Renfrew-Collingwood Community News

News stories from the Renfrew-Collingwood community in East Vancouver


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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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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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Skytrain Rambler: Stop at Sperling-Burnaby Lake to see baby ducks and geese

More reasons to ♥ Skytrain

BY JULIE CHENG

Burnaby Lake Geese

A spring-time ride to the Sperling-Burnaby Lake Skytrain station takes you to the delightful baby geese that make their home at Burnaby Lake. Photos by Julie Cheng and Bryden Fergusson

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: I love the Skytrain. With two lines (Expo and Millennium) running through it, Renfrew-Collingwood has more Skytrain stops than any other community. The Skytrain can take you downtown and on to the North Shore by Seabus, east to Burnaby or Surrey, and south to Richmond.

The Skytrain saved me years ago when I was feeling isolated at home and searching for places to go with my two preschool kids. I’d pack them in the stroller and take the Skytrain to the family drop-in at Collingwood Neighbourhood House, the storytimes at the Central Branch library and onto the Seabus for a walk along the North Vancouver seawall.

Today the Skytrain gives my teenage kids freedom to move around the Lower Mainland. Sadly for me but happily for them, Skytrain takes them to the shops and restaurants on Robson Street or at Metrotown.

April is the perfect time to get outside and enjoy the sunshine. Hop on and take a Skytrain ride to a lovely spot in Burnaby that is linked by nature to Renfrew-Collingwood. You’ll see baby ducks and geese and more!

Skytrain stop: Sperling-Burnaby Lake

Zone 2 on the Millenium Line; about 10 minutes from Renfrew or Rupert Station OR 30 minutes from Nanaimo, 29th Avenue or Collingwood-Joyce Station. The longer route takes you past the beautiful waterfront of Sapperton in New Westminster.

Sperling-Burnaby Lake Skytrain Station Stained glass

The beautiful light from the stained glass greet you in the Sperling-Burnaby Lake Skytrain Station.

From the Sperling-Burnaby Lake station, it’s an easy 10-minute walk to Burnaby Lake and its lovely calm waters that are fed by Still Creek. This is the same creek that flows through our neighbourhood’s Renfrew Ravine.

Before coming out of the station, enjoy the beautiful light coming from the station’s stained glass. Then head south (away from the mountains) and take the overpass, where you’ll be rewarded with a glimpse of Still Creek and other great views.

Overpass to Burnaby Lake

You get great views from the overpass.

Bridge View

Follow the Central Valley signs to Burnaby Lake. Pass by the target range for the Burnaby Archery Club and head to the back side of the Burnaby Lake Sports Complex (includes the Bill Copeland ice rink).

Central Valley signs to Burnaby Lake

Follow the Central Valley signs to Burnaby Lake.

You’ll soon find one of the entrances to Burnaby Lake. Ahead of you is a path leading across a bridge and to your right another path leads to a large open field where people can be found flying model airplanes whenever the geese are not around. It’s your choice which route you take. Either one will take you around the lake’s entire 11 kilometres of trail.

You can download a map of Burnaby Lake Regional Park to help you get around.

Boats at Burnaby Lake boat house

You’ll see colourful boats and a gorgeous view of Burnaby Lake from the boat house.

If you don’t have much time to walk around the whole lake, continue to the right past the large field. You will cross a parking lot and across the boat house. The boat house (actually called a rowing pavilion) and spectator stands were built for the rowing events during the 1973 Canada Summer Games. More recently rowers trained here for the 2012 Summer Olympics, and the last time I visited, there was a wedding in full swing in the beautiful boat house. From here people also launch their rowboats or kayaks.

Skytrain is a fast, efficient and environmentally friendly option for transportation. It saves you parking and gas, and best of all, lets you enjoy beautiful natural spaces like Burnaby Lake.

Bird boat house

In addition to baby ducks and geese, Burnaby Lake is a great place to spot blue herons, bald eagles, kingfishers and osprey.

Julie Cheng is the editor of the Renfrew-Collingwood Community News. This story was first published in the April 2015 issue.

Copyright (c) 2017 Renfrew-Collingwood Community News


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Windermere students celebrate Earth Day

Windermere Earth Day parade April 22, 2017

Join Windermere students in their seventh annual Earth Day Parade and Celebration on Saturday, April 22. Photo courtesy of Windermere Leadership program

Join the Earth Day Parade and Celebration – April 22

BY CINDY CHEN

Every year, grade 11 students from Windermere Secondary’s Leadership program dedicate their time to organizing an event for Earth Day. This year will be our seventh annual Earth Day Parade and Celebration happening on Saturday, April 22, 2017.

The event aims to educate and engage youth on important environmental issues including climate change. This year the event will be looking at issues that directly affect our communities such as the recently approved Kinder Morgan pipeline as well as tankers on our coast.

We are driven to organize this event every year by our desire for a just and sustainable world and to empower those who attend to work towards a greener and more sustainable future.

The event will start off with a parade near Commercial-Broadway Skytrain Station at 1 pm and will proceed northwards on Commercial Drive to Grandview Park where there will be a variety of speakers, performers and activities.

We invite and encourage everyone to come out with signs, dress up, and walk with us on Saturday, April 22 at 1 pm!

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 whiterockrenegades.com

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


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Why I love Renfrew-Collingwood: Livable, accessible, friendly

A spring day on a quiet street in Renfrew-Collingwood, with Grouse Mountain and Seymour Mountain in the background. Photos by Julie Cheng

A spring day on a quiet street in Renfrew-Collingwood, with Grouse Mountain and Seymour Mountain in the background. Photos by Julie Cheng

BY JULIE CHENG

Renfrew-Collingwood is a special place where its warm and friendly residents of diverse cultures—pioneers and newcomers, young and old—live together in harmony and feel like they belong. The locals come out in droves to two annual festivals to celebrate this diversity: Collingwood Days and the Renfrew Ravine Harvest Moon Festival.

Still Creek runs through Renfrew Ravine.

Still Creek runs through the heart of Renfrew Ravine.

This historic residential neighbourhood is tucked away on the eastern edge of Vancouver on the border of Burnaby, B.C. The neighbourhood is home to hidden gems, from unexpected sweeping mountain views and the Renfrew Ravine (an urban forest with a salmon-bearing creek running through it) to Carleton School (one of the oldest schoolhouses in Vancouver) to many authentic, ethnic restaurants including Chinese, Japanese, Malaysian, Filipino, Italian and Indian.

Residents travel by Skytrain and cycle paths alike in Renfrew-Collingwood.

Residents travel by Skytrain and cycle paths alike in Renfrew-Collingwood.

It’s always been an easy neighbourhood to get to. In the 1890s the interurban tram connected Renfrew-Collingwood to the rest of Vancouver. Today two Skytrain lines run through it, carrying residents to and from work in a matter of minutes, north to Port Moody (on the brand-new Evergreen line), east to Burnaby and Surrey and west to downtown Vancouver. Walking or cycling is a great way to discover the neighbourhood.

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

Julie Cheng has loved living in Renfrew-Collingwood for 20 years. She is the editor of the Renfrew-Collingwood Community News.

Copyright (c) 2017 Renfrew-Collingwood Community News