Renfrew-Collingwood Community News

News stories from the Renfrew-Collingwood community in East Vancouver


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Collingwood Corner: Home Delivery in the 1960s

BY LORETTA HOUBEN

Once upon a time there weren’t online stores like Amazon. There weren’t personal computers, tablets or cell phones. Apparently, humanity was cut off from one another, living in a vast void.

Dairyland-Home-Delivery-1965-List

Home delivery price list from 1965. The prices are simply astounding. Image from the collection of Loretta Houben’s parents

Not quite. Growing up in Collingwood over 50 years ago, homemakers had access to home delivery options. One of them my parents subscribed to was Dairyland Home Delivery.

Please study the prices of the attached 1965 price list. For a growing family, usually consisting of two parents and four or more children, you had the option of an eight-quart family milk pack for $2.23. This was in the days before metric conversion. A quart of milk was 29 cents.

Along with a variety of milk products you could indulge in cream, whipped cream, apple and orange juice, yogurt, cottage cheese and butter. Butter was 66 cents for one pound.

The prices were comparable to a working man’s wage. My dad earned $150 per month working for the Glidden Paint Company as a forklift driver, yet he could indulge in home milk delivery.

I remember the pale yellow truck rumbling down our street early in the morning, and the bottles clanking as they were set on our front porch. Of course, the dairy products were all in glass containers, which my mom washed and set out the next week.

Another wonderful sound of a truck stopping outside our home quite often was the Simpson Sears truck from the warehouse in Richmond. Each season every home in Vancouver would receive a thick free Simpsons catalogue to dream over, filled with useful and exotic items for the home or your wardrobe.

Your order was placed by telephone one day, and your goods were delivered without charge the very next afternoon.

Once, age three, I remember a large brown paper covered box arriving at the front door. My mom paid the delivery man, and quickly hid the package in her closet. I begged her to see what it was, and so she emptied the box and gave it to me to play with.

I could smell that there had been a new doll in it! I cried and cried until my mom relented (for reasons unknown) and gave me the doll, which was meant to be a Christmas gift!

Woodward’s and Eaton’s also had home delivery, but Simpson Sears was my parent’s first choice.

Do you have memories of those long-ago days, and free delivery to your door?

Loretta Houben is a long-time resident of Collingwood and coordinates the Seniors Connection section of the Renfrew-Collingwood Community News.

Copyright (c) 2017 Renfrew-Collingwood Community News


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Collingwood Days 2017 – New location, same great family fun

BY ANDREA BERNECKAS

Collingwood-Days-Stiltwalkers

The 14th annual Collingwood Days runs from Saturday, May 20 to Sunday, May 28. Photos courtesy of Collingwood Days

Collingwood Days Festival is an annual intercultural community festival that celebrates the diversity, history and natural environment of Renfrew-Collingwood. Traditionally taking place in the last week of May, this year’s event will be celebrating its 14th year from Saturday, May 20 to Sunday, May 28.

We have many fond memories of Collingwood Days at Sir Guy Carlton Elementary, but due to a fire at the school last year, the main festival day will take place this year at Gaston Park, at Euclid and Tyne.

Over the years, Collingwood Days has highlighted the contributions of various groups and members of the neighbourhood. This year, we are honouring and celebrating the contributions of the First Nations in our community. There will be music, dancing, storytelling and history.

Collingwood-Days-DancersThroughout the festival week, there will be activities in various parts of the Renfrew-Collingwood: a carnival at Graham Bruce Elementary, a Cantonese and Italian Opera performance and exhibition at the Italian Cultural Centre, a native plant walk at Norquay Learning orchard, a tea house event at Collingwood Neighbourood House, First Nations storytelling at Collingwood Branch library and much more.

On the festival day, May 28, local Lions Club members will serve up a pancake breakfast from 9 to 11 am. After our opening blessing at 11 am, festivities will begin with live music and dance from Bright Sunset Chinese Dance Group, Windermere Choir, Calpulli Cemanahuac Aztec Dance Group, Peter Yap, Alicia Crestejo, Kathara Indigenous Filipino Cultural group and others.

Collingwood-Days-SingersDrop by and check out the International Marketplace, Artisan Village, BMX and the Dog Agility shows and Collingwood Gardens Tea tent.

There are opportunities to volunteer, promote your organization or sponsor our event.

Please check out the Collingwood Days Facebook page (www.facebook.com/collingwooddays/) for updates and Collingwood Days website (www.collingwooddays.com/) for more information.

Collingwood-Days-Band

Copyright (c) 2017 Renfrew-Collingwood Community News


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Bruce Spring Carnival – Now in its 5th year

See you there – Friday, May 26, 4–8 pm

BY ROSANNE LAMBERT

Bruce-Spring-Carnival

Come for the carnival games, stay for the food and fun at this annual neighbourhood event. Photo by Mary Anne Purdy

Let me tell you about a little gem in our neighbourhood, just in case you hadn’t already stumbled across it.

Each spring, Graham Bruce Elementary’s Parent Advisory Council (PAC) proudly presents the annual Spring Carnival – located at 3633 Tanner street, in the back basketball courts on Moscrop. Mark your calendar for Friday, May 26 from 4 to 8 pm.

This fun-filled, intergenerational, intercultural community event is in its fifth year, with a longstanding tradition of bringing together families, students, staff, alumni, local neighbours and businesses from the broader community of Renfrew-Collingwood and beyond.

When our youngest first started at Bruce, the Spring Carnival was in its inaugural year (2013). It was created by the PAC as a way to raise funds to replace a primary playground, which the Vancouver School Board removed due to deterioration and safety issues. The playground was successfully installed in 2015, but this annual fundraiser continues as a way to mitigate shortfalls in education funding.

The proceeds from the Spring Carnival have been used for classroom technology upgrades, transportation to field trips, new equipment and enhancing our school’s curriculum. Last year’s event raised more than $9,000, which has funded a commercial popcorn machine this year, LEGO Robotics kits, subsidies for new after-school programs, and more.

Over the years, the annual coordination of the Spring Carnival also brought diverse families together in collaboration towards shared goals… building neighbourly relationships through this process, and strengthening the fabric of our community.

So, after a long winter in Vancouver it’s finally spring. We look forward to relaxing in the fresh outdoors at this event each year… seeing all the folks in the ’hood… sinking our teeth into delicious barbecued smokies … watching our kids at the classic carnival games.

There will be indoor bouncy castles, plus a variety of quality goods to peruse at the silent auction, and over $5,000 in raffle prizes! I’ll try my chances at winning the grand prize package, and so can you: It’s a trip for two to Victoria including round-trip airfare, IMAX film admission, and tours to the very beautiful Butchart Gardens and the very tropical Butterfly Gardens.

That’s not all. There’s free entertainment – a magic show by Ray Wong Magic, demonstrations of LEGO Robotics and much more! There’s something for everyone.

Best of all, when you support the Spring Carnival you also support Graham Bruce Elementary School in the education of children and youth in this community – our future citizens. Hope to see you there rain or shine!

Local artist Rosanne Lambert has been a parent at Bruce Elementary for the past eight years.

Copyright (c) 2017 Renfrew-Collingwood Community News


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Indigenous art project at Windermere high school: Reconciliation from the ground up

BY JULIE CHENG

Windermere-aboriginal-art-Jerry-Whitehead

Aboriginal artist Jerry Whitehead demonstrates the art of spray painting. Photos taken and edited by Olivia Lee-Chun, Harkarn Kaler and Tiffany Tu

This spring, look for a new mural at Windermere Secondary School that brings together nature and Indigenous culture. Windermere has received a $20,000 grant from the Betty Wellborn Artistic Legacies Foundation for an art project that features local Indigenous artists running workshops and working with students to paint this mural.

Fine arts teacher Alyssa Reid’s project proposal was inspired from reading Wab Kinew’s The Reason You Walk, a memoir about reconciliation and healing between father and son that may ultimately spark conversation about Canada’s own reconciliation with Indigenous peoples.

Coincidentally, Windermere’s former vice-principal, Alison Ogden, had once posted outside her office a quote from the same book that Reid “really took to heart.”

The quote reads: “Reconciliation is not something realized on a grand level, something that happens when a prime minister and a national chief shake hands. It takes place at a much more individual level. Reconciliation is realized when two people come together and understand that what they share unites them and that what is different between them needs to be respected.”

Windermere-aboriginal-art

Two students spray painting the stencil design they created.

Windermere’s aboriginal support teacher, Davita Marsden, suggested to Reid that local contemporary Indigenous artists Sharifah Marsden, Corey Bulpitt and Jerry Whitehead might be interested in working on the project.

“After speaking with the artists we decided on three workshops for staff and students that would give them some grounding and knowledge in Indigenous art that would lead to a large (1,000 square foot) mural on the front of the school,” Reid explains in an email.

“Our basis for the mural is a rooting in Mother Nature that links everyone to the earth and stresses the importance of nature and the earth to our Indigenous people done in the three very unique styles of each artist.”

The workshops started late April, with Sharifah Marsden teaching a beading workshop, Corey Bulpitt doing a stencilling and spray painting workshop, and Jerry Whitehead leading a design question/answer workshop. The painting begins in May.

Julie Cheng is the editor of the Renfrew-Collingwood Community News.

Copyright (c) 2017 Renfrew-Collingwood Community News


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Eating Out in RC: The Captain’s Boil

3309 Kingsway, Vancouver
Phone: (604) 565-3999

BY PAUL REID

Eating Out in RC: Captain's Boil

“Everything that we ate at the Captain’s Boil was delicious.” Photo by Paul Reid

Greetings food fans. We journey now to one of Collingwood’s newest restaurants – the Captain’s Boil. The Captain’s Boil is actually a franchise with 16 locations now across Canada.

“The Captain’s Boil was inspired by Cajun seafood boil, where freshly caught seafood is boiled and served right away to retain its freshness and tenderness. The Captain’s Boil took this idea further by adding aromatic Asian spices to enhance the natural taste of our ingredients,” says the CEO and founder, The Captain.

Captain'sBoil in Renfrew-Collingwood on KingswayAs this franchise is aimed at the millennial crowd, we older types may or may not immediately appreciate this style of dining, which The Captain describes as “feast like a pirate! dine like a captain.” You may be surprised to find that the tablecloth is a sheet of paper, that all of the utensils and bowls are plastic and Styrofoam, or that the food arrives in plastic bags. Or, maybe I have just never been to a Cajun seafood boil, which I hadn’t, until now.

But that’s how it is. The Captain explains, “By removing all the unnecessary hassle of table settings and cutlery, we make sure that the food is ready-to-eat — from sea to table.” Also, once we’re done, I guess they can just fold up the paper tablecloth and voila – no dishes.

My sweetie and I arrived one Wednesday evening around 6 pm to find the Captain’s Boil quite busy, but a table was available. You may have to wait awhile on the weekends. We examined the menu and found out about the Captain’s steps.

The first step is to “choose your catch.” My sweetie and I ordered one order (pound) of King Crab Legs and one order of clams. Originally, my sweetie had ordered lobster, which said “market price” next to it. The waitress was kind enough to let us know that one lobster was currently $45. “Can we order half a lobster,” I asked, being kinda poor and all. That was not possible, so the King Crab Legs, at $19.95, was this beggar’s choice.

Step two, you choose your flavour. The options are Cajun, Lemon Pepper, Garlic Sauce or the Captain’s Boil (a “perfectly balanced” combination of the other three sauces). We chose Garlic for the clams and the Captain’s Boil for the crab legs.

Step three, you choose your heat: non-spicy, mild, medium or fire (smokin’ hot). We love the spice but thought we better take it easy, so we went with medium on both. In retrospect, I think we could have handled the fire.

That’s it for the steps, but you still have many add-ons or sides to choose from as well. We decided on an order of the Cajun Seafood Fried Rice ($10.95).

My accomplice immediately put on her bib and plastic gloves; I decided to wait a bit. The rice arrived first. We scooped some rice into our bowls. We agreed – very delicious. Next came our bag of clams. It was time to put on my bib and gloves. You just reach in, pull them out and have at ’em. The garlic flavour was intense. I guess that’s what you would expect from something in a bag swimming with garlic. I must say though, if you love garlic, like I do, it was pretty darn tasty. Soon after our crab legs arrived. Again – delicious.

You do have to work for your dinner with crab though, and I still don’t know how crazy I was about eating with plastic gloves and utensils on Styrofoam. Now that I know the Captain’s philosophy (“We serve our food messy to let you enjoy it in a fun and unique way”), I guess it was pretty fun; a change for sure. One thing that was also for sure — everything that we ate at the Captain’s Boil was delicious. Our hostess was pretty friendly too. Well done, Captain’s Boil.

Bon appetit.

Copyright (c) 2017 Renfrew-Collingwood Community News


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Let’s get outside and celebrate spring

BY JULIE CHENG

Reconciliation pole raising at UBC

There were many hands eager to help at the reconciliation pole raising at the University of B.C. on Apr. 1, 2017. A day of history. Photos by Penny Lim

The sun is shining, the flowers are blooming, the birds are chirping – spring is here at last! And that means stepping outdoors and getting together at the many events and activities happening around our neighbourhood. Here are a few ideas.

Join in a community celebration. Whether it’s a school carnival, a European festival or Collingwood Days, there are plenty of fun local celebrations for the family to enjoy. Come on out and meet your neighbours and discover local talents!

Explore by Skytrain. Spring is a great time to shop at local farmers’ markets, enjoy new food trucks or discover new neighbourhoods – it just takes a short hop by Skytrain to get there. For ideas check out the RCC News’ Skytrain Rambler series.

Show the Renfrew Ravine some love. Still Moon Arts Society runs workshops in the Renfrew Ravine and has an online guide to ravine self-walking tours. Evergreen runs its Uncover Your Creeks program in the Renfrew Ravine once a month.

Volunteer at a local garden. Dig into the opportunities at the Collingwood Neighbourhood House Rooftop Garden or the Norquay Learning Orchard, run by the local Food Security Institute.

Join a walking club. Drop by your local community centre or neighbourhood house to find a walking club or group day trip program that’ll take to you near and far.

Cranes Reifel Bird Sanctuary

The group taking the Killarney Community Centre trip to the Reifel Bird Sanctuary in late March saw gorgeous birds such as these sand cranes and mallard ducks.

Ducks Reifel Bird Sanctuary

Julie Cheng is the editor of the Renfrew-Collingwood Community News. She has lived in Renfrew-Collingwood for 20 years and loves to get some vitamin D from the sun while gardening, cycling or walking outdoors.

Copyright (c) 2017 Renfrew-Collingwood Community News


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May 2017 issue of RCC News is here

RCC News May 2017

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:

  • Let’s get outside and celebrate spring!
  • Collingwood Days special insert – New location, same great family fun
  • Bruce Spring Carnival – Now in its 5th year
  • Adult education time machine: History of the Collingwood bookmobile
  • Eating Out in RC: The Captain’s Boil
  • Coastal City Ballet brings Giselle to Vancouver audiences
  • Collingwood Corner: Home delivery in the 1960s
  • Indigenous art project at Windermere: Reconciliation from the ground up

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 June 2017 issue is May 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.