of the Renfrew community and a journalism student at Langara College. She practises Shito-ryu Karate at Odokan Dojo.

© Copyright (c) 2013 Renfrew-Collingwood Community News

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ChoSun Korean BBQ House

3846 Kingsway, Vancouver, BC


For this rousing edition of Eating Out in RC, we travel to Korea in the form of ChoSun Restaurant for a taste of their traditional barbecued meat.

ChoSun, which has been gracing our culinary crown here in Collingwood for seven years now, really is a fun place to go if you haven’t been there. I’m not sure if it was because of the seating set-up, which kind of divides people into private areas of various sizes (for parties and such), or the fun aspect of cooking the meat right there at your table added some sort of social element, or the cheap drink specials, but for a Tuesday night, the place seemed packed and buzzing with a lively, fun atmosphere. Was it due to some extraordinary food being present? We were about to find out.

As quickly as was possible, which was quick, due to excellent service, my trusty accomplice and I went for the BBQ Combination A: chicken, pork, sliced beef and beef short ribs. Designed for two ($32.95). This came with about 10 delectable side dishes. Even though we were Korean BBQ newbies, we were able to turn out some super-delicious barbecued meat, which doesn’t take long when it’s sliced so thinly. You can’t really go too wrong. My trusty accomplice (and sweetie) handled most of the manouvers on this occasion, though I did throw in a few select moves of my own.

So as you can guess, it was all completely out-of-this-world delicious! And yes, it was quite possible that all of the excitement in the air had something to do with the added excitement of barbecuing at the table. It’s pretty cool.

“It is unique to have the barbecue right in the table,” says manager Jin Soo. “Most Korean restaurants will not.”

Apart from your BBQ meat combinations, you are also going to find a whole lot more on the menu. ChoSun is a fusion restaurant, blending Korean with Japanese and Chinese dishes. “The menu, though,” states Jin Soo is 90 percent Korean. Still you will find a full selection of sushi and rolls, sashimi, donburi and teriyaki, noodles and fried rice.

For Korean cuisine, we have soups: spicy kimchi; seafood and tofu; spicy sparerib and cabbage. We have Bibimbob, which is rice mixed with assorted marinated vegetables, meat and hot sauce; casseroles, spicy or mild. There are delicacies, including tofu with pan-fried kimchi, stir-fried small octopus and vegetables, fried prawn with sweet and sour sauce, and Jobchae (vermicelli noodles with beef and vegetables). There are also plenty of items to go on the BBQ, such as Bulgogi (a deliciously marinated sliced beef), beef tongue, prawns, squid and assorted mushrooms.

So it really could be the great food also contributing to the buzz at ChoSun. It definitely would help explain why the place was packed and received an Honourable Mention for Best Korean Restaurant by Vancouver Magazine. Apart from the great service and fun atmosphere, I’m sure Chef Ki John Kim, with 25 years’ experience in Korean cuisine, has something to do with it.

And hey, the Korean and Japanese beer, soju, sake and wine probably don’t hurt matters. Nor the green tea, mango or chocolate ice cream for dessert. Or that from Monday to Friday, from 11:00am to 3:00 pm, the ChoSun Lunch Box is a big hit. Four lunch boxes featuring beef, ribs, braised ribs, chicken *$8.95-10.95) comes with a wide assortment of side dishes.

It may also be the superb hospitality and philosophy of owner Seo Woong Kim. “I love serving food and introducing people to Korean food,” says Seo Woong, which is why I have three restaurants now.” He thanks everyone from the community who has been keeping him busy all these years and invites everyone to come and try his Korean recipes. “We do our best to continue developing new dishes, to keep our customers happy and coming back.”

No matter how many reasons there might be, the buzz and the words are out! And this time they rhyme.

There’s good food and fun, over at ChoSun! So go there to eat, and bon appetit.

* ChoSun is an ancient name from Korea’s last dynasty in Korean history, which reigned for five centuries, from 1392 to October 1897.

© Copyright (c) 2013 Renfrew-Collingwood Community News

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Collingwood’s humble kitchen expert

Barry Londry plus two of his recipes


Barry Londry stands out from the crowd, literally. At six feet tall, he towers over most people in the Collingwood neighbourhood, yet his warm smile and kind words put people around him at ease.

Barry’s a humble expert in the kitchen and can be often found tending shrubs in the Cheyenne community gardens. He’s also well known to improvise and create delightful dishes out of discarded food materials. Just like these dishes, Barry could have easily thrown away parts of his life, but chose to create a meaningful life for himself that has positively impacted those around him. You see, Barry had a thriving career as a chef―but this all of this came crashing down one day.

Years before Chef Barry joined the Renfrew-Collingwood Food Security Institute, Barry was just another kid growing up in the Vancouver eastside neighbourhood called Diaper Hill. His parents, who moved here from the Prairies after the Second World War, fed Barry the typical Prairie diet of meat and potatoes―and on the rare occasion, they would cook him a delicious steak dinner.

Barry’s tastebuds were more adventurous, and even though Vancouver’s population then was quite homogenous, Barry was still able to develop a palate for exotic flavours. Every so often, Barry would hang out at his friend’s parent’s Chinese restaurant, and would visit ethnic restaurants with friends. Whenever he found a dish that he enjoyed, he would ask the cooks for the recipes. Thus began his fascination with international foods.

While cooking was a hobby, he pursued a career in sports and business during his 20s. He studied restaurant management and completed a diploma in international business. He became a ticket distributor for sports games and even managed sales for the Stanley Cup games in the 80s. He also sold cider to the States!

Barry was business-savvy, but eventually realized that he couldn’t deny his passion for cooking. After he was laid off from a job in the beverages industry, he enrolled into the top cooking school in Vancouver, and then worked across the Lower Mainland in various food services capacities. Eventually, he found full-time employment as a chef in an assisted living seniors’ centre.

In 2005, doctors discovered Barry had dilated cardiomyopathy, a condition common among taller athletes. His heart was enlarged and was only at 13% capacity. As a result, he would often be tired and short of breath. Determined to get well, Barry entered a recovery program. Unfortunately, weeks into the program, the heart specialist told him he was never going to be able to work again.

This hit Barry like a tonne of bricks. His life was going to be radically changed. No longer could he be independent, but had to be government-dependent, take on disability status, and give up his car.

After dealing with the shock and the self-pity, he asked himself, “[Am I] going to sit here and moan or do something about [my life]?” Barry went into action mode, and motivated himself to complete the paperwork that accompanied his diagnosis. Soon, Barry moved into the Collingwood area. Who knew that this would be another turn in his life?

In 2008, Barry went to an open forum at the Collingwood Neighbourhood House, intending to voice his opinion about the transit system. Instead, he met Stephanie Lim, coordinator of the Renfrew Collingwood Food Security Institute, who relentlessly pursued Barry to be involved with her programs. He got his feet wet by building the Cheyenne Gardens with Jason Hseih and Steph, then eventually led and taught in food programs.

A few months later, Barry was asked if he could volunteer with Nadja, who coordinated the community kitchen. Barry thought he would volunteer for a few weeks, but eventually became a consistent participant, assisting Nadja run the program to this very day.

Barry is still committed to perfecting the fine art of experimental cooking. He rarely writes down any of his recipes and almost never cooks the same meal twice, but he knows how to exactly combine foods to bring out the flavours. His friend George, from John’s Market once said, “[Barry’s] a better cook than me!” Those who have tasted his cooking would probably give him the same type of praise.

Esther Yuen is a communications specialist and graphic designer. She is passionate about positive social change and is active with the local arts and culture scene.

Chef Barry’s Recipes

The two recipes here are comfort food to me. The bonus is that if you are cooking for one or two people you can make both dishes with one chicken. Each recipe is very easy to make and if you get the chicken on sale you can get six meals for a very good price. ―Barry Londry

 Roasted Chicken and Potatoes

1 chicken (3 to 4 lbs)
2 tbsp butter, softened
salt and pepper, to taste
1 large onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
*1 or 1 1/2 lbs potatoes cut into 2-inch pieces
*4 or 5 cloves of garlic peeled (1 minced and others left whole)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
cooking spray (oil) or vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Cover the surface of a large baking sheet or pan lightly with cooking spray or oil.

Place onions, carrots, celery and the minced garlic in a bowl. Mix and season with salt and pepper. Place these in the middle of the baking sheet so they are roughly the shape of the chicken.

Massage or brush the butter over the entire surface of the chicken. Season the whole chicken with salt and pepper. Place the chicken over the veggies in the middle of the baking sheet. All the veggies should be under the chicken.

Place the potato pieces and whole garlic cloves in a bowl. Add the 1/4 cup of oil and mix so all is covered with oil. Season these with salt and pepper and place around the chicken in a single layer so the cut side of the potatoes is on the sheet.

Place chicken in the oven and cook for 30 minutes. Turn the oven down to 375 degrees F. Cook for an additional 15 minutes (45 minutes total). Take chicken out of the oven and baste it with the juices at the bottom of the pan. If there arenʼt enough juices brush the exposed area of the chicken with butter. If the garlic is starting to brown put it in with the other veggies.

Put back into the oven and cook for an additional 30 to 45 minutes more. The chicken will be done when an instant read thermometer placed into the middle of the inner thigh reads at least 165 degrees F or the juices run clear when the chicken is placed on an angle. Do not cut into the chicken as this will make the chicken more dry.

When the chicken is cooked let it rest at room temperature for 15 or 20 minutes. This will allow the juices to be redistributed throughout the chicken. Enjoy!

* The potatoes and garlic are optional if you donʼt have enough room in the pan for them or if you donʼt like garlic.

Serves 4

Chicken Pot Pie

1 large onion, diced
2 large carrots, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
2 cups chicken, cooked and diced
2 tbsp butter
salt and pepper, to taste
2 tbsp flour
1 cup chicken stock or water
1/2 cup milk or cream or whipping cream (how rich do you want the sauce)?
1 cup frozen peas
*1 tbsp fresh thyme or tarragon, minced
2 9-inch pie shells
1 egg, beaten

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place a large frying pan over medium high heat. Add butter and the onions, carrots, celery and salt and pepper. Stir to mix. Cook until softened, about 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the flour and stir to mix. Cook for 1 or 2 minutes to take the raw taste of the flour out. Add the liquids (stock and cream) and stir. Add the chicken, stir and cook for an additional 5 to 7 minutes until sauce is thickened and flavours have combined. Turn off the heat and add the peas and either the thyme or tarragon. Stir again and allow mixture to cool.

Once cooled fill the bottom pie shell with the chicken mixture. Brush the top outside part of the shell with the beaten egg. This will help seal the top crust.

Place the other pie shell over the filled shell. Press down on the top shell to ensure it is against the filling. With a knife, cut any of the top shell that is overhanging outside the pie plate. Crimp or seal the outside edge of the crust with a fork. Brush the top of the pie with remaining beaten egg. Cut 4 or 5 vents about 1 inch long on the inner top of the pie to let the steam escape.

Place in the  oven for 40 to 45 minutes or until the entire pie is golden brown. Let pie rest for about 20 minutes and cut into 4 or 6 wedges.

* Thyme will give a traditional flavour to the pie. Tarragon will take it to a different and I think better level.

** For an even better tasting pie add any leftover veggies and stock from the roasted chicken.

Serves 4-6

© Copyright (c) 2013 Renfrew-Collingwood Community News

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January 2013 issue is here

Renfrew-Collingwood Community News January 2013

RCC News January 2013

Happy new year! Get your January 2013 issue of the RCC News at your local coffee shop, grocery story, library and community centre.

Click on the cover image to view the new issue.

In this issue:

  • Barry Londry: Collingwood’s Humble Kitchen Expert, plus his recipes
  • Set Goals for Health, Not Weight
  • Eating Out in RC: ChoSun Korean BBQ Restaurant
  • Windermere Climate Change Conference Inspires Action
  • Fastbreak Soccer Delivers on Fun and Fair Play
  • And the Winner of the RCC News Suggestion Box Is …

Plus the Collingwood Neighbourhood House recreation insert.