Bring your treasures for appraisal

Here’s a heads-up for those of you starting to do your spring-cleaning: take a closer look at some of those family hand-me-downs that belonged to your mother or grandfather.

Later this spring you’ll have the chance to see if those items you’ve taken for granted might have value beyond the sentimental – or a story to tell of their own!

On Saturday, March 31, six appraisers will be on hand in the Community Room of North Shore Museum and Archives (in the old Lynn Valley School building) to evaluate your articles.

This “Treasures from the Attic” Event is a fundraiser for the Friends of the Museum Society. For all the details, click here.


LynnValleyLife: your resource for 100th Lynn Valley Day!

LIFE WITH LYNN O’MALLEY: Have I ever missed a Lynn Valley Day? Well, perhaps for a year or two in my turbulent twenties. Otherwise, I’ve been there every year – dancing the may pole, playing in the band, marching in the parade, or staffing an info booth (not usually all at once).

So, like the rest of you Lynn Valleyites who drop everything on the last Saturday in May in order to celebrate your community, I’m thrilled that 2012 marks the 100th – yes, 100th! – anniversary of Lynn Valley Day. And I’m even more excited to let you know that its organizers – the hard-working Lynn Valley Lions and Lynn Valley Community Association – have asked our team here at LynnValleyLife to host the online website for this historic centennial event, taking place Saturday, May 26th.

We’ve already been having a great time getting to know more of you through our busy Facebook page and the thoughtful feedback we’ve been getting to our LynnValleyLife website. Now we’re really going to ramp up our local coverage to make sure each and every one of you knows all there is to know about Lynn Valley Days 2012!

Pretty soon, you’ll notice some changes to our ‘landing page’  – that’s the introductory page you see when you type in our web address,  While you’ll still be able to use the landing page as a launch pad to our Life, Business and Real Estate sections, you’ll also be able to click on a special “Lynn Valley Days 100” icon that will take you to a dedicated section of our site.

There you will find everything from parade application forms to event schedules to news updates and information on volunteering, the car show, and the proud history of Lynn Valley Days.

You’ll also be able to buy your tickets to the Friday night gala dinner (May 25th), which will be even bigger and better than last year’s sold-out extravaganza.

In all my years, I’ve found there’s only one thing better than going to Lynn Valley Day – helping out with Lynn Valley Day! As with anything, the more you put into something, the more you get back. Whether it’s helping with set-up, taking a shift on the concession or stacking up chairs in the afternoon, there’s room for lots of helping hands, especially with this year’s added festivities. Please consider stepping up now so the Volunteer Coordinator doesn’t have to worry about filling her quota! Contact Shirin from the Lynn Valley Community Association at

Should you have any questions about the Lynn Valley Days centennial, please email us here at LynnValleyLife and we’ll post the information for everyone to share, or put you on to the right contact person.

We look forward to providing you with lots of great Lynn Valley Days coverage and contests. Stay tuned! We’ll keep you posted.

Ground-breaking art gallery seeks LV volunteers

BY YOLANDE MARTINELLO, Principal of Fine Arts, School District 44: Many people in Lynn Valley will be celebrating the opening of the Gordon Smith Gallery of Canadian Art this fall, and we are hoping many of them will also volunteer to be part of its success.

Currently under construction at 21st and Lonsdale, the gallery will be the only one in the country dedicated solely to young people. It will house the Artists for Kids programs and the acclaimed Artists for Kids Collection of Canadian Art, now located at the Lucas Centre.

Lynn Valley has been a critical part of Artists for Kids (AFK) since its inception more than 20 years ago. Long-time Lynn Valley resident and artist Molly Lamb Boback is one of our esteemed patrons, and Lynn Valley Elementary students have long had the privilege of participating in our gallery program.

In addition, one of their treasured teachers and an Artists for Kids team member, Catherine Schechter, has brought Order of the Owl projects (highlighting the work of an AFK artist), enrichment opportunities, and her vast knowledge of our collection to the Lynn Valley community.

If you have a little bit of time, or a lot, and value art education and the importance of Canadian culture in our community, we want to welcome you to our team.

We are actively seeking volunteers with art education experience, and those who simply love art or contributing to their community. We need support for positions as varied as Mail-out Support and Docents, Clerical Support and Event Planners, Writers and Photographers, and Sponsor Support.

To learn more about our new community asset and the ways Lynn Valley citizens can continue to support this wonderful program, please attend our volunteer information evening.

Date: Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Time: 7pm – 9pm
Place: Artists for Kids Gallery
Address: 810 West 21st Street, North Vancouver

We look forward to seeing you there.

If you are interested in volunteer opportunities, but cannot join us at the information evening, please contact Brenda Irving at or call us at (604) 903-3797. Please visit our website to learn more about our programs.


Christmas kicks in this week in Lynn Valley

By the end of November, we’ve usually endured weeks of cold, grey drizzle. I don’t know about you, but the wonderfully sunny fall we’ve had this year has meant that the impending Christmas season has sort of snuck up on me.

So perhaps the upside to this rainy Grey Cup weekend is that it has caught our attention and reminded us that Christmas is, indeed, on the way. And just in time, too, because in Lynn Valley the festivities really start up in the week ahead (which is currently forecast to be sunny, by the way!)

I won’t list all the details here, because you can find the ins and outs on our LynnValleyLife events calendar. But be sure to take in some of the highlights of the week ahead!

You can get in the mood on Monday with a by-donation concert offered up by your very own community concert band, the Lynn Valley Black Bear Band (they even supply free eats, but you do have to go to Kay Meek Theatre to get them!).

On Tuesday, the junior band and choir at Argyle will raise the roof with some seasonal tunes in the big gym, starting at 7:30.

Wednesday the 30th is the next holiday shopping night at the End of the Line Store at the top of Lynn Valley Road. Right on the edge of the forest, the general store/gallery is just the place to enjoy a hot drink and ponder which of the café’s crafts and curiosities would suit the people on your gift list. (Wednesday is also the day to pick up your poinsettia if you’ve ordered one from Mollie Nye House, by the way.)

It’s always fun to be in the thick of things when Santa – that’s right, Santa himself – flips the switch to light up Mollie Nye House in all its gingerbread glory. That will happen on Thursday, and there will be lots of other festive stuff going on at the house that night, too. (That would be the perfect time to bring along a pair of new socks, or men’s toiletries, or warm gloves for the St. Agnes’ Scouts Christmas hampers for the Lookout Emergency Shelter – Mollie Nye House has offered to be the drop-off spot for scout leader Ken Gregson.)

Christmas jollity continues on the weekend, as merchants and organizations decorate their adopted tree in Lynn Valley Village. The official lighting ceremony will take place on Sunday at 5 p.m., and we hope you visit our LynnValleyLife tree. The team decorating elves have been busy indeed!

All this frolic will no doubt put you in the mood for the decking of your personal halls, and we hope you support the Lynn Valley Lions tree lot. Look for it in the parking lot of Karen Magnussen Rec Centre, starting this weekend!

LV Legion invites public to Pioneer Park

A change has happened since my childhood. Back then, Remembrance Day was usually marked by parents – the fathers, usually – taking their fathers to a cenotaph to honour fallen comrades while the rest of us stayed home. But today, parents are instead bringing their children to the November 11 ceremonies.

Across the country, attendance at cenotaph events has been increasingly steadily. TV news show crowds filled with young people – not just the Scouts and air cadets who have to be there, but those who are either there of their own volition, or brought along by parents who think it’s important their kids show their support.

Here in North Van, we’ve got a range of events to choose from, from the Maritime Memorial service in Cates Park organized by the Burrard Yacht Club, to the ceremony at Victoria Park, said to be the second largest event of its kind in Canada. (We’re proud to say our own Lynn Valley Black Bear Band will be performing there for the first time this year.)

Here in Lynn Valley, we’ve started our own Remembrance Day event in the latter few years. I recently ran into a past-president of the Lynn Valley Legion selling poppies in Delany’s, and he told me about the ceremony happening tomorrow at Pioneer Park at the corner of Lynn Valley and Mountain Hwy.

The Lynn Valley cenotaph event isn’t meant to compete with what’s going on at Victoria Park, he said. But what it does do is help those who find the crowds and parking at the larger event daunting – seniors, perhaps, or families with young children. It gives them a more accessible, shorter ceremony that offers them the chance to remember in their own neighbourhood.

There will be a small colour parade, a piper, some short addresses, words from a minister, and the moment of silence. People are asked to assemble at 10:45, and after the ceremony the public is warmly invited to an open house at Lynn Valley Legion on Lynn Valley Road.

I hope to see you at Pioneer Park tomorrow – with your kids!

Full house at Browns for opening night

I was fortunate enough to be one of those at the Browns’ “Thirsty Rehearsal” on Sunday night, happily acting as a guinea pig for the kitchen and serving staff.

You’d think that would have satisfied my pent-up curiosity enough that I could have stayed home tonight and thrown a log on the fire. But when push came to shove, I just couldn’t stay away.

It’s a bit of a thing of mine – inherited from my mother – to be first in the door on opening days. Not that I’m (too) pushy; I just like an occasion. First sailing on the Seabus? Check. First person to check out a book in the new LV Library? Moi. You get the idea.

So did I feel lucky when I managed to be first in line this afternoon, waiting on the patio for the door to open at 5. Just a few minutes after the hour, the door swung open and the other guests and I were welcomed in by the owner, Derek Archer.

By the time I left almost two hours later, the place was full, people were outside waiting to get in, and I’d put away a whisky sour and some pad thai – not a natural pairing, to be sure, but in the spirit of new beginnings I thought I’d try two things I’d never ever had before. Successes, both of them. I managed to say no to the chocolate cake, but likely won’t be so strong next time because I know it is very very good.

Both times I was at Browns, I’ve noticed how pleasant the staff are, and I probably slowed down the restaurant’s overall productivity by keeping my servers chatting so long at the table. But what else is a Social House for?

A little bit about LynnValleyLife…

There’s no shortage of things to be thankful for here in Lynn Valley. But I can tell from the water cooler buzz around here that the LynnValleyLife team is definitely glad this ‘interweb’ site is up and running, and I hope you are, too.

You may already have met the LynnValleyLife Facebook page, where team members post up some of the news of the valley. You’re welcome to post your own news there, too, if you have something worth telling your neighbours. Things like school events, or fundraisers, or concerts or bear spottings. (A day or two ago, for example, there was a posting about some VERY strange forest sounds that had us stumped…)

Good things come to those who wait, and for those of you who’ve seen our banners down in the town centre for the past few months and wondered what we’re all about, we’d like to thank you for waiting! There has been a good bit of bustle going on trying to bring you the best community site we can, and we didn’t want to take off the wrappings before we felt it was ready.

LynnValleyLife is still a site in progress, and you’re welcome to send us your suggestions as the web-crew and design folk continue their fine-tuning. Though it pains me to say it, you may even find a typo or a broken link or two, and we’d like to hear about those so we can make the corrections.

Some Valleyites are probably wondering why this site came to be, and what’s it for. It came to be because our publisher Jim Lanctot, who lives with his family near Lynn Valley Park, decided to hang out his real estate shingle. That said, he didn’t want all his marketing dollars going to fancy-pants advertisements or notepads with his face on it (not that there’s anything wrong with his face, but he thought maybe he could offer people something they’d find more useful).

So he decided to put some dollars and sense towards building a bang-up community website that not only shows off this area to potential new homeowners, but allows those of us already in the neighbourhood to talk to each other. Jim’s keen to help local merchants promote their businesses, and Lynn Valley organizations get the word out about their goings-on. There’s information about our history, and about current-day activities like hiking and mountain biking. Whether you are a senior or a schoolkid, we hope to give you the information and inspiration you need to live your very best LynnValleyLife.

Best part is, there are no strings attached. If we can help you promote your cause or toot your horn, we will. Make sure you ‘like’ our Facebook page and join the LynnValleyLife Network on this website so you can be sure to hear the news of the neighbourhood, including special offers and contests that might come your way. Jim doesn’t do anything icky with your contact details, and you can de-like us at any time. But we hope you won’t.

While Jim and the rest of his team run around and sell houses and figure out complicated web issues, I’m the person who sits back on the front porch and watches Lynn Valley life go by. I’ll be reporting back to you about the things I see, or hear, or wonder about. Make a deal with you: if you keep me in the know, I’ll return the favour. If you’d like to see an item posted, please send the details to me at

Til then, thanks for being great neighbours. And welcome to LynnValleyLife.