Mollie Nye House is showing an ‘old dog’ can learn new tricks

As the covid pandemic unfolded, it was a hard day to close the doors of Mollie Nye House and an even worse day when the board had to lay off staff. The organization has used the time to reflect on the community centre’s role and how it can adapt to continue to serve. For all the times the Mollie Nye House has supported the community, in 2020, it could use a bit of support itself.


Locking the door


It was a grim task for the Lynn Valley Services Society to shut the doors of Mollie Nye House, not knowing what the future held, said Margret Fraser, president of the board. 

“It was myself and Matina [Spiropoulos, executive director] contacting everyone and all the rentals and getting their input,” she said. “Initially some wanted to continue but by the end of March everything was shut down.”

Like the shuttering of many community amenities, the loss of programs at Mollie Nye house was felt deeply. 

“Generally speaking, we have 1000s of visitors a year,” said Spiropoulos. “We have our rentals, we have the programs we run for seniors, we have groups that use it in the evening, there are classes – everything from puppy training to Weight Watchers.” 

“There were days we were jammed packed,” added Fraser. 


New reality


Fast forward several months everything has changed. 

“The biggest issue is loss of income. With no rentals and nothing going on we have no income. We can’t even do drop-ins,” said Fraser. “We were lucky we got a little bit of extra funding that we were able to muddle through.”

The income was essential to providing other services. 

“A lot of our programs are supported by our rental revenue, so when small community groups aren’t meeting, celebration parties aren’t happening, birthday parties aren’t happening – nobody is engaging in anything,” said Spirolpous.

The closure, however, was not wasted, said Fraser. They embraced the time as a resource that has been missing. 

“One of the key things is we have been able to take some time – we have never had that before,” she said. “Small organizations are go-go-go. We can think about doing things differently.”

They focused on outreach and connecting with clients.

“We have done some survey work to find out what people want,” said Fraser. “We don’t need to do things as they have always been done just because we are Mollie Nye House.” 

The pair know how important this process is to the long term success of the Mollie Nye House as they expect to never return to as it was. 

“We had a group that met here on Sunday mornings and now they have discovered they can do the exact same thing on Zoom. We will never get that revenue back,” said Fraser. 


Community support


The organization is heralding the call for fresh and innovative ideas, as well as interested members of the public to join their board. 

“People underestimate themselves,” said Spirolous. “They have a lot of ideas to bring to the table. People think board members need to be specialized – they don’t.”

“Now, we need some new thinking and new ideas,” added Fraser. “We can get that from the public but we need new board members who are prepared to see it through.”

Being a small organization they are adaptable, said the pair.  

“We are a community centre, we are a place for the people. A lot of people think only of the NorthVan Rec Centres, but we are a community centre too – we try to engage people and work with people. Our doors aren’t shut and our lights aren’t off. Most of the people we are serving are seniors but we aren’t limited to that,” said Spiropoulos. 

“If someone comes to us with a new idea – we can work with them to find the right space for them. We want to help create what we can,” said Fraser. 


Innovate


The time to reflect has also spurred some new activities.

“We have started back with programs with the most interest, we have to offer limited spaces and we have waiting lists,” said Spiropoulos. “We are offering a small free bingo on Zoom. The idea is to engage people to use Zoom. For those who may have never used it for whatever reason, in the past can contact me and I can run them through a small tutorial and show them how to do it.”

The goal is to support elder seniors who have never used the internet for their entertainment and are having to learn something new. Elder seniors are extremely isolated at this time and online is one way they can connect, but the technology can be intimidating, said Spiropoulos. 

The other side of the coin is to offer resources that will help them generate revenue to keep their programming going. 

“We are limited by covid, and we are limited by capacity – so we are at 25 percent of our revenue,” Spiropoulos. We are between a rock and a hard place. We want people to know we are here, we are open-minded. We are a community centre and we want to involve the community.”

In addition to volunteering for the board, for maintenance or IT support, the public can help LVSS and Mollie Nye house with  Individual and corporate monetary donations to support ongoing programs. As well as engaging with them online. Following activities and fundraising campaigns is a good way to show support. Follow LVSS on Facebook, Instagram, or check out their website.  

Portions of Mollie Nye House are back open for rentals, but in a much smaller way. The staff welcomes discussions with organizations that need space. 


Other community groups in need


Other community groups are also being hit hard by the pandemic. Two local schools have had to cancel fundraisers essential to supporting their programming and services.

The Lynn Valley Parent Participation Preschool was unable to run its most important community event and fundraiser it’s Great Pumpkin Patch. The annual event is a favourite of local families and is essential to keep their programs affordably accessible. As a registered charity, the school can offer receipts for donations. LVPPP is a favourite local organization of ours, so we have maintained our donation to the event. We hope families will consider a small donation to support the school.

 


Looking for more?


There’s always something fun and exciting happening in Lynn Valley. Check out our Community Events Calendar or learn more about Local Activities, Mountain Biking or Hiking and Walking Trails.

2020 needs a Good Neighbour

This tumultuous year has given us some outstanding signs of hope. We want to recognize the volunteers who make our neighbourhood a better place. There is no doubt this is our favorite time of year here at Lynn Valley Life: The Good Neighbor Award season.  Year after year this is a highlight for all of us.


Our quiet contributors


Day-to-day we try to gather interesting and innovative stories about Lynn Valley but one thing that is often missed are the quiet stories. The good that goes on in our neighborhood everyday – often unnoticed beyond the person or organization helped.  Perhaps it’s an essential worker pushing hard or a volunteer that adapted and pivoted to keep supporting the cause they are passionate about. In 2020, we have seen some spectacular acts.

We have people step up in times of need, we have those that day in and day out give of their time, money and energy. We have those that invest in our schools, our community groups, our churches. We have those that are staples on our streets who step up and help neighbours and friends whenever it’s needed. From helping refugees to outstanding coaches to people who are practically community institutions.


Pillars of the community


The Good Neighbour Award has been going strong since 2012. We receive heartfelt nominations – some short, some long. Check out some previous winners and read their stories – we have an exceptional community! We were able to celebrate Matina Spiropoulos in 2019.  The year before, we had Linda Munro, a local who puts her hands in so many local groups. In the past, we have had Tim Green, a tireless supporter of the Lynn Valley Services Society and Molly Nye House. Dave and Wilna Parry passionate advocates for refugees and immigrants. In 2015 we were proud to recognize Cath Bates Dimmock a volunteer with Argyle Secondary for more than 10 years! We have shared the astounding work of Lizz Lindsay and her charity Sharing Abundance that brings people together through food and programs address food insecurity and social isolation. We love hearing about who makes a difference in your life and our community.


How to nominate your good neighbour


Who might our Good Neighbour be for 2020? Please send us a note telling us why you think your nominee makes Lynn Valley a better place to be. It doesn’t have to be long and fancy – just from the heart! Please send your suggestions to info@LynnValleyLife.com before November 23, 2020. Lynn Valley’s Good Neighbour will receive a plaque, a restaurant gift certificate, and some well-deserved recognition!


Looking for more?


There’s always something fun and exciting happening in Lynn Valley. Check out our Community Events Calendar or learn more about Local Activities, Mountain Biking or Hiking and Walking Trails.

Local helpers for the holidays

With most of BC is being asked to stick close this year, we have put together a group of great local suppliers to make your holiday season special. From indulgent dining to seasonal decor to having the freezer stocked and ready for anything. All three local suppliers have a common thread. All the business began as initiatives to make the community better. 


Indulgence ready


When a Folia grazing box shows up at your door, the day just gets better. The elegant and delicious offerings of Lucy Ana Van Egmond are the perfect way to make a cozy night in all the more special. 

“Grazing is a relaxed style of catering,” said Van Egmond. “There is a variety of meats and cheeses and other food on display and you can eat as you enjoy your evening.” 

As a busy parent, Van Egmond started Folia with fellow Lynn Valley local Robin Shore [they have since gone their separate ways] after successful fundraising evenings for Upper Lynn Elementary. The business has grown and evolved to include Folia’s amazing grazing boxes and pop-up picnics. 

“We have our grazing platters that can be for individuals or small family gatherings,” said Van Egmond. “Or I can come into a business and set up a grazing table. No longer can you have a big party, but we can help you celebrate in a more relaxed way over an afternoon or an evening where people pop in to get a few bites now and then.”

A full events company, Folia offers stunning picnics with everything from flowers to decor all displayed on low tables with warm rugs and comfy cushions. For the holidays, Van Egmond is offering her own family traditions.

“Every Christmas I would take my kids up to Seymour to play in the snow,” she said. “They loved the hot chocolate and fondue.”

That pop-up winter picnic will make this unusual covid holiday season a bit more special, she said. She will also be adding fondue options to her grazing offerings. In addition to the meat and cheese-based boxes, she has options for brunch, dessert as well as vegan and vegetarian boxes. 

“I can accommodate any dietary needs,” said Van Egmond. 

“I try to keep it as local as I can – we have some amazing local cheeses. I am a local business and I try to support local whenever I can. I have formed relationships with local bakeries and suppliers. I try to be as green as possible – most items are compostable and everything in the grazing boxes is edible – the flowers are edible. It is seasonal and done at the last minute so it is fresh and there is little food waste. 

Folia is taking its holiday bookings now and Van Egmond recommends putting orders in as soon as possible to avoid disappointment. She has some offerings available on her website but Van Egmond is also open to unique requests. 


Home ready


When Lynn Valleys Racheal Klausen planted her garden this year the plan was to grow her own plants for floral arrangements. It kicked off a year of planning, learning and making people smile. 

“I started with a self-serve flower cart,” said Klausen, whose business at the time was called Bird of Botanicals. “I saw this could be successful and it pushed me to expand.”

The growing season had a lot going on – for both the plants and Klausen – even with her background as a professional gardener.

“I have learned a lot. It’s a passion for me so I constantly am learning and reading up to expand my understanding,” she said. “I also had a lot of failures – plants I hoped would work didn’t have quite the right soil or didn’t have enough sunlight in my yard. It was a small start and a successful one.”

Now working as Local Flora she is expanding her contacts with other local cut flower growers and doubling down on her commitment to be sustainable. 

“I only use flowers from BC,” she said. “There are no plastics in my arrangements, everything is compostable.”

She has even made use of the local community. This fall Klausen used local Facebook gardening groups to procure flowers and grasses for drying and evergreen items, offering completed arrangements in trade. 

“For the winter season I am putting together some wreaths as well as mixed bunches of local evergreens with a frame so you can do a sort of DIY wreath if you want,” said Klausen. “I also do custom work, people can connect through my website to order garlands or centrepieces.”

Local Flora’s winter offerings will go live Nov. 12. Klausen works on a preorder system, offering pick up or delivery at the end of the week. 


Pantry ready


Born from a desire to help local schools and sports team’s Lynn Valley’s Sisodraker family started a business hoping to help Argyle Secondary’s girls’ soccer team score an international tournament. Selling samosas helped get the students to Hawaii – where they won! – and had the family permanently launch Samosa Fundraising Company.

“We said to ourselves ‘Hey, this serves a community need.’ We could help students get a reasonable return on their time selling and it was an easy program for schools and teams to organize,” said Vibha Sisodraker. 

Since 2019 they have helped numerous local schools and teams.

“We know that students are so talented but sometimes parents can’t afford the extra fee,” said Sisodraker. “This program can help them do that.”

The family also realized that the fundraising program had created new customers who were interested in continuing to purchase their locally made food products.

“An organization isn’t going to run fundraisers one after another,” said Sisodraker. “We wanted people to be able to get our samosas and we wanted to continue to support the community. We wanted to support a charity we have used as a family. Our daughter Ria was born at Lion’s Gate Hospital and during covid, we want to support essential workers. Ordering through our site supports LGH.” 

All of Samosa Fundraising Company’s products come frozen – the perfect pantry staple. The line of food products has recently expanded to include more diverse family favourites like chicken cordon blue and shrimp. The warming spices of Indian food are a partner to the holidays, said Sisodraker. 

“This is the season of chai [tea],” added husband Dharmesh. “It’s a warm soothing type of drink.”

“Indian families always have samosa and chai,” said Sisodraker.

“Many cultures have a pastry with filling – a spring roll is basically a samosa, a Jamaican patty,” said Sisodraker. “Samosas are a great way to dip your toe into Indian comfort foods. Ours are ‘medium’ spicy – we think they are for just about everyone. My favourite is the potato and pea.”

For those new to Indian flavours but wanting to learn more, the family has put together baskets of spices – the perfect pairing with Sisodraker’s new cookbook: The Flavourful Indian – Recipes from My Kitchen. The basket with the book and spices would make a great local gift for any foodie. 

Available through local groups and schools doing fundraisers or directly from the website, these local foods offer easy meals and a dash of community support.


Looking for more?


There’s always something fun and exciting happening in Lynn Valley. Check out our Community Events Calendar or learn more about Local Activities, Mountain Biking or Hiking and Walking Trails.

Docu series to showcase North Shore Rescue

When a yellow helicopter flies over Lynn Valley at first light, residents know that some of their neighbours have been spending the night in some dreadful and, likely, dangerous situations trying to help someone’s loved one. This month the volunteers that makeup North Shore Rescue are hitting the small screen. Coming to the Knowledge Network November 10 (on cable and online) Peg Leg Films’ Search and Rescue: North Shore will share the commitment of those volunteers in a five-part series.


Investing time


Peg Leg Films’ most recent project is a follow-up up to their past success with outdoor films. As creators of 2018’s This Mountain Life, producer, director, and cinematographer Grant Baldwin brought along fellow cinematographer Ian Christie to complete a year-long project embedded with North Shore Rescue. 

“They gave us full access,” said Baldwin. “Every call we did with them. Our skills improved and we practiced alongside them.” 

Just like the volunteers they were chronicling Baldwin and Christie became experts in on the fly decisions. They drew on their extensive outdoor experience and relied on each other’s strengths to capture the best film.

“As the year progressed we improved our teamwork, we figured out who should go in on foot and who should stay back and fly with the helicopter,” he said. “We also made some bad calls. There are some rescues with interesting stories but didn’t make the cut because we didn’t capture them well.”

A conversation with Baldwin reveals a deep respect for the volunteers and the commitment they make to help others. 

“Whoever volunteers for the team, goes in knowing it is not an individual commitment – it’s a whole family commitment,” says Baldwin. “We were filming the SAR manager at home on Thanksgiving and getting ready to go on a walk to talk about that. Then a call comes in and off we go. It’s hard on the people at home. The husbands and wives have to be just as committed.

“It struck me after a really long call. It was hard work, we had spent all night waiting in the bush and I was tired. I was thankful this was my job [filming]. These guys were going to head home, get dry, and head out for a full day of work.”


Teamwork


A year spent with the North Shore Rescue team, left and lasting impact on Baldwin and Christie. 

“There is so much camaraderie in the group – that is why people do this for more than 30 years,” said Baldwin. “When we finished we realized how much we missed these people. You learn a lot about each other sitting in the bush waiting for sunrise, there is a lot of opportunity to talk and make connections. These are intense experiences and they support each other so well.”

One very public example of this was the support of the Piggot family, said Baldwin. Jay Piggot was an ambulance paramedic and North Shore Rescue volunteer who passed away from cancer in 2017. The team organized everything from fundraisers to taking care of holiday preparations for the family. 

The two filmmakers were deeply affected by their time on the project, so much so they have officially joined as resource support to missing persons cases bringing their drone skills to the search team, said Baldwin.


Lessons learned


North Shore Rescue can be quite public with some of its work, but so much goes on behind the scenes, Baldwin hopes the project shares that side of the team. 

“We know the high volume of calls the team gets, those numbers would be even higher. Instead, NSR has made decisions to help mitigate those calls,” said Baldwin. “They could see the escalating trend of calls on the Grouse Grind, so they organized a nightly sweep – every night two members walk down the trail to guide those stuck after dark. That simple idea reduced calls significantly.”

Baldwin says he learned a lot about the people NSR gets called out to rescue.

“I think most people think it’s just a bunch of stupid people in poor footwear – they roll and ankle, or fall and hit their head,” said Baldwin. “But a lot of the calls could happen to anybody at any time.”

Following the team for a year exposed Baldwin to difficult calls that don’t make the news. 

“They deal with calls where the people don’t want to come home, they don’t want to be found,” he said. “That is so hard. It was hardest to film the people we didn’t find or who passed away. We want to show that respectfully but not shy away. That is an experience these volunteers take home. We saw that the information NSR provides families about their loved one – where they were, how their last day likely went –  was very important.”

Another take away he hopes viewers leave with is a new respect for the pilots.

“Strictly speaking the helicopter pilots aren’t members of NSR, but they are being trusted with their lives,” said Baldwin. “The terrain is tricky back there and they are so skilled. I was amazed to see them work. We look at the mountains and see all the trees, but it’s really piles of jagged, gnarly rock. 

“I hope the series doesn’t scare people out of the backcountry, I hope it shows the beauty of the place and the people that work there and that will inspire people to enjoy it.”

Search and Rescue: North Shore debuts Nov. 10th on Knowledge Network at 9 p.m. and can also be streamed online. Peg Leg Films next project returns again to the mountains – this time inside. They are currently documenting a project on caving. 


Looking for more?


There’s always something fun and exciting happening in Lynn Valley. Check out our Community Events Calendar or learn more about Local Activities, Mountain Biking or Hiking and Walking Trails.

The Haunted Hunt

We have put together some treats and might just have a trick up our sleeves! For a bit of socially distant fun, visit take a walk or ride through Lynn Valley in the coming days and solve our scavenger hunt for a chance to win some treats of your very own – including one to spook up your home next year. 


The map


If you click on the map (or the square with the arrow in the upper left), we have layers letting you know which homes are fun for all ages and which are spookier.


The hunt is on



The scariest of the scary, the funnest of fun?



Looking for more?


There’s always something fun and exciting happening in Lynn Valley. Check out our Community Events Calendar or learn more about Local Activities, Mountain Biking or Hiking and Walking Trails.

Virtual Fall Fair – Winners

We are so pleased to see all the great entries for our Virtual Fall Fair! Thank you to all who participated. And the winners are….


I grew it myself – under 13


Congratulations Jack K – 8 years old. This spring Jack and his family took part in some guerilla gardening as part of a homeschool project. Perhaps the next topic to study will be pumpkin pie!?!

We would also like to give a shout out runners up: Both pairs of brothers with great gardens. Well done Owen and Aiden (left) and Ryan and Aiden.



Best container and best flowers


We had a pollinator theme for our Best Container and Best Flowers.

Congratulations to Nicole for Best Container and this close up of a bee (left) and to Tracy for her Butterfly Ranger garden winning Best Ornamental.


Best veggies


Sometimes gardening is about more than growing food or flowers. Sometimes it’s about working hard and seeing that work pay off for yourself and your friends. A big congratulations to Shawn who has taken on the garden at Dovercourt House – a second-stage recovery home operated by the Lookout Society. Friends say they are so proud of Shawn’s passion and dedication to the gardens at the home. Congratulations.


Looking for more?


There’s always something fun and exciting happening in Lynn Valley. Check out our Community Events Calendar or learn more about Local Activities, Mountain Biking or Hiking and Walking Trails.

Provincial election 2020

Four candidates are vying for the North Shore-Seymour seat on Oct. 24’s provincial election. The coming weeks won’t see the door knocking and handshaking of previous campaigns. We reached out to all registered candidates to learn a bit more about them and their visions for Lynn Valley. 


Covid election 101


Polling day might look a bit different in a couple of weeks. Unprecedented numbers have already requested mail in ballots. If you still have time to request yours. You can do that by visiting the Elections BC Website with some government issued ID and clicking on the grey box at the bottom of the page. If you did not register to vote prior to the online deadline, you can still vote in person.

To learn more about voting procedures and protocols in a pandemic, Elections BC has created a page to address such concerns. You can learn more and stay up to date for changes here.

There is also an increased need for elections staff as some of the seniors who typically support the polling centres opting out this year. To learn more about elections employment opportunities visit this page.


Get to know: Susie Chant, NDP candidate


What is your biggest priority specifically for Lynn Valley or the riding?

As a registered Nurse I have worked in community health for years, active in initiating a more sustainable model of health services, partnering with patients and families to access comprehensive care – cradle to grave.  To achieve long term health, we must also commit to achieving environmental health, a strong value for myself and the BCNDP.

Specific priority related to Lynn Valley/North Vancouver-Seymour: Affordable housing

The subsidized and lower income housing has been replaced with market share that is not affordable for young adults or seniors who wish to remain in their community.  Many folks who provide service –  nurses, police, retail staff and so on, cannot afford to live here.   This also dovetails with homelessness, an increasing characteristic of the NShore.

Why are you the best candidate for our riding? 

I have lived, worked and played in NVan/Lynn Valley, as have my children and my parents, thus I feel I am an able representative for North Vanocuver-Seymour.   My work in healthcare on the North Shore allows me ample experience as an advocate and  problem-solver, valuable skills at the legislative table. 

Anything else to add?

Through my adult lifetime, I have worked full time as a nurse, part time as a Naval Reservist, and have volunteered with school, community, provincial and national organizations.   I am a wife, mother of two daughters, and my husband and I fostered children for 12 years.  I  was the adult child of my senior parents until they passed.   All of these opportunities have provided a broad base in working with, and for others.  Thank you for the chance to address the LynnValleyLife community. 

What is the best way to learn more about you? 

Website: susiechant.bcndp.ca

Phone:  236-412-0432

Email: susiechant@shaw.ca

Instagram.com/susiechantnvs

Twitter.com/susiechant_nvs

Facebook.com/susiechantnvs

To Donate: https://action.bcndp.ca/page/contribute/nvs


Get to know: Harrison Johnston, Green Party candidate


What is your biggest priority specifically for Lynn Valley or the riding?

When I was three years old, my family moved out of the apartment where I was born into a new house in Lynn Valley. Many other young families moved into the community around that time and as a child I loved playing street hockey and tag with the other young kids in the neighbourhood. Lynn Valley was a beautiful, strong and vibrant community.

Since then housing prices have gone through the roof, young families can no longer afford to move into the community. Our public transit system has been neglected, leaving people stuck in traffic every morning. Small businesses are suffering because their workers have to commute from other communities.

My top priority for Lynn Valley is to ensure that our community is affordable and equitable. Young families should be able to move here and workers at local small businesses should be able to live in the community where they work.

Why are you the best candidate for our riding? 

Lynn Valley is the community I love and where I want to raise my own family. I am truly committed to serving this community and ensuring that it is strong and vibrant for future generations.

I am a young person and a renter, studying to become a high school teacher. I have worked as a landscaper, a retail worker, a chairlift operator and a math tutor. I am a climate activist and organizer of the September 2019 climate strike which brought more than 100,000 people to the streets from across Metro Vancouver.

I understand the challenges that people of Lynn Valley are facing and I will champion bold, compassionate and responsible solutions.

What is the best way to learn more about you? 

To find out more about my campaign, go to my website harrisonjohnston.ca or follow me on Twitter @Harrison4NV.

You can also send me an email at harrison.johnston@greenparty.bc.ca.

To Donate: https://action.bcndp.ca/page/contribute/nvs


Get to know: Jane Thornthwaite, BC Liberal Party candidate


What is your biggest priority specifically for Lynn Valley or the riding?

I first entered into politics because I wanted to make a difference for my family and other families on the North Shore, and that is why I still care so much about making life better for North Vancouver residents and am asking for another term as MLA. The number one issue for many years has been transportation. I am proud of my record in delivering the $198 M Lower Lynn Interchange Project currently under construction at the foot of the cut. It will dramatically change traffic flow for Lynn Valley residents once completed with easier access to the highway and a direct road from the east of Seymour to Lynn Valley without having to merge on to the highway. However, there is more still that can be done to improve infrastructure; if elected I would advocate investing in extending the exit 21 ramp off to Lynn Valley Rd and in much-needed Phibbs exchange upgrades. Tragically this year, too many Lynn Valley families have been personally affected by COVID-19 at the Lynn Valley Care Home. Another key priority of mine and the BC Liberals is investing in better senior care.

Why are you the best candidate for our riding? 

It’s been an honour to serve my community, the community have called home for most of my life, and where my children grew up. Having an impact has always meant a lot to me, that’s why I first ran for school board. I wanted to ensure my kids and yours were getting the best education possible in British Columbia.  I have a proven record as an MLA to deliver for North Vancouver, investments in schools such as the new Argyle Secondary and the Windsor bubble, highway infrastructure, Lions Gate Hospital including the new HOpe Centre and in transit with a new B-Line route and Seabus. If re-elected I will continue supporting under-represented communities, a long-time advocate of LGBTQ+, including SOGI policies and women’s rights, advocating for sexual assault services and importantly for additional childcare resources. The other critical aspect of my public work has been advocating for a seamless mental health and addictions system in British Columbia.

Anything else to add?

If there is a specific issue that matters to you, contact my campaign office and we can get you more information!

What is the best way to learn more about you? 

 Voters in North Vancouver-Seymour can always contact me via email or at my campaign office. I also continuously update my social media with key policy ideas and what I’m working on throughout the campaign to earn your vote. Here is how you can contact me:

 Email: Jane.thornthwaite@bcliberals.com

Office: 1325 Lonsdale Ave, North Vancouver BC

Social Media: @JThornthwaite on all platforms


Get to know: Clayton Welwood, BC Libertarian Party candidate


What is your biggest priority specifically for Lynn Valley or the riding?

As an area that is home to many families with school-aged children, I believe that education is a top issue for Lynn Valley. To ensure access to quality education for every child, parents should have more choice in determining the way it is delivered.  A one-size-fits-all approach results in far too many students being left behind; having more approaches will leave fewer students behind.

COVID-19 has offered an opportunity to test out alternatives like online learning, homeschooling and private tutoring.  Education should be an innovative process in normal times as well, where the exploration of new methods can lead to better matches for individual children.

The BC Libertarian plan is to move as much decision-making as possible away from the Ministry of Education and toward local school districts, where parents can have more input. We will consult with educational providers on how to introduce a system whereby education funding follows the student, and can be used at parents’ discretion within an expanded menu of educational options.

Why are you the best candidate for our riding? 

Because all of the solutions I propose will not prevent Lynn Valley residents from following their own path to a better life.

Anything else to add?

ICBC’s monopoly needs to be revoked. Not only is it the source of high premiums for good drivers, and poor service for many, in order to control costs, the provincial government wants to implement a “no-fault” regime. While this may help ICBC’s battered finances, it would deny accident victims pain and suffering damages, access to legal representation for their care and recovery, and would ultimately make our roads less safe. If elected I would call for repeal of the no-fault legislation, conversion of ICBC into a co-op, and allow everyone full choice of auto insurers.

What is the best way to learn more about you? 

Email: clayton.welwood@libertarian.bc.ca

YouTube: www.youtube.com/user/linkelei


Looking for more?


There’s always something fun and exciting happening in Lynn Valley. Check out our Community Events Calendar or learn more about Local Activities, Mountain Biking or Hiking and Walking Trails.

Halloween – pandemic style

There has been much discussion in the daily updates for Covid-19 about Halloween. Dr. Bonnie Henry, at this point, is adamant it can go on. There have been guidelines written by the BC Centre for Disease Control and creative minds working throughout the community.  


What will Halloween look like?


We have been thinking about how we can help the community enjoy the annual tradition in the most safe and responsible way.

First and foremost: If you are sick, do not trick or treat and do not hand out candy.

  • Keep celebrations to those you live with or very, very small groups (think six). No big house parties this year.
  • Celebrate outside – be careful with handsanitizer near open flames. It is very flammable.
  • Follow the BC CDC’s guidelines for safer celebrations.
  • This year, avoid using props that can cause coughing, such as smoke machines.

We are building a map and will continue you to add homes and displays to visit in the days leading up to Halloween weekend. We will continuously add to it throughout the month of October. If you click on the map (or the square with the arrow in the upper left), we have layers letting you know which homes are fun for all ages and which are spookier. There are definitely some favourites on here like the Haslers and the Tindales on Wellington. 


Help build the Halloween neighbourhood map


From Sykes to Peters and many nooks and crannies in between, we see so many get in the spooky spirit of Halloween.  LynnValleyLife will be putting together a Halloween Map. If you go over the top wth house decorations or know of a great display, please send it our way. We want families to enjoy the community spirit of Halloween – without door knocking – in the days around the holiday. You can use the from below or this link to add to the map. These don’t have to be your home, please add your neighbours homes too – if they have a display they want people to see it.


Tips for a symptom-free celebration


Trick-or-treating can be done safely by following these tips

  1. Respect homes by staying away if the lights are out.
  2. Keep to your local neighbourhood this year.
    • Avoid trick-or-treating in busy areas or indoors (in places like malls) since there may not be enough space to distance. Indoor spaces may require a non-medical mask or face covering.
  3. Trick-or-treat in a small social group, stick to six people.
    • Leave space between you and other groups to reduce crowding on stairs and sidewalks.
  4. Wash your hands before you go out, when you get home, and before eating treats.
    • Keep hand sanitizer with you if eating treats on the go.
    • You don’t need to clean every treat. You should instead wash your hands after handling treats and not touch your face.

Get creative handing out treats

  1. Get creative!
    • Use tongs, a baking sheet or make a candy slide to give more space when handing out candy.
    • Plan to hand out individual treats instead of offering a shared bowl.
    • Only hand out sealed, pre-packaged treats.
  2. Wear a non-medical mask that covers your nose and mouth when handing out treats.
  3. Be more outside, than inside.
    • If you can, stand outside your door to hand out treats. Then kids won’t need to touch the door or doorbell.
    • If you’re unable to sit outside to hand out treats, clean and disinfect doorbells and knobs, handrails, and any other high touch surface often during the evening
  4. If you are decorating, avoid props that can cause coughing, such as smoke machines.
  5. Stick to the treats – not tricks.

Source: BC Centre for Disease Control


Looking for more?


There’s always something fun and exciting happening in Lynn Valley. Check out our Community Events Calendar or learn more about Local Activities, Mountain Biking or Hiking and Walking Trails.

A little Local Love

In a time of disconnection the United Way is trying to bring Lynn Valley together. The organization is offering residents a one-time grant to help build community with its Local Love campaign.


Building community


For the last few months Sarah Dugan has been working for the United Way as a Community Builder. Her territory includes various parts of the North Shore including Lynn Valley. 

“We want to help bring a little bit of happiness to life,” said Dugan. 

She has been working over the last several months with direct outreach to local community members as well as creating initiatives that bring people together. 

“Community builders reach out to members of the community and help their specific needs like cleaning supplies or groceries, help for seniors, virtual check ins, mental health support – connecting to resources if they need it. It can be hard to navigate systems online – to figure how to get the help that you need – and I can help them. Having someone who has lived in the community and growing up can be an important part of that.”

To learn more about the ongoing projects follow check out the initiative’s Facebook page. If you or someone you know need support you can reach out to the United Way through Dugan (sarahd@uwlm.ca) or visit the United Way online.  


Local Love


The last big project for the community builders is to support the residents with their own initiatives to build Local Love, said Dugan. The Local Love project offers grants of upto $1000 to people with ideas to connect others within our community. 

“This is a way for people to get involved and get to know people in their neighbourhood,” she said. “When we are spending so much time at home, we aren’t seeing our neighbours as much and we aren’t having people in our home spaces. Sometimes families with young kids get to know each other but it is not as easy when you are older. Adults sometimes don’t know their neighbours in the same way, it would be nice to see some kind of connection created.” 

Examples across the Vancouver area include physically distant block parties, comfort and hobby bags. 

“We now want to focus on a bit of long term community between the people who are hosting the projects and those participating in the projects, so it’s not just a drop off situation,” she said. “You need to be a little bit creative in figuring out what kind of project can do that. We are really pushing for ones that have some sort of community aspect – and it doesn’t have to be in person. It can also be something online.”

Dugan really loved the creativity and connection fostered by one project that received funding in another Local Love region. She explained two women hosted art classes and had families sign up and dropped off supplies each week. The families shared their completed art with the organizers, who in turn when dropping off supplies the following week dropped off images of other projects sharing with the community of participants what everyone had made. 


How it works


 “We would like to help build relationships that go beyond the length of the project,” said Dugan. “I would really like to see different residents come together and meet each other.” 

Dugan explained there is an application process – and interested people should contact her directly so she can walk them through the application process With her guidance there tends to be less back and forth and a quicker funding result, she said. 

“Each neighbourhood has a budget – the North Shore has used about half of it and we have space for about four to five more in Lynn Valley,” said Dugan.  

How to get started: 

  • Applications must be completed by an adult, resident of Lynn Valley (but can be a representative for a larger group working together).
  • Outline the project
  • Break down of budget (max $1000) with money earmarked for supplies, time is to be volunteered.  
  • Be open to support from Dugan to help the project be successful. 
  • Projects need to be completed at the latest, in November. 
  • Applications due by late October (Dugan can provide specifics). 
  • For all the details and application contact Sarah Dugan sarahd@uwlm.ca

Looking for more?


There’s always something fun and exciting happening in Lynn Valley. Check out our Community Events Calendar or learn more about Local Activities, Mountain Biking or Hiking and Walking Trails.

Trails from the ground up

It was a busy summer on the Shore. The local trails have been inundated with users of all kinds, even with parking lots closed walkers, hikers and bikers from all over the region made their way to our trails. It means a lot of work for hundreds of volunteers that build and maintain terrain.


Community builder


The North Shore Mountain Bike Association’s Joe Woywitka knows firsthand how busy the trails are. He spends five days a week working on taking care of the region’s trails as its trail crew lead. The covid restrictions initially changed the make of users on the trails, but as the months went on, the numbers continued to rise, he said. 

Joe Woywitka

“I am out working on the trails and the influx of new riders, trail runners and hikers has been huge,” said Woywitka. “We are seeing a lot more beginners out there – which is a good thing. I think they are seeing what goes into the trails. It’s great. It means more people for the sport, more people to support the association and get involved in advocacy for the trails.”

The NSMBA is thrilled to see more riders out – it aligns with their mandate of “Trails for all. Trails forever.” Their goal is to grow the sport to more people and with more diversity. A cause the covid pandemic has helped in its own way. 

With many riders and families spending their season out on the trails for the first time, they are seeing for the first time what it takes to keep the trails on Seymour, Cypress and Fromme safe, said Woywitka.  

“Growing up here there wasn’t the same amount of trail maintenance going on – which means fewer beginner trails or trails that made it easy to get into the sport,” he said. “What the NSMBA has been doing over the last 10 years or so is to make the trails more inclusive and help people get into the sport and also maintaining the more challenging terrain the North Shore is known for.” 


Trail work


It takes a whole community to keep the trails environmentally sustainable, safe and fun. More than 1,600 volunteers shared their time with the NSMBA last year for more than 13,000 volunteer hours. 

The NSMBA uses a dedicated group of 500 volunteers – the Shore Corps – that have all undergone training to lead its community trail days and corporate trail days. Giving a few hours to the trails is something Woywitka would like all riders to consider. With no experience necessary, the Shore Corp takes the lead on guiding volunteers. 

“They are the core group of builders we can lean on to help maintain the trails. Some have ‘their own’ trails that they are the lead builder on and are dedicated to maintain,” he said. 

Today the Corps is needed more than ever as covid protocols require smaller groups further apart. With the trail work days resumed, it is a chance to give back to the sport you love.

“Volunteers are what drives our organization and lets us get the majority of work done. You will see how not only do we maintain the trails but how we make our trails fun,” he said. “The primary focus when we are out doing any sort of trail work is sustainability. When you participate in any form of outdoor recreation there are going to be environmental impacts and our goal is to offset what comes from mountain biking and the trail maintenance. ”


Trails forever


There are a few plans in the works to add more terrain to the North Shore. For the first time, the NSMBA is working with the City of North Vancouver to establish some trails in Greenwood Park, just south of the Upper Levels. 

“We have found a suitable place to build,” said Woywitka. “The terrain is a little bit easier and it isn’t super steep like many parts of the North Shore mountains. It would be a great place for beginner and intermediate trails.”

With the expansion and redesign of trails focusing on newer riders completed over the last few years, the NSMBA is also looking to better service the experienced riders that have been using the trails for decades. 

“Over the last several years we have really rounded out the beginner and intermediate trails and we are hoping to push for a new advanced level trail,” Woywitka said. “Somewhere higher up on Fromme would be the best place for it. It is something the community has been calling for and we want to make sure we are advocating for the higher level riders.”

Visit www.nsmba.ca and check out the calendar for Community Trail Days. There is a plan for family day this fall. You can also email info@nsmba.ca for more information.

How to help support local trails

  1. Support the NSMBA with a membership purchase.
  2. Attend a trail building day.
  3. Shut down braids – the unsanctioned trails between maintained trails.

Looking for more?


There’s always something fun and exciting happening in Lynn Valley. Check out our Community Events Calendar or learn more about Local Activities, Mountain Biking or Hiking and Walking Trails.