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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1962 Lynn Valley Day May Queen remembers crowning glory

From Lynn O’Malley, Voice of the Valley

She may have accomplished many things in her life since, but chief among Jane Jessop’s memories is being crowned May Queen at the 1962 Lynn Valley Day. And it wasn’t just any Lynn Valley Day – they really put on the Ritz as it was the 50th anniversary of the first Lynn Valley Day that took place in 1912 in Lynn Canyon Park.

It wasn’t Jane’s first Lynn Valley Day, though. Then Jane Hambleton, she had been one of the May Queen’s flower girls when she was just in Grade 1. But that was nothing compared to being chosen by popular vote from amongst four or five other Lynn Valley Elementary School girls to be the May Queen in Grade 6.

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Lynn Valley loses loved Legionnaire

 

Received on March 12 from the Lynn Valley Legion. 

Comrade Harold Finnegan, a beloved member of Branch #114 and Veteran of the Korean War, passed away this week.  A Celebration of  Harold’s remarkable life will be held at Branch #114 this Saturday [March 14].  Please join us for a Full Legion Ceremony and service for family, friends and Comrades beginning at 11:00 a.m. A reception will follow at the Branch.

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Bosa contest winner announced!

We’re thrilled for Ginger Campbell, who ended this week $2,500 richer! (Sorry, we reported the wrong surname earlier!)

The Lynn Valley resident won the prize in a random draw, thanks to participating in Bosa’s recent contest soliciting potential names for the new development planned for the Zellers end of Lynn Valley Mall.

We don’t know what name Ginger suggested, but we can tell you that the new development will be called The Residences at Lynn Valley. For more information about the project, being described as a “mountain village” with a residential component above a  grocery store and other retail outlets, click here. The development will also include an extensive, staged renovation of the entire shopping mall.

Ginger Shaw

Ginger Campbell, left, accepts her $2,500 prizewinnings for participating in Bosa’s recent contest to name the new residential development at Lynn Valley Mall. Beside her is Lisa Murrell, Bosa Development Corp’s sales and marketing manager.

 

 

LVLife welcomes new sponsoring realtor

The LynnValleyLife team is growing, and we couldn’t be happier to introduce to you the newest sponsoring realtor of our community news website.

We know, though, that for many of you Suzanne, or “Suzie,” Callaghan needs no introduction! Like many of you (and our editor!) Suzanne is an Argyle Secondary grad who has spent the last two decades raising her family in her friendly hometown ‘hood!

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Bob Rasmus featured in LV naming contest (deadline soon!)

Bob Rasmus is one of our Lynn Valley neighbours featured on the Lynn Valley Legacy website that is collecting names from readers – not just of notable neighbours who deserve the spotlight, but of potential names for the new Bosa development being built at Lynn Valley Centre. Visit the Legacy website before January 31 to participate – there is a $2,500 prize to be won!

These profiles and photographs are being shared with LynnValleyLife readers with permission of the original author.

Bob RasmusBob stood on the board of directors of the BC Lions Society for Children with Disabilities, was a chair and provincial representative of the National Diabetes Association Liaison committee, and a Lynn Valley Lions member for 25 years.

WHAT DO YOU FEEL TRULY DEFINES LYNN VALLEY AS A UNIQUE NEIGHBOURHOOD?

I like how Lynn Valley has the feel of a small town, but without all the gossip. Its community is an inherent part of its identity. Many of our neighbours are community minded and do things in support of our community.

WHAT IS YOUR HAPPIEST MEMORY OF LYNN VALLEY?

About 15 years ago, when I owned my own construction business, a single mom approached the Lions Club, of which I was a member, asking for our assistance.

She had a seven-year-old son with severe cerebral palsy and needed to renovate her home to add a system of rails that would help transport him from the bedroom to the bathroom, which would cost her around $15,000. The mother’s approach impressed me so I put together a small team to do a free renovation. That’s one of my happiest memories. I still see the mother around the neighbourhood, one of the nice things of living in an intimate community.

WHAT DO YOU SEE FOR THE FUTURE OF LYNN VALLEY?

Well, more people and traffic congestion is inevitable, but more bodies will help keep the taxes down. We’ll have to do our best as a community to maintain some of the small-town feel.

Do you know someone who has, or is, making a lasting impact in our neighbourhood? Visit the Lynn Valley Legacy website to nominate a fellow resident of our community, or suggest a name for the new development being built at Lynn Valley Centre. Deadline for both is January 31, so throw your hat in the ring by then if you’d like to be eligible for prizes!

Michelle Andreychuk sees changes during 30 years in Lynn Valley

Michelle Andreychuk is one of our Lynn Valley neighbours featured on the Lynn Valley Legacy website that is collecting names from readers – not just of notable neighbours who deserve the spotlight, but of potential names for the new Bosa development being built at Lynn Valley Centre. Visit the Legacy website before January 31 to participate – there is a $2,500 prize to be won!

These profiles and photographs are being shared with LynnValleyLife readers with permission of the original author.

Michelle AndreychukMichelle has been involved in the community for over twenty years, having raised two kids in the neighbourhood and been in attendance at all of their school events and extracurricular activities over the years.

WHAT DO YOU FEEL TRULY DEFINES LYNN VALLEY AS A UNIQUE NEIGHBOURHOOD?

It offers so much on the nature side of things. There’s mountains, rivers, biking trails, swimming holes, and some of the most beautiful scenery in Canada. When it comes to the people, I like how I can go anywhere in Lynn Valley and see a familiar face.

WHAT IS YOUR HAPPIEST MEMORY OF LYNN VALLEY?

Lynn Valley holds many memories for me as I’ve been living here for 28 years. But my most cherished is of my first house on Appin Road, with a magnificent view of the Green Belt with the fire going in the winter, or going around the neighbourhood with my kids in the spring on an Easter egg hunt.

WHAT DO YOU SEE FOR THE FUTURE OF LYNN VALLEY?

I see a lot of high rises going up, which could lead to more congestion getting to Highway One. The mall may have to improve its parking lot as population increases, but all of this can be productively planned and proactively managed.

Do you know someone who has, or is, making a lasting impact in our neighbourhood? Visit the Lynn Valley Legacy website to nominate a fellow resident of our community, or suggest a name for the new development being built at Lynn Valley Centre. Deadline for both is January 31, so throw your hat in the ring by then if you’d like to be eligible for prizes!

Jenna likes Lynn Valley’s “little town” feel

Jenna Craib is one of our Lynn Valley neighbours featured on the Lynn Valley Legacy website that is collecting names from readers – not just of notable neighbours who deserve the spotlight, but of potential names for the new Bosa development being built at Lynn Valley Centre. Visit the Legacy website before January 31 to participate – there is a $2,500 prize to be won!

These profiles and photographs are being shared with LynnValleyLife readers with permission of the original author.

Jenna has lived in Lynn Valley the majority of her life. Currently she works in the dental industry and is launching a health and beauty channel on YouTube.

Jenna CraibJenna CraibJenna CraibWHAT DO YOU FEEL TRULY DEFINES LYNN VALLEY AS A UNIQUE NEIGHBOURHOOD?

I feel very safe in Lynn Valley. It’s a cheerful little town to me, it’s very family based and there’s always lots of familiar faces.

WHAT IS YOUR HAPPIEST MEMORY OF LYNN VALLEY?

It’s hard for me to pick only one. Some of the things I enjoyed doing when I was younger was the ability to walk to the mall with my friends for an ice cream cone at Purdy’s – which is still there! I’ve also always loved being able to walk my dog along the trails with my family and friends.

WHAT DO YOU SEE FOR THE FUTURE OF LYNN VALLEY?

It’s difficult to explain how I feel on this topic. I’ve heard there is a new plan to develop the area around Lynn Valley Mall, and to upgrade the mall itself. I know people need a community to live in, but I am accustomed to the quaint way Lynn Valley is right now.

Do you know someone who has, or is, making a lasting impact in our neighbourhood? Visit the Lynn Valley Legacy website to nominate a fellow resident of our community, or suggest a name for the new development being built at Lynn Valley Centre. Deadline for both is January 31, so throw your hat in the ring by then if you’d like to be eligible for prizes!