Renfrew-Collingwood Community News

News stories from the Renfrew-Collingwood community in East Vancouver


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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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May 2017 issue of RCC News is here

RCC News May 2017

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:

  • Let’s get outside and celebrate spring!
  • Collingwood Days special insert – New location, same great family fun
  • Bruce Spring Carnival – Now in its 5th year
  • Adult education time machine: History of the Collingwood bookmobile
  • Eating Out in RC: The Captain’s Boil
  • Coastal City Ballet brings Giselle to Vancouver audiences
  • Collingwood Corner: Home delivery in the 1960s
  • Indigenous art project at Windermere: Reconciliation from the ground up

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 June 2017 issue is May 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.


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Eating Out in RC: Sushi Taku

BY PAUL READ

Sushi Taku
4902 Joyce Street, Vancouver
Tel: (604) 454-1023

Greetings food fans. Again, I want to tell you about a relatively new little addition to our gem-encrusted crown of culinary wonder that is our community. Let’s have a warm welcome for owner Jason Kim and the staff of Sushi Taku.

Sushi Taku is located just a block north of Joyce Skytrain, on Joyce, at the corner of Wellington. You may remember this location as the former Thai Escape. Jason has done a really nice job on the renovations and putting the Sushi Taku stamp on the place.

With an extensive Japanese menu featuring all of your favourites: tempura, teriyaki (beef, salmon, chicken, seafood), nigiri sushi (available in black rice also); sashimi, donburi (on a bed of rice); udon and yaki soba noodles; maki sushi (a long list); special rolls, a variety of sushi and sashimi combos; four types of bento boxes and three types of party trays.

Taku Tray B

Taku Tray B features 43 delicious rolls.

On this occasion, my accomplice and I ordered Taku Tray B. This was 43 pieces of delicious rolls: California, dynamite, yam, chopped scallop, Alaska and sunny. Mmmm. With our pick-up discount, it came to just around $27. The two of us were left well stuffed with plenty left over.

So, let’s do the math.This meal would rate extremely high on the Gourmet/Gourmand Scale of Goodness. Not only do you get stuffed for McDonald’s like prices, we are talking supremely delicious and healthy as well.

So healthy in fact, that Sushi Taku was approached by Graham Bruce school to be the suppliers to their monthly sushi day. Every month, Jason and his staff feed around 100 kids with their delicious, healthy and affordable sushi. Nice. All I ever got in elementary school was a hot dog.

Taku Bento Box

The Taku bento box.

Another affordable and well-balanced healthy meal on Sushi Taku’s menu is their bento boxes. There are four options, all hovering around the $10 mark. Each comes with five items and miso soup. Some come with rolls, some with sushi, some with beef or chicken teriyaki and rice, or sashimi, and each bento box includes salad, fruit, miso soup and crispy prawn and vegetable tempura. There is also a vegi option. Bento boxes are a great option for dinner or lunch as you get a full meal with lots of variety. “They have been designed to feed a full-grown man well,” says Jason.

Among the special rolls offered at Sushi Taku , one will find the Collingwood Roll. Alright! This combines a dynamite roll with seared tuna and crunchy yam on top. Yes, Collingwood now has an official roll. One will also find some other custom made rolls by Jason and his crew such as the Pokemon Roll, which is double the size, and the Sushi Pizza Roll. Mmm.

So many rolls; so little time.

Sushi Taku opened six months ago on August 25th. This is Jason’s first restaurant of his own. He has been in the restaurant business for 15 years, starting as dishwasher and server. He then acted as chef and manager for his family’s business, Yanaki Sushi in West Vancouver. Jason is now bringing the experience, consistency, affordability and deliciousness of Yanaki’s to us here in Collingwood – via Sushi Taku. Go try Sushi Taku. Tell them Paul sent you.

Bon appetit.

Copyright (c) 2017 Renfrew-Collingwood Community News


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Serving up a lot of fun and a bit of magic: Project Chef’s secret ingredients for health and nutrition

BY JULIE CHENG

Master Chef Barb shows the proper way to measure flour with the help of Chef Tiffany. Photo by Julie Cheng

Master Chef Barb shows the proper way to measure flour with the help of Chef Tiffany. Photo by Julie Cheng

“It’s time for the magic ingredient,” says Barb. “This makes bubbles when you add water.” As she measures the baking powder into the bowl, the kindergarten students, all together, let out an awe-filled, “Whoa!”

“Now I’m going to show you a fancy tool: It’s your finger!” she says, waving her index finger in the air. “But it must be a clean finger.”

Another huge “Whoa!” fills the room as she turns the flour into dough with the fancy kitchen gadget that’s her finger.

Watching this animated woman in action is a real treat. You can’t help but think, “These kids are so lucky” and “I wish I learned to cook from her.”

These lucky kindergarteners from Graham Bruce Elementary are learning to cook from Barb Finley, a school teacher for 25 years who later became a chef and has taught at the Dubrulle Culinary Institute and the Northwest Culinary Academy of Vancouver.

Chef Saman mixes the dough with the fanciest kitchen tool ever—her finger! Photo by Barb Finley

Chef Saman mixes the dough with the fanciest kitchen tool ever—her finger! Photo by Barb Finley

Barb started Project Chef in 2008 to teach children about wholesome food. This school year, Project Chef will run in a total of 14 schools in Vancouver, including Graham Bruce and Nootka schools, and cook with some 1,500 children and 800 parent and community volunteers—but there’s also a three-year wait list of more schools wanting this program.

At Graham Bruce, Barb and her team is running the Project Chef in Residence program, where they work for one month. From kindergarten to grade 7 and parents to teachers, everyone at the school learns to develop healthy attitudes toward food, make meals from scratch from whole foods, and, most of all, they learn that sharing food with people is a joyous thing. “It’s a total immersion,” explains Barb. “When the whole school is involved, that’s when magic really happens.”

The program buys local and organic as much as possible, from farmers markets. You can still get fresh greens in winter, says Barb. “Right now, there’s arugula and kale, and the wildest, wackiest carrots—the kids love them.”

Chefs Jeevan, Nathan and Aezen proudly display their pizza masterpiece. Photo by Michelle Fattore

Chefs Jeevan, Nathan and Aezen proudly display their pizza masterpiece. Photo by Michelle Fattore

From Day One, the kids commit to have “an open mind and an open mouth” – to try new foods. This week they’ve already learned to make Whole Wheat French Toast with Blueberry Sauce (which the kids “hoovered”), and Make-You-Strong Salad with Apple Juice Vinaigrette (one student said, “Chef Barb, I feel stronger already!”).

On the menu today is a dinner favourite: Speedy Whole Wheat Pizza. Barb’s staff, Brandon and Michelle, as well as volunteer Sharlyn and parent volunteers Sukh and Sonny, help the students as they grocery shop around the room and measure, mix, roll the dough and put their pizza together. The kindergarten chefs are excited with their pizza creations, saying it’s the best pizza ever.

Parent volunteer Sukh is the proud dad of two students at Graham Bruce. He says, “It’s a great program. The kids are having fun.”

Julie Cheng’s daughter, Kate, took part in Project Chef a few years ago at Grenfell Elementary. Kate would come home and talk about what she learned, like how to slice an apple so it looked like a star. Now a high school student, Kate is still cooking.

March is nutrition month and also Spring Break – the perfect time to cook with your kids! For recipe ideas visit projectchef.ca/blog/recipes/.

Copyright (c) 2014 Renfrew-Collingwood Community News

 


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March 2014 issue of the RCC News is here

The new issue is full of the many wonderful people, events and programs happening in our neighbourhood!

March 2014 news stories from the Renfrew-Collingwood neighbourhood in East Vancouver. Local news on events, people, history, eating out, recreation, arts & culture.

March 2014 news stories from the Renfrew-Collingwood neighbourhood in East Vancouver. Local news on events, people, history, eating out, recreation, arts & culture.

Get your March 2014 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:

  • Strong Women: Commemorating International Women’s Day
  • A lot of fun and a bit of magic: Project Chef’s secret ingredients for health and nutrition by Julie Cheng
  • Loretta Houben’s family tree series continues with tips for searching the Greater Vancouver directories
  • Eating Out in RC: Enjoy the burgers and view at Romer’s Burger Bar
  • Still Creek stories – Collecting memories, stories and photos of Still Creek
  • Getting more from your city garden by Stephanie Lim
  • Slocan Park notice board keeps community connected – Apply for your Neighbourhood Small Grants – Online application opens March 3

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 April 2014 issue is March 10.


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Books for Me! fosters the joy of reading at Graham Bruce Elementary school

Literacy foundation builds new partnership in Renfrew-Collingwood

BY JULIE CHENG

Grade 1 students Matthew and Derek (left to right) proudly display the books they chose to take home with them. “The cover is very cool,” says Matthew. “I think this book is good,” says Derek. Photos by Julie Cheng

Grade 1 students Matthew and Derek (left to right) proudly display the books they chose to take home with them. “The cover is very cool,” says Matthew. “I think this book is good,” says Derek. Photos by Julie Cheng

“Thank YOU!” The heartfelt, joyous chorus of the students was music to the ears. As the grade 4/5 students filed out of the room, each clutching a book provided free by Books for Me!, Mary Ann Cummings beamed.

“It’s really wonderful to see how excited these kids are,” she said. Mary Ann is the president and a founding member of Books for Me! Literacy Foundation, a Vancouver-based charity that puts donations of new or gently used books directly in the hands of children.

Mid January, Mary Ann, Books for Me! secretary and co-founder Dana Hirst, first-time volunteer Mai Doan, along with teacher-librarian Dee Mochrie and principal Lani Morden, were on hand to deliver the first batch of books to Graham Bruce Elementary School students.

A retired lawyer, Mary Ann saw the importance of literacy first hand when she worked with prison inmates as a law student. “I became convinced literacy is the key—you need to have those skills to prosper in society,” she said.

Grade 1 student Jaylene carefully places a bookplate in her book with the  help of Dana Hirst, a founding member of Books for Me!

Grade 1 student Jaylene carefully places a bookplate in her book with the help of Dana Hirst, a founding member of Books for Me!

Indeed, you could say supporting children’s literacy is one of the best investments in the future. Studies show that children who have books in their home reach a higher education level.

As of January 1, 2014, Books for Me! has placed more than 14,700 books with kids through programs at 11 locations, including Collingwood Neighbourhood School, Collingwood Neighbourhood House and Thunderbird Community Centre.

Programs such as Books for Me! encourage reading in the home. As Family Literacy Day this January 27 highlighted, it is critical for parents and caregivers to read daily with their children and to make books and reading an integral part of their family lives. Reading, even 15 minutes a day, is important to a child’s development.

Books for Me! also organizes and funds school visits by children’s book authors. “We’re so excited because author Jacqueline Pearce is coming in April,” Principal Morden said.

Danny, Tanner, Sydney and Anya check out the variety of books on display.

Danny, Tanner, Sydney and Anya check out the variety of books on display.

Books for Me! welcomes volunteers and donations of books. If you are interested in volunteering or hosting a book drive at your place of work, please contact booksformevancouver@gmail.com. You can visit www.booksformevancouver.org for more information.

Julie Cheng is the editor of the Renfrew-Collingwood Community News.

Copyright (c) 2014 Renfrew-Collingwood Community News


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February 2014 issue of the RCC News is here

The new issue is full of the many wonderful people, events and programs happening in our neighbourhood!

Renfrew-Collingwood Community News February 2014

Read RCC News February 2014

Get your February 2014 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:

  • Books for Me! fosters the joy of reading at Graham Bruce
  • Remembering two beloved friends: Dennis Tayler and Ann Matthew
  • Loretta Houben’s family tree series continues with tips to trace your ancestors with the 1921 Canadian Census
  • Eating Out in RC: Boston Pizza
  • Introducing Cari, the new Read On writer
  • Karen Donauer: volunteer superstar

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.