Support local refugees at upcoming concert, auction

Over the past number of years, the plight of refugees has become increasingly real to those of us in North Vancouver, as news photos have brought home the desperate circumstances of men, women and children trying to find safety… and those who perish trying. Lynn Valley folk are among the many in Canada who have stepped up to provide a safe place to land.

Various individuals, organizations and churches have tirelessly raised funds to bring refugees to the Lower Mainland – and waited, often months, to finally get the call saying that their chosen person or family will be arriving at the Vancouver airport within days. From then on it is a full-on press to secure inexpensive housing (!) and donated furniture, and to swing into action providing English language practice, orientation to riding transit and other aspects of a totally unfamiliar culture, school registration, visits to doctors and dentists, instructions on how to shop for food, and simple companionship.

REST is the Regional Ecumenical Sponsorship Team – a group of North Vancouver Anglican, Lutheran, and Presbyterian churches (and friends) that over the last three years has successfully sponsored a number of Somalian and Syrian refugees to Canada. REST, which includes St. Clement’s Anglican Church in Lynn Valley, is now preparing to sponsor seven more refugees from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Iran and Syria.

A major event at St. Clement’s on June 2, 2018 (6 to 9 p.m.) will help raise part of the necessary $27,000. The REST FEST will feature live music from a variety of talented musicians, as well as a silent auction and bake sale. Items to be auctioned include meals catered for a group at your home – a Syrian dinner or a gourmet waffle brunch, for example – personal fitness training, beautifully sewn quilts and afghans, gorgeous gift baskets, and much more. A table of locally crafted pottery will also be for sale. The bake sale at the intermission will keep people happily snacking during the rest of the concert, which will feature a number of local musicians.

The REST FEST would like to make sure this is a sell-out event, as 100 per cent of the proceeds will be used to settle the refugees into their new life. Tickets are available online at this link, and further details (such as how you might donate a silent auction item!) are to be found here on the St. Clement’s website. St. Clement’s is located at 3400 Institute Road, opposite Lynn Valley Park.

Summer camp ready in Lynn Valley

The summer season is almost upon us. Parental planning is just about hitting its peak as families coordinate childcare, vacations and summer camps. Living where we are you don’t need to go far for some local solutions. Watch out for registration dates!


North Van Rec – Register May 16


Camp Lynn Valley, 5-6yrs, various dates Jul. 3-Aug. 31, Lynn Valley Rec Centre

Calling all five & six year olds! Camp Lynn Valley is a great way to spend your summer. Visit parks, explore forests, streams and creatures, learn about science, make new friends and more.

Bricks 4 Kidz, various age groups 5-15,  various dates Jul. 3-Aug. 31, Lynn Valley Village/Mollie Nye House

Bricks 4 Kidz® camps are a fresh and fun way for kids to spend their school or holiday break! Children will enjoy using LEGO® Bricks to build specially-designed models, play games, explore the world of engineering, architecture and movie-making.

Camp KM Tennis & Waves, 9-12yrs,  various dates Jul. 3-Aug. 31, Karen Magnussen Rec Centre

A half day camp program focusing on tennis skills and plenty of games. After a supervised lunch, enjoy and swimming (12:00-1:00pm) in the wave pool.


North Shore Winter Club – Registration open


Multi-sport Day Camps, 6-11 yrs,  various dates Jul. 3-Aug. 24,

Each week offers multi sport activities to keep kids active and doing lots of different things. We end the week with a field trip to a local hangout. Day camps are supervised in the safe environment of the Club. Lunches and snacks are included.

Activities may include: swimming, tennis, dance, sportball, basketball, hikes to the park and arts, crafts and games.

Kids Corner – Culinary No Cook Recipe Week 2, 2-7 yrs, Aug. 27-31, 9-11 am

 

A week filled with fun, no bake recipes. The children will learn how to make fresh fruit salad, summer berry cheesecake, trail mix, oatmeal energy bites and more, without the use of any heating equipment. The day will finish with an active game or swim in the small pool.

Atom Summer Hockey,  various dates Jul. 3-Aug. 31

The NSWC Summer Hockey Camps are a great way to keep your kids active over the break. Drop them off for a day of fun activities with 3 hours of ice broken up into 4 different ice sessions. Kids will work on their skating, puck skills and game skills, as well as play a 45 minute 3v3 game to end each day. Participants will be introduced to off-ice development. Lunch is included.


Lynn Canyon Ecology Centre – registration open


Summer Mini-Camps, various dates M-W Jul. 3-Aug. 29, 5-8yrs/8-12yrs

Ecology Centre Summer Camps are where the Forest and Fun meet! There is plenty of forest fun planned throughout the summer from Slime Time to Splish Splash for younger children and from Survive to Homesteaders.

Lynn Canyon Ecology Centre

Keeping the hills alive with the sound of music

For decades parents have been supporting their children’s dreams and keeping Lynn Valley’s hills alive with the sound of music. The 36th Annual Argyle Music Association fundraiser Cabaret is taking place this weekend.


Annual Cabaret funds scholarships


“It’s for students graduating from the Argyle music program, “ said Sheila Balzar, parent and volunteer fundraising coordinator. “It varies from year to year, but last year we had, I believe, 25 applicants and everyone received something.”

The annual evening of music, silent auction and dining will take place at May 12 at 6 p.m. at Mulgrave Theatre in West Vancouver. This year’s event – titled Jazz to Jukebox will showcase the talents of students as they perform their skills in an industry-level performance. As a fundraiser, it is one of a handful held throughout the year that supports students, the curriculum and trips the students take.

“Cabaret is strictly for scholarships and bursaries,” said Balzar. “Over 100 students will be performing. It is the pinnacle of the jazz students curriculum – they are expected to perform as if they are a professional and this is a paid gig.”


Exceptional program, bright futures


For those who have not been through Argyle, they might not be familiar with the school’s extremely well-regarded music program. Parents with a child in music automatically become a part of the Argyle Music Association and their dedication is essential to the program.

“We are there to support the music – these teachers put so much energy and time into creating this quality program. They need to be able to focus on teaching,” said Balzar.

The investment in students is paying off in so many ways, she said. From outstanding opportunities to tour in Europe to creating foundational music and technical abilities that have students stepping out of high school and into industry jobs while pursuing post-secondary education, and ultimately full-time employment.

For her son and daughter, it has not only meant a passion for music but technical skills to support the performances as well.

“My son discovered sound and lighting in Grade 7 when a teacher suggested he help with the school play,” she said. “That dovetailed nicely into the sound and lighting crew at Argyle. He had the opportunity to become a leader at young age, putting in incredible hours and now is working in the industry at 19 doing events at Rogers Arena.”


Exceptional program, bright futures


“Music is a huge part of these students,” said Balzar. “The program at Argyle is outstanding. There are opportunities to perform with members of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. It is elevating their musical experience – the level of commitment, the preparation, the excellence to do that. Just to put themselves out there to perform at the level – its huge.”

For some the music program is an opportunity to be part of something bigger – to be part of team.

“There is a sense of belonging in the music program – working together,” said Balzar. “The progress is phenomenal throughout the year and to see them from Grade 8 to Grade 12  — it’s exponential.”

Senior choir at Bach’s Tomb

The work is paying off. During the school’s most recent senior trip to Europe their reputation for excellence afforded them the unique opportunity to perform Bach while at Bach’s tomb – something that could only happen because of their skill, said Balzar.

“It’s a massive program,” she said. “So many people put so much energy, so much love in to 300-plus students to enrich their high school experience and change the rest of their lives.”


How to help


There are plenty of opportunities for the community to support this program. In addition to attending Cabaret or donating auction items, the teachers have wishlists, she said.

“With a new school being built, we need to remember it is just the shell of a school and to run an excellent program there needs to be equipment,” said Balzar. “This is not in the capital budget; this is not in the operating budget.

“There are so many ways to help: come out to concerts and performances,” said Balzar, noting there is a list on their website. “If a student knocks on your door – try to say yes to purchasing some pie or chocolates.”

To create a lasting legacy of support contact the Argyle Music Association for current needs at fundraising@argylemusic.ca. The group has come up with some fantastic passive fundraising options as well that support students throughout the year. If you shop at SPUD you can purchase your produce and support students – details here or purchase SPUD gift cards and use them later – details here. Same goes for fantastic North Shore Two Rivers Meats – details here.

Remembering 25 years ago: Lynn Valley Little League at the World Series

In 1993 a team of 14 boys from Lynn Valley – just ages 12 and 13 – made their way to Williamsport, Pennsylvania to represent Canada at the Little League World Championship.


A milestone 25 years later


This is was a first for a North Shore team and has not been matched since. It was also a first in Little League history because it was first team helmed by a woman to qualify – a moment so important Coach Kathy Barnard’s Canada hat hangs in the Little League Museum.

The run has been documented in an engaging post by North Vancouver’s Len Corben to celebrate the 20th anniversary. Today, for the 25th anniversary we caught up with player Scott Carlson.

“It was a once in a lifetime sort of thing,” said Carlson, now a investment advisor. “We were playing in Lynn Valley and then provincials and then a couple of weeks later grown men were asking for our 12-year-olds’ autographs in Williamsport. I didn’t even know there was a world series until after nationals.”

The 1993 Lynn Valley Little League all-star team at the Little League World Series. Scott Carlson is back row, second from left.


Local and international history


It was a whirlwind summer for those selected as 11/12 all-stars. They had to win regionals, provincials, turn 12 and 13, head out to Nova Scotia for nationals and after a hard-fought victory head down to Pennsylvania – just three days later – for the World Series.

“Personally I found the Canadian championships more stressful – we were playing to be the best in our country,” said Carlson. “The world series was extremely fun – and extremely competitive. But we got to spend a lot time with the other teams. There was lots of fun to be had. It wasn’t just ballpark – hotel – ballpark.”

The team from LV received special attention from media upon their arrival. Coach Barnard’s glass ceiling-breaking achievement created quite a buzz around the tournament.

“She was the coach of [my regular-season team] the Pirates and her son Spencer was my best friend. They lived three doors up from me,” said Carlson. “She was always there – a great coach.”


Memory of a lifetime


Scott Carlson

Barnard’s milestone, along with the entire team’s journey wasn’t something that hit home until later years later.

“I don’t think I realized how big it was until I was in my 20s when ESPN and TSN started showing all the [Little League World Series] games on TV,” said Carlson.

Now a North Shore dad in his own right, Carlson looks a back – a bit astonished that it has been 25 years.

“It doesn’t feel like yesterday, but it is the most vivid memories I have. It is really hard to reach that level of play – the world championship. It was such a unique experience,” he said. “It is great to sit back and think about it – and to dream of being on of the boys of summer again – just playing baseball.”

Helping hands sought for Princess Park project

Can you help revitalize part of Princess Park on April 28? Many hands make light work. Here is the press release sent to us with all the news you need to know:

The Lynn Valley Community Association and the Lynn Valley Seniors Association are working together on the 2018 Lynn Valley Annual Park Project.

The location this year is an area of Princess Park near the bridge and dog play area. Park in the parking lot off Princess Avenue. Meet at the Lynn Valley LINK Kiosk which is a short walk down the main paved trail in to the park.

The Park Project will take place on Saturday, April 28, 2018, from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm (come for all or part).

The focus of this community event will be on restoring a section of the park just west of the bridge. District crews will do some preliminary work ahead of time leaving us to restore the natural vegetation and lay down mulch. We will be doing basic gardening work, removing invasive plants, planting natural vegetation, cleaning litter and anything else that needs to be done with the direction and support of the DNV Parks Department.

Do join us for this fun and productive day. We have work for every level of physical ability but we won’t let anyone overdo it. Dress for the weather, as this is a rain-or- shine event! Sturdy boots or shoes, working clothes and gloves are recommended, as it could be muddy! Coffee and snacks will be provided but please bring your own water bottle.

For more information email: info@lvca.ca

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.

 

 

Got a great idea for your neighbourhood? Funds available to make it real

The deadline for the Vancouver Foundation’s Neighbourhood Small Grants is fast approaching. You have until April 9 to take advantage of this growing program. Each year many locals take advantage of the $50 – $500 grants given to fund community initiatives.

Kathy Rothnie at an Evelyn Park Canada 150 celebration last summer

“The goal is about connecting and engaging the community,” said Tricia Alsop, of the North Shore Neighbourhood House which oversees the program in North Vancouver. “Community doesn’t mean the same thing to everyone. It doesn’t need to be a project with your neighbours. Last year we gave out about 80 grants.”

Since 2011 the North Shore has been apart of the Vancouver Foundation’s Neighbourhood Small Grants program. The grants are given to projects that bring people together, share skills and knowledge, build a sense of belonging, responsibility, and respect and celebrate diversity, according to the Foundation.

“We had hosted a block party – a potluck kind of party the first year we moved here,” said Lynn Valley’s Shannon Samler, a recipient of a 2017 grant. “Someone told us about these grants so we thought – why not [apply]? It was very easy to do.”

Easy access

“The goal is to make it available to everyone,” said Tricia Alsop. “The application is online but we also have paper applications. If people need help, we can help them work through it. It is supposed to be easy.”

For most projects the most labour-intensive piece is creating a budget.

“It’s a simple process,” said Samler. “Putting together the budget help me think about what I wanted to do. We wanted to take on the responsibility of the main course part of the food and provide a few extras – like face painting.”

The Samlers’ block party was one of a handful in Lynn Valley last year funded by the grants and is a typical project that the Foundation funds.

Other projects on the North Shore included gardening, food, beekeeping, emergency preparedness and craft workshops, invasive weed pulls, intergenerational programs, Little Free Libraries and others.

“It was a great way to meet people,” said Samler. “We learned the names of people we see – not just families with kids that same age as ours. We were able to set up a neighbourhood email list to connect and share concerns.”

Lasting impacts

Samler says the – now annual – event has fostered a more open neighbourhood. Sometimes the grants are what give legs to an idea, said Alsop.

“The grants can help give people the initiative to get started on an idea they have always had,” she said. “We see lasting relationships grow out of the projects – sometimes they can be a help with conflict resolution by bringing people together.”

Organizers welcome more applicants

“We would like to see some new people with new ideas,” said Alsop. “If it fits, there is a good chance they will get the grant.”

The deadline for applications is April 9th. For more information or help with applications contact the North Shore Neighbourhood House at 604-987-8138.