Lynn Valley neighbourhood clean up planned

Lynn Valley litter will be targeted once again after last year’s successful Neighbourhood Clean-Up around Argyle School.

The theme of the Nov. 3 grassroots gathering is “Our Community, Our Responsibility,” and it encourages families to get out with their children to put garbage in its place.

“When friends and neighbours get together and pick up litter it not only makes the streets cleaner, it demonstrates our commitment and responsibility to the environment,” says organizer Jody Labriola. Gloves, garbage bags and hand sanitizer will be provided, and there will be special rewards for the kids who come out to help.

Participants are invited to meet up at the Les Wilson Memorial Field (Argyle School’s gravel field) on Saturday, Nov. 3 at 1 p.m.; from there, teams will be dispatched to surrounding streets and green spaces. The event finishes up at 3 p.m.

All details are on this downloadable poster. Hope to see you there!

Lynn Valley Christmas Tree Walk in the works

No, it is NOT too early to start thinking about Christmas – not if you’ve got some tree-trimming talent or carol-singing skills!

Last year’s launch of a Christmas Tree Walk in Lynn Valley Village was so successful, it is returning this year in even more festive form, with sixty trees up for adoption and 12 days of pre-Christmas entertainment on the menu.

There are a number of trees still up for adoption, so if your business or organization would like to take part in the fun, call Dave at the number below soon – over 65 per cent of them have already been spoken for!

And if you’re a part of a group that would like to perform sometime during the Dec. 12 to 23 period, Lynn Valley Village events coordinator Stephanie Perrins would love to hear from you. Interested musicians and performers can email for more information.

Help spread the word so that everyone can pull together to make Lynn Valley a Winter Wonderland this Christmas. Here’s a downloadable version of the poster below, so print and post!

Lynn Valley students carry Terry’s torch

If you see students running from their schools en masse this week, don’t worry, it isn’t a fire – they’re just taking part in the annual Terry Fox School Run.

Janet Dunkin, French teacher and organizer of Argyle’s run on Thursday, Sept. 27th, says the high school has been participating in the event for at least 25 years. The whole school will run in the blocks around Argyle at about 12:40 that day, with traffic-directing support from the RCMP and Parent Advisory Council, and the senior PE classes acting as race marshalls.

Ms. Dunkin is a driving force behind the school’s involvement, due in part, she says, to her own family’s experiences with the merciless disease. Both of her daughters, Colleen and Katharine, had malignant brain tumours as infants. While they both survived that harsh beginning, Katharine passed away in 2003 when she was a 16-year-old Argyle student, from a cancer that was linked to her earlier treatment.

Many of us know people both within and without the school community who are currently battling the illness; there are no shortage of reasons to show your support this week. Argyle is hoping to raise $3,000 for the Terry Fox Foundation, and students will be collecting pledges until early October. If you don’t know a local elementary or secondary student who can collect your donation, please consider pledging to one of our local schools’ campaigns via the Terry Fox Foundation School Run website.

And if you’re out driving on Thursday, watch out for kids running where and when you least expect them!


Caring clown classes commence

Like to laugh? Meet people? Put more fun in your life? Put fun in others’ lives? Maybe try some vol-FUN-teering? Then a new course starting at Mollie Nye House may just be what you’re looking for.

Unlike most classes, this program not only allows, but encourages, students to clown around.  Instructor Amanda O’Leary combines magic, performance, humour, skits, balloon twisting and painting to teach participants how to be a Caring Clown – then she sends them out into the community to put their new skills to good use.

“Everyone has talents to offer to their society,” says Amanda, who is the Caring Clown Director of the World Clowning Association. “Yet most people don’t know they have them, or have the opportunity to practise them. But imagine spreading joy, creating smiles, or sharing a moment with a person you don’t know – that is the joy of being a Caring Clown.”

Amanda explains that clowning doesn’t have to be “loud and in your face.” Especially when you are visiting people in hospitals, seniors’ homes and preschools, you need to learn how to do “the clowning small, with lots of love and fun.”

 “Being loud and obnoxious isn’t an art form; creating a connection is,” says Amanda. “People think clowning is loud costumes and make-up and a big nose and shoes. I believe that you don’t need all of that. The clown needs to be in your heart, looking for the fun, connecting with people and letting them shine.”

The three-part course has never been taught in the Lower Mainland. Beginning with Basic Clowning, which begins Oct. 19 and runs to Nov. 23, it helps people find a way to unlock the fun inside of you. “Just like at Halloween, people find it easier to assume a persona when they have a costume and outside trappings,” Amanda says.

The second part, beginning in January, teaches the subtler aspects of being a Caring Clowning, and the final component in the spring offers you the chance to practice your new skills out in the community.

Amanda is an experienced teacher, and brings to the table an extensive acting background along with years of clowning and performing magic for crowds of all sizes and ages.

To meet Amanda and learn more about the Caring Clown program, come out to a free information session at Mollie Nye House on Oct. 5 at 2 p.m. Please call Mollie Nye House at 604-987-5820 to reserve a spot.

Fall program guides at your fingertips

We’ve been spreading the word about new fall programs as they’ve crossed our desk, but now we think it would be useful for our LynnValleyLife readers to have them all in one spot.

So here are the community program offerings from three major Lynn Valley organizations – let us know if you’d like to see your event or workshop added to the list!

Lynn Valley Services Society: This newly formed non-profit organization operates Mollie Nye House, which houses a variety of community programming and is home to the Lynn Valley Community Association and the Lynn Valley Seniors Association. Here’s the LVSS guide of programs running from September through December, 2012.

Lynn Valley Community Room programs: Have a look at these programs offered by the North Vancouver Recreation Commission right in Lynn Valley Village. For all the North Van Rec programs on offer at the various local facilities, visit their website.

Lynn Valley United Church: The church is offering a broad range of community programs this fall. Some are physical, some are artistic, some are spiritual, and some are pure entertainment value! Have a look at their guide to see where you might fit in (and note that they are forming two community choirs in September; including one for young adults who might be missing their high school or university musical experiences!)





LV church offers new programs for all ages and interests

Lynn Valley United Church is continuing its community programming this fall with an even wider range of offerings for people of all ages, regardless of any church affiliation.

From youth groups to theatre sports to professionally led yoga classes to new community choirs, there is a lot happening at the church – more, in fact, that we can even list! So we’ve loaded up their fall programming guide here and invite you to take a look.

At LynnValleyLife we’ve long been a fan of both the yoga classes and Friday Night Live events, and we’re looking forward to seeing how these new ventures take flight. If you’ve ever hankered to make sandwiches for the hungry, learn healing touch, or take part in creative writing workshops, this may be a close-to-home opportunity!

Ass’t Fire Chief seeks seniors for home safety project

When North Van District Assistant Fire Chief Curtis Bremner set out to research preventable deaths in North Vancouver, he was surprised at some of the facts he discovered.

First, a report from the BC Coroner Office revealed that the average age of people who are victims of an “accidental” death in North Vancouver District is 60 years old. “I thought that was a bit high,” he says, and kept teasing out the numbers. It turns out that one factor pushing that number up is the fact that the average age of people who die in a fire in North Vancouver is 70 – fifteen years older that the average in the rest of Metro Vancouver.

That was just the kind of information Bremner was looking for. The assistant chief, in charge of professional development and training, is in his second year of the National Academy’s Executive Fire Officer Program, and was searching for a research topic that would address some aspect of community risk reduction.

More information emerged from another source. During an energy audit program designed to assess the energy efficiency of residential homes in Blueridge, the Fire Department used the opportunity to assess the level of fire safety awareness in the typical residential home in North Vancouver.

These home inspections revealed that all but one home had a smoke alarm. However, none of the smoke alarms were tested regularly and only a few residents actually changed the batteries annually. Many of the alarms were past their expiration date and 35 per cent of homes had inadequate coverage.  When he found that the unknowing home owners were often seniors, Bremner knew he’d found his project.

Now he will be investigating smoke alarm programs for seniors, and is looking for volunteers who are 65+ to help him out. Since Lynn Valley has the highest density of seniors in all of North Vancouver, he’s hoping LynnValleyLife readers will answer the call.

Whether you live in a single-family home, a garden apartment (ie a three-storey walk up), a highrise or a townhouse, Bremner and the District of North Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services are offering to come out and do a home safety audit, check your existing smoke alarm or match you up with a better one if necessary, answer questions and give information on fire safety in your home and  how to respond correctly in the event of a fire.

It’s all part of his research, which will be turned into a stringently reviewed, published paper that will add to the body of knowledge shared by firefighters throughout North America. Once that’s done, he will be halfway through the demanding four-year program.

If you’d like to help Bremner with his project, and improve your own home safety, please contact him at He will be out of the office from Aug. 17 to Sept. 6, and hopes to begin the project Sept. 15, so the sooner you get in touch, the better. No doubt we’d all like to see those preventable death statistics drop dramatically in the future.

– Peggy Trendell-Jensen, editor

Visit Maplewood Farm online, or for real at Open House

As of this moment – July 25, at 21:16 precisely – I can tell you that the goats at Maplewood Farm are either tucked away fast asleep, or they’ve staged a coup and made their grand escape.

How do I know this? Because I am checking out the Maplewood Farm WEB CAM, the existence of which I did not know until scant moments ago. It turns out the web cam (which is currently showing a very empty-seeming goat pen) is just part of the farm’s very family-friendly website.

Just some of the things I learned from it are that (a) kids can now rent pedal tractors on which to tour the farm ($4 for 30 minutes), (b) you can request an ‘autograph’ from your favourite farm animal and have it emailed back to you, and that (c) Lynn Valley’s Argyle alumnus Derek Palmer (woo-hoo, Class of ’83) is still going strong in his farmer post, a job he says “never gets old” and always puts a smile on his face.

I also learned the farm is having an open house this Friday, July 27th, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. to discuss plans for its future and seek feedback from its many visitors and supporters. This suburban farm has been a highlight for Lynn Valley families for years, so if you’d like to make sure your grandchildren and their children and their children can all have the Maplewood experience, please have a look at the information materials and give your comments.

The info and questionnaire will be posted on the farm website after July 30 if you can’t attend in person. (And while you’re on the site, check out that web cam and see if the goats have come back!)

– Peggy Trendell-Jensen, editor

Giving blood is now even easier

Looking for a good summertime tune? How about Buddy Holly’s 1958 hit “It’s So Easy to Fall in Love”?

Now, instead of the usual lyrics, “It’s so easy to fall in love,” let’s sub in a new chorus: “It’s so easy to give some blood; it’s so easy to give some blood…” ‘Cuz you know what? IT IS.

Regular readers will know that Lynn Valley mom Erica Harris has an ongoing need for blood transfusions while she and her family hope and pray that a suitable donor can be found for a bone marrow transplant. Erica has been through two rounds of chemotherapy since her early June diagnosis and has yet to find out if treatment has started to help reverse her situation.

In the meantime, Erica’s friends have mounted a gone-viral media campaign to encourage people to register with Canadian Blood Services’ OneMatch program and provide a cheek swab (via mail, or in person) to see if they could be the one-in-a-million match for Erica or someone else on the transplant list. Details to do so are in an earlier post, and we know the response all around has been great.

The Harris’s situation is a wake-up call to all of us that the need for donated blood and blood products is constant. There are thousands of “Ericas” out there, each with their own desperate need for our help. So, as Erica’s husband Harley has already reminded people, please don’t just sign up for the bone marrow list – please, please, please GIVE BLOOD, for the sake of many.

We’re pleased to tell you that the process is much more convenient than it used to be, as donors can now browse and book clinics and appointment slots online. It’s user-friendly, they’ll send you a reminder email or phone call, and you can cancel and re-book if need be.

We tried out the permanent downtown clinic in the Standard Life Building (at 888 Dunsmuir), and were in and out within an hour. It’s best to book ahead, but if you’re lucky they’ll be able to take you if you just walk in off the street (try to avoid lunch hour). Hours are 8 a.m. to 2:15 p.m., Monday through Wednesday, and the staff and cookies are both great.

Of course, travelling clinics come to the North Shore, so if you don’t get over the bridge often, visit Canadian Blood Services to find out when one will next be at North Lonsdale United Church.

It’s so easy to give some blood.

 – Peggy Trendell-Jensen, editor

New group welcomes ramblers and rovers

If you’re the type of person who instinctively prefers the term ‘rambling’ to ‘hiking,’ you might be interested to hear about a new informal walking group that meets twice a month.

Jane and Leo are friends who have made a habit of meandering Lynn Valley trails, learning about the flora and fauna they encounter, chatting along the way, and – in short – making the journey an end in itself.

Now they are inviting others to join them every second Sunday, beginning at 2 p.m. at the End of the Line store at the top of Lynn Valley Road. They pick a ‘theme’ for each walk (the next one, July 29th, will be trees, while the following one on August 12 will be logging lore) and spend an hour exploring the trails, and the theme, at a leisurely pace. (See our Events Calendar for upcoming walks.)

If you’d like to become a Lynn Valley rambler, contact Jane at or see the notice posted at the End of the Line.