Renfrew-Collingwood Community News

News stories from the Renfrew-Collingwood community in East Vancouver

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July 2016 issue of RCC News is here

July 2016 RCC NewsThis 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 takes youth on a caravan along the Fraser
  • MP Don Davies’ Create Your Canada contest winners
  • Green Cross Society faces fines and closure
  • Battling the European chafer beetle
  • Skytrain Rambler: Vancouver Art Gallery’s Picasso exhibit
  • Solving a 90-year-old family mystery
  • Time again to save our neighbourhood schools

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 August 2016 issue is July 10. You are welcome to submit a story from 300 to 400 words. 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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Graham Bruce Spring Carnival, May 27

PAC fundraises to bring back stage use

Graham Bruce Spring Carnival

Graham Bruce Spring Carnival

Graham Bruce Elementary is having their 4th Spring Carnival on Friday, May 27 from 4 to 8 pm at 3633 Tanner Street.

Over the past three years these carnivals have been a great place to gather neighbours to enjoy some time together while helping the school. The funds raised last year was around $6,000 and with the moneys raised in the previous years gave the Parent Advisory Committee (PAC) enough to build the new playground for the primary area.

The Vancouver School Board is facing a budget deficit of $25 million dollars – the worst deficit in over two decades. The proposed cuts will affect every family and the effects of the cuts will be felt for years to come.

This is why the Graham Bruce PAC holds its carnivals, to make up for what the students/teachers need yet don’t have access to. Many students in band will no longer be able to afford to do something they love. Graham Bruce has a stage in the gym that has not been opened in so many years most the teachers at the school didn’t even know it opened.

“I went to this school as a child and the stage was opened for all assemblies, plays and sporting events held at the school,” says parent Dave Lambert. “Now for it to be opened the school board must send a “crew” to open it, and charge the school $800 per time. We can’t afford that!”

The PAC would like to raise the money required to have a sliding door installed on the stage so it may be opened and used the way it was designed to be used. Donations are always welcomed and may be sent to the PAC email or just write them if you went to Graham Bruce.

Copyright (c) 2016 Renfrew-Collingwood Community News

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Fresh and local: Weekly VanTech market garden starts Wednesday, May 28


Veggies for sale at Van Tech market garden

Veggies for sale at Van Tech market garden. Photos courtesy of Fresh Roots

“This is as local as it gets,” says Marilou Bourdages, community coordinator with Fresh Roots Urban Farm Society. “Our vegetables are grown in VanTech Secondary School’s soil by students and neighbours, and are then sold back to the neighbourhood community, right on the school grounds!”

Fresh Roots Urban Farm Society, in collaboration with the Vancouver School Board (VSB), is transforming underutilized school grounds into schoolyard market gardens, creating productive farm fields that are used as outdoor classrooms by the school community.

A year ago, Fresh Roots and the VSB signed a first of its kind licensing agreement, plowing the way for one-quarter-acre schoolyard market gardens at David Thompson and Vancouver Technical (VanTech) Secondary Schools.

Fresh Roots grows community through growing food

The schoolyard market gardens are places where knowledge of food and health is shared between generations, cultures and languages. “We have students that come to the field, with elders hand in hand. They translate their grandparents gardening methods – basking in their families rich heritage,” explains Ilana Labow, co-director of Fresh Roots. Teachers also use the garden to achieve BC’s core curriculum objectives in various subjects like biology, physical education and English.

Starting May 28 until November, Fresh Roots will run a weekly market stand on Wednesdays from 3:00 to 6:00 pm at VanTech Secondary School.

Starting May 28 until November, Fresh Roots will run a weekly market stand on Wednesdays from 3:00 to 6:00 pm at VanTech Secondary School.

These gardens are not just for students

During the summer, neighbours can taste Fresh Roots’ locally grown produce by visiting their Good Food Markets. Starting late May until November, Fresh Roots will run a weekly market stand on Wednesdays from 3:00 to 6:00 pm at VanTech Secondary School. On May 28, for the first market of the year, lettuce, salad mix, radishes and turnips will be waiting for neighbours to take them home.

“The food is delicious and affordable,” says Melanie Beliveau, a teacher and resident in the community. “Every produce bought at the Good Food Market directly supports schoolyard grown crops and programming.”

Neighbours interested in supporting the market garden are also encouraged to commit to a weekly Veggie Box – customers pay up front for the entire season and in return get an assortment of delicious vegetables weekly. It is a wonderful way to support local agriculture and ensure that families have access to healthy, high quality food every week.

The season is already well underway

The amazing schoolyard garden at VanTech Secondary, 2600 East Broadway, was built with the help of students.

The amazing schoolyard garden at VanTech Secondary, 2600 East Broadway, was built with the help of students.

At VanTech, students and neighbours have been working in the garden since March, boosting the raised beds’ fertility by adding rich compost. The overwintering kale has been completely harvested to create space for this year’s crops. The head lettuce left the greenhouse and is now enjoying the sun outside, next to the beet and carrot seedlings. As the season progresses, the diversity of vegetables will keep growing. Everyone is welcome to drop by anytime and check out what is growing on.

“It doesn’t matter what language you speak, nor where you come from,” says Marc Schutzbank, co-director of Fresh Roots, “everyone has a relationship with food.”

Weekly Veggie Boxes!

Support the Schoolyard Market Garden by enjoying a weekly box of delicious vegetables. Pick up will take place at the VanTech Secondary Good Food Market, on Wednesdays from 3:00 to 6:00 pm.

  • $475 for 24 weeks of veggies; May – November
  • 10% off Fresh Roots’ Good Food Market
  • Sample weekly veggie box includes:

1 large leafy green (kale, chard or mustard)
1 salad creation (salad mix, spinach or head lettuce)
1 herb (cilantro, parsley or dill)
1 root vegetable (carrots, beets or turnips)
1 crop of the week (zucchini, beans or garlic)

For more information and to sign up, please visit:

Marilou Bourdages has been passionate about urban agriculture and food for many years. Being able to work at engaging the community in the Schoolyard Market Gardens is a dream come true for her.

Copyright (c) 2014 Renfrew-Collingwood Community News