Renfrew-Collingwood Community News

News stories from the Renfrew-Collingwood community in East Vancouver


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Carleton School House: Green Thumb to the rescue

Theatre company campaigns to rebuild historic Collingwood school

Carleton School House

Patrick McDonald, artistic director of Green Thumb Theatre, unveiled drawings of how the Carleton School House could look as soon as the fall of 2012. Photos by Paul Reid

BY PAUL REID

To commemorate the 20-year anniversary of the Renfrew-Collingwood Community News, we’re revisiting past stories that have particularly inspired us. This article was first published in October 2011.
My favourite story from the RCC News is about the Green Thumb Theatre. I like stories about local buildings being revitalized.
− Adena Lee

It looks as though the 115-year-old Carleton School House, which has been vacant and deteriorating since being gutted by fire in April 2008, will indeed be saved from the wrecking ball. The Green Thumb Theatre has come to a deal with the Vancouver school board to lease the building from the school board for 20 years as their new headquarters.

Green Thumb Theatre will need to raise approximately 1.2 million dollars to transform the currently burnt-out building into a restored version of its original self with two rehearsal halls, washrooms and a green room. The theatre company also plans to refurbish an adjacent building, “the barn”―built in 1908, to house its offices.

The theatre company creates and performs theatre works aimed at children, teens and young adults, to allow students to learn more about educational theatre programs. Green Thumb has had shows on Broadway and the Sydney Opera House, its works translated into 14 languages and plays performed by over 200 theatre companies throughout the world.

The Green Thumb solution came after much work by heritage advocates.

The capital campaign was launched at the Carleton site on September 13. Lead by Patrick McDonald, artistic director, speakers that day included Pat Munton, principal of Sir Guy Carleton Elementary School; Patti Bacchus, board chair of the Vancouver school board; Kerry Jang, City of Vancouver councillor; Donald Luxton, Heritage Vancouver; and Adrian Dix, leader of the BC New Democratic Party and our local MLA.

Bobbi Senft and Jackie McHugh

Also present were Bobbi Senft and Jackie McHugh. Longtime activists of local heritage protection, their family members have attended Carleton Elementary for five generations, since 1905.

All of the speakers were thrilled about the win-win partnership. “We’ll have a restored building, the community will have its heart back and we’ll have this fantastic theatre program,” said Patti Bacchus.

“We’re delighted because Green Thumb Theatre will be restoring our much-cherished heritage schoolhouse to its original splendour and beyond,” said Pat Munton, the school’s principal. “It’s just amazing, it brings tears to my eyes.”

Adrian Dix declared it a “wonderful day” and kicked off the campaign by donating $1,000.

Initially, Green Thumb hopes to receive $150,000 as part of a cultural infrastructure grant from the city. This would allow for the replacement of the roof, whose current tarps are covering a big hole. Green Thumb will also apply for $450,000 from the Department of Canadian Heritage.

This would leave $400,000 still to raise, an amount that Green Thumb is positive they can. If all goes to plan, the theatre company would be moving into the renovated school building by fall 2012.

Learn more about Green Thumb Theatre at greenthumb.bc.ca. You can also find Green Thumb on Facebook.

Copyright 2018 Renfrew-Collingwood Community News

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New Community Heritage Committee seeks RC memorabilia

BY PAUL REID

Lil-MissesThe new Renfrew-Collingwood Heritage Committee is ready to carefully borrow, document, reproduce and return your historical photos (and other small mementos) of Renfrew-Collingwood.

Working with advice from the Vancouver Archives and the Museum of Vancouver, the committee has created the forms that will enable the residents and former residents of RC to submit items for inclusion in a Renfrew-Collingwood historical collection. You can also have your items forwarded to the Vancouver Archives for consideration in its collection.

This new initiative of the Collingwood Neighbourhood House (CNH) was inspired by the lifelong work of local historians Sadie Gaston and her nieces Bobbi Senft and Jackie McHugh. To these three, our hats will forever be off for working so diligently to preserve our past for us in their extensive collection.

With all three now departed, the torch of officially seeking out and preserving Renfrew-Collingwood history has been passed to the rest of us through this new entity, the Renfrew-Collingwood Heritage Committee.

If you have something to be documented or that you would like to donate, please contact the committee through CNH at 604-435-0323.

Baseball-league

Copyright (c) 2016 Renfrew-Collingwood Community News

 


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February 2015 issue of RCC News is here

Happy Chinese New Year!

This issue of the RCC News is full of the many wonderful people, events and programs happening in our neighbourhood!

February 2015 Renfrew-Collingwood Community NewsGet your February 2015 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:

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 March 2015 issue is February 10. You are welcome to submit a story from 300 to 400 words, with high resolution photos in a jpg at least 1 MB file size.