Check out some community caring

Two organizations have teamed up to make Lynn Valley a little bit stronger. The North Vancouver District Public Library and St. Clement’s Anglican Church have launched Caring Community Kits to help build community.


Building on existing resilience


The congregation at St. Clement’s has spent much of the last decade reflecting on its place within the community. Governments have picked up many social services that were once the church’s role in the community and this has led the congregation to look for gaps it can fill to support and build the community, explained Rev. Peggy Trendell-Jensen, deacon.

“We can’t take a great neighbourhood for granted,” she said. “We saw after last March’s [2021] tragedy the empathy, service and compassion present in Lynn Valley. We don’t want that to erode, we want to nurture the need for a ‘common good’.”

With a church fund already in place to support efforts in the larger Lynn Valley community, Trendell-Jensen turned to the library for partnership.

“This is one of the most impactful and exciting collections we have ever developed at NVDPL,” said Krista Scanlon, manager of collection services at NVDPL. 


Concepts to kits


The donation from St. Clement’s has led to a new fund at the library, with the goal to foster a vibrant and thriving community. 

“We thought these funds that became the Caring Communities Fund would allow the librarians to purchase materials that support in any way the building of healthy families, healthy homes, and healthy neighbourhoods,” said Trendell-Jensen. 

The backpack-sized kits are to promote learning, sharing and building understanding in the community. From books to puppets to games and more, each Caring Community Kit is filled with resources on topics that promote community building, strengthen resilience, and increase interpersonal understanding.

“The kits are designed to support individual learning and understanding for all ages, while developing a sense of shared connectedness,” said Scanlon. “The hope is that they will broaden perspectives and create deeper appreciation for one another.”

Trendell-Jensen is especially proud of the diversity of the kits – both in theme and in the variety of resources.

“A family may love books, so those are in there, but not all children engage with written and visual information, so having something like a puppet is a great way to have an impact.”

The library echoes that idea.  These Caring Community Kits exemplify how the library supports learning and information sharing in a variety of ways—and in the ways that our community needs in this day and age, said Meghan Crowe communications and events coordinator for NVDPL.

“Libraries have always been about sharing resources and equitable access, but we’re also about people, spaces, and connection. We offer books, films, digital resources—and we also offer puzzles, Dungeons and Dragons Starter Kits, Radon Detector Kits, and more.”


Building blocks


With guidance from St. Clement’s initial idea, the library staff dove into thoughtful discussions about what understanding is needed to foster the foundational values of North Vancouver.

Our staff are experts at curating relevant and meaningful collections. So in addition to the original proposal from St. Clement’s, our staff really tapped into the topics that we know our community wants to learn about and what is relevant to community members,” said Crowe. “For example, our community cares deeply about topics like anti-racism and reconciliation. We’re seeing requests for information on these topics in other collection areas, and as we all continue our own personal growth journeys, topics like this were natural choices for some of the kits.”

For Trendell-Jensen, the inclusion of a further resources card is an important piece.

“The resources guide helps families explore organizations and books on these topics beyond just the kit,” she said. “The kits are fabulous – and not just geared to families or children. There are some for adults to cultivate community building – like conversation starters. This is an evolving project. I would love to see something like a kit on how to have difficult conversations to help people negotiate topics where there is disagreement but we need to all hear each other.” 

Other topics geared toward adults are mindfulness, anti-racism and truth and reconciliation. 

Check it out

There are 15 Caring Communities Kits in circulation based out of the Lynn Valley branch. They can also be borrowed by any NVDPL patron, at any branch, said Crowe. They are also in the process of adding more kits with plans to display them at Parkgate and Capilano libraries as well.

“All you have to do is search “Caring Community Kit” in the catalogue to see all of the different kit titles. Patrons can place holds on their kit of choice for convenient pick-up at any NVDPL location.”

With the Caring Communities Fund now established Trendell-Jensen hopes residents will think of it as a place to donate. 

“It is a way to have a very direct impact on the health and wellbeing of the neighbourhood. If you are looking to help out the community or remember someone, my hope is people will think of it and make a donation.”


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.

More options to take care of your home

There have been a few changes at LynnValleyLife HQ. We are thrilled to have brought together some industry leaders to co-work with us. We are now your one-stop shop for buying, selling, financing and insuring your home. We have mortgage broker Tim Hill and insurance broker David Fiteni bringing their businesses to 3171 Mountain Highway to take care of your needs right here in the heart of Lynn Valley. We hope to soon invite you into the office for education and information sessions on a range of topics related to your homes. In the meantime – stop in, say hi or ask any questions that may be on your mind.


Personal, travel, marine, commercial, life and home insurance


The most recent team to join the LynnValleyLife family is Central Agencies Insurance led by David Fiteni. 

“Our job is to learn about you, your life and your needs to make sure, should you need it, you have protection,” said David. “As an insurance broker it’s my job to find the right product to fit you, not fit you into a product. Our time and quotes are offered at no cost to you.”

One of the biggest advantages of choosing a local is the extra support of someone in the neighbourhood. A crisis is not the time to get stuck on the phone in a hold queue. 

“Should you suffer a loss, we are here to be your advocate through the insurance claim,” he said. “We work for you, not the insurance companies, we answer your questions, explain wordings, review your coverage as your needs change, and most importantly help you through the claims process.” 


Buying and selling


We have been a part of Lynn Valley for more than 10 years. LynnValleyLife began with the partnership of Jim Lanctot and Kelly Gardiner and the goal to help families make their homes in Lynn Valley and support the community as we do it. 

“The best part of living and working in Lynn Valley is being able to give back to the neighborhood that is our home,” said Jim. “When we started our commitment to the community was a new idea. Investing in a community connection and news website rather than calendars and notepads has led to partnerships we never could have imagined. From the non-profits we continually raise the profile of, to being able to communicate important resources in times of crisis, to sharing the fantastic achievements of the people that make Lynn Valley a fantastic place to live. We hope that by showing you can trust our commitment to a life here, you will trust us to guide you through your home purchase or sale.” 

Now with a team of three, adding long-time team member but newly licensed realtor, Melanie Butchart last fall, the small shop, big support idea helps LynnValleyLife take care of its clients through the biggest financial transaction of their lives. 

“When it comes to selling your home, we not only know this market better than anyone,” said Kelly. “We care about the people going through the process. This is a life change we are here to support. When it comes to buying – the market has almost never been tighter – we are content to be patient or push to get you the right home.”


Finance and mortgages


The recently expanded LVL headquarters first welcomed mortgage broker Tim Hill. With more than 20 years of experience in the industry, Tim focuses on a customer-centered approach. 

“A licensed mortgage broker often has access to products, promotions and rates specific financial institutions do not,” said Tim. “Purchases and renewals are the core of my business, however, home equity Loans are becoming increasingly popular as homeowners look to unlock the value in their homes. For many younger families, accumulating down payment is the greatest challenge and the home equity products are a great way for parents to help out first-time buyers. Stop by anytime – I have a solution.”

LynnValleyLife

Stop by our offices at 3171 Mountain Highway (at Harold) to chat about homes, insurance, mortgages or to simply say hello. 


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.

Valentine’s & Family days in LV

There is a whole lot of love to celebrate this month as families and loved ones mark both Valentine’s Day and Family Day. Just seven days apart there is a chance to show those you care in many ways. We have our picks to celebrate this bright spot in the dark winter season.


Literary love


The North Vancouver Public Library is celebrating the love this Valentine’s Day – it’s a perfect celebration of the diversity of birthed and found families. For young readers, they have selected this curated list that covers everything from the Gen-X favourite Sharon, Lois and Bram’s Skinnamarink to last year’s The boy who loved everyone – a celebration of the love that is beyond words. 

For the teen or tween in your life edging closer to love here are some picks to check out. If love and romance remain on the avoid list, these great books are guaranteed free of romance but full of a great story. 

As we experience another February sticking closer to home, adults can celebrate and settle in at home with some modern – and classic – romance books. To create that warm fuzzy feeling without going too deep down the rom-com movie list, NVDPL has put together a list of feel-good films. Our pick from the list is Hidden Figures. And lastly, cuddle up and get comfy for a romantic movie. While some classics make this list, there is also action. 


Feed your heart


There are three ways to show your love with food but not everyone has the time to cook a fancy meal on a weeknight – so there are two other options: get something delivered or go out for a bite. There are plenty of great local restaurants to order take-out from, but if you want to go the extra mile, grab a bottle of wine and have a grazing platter delivered. Lynn Valley’s Folia Events offers local cheese and charcuterie with tasty accompaniments. Special for Valentine’s is the Brigadeiro (a Brazilian dessert, similar to a truffle) and the Decadent – a stunning reclaimed cedar box filled with delicacies, including a bottle of bubbly.

Heading out for a bite – the Black Bear Neighbourhood Pub is our pick. Their Valentine’s special is a steak with a lobster bearnaise, loaded baked potato and asparagus for $30. We suggest you up that to a three-course dinner ($40) featuring a choice of lobster bisque or salad, the steak special, and a dessert choice of their famous Chocolate Nemesis cake or Strawberry Champagne Cheesecake. If you can’t wait until Valentine’s the special dinner is also available on Saturday night. 


Family fun Feb 21


Toping the local list of Family Day fun is Free Family Skate at Karen Magnussen from 1-2:30pm. North Van Rec has plenty of other free family events on Family Day. There are swimming and activity drop-ins, even pottery. Check out their page for details some activities require booking. 


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 triumphs and tragedy of 2021: a year in review

With another year around the sun and the ongoing pandemic, the year in Lynn Valley was marked by tragedy and triumph. 


Small and mighty


Our top-performing website post was also our second-best performing social post. The honour goes out to Beatrix Reilly and her campaign to support BC Children’s Hospital. Just weeks after leaving the hospital herself, Reilly spent her summer summiting 10 mountains. The nine-year-old was bagging peaks to bring IV medical treatments to sick kids. With an initial campaign goal of $2,000, she smashed the goal by raising more than $4,600. You can read more about her phenomenal effort here, or donate to the cause here

Our next most viral story was a conversation with the North Shore Black Bear Society’s Luci Cadman. This story was a bit of a turning point for the community. It shared the truth of the Conservation Service’s “relocation policy” is in fact a kill policy. This story was picked up by major media outlets and led to numerous radio and TV news stories discussing the plight of black bears in our community and throughout interface areas of the Lower Mainland. Our story along with the presence of many bear traps lead to a lot of discussions about the responsibilities of residents living in bear country. 

Our third most popular post was sharing a list of local – free – mental health resources. The shadow pandemic of declining mental health lurking alongside the Covid-19 pandemic is having a real effect on people from all walks of life. For many it is their first time encountering anxiety or depression. These resources are still available today as we enter month 22 of the pandemic and the fifth wave. If you or a loved one needs help, please check out this page


Feeds and followers


Our social media channels on Facebook and Instagram did what social channels do best – rapidly share locally relevant information.

Unfortunately, it was a tragedy that spurred our posts to go viral this year. Our most and third-most viral posts are related to the stabbing on March 27 at Lynn Valley Village. On the positive, the posts with the most interest were about doing good and moving forward. 

Our most popular post of the year was a simple word post informing residents of support services:

Our third most viral post was a celebration of love. In the dark of night, a half dozen or so members of the community turned the plaza into a mural of hope, love, and peace. It was a moving tribute to create and helped the neighborhood begin the healing process. Many tears were shared as the public picked up their chalk to add their own words and art. 

 

Our second most viral post was sharing Beatrix Reilly and her support of Children’s Hospital, mentioned above. 

Thanks for being a part of our neighbourhood network and making our LynnValleyLife vibrant. We feel so lucky to live and work here. If you ever have a story to share email [email protected] and we will have spread the word. 


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 love this holiday season

There has never been a better time to support a local business. With flood tragedies, international shipping delays and fuel shortages, it’s the perfect time to stay close to home and find unique gifts from service providers and entrepreneurs in our own neighbourhood this holiday season.


Art and Fashion


Glass artist Debbie Hungle works out of her home creating has gorgeous fused works and stained glass. From ornaments to candle holders to jewelry and decorative panes – her work captures the season. If you are lucky you might be able to book a workshop and create your own works of art under her careful guidance. She also offers gift certificates – perfect for custom work or for a future workshop. You can learn more at www.debbiehungle.com. Our picks are her curvy scenes – perfect for putting a candle behind. 

 

The handcrafted creations from Plunger Cove Studios are more art than toys with the perfect amount of whimsy. Inspired by the reclaimed materials themselves, each boat or ‘bot is one of a kind. The playful creations will be the perfect addition to a mantel or nursery shelf. It really is hard to choose one, the robots will inspire future creators but our pick is the classic Westcoast Tug.

 

The perfect kids’ Tee can be found at Wren Wood & Co. local mom’s Sherry and Natalie have put together the cutest Westcoast Friends Collection. With bears, beavers, wolves and otters embracing modern Canadiana, your tot will bring a smile to all who sees them. You can find them online or on Lonsdale at Monika’s Art Boutique. Our pick – it’s hard to choose, the Adventurer is great but the Gamer takes it.

 

For the quick pick head over to Bella Gia. Pam and Gianna have done the work of sorting through trends to capture a sophisticated vision of home and fashion. This season their fashion picks highlight cozy knits while their home decor focuses on creating a warm ambiance with beautiful candles and elegant linens. Our picks – with the editing done, their offerings all look like winners but the Holly Berry Embroidered Table Runner looks timeless enough to be a beautiful family tradition. 

 

Stepping into the world of Instagram collections Popcycle Kids curates a collection of vintage, retro and pre-loved kids clothes. Sisters Brittany and Alix founded Popcycle as they looked for the bold patterns and over-sized styles of the 80s and 90s for their own kids. They added to their collection each Sunday. Our pick – follow them on Instagram to snag their latest release. They offer free local pick up. 

 

Local writer and artist Jenn Ashton is a captivating creator. From felted hats to wood ornaments and a range of paintings and drawings. Her bold colours are joyously whimsical and her portraits dynamic. Also a writer, Jenn has her first book People Like Frank available now. Our pick is her book – this is a time to cozy up and immerse yourself in her collection of stories. 


Unique gifts


We just discovered Lynn Valley’s own Fiona’s Handcrafted Soaps. They are lovingly made from 100% natural, plant-based oils, and over 30 essential oils, and fragrance oils. These are little works of art in a functional daily-use product. Fiona began working with soap to find a gentle alternative to mass-produced products for her mother as she battled cancer. The results are handmade, hand-cut pieces. Our pick: either the Hot Chocolate & Marshmallows or Nanaimo Bar because they are the perfect stocking stuffer for a tween or teen who needs to wash.

 

If you aren’t quite sure what to pick, the Ecology Centre has in the past year or so stepped up its gift game. If you want to share a piece of North Vancouver there are beautiful gift selections from First Nations businesses supporting Indigenous artists. If you are new to the area there are guides and children’s books to learn all about our local habitat. Our pick is for the history buff: the centre is offering the recently republished Early Days in Lynn Valley by Walter Draycott. We have a second pick, the perfect gift offering less stuff and more family time: an Ecology Centre Membership which offers discounts on camps, the gift shop and birthday parties.   

 

Another gift of time is to support local family business Pasta Padella. Their pasta and risottos are made in Italy and quick frozen. You can give yourself or a loved one the gift of time by picking up these dishes and having a meal ready in just 10-15 minutes. You can find Pasta Padella online (free local delivery with a $29 purchase) or at Lynn Valley Meats. Our pick: the risotto with butternut squash

 

As we celebrate our second year in a pandemic, we have all learned to lean in and value those close to us. Local counselling psychologists Jordana, Shannon, and Christina have created an interactive card game to explore core values. Players examine and challenge their values by choosing between Val-You cards until they are left holding the three cards that represent what is most important to them in life. it can be played among friends and family or used as a tool by a variety of professionals in diverse settings, including counsellors, teachers, occupational therapists, managers, and within human resources departments. Check out the Val-You game


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.

Looking for our Good Neighbour 2021

Some would say 2021 was another year of crisis. Lynn Valley has seen some horror, some change, some upheaval, and most definitely some hope. We want to celebrate the community members that share their time and skills to make our neighbourhood better. We are once again looking for nominations for our Good Neighbour for 2021. 


Notable neighbours


Day-to-day we try to gather interesting and innovative stories about Lynn Valley but one thing that can be missed is the quietest of stories. The good that goes on in our neighborhood every day – often unnoticed beyond the person or the 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. 

We have people step up in times of tragedy, 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.


Outstanding contributions year after year


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! Last year we recognized walkstar Donna Moore. 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 are 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 that 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 2021? 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 [email protected] before November 26, 2021. 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.

Creative clubs for summer fun

As the community opens up there are a number of ‘clubs,’ some sprouting for the first time to keep people of all ages busy this summer.


Lynn Valley Ecology Centre


 

The Ecology Centre usually offers some cool respite from the summer heat. Nestled in the forest it typically a few degrees lower than the rest of Lynn Valley. This summer they are launching a Summer Nature Club to encourage kids to get active and outdoors. Pick up a bookmark to track your progress. It’s as simple as filling in each box a picture or details of what you did then visiting the Centre for a stamp. Once the bookmark is complete you get a prize from the Centre’s store. 

The Ecology Centre also offers their Tree Top Tales virtually four times this summer July 16, Aug. 6 & 20, and Sept. 3. These adventures for tiny tots are suitable for children 2+.


Library reading clubs


There is plenty going on at the North Vancouver District Public Library. They have summer programs for all ages. 

Explore the Shore: Adult Reading Challenge – The library has teamed up with the North Shore Culture Compass to offer a challenge involving books, local places history and culture, and film. To participate all you need to do is register and attend at least one summer Zoom discussion to share your Explore the Shore experiences, and you’ll be eligible for the prize draw where six gift cards to 32 Books are up for grabs. Check out their post to learn more.

Under the Sea: Teen Summer Reading ClubThere are nine challenges for teens to tackle this summer. From exploiting manga to creating story-inspired art. Completing a challenge gets an entry into the ongoing prize draws. If all nine challenges are checked off before the deadline teens will receive a book. 

Crack the Case: Children’s Summer Reading Club  –  The goal is to get kids reading – 15 minutes or more – for 50 days this summer. The exploration in literacy can be family reading time, audiobooks, magazines, novels, graphic novels, etc., pretty much anything to get you engaged in a story. Participants can pick up their packages at any library branch to track their progress or participate virtually. At the end of the summer, successful readers will get a medal and a book prize. 


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.