Renfrew-Collingwood Community News

News stories from the Renfrew-Collingwood community in East Vancouver


Leave a comment

Three cheers for community volunteer Carla Nissen

Carla-Nissen

Carla Nissen is someone who just loves to give back to her community. She recently helped the RCC News to scan years of old issues, soon to be available on our website. Photo by Paul Reid

BY PAUL REID

Our community is so lucky to have its volunteers. Our spotlight falls this time on Carla Nissen, who recently came to the rescue of the Renfrew-Collingwood Community News.

As you know, we are celebrating our 20th year this year, and a couple of months ago we had a small celebration to mark the occasion. One of the things that happened at that time was that an old stack of hardcopies of the RCC News was brought back to light, having been hiding in a storage locker for nearly a decade.

The old issues really became a hit — people were leafing through them, reminiscing about the stories going back over 20 years. (Our 20 years did not include the precursor “newsletters,” but those were there, too.)

And now, thanks in full to the generosity and hard work of our wonderful volunteer, Carla Nissen, all of those old issues have been scanned, rotated, edited and transported into a digital format to be enjoyed by all for years to come.

Until now, these hardcopies, for the most part, were the only surviving copies of each issue. Soon these digital copies will be uploaded to our website to join the more recent issues.

You may recognize Carla. She has been a friendly face at our local Safeway for the past 17 years. She has also lived in our community for the past 11 years. She has always been interested in giving back.

Carla first began volunteering when she lived in Coquitlam, with the Greater Coquitlam Crisis and Information Line. Following two weeks of intensive training and armed with a big binder full of info, Carla began taking calls. Over three years, she heard a lot.

“It was an amazing feeling, to be there for people in their most vulnerable time, when they had nowhere else to turn.”

Usually, the calls resulted in Carla pointing people in the right direction. “We were not there to try and solve peoples’ problems ourselves.”

Carla liked this work so much, she eventually became a group leader, training others to do this work.

“Working with the other volunteers also made it special. We were all treated very well; we were appreciated, and it was all very touching. We could feel the benefits that we were making in others lives.”

Back in Collingwood, Carla has been volunteering for Collingwood Neighbourhood House for about a year. She started off working at the front desk, but feels she really found her niche in the administration office: making phone calls, stuffing envelopes, and most recently, scanning of the RCC News.

“It took roughly 12 hours to scan and edit everything.”

As volunteers often do, Carla learned some new skills. In this case, she learned to use CNH’s office scanner; also Adobe Acrobat. “I also used Google to answer some questions, such as how to rotate pages in Acrobat.

“It was exciting for me to go through the old issues. I saw pictures of friends, stories about my workplace (Safeway). I sent some stories over to friends, via my phone. They were delighted to see them. I sent one to a co-worker who had been mentioned in the old Rants and Raves column.
She couldn’t believe it.

“When I saw the posting for archiving, I was so excited. I had been reading the paper for years and years and I thought, what better way to help my community than to make this available. Overall, it was an interesting and fulfilling experience.”

On behalf of the RCC News and the RC community: Thank you Carla Nissen.

Copyright 2018 Renfrew-Collingwood Community News

Advertisements


Leave a comment

September 2018 issue of RCC News is here

RCC News September 2018

This issue of the RCC 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:

  • Annual Moon Festival returns to light up Renfrew-Collingwood
  • RCC News 20 years: Collingwood’d humble kitchen expert
  • Joyce-Collingwood Station upgrades update
  • 2018 municipal election day: Saturday, October 20, 2018
  • Collingwood Corner: Renfrew Auto Camp
  • Ancient cedar’s journey home
  • Community Welcome Wagon for Sarah Ross House
  • The importance of having a will
  • Plus: Collingwood Neighbourhood House fall 2018 recreation guide

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 October 2018 issue is September 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.


Leave a comment

Neighbourhood Small Grants Projects are back in 2018

Deadline April 9, 2018

NSG-2017-Bike-Day

Neighbours Dickson and Jackie held bike repair workshops last summer with funding from Neighbourhood Small Grants. Photos by Marina Dodis

BY SHERI PARKE

The purpose of the unique Neighbourhood Small Grants program is to help build community and strengthen connections right where people live.

Use your imagination and come up with an idea that you think would improve your neighbourhood in a fun and friendly way. Apply for a $50 to $500 grant to help fund your idea, meet new neighbours, learn more about each other and do something fun and interesting together.

It’s easy to apply. Just use the online application form (www.neighbourhoodsmallgrants.ca) to tell us what you want to do to enhance your neighbourhood socially, physically or culturally.

Projects that were approved last year include neighbourhood clean-ups, vegetarian cooking classes, organic garden planting, knitting clubs, bicycle repair workshop, block parties, cultural celebrations, birdhouse-making projects, neighbours breakfast social and outdoor movie night. Sounds like fun, right?

This year our themes are (1) intergenerational fun, (2) Indigenous acknowledgement and learnings and (3) multicultural activities.

A resident advisory committee reviews applications and then decides which ones will receive funding. Please visit the website to learn about application guidelines.

Online applications open February 19, 2018.

Application deadline is Monday, April 9, 2018.

Apply online: www.neighbourhoodsmallgrants.ca

Paper application forms are available at Collingwood Neighbourhood House, 5288 Joyce Street, Vancouver, BC V5R 6C9

Do you have questions? Email sparke01@shaw.ca.

Sheri Parke is the coordinator of the local Neighbourhood Small Grants.

Free bike repair day in Joyce-Collingwood

NSG-2017-Bike-Day-2

At the 2017 free bike workshop day in Collingwood, neighbours learned simple repairs like patching flat tubes, adjusting brakes and gears, and lubricating chains.

August 2017 on a Friday afternoon, there they were! Braving the heat wave that day, folks lined up to talk to workshop hosts Dickson and Jackie, who joined forces with two super-talented mechanics from Our Community Bikes, a responsible, locally minded bike shop in East Vancouver.

These bike enthusiasts listened to various bicycle issues and taught their neighbours some simple repairs like patching flat tubes, adjusting brakes and gears, and lubricating chains!

Dickson and Jackie, who are neighbours, applied for a Neighbourhood Small Grant last March. When their application was approved they went to work on their plan: to teach, do repairs and meet friendly folks in the neighbourhood! They brought their own tools, skills and knowledge.

The grant funds were used to purchase the bike repair necessities as well as provide yummy snacks for those lining up. They were able to send folks away with a small flat repair kit and safety front and rear flashing lights, also purchased with grant funds. Sweet!

This workshop was very enthusiastically received by neighbours. Due to the overwhelmingly positive response feedback Jackie and Dickson are hoping to hold another event.

They express their thanks to Neighbourhood Small Grants for supporting their project, and giving them the experience of holding it has really encouraged them to try and make it a recurring event.

“We loved getting to meet our bicycle-riding neighbours and look forward to waving as we pass them on the Greenway!”

Neighbours Dickson and Jackie held bike repair workshops in summer 2017 with funding from Neighbourhood Small Grants. Photo by Marina Dodis

Copyright (c) 2018 Renfrew-Collingwood Community News


Leave a comment

September 2017 issue of RCC News is here

September 2017 RCC News

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:

  • Renfrew Ravine Moon Festival, Saturday, September 30
  • September a good time to move beyond work-life balance
  • New exhibit at Il Museo: The Venetian Ghetto
  • Easter Seals Camps make a difference
  • Collingwood Corner: Check out Nostalgic Vancouver Facebook
  • Banana Grove grocery celebrates 25 years
  • Guacamole for justice
  • Logan the goat chews up Renfrew Ravine native plants
  • Plus Collingwood Neighbourhood House fall recreation programs

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 October 2017 issue is September 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.


Leave a comment

Food Security Institute: Join summer gatherings at local gardens

BY BO DEL VALLE GARCIA AND EMMA WARNER CHEE

Food-security-event

Vanessa Richards (centre) of Woodword’s Community Choir leads a singing practice at the Norquay Orchard event last year. Photo by Dustin Ahjz

The Renfrew-Collingwood Food Security Institute (RCFSI) gathers neighbours around food. Together, we grow, we cook, we share and we build resilient communities. On the rooftop garden, at the Norquay Orchard and at our community gardens we aim to create a hub for our neighbours, both human and non, to share and increase knowledge around organic and regenerative food growing practices, soil systems, and wild and native plants.

This is an exciting time for us! This summer we will be joined by two new members of our team, Bo and Emma, who will be dedicating their time and expertise towards growing thriving communities both in the garden and out.

Bo is a creature of the cities and forests: a community organizer, activist and earth skills educator born to the traditional unceded lands of the Coast Salish – otherwise known as Vancouver, B.C. Bo identifies as genderqueer and uses They/Them/Theirs pronouns.

Bo is rooted deeply into their home and community, but never forgets that they are a visitor on this land. Their work operates in the intersections between earth, food, art and justice. They have spent countless hours learning from the natural world in academic settings, from elders and mentors, and from the living ecosystems themselves. They have worked on a number of projects concerning ecosystem repair, bioremediation, food forests design, biological pest management, rainwater harvesting and climate change resiliency and are so excited to be working with the RCFSI this summer!

Emma is a sociology student at Simon Fraser University and returning to RCFSI for a second year as a summer student. She loves growing, cooking, eating and talking about food. She is excited to spend time at the orchard and in the garden this summer, and to plant seeds for community growth and tasty veggies.

Summer events

This summer RCFSI will be working to foster a deeper connection with the land and each other, and are excited to invite everyone to our upcoming events:

Pruning Workshop at the Norquay Orchard (2732 Horley St.) – Saturday, June 17, 12 to 2 pm

Rooftop Garden Drop-ins at the Collingwood Neighbourhood House – Every Wednesday, 5 to 7 pm

Norquay Orchard Work Parties (2732 Horley St.) – Last Saturday of the month, 1 to 3 pm

There will be many more exciting opportunities to get involved. Keep an eye on the RCFSI Facebook page – Renfrew Collingwood Food Security Institute, or the website rcfood.wordpress.com.

If you are interested in volunteering contact collingwoodurbanag@gmail.com.

Copyright 2017 Renfrew-Collingwood Community News


Leave a comment

Windermere Organic Garden Team grows fruit, veggies and community

Windermere Organic Garden market stall

The Windermere Garden Organic Team had just put out their produce when a cook from Collingwood Neighbourhood House offered up herbs. Photo by Jenny Lu

BY JANETTE AND CINDY CHEN

The Leadership program in Windermere Secondary has transformed an empty weed-filled area in the school’s grass field into a beautiful, edible food garden. There are now two parts to the garden at the school: the courtyard located at the heart of Windermere and the orchard located on the upper right of the Windermere field.

A team of devoted youth arrive every day after school to keep the garden in top condition. The students range from Grades 8 to 12 and make up the Windermere Organic Garden Team (WOGT). This year, the garden leaders are Gaelan Emo and Kobie Gingras-Fox, and included in the team is a student from the University of B.C. Fresh Roots, Jenny Lu.

Summer market

During summer 2016, the Windermere Organic Garden Team held a market stand for seven weeks every Tuesday outside the Collingwood Neighbourhood House (CNH), at Joyce and Euclid. All the profit has gone back to help improve the Windermere garden.

The day before or on the day of the market, students would hand pick and wash the organically grown fruits and vegetables before transporting them to Collingwood Neighbourhood House by bicycle.

The crops included varieties of cucumbers, apples, kale, squash, cabbages and tomatoes. Every week, new and previous customers came to the stand, and whether they bought some produce or not, they all left with encouraging words that continue to push the students to keep up their work in the garden.

Windermere Garden market stall

Just a few of Windermere’s fruits and vegetables of the week. Photo by Jenny Lu

Growing community

Along with the summer market, the WOGT plans to work on greater projects involving the garden and members of the community. One such project is a giant mural located on a side wall in the orchard.

In collaboration with Collingwood Neighbourhood House, WOGT hopes to bring in students, such as students in the Windermere Athena Arts program, as well as youth from the community to all work on it.

Right now, one of the garden leaders is working with Crecien Bencio, a youth from CNH, to plan the mural. Watch for a swarm of students to start on it as soon as warmer weather returns.

Janette and Cindy Chen are Grade 10 and 11 students in of the Leadership program at Windermere Secondary. Both are involved in the community through various programs and organizations. They have been regular members of the Windermere Organic Garden Team since Grade 8 and 9.

Copyright (c) 2016 Renfrew-Collingwood Community News


Leave a comment

Remembering David Hanuse – A beloved elder

David Hanuse gives a traditional First Nations welcome

David Hanuse gives a traditional First Nations welcome at a gathering in 2008. Photo by Julie Cheng

Dave Hanuse, a former board member of Collingwood Neighbourhood House (CNH), elder to CNH’s Aboriginal youth, volunteer with Families Branching Out and just a very sweet man, passed away October 17, 2016. He was 73.

Dave was somebody who always looked on the bright side of life, loved to joke and laugh in his gentle way and spoke warmly about finding a home among the staff and volunteers at Collingwood Neighbourhood House.

He was generous in sharing his cultural knowledge and practices and often gave a blessing – singing and accompanying himself on the drum – before Families Branching Out dinners. He loved to join the youth in the Canoe Club and felt such peace and contentment canoeing with them. He last participated in the Canoe Club’s Pulling Together Journey about two or three years ago.

Dave’s health was failing over the last few years but he still made the effort to come to Families Branching Out, more recently accompanied by an aide. It obviously made a huge difference to him to be a part of Families Branching Out and of CNH.

Julie Cheng, editor of the Renfrew-Collingwood Community News, recalled the days when she and David sat on the CNH board. “We had a special bond because we were both ‘newbies’ on the board, as he called us,” said Julie. “He always gave me a warm hug whenever he saw me.”

“I will always remember Dave’s twinkly, sparkling eyes,” recalled Jennifer Gray-Grant, CNH executive director. “He was the kind of person who absolutely focused on you when he spoke to you. He always gave you the sense that the time you spent speaking to him mattered to him. I will miss his kindness, his caring and his gentle manner.”

Copyright (c) 2016 Renfrew-Collingwood Community News