Renfrew-Collingwood Community News

News stories from the Renfrew-Collingwood community in East Vancouver

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March is Nutrition Month: Take the Fight Out of Food



Are you constantly confused about what to eat because of all the information out there or simply having a hard time keeping up with the newest food trend? Each year, Dietitians of Canada leads a campaign in March called Nutrition Month. This year, celebrate with dietitians to Take the Fight Out of Food! Spot the problem. Get the facts. Seek support.

The goals of Nutrition Month are to provide nutrition information you can trust, help debunk fad diets and identify nutrition myths. With the support from dietitians, enjoying food, eating healthily and working on problems with food will be easier.

By participating in Nutrition Month, individuals will develop skills to make healthful food choices that are more sustainable and to become more confident in problem-solving food issues. Each week of March focuses on a different topic such as fad diets, digestive problems, picky eating, eating and stress, and managing a health condition.

Visit the website to find resources, recipes and phone apps featured along with each topic to make it easier to participate.

Why not get started now with one of the featured recipes for Nutrition Month.

Avocado, Roasted Squash and Black Bean Tacos

Makes 4 servings. Recipe by Avocados from Mexico

1 Butternut squash (approx. 1.3kg/ 2.9lb) 1
2 tbsp Olive oil 30 mL
¼ tsp Salt 1 mL
¼ tsp Fresh ground pepper 1 mL
2 tsp Sumac (or paprika) 10 mL
½ tbsp Olive oil 7 mL
1 Garlic clove, finely minced 1
1 Can (540 mL) black beans, rinsed & drained 1
1 tsp Ground cumin 5 mL
½ tsp Chili powder 2 mL
½ tsp Salt 2 mL
8-10 Corn tortillas 8-10
1 Avocado from Mexico, diced 1
½ cup Feta cheese, crumbled 125 mL
  Fresh cilantro, hot sauce and lime quarters, to serve  

Recipe tip: For seasonal ingredients, such as butternut squash, be creative and substitute it with other starchy vegetables like yams, which are available all year round.

Step 1

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Peel the squash and cut it in two. Remove the seeds and stringy fibres, and dice the squash.

Step 2

Arrange the squash pieces on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Drizzle with olive oil, add salt and pepper, and sprinkle with sumac or paprika. Roast for 25 minutes.

Step 3

In a small saucepan, sauté ½ tbsp olive oil and the minced garlic over low to medium heat. Add the black beans, ground cumin, chili powder, salt and ¼ cup of water. Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for approximately 5 minutes or until the beans are well heated and soft (but not dry).

Step 4

In a hot pan, heat the tortillas for a few minutes, or microwave them for 20 seconds. Cover with a clean cloth to prevent them from drying out.

Step 5

Top the tortillas with roasted squash, black beans, avocado and feta. Serve with fresh cilantro, hot sauce and lime quarters.

Visit the website for more nutrition resources, recipes and tools to help celebrate Nutrition Month!

Angelina Lam is a University of BC dietetic intern. Helen Yeung and Kathy Romses are public health dietitians with Vancouver Coastal Health.

Copyright (c) 2017 Renfrew-Collingwood Community News

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Adult education time machine: Witnessing adult education in the photos of the City of Vancouver Archives


Originally written as an assignment for the University of BC, local resident and writer John Mendoza looks at the history of adult education in Vancouver and uncovers some East Vancouver connections.

Adult Education - Ladies driving

Ladies at driving education display in PNE B.C. building, 1954, photographer unknown, City of Vancouver Archives website

My assignment for a course in adult education at the University of British Columbia was to find photos that speak of adult education in a historical and contemporary setting. In finding photos, I wanted this challenge shaped by the desire to find something in the local community.

What would be in the City of Vancouver’s Archives that could articulate something about adult education? It was not an easy task to sift through numerous historical images, but slowly, four photos emerged. Of those four photos, two photos had definite links to the east side of Vancouver, specifically the Pacific National Exhibition.

Of the four photos, the two photos of adult learning opportunities captured after 1950 may seem unremarkable, but upon closer examination, reveal something far more complex. Both photos were created in the 1950s with only a one-year difference between them, and the name of the photographers are unknown.

Both photos were taken at the Pacific National Exhibition, affectionately known as the PNE. The PNE is an annual agricultural fair hosted at the Hastings Park site in East Vancouver, drawing both a rural audience from rural British Columbia and beyond, and an urban audience from the Lower Mainland. However, both photographic images forward the definitions of what adult education could be.

Both photos from the 1950s feature educational displays, where fairgoers could interact with the content any way they want. Also significant was the use of an agricultural fair as a place where learning could take place, transforming a popular attraction into “an agency of progress.” The driving display photo from 1954 was certainly timely; the end of the Second World War had ushered not only an emerging automobile culture, but also expanding opportunities for women.

Adult Education Totem Pole

Crowd watching Kwakiutl (Kwakwaka’wakw) carver Ellen Neel working on a totem pole, 1953, photographer unknown, City of Vancouver Archives website

Most fascinating is the 1953 photo featuring Kwakwaka’wakw (Kwakiutl) artist Ellen Neel, the first female totem pole carver from the Northwest Coast. Here we have a woman from a First Nations background demonstrating a centuries old skill (once largely dominated by male artists) in front of a diverse audience. Both these photos from the 1950s show that learning could occur anywhere, even in a humble agricultural exhibition setting.

Adult Education painting signs

Man and woman painting signs, likely attending School Board Night Classes, circa 1937, photograph by Stuart Thompson (1881-1960), City of Vancouver Archives website

The two other photos that I found speak of adult education in Vancouver before 1950.

The photos share some common characteristics. Both photos happen to be taken by photographer Stuart Thompson in 1937 as part of a series about the formal adult education sector. The two photos certainly reflected the realization that specialized labour was eclipsing unskilled, general labour. While both photos feature male students, one photo is especially telling with one female student featured in the sign painting class. It is a pertinent detail as the mindset concerning women and formal education had changed significantly since the end of the First World War.

Furthermore, that photo is significant in that women were not only choosing to pursue adult learning opportunities, but opportunities that might have been perceived as belonging to a masculine domain. Yet another way that the power differentials in the formal adult education class were changing is what is missing in both photos, and that is the instructor.

Adult Education Headphones

Men in Headphones Learning Technical Skills, circa 1937, photograph by Stuart Thompson (1881-1960), City of Vancouver Archives website

The authority of the teacher had been supplemented by the bulky presence of the radios and the sign painting models and templates featured respectively in each photo. Learning was going beyond “chalk and talk,” and placing the learner’s experience at the centre.

What’s poignant about the photos is the skills featured prominently within them – radio operation, sign painting – have been largely relegated to history as newer technologies have replaced them.

The photos do not offer a complete chronicle of Vancouver’s adult education history – certain stories and diverse communities are missing in its representation. But the few photos do offer a modern path of an adult education culture pushing through the walls of the formal classroom and out into the larger community.

Copyright (c) 2017 Renfrew-Collingwood Community News

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Windermere student-athlete to play for @SFUClan softball team

Kate Fergusson signs with SFU softball

Kate Fergusson has signed on to play for the SFU Clan softball team. Photo

Early 2017, the Simon Fraser University Clan softball team announced the signing of five recruits who will start playing in the 2018 season. Simon Fraser University (SFU) is Canada’s only NCAA softball team competing in the Division II Great Northwest Athletic Conference.

All of these new SFU recruits currently play for the White Rock Renegades 99 team. Local residents might know one of these players: Kate Fergusson, a Grade 12 student at Windermere Secondary.

SFU softball coach Mike Renney first saw Kate Fergusson a few years ago. “I watched her continue to develop into the premier first baseman in her age category,” he said.

“As a lead-off batter of one of the top teams in Canada, she is a triple threat with the ability to slap, drag or hit for average.”

Kate Fergusson Trout Lake

Windermere student Kate Fergusson first learned the game playing baseball at Trout Lake Little League. Photo by Ken Shymka

Fergusson started playing baseball at age 6 with Trout Lake Little League in Vancouver, where she played on the all-star team three years in a row and won a bronze in the district championships. At age 10, she moved over to the Richmond Islanders to play girls softball. In 2012, playing for the Richmond Islanders 98 team, she won bronze at the Canadian National Championships. She moved to the White Rock Renegades for the 2013 season.

As part of White Rock Renegades 99, Fergusson was named a tournament all-star en route to winning a silver medal at the 2016 Canadian National softball championships held in Charlottetown, PEI. She was also named an all-star at the 2014 Nationals and was a key part of the team that won gold at the 2015 National and Provincial championships.

Aside from her softball accomplishments, the multi-sport star represented Windermere Secondary in cross country, basketball and volleyball. She also played soccer in the BC Soccer Premier League.

In addition to Fergusson, SFU signed her Renegades teammates Megan Smith, Alex Ogg, Maria Seminario and Hannah Boulanger.

“I am excited about the talent and winning attitude each of our new recruits will be bringing to our program,” said Renney.

Copyright (c) 2017 Renfrew-Collingwood Community News