You love Lynn Valley! (And so do we.)

FROM LYNN O’MALLEY: “’Home’ is a name, a word –  it is a strong one; stronger than
magician ever spoke, or spirit ever answered to, in the strongest conjuration.”

So spake Charles Dickens about the power of home, and we do not disagree with him (especially since we do not actually know what ‘conjuration’ means.)

So we used Valentine’s Day as the excuse to challenge our LynnValleyLife readers to find the words for ‘home’ – to tell us why they love their home here in Lynn Valley. Any readers who rose to the challenge were entered in a draw for some Purdy’s chocolates, and we are pleased to announce that Dana Taylor-Smith was the winner.

But we didn’t want everyone’s cheerful comments to disappear into the Facebook void, never to be seen again. So we’ve compiled all the “I love Lynn Valley because….” entries in one place, for your reading enjoyment and a nod to our community pride. Thanks to everyone for entering!

1 reason? Are you kidding, it’s almost impossible to narrow it down to 1!!! The #1 has to be the PEOPLE. The friendly, welcoming, great people in our community is one of the reasons I LOVE Lynn Valley so much.”
– Jill Hufsteadt Johnstone

“Location, location, location … whether it be because I can bike with my kids on green space to Lynn Valley Centre, leave our house and be in the gondola up Grouse Mountain in 15 minutes, or simply take a lovely hike in an amazing forest 5 minutes from my doorstep…. there are so many more reasons, too! LOVE, LOVE, LOVE LV!”
– Jennifer Garden

“I love the Valley as it has such a sense of community, and a small town feel to it.”
– Eryn Arnott

“I live in Central Lonsdale but come to Lynn Valley to shop. I love how friendly the merchants are and that my repeat patronage is appreciated. If I move, I will move to LV!”
-Anne Rees

“I love Lynn Canyon Park. I can walk my dog and take her to swim in the river just a short walk from my home. I love living surrounded by the forest.”
– Corry Ewens

“I love that our whole family can live, work, school & play, all in walking distance of our house, with a beautiful backdrop.”
– @contestpatti: @LynnValleyLife

“I love this small community….I love being able to step out my door and walk to the canyon, see the mountains and always know someone to say hi to. My kids love the candy store and actually so do I!”
– Lucy Brightmore Allen

“I love Lynn Valley because everywhere I go someone knows my name! It’s a very close community but welcoming at the same time. I can walk to the Village and always see a friend to have coffee with…or a sweet from the candy store!”
– Jeanette Anderson Duey

“What I love about Lynn Valley is that it is full of smiling, warm and welcoming people. Everywhere you go someone is willing take time out of their day to smile and wave or help a neighbour!! How amazing is that:)?”
– Helen Zaparniuk 

“I love that you can walk from the library to the suspension bridge.”
– Robert Slade

“I love the stories of our long time residents. Fishing in the creeks, swimsuit accidents at the 30 foot, pulling the cables on the suspension bridge, street cars, chicken farms, Mollie Nye and Walter Draycott as well as the many local characters that deserve celebrating. It is so amazing we can touch base with our early pioneers at the coffee shop in the Mall and our Lynn Valley Legion. We still see horses on our streets and folks are so connected to all this community has to offer. We have so much to celebrate!”
– Lizz Lindsay

“What don’t I love? I love the library, all the trees, the surrounding mountain views and the End of the Line.”
– Veronica Franco

“Everything you need is right here within walking distance including Lynn Canyon.”
– Dana Taylor-Smith

“It’s really close to Lynn Canyon and there are awesome restaurants and a yoga studio nearby. The community is friendly. Lynn Valley is why I fell in love with North Vancouver and why I decided to move here.”
– Anita Ho

“I love how Lynn Valley is tucked into a little corner of North Van with nothing but the mountains, trees and rivers behind us.”
– Sue McMordie

“I love that Lynn Valley has this “small town in the mountains” feel… with a beautiful, eclectic mix of young and old partaking in community events, outdoor activities and social gatherings in this spectacular little nugget, nestled between glorious mountains.”
– Christine Vea

Ground-breaking art gallery seeks LV volunteers

BY YOLANDE MARTINELLO, Principal of Fine Arts, School District 44: Many people in Lynn Valley will be celebrating the opening of the Gordon Smith Gallery of Canadian Art this fall, and we are hoping many of them will also volunteer to be part of its success.

Currently under construction at 21st and Lonsdale, the gallery will be the only one in the country dedicated solely to young people. It will house the Artists for Kids programs and the acclaimed Artists for Kids Collection of Canadian Art, now located at the Lucas Centre.

Lynn Valley has been a critical part of Artists for Kids (AFK) since its inception more than 20 years ago. Long-time Lynn Valley resident and artist Molly Lamb Boback is one of our esteemed patrons, and Lynn Valley Elementary students have long had the privilege of participating in our gallery program.

In addition, one of their treasured teachers and an Artists for Kids team member, Catherine Schechter, has brought Order of the Owl projects (highlighting the work of an AFK artist), enrichment opportunities, and her vast knowledge of our collection to the Lynn Valley community.

If you have a little bit of time, or a lot, and value art education and the importance of Canadian culture in our community, we want to welcome you to our team.

We are actively seeking volunteers with art education experience, and those who simply love art or contributing to their community. We need support for positions as varied as Mail-out Support and Docents, Clerical Support and Event Planners, Writers and Photographers, and Sponsor Support.

To learn more about our new community asset and the ways Lynn Valley citizens can continue to support this wonderful program, please attend our volunteer information evening.

Date: Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Time: 7pm – 9pm
Place: Artists for Kids Gallery
Address: 810 West 21st Street, North Vancouver

We look forward to seeing you there.

If you are interested in volunteer opportunities, but cannot join us at the information evening, please contact Brenda Irving at or call us at (604) 903-3797. Please visit our website to learn more about our programs.


A Christmas wish list for our community


If you’re like many of us heading towards, or comfortably settled into, middle age, Christmas has ceased being a time at which we wonder anxiously what Santa will bring us. When it comes to more ‘stuff,’ most of us need nothing.

Instead one’s thoughts turn toward others; hampers of gifts and food are prepared for those who truly do need them, cash is donated to the Salvation Army or other charitable cause, and invitations are sent to ensure no one spends the holiday on their own.

Lynn Valley is full of people who obviously care about their community, as evidenced by the hours spent volunteering for fundraising or planning projects, on children’s sports teams, the community association or the Lions. If those people could ask Santa for something for their neighbourhood, we wondered, what would it be?

So we asked some local citizens just what they’d put on their Lynn Valley wish list for 2012 and beyond.

Our first, most fervent response came within minutes, from Sue McMordie, office manager of the Black Bear Neighbourhood Pub, and was clearly heartfelt:

“More park benches all over the Valley for seniors and sisters to sit and have a rest, lunch, chat or coffee on a nice Lynn Valley day. And a mailbox in the LV Library Square, please!!!!!!!!!!!!”

Then we heard from Barb McLean from the Arts Office, which is located in the heart of Lynn Valley Village and promotes arts and culture on behalf of the City and District of North Vancouver:

“The Arts Office envisions a new year filled with creative energy, ideas and community input as they embark on the development of a new Cultural Plan that will seek to invigorate North Shore arts and cultural activities for years to come.”

Another person thinking about community planning is John Gilmour, past-president of the Lynn Valley Community Association:

“I’d like to see a mixed-use lifestyle community developed right in the heart of Lynn Valley on the 11-acre Lynn Valley Centre mall site.  It would include residential, commercial and lots of community space for all to enjoy.”

No list would be complete without input from Bob McCormack, a man born and raised in Lynn Valley and whose family has done volunteer work here since 1920. Bob is actively involved in everything from the LV Lions to the Community Association to the Seniors’ Association, and much more besides. He writes:

“My wishes are to build a community that will provide the opportunity for persons to live out their lives in a dignified manner; that will be a place for all ages, and a place that allows a person to live out his or her life within the community regardless of wealth or health.
“I hope we can provide a forum for debate on what does make and will further allow Lynn Valley to become that community where everyone has the amenities to live their lives to the fullest.
“I hope we can provide a simple way of life that we can all agree on, and that we make sure our politicians are aware and are duty-bound to provide the leadership that will give those who choose to live in Lynn Valley the feeling of security in the future.
“I wish that we can all live out our dreams in a perfect world and to dare to dream to make it happen.”

Bob is one of those people who rolls up his sleeves and makes things happen, and we hope he gets lots of help to make all his wishes come true. Jay Knutson, another Lynn Valley native, is another person who enriches the neighbourhood with his labours. Jay is a founder and director of the North Shore Celtic Ensemble and is often picking up his guitar for a good cause, most recently the Lynn Valley Christmas Crawl that saw $600 raised for North Shore Harvest. Here’s what Jay has on his wish list:

‘With this new year of 2012 in front of us and the whirlwind of global activity that was 2011 in a tsunaminous wake, it may be a good time to take stock of what we’ve got here.
“The world has come together in the aftermath of some of the biggest natural disasters of our lifetime. The outpouring of relief (both financial and humanitarian) has been unparalleled. This all bodes well for our “human condition.”  Is it possible that multinational, self-serving initiatives are being displaced by public displays of sympathy, generosity and compassion? One can only hope.
“The combining of this spirit, the re-unification of soul, and the exchange of life’s energy results in the rebirth and emergence of a whole new spirit, an altruistic spirit of revolution.
“This revolution starts in our hearts and in our minds. It is one of accountability, responsibility and environmental sustainability.
“A revolution with no hidden agendas and no ulterior motives; a free, equitable and just transformation of society, based on Love, Truth, Compassion and Peace.
“It starts here in our own community.”

We couldn’t agree more – it starts in our own community, and each of us plays a part. So whatever yearnings you have for our neighbourhood, we at LynnValleyLife wish for you the imagination to dream big, the clarity needed to translate dreams into actions, and the strength to persevere until all those dreams come true.

Putting a stop to seasonal stress

Update, Winter 2012:

This will be a grand holiday season here in Lynn Valley, starting with the Mollie Nye light-up and continuing over at the Christmas Tree Walk in the Village. That said, it’s not always easy to enjoy all the fun (and tasks!) of the season without becoming a bit … overwhelmed, shall we say? Here’s a solution that might help. The following piece is an excerpt from Wintertide, a book of holiday recipes and stories that’s on sale at Mollie Nye and online. We think it’s good advice!

Solstice Stressation

“Stressation.” That’s the word we coined when we were sitting around the table at the White Spot at our family’s annual “Eve of Christmas Eve” dinner on Dec. 23rd. What we shared beyond the bonds of blood and affection was a fed-uppedness with the demands of the season. Surely, with our shopping and baking and wrapping and constant cavorting, we were all missing the point.

And so it was decided. From henceforth, the Dec. 21 winter solstice will mark more than the defeat of darkness’s grip upon the earth. It will be honoured by the defiant cessation of stressful seasonal freneticism, and therefore be known as the Day of Stressation.

Forgotten a gift for the soccer coach? A sincere phone call will suffice. Haven’t baked your shortbread yet? It will taste all the better when you make it next year. Haven’t got as many stocking stuffers for the kids? They’ll survive.

We’ve all been there. A neighbour brings an unexpected gift to the door, and our first reaction is to smile through gritted teeth, say “You really SHOULDN’T have,” and immediately add “Get gift for neighbour” onto our mental to-do list. We take our well-meaning neighbour’s expression of comfort and joy, filter it through a self-created lens of guilt and expectation, and practically spit it back at them.

What if, instead, we said “How kind of you to think of me! Won’t you come in and share some of these cookies you’ve brought? I’ll put the coffee on.” And because we are committed Stressation adherents, we will have the time to sit and enjoy some shared time with our neighbour, because we are refusing to fret about things left undone.

Celebrating Stressation does require some advance planning. You will want to have your turkey, or other feasting staple, purchased before the 21st. Ditto a gift for your significant others. And yes, there will no doubt be a few last-minute tasks that simply can’t be done in advance – whipped cream isn’t known for its ability to stay perky for weeks in the fridge.
But the other stuff? Let it go. It’s traditional to wish for peace at this time of the year, and yet we refuse to make space for it. There’s simply no room at the inn.

But perhaps this is the year we’ll start to change our ways. Dec. 21, the Day of Stressation, has been marked on the family calendar, and at least some of us fully intend to honour its call. Would you like to join us? We’ll be the ones at Waves or Delany’s, sipping a gingerbread latte with friends, nary a shopping list in sight.

– By Clan McMordie-Trendell-Jensen