Culture Days: Shaketown

Lynn Valley will be buzzing with activity for the ninth annual Culture Days September 28-30th. Events and activities will be happening throughout Canada, North Vancouver and in our very own neighbourhood.


North Shore Culture


Culture Days is an opportunity for people of all ages and abilities to try something new, experience something totally different, discover creative spaces in the community and meet the artists that work there. North Vancouver Parks and Recreation have centred the events at seven different “Hubs” throughout the District and City of North Vancouver.

“North Shore Culture Days celebrates the vital role that arts and culture plays in creating vibrant and connected communities. We invite residents to participate, be inspired and have some fun.” said Heather Turner, director, North Vancouver Recreation & Culture Commission.

We have two picks for Lynn Valley:

  1. Saturday Sept. 29; 10-11 a.m. Shaketown Walk with NVMA curator Karen Dearlove , Community History Centre, 3203 Institute Road, Lynn Valley
  2. Saturday, Sept. 29; 2-3 p.m. The Glorious Mountains of Vancouver’s North Shore with author David Crerar,  Community History Centre, 3203 Institute Road, Lynn Valley

Shaketown


At the turn of the last century, Lynn Valley isolated, forested and at the edge of the frontier.

“It really was in the mountains,” said North Vancouver Museum and Archives Curator Karen Dearlove. “Before bridges it was a fairly remote. Just to get up here traveling from Burrard Inlet was difficult. It was mostly skid roads for the mills.”

Ca. 1909. Hastings Creek bridge and boardwalk on Lynn Valley Road, with flume running overhead.

The heavily treed landscape was bisected by Tote Road, a rugged skid road that allowed oxen to haul felled logs down to the Moodyville waterfront, “Centre Road” (now Mountain Highway), and Pipeline Road, a plank road along which a pipeline was installed to carry drinking water from Rice Lake into North Vancouver.

Its relative remoteness and difficulty did not keep people away. The community was first called Shaketown because of the mill – on Mill Street – producing cedar shakes or perhaps it was because of the the shake-sided shacks housing the necessary workers.

“Because the workers at the mills wanted to live close by, homes were built, stores opened, clubs and churches were formed. There was an influx into the area and quite quickly it became a community,” said Dearlove.

The appeal of good jobs, land and a community drew a diverse group of workers from early Chinese and Japanese workers, to industrialists from Vancouver and a number of families from Finland, plus many others, she said.

“Many were like Walter Draycott – they had a sense of adventure,” she said.


Shaketown Walk


Ca. 1910. Depicting the new streetcar line at Lynn Valley Road and Ross Road. The Lynn Valley general store is at the right.

The September 29th Shaketown walk will take participants on an hour-long stroll through Lynn Valley, centring on the intersection of Lynn Valley Road and Mountain. Dearlove will present historical images alongside today’s environment to explore juxtaposition of then and now.

“We have some really great historical photos that show how buildings have changed or moved,” she said.   

The guided walk should be easy for most abilities. It begins at the Community History Centre, 3203 Institute Road, Saturday,  Sept. 29, 10-11 a.m. Participants must pre-register by calling 604 990 3700 x8016.

For all the Cutlure Days events check out the  NVRC website at https://www.nvrc.ca/arts-culture/culture-days (for Lynn Valley events, click on the Lynn Valley Hub accordion on the webpage) or the national website at https://culturedays.ca/en.

All images courtesy of the North Vancouver Museum and Archives.

To learn more about Lynn Valley’s history check out this page.


Historic images


ca. 1950s. Panoramic image along Lynn Valley Road, across from Mountain Hwy. Buildings depicted from left to right: the Brier Block; the Triangle block; the Fromme block. Lynn Valley United Church can be seen behind the Fromme block. This image was taken after the streetcar lines had been removed.

Trail Tales

The North Vancouver District Library has launched a new program to get families outside and active all the while enjoying a good story. 

Trail Tales will take families to Princess Park Aug. 17 from 10:30-11:30 a.m. for a literary walk and the story Two Sisters by E. Pauline Johnson and illustrated by Sandra Butt. It’s a story that fit naturally into the goals of the program said Danielle Wing, a children’s librarian at NVDPL.


The Legend


“Chief Joe Capilano told the legend to E. Pauline Johnson, a Canadian poet, who retold the legend in her book Legends of Vancouver [published in 1911],” said Wing. “ Now, it has been illustrated and presented as a children’s picture book.”

The story is rooted in the mountains of the North Shore.

“Since the book is being presented outdoors, it is fitting that the story focuses on the land and landmarks that families can explore after reading the story. We acknowledge that the land on which we gather is the unceded territory of the Coast Salish Peoples and this book showcases the Salish Sea and explores themes of Creation, courage and peace,” said Wing. “It also includes supplemental information that will enable readers to further immerse themselves in the rich history of Coast Salish cultures. We hope that this book will inspire families to learn more about the land we live on.”

The library was inspired to create Trail Tales after being inspired by library in Vermont and others that have started similar programs.  

“Stories come in many formats and can be presented and experienced in many ways,” said Wing. “North Shore families are active and excited to explore the outdoors already, so we wanted to provide a unique literacy opportunity that took advantage of this while celebrating the remarkable nature we have in our community.”

Presenting the story on a walk allows each family and child to experience it uniquely and coloured by the ways they learn and engage with it.

“We know that children are diverse learners and that each child will take a different approach when reading or listening to a story,” said Wing. “The wonderful thing about engaging with a story outdoors is that everyone can take their own approach: they can walk quietly and read while listening to the sounds of nature around them, or, they can leap and bound between the signs and react as noisily as they’d like!”

The library is debuting a number of new programs that engage patrons in different ways and in different places. They also have a new Brews & Books series which takes melds a pint with author discussions at a local brewery. The Trail Tales program aims to show reading isn’t necessarily a passive activity.

“We hope that families will recognize that literacy and reading can be active and fun,” said Wing. “The North Vancouver District Public Library aims to connect our community, share knowledge and inspire stories: Trail Tales will allow families to interact, share a literacy experience with one another, learn something new and inspire them to explore literacy in all of its forms.”


How it works


Library staff  have created numbered signs that will be displayed throughout the Princess Park from 10:30-11:30 a,m, August 17, starting at the parking lot. Families can either walk with a librarian who will read the story, or they can follow the signs on their own. Trail Tales will be an interactive and engaging family experience for all ages.

Additional dates and locations can be found on the library’s website.

Green thumbs and others needed to help local seniors

There was a curious post circulating a North Shore Facebook group: someone was searching for people who love to garden.


Calling green thumbs


“We have people who in the past have enjoyed gardening, and would still love to do it,” said Eunice Kruse, volunteer coordinator of the Lynn Valley Care Centre. “We have a rooftop garden with raised beds that the residents can use.”

But that can’t happen on their own.

The Lynn Valley Care Centre is looking for a volunteer or two who can share an hour of gardening with residents once or twice a week. The volunteer would take them up to the garden and plant seeds, help weed and visit with the senior, said Kruse.

“We would be looking for someone who loves gardening and can help one or two of our residents at a time,” said Kruse. “It means so much – it gives good mental and physical stimulation. There is also a sense of purpose of being able to do something they used to be able to do.”

The Lynn Valley Care Centre offers intermediate care, extended (complex care), palliative care, and end-of-life care. It has a combination of government subsidized beds and private pay rooms and suites.


Have a passion – share it


If gardening isn’t your thing there are many other opportunities to interact and support the residents, said Kruse. Some volunteers visit with pets, some help organize tea time, one helps seniors get to their appointments with the in-house hairdresser, while others help with arts and crafts. Volunteers also read aloud and host music afternoons and sing-alongs.

 

There is another project Kruse needs volunteers to get started: a social group for senior men.

“I would like to find two-three men who would meet with our elderly men,” she said. “To talk about things that are important to men.”

Research shows that social interaction is immensely beneficial to seniors – or anyone who is feeling isolated, but recent research shows men are less likely to seek out that interaction, said Kruse. She hopes to find enough interest to run the group once a week and give residents a chance to chat about past and current hobbies, interests and adventures.

The reward for volunteers is tangible.

“You see what these visits mean to the residents,” said Kruse. “In just an hour or two you can see someone come to life. It’s a two-way street you give your time and they will give back.”


How to help


To learn more about the volunteer opportunities at the Lynn Valley Care Centre please call Eunice Kruse at 604-982-3709 (she is in Mondays or please leave a message) or visit the volunteer page of its website.

Lynn Valley man saddles up for Cops for Cancer

North Vancouver RCMP Staff Sergeant Philip Yong is fulfilling a dream nearly two decades in the making. The father of four has decided that this is his year to take part in the annual Cops for Cancer fundraiser – and as the only North Vancouver RCMP Member to be saddling up for the full 2018 tour, he wants to put his best foot forward when he and approximately 40 other cyclists push off on September 19.

Over the week that follows, the 2018 Cops for Cancer Tour de Coast will traverse more than 800 hilly kilometres through Greater Vancouver and beyond, from Maple Ridge to Richmond, the North Shore, the Sunshine Coast and the Sea to Sky Corridor and back. Says Philip: “As a first-time rider, I am excited to be representing the North Vancouver RCMP Detachment.  As part of the ride, I have committed to raising over $6,000 in support pediatric cancer research and Camp Goodtimes in Maple Ridge.” 

Camp Goodtimes is a medically-supervised summer camp that allows kids and their families living with cancer to enjoy the great outdoors as kids – not as patients. Each year almost 600 young people and family members are able to have a holiday getaway together thanks to the hard work of camp and medical volunteers and the generous support of donors. 

Philip expects to find cycling up some of the long hills tough – but everyone involved in the Cops for Cancer event is well aware of the far more daunting hardships faced by young cancer patients and their families. Its goal this year is to raise over $500,000; currently the total stands at about $150,000. Philip is asking LynnValleyLife readers to please consider donating toward his goal at this link, or to take part in one of the event’s upcoming general fundraisers.

All four North Vancouver Save-on-Foods stores will be hosting a Cops for Cancer BBQ on Saturday, June 2, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Philip will be at the Park and Tilford event with his enthusiastic family supporters, and states that all proceeds will go directly to Cops for Cancer. “I am hoping we get a lot of community support from this event,” he says. “See you there!”

Cops for Cancer is a fundraiser of the Canadian Cancer Society.

Field Trip! Check out the (old) museum and (new) gallery!

The North Vancouver Museum – the one tucked away quietly at Chesterfield and West Fourth Street for decades – is shutting up shop at the end of April.

That’s good news – it’s all in preparation for the exciting new museum to be built adjacent to Lonsdale Quay – but at the same time it’s always hard saying goodbye to an old friend. So why not pop down for a look at the displays while you have the chance? Take a glimpse into the kitchens, school rooms and shops of early North Vancouver, and peek into the wall-mounted memory boxes that encapsulate the reminiscences of some of our neighbours who grew up here – among them well-known volunteer Del Dimock and North Shore News photographer Mike Wakefield, both residents of Lynn Valley.

Featured currently is an exhibit on Chief Dan George: Actor and Activist, and it’s a thoughtful window into the chief’s extraordinary life that played itself out here on the shores of Burrard Inlet, on the ancestral lands of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation, as well as in Hollywood where George was best known for his role as Old Lodge Skins in Little Big Man, playing alongside Dustin Hoffman. Chief Dan George’s voice continues to be heard in his evocative writings about the indigenous experience of the land, as in his collection of verse that includes the title poem, My Heart Soars.

The North Vancouver Museum is open by donation, from Thursday to Sunday, noon to 5 (closed stat holidays) and the address is 209 West 4th St.

From the old to the new, you can then take a trip into the much different environment of the Polygon Gallery, the modern silver-sided building located on a new inlet-edge walkway between Tap & Barrel and Lonsdale Quay. Open by donation until the end of 2020 with the support of BMO Financial Group, the Polygon Gallery is showcasing photos and artworks that reflect North Vancouver – past and present – back to its citizens in myriad forms and styles. Be sure to pick up the info-packed guide to the N. Vancouver exhibit, and visit the second-floor bookshop for photo and art books on a range of topics and places.

The Polygon Gallery is open from Tuesdays through Sundays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. More info is right here.

 

 

Hatching a new bylaw means more backyard hens in LV

Last September the District of North Vancouver adopted a bylaw allowing for the raising of chickens in single residential homes (RS) zone. You or your neighbours can raised between four to six chickens, given the right enclosure, an electric fence and a animal permit from the district.

While the bylaw maybe new – chickens in Lynn Valley are not. It is estimated there are between 50 and 100 chickens roosting here. For now those chickens are running a-fowl the bylaw, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t thriving in our mountain community.


Happy Hens, Happy Kids


lynn Valley Chickens“Lynn Valley is a pretty cool place,” says Mike, a local chicken owner. “The neighbours have been quite excited about the chickens. They come visit them. When we go away the neighbours’ kids look after the chickens – they get to collect the eggs. It is quite fun.”

For about four years chickens have been a part of their home after his children won over thier parents with some hard fought lobbying and Mike completed some research.

“My wife’s cousins are ranchers and they have 30-40 chickens,” he said. “When the kids were little we would go visit them a lot. And they would play with the chickens. There were dogs, and cattle and haystacks but they would play with the chickens. Eventually they decided they wanted chickens here.

“The ranch up in Cariboo is surrounded by wolves and caribou and all sorts of critters – so we did a lot homework about who was going after urban chickens. We talked to people and heard we needed to keep the ‘coons and the skunks out.”


Keeping ‘coons out of the coop


Between the family dog and the wildlife, using the children’s old playhouse and plenty of chicken wire, Mike got to work.

“We started down this road with a huge amount of chicken security – it was basically a high security prison,” he said. “There was a double-fence system, so if something broke through one, they’d have to break through another. Since we have socialized the dog I have rebuilt everything and made it much more friendly – a minimum security prison for the chickens.”

For his family, the biggest knock against getting chickens was their dog.

“I had family members with dog – and I thought dogs and chickens didn’t necessarily mix,” said Mike. “I have since learned that dogs can be trained to not eat chickens. We worked at it and got the dog to understand it couldn’t eat a chicken.”

In fact the dog is helpful, keeping large birds like eagles and other predators away.

The DNV bylaw requires an electric fence to protect household chickens from wildlife. The District has been working with Wild Safe BC to create a framework for urban chickens that doesn’t habituate wild animals to an easy food source. The District has also been working with CLUCK (Canadian Liberated Urban Chicken Klub).  CLUCK North Vancouver is quite active online with local events, get togethers and its website has a wealth of links including info on a veterinarian in Westview who helps exotic pets including chickens.


Everyone has a job


Back at Mike’s, Hipster and Flopsy a more than just farm animals and more than just pets.

“On a farm they don’t necessarily draw the distinction that urban pet owners do,” says Mike. “Farmers care about every animal in their herd – they will go out in the middle of the night, they will bring them into their home if they need to. To me our chickens are like an animal on a farm but they are also a pet where there is relationship with them. They do work – they produce eggs and they have other jobs.”

While there is work in caring for the chickens, they work they do makes up for the effort, he says. In addition to eggs they eat food scraps, eat weeds, gobble up chafer beetles and dig and fluff the lawn creating healthier grass.

“They produce an egg a day – that is one tenth of their body weight,” says Mike. “They eat a lot and make an egg a day – if you think about that it is like giving birth to a kid everyday. So I have a lot of respect for them.”


The fowl-side of hens


Caring for chickens isn’t all meringues and the best quiche you’ve ever had.

Lynn Valley Chickens“The biggest challenge is they are rather indiscriminate with bathroom habits,” said Mike. “If they are eating that much to make eggs, they have a lot of by products and that is good – we compost it. You have to compost it for a year to get really good garden fertilizer. They wander across the patio and leave little things there and have even escaped into the house on occasion.”

Other challenges include protecting the birds from rats. Apparently rats are common in Lynn Valley compost piles. Mike has taken care to – and the bylaw requires – make the coop inaccessible to rats and to make sure rats don’t partake in the chicken feed.

Another challenge stems from chickens being a bit bird-brained.

“Because we have a dog we don’t leave gates open very often, but the chickens do wander around in the yard and they know where their coop is so they don’t go very far,” says Mike. “But they do disappear and we have chicken panics. There is a lot of things that could happen in the real world. They are not smart enough to not run out in front of a car. They are pretty dumb.”

The most common question the family gets and the number one concern of chicken opponents is noise.

“The chickens make a noise – they don’t do it that often and it’s not an unpleasant noise,” says Mike. “It’s way better than a rock band practicing badly or a diesel [truck] warming up in the morning, or kids screaming or dogs barking or a whole bunch of other things you hear in a human neighbourhood. We were worried about… it’s just part of the background and none of the neighbours seem to care – and I’d hope they would come talk to us if they did.”

The other thing to be aware of, says Mike, is that chickens are fragile – they have been bred to do one thing.

“We made the mistake of getting farm chickens, not ones bred to be pets. The first ones we had were quite weak – one died of an infection and one died of leukemia. We have two now.”

With several years as a chicken owner, Mike insists he doesn’t love them – but he does speak about them with a lot of affection.

“I’m still rather indifferent to them – but my kids would have a different answer. They are entertaining,” says Mike. “There is nothing like a fresh egg – let me tell you. An egg that is made by a chicken that is eating bugs and wandering around eating plants is a completely different thing than what you get in a store.”

Rules on raising hens in Lynn Valley can be found on the DNV website.

An ancient antidote to the modern rush

Looking to be an antidote for the rushed, the busy and the overwhelmed Lynn Valley United Church has turned to the ancient labyrinth to offer locals a space to look inward, reflect and spiritually connect.


New building, historic idea


Lynn Valley United Church walkers

On the floor of the new contemporary church building is a very old tradition. Marked on the new floor is a labyrinth based on one of the world’s most famous in Chartres, France. The design in that cathedral is thought to have been built in the early 1200s. The four-quadrant design holds a path leading meditative walkers into the centre and back out.

Lynn Valley United Church invites anyone to come an used the peaceful walk to slow down and reflect. It is open to walk anytime the office is open (10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Tuesday-Friday) and during several special sessions throughout the month.

“We live in a culture where so much is coming at you – that is driven by ego. Anytime you can put aside the ego and listen to the inner you – I would say it is a spiritual moment,” said Kimiko Karpoff, Minister for Faith Formation at LVUC.

“The labyrinth is where you can bring your deeper questions and longings to the inner wisdom that exists in in each person. Walking a labyrinth is a spiritual practice – it can take you into deeper conversation. For some people it resonates with, that can be a deeper conversation with God. If that doesn’t resonate with you – a deeper conversation with our essential self,” she said.

“You can come and walk it as you are and approach it as you need to.”


Old traditions


Labyrinths exist in the history of just about every culture across the world. Just about as universally they are used for reflection and connection. Despite their wide symbolic appeal they are relatively rare in the Lower Mainland. A small handful exist in other churches and while there is an outdoor labyrinth at The Bridge Church in Deep Cove, there is no other indoor labyrinth on the North Shore.

Lynn Valley United Church finger board“One of things about a labyrinth is that people often mistake it for a maze,” said Karpoff. “A maze is designed to trick and fool. Whereas a labyrinth is actually a singular path where you can’t get lost. It is one single path that takes you into the centre. When you look at the pattern it switches back and forth, so when you are walking you don’t know where you are but the labyrinth knows where you are.”

She says that this is liberating because your mind must be occupied enough to follow the path and but still allows focus on other things.

“It is contemplative, so some people meditate,” said Karpoff. “You are paying attention, but it’s so simple you don’t have to think about it. Your body is doing something but your brain is given space to be creative.”  

LVUC has more information on the history of the practice and how one can meditate in the labyrinth on their website. Traditionally, the labyrinth is walked slowly at the pace you need in order to be reflective. Mentally it is approached in four steps:

  • Remembering – Acknowledge the people and things you are thankful for; be grateful to yourself for taking this time out, and your feet for getting you to the labyrinth.
  • Releasing – Let go of the negative, and the chatter that busies our minds, open yourself
  • Receiving – During the walk open yourself to the guidance, interior silence, peace, or a creative idea; whatever it is your soul chooses to nourish itself, however unexpected this may be.
  • Return – as you exit the labyrinth honour your insights and try to find space for them in world.

“I would love to see people have that time for peace,” said Karpoff. “It doesn’t necessary take a lot of time to do a spiritual practice. It is a simple as sitting and being or walking and being. If all you have is 20 minutes you can walk the labyrinth.”

There is more information on hand at the church on the labyrinth and how it is used and staff are happy to answer any questions labyrinth walkers may have.

“At Lynn Valley United Church we want people feel comfortable to come and be,” said Karpoff. “Some come and walk the labyrinth and go. Others come and connect and talk – that can be simple chit chat or deeper conversation.”


Special walks throughout the month:


LabyrinthFirst Wednesday – 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. – Walk with hymns and sacred music played on the piano.

Second Wednesday – 9 a.m. – Parents are encouraged to stop by for self-care after dropping children off at school.

Third Wednesday – 7 to 9 p.m. – Walk with contemplative music.

Fourth Wednesday – 4:45 p.m. onwards – Walk the labyrinth during Mid-Week Moments, an event for families of all shapes and sizes that integrates a shared meal, gathering for all-ages community worship and activities to stimulate spiritual connection, reflection and curiosity… which includes a playful and exuberant exploration of the labyrinth!

For more information reach out to Lynn Valley United Church at 604-987-2114.

LynnValleyLife is looking for this year’s Good Neighbour!

If you’ve been following LynnValleyLife for a while, you’ll know that one of our favourite times of the year is the lead up to our annual Good Neighbour Award.

Good Neighbour Award Winner Ribbon

All year ‘through we keep our ears to the ground for people who represent Lynn Valley at its finest – whether it is through acts of quiet kindness or participating in more public “passion projects” for a good cause. Last year’s recipients were Dave and Wilna Parry, who opened their doors to a blind Somalian refugee, and the year before that it was Cath Bates Dimmock, a volunteer coach who has given heart and soul to Argyle’s gymnastics program. Other times recipients have been people whose name you might not have heard before, but who are heroes on their street or in their organization for all the help they give to others.

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Lynn Valley donors warm hands and hearts

‘Twas the week before Christmas (or maybe a bit more)
When we asked you to keep your eyes peeled at the store
For gloves and hats, and protection from sleet
To help Cpl. Wong bring some warmth to the street.
You opened your hearts, and pulled out your purse
And here’s where we switch to narrative from verse…

It’s hard to switch into prose, however, because there was much that was poetic about our visit with Cpl. Randy Wong and his wife, Sahar Manochehri. The couple visited the LynnValleyLife editor’s home to pick up several large bags of items donated by readers to help stock the ziplocked care kits that Randy and Sahar assemble and distribute for the homeless in our local communities.

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