Renfrew-Collingwood Community News

News stories from the Renfrew-Collingwood community in East Vancouver


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Guacamole for justice

Join the Renfrew-Collingwood Food Security Institute on Thursday, September 21 for a screening of Min Sook Lee’s 2016 film Migrant Dreams, a documentary that explores the experiences of seasonal agricultural workers in Canada.

Guacamole for justice

Making the guacamole. Photo courtesy of the Renfrew-Collingwood Food Security Institute

BY EMMA WARNER CHEE

On August 23, 2017, the Renfrew-Collingwood Food Security Institute partnered with the Migrant Workers Dignity Association to offer a workshop called Guacamole: A Cooking Lesson for Justice. The Migrant Workers Dignity Association is a non-profit that supports migrant workers in learning and advocating for their rights, as well as in educating the public about the injustices faced by migrant workers.

Through an interactive, theatrical cooking lesson, the group made guacamole and learned about the injustices facing temporary farmer workers who grow our food, such as having to work long hours without overtime pay, being unable to access medical care and working in unsafe conditions. After the workshop, workers answered questions from participants and share some of their personal experiences.

The Food Security Institute aims to provide space for critical conversations about food systems. Join the institute on Thursday, September 21 for a screening of Min Sook Lee’s 2016 film Migrant Dreams (distributed by Cinema Politica), a documentary that explores the experiences of seasonal agricultural workers in Canada. A facilitated discussion will follow the film.

Please see the blog rcfood.wordpress.com or pick up an activity schedule from Collingwood Neighbourhood House for more information about this and other great events!

Emma Warner Chee is the urban agriculture assistant and summer student with the Renfrew Collingwood Food Security Institute.

Copyright (c) 2017 Renfrew-Collingwood Community News

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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


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June 2017 issue of RCC News is here

June 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:

  • Happy 100th to John Harlow
  • Community rallies around Rob Allen after house fire
  • Windermere students shine
  • June is Italian Heritage Month
  • Food Security Institute: Join summer gatherings at local gardens
  • Thank you CNH volunteers
  • Family movie night at Gaston Park

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 July 2017 issue is June 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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Let’s get outside and celebrate spring

BY JULIE CHENG

Reconciliation pole raising at UBC

There were many hands eager to help at the reconciliation pole raising at the University of B.C. on Apr. 1, 2017. A day of history. Photos by Penny Lim

The sun is shining, the flowers are blooming, the birds are chirping – spring is here at last! And that means stepping outdoors and getting together at the many events and activities happening around our neighbourhood. Here are a few ideas.

Join in a community celebration. Whether it’s a school carnival, a European festival or Collingwood Days, there are plenty of fun local celebrations for the family to enjoy. Come on out and meet your neighbours and discover local talents!

Explore by Skytrain. Spring is a great time to shop at local farmers’ markets, enjoy new food trucks or discover new neighbourhoods – it just takes a short hop by Skytrain to get there. For ideas check out the RCC News’ Skytrain Rambler series.

Show the Renfrew Ravine some love. Still Moon Arts Society runs workshops in the Renfrew Ravine and has an online guide to ravine self-walking tours. Evergreen runs its Uncover Your Creeks program in the Renfrew Ravine once a month.

Volunteer at a local garden. Dig into the opportunities at the Collingwood Neighbourhood House Rooftop Garden or the Norquay Learning Orchard, run by the local Food Security Institute.

Join a walking club. Drop by your local community centre or neighbourhood house to find a walking club or group day trip program that’ll take to you near and far.

Cranes Reifel Bird Sanctuary

The group taking the Killarney Community Centre trip to the Reifel Bird Sanctuary in late March saw gorgeous birds such as these sand cranes and mallard ducks.

Ducks Reifel Bird Sanctuary

Julie Cheng is the editor of the Renfrew-Collingwood Community News. She has lived in Renfrew-Collingwood for 20 years and loves to get some vitamin D from the sun while gardening, cycling or walking outdoors.

Copyright (c) 2017 Renfrew-Collingwood Community News


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BC annual food gathering 2016: Working for safe and sustainable food

BY JULIE TO

Youth share their stories at the 2016 BC Food Systems Network Gathering. Photo by Stephanie Lim

Youth share their stories at the 2016 BC Food Systems Network Gathering. Photo by Stephanie Lim

The BC Food Systems Network Gathering is held every year in different parts of B.C. to bring together speakers, activists and people who are generally interested in the food movement. This is a crucial gathering because it is a chance to address all of the injustices that should be talked about but are not.

It’s a great time for people to come together and share ideas, experiences and suggestions to make the food system more sustainable and safe for us and the future generations. People involved in events and organizations regarding food and food systems come together, greet old friends, meet new ones and all in all have a good time.

Youth take a break at the campsite. Photo by Kaitlyn Fung

Youth take a break at the campsite. Photo by Kaitlyn Fung

The gathering was held in Penticton (Syilx territories) this summer, at the En’owkin Centre, which provides schooling for indigenous children and youth to learn and connect with their history and keep their traditions and language alive.

This is the second year that youth working with Collingwood Neighbourhood House and the Food Security Institute attended the gathering. This year, students from Windermere Secondary and Vancouver Technical as well as older youth (neighbourhood house staff and volunteers) who are dedicated, passionate and willing to learn more about food systems began meeting about four months prior to the food gathering to prepare for our youth panel.

We were sharing personal stories on this panel. These stories were all in relation to food and how we personally felt connected it. Some shared stories about garden clubs, the difference of how they thought of food when they were younger versus their relationship with it now, funny food stories, and even about family members and their habits.

The stories ranged from humorous, sad and joyful experiences we had encountered  with or around food. The cool thing about this presentation was that it started off with the youngest person in the group (14 years old) and ended with the oldest (32 years old). This organization really showed the growth of intelligence, knowledge and passion of each individual.

The conference was filled with joyous moments and memories that will stay with all of us youth for a long time.  This experience was one of the best things I participated in this summer because of all the people I met and all the knowledge I learned.

Food systems are an important aspect of our day-to-day lives and with the advocates, activists and the supporters who want to make our food “secure,” we can achieve a better food system in our communities.

Julie To is a gardener, book lover and youth dedicated to food security. She will be entering Grade 10 at Vancouver Technical in the fall, where she is co-president of the garden club. She has spent her summer working with the Fresh Roots Sustainable Opportunities for Youth Leadership (SOYL) program.

Copyright (c) 2016 Renfrew-Collingwood Community News


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August 2015 issue of RCC News is here

This issue of the Renfrew-Collingwood Community News is full of the many wonderful people, events and programs happening in our neighbourhood!

August 2015 issue of RCC NewsGet 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:

  • Food brings youth together to share stories and create connections
  • Remembering Marjorie Scarfe
  • Get ready for the annual Harvest Moon Festival, September 26
  • Kaslo Park summer mural painting and community potluck
  • Bill McMichael gets City Community Service Award
  • Volunteer Judy Woodhall brings joy and friendship to seniors at Three Links

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 September 2015 issue is August 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.