Renfrew-Collingwood Community News

News stories from the Renfrew-Collingwood community in East Vancouver


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Still Moon Arts brings Still Creek to life through art, memories and history

Still Moon Performance

Lost and Found Performance: Carmen Rosen sings an original music piece composed by Isaac Rosen-Purcell, joined by youth dancers and fiddlers. Photo by Kat Wadel

BY JULIE CHENG

The sound of trickling water got louder as we tread carefully down the path. Through the trees we glimpsed a young man hopping over the water and rocks.

On this sunny September afternoon, we found ourselves on the edge of Still Creek in the Renfrew Ravine, immersed in a performance by the Still Moon Arts Society called Still Creek: Lost and Found.

The young man, Hamish Hutchison-Poyntz, tells the story of playing in the ravine with friends and making sure to avoid the older bullies who would throw rocks at them. Then he was gone in a flash, running down the stream. We followed after him along the safer path.

Still Moon Boy in Still Creek

Hamish Hutchison-Poyntz tells the story of playing in the ravine as a young boy. Photos by Julie Cheng

The performance draws from an important new book about the Still Creek watershed, which starts near Central Park and winds its way through Renfrew Ravine and on through Burnaby Lake before emptying into the Fraser River. The book, What Comes to Light: Stories of Still Creek Lost & Found, brings together artwork, poetry, historical research and archival photos. At the heart of the book are the stories, collected over two years, from local residents who lived and played in and around Still Creek.

You could say the book documents the love affair Carmen Rosen has had with the Renfrew Ravine and Still Creek since she moved into the neighbourhood in 2000.

What Comes to Light: Stories of Still Creek Lost & Found

What Comes to Light: Stories of Still Creek Lost & Found brings together artwork, poetry, historical research and archival photos.

Renfrew Ravine was the inspiration for the annual Harvest Moon Festival, started in 2003 and now just finished its 15th year this past September. The Ravine Sanctuary Garden, the 27th Avenue labyrinth and the 22nd Avenue yin yang bench were projects lead by Carmen with organizations including local artists in the Arts Pow Wow, Evergreen and the Windermere Leadership program.

In 2009, Still Moon Arts, Windermere Leadership students and the Department of Fisheries released chum salmon fry in Still Creek. And in 2012, the salmon returned to spawn in Still Creek for the first time in 80 years.

The stories of art, celebration, people and the salmon are woven together in What Comes to Light. What becomes apparent in this book is an enduring love and respect of art, nature and people can bring us all together and make great things happen.

Find more information on What Comes to Light: Stories of Still Creek Lost & Found at http://stillmoon.org/projects-2/still-creek-stories/

 

Old Ted was kind of short, stalky, had worked hard all his life … He lived a real homesteaders’ life with oil lamps in the house and water from a pump and he had pigs and chickens when none of us were allowed to. He was just grandfathered in, probably in his 80s, they thought he’d die soon so it was okay, then he actually lived to 107.

– Daniel McNeil

Still Moon Twetie Chickens

Laura Crema holds the chickens, which were made by Robin Lough, as the story of Ted Twetie and his chickens were told.

Copyright (c) 2017 Renfrew-Collingwood Community News

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15th Annual Renfrew Ravine Moon Festival, September 30, 2017

Twilight Lantern Walk Renfrew Ravine Moon Festival

Festival goers get ready at Slocan Park for the Twilight Lantern Walk. Photo by Ben Rosen-Purcell

BY JUNE LAM

With fall fast approaching, Still Moon Arts Society has been preparing for the 15th annual Renfrew Ravine Moon Festival, held this year on Saturday, Sept. 30.

The Renfrew Ravine Moon Festival is a signature festival that celebrates the full moon and harvest abundance, while honouring diverse cultural traditions. The festival will highlight art, music, environmental stewardship and community participation.

This year’s theme, Migrations, allows attendees to reflect on the global movements that occur every day, from the smallest of salmon fry to the largest of humans. Birds journey across land and sea to discover new places and build their nests; salmon and fish swim across vast oceans to spawn new life and continue the survival of their species and others; humans flow within and across boundaries to pursue new opportunities, reunite with loved ones or find safety.

With the current issues in our world, these systems of movement have played a significant role in people’s identity and relationships. As you yourself move through the festival and experience the installations of this year’s event, we invite you to discover your own stories and how you relate to this year’s theme.

MOON FESTIVAL SCHEDULE

Harvest Fair: 4–6:45 pm
Slocan Park

The event gets under way with the Harvest Fair, which will feature live music, food and a booths from local organizations, artisans and non-profit groups. Another featured activity is the Harvest Fair, a home-grown harvest competition, which features entries by local gardeners of some of Renfrew-Collingwood’s best fruits, vegetables and flowers. Enter for a chance to win some awesome prizes!

Twilight Lantern Walk: 6:45 pm

The Twilight Lantern Walk begins with a moonlit parade from Slocan Park to Renfrew Park. Festival goers light their own lanterns and walk the trails along the ravine, accompanied by live music as darkness falls. Passing by the river-stone labyrinth, the procession will be invited to a walking meditation surrounded by music and light. The parade then passes by various art installations and surprise performances until it reaches Renfrew Park.

Lantern Festival: 7:15–8:30 pm
Renfrew Park

At nightfall, time slows down as participants absorb the beauty of candlelight, exquisite lanterns, ethereal music and the shimmering stream. Just outside of the stream, you’ll find musicians playing at the main stage, a Tea Garden full of delicious treats for you to enjoy, and a finale spectacle featuring dancing, stilting, fire spinning and fireworks.

Leading up to the big day, there will be multiple lantern workshops throughout the month. Don’t have a lantern for the parade? For a small cost, varying between $10 and $25, come out to Slocan Hall (2750 E. 29th Avenue) to make one:

Sept. 16: Advanced Lanterns (12–4 pm) – no instructor present

Sept. 18, 19, 20: Bamboo Lanterns (4–7 pm)

Sept. 21, 22: Globe Lanterns (4–7 pm)

Sept. 23: Advanced Lanterns (12–4 pm) – no instructor present

Sept. 25, 26: Globe Lanterns (4–7 pm)

Sept. 27, 28: Glass Jar Lanterns (4–7 pm)

For more information, visit stillmoon.org or our Facebook page, @stillmoonarts.

June Lam is the communications coordinator at Still Moon Arts Society. She graduated from the Leadership Program at Windermere Secondary and is currently attending the University of BC. She is also an avid volunteer and has been involved in the Renfrew-Collingwood community throughout her high school career. 

Copyright (c) 2017 Renfrew-Collingwood Community News


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Logan the goat chews up Renfrew Ravine invasive plants

Logan the goat

Logan chomping invasive plants in the Renfrew Ravine. Photos by Bryden Fergusson

BY JULIE CHENG

On a Sunday morning in August 2017 in the Renfrew Ravine, about 20 enthusiastic volunteers turned out — plus one goat.

They were all there to pull, dig or munch invasive Himalayan blackberry and morning glory as part of Evergreen’s Uncover Your Creeks—Renfrew Ravine program.

Still Moon Arts Society invited Logan the goat (with professional goat herder Natasha) as a pilot project to see how goats can help keep invasive plant species at bay in parks. One-year-old Logan was the star of the show. He was gentle with kids, worked hard and ate constantly.

Evergreen is always looking for more volunteers!

The next Uncover Your Creeks Renfrew Ravine event is:

Sunday, September 24, 2017
9 am to noon
Meet at 29th Avenue and Atlin (across from the 29th Avenue Skytrain station)
Rain or shine!

More info: www.evergreen.ca/whats-on/event/uncover-your-creeksrenfrew-ravine/

 

Robin's goat cards

Robin from Still Moon Arts Society kept the volunteers going with her delicious goat cookies and inspired us with her whimsical goat art cards. Watch for her at the 2017 Renfrew Ravine Moon Festival on Saturday, Sept. 30 for more goat cards.

Copyright (c) 2017 Renfrew-Collingwood Community News


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August 2017 issue of RCC News is here

Renfrew-Collingwood Community News August 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:

  • Skytrain Rambler: Evergreen line connects history from Renfrew-Collingwood to Port Moody
  • Lots happening at Still Moon Arts Society
  • Photos of informal learning in Renfrew-Collingwood by John Mendoza
  • Homeless program raising funds in the neighbourhood
  • Shop local farmers markets
  • Gathering of canoes – Photo montage by Penny Lim
  • Read On! Many reasons to love Renfrew-Collingwood by Tony Wanless
  • Latin festival returns to new venues – Swangard Stadium and Rickshaw Theatre

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 2017 issue is August 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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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


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Still Creek restoration aims to bring back salmon for good

BY EMILY DOYLE-YAMAGUCHI

Still Creek made history in 2012 when salmon defied the odds to navigate deep within the boundaries of Metro Vancouver and spawned here for the first time in over 80 years.

This breakthrough, hailed as a small but iconic victory for the entire region, proved what many thought impossible: even partially buried waterways with an intensive urban-industrial history can be recovered to the point where a variety of life returns. But can this hopeful glimmer of salmon be encouraged to stay for good?

Recent water quality improvements in Still Creek, and the addition of fish ladders that help make passage possible, have enabled a small group of chum salmon to reappear in their historic breeding grounds in East Vancouver. These resilient fish made a harrowing journey in the dark beneath major roadways to achieve their destination.

Two laneways - Still Creek

A tale of two laneways: Wall-to-wall asphalt (top photo) concentrates water and pollutants in the watershed, raises water temperature to levels that threaten fish survival, and increases the risk of flooding and pollution of Still Creek and the neighbourhoods that form the watershed. The materials used in the country lane (bottom photo) allow water to filter into the ground and move through soil, resulting in a low risk of flooding and cool water, which is vital for salmon survival, reaching Still Creek. The grass and other plants growing here also help to keep the environment cooler and provide food and habitat for birds and insects. Photos by Herb Hammond, Silva Forest Foundation

Now a bold vision is emerging to shift from a piecemeal to a systematic restoration of the Still Creek watershed, which is required to make a suitable home for an ongoing, and increasing, salmon population in the future.

What is a watershed?
A watershed is a drainage basin, like your bathroom sink, where water collects from rain and snow, and drains into a central location—in this case, Still Creek. The Still Creek watershed is part of the larger Brunette River watershed, which is part of an even bigger Fraser River watershed, which connects to the global watershed through the Pacific Ocean.

Salmon travel to Still Creek from the ocean by first swimming through the Fraser River, then up the Brunette River and into Burnaby Lake. The boundary of a watershed is defined by the shape of the landscape—high points mark the boundaries between different watersheds. Big watersheds are made up of many smaller watersheds.

What will restoration look like?
Much of the watershed’s natural water flow has been significantly modified with urban development. Restoring natural water flow as much as possible will be an important part of restoring the watershed—from improving water quality for salmon to providing habitat for native songbirds.

We can do this by changing impermeable surfaces to permeable surfaces, such as rain gardens and bioswales, to collect water and permit it to drain into the soil at a more natural pace. Multi-layered trees and shrubs act like a leaky umbrella in a rainstorm, allowing the water to drain into the soil slowly and tempering the impact of extreme storms that accompany climate change. This “green infrastructure” works better than storm water pipes to manage rainwater.

Who is running the project and how can I get involved?
The Still Moon Arts Society, Silva Forest Foundation, Simon Fraser University, the Greenest City Fund and the Charles & Lucille Flavelle Family Fund held at the Vancouver Foundation have teamed up to provide the science, funding and community vision that are required to restore the ecological health of Still Creek.

Working with residents, students, artists and the City of Vancouver, the project partners are developing a watershed-wide restoration plan that ranges from collaborating with local schools and “rewilding” city parks, to creating rain gardens and mini-rainforests in private yards.

To learn more about local restoration
Join the email list for updates and event info mail@stillmoon.org. Follow @stillmoonarts and on Facebook. Come to a workshop and tell Still Moon what you know about the watershed and learn about important restoration efforts you can initiate on your own property. Workshop information will be announced in the fall.

Emily Doyle-Yamaguchi is the project coordinator for the Still Creek ecosystem-based restoration plan. She may be reached at emily@silvafor.org.

Copyright (c) 2016 Renfrew-Collingwood Community News


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Songs for the salmon! Get ready for the Renfrew Ravine Harvest Moon Festival 2016

Saturday, September 17

Turtle Bliss Gamelan

Turtle Bliss Gamelan playing with lanterns by Naomi Singer. Photo by Zora Feren

BY LUCAS CHAN

For months Still Moon Arts Society has been preparing for the 14th annual Renfrew Ravine Moon Festival, held this year on Saturday, September 17.

The moon festival celebrates the nature and beauty of Renfrew Ravine and Still Creek. For many decades the ravine was abandoned by the salmon due to the polluted water and ecosystems caused by the neglect of this natural space. But the salmon have been returning to spawn in our community since 2012, thanks to the hard work of many community stewards and local governments collaborating to restore health of the stream and the ecosystem.

On the Wild Salmon Caravan in June, youth from Still Moon Arts were honoured to join in singing many First Nations songs for the salmon all along the Fraser River. Still Moon wants to extend the idea to our community that we, too, can have songs for the salmon as yet another way of caring for our local stream, Still Creek.

Make your own lantern

The month of September will be busy in preparation for the Renfrew Ravine Moon Festival to be held at Slocan Park and Renfrew Park. You are welcome to come out to Slocan Hall and make a lantern to carry in the parade:

  • Tuesday and Wednesday, September 6 and 7: Globe lanterns, 4–8 pm
  • Thursday and Friday, September 8 and 9: Salmon lanterns, 4–8 pm
  • Saturday and Sunday, September 10 and 11: Advanced Sculptural Lantern Making 10 am–1 pm
  • Monday and Tuesday, September 12 and 13: Globe lanterns, 4–8 pm
  • Wednesday and Thursday, September 14 and 15: Glass jar lanterns, 4–8 pm

The big day

Moon Fest Fireworks

Fireworks finale with metal fence by Heather Jones. Photo by Zora Feren

Festival day, Saturday, Sept ember 17, consists of two main components that take place at Slocan Park and Renfrew Park.

At Slocan Park from 4–7 pm there will be a Harvest Fair to showcase community harvests alongside family-friendly activities, community booths and musical performances.

At 7:15 pm a twilight lantern procession will lead the community from Slocan Park to Renfrew Park along the edge of the ravine.

At Renfrew Park you are guaranteed to be wowed by the community and artist made lanterns decorating the site to highlight the natural beauty of Still Creek. There will be refreshments, activities, interactive local art pieces as well as a fireworks finale to bring the night to a close.

More ravine celebrations

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.

Still Moon Arts Society is also in the process of putting together Still Creek Stories, a collection of stories from the community that share their stories and experiences in the ravine. These stories will be compiled into an art book as a representation of the memories and hopes of what Still Creek was in the past, is in the present, and hopefully will be in the future. Pre-orders will be available at the Renfrew Park portion of the Renfrew Ravine Moon Festival on September 17!

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

Copyright (c) 2016 Renfrew-Collingwood Community News