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THE VOICE OF VANCOUVER NEIGHBOURHOODS

NEWS: Relief for Nelson Park 4/ SPORTS: Bruins face test 19

Green space paved for parking on bike route SANDRA THOMAS Staff writer

W

photo Rebecca Blissett

TWO TO TANGO: The UBC Dance Club held its 52nd annual Gala Ball at the Greek Hellenic Centre this

past weekend. The ball featured both standard dances that included the waltz, quickstep, foxtrot, tango, and Viennese waltz as well as the Latin dances of cha-cha, rumba, samba, jive, and paso doble. See related story on page 12. To view photo gallery, scan page using the Layar app.

ith the dust barely settledafterthebattle over the Cornwall-Point Grey bike route, some West Side residents are now upset that green space along the route is being paved to create parking spots. The grassy areas being paved for 20 new spots are road right-of-ways owned by the city, with the majority adjacent to small parks along the bike route. Whether the majority of those parking spaces will be reserved for residents has yet to be decided. Shannon McRae says her mother would be shocked to discover the right-of-way directly next to the mini park named in her honour is being paved to create seven parking spaces. Other parking spaces being created, or are already paved, include three near the corner of Point Grey Road and Macdonald and eight on Point Grey Road near Trafalgar. Two more parking spaces are complete and adjacent to what’s known as Point Grey Park Site on Trafalgar Street. McRae’s mother was a

member of the city’s planning committee from 1973 to 1975 and Margaret Pigott Park was officially dedicated in her memory in May 1996, two years after the senior was struck and killed by a vehicle in front of her West Point Grey home. “My mom was instrumental in getting the park board to buy five properties along Point Grey Road and turn them into little waterfront parks for everyone to enjoy,” said McRae, who contacted the city with her concerns. McRae attended meetings regarding the Cornwall-Point Grey bike route and said with so much focus on the closure of West Point Grey Road other details went unnoticed. In January, a plan to block off Point Grey Road and turn it into a roadway for cyclists and local-traffic-only went into effect to much discussion and public acrimony. McRae said since the closure of Point Grey Road, traffic is so congested in front of the park she fears the addition of parking spaces will create a safety hazard — as well as an eyesore.

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W E DN E SDAY, M A R C H 5 , 2 0 1 4 THE VANCOUVER COURIER

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Trees too tall for Chinese consulate CITY HALL INVESTIGATES AFTER CONSULATE TOPS TREES WITHOUT PERMITS

T

he City of Vancouver ordered a tree-cutting company last Thursday to stop topping several tall trees at the Chinese Consulate on Granville Street because there were no permits in place to do the work. But the city, which confirmed its investigation in an email to the Courier Monday, would not provide the name of the company or clarify whose responsibility it was to obtain the permits. The brief statement from the city said staff responded to the consulate near the intersection of Granville and 16th Avenue after receiving a complaint from a member of the public. “Staff attended the site and noted topping of about 10 trees on site,” the statement said. “As there were no permits in place, staff advised the landscape workers hired by the Chinese Consulate to stop work. At this time, the City is investigating the matter further.” The city refused to provide further information or grant an interview with any staff members involved in the investigation. The Courier visited the sidewalk outside the consulate at 3380 Granville St. and noticed at least eight trees lining the front of the property were topped. The trees are behind a tall fence on the grounds of the consulate, which is perched

photo Dan Toulgoet

Trees at the Chinese Consulate were topped last week without proper city permits. above Granville Street and fronted by a 10foot rock wall and two large locked gates. It is difficult to say whether the topping of the trees improved the view for consulate staff, although it is doubtful since the building is directly across the street from a stand of tall trees. A representative from the consulate greet-

ed the Courier on the sidewalk but refused to give his name. He said the trees, which vary in type, were topped for safety reasons. Last year, the man said, a tree crashed over the consulate’s fence from a neighbouring property. He declined to discuss the extent of the damage.

The man also pointed out a large tree fell across Granville Street near 16th Avenue during a snowstorm in December 2012 and knocked out power lines. When asked about obtaining permits and the name of the company hired to top the trees, the man declined to comment but confirmed a visit from a city worker. “The city thought we cut this one too much,” he said, looking up a tree that was heavily pruned. “But different people have different opinions. As long as we keep it alive, it’s a good trimming.” The man suspected a competitor of the tree company notified the city of the trees being topped. He wouldn’t comment further. “If the newspaper is getting involved, I don’t want to talk too much,” he said, before returning behind the consulate’s gates. The city’s tree bylaw, which includes a section for care and maintenance of trees, says a person convicted of an offence can be fined from $500 to $10,000. The last time the consulate and the city were involved in a civic issue is was when Falun Gong practitioners set up a protest hut outside the building in 2001. After several years of court battles and city bylaw changes, the protesters dismantled its hut and left the boulevard. mhowell@vancourier.com twitter.com/Howellings

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news A4

THE VANCOUVER COURIER W E DN E SDAY, M A R C H 5 , 2 0 1 4

Potty talk a win for Nelson Park RELIEF COMING THIS SUMMER AFTER 10-YEAR CAMPAIGN FOR PUBLIC TOILET SANDRA THOMAS Staff Writer

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fter almost a decade without a place of convenience, Nelson Park finally has a washroom which should be ready for use this summer. The timing couldn’t be better because after almost 10 years of writing about the long-awaited loo, editors at the Courier were struggling to top past headlines such as “Nelson Park going to potty” from 2006, “Community leader raises stink over washroom plan” from 2008, or this nugget from 2011, “Nelson Park residents flush with relief.” Vision Vancouver park board commissioner Aaron Jasper was a director with the West End Residents Association (WERA) in 2006 when a redevelopment design for the park was unveiled with no plans for a washroom. The park’s fieldhouse and washrooms were demolished as part of the redesign. At the time, staff said the board’s budget lacked the money to build washrooms during the initial phase of the redevelopment. Estimates for the tender on the project came back twice

The long-awaited washroom at Nelson park is under construction. what was budgeted — while the board was hoping to spend $800,000 on the project, the lowest bid came in at $1.26 million. In 2011 Jasper told the Courier: “I feel like I’ve been working on this forever.” More than two years later, Jasper said a casual conversation that same year with Peter Judd, the city’s general manager of engineering, got the ball rolling. “I said ‘do you happen to have any of those self-cleaning, wheelchair-accessible

photo Dan Toulgoet

toilets hanging around?’” said Jasper. “And he said ‘no, but we can order one.’” But because CBS/JC Decaux makes the washrooms in France, it took almost two years for the unit be ordered, built and shipped to Vancouver. “We probably could have had one in place two years ago, but I insisted it had to be accessible,” said Jasper, who added once the washroom arrived it was decided the original location wouldn’t work. Jasper said the

washroom now has to be hooked up to a sewer line and a paved accessible wheelchair ramp must be built before it can be used. Over the years, West End resident Brent Granby also argued against the loss of the washroom. In 2010, the then-president of WERA went so far as to hold a “Potty Power” protest in the park including babies, toddlers and green portable potties he gave away to families who took part. Granby’s slogan at the time was, “When you have to go, you have to go,” and the protest was designed to demonstrate the need for a washroom in the park. In 2006, Granby argued unsuccessfully the park board should keep the fieldhouse and washrooms as programming space. At the time, the park board said a washroom would likely be built sometime during the 2009-2011 capital plan but that didn’t happen. Granby was out with his camera last week taking photos of the toilet and posting them on social media. The Nelson Park washroom issue was also of concern to Spencer Chandra Herbert, NDP MLA for Vancouver-West End, who wrote park board general manager Malcolm Bromley last year requesting an update on installation of the washroom. “West End residents have been holding it since 2006 and they’ll be greatly relieved that this washroom is finally being built,” Chandra Herbert told the Courier this week. sthomas@vancourier.com twitter.com/sthomas10

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photo Dan Toulgoet

Shannon McRae is not pleased that the right-of-way next to the mini park named in honour of her mother Margaret Pigott is being paved to create seven parking spaces.

Residents question parking location The city says some of the parking spaces weren’t included in the original drawings but were added later in response to reaction from residents and members of the city’s Persons with Disabilities Advisory Committee and the Seniors Advisory Committee. But Jill Weiss, chair of the Persons with Disabilities Advisory Committee, said the request from the joint committee was only for at least one official disabled parking spot adjacent to each of the mini parks along Point Grey Road. “I thought the main concern was Jericho Park with the bike lane running beside it,” said Weiss. “I can’t speak to the exact locations, but we did also ask for one appropriate parking space at the mini parks. If you’re a frail senior or have a disability, you need an appropriate parking spot.” Point Grey resident Elvira Lount also con-

tacted the city with her concerns about the new parking spaces, in particular the two on Trafalgar Street adjacent to Point Grey Park. “As far as a disabled spot, that’s not what they were being used for the other day,” said Lount. “I have to wonder if getting rid of that chunk of green space for parking was worth it.” Lount said even though the property adjacent to Point Grey Park is not actually parkland, it’s a loss of precious green space. “On a street that did not need extra parking,” she said. In an email to the city, Lount asked, “Why doesn’t the city reclaim some of the right-ofway in front of the houses [along the route] for additional parking rather than take away precious green space in the mini parks?” sthomas@vancourier.com twitter.com/sthomas10

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news Bike lanes on the Drive spark debate A6

THE VANCOUVER COURIER W E DN E SDAY, M A R C H 5 , 2 0 1 4

COMMUNITY GROUP WANTS STREET MORE ACCESSIBLE TO PEDESTRIANS AND CYCLISTS KRISTEN MORAN Contributing writer

A

community group wanting to reduce the “car-centric” character of traffic on Commercial Drive discovered that controversy tends to follow the mention of bike lanes. The Commercial Drive Action Group had its first meeting last week and although different topics were discussed, bike lanes on the Drive was the most contentious. The group’s organizer, Sarah FioRito, who is a member of the city’s active transportation policy council, stressed that bike lanes weren’t meant to be the main focus of the meeting. She said the group wants to make the area’s streets and businesses accessible to cyclists and pedestrians as well as motorists. “We are concerned about allocating the space to make it inclusive to all modes of transportation,” FioRito said. “Right now the design of Commercial Drive is very car-centric.” According to the city’s Grandview-Woodland community profile, 50 per cent of resi-

photo Dan Toulgoet

Sarah FioRito, organizer of Commercial Drive Action Group and member of the city’s Active Transportation Policy Council, on Commercial Drive with cars and cyclists. dents either walk, bike or take public transit to work. FioRito said 12 per cent are cyclists. FioRito said she was impressed with the response from the meeting’s participants but noted that with roughly 27,000 people living in the area, not everyone will be on board with their suggestions. “We recognize that this topic in this city seems to be very controversial and we understand that it gets people riled up, but we are

looking to really make sure we are allocating our public space to reflect how people get around in this neighbourhood,” said FioRito. The group hopes that by involving as many people as possible in the discussion, it can get away from the often “politicized and controversial” nature of debate about bike lanes in Vancouver. FioRito said she recognized that the group would receive a lot of attention but

was concerned about their ideas being misrepresented. She criticized a blog post by GrandviewWoodland Area Council president Jak King about the meeting as inaccurate. The post was hotly debated on Twitter. King, who attended the group’s meeting, was surprised that the post, which he considered to be “fairly polite,” created so much controversy. He argued that the meeting was heavily focused on bike lanes and most of those in attendance were “keen cyclists.” “One of the problems I had at the meeting, which I didn’t voice at the time, was the meeting was meant to be about the future of Commercial Drive and ended up being all about bike lanes,” King said. Jane McFadden, executive director of the Commercial Drive BIA, said with 500 businesses residing on the Drive from Venables to East 13th Avenue, a consistent response to bike lanes on the street would be difficult. She said she had previously spoken with the city about the possibility of bike lanes, but the city’s plan for the area doesn’t include them. “I can’t see the city doing anything until the Grandview-Woodland Community Plan is sorted out because it might affect it,” McFadden said. “It could end up being part of the discussion, but I don’t think a bike lane would be their priority when there is so much going on.” kristenmoran86@hotmail.com twitter.com/eastvankristen

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Angry residents prepare for Oakridge Centre fight KRISTEN MORAN Contributing writer

O

ne week before city council considers a massive redevelopment at Oakridge Centre, over 40 Marpole and Oakridge residents gathered Monday night to prepare their battle plan. Oakridge Langara Area Residents (OLAR) organized the meeting. Participants packed into the Oakridge public library’s meeting room to discuss their plan of action for the upcoming public hearing, which included gaining more time and further public consultation for the Oakridge Centre project. “As you all know, we are in a bit of crisis situation in this neighbourhood,” said OLAR member Tracey Moir. After distributing flyers to everyone, she explained that while the Oakridge proposal kept changing it was the biggest they had ever seen. The updated plan, which includes 14 new buildings between nine and 44 storeys in height, will face city council at a public hearing March 10. Moir held the meeting to get as many people involved in the process between now and then. “If you are going to do only one thing, speak. Speak to city council,” Moir said to the crowd. Daunting tower heights were among the concerns voiced at the meeting, but smaller details of the plan were also under scrutiny, with one in particular hitting home for most. “There is a 30-year legal obligation for the developer to give us a park,” Moir said. “At that time it was 10 per cent of the area, which is 2.8 acres.” The participants agreed that the proposed rooftop green space shouldn’t be considered a park, as it’s surrounded by tall towers. Moir also said the plan didn’t include

the additional public amenities, especially schools, needed to support a local population increase. In a review put out by the Vancouver School Board last year, both the primary and secondary schools in the area are at 90 per cent capacity or higher. The public consultation process used in the past left residents feeling unheard, according to meeting participants. Jillian Skeet urged her neighbours to request more “meaningful” public consultation. “I’m from Marine Gardens, which is going to be demolished, and for five to six years I have been to so many public consultations and at every one of them the vast majority of people were opposed to what they were doing,” Skeet said. “The city holds a lot of meetings, more than I have ever seen. But they are just more opportunities for people to come out and not be heard.” The growing number of speakers signed up to talk next week at council hope their voices will be heard. “The only way we are going to make a dent in all of this a week from tonight is to show up en masse, whether you come in spirit or whether you sign up to speak,” said resident Andrew Waldichuk. Oakridge resident Chris Shelton thought that if they can’t change the Oakridge proposal, further residential development in Vancouver is inevitable. “We should stress to the public that if the City of Vancouver goes ahead with heights at this location, that every other neighbourhood, including Grandview-Woodland, would automatically become highrises as well,” said Shelton. Moir said 65 people have signed up to speak next Monday, with further additions to come. Participants at the meeting voted unanimously to have Moir represent OLAR. kristenmoran86@hotmail.com twitter.com/EastVanKristen

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news

W E DN E SDAY, M A R C H 5 , 2 0 1 4 THE VANCOUVER COURIER

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Billion dollar plan proposed for Downtown Eastside MIKE HOWELL Staff writer

T

he Downtown Eastside is expected to get a massive facelift over the next 30 years that will see thousands of new social housing units, more business spaces and a treelined East Hastings Street. But the $1 billion cost of revitalizing the area that includes Chinatown, Gastown and Strathcona relies heavily on senior levels of government to buck up in a big way. The city’s proposed new community plan for the Downtown Eastside, which goes before city council March 12, calls for $530 million from the provincial and federal governments. City manager Penny Ballem told the Courier after a media briefing Thursday that she recognizes the plan will only work with buy-in from Victoria and Ottawa. “We have to remember it’s over 30 years, we’re not asking for that tomorrow,” Ballem said. “Are we absolutely confident that we’re going to get [the money]? No, but I think we feel much more comfortable that we actually have a very robust and coherent plan. We have very good evidence and justification of why the need is there and it’s very much quantifiable.” The city has had some success in recent years in working with the provincial government which provided more than $200 million to build 14 social housing buildings on city property. The federal government has contributed money to

projects in the Downtown Eastside but no longer has a national housing strategy. “But I think it’s fair to say that over the past five years, the prime minister is starting to signal that he understands,” Ballem said. “I would say we’re very hopeful but we certainly at this point have no guarantees. But we think we’re in a much better position with a great plan.” Of the $1 billion cost of the plan, the biggest expense is $820 million for housing. At least $50 million would come from the city and $245 million from developers, leaving senior levels of government to cover $525 million. In 2005, the city produced a housing plan for the Downtown Eastside that Vision Vancouver Coun. Andrea Reimer said will deliver “significant numbers of housing units in the next 10 years, even if there is no further investment from the federal government or the province.” Reimer said “fierce advocacy” is really the only pathway the city has to convince senior levels of government of the need to invest in Vancouver. “That’s what it took to get the province to the table and I expect it’ll be the same thing that gets the federal government to the table,” she said. The plan calls for 1,300 new social housing units, another 3,100 units to replace singleroom occupancy hotels and new housing for families. The realities driving the plan are found in the Downtown Eastside’s well-documented poverty statistics: Of the 18,500 residents, up to 67

per cent are considered low income, with a median household income of $13,691. Unemployment is at 12 per cent with more than 6,300 people on social assistance. The plan also calls for affordable childcare, access to nutritious affordable and culturally appropriate food, increased access to quality health, social and community services, improved arts and culture facilities and upgrades to cycling and pedestrian routes. mhowell@vancourier.com twitter.com/Howellings

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COURIER UP FOR FIVE AWARDS TheVancouverCourier is nominated in five categories at this year’s Ma Murray Community Newspaper Awards. The Courier is one of three finalists for overall excellence in its circulation classofnewspapersacrossBritishColumbiaandYukon,aswell as for online innovation for the ongoing Vancouver Special series focusing on individual city neighbourhoods. The series will come to an end March 14 with a profile on Marpole but all neighbourhood profiles can be found at vancourier.com/ vancouver-special, which includes additional photos that couldn’t fit into the print editions and videos created by entertainment editor Michael Kissinger. Kissinger is also up for an environmental initiative award for his story “Neighbours gather in a roundabout way” about a Mount Pleasant traffic circle that has been turned into a community gathering areas. Reporter Mike Howell is nominated in the best feature category for his story “Memorial for homeless man turns into emotional gathering” on the legacy left behind by the late Rick Hofs. Regular contributor Geoff Olson is nominated in the best cartoonist category. The awards ceremony takes place April 26 at the River Rock Resort in Richmond.

photo Dan Toulgoet

The city’s proposed new community plan for the Downtown Eastside, which goes before city council March 12, calls for $530 million from the provincial and federal governments.

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THE VANCOUVER COURIER W E DN E SDAY, M A RC H 5 , 2 0 1 4

THE VANCOUVER COURIER

1574 West Sixth Ave., Vancouver, BC V6J 1R2 604-738-1411 Twitter: @vancouriernews vancourier.com

Take the CircleTour of Embarrassment

I

t was when Transportation Minister Todd Stone started touting the new amenities in store for the MV Nimpkish that the audacity of the scheme he’s trying to float started to sink in. He’s cancelling the 115-vehicle full-service ferry that runs from Port Hardy to Bella Coola during the summer because it costs millions and is underused. But it’s an integral part of a circle route — Vancouver Island, up the coast by ferry to Bella Coola, through the Cariboo-Chilcotin and back to the Lower Mainland. So as a sop to the tourism industry, he’s maintaining ferry service — after a fashion. The new Discovery Coast Circle Route will see tourists take a regularsized ferry from Port Hardy to Bella Bella, a six-hour trip up the coast. Then they’ll disembark, wait 90 minutes, and take the MV Nimpkish on a nine-hour run from Bella Bella to Bella Coola. This is not to attack the Nimpkish. It’s a plucky little survivor, the smallest and one of the oldest ferries in the fleet. It deserves some credit for lasting 41 years. God bless the Nimpkish and all who sail on her. But the idea of sticking tourists on a 16-vehicle ferry that consists of little more than a car deck — for nine hours — while talking about a “world-class tourism experience” takes the concept of blowing smoke to a new level. It’s even smaller than the Mill Bay-Brentwood Bay ferry on Saanich Inlet. Picture sailing that 18 times in a row and you get an idea of what’s in store for visitors this summer. Stone summoned reporters to his office to outline this “affirmation” of the tourism industry. “Some have suggested it’s not much more than a barge,” he said indignantly, pointing to a picture behind him in which the Nimpkish looked like not much more than a barge. But they’re going to put that notion to rest in short order. How? He has talked to B.C. Ferries and extracted a promise that they’re going to raise the Nimpkish’s game. It’s going to be refitted. “Comfortable seats, a comfortable, heated interior, potable water, food ... This vessel truly is going to do us proud with these tourists.” As a measure of the government’s confidence, they’ve even boosted the marketing budget by a hundred grand to make the point the circle tour is alive and well. I can’t wait to see the European campaign rollout. “Potable water!” “Food!” “Come for the Wilderness! Stay for the Comfortable Interior Heating!” When they’re finished this refit, they should rename it the Spirit of Lowered Expectations. Or rebrand the whole effort as some kind of anniversary recreation of the Normandy invasion — as seen from a landing craft. During the news conference, Stone’s gaze returned fondly to the picture of the Nimpkish. “It’s a small ferry,” he conceded. “But it’s a ferry nonetheless.” And the idea going around that it can’t carry RVs is another outrageous slur. “That is not true.” (It can carry about four of them. So there.) There is a slender upside to this new arrangement. The Nimpkish will sail a few days a week, where the previous vessel only made a weekly trip. But there aren’t many people with high hopes for this makeup effort. Other than the Liberal government. We live in a world where a cruise-ship passenger whined online recently about the sea being “too loud.” (Someone demanded a refund from Celebrity Cruises last year because there wasn’t a single celebrity on board.) As one Chilcotin lodge owner told colleague Lindsay Kines: “TripAdvisor is going to have a field day with this.” One of the factors that drove the major rewrite of B.C. liquor laws was the theme in many submissions to the government that all the old restrictions and rules were embarrassing to explain to tourists. Many of the changes made in response were pitched as efforts to improve tourism, which the Liberals insist they support. So anyone worried about being embarrassed in front of tourists better steer clear when the Nimpkish pulls into the dock after its nine-hour voyage. And the visitors get their Internet connection back. lleyne@timescolonist.com

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letters

W E DN E SDAY, M A R C H 5 , 2 0 1 4 THE VANCOUVER COURIER

WE WANT YOUR OPINION Hate it or love it? We want to know... really, we do!

Reach us by email: letters@vancourier.com

Vancouver’s future hangs in the balance

L

ike many Vancouverites, I have appreciated the Courier’s reporting this past year on the city’s various neighbourhoods and current local area planning. This motivated me to write an opinion article, which I approach as a long-time specialist in economic development who is uneasy about the future prospects for Vancouver. No one can deny that Vancouver municipal planners have had much to do READER with why this city is so liveable. But given SOAPBOX current economic realities, and with the with Ken MacFarlane city’s population growing so quickly, I believe the traditional way that urban planning is practised here will not allow for the balanced development that is sorely needed. There are those who believe Vancouver is in danger of becoming nothing more than a home and playground for the rich and famous, where others may only enter to service the needs of those who can afford to live there. Why is this? Local area planning by the City of Vancouver focuses on real estate development and related amenities. It devotes little more than lip service to how its citizens make a living and support their families. And yet the nature of a person’s accommodations depends very much on her income and related expectations. In 2014 and beyond, any city that aspires to being a world leader in diverse and sustainable urban growth, not only has to plan how it will arrange its residential and commercial space, but also how it will concretely organize its economy to create broad-based prosperity. The former must follow from the latter. No small feat. But this is being effectively done elsewhere, such as in Boston and Barcelona, where “Innovation Districts” show how multi-layered developments that address a wide range of local requirements can become thriving examples of efficient and cost-effective communities. Such efforts cannot be left solely to the invisible hand of “the market.” The well-intended goals of our local leaders can only be realized if a more hands-on approach is taken. This must bring to bear a wider spectrum of professional disciplines which concretely reflects the full set of economic and social perspectives at issue, rather than simply catering to special interests bent on selling unproductive real estate to the highest bidders from around the world. In particular, our municipal officials must grasp what truly attracts productive, permanent job-creating industrial clusters to a particular locale and how this must direct built-form land use. The ultimate goal would be to develop a detailed action plan for the entire city reflecting the fact that individual neighbourhoods are pieces of a larger mosaic that must work as a coordinated entity. Only a compelling road map of specific initiatives that moves beyond the reassertion of grand, sweeping ambitions will attract the necessary public and private resources. The ultra-thin nature of the Vancouver economy, where most recent economic growth has come primarily from high-end real estate, retail and restaurant development (along with some ephemeral high tech wizardry), is not sustainable in any sense of the word. More important, this will not do if the brass ring is, in fact, to create a multi-faceted city that nurtures a true creative class and is notable for more than just its natural and man-made beauty. Interesting, engaged and highly qualified people — often refreshingly young — constantly arrive in Vancouver and struggle to live in a twilight zone of underemployment. More often than not they simply move on. A key question for Vancouver’s future must be whether or not it continues to cater to the glitterati, or a much more credible and valuable cohort. ••• Ken McFarlane is the managing director of Regeneration Group LLP and an associate of The Building Community Society of Greater Vancouver. His opinions here are his own and do not necessarily reflect the positions of any organization he is affiliated with. Visit vancourier.com/opinion to read a longer version of this guest column.

STILL TIME TO PUT BRAKES ON PATH

To the editor: Re: “Lifestyles of the rich and furious,” Feb. 21. I read with interest and some amusement Allen Garr’s column on Nelson Skalbania and the Point Grey bike path. Unfortunately it didn’t deal with the citizens who are not on millionaire’s row (with one billionaire): those who live north of Fourth Avenue between McDonald and Alma. Council’s idea of extending the False Creek bike route around to Jericho Beach was a good one. The original option (block off Point Grey road from McDonald to Alma to through traffic) looked good on paper but in practice it doesn’t work. It has created a real safety hazard when locals try to turn their cars left to go east on Fourth Avenue. They are going to work or downtown, not to a tennis club, and its a really dangerous turn. Council should go back to their second option which was to permit one way traffic eastbound on Point Grey together with bike lanes on the other

side of the street. Speed bumps could be put in. Council and the park board are to be praised for their sober second thought on the Kits Point bike lane. They would do well to listen to the north of Fourth Avenue residents who now see how the original plan is working in practice (vs. the drawings in the community consultation meetings). Someone could get really hurt if the plan continues to be built like this. Ian Waddell, Vancouver

READERLIKESBIKES To the editor: Re: “Bike path opponent cites victory for democracy,” Feb. 18. I am tired of hearing only from the opposing side of the bike lanes, and that is why I have decided to write my letter. The majority of people I talk to are “for” the bike lanes, and the safe passage of all cyclists: commuters, pleasure riders, children, and towing our babies. We see the lanes as an alternative to driving, environmentally better, adding value to

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our beautiful city, and a great alteration for the future. We have the same rights as drivers do, or for that matter, all pedestrian walking on sidewalks throughout the city. Bike lane fights have become all too common on Facebook and any opposing remark is met with such disregard, aggression, and bullying. As upsetting as these comments are, I appreciate them. Why? Because it just confirms how important it is that we have separate lanes for bikes, away from these people who drive cars (tons of steel that can do a lot of damage to or kill a cyclist). For those mere hundreds who showed up at Kits beach a few months ago to protest the bike lanes in the park and around Kits point, there were thousands of us pro-bike lanes non-activists relaxing at home. However, we have been silent for far too long and it comes across that we don’t exist. My fear is if we don’t start speaking up, the opposing side will gain too much momentum and influence. Please speak up!

Kelly Mitchell, Vancouver

ON YOUR MIND ONLINE COURIER STORY: “HootSuite payments finally revealed by city hall,” Feb. 28. Jonathan Baker: In earlier times stories like this would cause people to warm up the vats of tar and feathers. Today, citizens like Glen Chernen trust in the courts. Let no one say there is no such thing as progress. Skaldie: Gee Jonathan, your remark is like too many things these days, difficult to tell sincerity from satire. I’ll take it as satire. COURIER STORY: “Blyth lobbied to run for council as Sharma enters fray,” Feb. 28. Eugene: Seriously?! Wholly unsuited for the position. Look at her Twitter account, see the drivel she regularly spews, and then ask whether she has the gravitas and chops to sit on council. Crack pipe vending machines, needle exchanges, DTES focused, etc. Is it too much to ask for representatives on council who aren’t focussed on Vancouver’s poverty industry? And there’s that issue of her track record at the park board. Disregard for legalities leading to lawsuits from citizens. Do we really need to fight this elitist group who are out to change the city in a hurry and have little understanding or regard for the legalities by which citizens are protected from the unfettered exercise of power by elected officials? Derek: Beware Vancouver voters, do not let any of these nutbars anywhere near city hall, just look at the fiasco with parks board over community centres and the bike path. After two lawsuits, do you really want these folks running the city? COURIER STORY: “Teachers holding strike vote while negotiating” Feb. 28. ACMEsalesrep: And this is news, how? It’s common practice to hold a strike vote early in the negotiating process to establish that people are willing to walk out if an agreement can’t be reached. There’s nothing at all unusual or confrontational about it. Gordon Comeau @9883592: Very premature if you ask me. COURIER VIDEO: “Jazz at the Carnegie,” Feb. 28. BoysOwn: That’s awesome. Thanks for sharing! COURIER STORY: “Dr. Penny Ballem, medicine woman,” Feb. 28. Mike Klassen @MikeKlassen: No words. #Vancouver city manager with $370,000 salary gets 15 bonus days off to run a medical practice. Follow us on Facebook: The VancouverCourierNewspaper and Twitter: @VanCourierNews

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Letters may be edited by the Courier for reasons of legality, taste, brevity and clarity. To be considered for publication, they must be less than 300 words, signed and include the writer’s full name (no

initials), home address, and telephone number (neither of which will be published), so authorship may be verified. Send to: 1574 West Sixth Ave., Vancouver BC V6J 1R2 or email letters@vancourier.com


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THE VANCOUVER COURIER W E DN E SDAY, M A R C H 5 , 2 0 1 4

CITY LIVING

GOT AN EVENT WE CAN SHOOT? LET US KNOW! 604-738-1411 | events@vancourier.com

photo Rebecca Blissett

BALLROOM BLITZ: Saturday night’s dance competition at the UBC Dance Club’s 52nd annual Gala Ball at the Greek Hellenic Centre featured competitive dancers in their finery. Scan this page using the Layar app or visit vancourier.com to see more photos.

Ballroom dancers charm as numbers drop UBC DANCE CLUB OPEN TO EVERYONE REBECCA BLISSETT Contributing writer

T

he popularity of ballroom dancing in the city seems to be gauged by where the University of British Columbia holds its yearly Gala Ball. After the dance club was founded in 1949, making it one of the school’s oldest clubs, it was held in the SUB ballroom. In the 1980s it moved to the Greek Hellenic Centre on Arbutus and even got so big during the 1990s it was held at the Vancouver Convention Centre. The 52nd annual ball was at the Hellenic Centre again this past weekend, which points to the fact that kids these days aren’t in as mad a rush as they were 15 years ago to learn ballroom’s standard of foxtrot, Viennese waltz, modern waltz, tango and quickstep. Which leaves those who are learning, and competing, an enviable and somewhat rare skill. This year’s gala chair was accounting student Melvin Wong who spent most of the two days on his feet, dashing about in his tuxedo and slicked-back hair. The only time

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know how and we can fake it, but we don’t do it. The binding part of this club is ballroom dancing.” Clara Shih Marasigan and husband Joel Marasigan have attended all the gala balls ever since they were UBC students during the mid to late 1990s. After graduating with a major in occupational therapy and bio chemistry, respectively, the couple continued their love of dancing, going to win titles as far away as Singapore and studying in Italy before coming back to Vancouver to start JC Dance Company. Saturday afternoon, Clara watched two dancers make up steps to one of the fun dances, a reverse of the Latin paso doble where the man plays the woman’s part and vice versa. “We both started at UBC Dance Club from absolutely nothing,” she remembered. “This is great, it brings us back to when we were here.” When they attended UBC, the club had about one thousand students. Now there’s about 200, which Clara says is a shame. “When you talked about dance in 1949, ballroom is what you danced,” said Wong. “Nowadays there are a lot of different types of dances.” The UBC Dance Club is not just for students, anybody can join. For more information, go to the club website at ubcdanceclub.com. rblissett@telus.net

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he left his walkie-talkie behind was to step on the floor to compete with partner Cindy Liang when their bronze-silver level category was announced. “Even my mom was like, ‘ballroom dancing?’ when I told her. I was never athletic or anything. P.E. in high school was the worst,” remembered Wong. But a friend of his was a competitive dancer who talked him into showing up to a class. “The next thing you know you start doing it and it’s not that bad and the next thing you know you’re in a competition and the next thing you know your hair looks like this.” Wong pointed to his wellgelled hair reminiscent of a 1940s film star, which is how male ballroom dancers traditionally wear their hair (it’s slick buns for the females) as to not obstruct their facial expressions. The Gala Ball is one of the province’s top DanceSport competitions, which means dancers perform to qualify for national and international competitions. But the dance is also for the amateurs, too, with categories even for those who’ve taken lessons only within the UBC Dance Club. The club attracts more female dancers, acknowledges Wong, even though there are still many men who are an active part of the club, or have honorary memberships. “I guess most men ask, why would I learn ballroom dancing? Times have changed, too, right?” said Wong. “We get people asking, oh, do you guys do hip hop? Well, we all

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health Colon cancer survivor’s story of hope W E DN E SDAY, M A R C H 5 , 2 0 1 4 THE VANCOUVER COURIER

SCREENING RECOMMENDED FOR EARLY DETECTION AND SURVIVAL

CHERYL ROSSI Staff Writer

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orty-one initially seemed like a great age for Terry Firestein. He was busy with a new home, two sons and his dream job running a small body shop that restored British cars. Then his father was diagnosed with lung cancer and died within three weeks. Firestein chalked up his own concurrent aches to circumstances. But when the pain persevered, he had x-rays and blood tests, was diagnosed with arthritis and prescribed antiinflammatories. Followup blood tests revealed he was losing blood and anemic. Seven months after his father’s death from cancer, Firestein learned he had colon cancer. “It was a total shock... Colon cancer did run in my family but all my family members that had colon cancer were all in their 70s and 80s and my dad used to get regular colonoscopies,” Firestein said. “What they told me with my sons is they should be checked at 10 years before I was diagnosed, so they’ll have to go in when they’re 30. But going off that, I should have been good ‘til I was 60 years old before I needed checks.” Surgeons removed half of Firestein’s colon and 12 inches of his small intestine. Cancer had spread to five of his lymph nodes, so he underwent six months of chemotherapy to help prevent a reoccurence. The first chemotherapy cocktail provoked a heart attack. He completed six months of chemotherapy treatment with a different mix. All was relatively well until October 2009 when doctors discovered eight tumours on Firestein’s liver. Surgery wasn’t advised so he resumed chemotherapy. “It was pretty nasty that time around,” Firestein said. An oncologist recommended an experimental drug called Avastin, which stops the body from producing blood vessels. Firestein believes that drug made the difference. He received a clear scan in December 2010 and participated as soon as he could in the fundraising Ride to Conquer Cancer for the B.C. Cancer Foundation in 2012. He plans to ride for the third time June 14 and 15. Firestein is sharing his story during National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month to encourage others to participate in the ride and donate to the foundation, the fundraising partner of the B.C. Cancer Agency and the largest charitable funder of cancer research in the province. “People always tell me that I inspire them or whatever and it would be nice to let people know that there is hope out there and things are getting better,” Firestein said. “Cancer rates are increasing but also survival rates are increasing and I firmly believe that it’s through all the fundraising they do and the research and I guess for people don’t give up hope and we’ve got to continue searching for answers.” Age is the most important risk factor for colon cancer. Dr. Hagen Kennecke, a medical oncologist and professional practice leader of medical oncology at the B.C. Cancer Agency, says colorectal cancer typically appears when people reach their 60s or 70s. The B.C. Cancer Agency recommends everyone aged 50 to 74 be screened for colon cancer because it provides few

Terry Firestein is cycling in the Ride to Conquer Cancer June 14 and 15. symptoms and the survival rate for colon cancer detected at its earliest stage is over 90 per cent. One symptom of colon cancer is blood in stool. Those with a parent or sibling with colon cancer should be screened earlier. High-fibre diets that are low in fat and red meat have been linked to lower incidences of colon cancer. Exercise that elevates one’s heart rate should be done four times a week. Taking an aspirin a day may be beneficial, particularly for men who face a greater risk of heart disease. Firestein believes experimenting with chemotherapy treatments helped him. No one knows why he developed colon cancer so young, but Firestein was pleased to be celebrating his 48th birthday when he spoke to the Courier this week. Firestein’s oncologist told him five-year survival rates for the cancer he’s had sit at five per cent. “So I’m still not of the woods yet,” he said. “I haven’t gone the five years but my oncologist thinks I’ve gone this far, my

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chances are far greater than 5 per cent of making it.” Firestein wants to see more survivors. “I want to see more yellow flags up there riding their bikes,” he said. “There is hope, we’ve got to reach it.” The B.C. Cancer Foundation hosts a free colorectal cancer forum from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. March 15 at 675 West 10th Ave. For details, go to bccancer.bc.ca. Registration is required before March 7 at 604-877-6162. crossi@vancourier.com twitter.com/Cheryl_Rossi • For more information about cancer screenings, see screeningbc.ca. •For informative blogs by Kennecke and other doctors, see bccancerfoundation.com/blog. •For information about the Ride to Conquer Cancer, see conquercancer.ca.


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THE VANCOUVER COURIER W E DN E SDAY, M A R C H 5 , 2 0 1 4

The Jewish Community Centre of Greater Vancouver proudly presents

Colourful world comes alive with Busytown Imagine a world where the colours are brighter, everyday objects are more interesting and all problems can be solved simply by everyone working together. Step into the beloved world of Richard Scarry and see BUSYTOWN come to life before your very eyes. Carousel Theatre for Young People is proud to present the musical BUSYTOWN March 1-30, 2014 at The Waterfront Theatre.

Musical Theatre Summer Program

Session 1: July 8-31, 2014 Session 2: August 5-28, 2014

The little ones will love the bright colours, the dance-inyour-seat melodies and the fun costumes! The music, which is in the style of CTYP’s hit production A Year With Frog and Toad, is sure to thrill the entire family (and have everyone singing the songs in the car ride all the way home).

For more information, please contact

(604) 257-5111

Join Huckle Cat, Lowly Worm, Betsy Bear and the rest of the gang as we discover and explore what people do all day. Huckle shows us how Farmer Pig and Grocer Cat work together to bring food to the town. Construction Worker and his crew build new houses, and Firechief and the gang keep them safe. Isn’t it wonderful how everyone works together to keep Busytown busy?

Youth Spring Soccer League SUNDAYS April 27 – June 22 (Except May Long Weekend)

BOYS & GIRLS AGES 5 – 12 SMALL SIDED GAMES

Tickets: 604.685.6217 or purchase online at www.carouseltheatre.ca.

Jericho Turf

Betsy Bear (Devon Busswood), Huckle Cat (Colin Sheen) and Grocer Cat (Kayla Dunbar) in Richard Scarry’s Busytown.

Gotta Sing! Gotta Dance! marks 20th year “Gotta Sing! Gotta Dance!”, the popular musical theatre summer program is now heading into its 20th fabulous year at the Jewish Community Centre of Greater Vancouver.

Cost: $95

Late Fee (After April 1) $105 After April 15: $120 Includes T-Shirt Limited Space Max 40 604-551-7006 info@freekickmag.com

FreeKickMag.com

“Gotta Sing! Gotta Dance!” has in the past attracted hundreds of enthusiastic and talented participants age nine to 19, who love to sing, dance, act, and perform, from throughout British Columbia and as far away as Whitehorse, Edmonton, Regina, Yorkton, Winnipeg, Ottawa, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, California, New York, Colorado, Virginia, Texas, Austria, and Israel. Program director Perry Ehrlich (recipient of the Canadian Bar Association’s Community Service Award and Ovation Award acknowledging his tireless dedication to working

YOUTH SKILLS CAMPS Presented by

March 24–28, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Point Grey Field Highlights: Instruction from Whitecaps FC staff coaches Official camp t-shirt, poster and daily drink Whitecaps FC player and mascot visit

Boys and girls U-6 to U-13. Register today, space is limited. whitecapsfc.com/camps or 778.330.1354

with children and musical theatre) each year assembles an impressive faculty of professional instructors (directors, musicians, choreographers and actors, each working in his or her respective field). The Program is offered in two Sessions – Session I from July 8 to 31, 2014 and Session II from August 5 to 28, 2014. Cost per Session is $750.00 ($650.00 for Members of the JCC), and the deadline for application is April 1, 2014. For more information about the Program, contact the Jewish Community Centre at 604-257-5111 or check out www.jccgv.com or www.theimpresario.ca.


W E DN E SDAY, M A R C H 5 , 2 0 1 4 THE VANCOUVER COURIER

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Budding artists bloom here. Plant seeds of creativity this Spring! Inspiring arts classes for ages 2–19. Spring Break Programs: March 17–28, 2014 Spring Session: March 31–June 9, 2014

Art for art’s sake A world without art is hard to imagine. Art touches our lives in exceptional ways – and it’s something all children and youth should benefit from. Whether singing alongside other students in a musical theatre production, experiencing the exhilaration of an on-stage dance performance, or discovering the world through drawing and painting, art is a precious form of self-expression.

provided high quality and accessible arts education to children and youth throughout Greater Vancouver and beyond. Arts Umbrella’s Spring Break programs for ages 3–19 in painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, computer design, dance, theatre and music offer many opportunities for creative discovery.

Arts education is proven to help develop academic skills, boost personal growth, wellbeing and self-confidence, and provide a safe and supportive environment for self-expression. That’s not all – art and arts education unite us to create a strong, vibrant community.

In future years, your child will benefit from their early exposure to the arts, no matter where their dreams take them. Whether your child is just discovering his or her inner artist, or is dreaming of a career in the arts, our experienced and trusted instructors can guide them throughout their journey. Join our community where art comes alive.

For 35 years, Arts Umbrella has proudly

Visit us at artsumbrella.com/spring2014

604.681.5268 | info@artsumbrella.com enroll.donate.participate.

artsumbrella.com/spring2014


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THE VANCOUVER COURIER W E DN E SDAY, M A RC H 5 , 2 0 1 4

GOT ARTS? 604-738-1411 | events@vancourier.com

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Who doesn’t love Russia’s balaclava-wearing, political-punk activists PUSSY RIOT? Besides Vladimir Putin, the Russian Orthodox Church and whip-wielding Cossacks, that is. The Rio Theatre screens Mike Lerner and Maxim Pozdorovkin’s documentary PUSSY RIOT: A PUNK ROCK PRAYER until March 6. And if you want a double dose of independent punk rock women, catch the March 5 screening, which plays alongside Sini Anderson’s documentary The Punk Singer, profiling original riot grrrl and founding member of the bands Bikini Kill and Le Tigre, Kathleen Hanna. Details at riotheatre.ca.

PICKS 3

It’s a trifecta of local literary talent as Vancouver writers CAROLINE ADDERSON, Cynthia Flood and Zoey Peterson read a story apiece for a free evening of conversation and discussion, March 5, 7:30 p.m. at the Central Library’s Alice MacKay Room. The event is part of the Vancouver Writers Fest’s INCITE series. Seating is limited. To register for the free event, go to writersfest. bc.ca/events/incitemarch5.

MARCH 5 TO 7, 2014

Chicago by way of St. Louis singer-songwriter ANGEL OLSEN brings her sparse and brooding indie-folk stylings, which AllMusic.com describes as a “wild hybrid of PJ Harvey and Emmylou Harris,” to the Media Club, March 6, 9 p.m. She’s currently touring behind her new Jagjaguwar release, BURN YOUR FIRE FOR NO WITNESS. Irish singer-songwriter Cian Nugent opens. Tickets at Red Cat, Zulu, Highlife Records and ticketweb.ca.

For video and web content, scan page using the Layar app.

Karen Lam’s supernatural thriller EVANGELINE kicks off the VANCOUVER INTERNATIONAL WOMEN IN FILM FESTIVAL, March 6 to 9, at Vancity Theatre. Other films include Lisa Jackson’s documentary How A People Live, Michelle Ouellet’s Vancouver-made drama Afterparty and Anne Wheeler’s documentary on Babz Chula, Chi, among others. For details and a list of other events, go to womeninfilm.ca.

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arts&entertainment

What does the Fox smell? KUDOS& KVETCHES

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e believe it was F. Scott Fitzgerald who once said, “There are no second acts in North American porn theatres.” But he was dead wrong… and an alcoholic… and kind of a douchebag to his wife. Last Friday we had the privilege of getting a media invite to the opening of the newly revamped Fox Cabaret on Main Street. We were going to call it a “soft” opening but thought it might not be the most appropriate word for a former adult movie theatre turned hip hangout. For a while the free champagne flowed and we patted ourselves on our bedazzled back for actually leaving our home dojo for an evening, convincing ourselves it had nothing to do with the promise of complimentary bubbly. And you know what? We actually enjoyed ourselves. Plus it’s a real looker of a venue. However, the biggest impression we left with that night — besides the realization that champagne and buck-a-slice pizza does not make for the most restful of sleeps — was how nice the cavernous room smelled. Regardless of whether or not you’ve ever stepped foot in the Fox’s former self, we trust you can imag-

ine the scented delights of human potpourri that met visitors desperate enough to sit down in theatre’s ratty chairs for a flick or two. In all honestly, last year was the first and only time we visited the Fox Theatre. We were collecting stats on Mount Pleasant for our newspaper’s Vancouver Special neighourhood series and wanted to know how much it cost to see a movie ($9.50 for a double feature, in case you’re wondering). We had literally took two steps inside the theatre before we were hit with a waft of what could only be described as mildew and shame. And a touch of chlorine. It was not good. And after we asked an old lady carrying a mop and a bucket the cost of admission, we immediately hightailed it home, took a hot shower for half an hour while sitting down in the tub, quietly sobbing. But last Friday, the Fox smelled different. Its scent was clean and fresh, mixed with citrus and sandalwood. Like a Phoenix rising from the ashes to sip on a birdfeeder of Drakkar Noir. And even though we proceeded to fill our body with booze, greasy carbs and regret, that smell of fresh paint and rebirth stayed with us, like a baby fox nursing on our mother’s furry teat, nourishing us, lifting us up where we belong. So thank you, new owners of the Fox. Not just for the free champagne but the new olfactory memories you’ve imbedded on our synapses. twitter.com/KudosKvetches

W E DN E SDAY, M A R C H 5 , 2 0 1 4 THE VANCOUVER COURIER

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THE VANCOUVER COURIER W E DN E SDAY, M A R C H 5 , 2 0 1 4

arts&entertainment

Confessionsofa‘dramaking’ A gala to benefit the Canadian Diabetes Association Time n i t n e A Mom

March 6, 2014

Birks, Downtown Vancouver 5:30 pm – 8:00 pm

Join us for an elegant evening of fine food and wine, entertainment, exciting live and silent auctions and a raffle of a stunning diamond necklace. Funds raised support the Canadian Diabetes Association’s unique D-Camps and children and youth living with Type 1 diabetes. For more information and to purchase tickets: info@baublesforbanting.ca baublesforbanting.ca 604.732.1331 ext. 242 BaublesforBanting

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Want to keep up with the Courier online? It’s easy. Follow us on Twitter at @VanCourierNews

HIRSCH

At the Firehall Arts Centre No more performances

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lon Nashman, co-creator (with Paul Thompson) of Hirsch, kicked off his solo performance by coming down the back stairs, through the audience to the stage, announcing, “I am your actor for the evening.” He then suggested that, from beyond the grave, Hungarian-Canadian director John Hirsch (1930-1989) might call him “a charlatan” and “an opportunist” because Nashman’s relationship with Hirsch had been admittedly thorny. Years ago, as a young actor playing Caliban in a Hirsch-directed production of The Tempest, Nashman was thoroughly chewed out by Hirsch when, not having learned his lines, Nashman tried to explain his long pauses by saying he was “processing” his character. Hirsch didn’t buy it and Nashman found himself on the receiving end of a ferocious tongue-lashing. So, while this show is a tribute to an intense, passionate, driven and hard-driving Hirsch, there’s a bit of not-so-divine retribution as Nashman pokes some fun at the impatient, egotistical ‘“drama king” who was given to storming around the set, hands waving, mercilessly berating actors. He was difficult but he got results. Hirsch was born in Hungary to a Jewish shopkeeper who surrounded himself and his family with theatre people, including celebrated dancer Vaslav Nijinsky. War

came and Hirsch’s entire family perished in the Holocaust; he alone survived and was left to wander orphaned and penniless across Europe at the age of 13 The story moves rapidly and sketchily but eventually Hirsch emigrates to Winnipeg, chosen by him because its geographically central position looked “safe.” At 17 he met Tom Hendry with whom he would eventually found the Manitoba Theatre Centre. There’s a lot of name-dropping in Hirsch and for those who aren’t familiar with the Canadian theatre scene between the late ’50s and ’80s, it’s frustrating: “Martha” is Martha Henry; Paul Gascon is the founding director of the National Theatre School of Canada; “Brian” was his lover. (Hirsch, according to a National Post article, was self-described as “a member of four mafias: Hungarian, Jewish, homosexual and Winnipeg.”) Hirsch also demands a high level of theatre literacy as Nashman jumps in and out of characters drawn from various plays. Nashman’s performance as Hirsch’s maternal grandmother flapping her black lace shawl like “a cave of vampires,” as Hirsch described her, is a welcome intimate peek into Hirsch’s boyhood. This wasn’t a show that wowed me, but Nashman is engaging, entertaining and I left the theatre wanting to know more about Hirsch — always a good sign. —reviewed by Jo Ledingham *A longer review of this play appears at vancourier.com/entertainment.

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W E DN E SDAY, M A R C H 5 , 2 0 1 4 THE VANCOUVER COURIER

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Gutsy Bruins star pushes young team BRITANNIA FACES TOUGH OPPONENT IN FIRST GAME OF PROVINCIAL TOURNEY JENNIFER THUNCHER Contributing writer

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or Britannia Bruins’ top shooter, Amanda Young, the best grad present ever would be a banner from the 2014 B.C. Secondary School Girls AA Basketball Championships. The odds are against Britannia at the event, which starts today in Langley. All its players are under 5’11, and it is a relatively young team with only three Grade 12s — Young, captain Naomi Morcilla and forward Leena Yamaguchi. The 13th-ranked Bruins face the forthranked Duchess Park secondary Condors from Prince George in the opening game. But being underdogs is nothing new for the scrappy East Vancouver Bruins. After they lost in the semi-finals of the Lower Mainland Zone tourney to the Windsor Dukes (44-60) and then lost to York House secondary (50-80) to fall to sixth spot, the Bruins girls fought their way in to the championships with a Feb. 25 wildcard win (64-57) against Qualicum’s Ballenas secondary Whalers. Even getting to the game was a challenge. Originally scheduled for Monday, it had to be rescheduled for the following day due to heavy snow on Vancouver Island.

photo Dan Toulgoet

Bruins coach Mike Evans is flanked by players Naomi Morcilla (left), Leena Yamaguchi and Amanda Young (right). The underdog Britannia team is competing in the 2014 B.C. Secondary School Girls AA Basketball Championships this weekend in Langley. To get out the jitters of a make or break game, the team had a huge snowball fight just before tip-off. It obviously helped. Young, a forward, played a big part in the Island win racking up six three-pointers to be the team’s high scorer with 24 points. (Fellow Bruins JD Le and Julian Duong each scored 13 and Morcilla earned 12 points.) Head coach Mike Evans said teams often underestimate the unassuming 5’8” forward, which works to his team’s advantage. He thinks the fact the Whalers didn’t know much about Young’s shooting power prior to the wildcard game helped secure

the win. For the 18-year-old Young, the road to the B.C. championship has been a bumpy one. She had two ACL surgeries, one on each knee. The last was exactly one year ago. “It is just the hardest thing,” Young said. “But it just showed me how much I love the game and I stuck to it.” Months of physiotherapy rebuilt her knees allowing her to come back and practise in November. Because of her surgeries and rehab, Young played in only 16 full games of the team’s 35 games this season and missed some of the Lower Mainland tourney games.

When she is on the hardwood, however, her presence is felt. She averaged 15.3 points a game and hit 80 per cent of her free throws. Doctors tell Young her rebuilt knees, once fully recovered, will be stronger than her originals. That’s a good thing because Young, who said she never enjoyed high school aside from basketball, accepted a basketball scholarship for next year to Highline Community College in Washington State. On April 1 she goes down to the school for a signing party, but first — the provincials. Young and Morcilla were part of the Britannia team that won the provincial title in 2012. Both girls, though the youngest on that squad, got court time during the final game, something both girls will never forget. “That was definitely fun,” said Morcilla. Morcilla described Young as a leader who through her resilience has shown the team how to battle through adversity. She said Young encourages the team when they are down on the scoreboard to push on as if it were zero-zero. Young laughed when she described how loud and passionate she gets during games. “I yell a lot,” she said. Evans said his team needs to bring their passion and speed against the taller teams, like the Condors and, of course, they need to use players like Young who can shoot. But nothing his Bruins can accomplish would surprise him. “It is a team that rises up, even when you think it is all over,” he said. thuncher@shaw.ca twitter.com/thuncher

Tupper Tigers battle for historic victory JENNIFER THUNCHER Contributing writer

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he senior boys Sir Charles Tupper Tigers are headed to the provincial basketball championships next week as 2014 Lower Mainland Zone Tournament champs. The AAA Tigers took first spot in the Lower Mainlands, for the first time in the school’s 55-year history, after a hotly contested battle with Burnaby’s St. Thomas More Collegiate (86-78) Feb. 28 in front of enthusiastic fans of both teams at the Richmond Olympic Oval. The outsized Tigers, ranked third in the province, took it to the second ranked STM from the start with strong shooting. At the buzzer at the end of the first period, guard Ron Ronquillo sunk a three-pointer to make it 20-9 for Tupper. It was a ping-pong match of back and forth scoring, with Tupper always maintain-

ing a lead and going up 39 to 32 at the half. The 50 or so Tupper fans in the stands, some carrying “Go Tupper” placards and others banging empty water jugs, saw the lead narrowing and started to chant “East Side, East Side.” At the end of the third quarter with the score 59 to 54 for Tupper, the fans, all on their feet in a frenzy, were warned to stay off the court. The Knights saw the lead narrowing and put backboard pressure on the Tigers. “We would block out like demons on the glass yet their length allowed them to simply reach right over top of us and get second chances and rebounds,” said Tupper coach Jeff Gourley after the game. STM’s forward Reese Morris at six feet, three inches was almost unstoppable in the second half. He had four points in the first half and racked up 32 in the second But the Tigers’ veteran Grade 12 guards were at their best and set about stopping Morris and maintaining Tupper’s lead.

Former 2009 Tupper captain Harpreet Manhas was in the stands to support his old team. “I love the way they are playing,” Manhas said at the half. “It is typical Tupper style... running gun and shoot threes.” Tupper’s Ronquillo had 29 points on the night and earned the tournament’s most valuable player. Saurav Acharya hit for 19 and DJ Sugue added another 16 points and earned first team all star. Guard Naveed Alam earned second team all star. Tupper shot 69 per cent from distance overall. “Sixty-nine per cent from beyond the arc for a high school team is unheard of,” said Gourley. The coach noted the importance of the milestone win for his school and was quick to give props to past Tupper Tigers who paved the way for the current team. He cited players such as

East Vancouver legend Jack Ho and Carleton Raven Cameron Smythe, among others. “Tonight’s win was in appreciation of what they and roughly 100 other young men had strived for but never reached over the last 10 years. All those former Tupper Tigers who had dreamed the dream but it was never realized. Tonight’s win was as equally for them as the players in uniform tonight,” he said. “All these young men talk about that being on the team is like being in a family. Well tonight the family got some really nice family pictures to hang in the living room.” Sugue said the team wasn’t celebrating much — yet. “We are going for the [provincial] banner. Three banners in one year.” The 2014 BC High School Boys Triple A Basketball Championships start March 11. Formoreinformation,seelangleyeventscentre.com thuncher@shaw.ca twitter.com/thuncher


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THE VANCOUVER COURIER W E DN E SDAY, M A R C H 5 , 2 0 1 4

DEVELOPMENT OF A PEST MANAGEMENT PLAN # 701-002-14/19 Metro Vancouver has prepared a draft Pest Management Plan (PMP) for the purpose of controlling the larval stage of nuisance mosquito species that significantly impact quality of life in limited parts of the region. Proposed treatment areas are: Metro Vancouver owned and/or managed lands and facilities; non-private lands within the City of Coquitlam, the District of Maple Ridge, the City of Pitt Meadows, the City of Surrey, and non-private and some private lands in the Township of Langley. Application of larvicide will occur annually between April and September in artificial waterbodies, standing water and areas prone to flooding. The PMP would be in effect for a five year period. Products that may be used include: Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (Bti) – VectoBac – PCP# 18158 Bacillus sphaericus (Bsph) – VectoLex – PCP# 28008 These products are registered for use in Canada, are target specific, non-residual and non-toxic. Chemical control of adult mosquitoes is expressly excluded. Manner of application will be by hand, backpack blower, truck-mounted sprayer or all terrain vehicle- mounted blower and helicopter. Applicant contact information: Rhea Leroux, Park Operations Technician, Planning, Policy and Environment Department, Metro Vancouver 4330 Kingsway, Burnaby, BC V5H 4G8 Tel: 604-432-6294 Email: rhea.leroux@metrovancouver.org A copy of the draft PMP can be obtained from the Metro Vancouver website: www.metrovancouver.org - search: Mosquito Control Program

sports&recreation

A person wishing to contribute information about a proposed treatment site, relevant to the development of the Pest Management Plan, may send copies of the information to the applicant at the address above within 30 days of the publication of this notice.

A few of Vancouver’s estimated 2,000 curlers enjoy a game at the Vancouver Curling club.

photo Dan Toulgoet

Curling’s popularity slides in Vancouver DESPITE 2010 OLYMPIC SUCCESS, VANCOUVER CAN’T GENERATE CROWDS TO SUPPORT NATIONAL TOURNAMENTS

JIM MORRIS

W

On Now at The Brick! For more details go instore or online @thebrick.com.

hen Jessie Sanderson tells her friends she is a curler, the 23-year-old is usually met with a look of puzzlement. “It’s a very big question mark,” said the Coquitlam resident, a third on the Kesa Van Osch team that represented B.C. at the recent Scotties Tournament of Hearts Canadian women’s curling championships in Montreal. “Curling is not a very big sport in Vancouver. We would like it to be [bigger], so if there was a big event it would help the curling world in the Lower Mainland.” There actually was a pretty big curling event in Vancouver just over four years ago. Large crowds jammed into the 6,000-seat curling facility at Hillcrest Park to watch Kevin Martin’s rink from Edmonton win the 2010 Olympic gold medal

and Cheryl Bernard’s Calgary team take the silver. Of course that was the Olympics, which is a big deal. Vancouver residents like big deals, and that’s exactly the reason why the city will probably never see another major curling competition like the Scotties or the Brier, which is the Canadian men’s championship. “I don’t think there’s an appetite [for curling] in Vancouver,” said Warren Hansen, director of event operations for the Canadian Curling Association and a Vancouver-area resident. “The sport is not familiar enough for people to simply come out because there is a major curling event.” Cities like Winnipeg, Edmonton, Calgary and Saskatoon have hosted successful Scotties and Briers. The Brier is currently being held in Kamloops. Other B.C. cities like Victoria and Prince George have played host to Canadian and world championships. The CCA’s venture into Montreal this year met with lukewarm success. The association would love to bring its most prestigious events to large cities like Toronto and Vancouver, but doesn’t want to take a financial bath. It costs around $2 million

to host a Scotties, said Hansen. A Brier costs anywhere from $2.6 to $6 million, depending on the city and size of venue. Scott Braley, executive director and CEO of Curl B.C., said Vancouver has a solid base of around 2,000 curlers. “The question is, is Vancouver too big?” he said. “It tends to be challenging in Vancouver because there are so many things going on. People have so many options.” Finding the right venue can be like Goldilocks and the Three Bears. It can’t be too big or too small. The Olympic curling venue has been converted to a multipurpose recreation centre. It remains the home of the Vancouver Curling Club but no longer has the seating capacity to host a major event. Rogers Arena is too big, said Braley. The Pacific Coliseum could work if seating was restricted to the lower bowl. The Agrodome is old and only seats around 3,000. One possibility is the Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre, which has hosted David Cup tennis events. The centre has a seating capacity of 6,200 and drew over 17,800 over the weekend when Canada upset Spain. “It would be a good venue

to look at… although going out to UBC is a bit of a trek for some people,” said Braley. Hansen explored the possibility of bringing curling to the Richmond Oval, site of long-track speed skating at the Olympics. The cost of adding seats and making the building curling friendly was prohibitive. “Unless somebody is prepared to come up and financially help us in a major way, it’s just not economically viable,” said Hansen. Vancouver does have some curling history. The Brier was last held here in 1978. Curling legend Sandra Schmirler won her last Scotties title in Vancouver in 1997. The world curling championships were held in 1987. Hansen said the biggest obstacle curling would face in Vancouver is perception. The sport just isn’t cool enough for most residents. “It’s an interesting thing about curling,” said Hansen. “Despite the fact of everything we have done over the last 25 years, curling in Canada still has a stigma about it. “The young people in the U.S. think the sport is cool. They think it’s something they would like to do. We tend not to get that in Canada because the sport still has a stigma.”


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THE VANCOUVER COURIER W E DN E SDAY, M A R C H 5 , 2 0 1 4

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Vancouver Courier March 5 2014