Hopes and Reflections: North Vancouver District Library

It has been a busy year – for us all. We don’t always get a chance to keep up with all the goings on in our community or to know what happens behind the scenes. LynnValleyLife reached out to pretty much every local group we could track down and ask them to share their how the year went, what their hopes are for 2018 and how the Lynn Valley community can help them succeed. A few shared their thoughts. We have three posts coming up featuring the diversity of our community. We hope you enjoy this series of hopes and reflections.

 

A 10th Anniversary for the North Vancouver District Library Lynn Valley Branch

 

2017 Highlights 

The 2017 NVDPL board

2017 was a year of many great accomplishments for the North Vancouver District Public Library system. This year, the Library completed a beautiful renovation to the main lobby of the Lynn Valley Library, hosted over 2,100 programs, loaned over 1.1M items across our three locations, and celebrated the 10 year anniversary of Lynn Valley Library’s ‘new’ location.

2017 Challenges

The Library is a safe, neutral hub for lifelong learning and community connection. As such, an ongoing challenge is to find a balance and adapt to the varying needs of our community for study space, increased technology capability, and a robust collection.

2018 Goals

Our hope is to continue to demonstrate our commitment to the community, the wonderful programs and services we offer, and to welcome more residents.

Hopes for Lynn Valley

We hope that Lynn Valley retains its warm community feeling while embracing and welcoming new residents.

How can Lynn Valley help the Library?

North Vancouver residents have always been very supportive of library services and we appreciate that continued support. We encourage everyone to stop by and say “hello”!

To keep up with the NVDPL all year round follow their TwitterInstagram or Facebook.

Hopes and Reflections: Seymour Salmonid Society

It has been a busy year – for us all. We don’t always get a chance to keep up with all the goings on in our community or to know what happens behind the scenes. LynnValleyLife reached out to pretty much every local group we could track down and ask them to share their how the year went, what their hopes are for 2018 and how the Lynn Valley community can help them succeed. A few shared their thoughts. We have three posts coming up featuring the diversity of our community. We hope you enjoy this series of hopes and reflections.

 

Our local Seymour Salmonid Society marked its 30th year working to protect our salmon

 

2017 Highlights

  • 14 weeks of drilling and rock breaking that was completed on the Seymour River Rockslide Mitigation Project. This was a big move toward re-establishing migration for species on the river currently blocked by slide debris.
  • The monitoring program of outgoing coho smolts that showed a high survival rate for out-migrating juveniles salmon past the rock slide debris.
  • We had a very successful spring education program (Gently Down the Seymour) that ran 50 full-day field trips between March and June.
  • Due to the success of the spring we extended the program in a Fall pilot, providing 20 additional spaces for Grade 2 – 6 students.
  • We hosted three community events: Family Fishing Day, Open House and Rivers Day Estuary Clean Up. All three were well attended.
  • We spawned more Seymour pink salmon than ever before (100 pair)
  • We spawned more Seymour chum salmon than ever before (32 pair)

2017 Challenges

The challenge we faced was fundraising for major projects and education programs. Although we were successful it took a lot of time from limited staff that have many other duties. Another challenge was that our fish fence was washed out in high flows in a storm this past fall. We are looking to repair it in the early part of next year.

2018 Goals

In the year  our goals are to continue to make progress on the Seymour River rockslide, we have fundraised over $300,000 for the work in 2018.

We would like to offer 70 field trip days to elementary-aged children next spring and fall, educating youth on the importance of salmon and a healthy watershed.

Finally, our main goal is to continue to enhance coho, pink and chum salmon and steelhead trout on the Seymour River to ensure they’re long term survival.

Hopes for Lynn Valley

We would like to see Lynn Valley stay the pristine natural place that is wonderful to hike and spend time outdoors.  

How can Lynn Valley help the Seymour Salmonid Society?

The community has been an incredible support in the past and we hope that they would continue to support the Society. A couple important way to help are by becoming a volunteer or by becoming a paid member (only $10 annually). Another great way the community can show its support is by coming and participating in our annual events like, Family Fishing Day on June 17th, Seymour Hatchery Open House on September 16th and Rivers Day on September 30th.

To keep up with the Society all year round follow their Instagram or Facebook.

Tim Green receives this year’s LynnValleyLife Good Neighbour Award!

Cheryl, Olivia and Tim Green with LVLife realtor Kelly Gardiner

The annual Lynn Valley Walk of Trees lighting ceremony is always a festive event, and this year was no exception as a sunny afternoon and snow-capped mountains brought the crowds out to Lynn Valley Village on December 3.

New this year was a candlelit lantern parade that wound through the dark Christmas tree forest while we were serenaded by Lynn Valley’s Bobbi Smith leading Silent Night. The Christmas tree countdown took place shortly after, with Mayor Richard Walton and MLA Jane Thornthwaite pushing the big red button that lit up the trees that have been decorated by community businesses and organizations. Thanks to these sponsors, Lynn Valley Community Association Gillian Konst was them able to present the Harvest Foundation with a cheque for $2,750.

An extra-special highlight for us was being on hand to present the LynnValleyLife Good Neighbour Award to a local citizen who contributes time and energy to their community all year ’round.

This year’s winner of the plaque and Black Bear Pub gift certificate is a real friend to many in the community – whether they know it or not! For as long as we have known Tim Green, he has always been found behind the scenes, making sure community events run smoothly for his fellow organizers and for all the Lynn Valley residents who come out to enjoy themselves at Lynn Valley Days, the annual toy sale, and more.

Tim is a volunteer extraordinaire and a genuinely nice guy, and we are delighted that he was put forward for this award by the Lynn Valley Services Society (LVSS) and the Lynn Valley Community Association (LVCA) for this recognition. His nomination letters speak for themselves, so we wanted to print them in their entirety, below. We hope they get you into the spirit of the season… and that you visit the Christmas Tree Walk in Lynn Valley Village soon!

Dear LynnValleyLife,

We would like to nominate Tim Green for this year’s Good Neighbour Award. He is our “Silent Hero”.

Quietly, behind the scene, seeking no recognition, Tim has assisted and supported the LVSS at Mollie Nye House for many years. Each week he drops by to bring out our garbage bins for collection and returns to make sure everything is put away. This is a chore that would be difficult for us to manage without Tim.

This summer LVSS held a Heritage Fair which was a free community event in recognition of Canada 150. As a not-for-profit we were pressed to find cost-effective solutions to the many issues that came our way. When we realized that on-site security would be needed the night before the fair we reached out to Tim to see if he knew of any individuals or firms that might provide the service for a low cost. Without hesitation Tim volunteered his services and made sure our fair site was secure throughout the night.

Tim cares for Lynn Valley very much and serves as a volunteer for Citizen’s Crime Watch (CCW) on the North Shore. In January of this year, Tim was driving past Mollie Nye House and noticed suspicious activity. The motto of the CCW is to “Observe, Record and Report” and while he was not on duty that evening Tim monitored the activities, stayed onsite and contacted CCW who in turn contacted the RCMP. Tim’s quick actions stabilized a situation that could have been much worse and minimized the damage to Mollie Nye House. This is another example of Tim’s dedication to our community and why we know he is our “Silent Hero”.

Sincerely,

Ginny Phillips
Board Chair
Lynn Valley Services Society

Dear LynnValleyLife:

Lynn Valley Community Association are pleased to support the nomination of Tim Green for your Good Neighbour Award. Tim is a longtime member of LVCA and served on the board for several years, keeping meticulous records of our membership database.

He and his wife Cheryl organized the Kids Toy Sale for many years. You can always count on Tim to help with setting up events, especially our Annual Parade of Trees. For the past nine years he has stopped by the Mollie Nye House early in the morning to put out the garbage and later in the day to bring the cans back in. Tim also helps out at Lynn Valley Days, making the parade route safe and marshalling traffic for the parade.

Tim always has the right tools, shows up rain or shine and it would be hard to find a more committed volunteer. Yet he does all this in the quietest possible way.

Thank you.

Gillian Konst
President
Lynn Valley Community Association

New look at Lynn Valley Centre debuts Saturday

Months of work have come to fruition, and this Saturday Lynn Valley Centre will be unveiling its new look.

“The theme of the renovation is ‘Bringing the outside in’,” said Lynn Valley Centre Manager Lorelei Guthrie. “We have a lot of elements like wood, and series of photographs of mountain trails – it exemplifies the great things the North Shore offers.”

There will be new washrooms, new seating areas, new art and new merchants arriving soon.

“We are excited about Miniso,” said Guthrie. “It is a Japanese retailer expanding into Canada and we are one of the first five locations in B.C.”

The new store will be opening before Christmas in the centre court near Winners, said Guthrie.

This Saturday, November 18, festivities will take place from 11 a.m to 2 p.m. From 11 a.m. to noon Save-On Foods will be presenting a reception, followed by the official ribbon-cutting and art unveiling at 12 p.m. The event also includes live musical performances, Mrs. Picasso’s face painting, and a kids’ Totem Pole craft station.

The next few days will be busy ones – by the end of the week there will be new soft seating and a new bistro area arriving.

We know we are a part of folks’ coffee trail,” she said. “We want to offer places to slow down and have a conversation. It’s quite amazing how many regulars we have and we want them to have a space to catch up.”

The key attraction to this weekend’s opening is the unveiling of Jeremy Humpherville’s sculpture The Return. The wood and metal sculpture is one of three First Nations’ works that will ultimately adorn the shopping centre.

“It’s beautiful,” said Guthrie. “It depicts the salmon return. It will be hung at the rear entrance near the washrooms. We wanted something that was reflective of the North Shore and B.C. This is an homage to First Nations who are here.”

The renovation was not without hitches. The 43-year-old floor proved to be a wild card in the process. Different parts reacted differently to removal, making the resurfacing project a challenge, said Guthrie.

While the work inside is largely complete – or will be by the weekend – the exterior work will begin next year in conjunction with the cladding on the The Residences at Lynn Valley. And parents will be pleased – a new play area will arrive after Christmas, said Guthrie.

To mark the grand reopening of Lynn Valley Centre, visit Saturday Nov. 18 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. In addition to the ribbon cutting, art unveiling and kids’ activities there will be a sidewalk market sale presented by retailers at Lynn Valley Centre. For all the details visit the Centre’s website.

Argyle student represents Canada at world championship dance competition

By Robin Thorneycroft, contributing writer

For most students, balancing high school involves choosing classes, finding your friends during breaks and perhaps practicing a sport a couple of times a week. That’s not the case for Samantha Olivier, a Grade 12 Argyle Secondary student, who has taken on a full course load and a part-time job, and yet practices dance up to 40 hours a week as well.

The focus and hard work is paying off – this past August, Olivier was selected to represent Canada at the IDO World Show Dance Championships this month in Germany. She will join two other dancers from the North Shore, Mandy Rabinovitch and Elisse Beckett, and many others from across Canada to form the team of about 50 dancers.

“It’s an honour to go and compete representing my country,” said Olivier. “I am excited.”

Showdance is a mix of jazz and contemporary that focuses on telling a story, said Olivier. She was selected for two events at the upcoming world championship – a small group and a larger adult formation.

Competing at this elite level is a challenge. Her day starts with school, which ends for her at about 1 pm, when she heads to RNB Dance and practices for another eight hours. She then squeezes in homework and on Fridays and Saturdays her part-time job.

“My mom and dad support me a tremendous amount – obviously the practical and emotional but also financial,” said Olivier. “It is super expensive to do dance at this level.”

After winning a spot on the Canadian team Olivier’s family started fundraising – and the community can help. Dance isn’t recognized in Canada the way it is in some other countries where it is given similar funding as national sport athletes. To support this world championship run her family has started a GoFundMe page.

“When I dance I feel like me,” said Olivier. “I like the dedication and commitment needed for dance – the passion. I hope to pursue this as a career.”

Along with the dozens of hours of actual practice, Olivier has had to meticulously plan her education to ensure future success. She is part of the Peak Performance and Flex for Success Program at Argyle Secondary. This speciality program, offered by the North Vancouver School District at Argyle, Carson Graham, Handsworth, Seycove, and Windsor Secondary schools, was created to allow elite student athletes and performers to excel at their competitions and practices without sacrificing school. For Olivier that has meant, in addition to regular classes, completing online courses in advance to free up practice time and ensuring her physical skills are tested to qualify for PE credits.

Olivier’s English teacher Wendy Hebbourn emphasises the commitment Peak students need.

“Some students struggle academically, as they try to juggle it all, or they get sick, as their bodies fail to cope with the added burdens,” said Hebbourn. “Unless, as Samantha, they are dedicated enough to create schedules for themselves.”

Thoughts echoed by Olivier.

“The Peak program helps me balance it all. I really want to do this – it can be really hard,” she said.

Olivier’s love of dance began at three years old as a ballerina. She progressed through tap and jazz dance, as well as rhythmic gymnastics. She says she has found her love in contemporary. She hopes it will carry her through her future. Olivier hopes to one day audition at Juilliard in New York City or take other avenues to dance professionally. Her other ambitions include maintaining a connection to physical health and wellbeing by studying kinesiology.

The immediate focus for now is this month’s world championships. She has added additional weekend practices with Team Canada.

We are working so hard. The whole team has become so close and we are working together.” she said. “It would be amazing to win but the experience of working hard just to get there has been so good. We are going to as far as we can.”

This extra push maybe new but Olivier’s growth and progress has be exciting to watch for family, friends and teachers.

“She is more confident in herself, and more true to herself with each passing year,” said Hebbourn.

From her tiny twirls at three, where Olivier says she danced to feel happy, to world class competition:

“Dancing makes me feel like myself,” said Olivier, “I don’t know who I would be without dance.”

You can follow Team Canada’s progress at the showdance world championship here. You can donate to Samantha’s Olivier’s trip funding here.

LV Legion helps community remember the fallen

After a tough couple of years the Lynn Valley Legion is returning to its roots and focusing on remembering Canada’s veterans this Nov. 11 with poppy tagging and a ceremony at Lynn Valley’s Veterans’ Plaza followed by a community open house.

“We are a service organization,” says Royal Canadian Legion Branch 114 President Diana Saboe. “Each year we give $100,000 back to the community. We are the Guardians of Remembrance. Even when the bar was closed we were open as a service organization. We still did our poppy tagging and raised about $60,000.”

Saboe is referring to the past 18 months or so that saw the Legion closed by its provincial oversight, a legal challenge, and the dismissal of many members. It reopened in April with a board appointed by the BC-Yukon Command and has been working towards this November 11th ever since.

“We need the legion because we remember,” says Saboe. “We are the only organization that holds and organizes Remembrance Day ceremonies. Having a legion in each community – Lynn Valley, Lonsdale, West Van – is important because there are veterans in each community and they have different needs.”

This busy time is energizing the legion membership, whose core volunteers are diligently donating hours upon hours.

“Lest we forget – We remember them – our two slogans are important to teach to our youth and those younger because of the the sacrifices that were made allow them to have the freedoms we have today,” says Saboe.

Passing this on has become more challenging as the schools and teachers have increasing pressure from more places placed upon them, says Saboe. They legions organizes poppies for North Vancouver public and private schools.

“Most the highs schools ask if there is a veteran who can speak or attend their service,” says Saboe. “It is a matter of getting people to drive the veterans.

“There are a handful of us running Remembrance Day for the last couple of years – it feels like we are doing the work of 10 to 12 people each,” says Saboe. “It can get a bit daunting but we are dedicated to this.”

The Lynn Valley community can help at the legion in many ways this time of year. There are organizational details to look after for the November 11 ceremony, potluck food can be donated for the post-ceremony open house at the legion and, of course, there is the poppy campaign – or Poppy Tagging as the legion calls it.

Numbers of legion volunteers are down this year, but it still has its goals to hand out as many poppies as possible and collect donations. Lynn Valley community members can step up to help by visiting the legion – 1630 Lynn Valley Road – any day until November 11, between 10 am and 8 pm to volunteer. Poppy taggers will be given a tray, a short briefing and assigned a location in Lynn Valley. The work is flexible for whatever time the volunteer has. Locals are also encouraged to pick up a poppy tray to take to their workplace.

“We want to give out as many poppies as we can to spread that awareness,” says Saboe. “We never turn someone away because they don’t have a donation. The goal is to remember.”

The legion would also like to invite people to visit their hall. The space is open to all – including children and can be used as meeting space for groups or a place for friends to gather. The legion has a goal to add more family activities in the coming year. The money raised through the bar, poppies and other activities supports veterans needs and is also donated back to the community to Lynn Valley groups like Argyle Secondary and Mollie Nye House, says Saboe.

Lynn Valley’s November 11 will have a full ceremony with a choir, colour party, bugler and speeches. It will take place at Veterans’ Plaza – behind the Archives building between Lynn Valley Elementary and Parent Participation Preschool, 3205 Institute Road at 10:30 am.

There will also be a ceremony at 10:30 at the Victoria Park Cenotaph off of Lonsdale Ave.

Too many leaves for your bin? Here’s what to do

You either love this time of year: cool days, golden light, leaves to scuffle in, or you hate it: frost to scrape, short days and mounds and mounds of leaves to deal with. This fall’s yard clean up is looking a little different. This is the first year there will be no paper leaf bags lining the streets of Lynn Valley.

The adoption of the lockable organics carts for yard waste by the District of North Vancouver has changed how you have to deal with fall leaves. Here are some tips to get through the fall gardening season.

Gather leaves using yard waste bags – and place them INSIDE your organics cart. No bags will be picked up curbside by the DNV.

  • Use old garbage cans to gather leaves around your yard and dump them in your organics cart.
  • If your cart is full, you can store leaves until your next collection in your old garbage cans or leaf bags.
    Add leaves to gardens as mulch.
  • Consider mowing your leaves – move your mower blade to the highest setting and the leaves will be chopped finely and spread over your lawn. Eventually it will be absorbed as compost. Alternatively if your mower has a catch it will gather the some of the leaves for you to dump in your cart.

“Residents may request a second 240L organics cart at no direct cost, if they require additional capacity,” said Stephanie Smiley, communications manager for the District of North Vancouver. “Subsequent organics carts are available for approximately $40/year. Information is available on our website (dnv.org/carts) under the Questions about garbage and organics limits section at the bottom of the page below the map.”

Just a reminder that this is also the time to do the neighbourly (and smart!) thing and remove leaves from your nearby storm drains. No one wants a repeat of the floods from a few years back!