Renfrew-Collingwood Community News

News stories from the Renfrew-Collingwood community in East Vancouver

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Neighbourhood Small Grants Projects are back in 2018

Deadline April 9, 2018


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


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 ( 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:

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

Do you have questions? Email

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

Free bike repair day in Joyce-Collingwood


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


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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 The deadline for the April 2014 issue is March 10.

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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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Neighbourhood Small Grants Project celebrates community

Grassroots Heroes Weave the Social Fabric


They came clutching their homemade posters―men, women and children of every skin colour, from every neighbourhood of Southeast Vancouver. The families filed excitedly into the Collingwood Neighbourhood House gymnasium and taped their display boards to the walls. They had glued photos to whatever materials they could find, and beneath the images they scrawled captions to explain how they used small amounts of money from the Vancouver Foundation to host community-strengthening events on their streets.

With all the posters hung, people mingled before the displays and shared tales of meeting people in their districts. They spoke of block parties, backyard barbeques and park picnics; and the animated conversations continued as everyone sat for dinner.

This was a modest buffet meal in an East Van gymnasium, certainly not the top event on the city’s social calendar, but the annual Neighbourhood Small Grants Project Celebration held at the Collingwood Neighbourhood House November 6 proved a crucial point: people still yearn for a sense of community.

This despite the fact that in recent years, there has been a growing mass of gloomy literature published about the decline of social connectedness in our world. Robert Putnam’s bombshell book Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community draws upon a substantial array of data that show his fellow countrymen disengaging from political and civic life over the past 40 years. He claims that the average American entertains friends at home half as often as they did in 1975. Virtually all leisure activities that involve doing something with someone else, from playing volleyball to playing chamber music, are declining. People still go bowling, but they don’t join leagues―hence the title of his book.

While it may be tempting for Canadians to dismiss Putnam’s Yankee-centric work as not applicable to our situation north of the border, a June survey by the Vancouver Foundation found that most Metro residents do not know their neighbours, nor do they participate in community activities.

In light of these disturbing findings, the informal celebration at the CNH gym assumes a noble stature, because the Neighbourhood Small Grants recipients, who posed proudly beside their event posters, are forging connections in an era of growing isolation.

As desserts began to circulate, Sheri Parke, NSGP coordinator, invited some of the grassroots heroes to share their experiences. First up: Monika Garg, a diminutive 27 year old who immigrated from India only nine months ago. Her English was shaky and her Punjabi accent thick, but Monika soldiered through her summary of the kids’ talent competition she staged for 40 guests in her neighbourhood. When she finished, the audience eagerly applauded her courage.

She was followed by Che Nolan, one of the organizers of the 5th Annual MacDonald Park Block Party. He reported that 200 people from his Sunset neighbourhood contributed to the potluck meal that they enjoyed in the tiny green space that anchors their community.

Other grant recipients present that night included Miriam and Wayne, a Collingwood couple whose home was burgled shortly after they moved into the area. They joined a block watch program and used NSGP money to create wooden address shingles that they distributed free to their neighbours. The shingles are hung in their back alley to help police locate homes when they respond to 911 calls in the area.

The crime-fighting couple sat at the same table as the trio of teens who decorated a boring, beige earthquake preparedness container in the playground of Fraserview’s David Oppenheimer Elementary School. The students used their grant to paint a brightly coloured nature scene on the bulky metal bin.

And across the table from the artists was Nita Carvajal, an avid green thumb from Marpole who encourages her neighbours to visit her home garden where she shares seeds, teaches composting techniques and introduces people to one another.

These community builders were a small sample from one table that stood among 13. The entire gym was full of progressive individuals who saw their crudely designed posters cloaking the walls as a weaving of the social fabric in our city.

Before the evening’s entertainment took the stage, Lidia Kemeny, Vancouver Foundation’s director of grants and community initiatives, stood to address the big question: WHY?

Does it really matter if we know who lives across the street or down the block?

“Research shows that when neighbours know and trust each other, streets are safer, people are healthier and happier, our children do better in school, there is less bullying and less discrimination,” explained Kemeny. “We are simply better off in many of the ways that matter.”

© Copyright (c) 2012 Renfrew-Collingwood Community News

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December 2012 issue is here

Renfrew-Collingwood Community News December 2012 issue

RCC News December 2012

Get your December 2012 issue of the RCC News at your local coffee shop, grocery story, library and community centre.

Click on the cover image to view the new issue.

In this issue:

  • Celebrating Community with the Support of Vancouver Foundation Neighbourhood Small Grants
  • Newcomer Finds Family through the Seniors Program
  • Diamond Jubilee Medal Recipients
  • Renfrew Ravine Community Consultation
  • A Salmon Miracle
  • Tips to Get Kids Moving