Renfrew-Collingwood Community News

News stories from the Renfrew-Collingwood community in East Vancouver


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Celebrating our 15th annual Collingwood Days with playfulness

Collingwood-Days-2018

This year’s Collingwood Days invites community members to join in on all sorts of play and games, sports and arts alike, that are being held throughout the community. Image source: collingwooddays.com

BY ANDREA BERNECKAS

In May 2003, the first official Collingwood Days celebration took place at the Safeway parking lot at Tyne and Kingsway. Before then, a group of creative community-minded residents had been putting together yearly events to bring people together in shared experiences.

In 2000, there was Faces of Our Neighbourhood, an initiative that led residents on a parade from Collingwood Neighbourhood House to Slocan Park for a community celebration. Mosaic Madness followed in 2001; and in 2002, residents gathered to celebrate the installation of the Renfrew Totem Pole through Nature Meets Art.

The interest and need for regular community celebrations and gatherings brought about both Collingwood Days Festival and the Renfrew Ravine Moon Festival, which began September 2003.
After a couple of years at the Safeway location, Collingwood Days Festival moved to the Sir Guy Carleton Elementary school site, where it remained until 2016. After the closure of the school, the festival made the move to its new location at Gaston Park.

Throughout the years, the festival has highlighted the unique stories of Renfrew-Collingwood residents, and over time we have based our festival themes on these stories. We have discovered and showcased the histories of individual community members, the natural environment, artists and performers, local businesses and even our dogs!

What’s new for 2018

This year, we have a particularly fun theme, that of Play and Playfulness – “The quality of being light-hearted or full of fun” – and we invite community members to join in on all sorts of play and games, sports and arts alike, that are being held throughout the community.

Throughout the world there is play. There are schoolyard games, board games, sports and word games. Music, performance and making art can be playful. While we often think of play as something that is only for the young, play is critical to the physical and social well-being of everyone, no matter their age. This wide-ranging theme allows us the space to celebrate ways of playing from around the world.

This year, the festival week begins after the Victoria Day long weekend, on Tuesday, May 22; but you can jump-start playing by joining Family Board Games at Renfrew Library on Sunday, May 20 from 1:30 to 4:30 pm.

Among the many different things happening throughout the community are:

  • Lego Block Party at the Renfrew VPL (May 23, 3:30–4:30 pm)
  • Games Night at the Bamboo Café (May 23, 5–7 pm)
  • Mahjong at Renfrew Park Community Centre (May 24, 11 am–1 pm)
  • Open Mic Night and Board Games at First Lutheran (May 25, 5:30-9 pm)
  • Annual Graham Bruce Carnival (May 25, 4–8 pm)
  • Exhibition of art on the theme of play by the students of Dr. George Weir at Collingwood Branch library
  • Last but not least, Madam Beespeaker, the artist-in-residence at Renfrew Park Community Centre will be holding a Sketch-a-Palooza at Renfrew Community Centre on Sunday, May 27, 1–3:30 pm

Festival day

On Saturday, May 26, Gaston Park will be the site of playful activities ranging from live musical performances such as the Wooly Bears Square Dancing, Balkan Shmalkan and Vietnamese Fan Dancers; roving performers such as Lola Loops, Birds on Parade, and Ariel Amara; art and craft making with Still Moon Arts Society and local artists; as well as games led by InterACTIVE volunteers, Tin Can Studio, and other groups.

This is your chance to try out handball, bocce, backgammon, hoops, and juggling; make paper airplanes in the Artisan Village; and enjoy a variety of multicultural foods. We hope you join in the spirit of play!

Please check the festival insert in the May issue of the RCC News for further details, or visit www.collingwooddays.com

 

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3 easy tips to get your lawn and garden going this spring

Topdress-lawn

The new soil from topdressing will integrate itself into the existing material in a matter of weeks, and your lawn will thank you for it. Photos by Julie Cheng

BY SOREN ELSAY

The long-awaited end to winter is finally upon us and with it comes a fresh start for your lawn and garden. Whether you loved your garden and lawn last year or would rather forget that aspect of 2017, spring is the ideal time to set yourself up for a successful green season.

While the warming weather might seem like enough to get your lawn and garden going, there are a handful of things you can do to set yourself up for a satisfying year in your own personal green space.

Topdress your lawn and garden

Topdressing is the act of adding fresh (preferably richly composted) soil to both your lawn and garden. The best part of topdressing is how easy it is to do.

For your lawn, simply apply a thin, roughly half-inch layer evenly on top of your grass. Once applied, simply let it slowly consolidate into the existing soil layer. It may be visually jarring when you first see your nice green lawn coated in composted soil, but fear not, the new soil will integrate itself into the existing material in a matter of weeks, and your lawn will thank you for it.

In your garden, apply the fresh soil by digging down  four to six inches into your existing garden bed and blend your old soil with the new, composted material.

For both the lawn and garden, the topsoil will give a much-needed nutrient boost after the long winter.

Aerate your lawn

Manual aerating tools

Manual aerating tools. The holes from aerating allow nutrients from both the air and from moisture to penetrate your lawn with more ease.

Filed into the landscaping category of “short-term hit in exchange for long-term gain,” aerating your lawn will do wonders for your grass later in the season.

While there are a number of techniques for aerating a lawn, the basic premise is the same: puncturing holes in the ground in order to improve circulation amongst the roots. By breaking up the ground, these holes allow nutrients from both the air and from moisture to penetrate your lawn with more ease.

The most common machine used for this procedure is an aerator, which resembles a snowblower but instead of spitting snow, pulls out four-to-six-inch plugs of lawn and leaves them behind. If you don’t want to rent an aerator, or are looking for a new workout fad, pitchforks have been known to work as well, though at a much less efficient pace.

If you are planning on topdressing your lawn as well, make sure to aerate first before laying on the topsoil layer. The aeration will allow for quicker and easier absorption of the new soil.

Plant new or transplant

Although Vancouver has the reputation as a wet city, the rainfall that we receive in the non-winter months is actually significantly less than your garden needs. That is why the spring is ideal for both planting new items as well as transplanting existing ones to another spot in your garden. Once the summer rolls around, keeping the ground moist enough for a freshly installed plant to thrive is very tough, so take advantage of still-wet conditions before it’s too late.

When it comes to transplanting, always make sure to fill the new hole fully with water and then let it drain before putting the plant in the ground. This will ensure that the roots will remain hydrated while they are disturbed and at their most vulnerable. Continued watering after a transplant is also key to ensure a smooth transition.

Soren Elsay is a Vancouver-based professional landscaper. He is an aspiring writer with a bachelor of arts from the University of British Columbia.

Copyright (c) 2018 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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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


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Local markets just a Skytrain ride away from Renfrew-Collingwood

An abundance of farm-to-table goodness, seasonal produce and exciting new vendors can be found at the markets right now. These markets are close to the Renfrew-Collingwood neighbourhood or accessible by Skytrain.

Queen-E-Farmers-Market

The Queen E Farmers Market features new lunchtime hours where you can also stop by the CBC Musical Nooners down the street for free summer concerts. Photo source: eatlocal.org

NEW! DOWNTOWN FARMERS MARKET

Queen Elizabeth Theatre Plaza

688 Hamilton Street at Georgia

Jun. 1–Oct. 5

Thursdays, 11 am–3 pm

Shop downtown then pick up lunch or dinner at the Queen E market. New lunchtime hours!

Near the Granville St. or Chinatown Skytrain station

http://eatlocal.org/markets/downtown/

Even better, stop by the CBC Plaza (700 Hamilton Street), 12-1 pm, for their free summer concert series running until every weekday Aug. 25. Check out the line-up at http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/events/cbc-musical-nooners-return-for-their-8th-year-1.4160454

CBC-Musical-Nooner-Wesli

Wesli rocked the stage with afro and reggae beats at the CBC Musical Nooners before playing at the Vancouver Folk Festival. Photo by Julie Cheng

TROUT LAKE FARMERS MARKET

Lakewood Dr. & East 13th Ave.

Saturdays through Oct. 21

9 am–2 pm

Near Nanaimo Skytrain station

www.eatlocal.org/markets/trout-lake/

MAIN STREET STATION FARMERS MARKET

1100 Station Street

Wednesdays through Oct. 4

2–6 pm

Near Science World Skytrain station

www.eatlocal.org/markets/main-street-station/

MERCATO ITALIAN MARKET

3075 Slocan St. at Grandview Hwy.

Fridays, June 16, July 21, Aug. 18 & Nov. 24 (Christmas market)

5–9 pm

Run by Il Centro, the Italian Cultural Centre, Mercato Italian Market blends a traditional farmers market with an Italian community market that highlights local, organic and artisan products and produce.

Near Renfrew Skytrain station

www.italianculturalcentre.ca/events/mercato-italian-market/

RIVER DISTRICT FARMERS MARKET

8683 Kerr Street

Saturdays through Oct. 14

10 am–3 pm

The River District is one of Vancouver’s up-and-coming neighbourhoods and is located on the Fraser River just south of Renfrew-Collingwood. Along with local baked goods and seasonal produce, enjoy live music, family activities and the nearby waterfront playground and pier. You can also stop by Romer’s Burger Bar, which we reviewed in an Eating Out in RC column (https://renfrewcollingwoodcommunitynews.com/2014/03/13/eating-out-in-rc-romers-burger-bar-great-food-awesome-waterfront-location-cool-atmosphere-excellent-service/)

COLLINGWOOD SUMMER MARKET

Front yard at Collingwood Neighbourhood House

5288 Joyce Street

Saturday, Aug. 19

1–4 pm

Used clothing, household items under $5

– compiled by Julie Cheng

Copyright (c) 2017 Renfrew-Collingwood Community News


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Summer happenings at Still Moon Arts – 2017 Moon Festival coming Sept. 30

Still Moon Performance

Lost and Found Performance: Carmen Rosen sings an original music piece composed by Isaac Rosen-Purcell, joined by youth dancers and fiddlers. Photo by Kat Wadel

BY JUNE LAM

The summer has been wonderful over here at Still Moon Arts. Here is what we’ve been up to.

Still Creek Stories: Lost and Found Performance

For two summers, Still Moon Arts has been researching, planning and rehearsing for the Still Creek: Lost and Found Performance. On Sunday, July 2, members from the community came together to witness this site-specific performance featuring original music, dance, visual art and storytelling.

The audience was taken on a transformative journey, where they stopped at one location, experienced a bit of the performance, then moved on to the next location through the Renfrew Ravine to experience the rest. Along the way, the audience heard two original pieces of music, one composed by Isaac Rosen-Purcell and the other by Martin Reisle. The audience also heard story excerpts from the Still Creek Stories book, such as the story of Ted Twetie, who lived in the ravine.

This unique performance used spaces that would otherwise been seen as mundane. For example, the old water pipe was transformed into art, and featured two fiddlers, Robin Lough and Clara Rose, who played amongst the vines. Overall, the performance received a lot of support and positive feedback. Don’t worry if you missed it, we hope to host another one in late September!

Cheyenne Lost Streams mural painting

Lost Streams Mural by Still Moon Arts

Youth paint salmon and benthic invertebrates on the Lost Streams mural. Photo by Robin Lough

For the past 15 years, we’ve been dedicated to the stewardship and restoration of Still Creek, which flows through Renfrew Ravine. In 2014, we initiated the Street Mural Project, a project to showcase the part of the ravine that flowed through pipes directly under the streets. The mural on Cheyenne Avenue was our most recent addition to the project and the public was invited to help paint it.

Community members, artists and youth got their hands dirty and began painting on July 13. In just two days, the mural was completed, followed by a celebration in the evening. This being our fourth mural, we hope to continue this legacy in other locations where Still Creek has been buried beneath the roads. We also hope this project leaves a lasting reminder of Still Creek and the Renfrew Ravine, and sparks meaningful conversations around it.

Stewardship Tuesdays

 Stewardship Tuesdays is a series of workshops that happen once a week from 6 to 8 pm every Tuesday. On July 4, we held a workshop on gathering local plant material for weaving. Through this workshop, not only did participants help improve ecological integrity of local parks, but learned how to collect natural artistic materials sustainably. Participants gathered invasive plant species, such as Himalayan blackberry and English ivy, and learned weaving techniques and styling methods.

Check out our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/StillMoonArts/ or website www.stillmoon.org/ for more information on upcoming workshops!

Mark your calendar!

The 15th Annual Renfrew Ravine Moon Festival is coming up on Saturday, Sept. 30, 2017.

 

Copyright (c) 2017 Renfrew-Collingwood Community News