Renfrew-Collingwood Community News

News stories from the Renfrew-Collingwood community in East Vancouver

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Join the fight against climate change at the 9th annual Earth Day Parade, April 20, 2019

More than 1,000 community members will march on Saturday, April 20, will you be one of them?


Our planet is being hurt by our environmental and social decisions and the first step to changing that is by raising awareness and shifting how we think about our relationship to the natural world.

The Youth 4 Climate Justice Now Committee invites everyone in the Lower Mainland to attend the 9th annual Earth Day Parade on April 20, 2019, to participate in a fun day of learning about environmental issues, celebrate the work being down in communities around climate justice and learn how we can shape a more sustainable world.

Windermere Leadership students invite the community to march in the 9th annual Earth Day Parade, Saturday, April 20, 2019. Pictured is Earth Day Parade 2018. Photo by Michael Wheatley

“It’s hard to take the first step towards making change, especially for youth, but this generation is the future and our choices will affect both us and generations to come, so we need to take action now if we still want a planet to live on,” says Rachel Chow, one of the organizers this year.

“Throughout the years, society’s connection to nature has faded, but that connection will never disappear,” she continues. “My whole life, I’ve been surrounded by both cities and nature, and I can’t imagine a planet where that balance is broken. I want to spread awareness about these problems because if our view on nature isn’t changed, I don’t even know if I’ll have a future to look forward to.”

The goal of the parade and festival is to inform the community of our current climate situation and provide them with a reason to care about the planet. It will be on Saturday, April 20, 2019 from 1 to 3 pm starting at Commercial and Broadway and continuing to Grandview Park. There will be guest speakers, performers, and diverse booths about many topics that youth find most pressing in the climate justice movement.

About the Earth Day Parade

For the past 9 years, Windermere Leadership students have taken on the role of organizing the parade to host an event for Earth Day created by youth, for youth, about environmental and social problems and how we can help shape the future that we want. Each year, they host a festival with many different booths and speakers at Grandview Park to engage the community in these problems. This year will be the 9th year Leadership students will host this celebration and they hope to bring about change in any way they can. Learn more at: or

Rachel Chow is a student in the Leadership program at Windermere Secondary and the Earth Day coordinator.

Copyright 2019 Renfrew-Collingwood Community News

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April 2019 issue of RCC News is here


RCC News April 2019

The cherry blossoms are a sure sign that spring is here! Let’s celebrate the season with heartwarming stories from this issue of the RCC News – it’s 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:

  • CIBC at Kingsway and Joyce celebrates its 100th anniversary on April 3
  • Windermere Leadership presents 9th annual Earth Day Parade April 20
  • Earth Fest at Everett Crowley Park April 27
  • Movie Night: She Has a Name
  • In Loving Memory of Owen Michael Brown
  • Collingwood Corner: Joyce and Kingsway in 1931
  • Third Community Open House at Three Links

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 May 2019 issue is April 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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Windermere students celebrate Earth Day

Windermere Earth Day parade April 22, 2017

Join Windermere students in their seventh annual Earth Day Parade and Celebration on Saturday, April 22. Photo courtesy of Windermere Leadership program

Join the Earth Day Parade and Celebration – April 22


Every year, grade 11 students from Windermere Secondary’s Leadership program dedicate their time to organizing an event for Earth Day. This year will be our seventh annual Earth Day Parade and Celebration happening on Saturday, April 22, 2017.

The event aims to educate and engage youth on important environmental issues including climate change. This year the event will be looking at issues that directly affect our communities such as the recently approved Kinder Morgan pipeline as well as tankers on our coast.

We are driven to organize this event every year by our desire for a just and sustainable world and to empower those who attend to work towards a greener and more sustainable future.

The event will start off with a parade near Commercial-Broadway Skytrain Station at 1 pm and will proceed northwards on Commercial Drive to Grandview Park where there will be a variety of speakers, performers and activities.

We invite and encourage everyone to come out with signs, dress up, and walk with us on Saturday, April 22 at 1 pm!

Copyright (c) 2017 Renfrew-Collingwood Community News

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Windermere students race to save the planet at the Great Climate Race


About 50 students from Windermere Secondary raced to save their planet this year at the Great Climate Race. Photo by Jewel Dimayuga/Pooja Nair


We may not know what our future holds, but what we do know is that the rate at which climate change occurs depends on us. The Great Climate Race is a reminder that we can control our future, we just need to act fast.

On October 27, 2016, the second annual Great Climate Race took place. More than a thousand people of all running abilities gathered together at Stanley Park to raise awareness for climate change by completing either a or 2.5 kilometre or 10K run.

What makes this event so unique is that co-founders Ben West and Mari McMillan, both passionate environmental activists, designed it to be a zero-waste race that was more than just a run or walk.

The goal of the Great Climate Race is to spread awareness about climate change, bring together community in an encouraging and enjoyable way and fundraise for solar energy projects. Some of these projects include OrcaLabs to help make the orca research facility on northern Vancouver Island completely dependant on renewable solar power as well as a solar power project for the new Tsleil-Waututh administrative and Health Centre in North Vancouver

Our 50-member team at Stanley Park on that beautiful Sunday morning was a group of students from Windermere Secondary School. Located in the heart of East Vancouver, Windermere boasts a thriving garden, bike shop and Leadership program, amongst many other features. Vancouver is considered one of the “greenest” cities in the world, and Windermere definitely reflects that ideal.

These Windermere participants are also part of an in-school mini program called Leadership. With focuses on environmental stewardship and student growth through being active citizens, the Leadership program develops students into leaders of the present and the future. The Leadership program goes beyond school lessons to teach students, or have students discover for themselves what is going on in the community, and what they can do to help.

When the chance to attend the Great Climate Race was sprung upon us, we (the Leadership students) were brimming with excitement. Last year’s race seemed like an unbeatable event with all the smiles, encouragement and pride that was felt on the day of the race, but somehow we managed to top it.

“This is my second year running this race and it’s still an amazing experience,” said Janette Chen, a Grade 10 Leadership student. “It really brings awareness to the cause that we are fighting for and it’s a great opportunity to help out or show that you care!”

This year a Windermere team was organized by two Grade 12 students, and around 50 students raced to save their planet this year at the Great Climate Race. Prior to the race we were all preoccupied with asking for pledges and spreading the news about the event to all of our friends, families and classmates. Those who didn’t attend the event pitched in and pledged those who did, and mini-fundraising events such as bake sales took place, too.

On the day of the race there was no tension in the air. We knew that we could run competitively if we wanted to, but the Climate Race was also just an opportunity to enjoy the gorgeous sea-wall scenery and spend rare moments with friends face to face.

I went into the event unsure of whether I wanted to run or just take it easy, but I came out feeling proud that I accomplished something because I tried my best.

Propelled by the colourful posters and kind words from people I encountered while running, I ran faster and faster and started to realize what the race meant to me. To me, the race is a metaphor that we are in a race against time to save our planet, and the only people we need to beat are ourselves. We need to stop ourselves from destroying our home before it’s too late.

Right now, it’s not too late to take action. We might already be witnessing the precursors of climate change, but there are things we can do to slow down the effects of climate change. There are a multitude of things you can easily do, such as choosing electric power, starting a garden, or biking, walking, taking public transit more often instead of riding in a car. Anything, no matter how small, will make a difference. Change starts with us, and climate change ends here.

Clara Sun is a Grade 10 student in the Leadership program at Windermere Secondary.

Copyright (c) 2016 Renfrew-Collingwood Community News

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Windermere Organic Garden Team grows fruit, veggies and community

Windermere Organic Garden market stall

The Windermere Garden Organic Team had just put out their produce when a cook from Collingwood Neighbourhood House offered up herbs. Photo by Jenny Lu


The Leadership program in Windermere Secondary has transformed an empty weed-filled area in the school’s grass field into a beautiful, edible food garden. There are now two parts to the garden at the school: the courtyard located at the heart of Windermere and the orchard located on the upper right of the Windermere field.

A team of devoted youth arrive every day after school to keep the garden in top condition. The students range from Grades 8 to 12 and make up the Windermere Organic Garden Team (WOGT). This year, the garden leaders are Gaelan Emo and Kobie Gingras-Fox, and included in the team is a student from the University of B.C. Fresh Roots, Jenny Lu.

Summer market

During summer 2016, the Windermere Organic Garden Team held a market stand for seven weeks every Tuesday outside the Collingwood Neighbourhood House (CNH), at Joyce and Euclid. All the profit has gone back to help improve the Windermere garden.

The day before or on the day of the market, students would hand pick and wash the organically grown fruits and vegetables before transporting them to Collingwood Neighbourhood House by bicycle.

The crops included varieties of cucumbers, apples, kale, squash, cabbages and tomatoes. Every week, new and previous customers came to the stand, and whether they bought some produce or not, they all left with encouraging words that continue to push the students to keep up their work in the garden.

Windermere Garden market stall

Just a few of Windermere’s fruits and vegetables of the week. Photo by Jenny Lu

Growing community

Along with the summer market, the WOGT plans to work on greater projects involving the garden and members of the community. One such project is a giant mural located on a side wall in the orchard.

In collaboration with Collingwood Neighbourhood House, WOGT hopes to bring in students, such as students in the Windermere Athena Arts program, as well as youth from the community to all work on it.

Right now, one of the garden leaders is working with Crecien Bencio, a youth from CNH, to plan the mural. Watch for a swarm of students to start on it as soon as warmer weather returns.

Janette and Cindy Chen are Grade 10 and 11 students in of the Leadership program at Windermere Secondary. Both are involved in the community through various programs and organizations. They have been regular members of the Windermere Organic Garden Team since Grade 8 and 9.

Copyright (c) 2016 Renfrew-Collingwood Community News