Celebrating a 100 years of time and place

If you attended the fourth Lynn Valley Elementary in 1990’s through its retirement in 2004 the North Vancouver Museum and Archives is looking for your stories and those of anyone who worked or went to the school during its first century.


100 years of history


The North Vancouver Museum and Archives is putting together a new project: “A landmark transformed – 100 years of serving the community” showcasing the community history associated with it’s home at 3203 Institute Road – the former home of Lynn Valley Elementary. 

“This was the 4th Lynn Valley Elementary school which was built September 7th, 1920 and this September is its 100th anniversary,” said Archivist Jessica Bushey. “It was an incredibly important place because it was the place of education for all the children of Lynn Valley and then in 2004 it ceased being a school and underwent two years of restoration and adaptation to become the home of the archives of North Vancouver. The archives is going to celebrate that with a number of online events and community engagement programs.”

 Today sitting in the shadow of the current Lynn Valley Elementary, the facility has environmental controls, archival storage and an art vault. It will remain as the archives as the museum transitions to its new home this fall in the Shipyards. 


The projects


The staff is working to collect oral histories and archival materials from the buildings past. They have many stories from the early history from its collections as people typically pass on materials that are 50 years or older. 

LVE student and later teacher, Mollie Nye had perfect attendance.

“We already have several wonderful oral histories we have collected over the years of the leaders of the area, past students and past staff,” said Bushey. “But we noticed we have a gap in the oral histories we have of the school and the area from about 1990 to 2004. We are looking for students, teachers or principals who might have been going there or working there.”

The organization would also be interest in more records from the 1960s-80s. One goal of the information gathering is to create a HistoryPin project. 

“We hope it will show how Lynn Valley evolves and grows and transforms and what the importance of the school and education was over the course of those many decades,” she said. “We are always interested in archival materials from the community but what we are looking for are the stories connected to the photograph – if you are sending a photo make sure you know the names of all the people.”

 It is pretty simple to participate in the project. Participants can submit materials and related information or have a more extensive interview. 

“We have two really good volunteer interviews who have experience gathering oral histories,” said Bushey. “Because of Covid we are doing them remotely over the phone or on Zoom.” 


The celebration


Early fall will mark the kick off to celebrate this 100 years in Lynn Valley. 

“We would love to do an exposition at the archives but we have to limit that because of Covid,” said Bushey. “We are planning to start at the end of September to mark the start of BC Culture month. We are going to start with the online exposition, then the HistoryPin project will go live. We are also planning a Geocache adventure that will talk about the building and the history of the area and we will be celebrating home movie day in October.” 

If you would like to participate you can contact the North Vancouver Museum and Archives for more information by email at archives@dnv.org or by telephone: 604-990-3700-8012 for Daien Ide, Reference Historian or 604-990-3700-8011 for Jessica Bushey, Archivist.

 

Images courtesy of the North Vancouver Museum and Archives. 


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.

Grads of 2020 pivot for the pandemic

When the world stopped mid-March it was the middle of Spring Break. Students had left school on Friday expecting to return after a warm vacation or some skiing on local hills. They didn’t expect they’d never walk the halls or play on sports teams again. As this year’s Argyle Secondary School Valedictorian Jake Rubin explains, it was a curveball they never saw coming.


Grade 12 traditions


“We all had a vision of what our Grade 12 year would look like,” said Rubin. “For me, I had a trip to Europe with the music program to look forward to, I had expectations for my final seasons on sports teams that couldn’t happen. It was my last year and I decided to be ambitious.”

Like other Grade 12 students across the province Rubin was looking forward to the last term of school to take part in school traditions, final tournaments and to simply spend time with friends before university. 

“At the beginning of spring break we were starting to see things close but I still thought we would still have school in two weeks,” he said. “Soon though, there was a feeling we wouldn’t step back into the school.”


Argyle Secondary


As the grad class prepares to move on with five years of Argyle under their belts, Rubin said it’s remarkable how much the students have changed. 

“Argyle is a place that helps students find their potential,” he said. “It has so many special programs, clubs, music, athletics. I have seen a lot of classmates find talents and passions they never knew they had. They now enjoy them so much they are forming their future.”

School Principal Kim Jonat also sees big changes in this class.

“The Argyle grads of 2020 have shown notable growth,” said Jonat. “They have had to overcome many losses and have become more resilient in the process.  They have lost the ability to attend many important events in traditional ways such as graduation banquets and ceremonies, have been unable to attend daily classes and interact with their peers at school this Spring.  They have also had to navigate new terrain and learn in new and different ways.

“This was certainly not the way any of us anticipated our grads finishing off their 13 years of public schooling and yet here we are. While the immediate future is uncertain I have no doubt that the Argyle grads of 2020 will accomplish anything they set their minds to.”

When the doors closed in March, many aspects of the grad year were left feeling unfinished, said Rubin. Some, like friendships while different are going strong with a bit more effort in a new physically distant way but other aspects can’t be completed. 

“For our rugby team this was going to be the year,” he said. “As a team we were really rebuilding. We had started to win – which wasn’t normal for my year. We had found our footing, and put in a lot of time and work to win. It was the year we thought we had a chance.”


The future


Most adults would agree highschool graduation and starting university are formative milestones. For the grads of 2020, those expectations have been wiped clean. The last few months have shown students what their early university will look like.

“I am going to UBC for engineering,” said Rubin. “We know at the moment, that it will be completely online for the first semester. As we switched to online classes [for Grade 12], I was surprised by the amount of work that I got done, without the classroom as motivation.”

Their last summer vacation has also changed. Plans to celebrate grad or even summer jobs won’t go as planned.

“I think we will still be able to have adventures,” said Rubin. “It will look different, we will need to make sure we are safe, staying in BC and spending time with a small group of friends – safely. Some of my friends worry about not getting to work, so they are looking for smaller summer jobs.”


The cap and gown


Argyle, like many schools, has opted for a digital grad. Students were invited in very small groups to don their cap and gown and walk across the stage in a new physically distant way – no handshakes, no hugs. It was all captured on video with the plan to edit all the students together for a video released later this month. 

“I think it’s actually going to look pretty nice,” said Rubin. “We each had our grad profiles read and were able to throw our hats in the air. All the students who are giving speeches were able to record those at the end.”

As the students take the first steps into adulthood, the pandemic pivot has left some regrets but also a unique experience. 

“I wish we could have gone back to school – just to say hi and see people before we head off in different directions. Who knows, maybe I will be telling my kids about how we lived through this bit of history,” said Rubin. “I am optimistic for the future – an informed optimistic.” 


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.

Project read for Project Samuel

Last year, the Pearmain family from Lynn Valley travelled for the second time to Zambia – suitcases stuffed with donated local soccer jerseys and reading supplies. It proved to be a  powerful catalyst for Argyle student Hope Pearmain, who will embark on a four-month internship to teach literacy after graduating this summer. 


Project Samuel


LynnValleyLife shared the story of Project Samuel last spring. It is worth a read but in a nutshell: The Pearmain family is helping to support the education of 24 orphans in Africa inspired by their friendship with former North Vancouverite Kim Close who is on the ground working and living in Zambia. Now with her own connection to Zambia, their daughter Hope is planning her third trip in as many years. 


Thank you


With education support being the underlying goal of all their visits, Debbie and Hope Pearmain spent last spring working with literacy teacher Susan McLean and gathering a few items for the children before heading off to Project Samuel, in rural Zambia.

“We want to say thank you to Lynn Valley and the North Shore Girls Soccer and North Shore Football Club,” said Debbie Pearmain. “We wear able to take over 100 soccer jerseys, cleats and balls. We were able to give the high school enough jerseys for their entire team.” 

Soccer is a powerful social connector, explained Pearmain. A local church, North Shore Alliance,  sent a team to Zambia and was able to lead a soccer camp reaching up to 100 kids a day. In a place where many can’t afford education or don’t have the literacy to attend high school, community engagement like sports makes a huge difference, she said. 

 


Start with reading


On their first trip to the Chibombo District of central Zambia, Pearmain noticed a number of challenges facing the youth at the Project, as well as others in the community. 

“We helped raise the money to keep these kids in school but we were compelled to go back because I realized half the kids wouldn’t pass their Grade 7 exams because their English literacy is poor,” she said. “If they can pass their government exams they can stay in school. Once they can read – it’s their ticket to achieve their potential.”

Pearmain emphasized the students and teachers do a lot with what they have but it’s so different from the resources North Vancouver students experience it’s almost unfathomable. 

“The teachers are working so hard, but they have 100 students in a classroom. Sometimes they have no desks, they have no paper and they for sure don’t any have books. No LAC (learning assistance class). No literacy centre,” she said. “They are also double ESL – they are learning English, their third language, from their second language Tonga – one they may only have been speaking for a year or two and only speak at school. By Grade 7 all exams are in English and if they can’t read them, they can’t answer them. If they don’t pass, they don’t get to go to high school.”

It was a huge yet simple challenge that resonated with Pearmain, in part because her son also struggled with early reading. He was well supported here at home, an experience that connected them to, now-retired, literacy teacher Susan McLean. The Pearmains worked with McLean, and Boundary teachers Nancy Dale and Leigh Koeingfest, to learn a simple method to teach literacy. In addition, McLean gifted her personal resources after her retirement which lay the foundation of the Pearmains’ plan.

“Hope and I would return to focus on literacy. We started the program with the house moms and the older kids at Project Samuel before taking it to the local schools,” she said. “We taught a very simple way of teaching kids how to read – a seven-step process. And it totally worked!

“So then Hope and I taught some of high school kids and we literally worked with the kids at the Project everyday and they started reading. It was unbelievable. About two weeks in, we went back to the schools we had visited the year before and we did professional development with the teachers. When we did the professional development, we brought them the resources we had gathered here and we gifted them to the schools. Then we got to go into the classroom and were able to teach.”

The work put in by the students, teachers and the Pearmains quickly bore fruit. 

“One Sunday I went outside and I literally started crying because there were all these older kids from the Project in these random places – on a rock, under a tree, on the stoop, over by the chickens – with the younger kids reading them books. It was beautiful,” she said. 

The students continue to work and improve their skills.   

“I get emails from Kim [Close] – stories like this boy, 15 years old, who wants to be a truck driver. He had no hope of passing his driver’s test because it’s in English,” said Pearmain. “Now – he’s learning to read. He has a future. It’s the game changer for their future. 

“Fifty percent of kids in rural Zambia drop out of Grade 7. You can see during the day, there are tons of kids working in the fields or the shops or caring for babies.”


Evolving Hope


Hope Pearmain had visions through Grade 10 and 11 to be a nurse, said her mom. 

“But after this past summer, she came back and said ‘I am going into education and I want to teach LAC and help kids.’ As a mom, to watch her in the classroom was amazing – to see that sparkle and to see your kid light up teaching and doing something she was good at.” 

The experience led Hope to apply for an internship to return to Zambia. She will be spending four months there after her Argyle Secondary graduation, along with Carson Secondary grad Sofia Stanley. 

“She is going to go back to the rural school we worked at and be there every day in the classroom helping Grade 3s with literacy,” said Pearmain. 

March 7, 2020, the Pearmain family is hosting a fundraiser at the Hollyburn Country Club to fundraise for the Project Samuel kids. Those interested in supporting the event with donations or silent auction items or to secure tickets can contact Debbie via email.  To donate directly to Project Samuel go to: icmsgo.com. Then click: DONATE, select: Canada, agency: Project Samuel Foundation, supporting: Children and Project Giving.

“When Hope returns we want her to bring more advanced resources – it all has to go in suitcases. Books are heavy!”


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.

Building youth business

Students at Lynn Valley Elementary have been exploring entrepreneurship and building businesses with an eye out to supporting BC Children’s Hospital.   


Young Entrepreneur Fair


After months of research, planning and creating Grade 7 students at Lynn Valley Elementary will be holding a Young Entrepreneur Fair Monday, Nov. 18 from 6-8 p.m. at the school.

Students have been developing business plans, creating marketing plans, analysing costs, and manufacturing products. With that foundation laid they are selling their wares Monday. Next will come calculating profits and giving back. Students are dividing their profits between their Grad Fund and Bc Children’s Hospital.

The the diverse products students have created range from reusable snack bags to fashion accessories. From gum ball machines to magnets and so much more. This a great chance to find some stocking stuffers and Christmas presents while supporting local kids.


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.

Growing a social conscience

Argyle students harvested a bumper crop of Remembrance Day poppies from the most unlikely place – their metal work shop. Selling out in under two hours they have raised more than $100 for the Lynn Valley Legion.


When an idea blooms


“It started last year, when a student Ava Johnson – a gifted artist – said, about Nov. 10, she was going to use some scrap to make a poppy,” said Ryan Edgar, a metalwork teacher at Argyle Secondary School. “It was phenomenal and I decided this would be one of the first projects students work on this year.”

As a simple project involving copper and enamel, Edgar had students trace, cut, clean and apply several coats of enamel in red and black. The process takes time and involves repeatedly heating the copper until the enamel powder melts.  

“We made over 100 and sold them for a minimum donation of $1 for the legion,” he said. “We started at one lunch hour and by the next morning when teachers who didn’t have a donation the day before came to me – we were sold out.”


Forever poppies


The class project saw a clear shift in the students. Like any project, as the classes went on they began to lose a bit of interest, he said.

“That was the cool thing – once they realized they were giving back to the community – that there would be a significant financial gift – from their hard work, they were back at it,” said Edgar. “Students are way more socially conscious than when I was their age and even more than they were when I started teaching 16 years ago. They really want to help others.”

Edgar and students are well aware they are creating “forever poppies” and took the time to speak to purchasers to encourage them in future years to donate to the Legion. 

“We still want people to put a little something in the jar, even if they aren’t getting a poppy.”

With the success of this year’s poppies Edgar hopes to make even more next year. Keep your eyes peeled on the streets of Lynn Valley for these small works of art, and know its our local teens taking the time to remember. 


Help the Legion this week


This is a busy time for the legion membership, whose core volunteers are diligently donating hours upon hours.

The Lynn Valley community can help at the legion in many ways this time of year. The main fundraiser and awareness campaign is Poppy Tagging – that is handing out poppies to members of the community and collecting donations.

Lynn Valley community members are asked to volunteer by visiting the legion – 1630 Lynn Valley Road – any day until November 11, beginning at 12 noon. Poppy taggers will be given a tray, a short briefing and assigned a location in Lynn Valley. The work is flexible for whatever time the volunteer has. Locals are also encouraged to pick up a poppy tray to take to their workplace. Call the branch (604) 987-2050 to learn more or volunteer. 

Veterans Plaza Service

Royal Canadian Legion 114 – LV Legion

Date: November 11, 2019
Where: Veterans Plaza
Time: 10:30am
Address: 3205 Institute Road, North Vancouver
Website: www.legionbcyukon.ca
Facebook: www.facebook.com/RCLBranch114LynnValley


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.

Get active getting to school

The streets and local schools will soon be buzzing with small, medium and large feet.

This is a great time to think about how your children are getting to school. Studies show that students who are able to have some physical activity before class are more mentally prepared to learn, have better physical fitness and moods, and improved safety from less cars on the road.

The North Vancouver School District is encouraging students and parents to leave the car behind.


Argyle Secondary


Students come from all over North Vancouver to attend Argyle Secondary – whether for the French Immersion program, special sports academies or its unique education programs. While much of the school population does live within walking distance, there are plenty of commuters that need to make their way school.  

With construction vehicles and congestion from the school’s new build, consider SD44’s Transit/Carpool/Drive-to-Five campaign: ​If students cannot walk, cycle or roll to school, then public transit, carpooling and ‘drive-to-five’ are the next best options. These options reduce congestion around schools, which is much safer for students (and much less stressful for parents). Public transit and carpooling are also better options for environmental preservation than driving individual cars to and from school. Drive-to-five gives students an additional five minutes of physical activity twice a day, which has both physical and mental health benefits for students. Both carpooling and drive-to-five also create community connections with other families.

With Lynn Valley Centre a five minute walk away – it’s the perfect place to take a bus.


Elementary Schools


There are plenty of active ways to get to school and school district has partnered with the District of North Vancouver to publicize the safest active transportation routes to neighbourhood schools. The Transit/Carpool/Drive-to-Five campaign also can work for older elementary students and all-round will make the streets safer for all students by reducing traffic around the congested school areas.

SD44, the North Vancouver RCMP, ICBC, the City of North Vancouver and the District of North Vancouver, offer these tips for planning and practicing your active routes to school:

  • PLAN & PRACTICE! Plan your walk or cycle route in advance, and then practice it and adjust as needed. HUB has also created a cycling routes map of North Vancouver.
  • LOOK! Always look left-right-left and shoulder check before crossing.
  • LOOK! Pay attention to where you are going and do not use your phone or device while walking/rolling.
  • LISTEN! Remove your headphones so you can hear approaching traffic.
  • BE SEEN! Wear reflective materials or bright clothes and use lights after dark.

VISIT! Visit the Active and Safe Routes to School website section on the North Vancouver School District website for more walking and rolling tips.


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.

Keeping the hills alive with the sound of music

For decades parents have been supporting their children’s dreams and keeping Lynn Valley’s hills alive with the sound of music. The 36th Annual Argyle Music Association fundraiser Cabaret is taking place this weekend.


Annual Cabaret funds scholarships


“It’s for students graduating from the Argyle music program, “ said Sheila Balzar, parent and volunteer fundraising coordinator. “It varies from year to year, but last year we had, I believe, 25 applicants and everyone received something.”

The annual evening of music, silent auction and dining will take place at May 12 at 6 p.m. at Mulgrave Theatre in West Vancouver. This year’s event – titled Jazz to Jukebox will showcase the talents of students as they perform their skills in an industry-level performance. As a fundraiser, it is one of a handful held throughout the year that supports students, the curriculum and trips the students take.

“Cabaret is strictly for scholarships and bursaries,” said Balzar. “Over 100 students will be performing. It is the pinnacle of the jazz students curriculum – they are expected to perform as if they are a professional and this is a paid gig.”


Exceptional program, bright futures


For those who have not been through Argyle, they might not be familiar with the school’s extremely well-regarded music program. Parents with a child in music automatically become a part of the Argyle Music Association and their dedication is essential to the program.

“We are there to support the music – these teachers put so much energy and time into creating this quality program. They need to be able to focus on teaching,” said Balzar.

The investment in students is paying off in so many ways, she said. From outstanding opportunities to tour in Europe to creating foundational music and technical abilities that have students stepping out of high school and into industry jobs while pursuing post-secondary education, and ultimately full-time employment.

For her son and daughter, it has not only meant a passion for music but technical skills to support the performances as well.

“My son discovered sound and lighting in Grade 7 when a teacher suggested he help with the school play,” she said. “That dovetailed nicely into the sound and lighting crew at Argyle. He had the opportunity to become a leader at young age, putting in incredible hours and now is working in the industry at 19 doing events at Rogers Arena.”


Exceptional program, bright futures


“Music is a huge part of these students,” said Balzar. “The program at Argyle is outstanding. There are opportunities to perform with members of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. It is elevating their musical experience – the level of commitment, the preparation, the excellence to do that. Just to put themselves out there to perform at the level – its huge.”

For some the music program is an opportunity to be part of something bigger – to be part of team.

“There is a sense of belonging in the music program – working together,” said Balzar. “The progress is phenomenal throughout the year and to see them from Grade 8 to Grade 12  — it’s exponential.”

Senior choir at Bach’s Tomb

The work is paying off. During the school’s most recent senior trip to Europe their reputation for excellence afforded them the unique opportunity to perform Bach while at Bach’s tomb – something that could only happen because of their skill, said Balzar.

“It’s a massive program,” she said. “So many people put so much energy, so much love in to 300-plus students to enrich their high school experience and change the rest of their lives.”


How to help


There are plenty of opportunities for the community to support this program. In addition to attending Cabaret or donating auction items, the teachers have wishlists, she said.

“With a new school being built, we need to remember it is just the shell of a school and to run an excellent program there needs to be equipment,” said Balzar. “This is not in the capital budget; this is not in the operating budget.

“There are so many ways to help: come out to concerts and performances,” said Balzar, noting there is a list on their website. “If a student knocks on your door – try to say yes to purchasing some pie or chocolates.”

To create a lasting legacy of support contact the Argyle Music Association for current needs at fundraising@argylemusic.ca. The group has come up with some fantastic passive fundraising options as well that support students throughout the year. If you shop at SPUD you can purchase your produce and support students – details here or purchase SPUD gift cards and use them later – details here. Same goes for fantastic North Shore Two Rivers Meats – details here.