Renfrew-Collingwood Community News

News stories from the Renfrew-Collingwood community in East Vancouver


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February 2013 is here

Get your February 2013 issue of the RCC News at your local coffee shop, grocery story, library and community centre.

RCCNews February 2013Click on the cover image to view the new issue.

In this issue:

  • Collingwood Cinemas: A cultural meeting place
  • Ramada Hotel on Kingsway bought by city of Vancouver
  • Eating Out in RC: Poor Italian Restaurant
  • Quick Mind, Quick Feet: Claire Fergusson works to follow her softball dreams
  • Collingwood’s newest community garden
  • Artists welcome neighbours to Art House in the Field


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Collingwood Cinemas

A cultural meeting place

BY DEANNA CHENG

With their passion for movies and entertainment, it is no surprise this husband-and-wife duo took over the old Raja theatre. Naz and Mike Jamshedian love to draw groups of people together.

They met 18 years ago through a mutual friend and have been together for 17 years. Now they have the Collingwood Cinemas (3215 Kingsway ) and an active, sporty 10-year-old son.

With 18 years of experience in the theatre industry, their dream was to have their own venture. This came true in 2010 when they opened up Denman Cinemas in Vancouver’s West End. Unfortunately, the landlord pulled the rug out from underneath them and they lost the theatre in October 2012.

However, they remained positive and persevered. In November, they took over and created Collingwood Cinemas.

This warm couple are enthusiastic about building community. They want a place where you walk in and recognize faces. They hope for a sense of trust to emanate and for people to be true neighbours to each other.

When they first started, they weren’t sure what to name the place so they held a Facebook contest, letting the community give their input, sharing a tiny piece of the place.

“Places like this have to be preserved for a cultural meeting venue,” said Naz.

She opens up the theatre for different focuses, providing a space for meetings and events.

About 150 people from a church group, in early January, held a mass ceremony one morning.

During Christmas, there was a free screening of Madagascar 3. Naz said there was an excellent turnout after promotions at schools and the Collingwood Neighbourhood House.

Collingwood Cinemas requires a lot of love and attention. Naz and Mike made a few renovations, upgrading the sound systems to digital and installing cushy red seats that rock gently.

“We want to make it a personal movie experience,” said Naz.

In the future vision, she said she wanted it to be a place where people can stop by and talk to them. Be friends. She also, eventually, wants to have a dine-in service for the balcony area.

At Denman, on average, Mike booked about three to four events per week. Some of them were birthday parties and some were fundraisers. He hopes to have the same results at this new location.

He admits the movie business is always going down, especially with Netflix, high-definition TV and big multi-screened theatres, but he believes Collingwood has a chance against the odds.

When asked what makes them stand out, “cheaper prices, customer service, less commercialized and more community based,” said Mike.

They are advocates for charities, open to hosting fundraisers. That bond of connection is what they hope to achieve when people attend one of their events.

For movie genres, they mix it up with mainstream media, Bollywood flicks and cultural films.

This February, Skyfall will be playing and they will be hosting the Serbian film festival.

To book an event, call Mike at 604-671-0148. For updated information on movies and times, check out their Facebook page (www.facebook.com/CollingwoodCinema) or the website (CollingwoodCinemas.com).

Prices (incl. Tax)
Regular movies
General: $7.95
Tuesdays: $5
Seniors (66+): $5.95
Children (2-10): $5.95

Bollywood movies
General: $10
Tuesdays: $5
Seniors (66+): $8
Children (2-10): $8

Deanna Cheng is a resident of the Renfrew community and a journalism student at Langara College. She practises Shito-ryu Karate at Odokan Dojo.

© Copyright (c) 2013 Renfrew-Collingwood Community News


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Renfrew Ravine community consultation

Residents have their say at a Park Board open house

BY DEANNA CHENG

The City of Vancouver worked with local residents last month on developing a master plan to improve the Renfrew Ravine and the community park.

On November 15, about 30 people showed up to the open house and workshop at Firehall No. 15. They reviewed panels that stated the goal of the master plan is to increase recreational opportunities while preserving and enhancing wildlife habitat.

A few suggestions were to update the playground, create a community garden and more gathering/event spaces, and improve trail connections and accessibility to those trails.

The workshop was designed to gather community feedback and to figure out which amenities to put in and which ones to remove, said Ben Mulhall, landscape designer at Catherine Berris Associates.

The Park Board was pleased with the number of community members who attended and participated in the workshop.

“The community around Renfrew Ravine and Renfrew Ravine Park has been very positive and supportive over the years during open houses and events,” Tiina Mack, manager of park development of the Vancouver Park Board, wrote in an email. “The participants on November 15th were equally as enthusiastic about enhancing the ecology of Still Creek, and it appears ecosystem restoration continues to be a strong commitment in this neighbourhood.”

Carmen Rosen, artistic director of Still Moon Arts Society, said the riparian area (between the land and the stream) has been compromised from logging 100 years ago, but community groups have worked to restore that area, making it possible for salmon to live in the water.

Catherine Berris, landscape architect and planner, lead the workshop and engaged the audience, which had little problem speaking up and voicing their ideas.

A couple youths sat among the attentive crowd. Alex Leung and Jordon Lui, members of the Windermere Secondary School Leadership program, are in charge of their school’s Renfrew Ravine Cleanup program.

Leung found the workshop informative and helpful in learning what people think and what needs to be done.

The three needs that kept coming up were safety, nature education and removal of invasive plants.

People wanted to maintain the integrity of the Renfrew Ravine but develop better trails to get to the water. They also wanted signage to educate the public about the species in the area.

On the community park side, people wanted a picnic area or a band shell. Someone suggested taking the fence by the creek down to get closer to the water.

Renfrew resident Alex Chisholm appreciated the chance to give his opinion, but did have some skepticism. “Will [the city of Vancouver] take this meeting seriously?”

If you missed the open house but would like to provide input, go to the online survey that’s available until November 30: http://www.placespeak.com/topic/600/renfrew-park-and-renfrew-ravine-park-master-plan/.

The next open house is planned for February 2013. The exact date and location is to be determined. Check the city of Vancouver’s website to remain updated: http://vancouver.ca/parks-recreation-culture/improving-renfrew-ravine-and-renfrew-community-parks.aspx.

Deanna Cheng is a resident of Renfrew-Collingwood and a journalism student at Langara College.

© Copyright (c) 2012 Renfrew-Collingwood Community News