Renfrew-Collingwood Community News

News stories from the Renfrew-Collingwood community in East Vancouver


Leave a comment

October 2017 issue of RCC News is here

Renfrew-Collingwood Community News October 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:

  • Still Moon Arts brings Still Creek to life through art, memories and history
  • A new wave of food security: Ways to improve your environmental footprint
  • Call for artists in Renfrew-Collingwood
  • Take part in Homelessness Action Week: Film and panel discussion Oct. 11, 6:30 pm
  • Robert F. Edwards visits Ghana
  • Vancouver Walk for Reconciliation 2017: ‘Namwayut – We are all one
  • 5 things you should know about the Vancouver by-election

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 November 2017 issue is October 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.

Advertisements


Leave a comment

Why I love Renfrew-Collingwood: Livable, accessible, friendly

A spring day on a quiet street in Renfrew-Collingwood, with Grouse Mountain and Seymour Mountain in the background. Photos by Julie Cheng

A spring day on a quiet street in Renfrew-Collingwood, with Grouse Mountain and Seymour Mountain in the background. Photos by Julie Cheng

BY JULIE CHENG

Renfrew-Collingwood is a special place where its warm and friendly residents of diverse cultures—pioneers and newcomers, young and old—live together in harmony and feel like they belong. The locals come out in droves to two annual festivals to celebrate this diversity: Collingwood Days and the Renfrew Ravine Harvest Moon Festival.

Still Creek runs through Renfrew Ravine.

Still Creek runs through the heart of Renfrew Ravine.

This historic residential neighbourhood is tucked away on the eastern edge of Vancouver on the border of Burnaby, B.C. The neighbourhood is home to hidden gems, from unexpected sweeping mountain views and the Renfrew Ravine (an urban forest with a salmon-bearing creek running through it) to Carleton School (one of the oldest schoolhouses in Vancouver) to many authentic, ethnic restaurants including Chinese, Japanese, Malaysian, Filipino, Italian and Indian.

Residents travel by Skytrain and cycle paths alike in Renfrew-Collingwood.

Residents travel by Skytrain and cycle paths alike in Renfrew-Collingwood.

It’s always been an easy neighbourhood to get to. In the 1890s the interurban tram connected Renfrew-Collingwood to the rest of Vancouver. Today two Skytrain lines run through it, carrying residents to and from work in a matter of minutes, north to Port Moody (on the brand-new Evergreen line), east to Burnaby and Surrey and west to downtown Vancouver. Walking or cycling is a great way to discover the neighbourhood.

Why do you love Renfrew-Collingwood? Please let us know! Email rccnews-editorial@cnh.bc.ca.

Julie Cheng has loved living in Renfrew-Collingwood for 20 years. She is the editor of the Renfrew-Collingwood Community News.

Copyright (c) 2017 Renfrew-Collingwood Community News


Leave a comment

Still Creek Stories – Book launch

Still Creek Stories preorders

Preorders for the book were sold at this year’s Renfrew Ravine Moon Festival. Photo by Kaitlyn Fung

BY EMILY CHAN AND KAITLYN FUNG

Over the past three years, Still Moon Arts Society has been producing a book to share memories about our beloved local Still Creek, which runs through the heart of the Renfrew Ravine. Artistic director Carmen Rosen started the project to chronicle the amazing stories of our neighbourhood and, together with her team, has gathered numerous stories from residents of various ages, experiences, cultures and length of time living in Renfrew-Collingwood.

From childhood memories in the ravine to the celebrated return of the salmon to our waterways, the book will feature the many experiences of art, nature, stewardship and more from Still Creek, as well as the community that has made it blossom. The stories have now been curated into a book that can be enjoyed by families, children, elders and everyone in between.

A preview of Still Creek Stories. Cover design by January Wolodarsky

A preview of Still Creek Stories. Cover design by January Wolodarsky Cover design by January Wolodarsky

Everyone involved in the project was so proud to take preorders for the book at this year’s Renfrew Ravine Moon Festival in September. After the years of story collection, it is an honour to share the incredible stories about Still Creek and Renfrew Ravine, some of which were previously forgotten, unheard or lost, and others that had yet to be discovered.

The book will be launched in January 2017. If you are interested in learning more about the project and preordering Still Creek Stories, you can visit squareup.com/store/still-moon-arts-society.

This project has been the culmination of many peoples’ hard work, thoughtful comments and heartfelt commitments to making these stories heard. It also could not have happened without access to the beautiful, rugged, loved, exquisite piece of nature that is Still Creek.

A big note of appreciation to everyone that has loved and protected the creek, therefore allowing this project to come to life.

Copyright (c) 2016 Renfrew-Collingwood Community News


Leave a comment

Sculpture by local artist honours lost streams

Still Moon Arts events celebrate nature

BY LUCAS CHAN

Still Here art opening

Still Here art opening. Photo by Ben Rosen Purcell

On June 30 Still Moon Art Society’s artistic director, Carmen Rosen, unveiled her first public art sculpture Still Here. Located on 2699 Kingsway (close to the old Wally’s Burgers), Still Here is a testament to the lost streams that continue to exist beneath the concrete jungle.

The sculpture also represents the efforts of the community to acknowledge its existence and steward the future health of existing natural spaces that remain in the city, like Renfrew Ravine and Still Creek. More than just beautiful places teeming with wildlife and flora, these places present environments for communities to learn, explore and connect with each other as well as the natural world.

Come out to Stewardship Mondays

Still Creek Stewardship Mondays

Still Creek Stewardship Mondays. Photo by Bea Miller

On July 11 the weekly summer initiative, Stewardship Mondays, had its first session and featured a workshop on weaving native and non-native plant species with local artist Sharon Kallis.

Every Monday for the rest of the summer Still Moon Arts will continue to host family friendly activities in the ravine from 11 am–1 pm, meeting at the Renfrew Ravine labyrinth on 27th Avenue.

Performance Exploration

Renfrew Ravine is the home to many memories about how this natural space has served as a place for community reflection, inspiration and connection. From July 10–14 Still Moon Arts organized a site-specific Performance Exploration workshop in Renfrew Ravine, a four-day process to tell community-inspired stories through dance, poetry, music, vocal body, theatre and ephemeral art.

Still Moon Arts invited aspiring youth performers share two of the days to learn interdisciplinary techniques to expressing their creativity under the mentorship of artist/vocalist Carmen Rosen and director/choreographer Isabelle Kirouac, singer/dancer Laura Crema and visual artist/musician Robin Lough. Material from this workshop will be used to develop material for a larger work to be presented next year.

Moon Festival

August and September will be busy months as Still Moon Arts prepares for their 14th annual Renfrew Ravine Moon Festival on Saturday, September 17 at Slocan Park and Renfrew Park. From September 6-9/ 12-15 there will be lantern workshops at Slocan Hall from 4–8 pm, with Moon Music Concerts at Slocan Park throughout the month.

Still Moon Arts will end the month with an Equinox Labyrinth Walk on Thursday, September 22 and a World Rivers Day art and water celebration on Sunday, September 25.

For more information on all events find them on Facebook as Still Moon Arts Society and on Twitter and Instagram as stillmoonarts.

Lucas Chan is a fourth year student at the University of British Columbia studying international trade and development in the faculty of land and food systems. He is interested in learning from community stories and knowledge to explore more ways of bringing people together. Through Still Moon he aims to increase awareness of Renfrew Ravine as a place for community, education, sustainability and art.

Copyright (c) 2016 Renfrew-Collingwood Community News


Leave a comment

Still Moon Arts takes youth on a caravan along the Fraser

Carmen_team_Mount_Robson

The Still Moon Arts team started off at Mount Robson, the headwaters of the Fraser River. Photo courtesy of Still Moon Arts

 

BY LUCAS CHAN

Youth from the Still Moon Arts Society spent a week in June travelling along the Fraser River watershed in the 2nd annual Wild Salmon Caravan!

The Wild Salmon Caravan, taking place from June 6 to 11, was a journey from Mount Robson to Vancouver celebrating the spirit of the wild salmon through indigenous communities in Chase, Adams Lake, Kamloops, Lillooet, Lytton, Chilliwack and Abbotsford.

“The journey was really about celebrating, recognizing and honouring the spirit of the wild salmon, and how it is interconnected with First Nations culture as well as the rest of the environment,” said Henry Lau, one of the youth from the Still Moon Arts Youth Team.

The spirit of the salmon is something that influences across cultures and communities, representing more than just the ecological health of the land or water but also the relationships communities have with nature and each other.

Chitha_Lytton_Ceremony

It was an honour to take part in the Lytton ceremony. Photo by Chitha Manoranjan

Groups from across British Columbia joined the Wild Salmon Caravan in this travelling collective of culture, art, drumming, music and storytelling. It sought to connect with people and express the significance of salmon to the well-being of our cultures, communities, food systems and nature from an indigenous perspective.

“What I witnessed reminds me about how food is important to me in my neighborhood of Renfrew-Collingwood and how that is connected to the ways that First Nations groups access culturally relevant food in their own indigenous landscape,” said Crecien Bencio, who also participated in the journey.

The Wild Salmon Caravan also stressed the importance of building strong relationships with indigenous communities and conducting meaningful reconciliation processes. Threats of development and climate change endanger the well-being of the wild salmon that are so intricately linked with the land and its people. The Wild Salmon Caravan carried the wishes and hopes for what relationships with wild salmon was in the past, what it is in the present, and what will be in the future.

Still Moon’s previous youth engagement coordinator Chitha Manoranjan expressed, “I’m proud that we were able to take a small team of youth from this community up on this journey to share stories of our community’s successful efforts at bringing chum salmon back to Still Creek and bring some of Still Moon Arts’ creative energy. More importantly, it was an honour to be so warmly welcomed to different indigenous communities and be witness to the rich cultures and experiences that these communities have.“

The journey was part of Still Moon Arts’ Youth Engagement Project funded by the BC Arts Council. The youth team was made up of two Grade 9 students from the Leadership 9 Ecology class who have been working in the Renfrew Ravine this past year, and two long-time youth volunteers (and dedicated board members).

The team returns to the community with deeper knowledge, experiences and stories that are necessary to continue to act as stewards of the salmon and inspire the community to create their own intercultural experiences around food.

To find out more about Still Moon Arts Society’s journey on the Wild Salmon Caravan, visit www.stillmoon.org or find out more about the Wild Salmon Caravan at www.wildsalmoncaravan.wordpress.com.

Lucas Chan is a summer student with Still Moon Arts Society.

Copyright (c) 2016 Renfrew-Collingwood Community News


Leave a comment

January 2016 issue of RCC News is here

Happy new year!

2016’s first issue of the Renfrew-Collingwood Community News is full of the many wonderful people, events and programs happening in our neighbourhood!

January 2016 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:

  • Harvey’s closing after 88 years
  • Collingwood Neighbourhood House Recreation Programs – special insert
  • Recovering Still Creek: Youth environment initiatives
  • Local youth Peggy Lam and Crecien Bencio win awards
  • Making a good first impression: Expert tips to sell your home
  • Food farewells and greetings from the food security team
  • Join the Joyce Area Residents Association

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 February 2016 issue is January 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.


Leave a comment

Slocan Park notice board keeps community connected

Local artists create a gorgeous salmon-shaped bulletin board with the help of a Neighbourhood Small Grant from the Vancouver Foundation

BY ROB HOWATSON

This beautiful salmon-shaped bulletin board, hanging on the wall of the Slocan Park Field House, is an invitation for neighbours to connect with each other.

This beautiful salmon-shaped bulletin board, hanging on the wall of the Slocan Park Field House, is an invitation for neighbours to connect with each other. Photo courtesy of Rob Howatson

When it comes to community building, you can never have too many bulletin boards to help spread the word about upcoming neighbourhood events.

Problem is, aside from libraries and community centres, the city offers few legal spaces to display notices. There are about 200 or so municipality-approved poster cylinders – metal bands that wrap utility poles – located in the city, but they tend to be restricted to the busiest arterials. And, as the Vancouver Public Space Network points out in a letter to Mayor Robertson’s Engaged City Task Force, commercial poster companies quickly and repeatedly blanket these word rings with their paid advertising. This leaves little room for neighbours to tape up their block party invites.

Fortunately, some community-minded Renfrew-Collingwood residents have found a way to provide at least a little space for grassroots notices. Local artists Carmen Rosen and Suzo Hickey applied for a Neighbourhood Small Grant from the Vancouver Foundation to create a gorgeous bulletin board shaped like a chum salmon. The functional art piece hangs on the wall of the Slocan Park Field House, an effective location given its proximity to the busy 29th Avenue Skytrain station.

Suzo says they chose a fish shape for the piece in recognition of Still Creek that used to flow through Vancouver’s eastside until much of the waterway was culverted in the early 1900s. Sections of the creek still run on the surface in the Renfrew Ravine, near the Grandview Highway and in Burnaby. In 2012, a record number of chum found their way up the creek to spawn, despite the fact that until recently the creek was considered one of the most polluted streams in B.C. and little fish activity had been reported there in the past 50 years.

“This project was a great way to share local history with the neighbourhood,” says Suzo, “but more importantly we invited area residents to help decorate the notice board’s fishy frame with steel washers, copper washers and bottlecaps. And in doing so, we provided a  great opportunity for people to meet and share experiences, which I think is the best way to build community.”

The eye-catching bulletin board is managed by the Art House in the Field Collective, which uses the Slocan Park field house as studio space for visual art classes, costume design, music and photography.

Neighbourhood Small Grants Project – Application deadline April 7, 2014

Collingwood Neighbourhood House has once again partnered with South Vancouver Neighbourhood House to host the Neighbourhood Small Grants and Greenest City Neighbourhood Small Grants project this year. Pairs or small groups of residents are encouraged to apply for a grant from $50 to $1,000 to improve your neighbourhood socially, culturally or physically!

Please go to vancouverfoundation.ca/nsg  for more information and to apply. All applicants are encouraged to apply online. If you cannot apply online, paper applications can be picked up at the Neighbourhood House beginning in March 2014. Online application opens on March 3, 2014. Application deadline is April 7. For further information contact Sheri Parke at sparke01@shaw.ca or reception at Collingwood Neighbourhood House, 604-435-0323.

Copyright (c) 2014 Renfrew-Collingwood Community News