Good Neighbour Award nominations open!

Every year LynnValleyLife takes pleasure in recognizing a Lynn Valley resident who goes the extra mile to make our community or the wider world a better place.

Good Neighbour Award Winner RibbonIt might be someone whose quiet small acts provide ongoing comfort and motivation to the circle that surrounds them – their neighbours, colleagues, or friends. It might be someone whose work through a non-profit group or as an individual has tackled one of the various troubling issues our society is facing. It might be someone who has inspired youth or stood by our seniors.

Last year’s Good Neighbour was Cath Bates Dimmock, a volunteer coach known as a wonderful role model for the students on the Argyle gymnastics team. We need your help to find this year’s Good Neighbour!

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Troubadour a fixture at Lynn Valley Mall

There aren’t many communities lucky enough to have as dedicated a mall musician as Linda, who can be heard most mornings on the bench outside Romance Jewellers in Lynn Valley Mall.

LindaLinda, who is blind and navigates with the use of a cane, is well known to regular shoppers and mall employees for her ukulele-accompanied songs such as “You are my Sunshine.” Linda says that people sometimes join in singing; most often they just pass by, but hopefully with a lighter step after hearing her.

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Over the Fence: David Hewitson, “Mayor of Lynn Valley Mall”

Today’s post continues an occasional feature called Over the Fence – a mini-profile of some of the interesting people who live or work in Lynn Valley. Have a suggestion of someone you’d like to see profiled? Let us know at info@LynnValleyLife.com!

Today we’re chatting over the fence with David Hewitson, friendly face and supervisor at the Rogers booth in Lynn Valley Mall, and unofficial “mayor” of the community shopping centre.

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Over the Fence: Mike Danks

With today’s post we begin an occasional feature called Over the Fence – a mini-profile of some of the interesting people who live or work in Lynn Valley. Have a suggestion of someone you’d like to see profiled? Let us know at info@LynnValleyLife.com!

Today we’re chatting over the fence with Mike Danks, team lead of North Shore Rescue, City of North Vancouver firefighter, and married father of three.

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Valentine’s contest entries heartwarming to read

Our 2016 Valentine’s Day Contest was the cause of passionate conversation during a LynnValleyLife meeting in January. We’d had a great response in the past to our “What Do You Love About Lynn Valley?” and “What’s Your Nickname for Your Loved One?” contests and we wanted to tap into our community heart yet again.

We know that Valentine’s Day isn’t just for the dreamy-eyed, star-struck lovers amongst us.  As any parent who has helped a child painstakingly craft 30 Valentine’s cards for their school chums knows, there are all sorts of friendships and affections to be celebrated on February 14.

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Lynn Valley churches welcome refugee family

After weeks of waiting and planning, a group of North Vancouver residents celebrated the arrival of their sponsored refugee family at Vancouver International Airport on Friday, January 15.

The Syrian family of five was met by representatives of their large sponsorship group. REST (the Regional Ecumenical Sponsorship Team) is composed of people from North Vancouver Anglican and Lutheran Churches (including St. Clement’s Anglican and Mt. Olivet Lutheran in Lynn Valley) and from the Sutherland Secondary School community.

IMG_6532As you can see from the faces in the photo, the first meeting was a joyous one despite the hardships the family has endured in recent months. “They are lovely people who are extremely grateful to be here,” said Shannon Muir, one of REST’s coordinators. “They even asked to talk to the media today so they could say how grateful they are to Canada.”

Arrangements have been made for the family to live in the Blueridge area, at a rent generously reduced by the homeowner. Under the terms of the blended sponsorship agreement, REST will pay the family’s living expenses for one year, with the federal government contributing six months’ of social assistance-level funding.

REST is also awaiting the arrival of a vision-impaired young adult from Somalia, who will live with one of the team members in the Grand Boulevard area, and a 20-year-old Iraqui man who will be rejoining his family here. Anyone wishing to donate to the REST refugee efforts is invited to make a donation to the refugee fund of any of the sponsoring churches: St. Clement’s, St. Agnes, St. Catherine’s, St. Martin’s, or St. John’s Anglican Churches, or Mt. Olivet and Gloria Dei Lutheran Churches.

LynnValleyLife Good Neighbour for 2015 announced!

If you’ve been around these parts for a while, you’ll know that we at LynnValleyLife love collecting stories of the good citizens in our midst, and drawing from amongst them to name the recipient of our annual Good Neighbour Award. (Have a look in the Notable Neighbours section of our Front Porch blog for past winners and nominees, and pop by our office for a look at the Good Neighbour award plaque!)

We’re delighted to announce that this year’s representative of all of Lynn Valley’s good neighbours is Cath Bates Dimmock of Hoskins Road. Cath was nominated by her daughter, Carly, for whom she is obviously a huge inspiration. Thanks, Cath, for all you do for the young ladies and lads in the Argyle gymnastics program, and thanks, Carly for letting us know about it! Your mom will receive her own Good Neighbour Award plaque and a $50 gift certificate, courtesy of the Black Bear Neighbourhood Pub!

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Lynn Valley organizations gather to swap ideas

From the desk of Peggy Trendell-Jensen, LVLife editor

It’s no accident that Lynn Valley has become one of the North Shore’s most family-friendly places to live – the fact is due in large part to the efforts of our neighbourhood groups, schools and other volunteer organizations who put community building at the top of their agenda.

So it was with great anticipation that LynnValleyLife helped convene a gathering of community representatives at a wine, cheese and visioning event that took place last Wednesday in the cosy wood-cabin lodge within the Laura Lynn townhouse development. The aim of the event’s steering committee (which also included Alecia Greenfield from St. Clement’s Anglican Church, and Shauna Grinke, Blair Odney and Sophia Ducey from Lynn Valley United) was to get in one room a cross-section of Lynn Valley people whose vocation – whether paid or voluntary – is to make this neighbourhood happier and healthier.

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Local author pens bedtime books

Sylvie Michaud is a neighbourhood mom, craft artist, writer and, most recently, nursing student. Somehow, in the past two years, she found the time to team up with her mother, Monique Michaud, to produce three books for young ones, all featuring the Ringtail raccoon family. She sold them at Christmas craft markets, where the Ringtail clan received much fond feedback. The books are now available for free from Noisetrade publishers, and can be downloaded straight to your digital tablet for bedtime reading!

We caught up with Sylvie this week to ask her about the story behind the stories.

What inspired the Ringtail books?
bookofwishes_cover4catalogueBefore my son was born my husband and I had very little experience with children and babies, so when my son came into this world shouting at the top of his lungs and refusing to be out of our arms, we were a bit panicked, to put it mildly. My pre-birth visions had been of a peacefully sleeping baby rocking in a bassinet, while I blissfully looked on. And while I felt more love for this little being than for anything in my life, I definitely needed to readjust my expectations of what motherhood was going to be like.The idea for the books came to me, seemingly, out of the blue about the time my son was six years old. I had not been actively thinking about writing a series of children’s books, but what had been percolating in the back of my mind for many years was the desire to create something that helped parents feel more connected to what it means to be a parent.

I headed to the library to scour books about what to do and got the overwhelming sense that I was “spoiling” Luke by picking him up when he cried and having a “family bed”, but after a couple “sleep therapy” sessions of letting him cry it out alone, I knew I had to do it my own way.

My son is an empathetic, kind, active, and social. He looks to his parents, not his peers, for support and guidance. He is not spoiled, dependent or a “mama’s boy” like the books warned.

It made me wonder how many other parents had listened to advice that didn’t feel right and not listened to their gut instincts. I wanted to help them by returning to some basics.

 Tell us about collaborating on the books with your mother….

My mother is an amazing woman. She’s never been one to never let a little fact like she’s never done something before get in her way. She has also been an artist her whole life. When I had the idea for writing the stories I asked her if she would like to illustrate them and she jumped right on it. She was great to work with and kept me focused on getting it finished when I was distracted by other projects on the go. Which I have a habit of doing.

What kind of feedback have you received on the Ringtail books?

My mother and I originally were selling the books at Christmas craft fairs and I think that really gave me the sense that I was touching people deeply with the stories. I had several people cry at our booth after reading one of the stories because they felt so moved.

Sylvie2

I couldn’t ask for better feedback than that because my purpose in writing the stories was to help parents and children connect on a deeper level about what I felt were the important aspects of parenting. I also had many grandparents buy the books for their own children to read to their children. I also remember one time I was reading to a group of preschoolers and they just kept wanting me to read them over and over. That was so sweet.

What has been the most satisfying aspect of the project? How about the most challenging?

The most satisfying aspect has been the feedback I’ve received from parents and grandparents about the books. It feels so good to know that I’ve perhaps helped a parent and child to connect at a deeper level. As well, when I look at the books, I remember how my mother and I worked together so it brings back good memories. It’s just such a neat thing to share.

The most challenging is getting the word out. While I love to write, that doesn’t necessarily make me comfortable with promoting myself. I definitely am not a self-promoter!

What other writing or artsy projects have you been working on?

I’m currently in nursing school, so my artistic endeavours have taken a back seat, but that being said, I always seem to find a way to sneak some creative stuff into my school projects. For example, I wrote a short screenplay acting out a medical procedure for a group presentation and I wrote an informational brochure about stroke during another presentation.

Where can people find your work?

To read the three Ringtail stories, people can take advantage of an instant download at Noisetrade, or visit my publisher, Crafty Canuck and use the promo code LVLRINGTAIL at the check out for free downloads. I also sell some random zines and activity books on Etsy.

Any future projects you can tell us about?

My life is pretty much taken up trying to get through nursing school at the moment, but I’m sure that I will be back at writing projects when I have more time.

Tell us about your life in Lynn Valley!

I love Lynn Valley. My family moved here about five years ago and we felt welcomed and settled from the beginning. I was involved in starting up a hot lunch recycling program at Lynn Valley Elementary, but now that my son just started high school, I’ll have to find new areas to help in around the neighbourhood. One project that is always in the back of my mind is organizing an invasive weed pulling day in Pierard Park. Snacks included!

Do you know this year’s Good Neighbour?

Every year, LynnValleyLife looks forward to putting out a call for stories about the people in our community who, in ways large or small, lend a helping hand to those around them.

LVL neighbour treeAnd every year, we draw from these angels-among-us to determine who will receive the annual LynnValleyLife Good Neighbour Award. Here’s our story about last year’s winner and nominees – and if you pop by our office, be sure to take a look at the plaque on the wall honouring all the former winners!

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