Stitched with love

A local artist experienced in healing is leading the Lynn Valley Love sewing project. Quilter, artist, and instructor Berene Campbell is hoping the works will help reclaim the Lynn Valley Library and Village after the March 27th attack.


Lots of love


Berene Campbell

As an artist and creator Campbell has felt a need to respond when communities she cares about are struck by tragedy. She uses her work to foster social justice and healing.   

“There is a call – even from far away – when you see your fellow human beings suffering to do something about it,” she said. 

After the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing Campbell was inspired to found the community project To Boston With Love. She and others voiced a call for handmade flags supporting the community, the injured and to recognize those that were killed. The project debuted during the month of April 2014 at the Boston Museum of Fine Art to mark one year after the bombing. 

Her initiatives for collective healing continued in Toronto where she was living at the time of its April 2018 van attack. She received over 2000 peace and love flags from across the world that were pieced together to form banners. The project, once completed, was placed in the North York City Centre where it filled a vast space with colour and positive messages.

“The overall idea is to turn this community hub into a space filled with beauty, comfort and love – like a big visual hug,” she said at the time.  


From loss to love


Campbell’s motivation remains much the same after the March 27 stabbing that killed one, injured six, and left the community as a whole reeling. Compassionate, the past projects have been deeply meaningful to Campbell, but with this tragedy taking place in her home community, this one is special.

“My son and his girlfriend were here at the exact time – just one week prior,” she said. “For so many of us, it was just timing that kept us away that day.” 

In May of this year, she partnered with the NVDPL and the District of North Vancouver to begin the Lynn Valley Love sewing project. It is a two-part project set to be unveiled this month at the Lynn Valley branch. Earlier in the spring, the public was invited to pick up simple sewing kits to help stitch the community back together. The felt and cotton pieces were simply sewed at home by residents and dropped off for Campbell and her team to stitch together. The X’s of love have been received from other parts of the world as well as crafters saw the project launch online. 

For some it was an act to send love, for others participation is an act of their own healing and to reduce stress and anxiety.

It’s very repetitive. There is something zen about doing the stitching,” she said.

The second part of the project involves more elaborated quilted banners that will hang in the stairwell of the library. Campbell and her team have a vast network of quilters willing to contribute to the ‘visual hug.’ Banners have arrived from near and far. 

Campbell’s community action goes beyond public displays. She has also established the Handmade Collective Awards, a bursary (financial aid) fund for BIPOC, Indigenous and 2SLGBTQ+ students at Ryerson University in Toronto. Her website also has a number of tutorials and projects for sewers. 


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.

Forging in the forest, not foraging

It took three years and countless hours to go from clicking an intriguing YouTube link to becoming a master bladesmith in his own right. Lynn Valley Forge’s Casey Vilensky now ships his creatively crafted knives all over the world. 


Forging patience


VilenskyWith a background as a luxury car mechanic and proficient woodworker, Vilensky pairs his metal and wood experience beautifully, making the blades, handles, and wooden sheaths of his knives. Three years in from his first attempt, his knives are unquestionably art. Vilensky’s Instagram account chronicles the progression from one art to another. 

“It’s a different thing, most people get into something like woodworking,” he said. “I kind of will metal into what I want it to do.”

A fateful day of woodworking research led Vilensky across some bladesmith videos. 

“YouTube is great for makers who share their craft,” he said “I was randomly watching videos and these Damascus knives came up and I was interested.”


Functional art


Using an existing space – not huge – about the size of a garage, Vilensky began to adapt his woodworking shop into Lynn Valley Forge.  

“I added tools as I could afford to buy them,” he said. “Definitely having a mechanical background gave me experience with the process and my skills for woodworking gave me the confidence to create. I knew absolutely nobody, no other blacksmith in the Lower Mainland. The learning curve was very high at first. Knifemaking isn’t just about making something beautiful it is also about making it functional. Nobody asked me to buy a knife for the first year.” 

His progress required patience and a lot of practice. 

“The shop gets hot, it’s noisy, you get covered in grinding dust and wood dust. It’s not glamorous but it produces results that are quite beautiful.”

His passion and pursuit of quality supplies and tools have also led him far from his previous career to fully embracing blacksmithing, not only as a creator but also as an importer. Vilensky now distributes trade tools to the growing blacksmithing community in Vancouver and Canada. 

As an artist, he specializes in intricate mosaic Damascus steel. He is strongly influenced by the history and traditions of Japanese knife making. 

“The mosaic means you are working with a repeatable pattern,” he explained. “They look like flowers or explosions or a river running down. You are basically trying to paint a picture with steel.” 

It’s a good time to be creating such labour-intensive pieces of art as more people are recognizing the time and effort it takes to make one knife, said Vilensky. 

“There was a huge failure rate as I was learning. I have a bucket of knives that didn’t work out,” he said. “It’s really frustrating – some patterns take two weeks, working the steel two hours a day, every day. You can only do one operation in one day, and prepare for the next. It can take two weeks and on the last operation it fails, overheats or cracks and you just . . . start over. Luckily that doesn’t happen too much anymore.”


Sharing the trade


With future goals to continue to improve his skills, Vilensky’s priority is to maintain the artistry, and despite the lucrative opportunity of high-end knives, not fall into the trap of overproduction. 

“I don’t want to fall out of love with this. I have no desire to make reproductions, every piece is unique and that is the way it is supposed to be,” he said. “It’s a fun hobby that I sell a few knives to pay for but I want to keep it a hobby I love and not turn it into a job.”

Instead, he is sharing his love. The next project on the horizon is joining the team at Fraser River Forge to teach classes on bladesmithing. 

“I know how hard it was for me to get into, it was just watching videos and not having any personal instruction.”

Sharing his work on the other hand is more complicated. He walks a fine line of producing enough to fund future pieces while maintaining his quality and passion for the work. Vilensky makes a few pieces available through specialty shops but most stay in the hands of friends. The knives have made their way into the hands of chefs and collectors – even to Japan, often seen as the world leader in artisan knives. 

“It was humbling to have a few requests from Japan and having some good reviews from Japanese bladesmiths makes it feel like I have achieved something.”

Images courtesy of Casey Vilensky.


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 space for digital storytellers

The goal of enhancing the community’s digital literacy has led to an innovative maker space at the Lynn Valley Branch of the North Vancouver District Public Library. The StoryLab’s covid-delayed public debut allowed the library to seamlessly pivot to its pandemic programming, and now it is open for creating.


Evolution of storytelling and literacy


“The original goal was to launch in April of 2020,” said Maryann Kempthorne, manager of innovation and learning for the NVDPL. “But a silver lining was we had this space and resources to take the library digital [during the pandemic restrictions]. We had a studio that allowed us to continue our programs online.”

The new StoryLab facility is a new creativity and learning space. Essentially it is an audio-visual maker space stocked with computers, digitization equipment, an audio booth, and a film studio – complete with lights, mics, and a green screen. It’s a technology hub that builds on the North Shore’s tradition of storytelling, said Kempthorne. 

“Maker spaces are a trend in libraries,” she explained. “We went with audiovisual instead of a sewing machine or 3D printer to suit the community. There is a lot of impact from the district and the shore that is visual and very media. We have North Shore Studios right here. We have an opportunity to influence storytelling in an audiovisual way.”

With a commitment to diversity and inclusion, the StoryLab is also an effort to support more people. 

“Our library has a really strong background in creating readers,” said Kempthorne. “Literacy can be digital literacy – podcasting, film, green screen production.”

But more than that, the StoryLab is about meeting patrons where they are and helping them grow, she said.  

“There are people who are not interested in our anchor services around print. We are able to reach them with content we make that is more accessible. Youth who can’t see themselves reflected in other services might see themselves in digital media learning. It also allows us to support multilingualism.”

When the StoryLab is not booked by the public, it is used by staff to enhance the digital collection, to run online programs and events, and to record audiobooks by patron request.

There are other practical uses for the space. In a pandemic world and the rise of video conferencing and digital connection, people without resources at home or the knowledge to participate can be helped by the StoryLab, said Kempthorne, giving the example of a senior needing to attend a virtual court hearing.


Collaborative creation


The original plan was to have a space where creators could come together to innovate. There is an entire room still on covid-hold that will host technology education sessions in the Digital Learning Lab. As the pandemic pivot continues the NVDPL has plans to host virtual sessions from expert creators, think filmmakers speaking in a similar way to an author talk. 

In the short time, it has been open, the current vision of collaboration has shifted and is supporting creators, small businesses, and local organizations. 

“One of the best examples is North Van Arts was completing one of their local videos and wanted to get people in to record in alternate languages.”

The space is also part of a larger collaborative North Shore vision between NVDPL, the North Vancouver City Library, and the West Vancouver Memorial Library as they all explore maker spaces and aim to provide complementary services with little duplication, said Kempthorne.


How it works


Users can now book the film studio, audio booth, computer stations, or digitization stations. Staff will have a quick consultation to see how much support a creator might need and offer reading materials, digital resources, or other prep materials to make their session a success. Users will need to utilize cloud file transfers or their own portable storage to save their projects and they are also welcome to bring in their own equipment. 

Kempthorne is excited about the innovation opportunities the StoryLab will provide. 

“We have an opportunity to attract and develop storytellers and digital media artists. Having more storytellers in residence at our local library is really exciting. One of the founding projects we did was for youth. Some of my podcasters we have now, came and attended when they were 12 – that’s the continuum of digital literacy and learning.”

This project is the first step in an evolving vision, said Kempthorne. Just as patrons can recommend books they can chat with and make requests with the digital services librarian to improve the space and further innovate.  

 

Visit the Lynn Valley branch or its website to learn more. 


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.

Community Art Day

The pandemic pivot is leading to all sorts of innovation. A local artist who took her art lessons online in 2020 is inviting Lynn Valley to join her January 29 for a community painting party. Local artist Caroline Liggett has partnered with the United Way’s Local Love campaign to provide materials and instruction for an online class at the end of the month.


A real artist


Liggett’s journey to becoming an artist is echoed by the experience of many enduring the Covid-19 pandemic: she was dealing with grief. The busy working mom was rattled by the unexpected death of her sister in 2009. 

“A friend of mine suggested I journal,” said Liggett. “But I didn’t want to see the words of grief, I didn’t want to be reminded. I had taken a few painting lessons in the past and picked up my brush to see if I could channel all those feelings of anxiety, the pain of grief, into something beautiful.”

She connected with North Van’s Dene Croft as an instructor and mentor and began to paint. Years in she is prolific and is a teacher herself. From youth classes to adults she has been guiding individuals and groups through ongoing lessons and one-off painting parties.

“I hear from people all the time ‘I can’t paint’ or ‘I am not an artist,” she said. “I think to be a real artist all you need is a desire to create art – the rest is just learning. I think people are surprised by what they can do when they complete a painting.”


One stroke at a time


The desire to help others fall in love with painting did not end when the pandemic hit last spring. For some students, Liggett moved outside during the summer. For others, especially for her students with special needs, she worked with families to create learning spaces that allow for physical distance and masks. But for the majority, she turned – like most of us – to Zoom. She has even taught classes for a high school in Nanaimo all from the comfort of her studio. 

“I started with some groups I know, and then offered more classes in November,” said Liggett. “I think people wondered what they could create guided by a video but it was interesting, I had a former colleague of mine doing a class one Wednesday with her kids and her husband was wandering in and out of the kitchen. Then in my Friday class – for adults – there he was wanting to give it a try!”

Each week Liggett offers two classes, one to suit children (but any age is welcome) on Wednesday afternoons and an adult class on Friday evenings. Participants are provided with a finished image of the class painting to help inspire them, an accessible supply list and a link to the class. For a flat fee of $10 (kids classes) or $15 (adult class) anyone in the household can participate. 

“These classes are for the very beginner,” she said. “All you need is a yearning to paint. You don’t need 40 different colours. I have created a very limited palette of colours that you can find at Opus or Micheals. Depending on the painting I might paint along, but I have found that by breaking it down into four or five steps and being able to offer immediate feedback tends to work best. 

“And by the end of the two hours,” she laughs, “you have a masterpiece.”

She also puts together private events. Over the holidays Liggett worked with several families to lead a family event together while all in their own homes. She also has some dedicated clients who take a more social approach – more of cocktail and create – all of which can be done on Zoom, she said. 


Community Paint Party


Last fall the Greater Vancouver United Way launched a Local Love Campaign to foster connection within Lynn Valley during the pandemic. Residents could submit proposals for small grants to create an impactful project. Liggett was awarded a grant for a community-wide paint party to put together 30 supply packages for Lynn Valley residents. 

“I am thinking it will be birch trees,” she said of the design. “People could then ‘carve’ a name or some initials, a heart or something into the bark that was impactful to them during this time. I would really like some seniors to participate.”

To sign up or learn more about the Jan. 29th Community Paint (Online) Party visit Liggett’s Facebook page or email her.


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.

Cozy up with a good book

The winter is the perfect tie to curl up with a good book. Whether you are seeking refuge from the unrelenting rain or your family has the tradition to exchange books during the holidays, we want to send some local love to Lynn Valley’s resident authors. We did some digging and think all these authors live in the area – we may be off but they all have ties to the North Shore. Special thanks to the North Vancouver District Public Library staff who helped with this post.


Local literary picks


Garet Anderson

Set on the west coast Killer Gold tells the story of Bedard, who is hired by Queen Victoria to track down and deal with criminals preying on those working in the Lower Fraser River gold rush on Canada’s west coast in 1858. At the library here.

 Jenn Ashton

Check out her latest book People Like Frank – And Other Stories from the Edge of Normal. Inside you will find a young woman in a group home investigating a mysterious piece of knitting.  An obsessed bag boy does grim battle with a squirrel. A woman, an asparagus bag and a garbageman have a tumultuous short-term relationship. Otherwise unremarkable achievements become epic on the edge of normal. Ashton also has two children’s books.

Evelyn Cohoon Dreiling 

Dreiling has penned three books featuring the fictitious Tracey family and their journey from Scotland to a newly colonized Canada. The novels span multiple generations from Scotland to Montreal to Saskatchewan. Check them out.  

Megan Clendenan

Clendenan has written both fiction and non-fiction. She debuted her young adult fiction book Offbeat last year and is looking forward to her forthcoming non-fiction book. Design Like Nature: Biomimicry for a Healthy Planet will help kids answer their questions about the 

Michele Fogal

Fogal has always felt a sense of kinship with quirky and diverse people. As a bisexual author, writing love stories that explore the rainbow of human experience is both a pleasure and a calling. Her work celebrates the divine nature of diversity and the sacred, messy work of intimacy. She has two books, King of Snowflakes and King of Rain, available at the NVDPL.  

Daniel Francis

Francis is the author of 30 books, principally about Canadian, BC, and local history. Where Mountains Meet the Sea describes how the community of North Vancouver originated as the sawmill town of Moodyville, then evolved into a residential suburb of Vancouver until following World War Two it emerged as a bustling urban centre in its own right. The book documents the district’s major industries — shipbuilding, forestry and deep water shipping — as well as the rich legacy of outdoor recreation for which it is still known.

Eve Lazarus

Passionate about history and writing, Lazarus has published numerous books chronicling Vancouver’s past. More than a writer she also has podcasts on her website. The library has an excellent selection of her books.  

Fernando Lessa 

As a professional nature photographer, Lessa travelled all over the world. He didn’t have to look far for his 2019 book Urban Salmon: A Photographic Journey into the Metro Vancouver Watershed. The project chronicles two years in the Vancouver area. 

Steve Galliford

Based on his adventures and bedtime stories for his children, Galliford released his first book a few years ago. The House at the Edge of Space, a children’s novel follows a boy as he discovers incredibly weird secrets near an abandoned house on the outskirts of town.

Vihba Sisodraker

For those wanting to take their book to the kitchen check out this new cookbook from a local family. Perfect for cool nights: The Flavourful Indian – Recipes from My Kitchen.


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 mystery trail artist of Lynn Valley

Walking the quiet trails of Lynn Valley may have been a bit noisier in recent months. When the quiet returned two new pieces of art had appeared. Some were left wondering how they appeared, others are Ross Road passersby more familiar with the work of local ‘mystery’ carver Ben Hemara.


The joy of chainsaws


A simple one-day carving class at Lee Valley Tools set Lynn’s Valley’s Ben Hemara on a path of joy – now with an accompanying soundtrack of chainsaws.

Over the past seven years he has transitioned from hand carving to using power tools. This Spring as Covid hit, Hemara was inspired to make his art more public.

“We live in Lynn Valley and I take my son and we go for walks on local trails. There are so many beautiful stumps that are old growth cedars. Cedar is so wonderful to carve,” he said. “When I did a woodspirit I thought it would be great to see one of these on the trails.”

He began his first public piece on a local trail off Allan.

“The trails through Lynn Valley are so neat how they connect and link to the different parts of the neighbourhood. I did a woodspirit and I thought it would be great to see one of these on the trails,” said Hemara. “I took it upon myself and did a piece on the trails and everyone loved it. I have gotten such positive feedback and I would like to do more. 

“Obviously I am working on dead trees.” 


Local inspiration


Two works have been completed on local trails using old-growth stumps and other dead wood. The two works can be found where Allan Road meets Draycott and on the path linking Draycott and Ross Road. The District of North Vancouver has become aware of the art and has led Hemara to take a break from carving on public land. 

“They are well aware of my artwork and I have spoken to them,” he said. “I haven’t added any since then because I don’t want to upset anyone. I am trying to bring positivity to the community and do something nice. I think it’s positive with the District. I would love to do some more pieces for the community.”


Living a dream


A New Zealand transplant and roofer by trade, Hemara balances his art with his family time. The dad, with a young son and another child on the way, spends what time he has available at carving. 

“It’s an odd artform using big power tools. The pieces are labour intensive especially since I am doing them on my own,” said Hemara. “And they sometimes require me to make my own scaffolding so I have a nice steady platform. I could probably do it in two or three full days but I am balancing my family and art.” 

The new forest works were a new project for Hemara, his usual works have much more suburban roots. 

“I usually carve at my in-laws on Ross Road – in their driveway,” he said. “I have a ton of people come by. I always display a few pieces out as I work and I have gotten a couple of commission orders from people who come by.”

His dream would be to transition out of roofing to be a fulltime carver – with his own workspace, to give the neighbours a break.

“It can be annoying for the neighbours, I try to keep it to a minimum and I know people want to enjoy their day and not hear it all weekend long,” said Hemara. 

Hemara says there is a thriving chainsaw carving community in B.C. and hopes to connect and learn more from his colleagues – and hopefully add a few more trail pieces to Lynn Valley. 

“It is so satisfying and brings joy to me to pop in and out and leave a beautiful peace of art.”

You can check more works by Ben Hemara on Facebook and he will soon be launching his own website (not currently active). 


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.

Isolation adventures in Upper Lynn

In the weeks prior to the covid-19 pandemic call to stay home and stay safe, Lynn Valley’s Paul Dixon was putting many kilometres on his car, traversing the Lower Mainland photographing whatever piqued his interest. That all stopped March 20. 


Stay close to home


Retired almost two decades from his main career in municipal government, Dixon is now a freelance writer and photographer. Choosing to focus on projects that suit his passions gives him adventures near and far.  

“I was a professional wanderer,” he says. “I couldn’t make myself stay home, why would I? If it’s a beautiful day and I am gone.”

With a check of his notes, Dixon lists March trips criss crossing the Vancouver-area and beyond with his cameras. There were numerous stops in Ambleside and Burnaby Lake, but also Port Coquitlam, White Rock, the Rifle Bird Sanctuary in Delta, Harrison Mills and plenty more. He also has a clear date when that all changed. 

“I got a flicker on a neighbour’s chimney, and that is as far as I have been with my camera since March 20,” he says. “I am out on my back deck with a camera or one or two cameras  – doing my bit for society camped out at home. I put my feet up, with a book and a big glass of water and catch whatever comes.”


Backyard birds


The result has been a spontaneous collection of the life around his Upper Lynn home – much of it shared online. It’s an interesting reflection of life for everyone during the pandemic. With the request by local authorities to stay home, he was forced to reframe his interests – and their footprint. Since the pandemic began he has been delighting locals online with his beautiful wildlife images, all taken in his yard. 

Stellar’s Jay

“Now I am having just as good a time sitting on the back steps,” says Dixon. “I think that the past six weeks has been an opportunity to look at the world I’ve lived in up here in Lynn Valley though a slightly different perspective.” 

Claiming not to be a “birder” with a bucket list, Dixon does enjoy clicking things that fly from birds to planes. His current work is fitting in well with his passions. 

Conscious of wildlife beyond birds in his yard, Dixon forewent birder feeders for 15 years, concerned they lure bears and other creatures into the yard. With an eye to black bear foraging season he has temporarily added some to the yard. 

“It’s interesting to see some birds are attracted to the feeders but for the most part they aren’t interested in them. They take care of themselves. They pop in and pop out. It’s just fleeting glances.”

His patience has captured everything from the small – stunning hummingbirds to high drama – pigeon versus squirrel. 

The weather was generally pretty good and that gave me the opportunity to watch as the flowers started to bloom and it seemed that every day there was something new to see. Small details perhaps, but different from the day before. Some of the birds like the Juncos are here every day, while others like the Bushtits and Kinglets are infrequent visitors.”


Embracing the tools


Dixon’s own love of photography has evolved over time. He recalls his first photo was a squirrel in Stanley Park at 10 years old. But it was the transition from film to digital photography, coupled with “retirement” that stoked his enthusiasm. 

“It’s an interest in the world around me – things I see, that maybe others do not,” he says. “The ones I like are the ones that I don’t know I have taken. When you sit down later and discover a great one.”

It doesn’t take a lot to get started in photography, says Dixon. A bit of equipment and time in the saddle will get you off to a good start.   

“The camera is a tool, I will encounter serious photographers with really nice cameras taking one picture, two pictures and waiting for the perfect picture,” he says. “But with a decent digital camera set up and a high frame rate and a bit of understanding of exposure and light, let the camera work for you. Take lots of pictures and you will get some stunning shots.

I’ve got a decent camera and it takes decent photos. Can’t ask for much more than that. It’s also really important that you know what you like in terms of the results you’re looking for. I’ve got a friend who’s got the same equipment as I do – same camera body and same lens. We’ll go out for a day, shoot a zillion photos and end up with two very different ‘looks’ for the day.”

It has taken him a bit longer to get onboard with the camera most of us have. It gives an easy opportunity to dabble in photography. 

“I don’t often go somewhere without my camera but it took me a while to realize, I always have a camera – a 12mp camera or something on my phone and I have gotten some really good pictures – even sold some.” 

With the ask to stay close to home, covid-19 is a chance to dabble in something new. There aren’t any big secrets to photography, he says. Dixon offers two simple pieces of advice:

“You can’t do this with a subject that doesn’t interest you” and “Take lots of pictures – don’t get hung up on one or two.”

All images are courtesy of Paul Dixon. 


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.

Finding HOPE in Lynn Valley

Walking down the street you might find some hope on Wellington Drive.


Family tradition


There is a house mid-way down the block that is always decked out for holidays. 

For decades the Tindales have been celebrating Christmas and Halloween with home and yard displays, but in the last few years, daughter Jennifer has stepped up their holiday game in a big way. 

“I have such great memories as a kid of how my family celebrated holidays. We keep adding and adding. In 2017 I started with all the plywood displays. Last year was the biggest but we are reaching a point we almost need a shed to store all of this,” laughs Tindale, 43. 

The displays mean more to Tindale than just giving her parents a great yard. She has been unable to work as a result of a workplace injury and its resulting condition. 

“Doing these displays is part of my mental health therapy,” she said. 


Giving hope


The thought and work on the displays goes on almost all year round. Preparation for Christmas 2020 was already well underway as the COVID-19 situation moved towards North Vancouver. 

“I was out in the backyard already cutting for next year and I had this sign already done and waiting at my home,” said Tindale. “It is my little piece of putting the spirit out there. This is hope for everything going on now. It’s my passion doing these displays but it is also a nod to the HoPE Centre.”

The Greta and Robert H.N. HO Psychiatry & Education Centre, (The HOpe Centre) at Lions Gate Hospital was opened in 2014. It brings together both inpatient and outpatient mental health services under one roof and also houses both the Djavad Mowafaghian UBC Medical Education Centre and is a permanent home for BC Ambulance. Tindale is both a patient and supporter of the centre. 

“The displays give me purpose,” she said. “I am tied to this community. It’s where I was born, grew up and went to school. It’s so special on our street, there are people I went to school with that are now buying their parents homes and raising their kids here. So they grew up with our family being into holidays and now they get to experience it with their kids.” 

The seasonal displays at the Tindale home kicked off a trend much of Wellington Road has embraced. With the Dovercourt Crypt around the corner the area has become the destination for Halloween in Lynn Valley. 

“There is so much appreciation from the kids and parents too – it gets me emotional thinking about. Last year we had 360 kids come by. It warms my heart. Every year, the kids can pick out what I have added. They bring their friends who don’t live here and show them.” 


Win-win


Laughing, Tindale shared she wanted to embrace the nationwide trend of putting out Christmas lights to bring some sparkle to Lynn Valley during this state of emergency but her parents weren’t on board. It was too big a job to tackle right now.

“In the times of what are going on right now, people are drawing together. Really it’s the simple memories of family and community that will get us through,” she said. 

The large letters of HOPE, with its double meaning of supporting mental health and community spirit are having the impact Tindale wanted.  

“People have gotten emotional when they see it. People have shared this is what they think this community needs,” said Tindale. “ I appreciate how the community as a whole is stepping up with what they are good at. Small businesses are trying to get creative to stay in business. 

“ It’s a sign of me being me. This is something I could offer our street, our neighbourhood.” 


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.

Ready for Spring Break?

Despite all the snow – Spring break is creeping up on us. There are a number of activities to keep kids and tweens busy over the school holiday. Lynn Valley will be bustling with everything from film making to Lego to pollinators. The Ecology Centre is also back with its Wildlife Weeks activities for drop-in fun for all ages.


Film making


The Lynn Valley Library is hosting a film making camp for students in Grades 6-8 March 23-27. Participants use filmmaking equipment and with the help of filmmaking educators from The Cinematheque come together to make great stories for the screen! Fee for camp is: $290 for a general application, however financial assistance is available for North Vancouver District residents. This is popular, so applications are due Feb. 18! 


Nurturing Nature


The Lynn Valley Ecology Centre has a number of mini-camps for children ages 5-8. These Monday-Wednesday half day camps are a great option for learning and an easy introduction to day camps for those that have never done them before. There are is a mini-camp about Pollinators and one all about out senses. There will be games, crafts and outside time. Cost: $79.95.

There are also a number of drop-in programs to celebrate the natural world during Wildlife Weeks from March 15-26. All events take place at the Ecology Centre and are available on a on first-come basis. The suggested donation is $2 a person or $5 for a family. 

  • Great Snakes and Remarkable Reptiles Sunday, March 15, noon to 4 pm, Presenter: Westcoast Reptile Education Society
  • Swoop and Soar – Birds of Prey Monday, March 16, 1 pm, Presenter: OWL Rescue
  • Our Wild Neighbours Tuesday, March 17, 1 pm, Presenter: Marcy Potter of the Fur-Bearers
  • The Caterpillar and Pollywog – Black Light Puppet Show Friday, March 20. Shows begin at 10:30 am, 11:30 am, and 1:00 pm.
  • Wild About Mason Bees Monday, March 23, 10:30 am, Presenter: Taren Urquhart
  • Night Flyers Tuesday, March 24, 1:00 pm, Presenter: Kirk Miles of BC Community Bat Program
  • The Bear Essentials Thursday, March 26. 10:30 am, Presenter: North Shore Black Bear Society
  • City Salmon Thursday, March 26, 1:00 pm, Presenter: Fernando Lessa

Get your hands a little dirty


The much beloved Kudzu Art Studio has found some local space and is back for two camps March 16-20. There is the Art and Animal Camp for school aged kids from 9am-noon. As well as a Tween/Teen drawing and painting camp from 1-4pm. Students will explore a variety of mediums, techniques and artists. Each camp is $300 and details are on the website

Lego time!

There are six camps with space available in Lynn Valley all focused on Lego – plus coding, robotics, animation and more. There are a variety of age groupings with half-day camps for children five-15 years old. The programs will take place at Lynn Valley Village or at the Lynn Valley Rec Centre. Details and registration are at North Van Rec. Prices start range from $175-$195.


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.

Think Red for the Holidays

With the busyness and frantic obligations of Christmas and the holidays, we are featuring some of Lynn Valley’s best options for holiday solutions. From finding that perfect something for that hard to buy relative to finding something small and sweet for someone small and sweet: we want you thinking red for the holidays.


Childhood delights at Red Door


Tucked away on the campus of the Vancouver Waldorf School, 2725 St. Christophers Road, is a Red Door. Inside you will find a non-profit, parent-run shop dedicated to the wonders of childhood.

“We take great consideration in choosing the toys and art supplies that we offer in our school store,” said Ella Pedersen, manager of the store and Waldorf School parent. “Many of the companies we order from hold values similar to ours in their care for quality, tradition, sustainability and inspiration to engage the senses of children in their development.”

The little shop is elegantly packed with items just calling for a child’s touch. The wooden figures have soft rounded corners and simple paint jobs. The felted dolls have delicate features but simplistic beauty. There are the occasional quality handmade item contributed by Waldorf family, hard to find children’s books, rocks and crystals, even parenting books and sought-after wet weather gear by Abeko.

“We carry quality items – like gorgeous dolls and wooden figures from Germany,” said Pedersen. “We carry good quality craft supplies so it lasts and it’s a pleasure to use.”

Most of the items and supplies in store are hard to find in Vancouver and have artists and art teachers making the pilgrimage to Lynn Valley to pick up molding wax and drawing materials from Stockmar and Lyra.


Whimsy and wonder


Delightful, hard to find books will immerse children in nature and the wonder of the season.

Quality wool felts and felting supplies are a treat for the eye and hands. They are wonderful to work with. Abeko products are sought after in Lynn Valley – they’re essential for outdoor kids.

The details in the tiny dolls & wooden figures are beautiful & thoughtfully created. The designs encourage hands on play.

The carefully curated art supplies are both ethically and environmentally responsible. They are long wearing and natural – perfect for small children.