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WEDNESDAY

June 11 2014 Vol. 105 No. 47

NEWS 9

City’s Sochi tab STATE OF THE ARTS 27

Storytelling festival SPORTS 29

Our Prospects

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FREE RIDE The annual Marpole Community Day was held this past Saturday at the Marpole community centre. The fair included art stations, fitness courses, ballet, Chinese line dancing, hip hop and amusement rides that left a few people in a state of bliss. See related story on page 14. For a photo gallery, go to vancourier.com or scan this page with the Layar app. PHOTO REBECCA BLISSETT

Pop-Up City Hall tours East Van Mobile project brings information, services to the people Christopher Cheung

chrischcheung@hotmail.com

A bright red fire and rescue command unit is traveling across the East Side packed with recycling boxes, bike maps and computers. The colourful, civic-minded caravan is part of a two-month pilot project called Pop-Up City Hall initiated by the mayor’s Engaged CityTask Force.The group believes the East Side is disconnected from City Hall and created the project to bring information and

services to those communities in person with a series of half-day pop-up events. Organizers cite distance, inconvenience and language as some of the reasons for this disconnect. Jennifer Gray-Grant grew up on theWest Side and remembers sitting in at city council meetings. “That was just something we did,” said Gray-Grant.Today, she works on the East Side as the executive director of the Collingwood Neighbourhood House. She is also an Engaged City Task Force member.

Gray-Grant feels City Hall is too far away for some East Side residents to access, but points to language as the main barrier. “Speaking with people in their own area and delivering services in those first languages makes them feel more comfortable,” she said. Pop-Up City Hall attendants are representatives fromVancouver’s 311 Contact Centre, who have experience handling requests for service needs and civic concerns in 175 languages.

DarcyWilson, a 311 manager, said the decision to bring the project to the East Side was based on data that showed the area as underrepresented in terms of civic engagement. “The city may offer phone services in a multitude of languages, but the project is important as residents have to be told that the translation is even available,” saidWilson. Pop-Up City Hall is currently in the middle of its run touring community locations. Continued on page 8


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W E DN E SDAY, J U N E 1 1 , 2 0 1 4 THE VANCOUVER COURIER

A3

News

The case of the costly washrooms 12TH AND CAMBIE Mike Howell

mhowell@vancourier.com

Memory test time. Regular readers may recall a story and subsequent blog post I wrote way back in the fall of 2013 about the cost of building “gender neutral” washrooms in firehalls. I’ve got some new info on the costs. Some background first… Back in September, I learned from a taped interview with Mark Engler, deputy chief of operations for Vancouver and Fire Rescue Services, that five washrooms were either built or being built at a cost of $150,000 to $200,000 each. “Wow,” was my response, “that must be a pretty nice washroom.” Engler said the washrooms were expensive because the cost included money paid

to a project manager and architect. Some of the work required removal of hazardous material such as asbestos, he added. Me: “So that I’m clear, the $150,000 to $200,000 budget is for five washrooms?” Engler: “Correct.” Engler: “Some of them were as low as $150,000?” Me: “And some were more than $150,000?” Engler: “The latest ones have been a little bit more. The contracting fees actually went up on the last one, so they were a little higher.” So I went with my story, saying the fire department had spent close to $1 million on these washrooms. Kind of newsworthy, right? CTV thought so and followed up with the City of Vancouver, only to be told the costs actually ranged from $56,000 to $94,000. Not exactly $150,000 to $200,000, so CTV dropped the story. When my former col-

According to Freedom of Information documents, the City of Vancouver spent $102,589 to install a “gender neutral” washroom at the pictured firehall at 2460 Balaclava St. PHOTO DAN TOULGOET.

league Fiona Hughes questioned the City of Vancouver’s Bill Aujla about the discrepancy, she was told Engler “wasn’t sure where those figures came from.” I was away at the time, so Hughes picked up the story.

Anyway, the inference was I got it wrong, even though Engler said what he said in a taped interview.Whatever. Now to the new info… CTV reporter Jon Woodward contacted me Monday to tell me he finally received some Freedom of Informa-

tion documents from the city about this whole mess. Woodward shared the documents. From what I viewed, the costs did not range from $56,000 to $94,000, as the city initially explained — or fall in anywhere close to the

$150,000 to $200,000 mentioned by Engler. If you believe these documents, costs for four washrooms ranged from $60,022 at firehall 22 (1005 West 59th) to $102,589 at firehall 12 (2460 Balaclava). The total for four washrooms was $331,310, for an average of $82,828. I couldn’t find any figures in the documents for the fifth washroom. Maybe that was the one that cost $56,000. I don’t know. But what I do know is the $100,100 cost for the washroom at firehall 7 (1090 Howe St.) couldn’t have been spent.That’s because, as our photographer Dan Toulgoet discovered when I sent him there Monday, there is no firehall at that address. But there’s one at 1090 Haro St. Probably just a typo. But how could that be? The city is never wrong. Right? twitter.com/Howellings

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THE VANCOUVER COURIER W E DN E SDAY, J U N E 1 1 , 2 0 1 4

News

NPA still mum on mayoral candidate Mike Howell

mhowell@vancourier.com

The NPA’s president was in a talkative mood Monday but wouldn’t say when one of three men vying to be the party’s mayoral candidate will be revealed to the public.

Peter Armstrong was more interested in talking about the beauty ofVancouver than saying anything about Kirk LaPointe, Ian Robertson or Leonard Brody. “You know, this morning I got to watch windsurfers in English Bay,” said

Armstrong when asked to officially confirm the candidates’ names. “Don’t we live in a great city?” When asked to comment on the NPA’s strategy to hold back on announcing the party’s pick, Armstrong paused before inexplicably revealing his fascination with birds of prey. “Do you know there’s six or seven nesting eagles now in Vancouver?” he said. “Isn’t that amazing?” On it went until Armstrong acknowledged the party will likely reveal its mayoral candidate before the end of the month. “I don’t mean to be cute with you, and I appreciate your approach, but you’re 100 per cent right — we’re not ready or willing to talk about things now,” he said. LaPointe and Robertson told the Courier they are vying for the NPA’s top job while the party’s vicepresident Rob Macdonald confirmed to the Vancouver Sun last week that Brody was a candidate. LaPointe is a longtime newspaper executive and former CBC ombudsman. Robertson is executive director atTourism Industry Association of B.C. and a former park board commissioner. Brody is the co-founder of “citizen journalism” compa-

NPA president Peter Armstrong, pictured here at a recent party fundraiser, talked windsurfers and birds of prey Monday — not mayoral candidates. PHOTO MATTHEW DESOUZA.

ny NowPublic and Growlab, a “start-up accelerator” that helps entrepreneurs build companies. Two weeks ago, the NPA’s board of directors cast ballots in a private vote to determine the party’s mayoral choice. Party insiders questioned by the Courier said only a handful of people, including a lawyer who monitored the vote, know the result. LaPointe told the Courier Monday he didn’t know whether he would be the candidate to challenge Vision Vancouver Mayor

Gregor Robertson in this November’s civic election. “The board is in control of that process,” he said from the downtown office of Self-Counsel Press, where he is the publisher and editor-in-chief. “And until the board has resolved all of it, then I don’t think any of the candidates yet know what will happen.” LaPointe, former managing editor of the Sun, said he didn’t know Robertson but met Brody about six years ago.The Sun used a media platform from Brody’s company to track

readership of stories posted online, as well as the paper’s social media reach. LaPointe declined to answer questions related to politics, including how a person goes from an ombudsman to a leader of a political party. “Sorry, I’m not going to discuss my politics,” he said. “I appreciate that you want to know more. If it turns out that I’m the selection of the board and the mayoralty candidate, then there’ll be many opportunities to discuss how I have made the shift.” Added LaPointe: “I haven’t made the shift yet. I’m still running Self-Counsel Press and I’m still the executive director of the Organization of News Ombudsmen and I’m still teaching at UBC [journalism school].” Robertson said Monday he too hadn’t been given a timeline when the party will decide who is the best man to lead the party into this year’s campaign. “I haven’t heard anything for over a week or so,” he said. “I guess I’m standing by the phone, by the computer like everybody else.” The Courier sent an email request Monday to Brody via Growlab but had not heard back before deadline. The election is Nov. 15. twitter.com/Howellings

Thurs. June 19th


W E DN E SDAY, J U N E 1 1 , 2 0 1 4 THE VANCOUVER COURIER

News

A5

BEST BUY - CORRECTION NOTICE

@VanCourierNews all you need to know in 140 characters!

NEWSPAPER RETRACTION FOR THE BEST BUY JUNE 6 CORPORATE FLYER In the June 6 flyer, page 20, the Canon All-In-One Monochrome Laser Printer (MF4770N) (WebCode: 10221843) was advertised with an incorrect spec. Please be advised that this laser printer is NOT wireless, as previously advertised. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused our valued customers.

OPEN HOUSE KINGSFORD SMITH ELEMENTARY SCHOOL SEISMIC PROJECT Tuesday June 17, 2014 From 3:00 - 7:00 p.m. Kingsford Smith Elementary School 6901 Elliott Street, Vancouver, BC Teachers picketed outside the Vancouver School Board office, June 6, during the second week of their rotating strike. PHOTO DAN TOULGOET

District gender policy clarified again CLASS NOTES

Cheryl Rossi

crossi@vancourier.com

Gender Policy

A revised version of the policy that inspired raucous meetings last month will be considered by the Vancouver School Board’s education and student services committee June 11. “The biggest change, really, was about getting some clarity of language,” said VSB associate superintendent Maureen Ciarniello. “A lot of the feedback we had was in the case of confidentiality, that we were perhaps putting a barrier between the school and parents and students, and that was not the intention, so we just tried where we heard that to do some rewording to make that clear.” Ciarniello said words deleted in the draft attached to the June 11 meeting agenda could be kept after all. “Staff will not refer students to programs or services that attempt to change a student’s sexual orientation or gender identity,” was deleted in favour of, “Counsellors and staff are provided with information, from the district, on support programs or services for students and families.” But the first statement could be reinserted. “Because people seem to be thinking that we’ve removed that intent, which is not what we were really trying to do,” Ciarniello said.

The VSB has had a policy about providing a safe, positive environment for students and employees, with a focus on those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or transsexual, queer or questioning for 10 years. The district’s PRIDE advisory committee, with representation from learning services staff, employee groups, the District Parent Advisory Council, Vancouver Coastal Health and related community organizations, has updated the policy to provide clearer regulations for schools. If the trustees on the committee approve the policy, the guidelines are to be considered by the board June 16.The committee heard from more than 90 delegations last month, not including emails the VSB continues to receive, and won’t hear from speakers June 11.

Strike

Whether teachers support a full strike was to be announced after the Courier’s print deadline following a vote June 9 and 10.Vancouver School Board superintendent Steve Cardwell told parents in a letter dated June 9 that the district is assessing the potential impact of a full-scale strike on provincial exams, report cards and summer school. Camps in schools could be affected if teachers picket over the summer. The BCTF must give 72

hours strike notice before teachers walk out, so the earliest a strike would start is June 16.The Ministry of Education states that if a walkout starts Monday, it would affect the last nine days of school before summer break begins. (The B.C. Public Service Employers’ Association previously announced secondary school teachers would be locked out June 25 and 26 and all teachers would be locked out June 27 unless a collective agreement is ratified beforehand). The ministry says a strike that starts June 16 could mean abbreviated report cards for elementary school students. As for students in Grade 10 to 12, the ministry states: • There are 15 provincial exams scheduled between June 16 and 26. • It’s expected secondary schools will only be open to administer exams. • Students could encounter picket lines. • Every effort will be made for provincial exams to be marked and final course marks conveyed to students and parents in a timely way. • The BCPSEA has applied to the Labour Relations Board to have all services required for the completion of report cards deemed essential, including preparing, invigilating and marking school-based and provincial exams and compilation, entry and submission of final grades. twitter.com/Cheryl_Rossi

Staff from the Vancouver School Board, Project Architect Team and Representatives from the City of Vancouver will be in attendance to answer questions and to receive your feedback. The purpose of the Open House is to: * provide an overview of the project; * present the seismic mitigation approach; and * receive your feedback. Vancouver School Board

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THE VANCOUVER COURIER W E DN E SDAY, J U N E 1 1 , 2 0 1 4

News

Van man saving up for tiny house

100-square-foot mobile homes growing in popularity Wanyee Li

li.wanyee@gmail.com

Cameron Gray plans to live in his camper van until he can save enough money to build his own 100-square-foot tiny house.

PHOTO DAN TOULGOET

Redeem without penalty at the end of each year. Or let your savings grow at a higher rate. Either way, your wealth is fully protected with a 100% principal and interest guarantee.

Visit vancity.com/EscalatingTerm to learn more, or your local community branch for expert advice on term deposits and other investment products. * Deposits are 100% insured by Credit Union Deposit Insurance Corporation (CUDIC) of British Columbia. Certain conditions apply to RRSP, TFSA, RRIF and RESP products. Registered term deposits accrue compound interest calculated annually at the relevant annual rate. Non-registered deposits accrue simple interest on the original principal at the relevant annual rate. Interest rate is as of May 26, 2014 and may change without notice. $500 minimum. Make Good Money (TM) is a trademark of Vancouver City Savings Credit Union. ®HANDS & GLOBE Design is a registered certification mark owned by World Council of Credit Unions, used under license.

The high cost of living in Vancouver is driving some people to find alternative housing solutions. In Cameron Gray’s case, he’s building his own affordable home. A very small one. The 26-year-old musician lives in an ’80s camper vanturned recording studio. The van includes amenities such as a shower, fridge, LCD screen, speakers and a computer. It has two DC batteries to power everything, including the van itself. Gray is planning to set up solar panels so that he doesn’t have to rely on the batteries as much. Gray lives in his van out of choice but he acknowledges the economic factor in his decision. He does not have rent or mortgage payments — instead he pays $120 for vehicle insurance every month. Despite these cost-saving benefits, Gray does not plan to live in a van forever. “I would feel like a sucker if I was paying $700 in rent going in someone else’s pocket, when I could save up money instead and build a tiny house.” A tiny house is a 100square-foot dwelling built on a trailer plane. This means they are mobile, to be placed anywhere there’s enough space, although they are not meant to be moved frequently. Gray plans to build his own tiny house. For him, it would be an upgrade from his van. “Moving into a tiny house would be like moving into a mansion,” he said. Gray describes tiny houses as a life hack. “It’s more socially acceptable because it’ll actually look like a house,” he said. “But you’re not tied down to a mortgage and you’re not paying an exuberant amount of rent.”The key is that tiny houses look like miniature versions of a single-family home. Living in his camper van is a temporary solution for Gray’s desire to live close to downtown, where he works as an attendant for the world’s first Bitcoin ATM. He says although Vancouver has a lot of van dwellers, they frown upon speaking about it openly. Gray has had cops knock

on his window and ask him to move his van, but he is not too worried. “I think they have bigger problems to deal with. There are people sleeping on the street, so why would they care about a person sleeping in a van?” he said. Nonetheless, he hopes to build his tiny house soon so that he can have a patio to grow his own food. Sustainability, affordability and flexibility are the three big benefits of tiny houses, according to John McFarlane, owner of a tiny house building company called Camera Buildings. The two demographics that McFarlane says he sees the most at his business are young adults and seniors. “The big groups are young people who want to own their own home and want the flexibility of picking the place, and older people who are considering retirement or are already retired and want to focus on lifestyle, instead of worrying about expense of maintenance,” he said. McFarlane and community project organizer Zee Kesler are teaming up to host a series of workshops that will teach people how to build their own tiny house. The workshops will run every weekend July 5 to August 31, where participants will build a tiny house that will eventually be used as a community centre. In September, Kesler will set up the miniature structure at Science World’s Around the Dome exhibition, a community event that features science and technology. Interest in tiny houses is growing in Vancouver. Registration for the workshop opened last week and two people have already paid to sign up, according to Kesler. Gray hopes to build his own tiny house once he saves up enough money. In the meantime, he is searching for a collective house that will allow him to park his van on its lot. He currently has his van parked in Kitsilano. For Gray, the best part about living in a van is the flexibility. “If I get sick of the view I can change it,” he said. twitter.com/wanyeelii


W E DN E SDAY, J U N E 1 1 , 2 0 1 4 THE VANCOUVER COURIER

A7

News

Social housing finds neighbourhood welcome DEVELOPING STORY

Naoibh O’Connor

noconnor@vancourier.com

Daniel Germain moved into the Kingsway Continental non-market housing complex at 3484 Kingsway near Joyce St. in RenfrewCollingwood about three months ago. But it was only on Saturday that he and fellow tenants celebrated its official opening with an open house that featured resident-guided tours. The building used to be a Ramada Inn.The city bought it for $15.5 million in 2012, renovated it for $4.5 million and renamed it the Kingsway Continental. Renovation costs more than doubled due to the discovery of mould, which delayed the opening for months while it was addressed, according to Jennifer Standeven, the city’s assistant director of business operations. Outside improvements include raised beds for flower and vegetable gardens.

Daniel Germain is thrilled with his new home at the Kingsway Continental. PHOTO DAN TOULGOET

Bernie’s Deli has leased the restaurant space located on the main floor of the building site, but a tenant for the former pub space has yet to be found. Standeven said the city is looking for a tenant that is “compatible” with social housing and the neighbourhood. Residents started moving in to the 123-unit complex mid-March and it’s now

about 75 per cent full. Standeven expects it will be full by the end of summer. New tenants include seniors who were homeless or at risk of homelessness. Seventy-one tenants from the 109-unit Old Continental residence at 1390 Granville St., which is going to be demolished, were given priority placement — 71 took advantage of the offer,

including Germain. Germain, 59, said health problems wiped him out financially. Before he found a place at the Old Continental almost nine years ago, he was living in a van. He worried about moving across Vancouver to the Kingsway Continental, but he’s thrilled with the new neighbourhood and the welcome he’s received.

After Germain heard Collingwood Neighbourhood House, residents and community organizations were organizing welcome baskets for tenants, including hand-written cards from students at a nearby elementary school, he called to express appreciation and wound up volunteering his own services. As a trained barber, who plans to go back to work part-time soon, he’ll be offering haircuts to those in need through the neighbourhood house. “[I called the Collingwood Neighbourhood House to thank them] because it’s so important for the youth, the next generation to understand — to look and to reach out to people that are in need. I just thought they should know how important that was.” Germain called his new unit “wonderful,” noting each room has a private bathroom — residents at the Old Continental had to share — and laundry facilities are available in the building.

“The main thing is we have a shower in each unit. It just makes a tremendous amount of difference in being conscious of our hygiene. It’s just marvelous,” he said. Jennifer Gray-Grant, Collingwood Neighbourhood House’s executive director, said it will continue to offer services to Kingsway Continental residents through its various groups. A community kitchen and plans for art projects are in the works. “It’s been working out very well. I think one of the reasons is because the city has worked with the neighbourhood around this,” Gray-Grant said. “It’s a very collaborative neighbourhood and the city came to us ahead of time and said this is happening.We said, OK, we want to work with you on it by working collaboratively and looking at how we can support people’s successful integration into the neighbourhood. It’s worked out well and it really has been a long time coming.” twitter.com/naoibh

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THE VANCOUVER COURIER W E DN E SDAY, J U N E 1 1 , 2 0 1 4

News Pop-up events wrap up June 28

Pop-Up City Hall events, like this one at Sunset Community Centre last week, are being held across the East Side to bring information and services to residents who might not access them otherwise due to distance, inconvenience or language. PHOTO DAN TOULGOET

rts Clean NorthSwtesrattePogy A ir Taking on air quality in the Pacific Northwest.

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Enabling cruise ships to turn off their engines while in port, significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

hancement HabitatgraEmn Pro Enhancing fish and wildlife habitats for the future.

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Removing derelict vessels and structures from the Fraser River.

Continued from page 1 Some locations it has visited include the PNE grounds, Sunset Community Centre, Sir Charles Tupper secondary school and the Collingwood BIA Festival. East Side resident Aaron Leung showed up at an event at Killarney community centre and grabbed a bike map before heading out for the day. “It’s nice to see City Hall come to us to promote services,” said Leung. However, he is unsure whether specific neighbourhoods need the project. “The whole city probably, pure speculation, has some form of a disconnect with City Hall.” SFU Urban Studies student Mark Friesen lives on the West Side but believes it is a smart decision to visit the East Side due to a wider range of demographics. “Governments on a municipal scale should

mmalentre M arine MResacu eC Helping the Vancouver Aquarium rescue, rehabilitate, and return marine mammals to their natural habitat.

connect to their people so the project makes a lot of sense,” said Friesen. Wilson believes services offered will continue to shift towards digital platforms as they are convenient. “It’s how the younger folks coming up like to talk to us,” said Wilson. But not everyone is familiar with computers. Gray-Grant mentioned that a man came into the Collingwood Neighbourhood House around 7 a.m. the day after a Pop-Up City Hall event wanting a physical copy of the garbage and recycling collection schedule. “That’s common information that can be found online,” said Gray-Grant. Pop-Up City Hall will conclude June 28 at Hillcrest community centre. A full list of where PopUp City Hall will turn up can be found on the city’s website or keep an eye out for the red truck. twitter.com/chrischeungtogo

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W E DN E SDAY, J U N E 1 1 , 2 0 1 4 THE VANCOUVER COURIER

A9

News

Councillor’s Sochi trip cost $42K Lobbying mission meant to convince IOC to add sexual orientation to equality clause of its Charter

Bob Mackin

bob@bobmackin.ca

The former VANOC manager hired to accompany Coun.Tim Stevenson to Sochi on an Olympic lobbying junket to promote gay and lesbian rights was paid $25,520 in project management fees, according to city manager Penny Ballem’s report to council. Maureen “Mo” Douglas’s company Mobilize Strategies received $122,043.52 for civic consulting projects since 2011 and was paid more than $17,000 before she arrived in Sochi for the Winter Olympics with Stevenson, according to Freedom of Information documents. Ballem’s report for the June 11 finance committee meeting also shows $8,000 in communications and social media fees.That role was performed by Boldt Communications, which shares office space with Vision Vancouver polling firm Stratcom and sponsored a party fundraiser last October. Stevenson’s Sochirelated expenses were $6,569.51, according to the civic website.The Vision Vancouver majority city council agreed to use taxpayer funds for the openly gay councillor’s trip after NPA and Green councillors alleged Stevenson was at risk of conflict of interest. The report says $57,080 was raised by donors, of which $42,225 was spent. Real estate marketer Bob Rennie and developer Peter Wall, both Vision

Vancouver supporters, donated $25,000 each while $1,000 each came from Tourism Vancouver, PCI Developments, Granville Entertainment Group president Blaine Culling, Rize Alliance vice-president Christopher Vollan and Concord Pacific senior vice-president Matt Meehan. Coun. Geoff Meggs donated $250 and there were $1,605 in anonymous donations. Dates of the donations were not disclosed. Stevenson’s trip was prompted by Russian laws against so-called homosexual propaganda that ignited international protests before the Games. Stevenson and Douglas, who is openly lesbian, spent two days in Istanbul before arriving Feb. 1 in Sochi.They returned to Vancouver Feb. 9. While in the Olympic city, they stayed at the IOC’s hotel, the Radisson Blu Paradise Resort, but were only able to arrange a 90-minute meeting with Jochen Farber, chief of staff to IOC president Thomas Bach, and IOC spokesman Mark Adams. Douglas’s Feb. 28 report indicated $1,025.12 was spent on meeting hospitality “as required for meetings with Olympic officials.” Letters seeking meetings with top officials of all participating nations and Bach, himself, yielded no results. “I had no meetings planned at all before I left,” Stevenson told the Courier. The agenda that Stevenson provided showed he went to Cabaret Mayak,

Sochi’s gay bar, and made himself busy by talking almost exclusively with Canadian media outlets. He had seven interviews with various CBC programs, two with CTV and the Vancouver Sun, and one each with the Toronto Star, Global, Mountain FM, Co-op Radio and freelancer Jordan Wade. What did Stevenson and

Douglas achieve? They wanted the IOC to add sexual orientation to the equality clause of its Charter and mandate gay and lesbian party facilities in future host cities.Vancouver and Whistler were the first to have so-called pride houses. Farber and Adams told them the Olympic Charter is part of Bach’s Olympic

Agenda 2020 omnibus review. Pride House International later backtracked from its demand that the IOC mandate pride houses in future host cities. “For a Pride House not to take place means either that there is no local interest in such a venue, or that there are impediments to a local community orga-

nizing one,” said PHI’s statement in the report. “If impediments do exist it means that the IOC has chosen an inappropriate host country for their event.” Wrote Ballem: “With better understanding... we are now aligned and supportive of Pride House International’s position.” twitter.com/bobmackin

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A10

THE VANCOUVER COURIER W E DN E SDAY, J U N E 1 1 , 2 0 1 4

Opinion CUPE shows how bargaining can work

Seniors housing needs a range of choices

Les Leyne Columnist lleyne@timescolonist.com

Michael Geller Columnist mgeller@sfu.ca

Sixteen months of negotiations between the B.C.Teachers’ Federation and the employers’ bargaining agency have resulted in this:Wage positions that are an ocean apart. Zero progress on learning conditions.Three weeks of rotating strikes, intermingled with work-specific lockouts, which include a 10 per cent cut on teachers’ salaries. And a full-scale shutdown likely coming soon. All those endless hours at the negotiating table — 70 meetings going back to Feb. 4, 2013 — have solved next to nothing, and turned the last month of school into a bad joke. What highlights the futility of the whole exercise is the deal reached by school support workers over the weekend.The Canadian Union of Public Employees sat down with the employers a month before their contract is due to expire. They reached a deal covering 34,000 employees in just five days. Some would say a CUPE deal is an easier task, because all the high-concept ideas about classroom conditions aren’t on the table. But there is a fairly extensive outline in the tentative deal about education assistants that’s almost as complex as the issues that bog down the teachers’ talks. And there are a number of sophisticated wrinkles in the CUPE deal. There’s a lot more to it that just deciding on how much of a raise janitors should get. It’s the same government, and the same school districts, using the same bargaining agency.The obvious difference between the two sets of talks is this:The BCTF. CUPE knows how to get to yes.The BCTF doesn’t. In five short days, CUPE got a deal that has eluded the BCTF for 16 months. Not only that, CUPE has now “lapped” the BCTF. It has successfully concluded two contracts with the government in the time the teachers’ union has spent trying to get one. The school support workers came to the brink of a strike last year, but concluded a deal on Sept. 20. It was retroactive 14 months and carried through until the end of this month. The CUPE talks were on a different basis, as the provincial government fobbed off the cost of the 3.5 per cent wage hike on school districts.This time, there is an understand-

ing that the ongoing cost of the deal will be directly funded by the government. Under the deal, support staff are in line for a 5.5 per cent wage hike over five years.There’s a special side deal that sees all their losses as bystanders to the teachers’ strikes or government lockouts made up. Depending on BCTF-government strategy over the next three weeks, that could eventually become a fairly healthy signing bonus of sorts, representing a week or more’s worth of pay.

They reached a deal covering 34,000 employees in just five days They’re in line for an additional raise if the economy outperforms expectations, as with all the other public-sector settlements in the current round.There’s a standardized health-benefits plan that’s better for both sides.There’s agreement to focus on upgrading education assistants, using more of them and increasing their general efficiency. And there’s several hundred thousand dollars in new money committed to making sure the deal runs smoothly for the next five years. Little wonder the government was broadcasting details of the deal to anyone who would listen.The B.C. Public School Employers’ Association even hailed it as “ample evidence that the bargaining system works — when the parties come to the table with reasonable expectations.” Not much doubt who that line was aimed at. It’s a different take from Premier Christy Clark and Education Minister Peter Fassbender’s wails just a week ago that the system is broken, as far as teachers are concerned. You can’t blame the entire 16-month waste of time on the BCTF.The Liberals have a track record of shorting and double-crossing the union that goes back more than a decade. The B.C. Supreme Court essentially confirmed that view last winter, although the decision is under appeal and could vanish. But it looks as if the BCTF strategy of riding that decision and trying to win everything back in one round of talks is a flop. twitter.com/leyneles

The week in num6ers...

3

The number of people, all of them men, vying to be the Non-Partisan Association’s mayoral candidate for the Nov. 15 election.

42

In thousands of dollars, the cost for sending Coun. Tim Stevenson and a former VANOC exec to the Sochi Olympics on a gay and lesbian rights lobbying mission.

16

The number of months of unsuccessful negotiation spent so far between the BCTF and the BCPSEA trying to reach a new contract agreement.

Recently, the Vancouver Heritage Foundation organized its annual visit to heritage properties potentially threatened by future redevelopment. Of the 11 stops on this year’s tour, by far the most popular was Casa Mia, the magnificent Spanish-style mansion at 1920 Southwest Marine Drive. As previously reported, this property, with its large ballroom featuring a sprung dance floor, is considered one of Vancouver’s best known heritage houses. It is the subject of a controversial rezoning application by the Care Group which, if approved, would designate it a heritage structure in return for approval to convert it into a seniors care facility, along with a sizeable addition. In a recent column, I called this proposal “questionable.” I question the appropriateness of this location for the proposed scale of development, as well as the size and design of the proposed addition. However, this column is not about the application per se. Instead I would like to address the statement on Casa Mia issued by the Vancouver Seniors Advisory Committee, a city council-appointed committee with a mandate to advise the mayor and council on issues affecting older adults in Vancouver.

The typical green house project provides accommodation for 10-12 residents.

The committee opposes this development. Let me quote from their report: “As has been raised in our submissions concerning the Pearson Dogwood Redevelopment, we believe that the Green House Project Model of housing is superior to institutional housing for seniors and people with disabilities.We are opposed to the development of any new institutions, which by their very size and nature tend to ‘warehouse’ people.” The typical green house project provides accommodation for 10-12 residents. It is designed to blend in with surrounding houses and neighbourhood. Each resident has a private room and bathroom and shares a living room, dining room and kitchen where staff and residents can eat together and socialize.There are no

fixed or strict schedules for eating or bathing. Meals are prepared on site, rather than pre-cooked. Staff include “total care workers” who are trained to manage a range of daily activities such as cooking, housekeeping, and care.There is a clinical support team that provides individualized care for each elder. I am certain many seniors and their families find the green house project model very appealing and would like to see this type of accommodation built in neighbourhoods around Vancouver. I agree and think it is important that zoning bylaws allow them to be built. However, I worry that a council-appointed committee for seniors appears to be decreeing that this should be the only model for all new care facilities to be developed in Vancouver, since its membership believes larger facilities inevitably become institutions that warehouse the elderly. This has not been my experience. For 10 years I worked for CMHC during which time I co-authored the 1970s publications Housing the Elderly and Housing the Handicapped. I was subsequently involved with the Louis Brier Home and Hospital and the planning and development of dozens of assisted living and care facilities around Metro Vancouver. While I have met many seniors who hope to remain in their house “until they carry me out in a box,” they know that at some point it may be necessary to move into a form of supportive housing. This might be congregate housing, which provides a self-contained rental or ownership suite in a building offering shared dining and recreational facilities, or assisted living or care facilities. Just as we want a range of housing choices in the years leading up to becoming a senior citizen, we deserve to have a broad range of choices when we get older, including small facilities like the green house project, and large new facilities offering a broader array of amenities. Some may be government-funded while others are totally private pay.They would be developed by ethnic, religious or community based organizations such as the Lions Club or Rotary, or purely commercial enterprises like those developed by members of the B.C. Care Providers Association. While none of us wants to be warehoused when we are older, we might want to live in a converted Casa Mia, especially if we can party late into the night on its sprung dance floor. twitter.com/michaelgeller

82 55 45

In thousands of dollars, the average cost for installing new gender neutral washrooms at five Vancouver firehalls.

The number of seasons live theatre has been performed at the Jericho Arts Centre. United Players of Vancouver’s adaptation of The Marriage of Figaro runs until June 29.

The number of locations across the city hosting free drawing workshops June 14 as part of the fifth annual Vancouver Draw Down.


W E DN E SDAY, J U N E 1 1 , 2 0 1 4 THE VANCOUVER COURIER

A11

Mailbox Implement demolition ban To the editor: Re: “City might slow down wrecking ball,” June 6. Isn’t it more “green” to simply stop a well-built, solid character home from being needlessly demolished than to wait until that house is destroyed and then recycle its remains through regulations requiring recycling? The greenest policy alternative for the city would be an immediate moratorium of all demolitions of all character homes in all Vancouver neighbourhoods built both during and before the 1940s, at least until the citywide heritage plan is completed and implemented. Restricting the moratorium to a single neighbourhood (First Shaughnessy District) discriminates against other neighbourhoods which also contain a significant number of character homes. All Vancouver’s neighbourhoods matter; all Vancouver’s neighbourhoods should be protected. “Stemming the tide” in just one area of the city means the other areas face the full brunt — or worse — of the current tsunami of demolitions. Fiona Tinwei Lam, Vancouver

An energetic defence of LNG

VA N C O U V E R T H I S W E E K I N H I S TO RY

GeorgeVancouver arrives inVancouver

June 13, 1792: Captain George Vancouver, 34, becomes the first European to visit Burrard Inlet, a body of water he named for his friend Sir Harry Burrard. He and his crew aboard the HMS Discovery spent the next nine days exploring Howe Sound and Jervis Inlet before unexpectedly bumping into a Spanish expedition off what is now known as Point Grey. The British explorer was, in his words, “mortified” to discover the Spaniards already had a rudimentary chart of the Strait of Georgia based on a voyage by José María Narváez the year before.

City burns to the ground

June 13, 1886: Ninety-four years to the day after the newly incorporated city of Vancouver’s namesake first arrived here, it is completely destroyed in less than an hour after strong winds spread what began as a controlled brush fire. Due to the primarily wooden construction of most buildings and lack of a fire brigade with decent equipment, only a handful of stone or brick buildings in Gastown, Yaletown and parts of the West End survived. An unknown number of lives — anywhere from eight to 28 — and an estimated $1.3 million in property were lost.

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To the editor: Re: “LNG bonanza hopes fractured by reality,” May 30. Sources such as The Economist have

compellingly shown that a global revolution is underway that will double the use of liquefied natural gas (LNG) by 2030. For Geoff Olson, there can be allowed no recognition that economic prosperity and natural resource extraction are in any way connected. As the Resource Works Society showed in its recent research report on the British Columbia resource economy, more than half of new B.C. resource jobs are created in the Lower Mainland. The connection between our beautiful cities and the responsibly managed use of our natural resources could not be more real. There is also a connection between sustainable resource use and things like health care, education, roads and other social benefits. A public opinion survey we did showed that the majority of residents do see the connection and are confident that responsible practices are the key to a healthy and prosperous society. Stewart Muir, executive director, ResourceWorks Society,

Peddling misinformation

To the editor: Re: “Sidewalk cyclists deserve zero tolerance,” June 6. I have zero tolerance for the violation of the English language by editors/columnists. It looks like Allen Garr is too busy peddling his hatred to see that cyclists pedal their bikes. Louise T. Dawson, Vancouver

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

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COURIER COLUMN: “Sidewalk cyclists deserve zero tolerance,” June 6. RonWilson @RonWilsonVan:Talk about a sense of entitlement.What part of the “walk” in sidewalk don’t some cyclists get? Peg Gordon @nodrogp:The tone gets a bit haughty butYES. Christopher Porter @cdnveggie: I’d much rather see the city ticketing sidewalk cyclists then helmet-less riders. aCageyBee: I ride my bike on the sidewalk for two blocks along Clark just about every day. I’m too scared to ride in traffic, especially with the giant trucks that frequent such a busy road. It’s unfortunate but I feel much safer risking a ticket than risking getting knocked off my bike by a giant semi. I really don’t understand why stepping eight inches to the right is such an imposition. It’s really, really easy to move laterally when you’re on two feet. I’m less annoyed with cyclists and more irritated by the people walking (or running) in groups of two or three that refuse to slide over when encountering someone coming the other direction. CecilyWalker @skeskali: Have you ever noticed where bike racks are located?That’s right — on sidewalks. COURIER STORY: “City might slow down wrecking ball,” June 6. John Hughes: A step in the right direction, certainly, but I agree with Elizabeth Murphy, much more must be done such as changes to the building code and more neighbourhood empowerment to have a voice in preservation.The mayor lives in Kits and surely is aware of the benefits of character preservation in his neighbourhood?Why not extend it to the rest of the city? I urge him to take a more progressive stand close loopholes for developers and create incentives. Readers should look at theVancouverVanishes website and see how a beautiful heritage house just above Spanish Banks was just destroyed and is now landfill. It made me think of the wonderful speech made by Adriane Carr at the Legg House protest. She outlined precisely how irresponsible our current policies are and what must be done. She has my vote next election, as do those who seriously advocate for character home and historic preservation to save our beautiful, quirky, garden city.


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THE VANCOUVER COURIER W E DN E SDAY, J U N E 1 1 , 2 0 1 4

News

Vancouver to get down with drawing Christopher Cheung

chrischcheung@hotmail.com

This Saturday,Vancouver will be covered in art by its own residents. The fifth annual Vancouver Draw Down is a city-wide event celebrating drawing in everyday life organized by the Vancouver Park Board.The event seeks to challenge those who say they cannot draw. “Saying you can’t draw is like saying you can’t walk,” said artist Shirley Wiebe. “We’re dedicated to getting people over that kind of performance anxiety,” said arts programmer Marie Lopes. “We want people to reconnect with the power and pleasure of making marks and recognize that we draw all the time. Drawing isn’t just something precious that is done in secret. It’s also about taking risks.” The event began online June 7, asking residents to submit drawings every day following a specific daily challenge, such as drawing a route taken through the city and making an image out

Vancouver Draw Down events will draw aspiring and accomplished artists from across the city.

of food. The event will culminate June 14 with professional artists leading free workshops at 45 different locations across multiple Vancouver neighbourhoods from community centres to

parks to a graveyard. Most workshops will reflect the neighbourhood or will make use of their unique location.They include turning a SeaBus into an art studio, tracking dance steps by the Science World

seawall, tracing branches onto theYaletown–Roundhouse Station, and creating bunting that will decorate the Mount Pleasant Farmers Market. The UBC Learning Exchange is located in Chi-

natown and its workshop encourages participants to draw their futures. “We get lots of locals and residents from neighbouring communities, young and old,” said community animator Suzie O’Shea. “Art is such a powerful tool for connecting people from all walks of life, those new to the area and those who have been in the Downtown Eastside for years.” The Cloudscape Comics Society is hosting a workshop at both Douglas Park and Kensington Community Centre. Many families with young participants attended their workshop last year. Cloudscape president Jeffrey Ellis believes engaging young people with art is as important as studying math or English. “It develops imagination and creativity and we hope to get people away from their screens a little bit, too.” Ellis thinks comics are a less intimidating way to get people into drawing and a good example of a medium that doesn’t rely solely on

artistic ability, but also words and storytelling. Wiebe is leading a workshop at Mountain View Cemetery. Her session also combines drawing with text, using printed words to create an image. “People are writing and printing less and less because we text and use the computer.” She participated last year and noticed that most of the participants did not draw regularly. “They all just enjoyed sitting down and making something and weren’t intimidated by their talent levels,” said Wiebe. “Everyone inspires each other and having so many people drawing makes it less intimidating.” The official launch will take place at the Central Library at 11 a.m. An event passport with workshop locations and times can be found online at vancouverdrawdown.com. Participants are encouraged to try many different workshops throughout the day. twitter.com/chrischeungtogo

Vancouver Coastal Health Board of Directors Forum in Vancouver

The Board of Vancouver Coastal Health invites you to a public presentation on the status of health service delivery in our communities and to participate in an interactive Question and Answer session. When: Wednesday, June 18, 2014, 6:00 to 8:00pm Where: Vancouver General Hospital Paetzold Auditorium Main Floor, Jim Pattison Pavilion North 899 West 12th Avenue Vancouver, BC This is a valuable opportunity to connect directly with the VCH Board and Executive. Everyone is welcome to participate. For details and the agenda, visit www.vch.ca or call 604.736.2033, toll free 1.866.884.0888 for more information.

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W E DN E SDAY, J U N E 1 1 , 2 0 1 4 THE VANCOUVER COURIER

News

A13

vancouver.ca

Harrison’s hot

Prince of Wales Grade 12 student Sam Harrison has been awarded a TD Scholarship for Community Leadership valued up to $70,000. “Sam is right up there as an incredible leader in terms of student activism, environmentalism. I can’t think of a better recipient for a big scholarship,” said Vancouver

School Board chairperson Patti Bacchus. As director of Kids for Climate Action, Harrison rallied students across Metro Vancouver to bring environmental concerns to the forefront among voters prior to last year’s provincial election. He has led a campaign to oppose the expansion of Metro Vancouver’s thermal coal exports.

Sea lion saved

A Stellar sea lion was rescued Saturday by the Vancouver Aquarium’s Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, led by head veterinarian Dr. Martin Haulena.The female sea lion was found off the west coast of Vancouver Island, still nursing her pup, and suffering from a deep wound from the plastic packing strap bound tightly

around her neck. Haulena was able to dart her with anesthetic and perform a “textbook disentanglement,” which included not only removing the packing strap, but also cleaning the wound, administering antibiotics, taking a blood sample for further study, collecting the debris she was tangled in and tagging her.

Development Permit Board Meeting: June 16 The Development Permit Board and Advisory Panel will meet: Monday, June 16, 2014 at 3 pm Vancouver City Hall, 453 West 12th Avenue Ground Floor, Town Hall Meeting Room to consider this development permit application: 510 Seymour Street: To develop this site with a 10-storey office building over two levels of underground parking with vehicle access through a car elevator at the lane, and to request an increase in the floor space ratio using a Heritage Density Transfer from a donor site at 55 East Cordova Street (providing 6,552 square feet). Please contact City Hall Security (1st floor) if your vehicle may be parked at City Hall for more than two hours. TO SPEAK ON THIS ITEM: 604-873-7469 or lorna.harvey@vancouver.ca

FAIRE TRADE Maker Sam Chow of the British Columbia Meccano club checks out fellow club member Fred Bird’s “Big Car” model at the fourth annual Vancouver Mini Maker Faire at the PNE Forum this past Saturday. PHOTO REBECCA BLISSETT

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THE VANCOUVER COURIER W E DN E SDAY, J U N E 1 1 , 2 0 1 4

Cityliving

Marpole on the buses for annual fair CITY LIVING

Rebecca Blissett

rvblissett@gmail.com

Practically right next door to the Chong house there were free amusement rides in the dusty field at the Marpole Community Centre, clowns entertaining/frightening people, as well as taekwondo and belly dance demonstrations in the basketball court. While it seemed the entire neighbourhood was there having fun, Julian Chong, 8, was perfectly content to sit behind a table decorated to Pinterest standards with sister Ginger, 6, to hawk lemonade, homemade cookies and polka-dotted boxes full of gummy bears. “Mom teaches the packaging and marketing part of it,” said the kids’ uncle Peter So. “I teach Julian how to do customer service. I’m a financial controller so obviously I know how to sell stuff.” Julian fished out a coin from his mini safe that he received for his seventh

Transit Museum Society’s Harry Vagg, a retired operator who started with BC Electric in 1956, drove this bus which doubles as a rolling museum to the Marpole Community Day this past Saturday. See photo gallery at vancourier.com or scan this page with the Layar app. PHOTO REBECCA BLISSETT

birthday and So stopped to inspect. “It’s an American quarter, it’s worth more,” he joked. “He really wanted to do this on Marpole Community Day,” said mom Ivy. “In the past, somehow the weather doesn’t work out or I’m too busy but this was the year.” While Julian counted fistfuls of quarters with an accountant’s precision, every

other eight-year-old boy in Marpole seemed to be at Saturday’s annual fair. In the middle of a gravel field was a mini golf course, faded green from dust and where toddlers stumbled over the game’s obstacles while erratically waving tiny golf clubs. Parked behind was a transit bus flashing its universally disappointing ‘Sorry Not in Service” sign, which was next to a generator-powered mini

swing ride to give the shadeless scene a child’s version of Burning Man. Kids dashed for the bus for a chance to sit in the driver’s chair and lean on the horn while dads marvelled at all the toggles and switches on the front dash and expressing surprise the buses don’t have a start key or a gas gauge. Under the giant plush head of Mr. Buzzer, Coast Mountain Bus Company’s mascot, was operations supervisor Jennifer Rioux, who was thankful she had extra staff this year to help with the crowds that rival the rush hour line-up at the Broadway and Commercial station. “We’ve brought the bus out for the last few years, it’s more fun for the kids than the booth we used to have,” said Rioux. “Usually the papers focus on when something bad happens on transit so it’s nice for us to be a part of the community as well.” While transit security made an appearance at the fair but were called away for

an incident on the SkyTrain, Rioux’s biggest concern was watching the kids to make sure nobody accidentally took the parking brake off. At the other end of the field was another bus, a rounded version instead of the modern shoe-box style.The pale yellow bus, a 1957 GMC “Old Look,” once ran the Vancouver routes and now lives out retirement with the Transit Museum Society. “It was never officially called an ‘Old Look’ but the term ‘New Look’ came out so people thought, well, this must be an ‘Old Look,’” said society president Dale Laird. This started an enthusiastic conversation between Laird and Harry Vagg, a retired operator who started with B.C. Electric in 1956, about the old “fishbowl” style buses. “They’re still running, somewhere,” said Laird. “Last night at our meeting we were trying to think…. The last one ran in Toronto a year ago.” Bus drivers are street-

level people watchers with interesting observations of a changing city, its people, and its landscape over the decades. If Fred Herzog photographs were moving, they would be from the bus driver’s perspective. “I liked the job and I liked meeting people,” said Laird while Vagg nodded in agreement. “The junior guys couldn’t understand us wanting to drive trolley buses. Because it takes a little more skill to follow the wires, you know.They’d ask us why and it’s because they’re quiet and you don’t have to listen to that damn engine all day long.” It was easy to get caught up in the rolling museum with the live narration of the storytellers. By the time the last visitors stepped off the bus, the only traces of Marpole Community Day at its 3 p.m. end was a deflated giant slide and workers packing up rides. The end of the fair was good news for the Chongs and their sales goal of $20 — there was now a line-up at the lemonade stand.

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W E DN E SDAY, J U N E 1 1 , 2 0 1 4 THE VANCOUVER COURIER

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The upcoming Retro Design and Antiques Fair at the Croatian Cultural Centre is not only a great opportunity to peruse 175 tables packed with treasures from the past, but also a chance to meet with Gale Pirie, an accredited member of the Canadian Personal Property Appraisers Group. Pirie, who previously worked as an appraiser with the CBC’s Canadian Antiques Roadshow, will be on hand to appraise personal treasures on a first-come, first-served basis at a cost of $10 for one item or $25 for three. Browse through vintage and estate jewelry, mid-century modern decor, antiquarian books, boho and shabby chic accent pieces, French country collectibles, old toys and dolls, historical ephemera (paper) items, decorative art pottery and glass, funky 1950s kitsch and more. General admission is $5 at the door, with specialVIP early-bird access from 7 to 10 a.m. for $20. (I wish I’d charged those annoying early birds $20 at my last garage sale.) Children under 13 get in for free.The sale takes place June 22 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the centre, 3250 Commercial Dr.The centre is wheelchair accessible.

Jericho Beach

The annual Push forYour Tush walk and run takes place Father’s Day, June 15, at Jericho Beach. Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of death among all cancers in Canada, yet it is 90 per cent curable if found in the

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earliest stages of the disease. Push forYourTush raises both awareness and funds for research about the disease. Registration is at 9 a.m. and the walk/run begins at 10 a.m.There is a one-kilometre toddler run, five-kilometre walk and 10-kilometre run. Pets are welcome and there is a family rate to register of $50, which includes two adults and children younger than 18.The individual fee is $25.The registration fee is waived for anyone who raises $200 or more. Info: pushforyourtush.ca.

West End

The 24th annual Strawberry Festival takes place June 21 at Barclay Heritage Square from 1 to 4 p.m. Admission is free and guests can listen to a jazz swing band, check out some unique vendors, shop at the white elephant sale, go wild in the photo booth and enter to win one of several raffle prizes. Kids can also get in on

the fun with a bouncy castle, senior-led craft workshops and face painting. And, of course, don’t forget to indulge in delicious strawberry shortcake served in biodegradable dishware. The event, organized by the West End Seniors Network, takes place at the square, 1447 Barclay St.

South Granville

The South Granville Seniors Centre is also holding a strawberry-themed event. The centre’s annual Strawberry Tea takes place June 27 from 1 to 3 p.m. where everyone can share a laugh with the Vaudevillians, one of B.C.’s top seniors entertainment troupe. But the true star of the event will be the strawberry shortcake served during the tea. Please register in advance with the centre’s reception in person or by calling 604-732-0812.The tea is $7 for members and $9 for non-members.

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Champlain Heights

The Champlain Heights Community Centre is hosting a Canada Day celebration, the day after Canada Day, July 2, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The theme of the celebration is diversity and organizers are asking everyone to bring a story from their birthplace, whether that’s Vancouver,Vietnam or Vienna. Participants are also asked to bring along mementoes that represent their journey to Canada or their new community of Champlain Heights. In keeping with the theme, lunch will be a buffet of Chinese, Indian andVietnamese cuisines. The centre is located at 3350 Maquinna Dr.This event has been organized by the Killarney Community Centre, which is supplying a bus to shuttle participants back and forth between the two locations.To register, call 604-718-8200, extension 2. twitter.com/sthomas10

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urbansenior Boomers get to know their phones Older adults make up large part of iPhone customer base Sandra Thomas

sthomas@vancourier.com

I thought I knew my iPhone, I really did. But after it was stolen recently I felt betrayed when I discovered my precious photos and contacts weren’t actually stored in the magical iCloud, as I had assumed. “How could this happen?” I asked admonishingly. “I trusted you.” I was so desperate to retrieve this vital data I booked an appointment at the Genius Bar at the Apple Store at Oakridge Centre. I was heartbroken because not only was my phone full of photos of our young grandchildren, but also because I had returned from Fiji just days before. And while I also took my camera, it was the spontaneous photos I shot with my phone I was missing. So I headed to Oakridge, phone in hand, and with what I’m sure was a look of sheer desperation. It didn’t improve when the young “genius” told me there was nothing on my phone. He gently explained that even though I had set up an iCloud account I hadn’t turned on all of the functions, including photos and contacts.The iCloud function acts as a virtual storage space where users can manage music, photos and documents from what-

Baby boomers shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help with their iPhones. PHOTO DAN TOULGOET

ever device they’re on. It also backs up iPhones and helps find lost devices. By the time we were done, I could tell the Apple employee wanted to find these photos as much as I did, but my new phone just wasn’t cooperating. When I received the replacement, instead of enjoying what had become a symbiotic relationship with my old phone, I suddenly felt akin to being on a first date with a stranger. Even though the phones look very similar, I found myself hitting incorrect buttons on the keyboard and struggling to find functions, which had all seemed so intuitive with my original. So seeking some relationship coun-

selling, I went online and booked a workshop back at the Apple Store called DiscoverYour iPhone. These workshops are free and cover everything from DiscoverYour Mac to iPhotos for iOS.There’s also a workshop called iCloud, which is on my radar for another time.What I noticed during my two visits to the Apple Store was a majority of the customers looked to be baby boomers shopping and seeking advice.That thought was confirmed by two Apple employees, who told me older adults make up a large percentage of their customer base. According to a 2012 Ipsos Canadian Inter@ctive Reid Report, Canadian baby

boomers, at 89 per cent, rival younger Canadians, at 99 per cent, in their levels of Internet access and are slowly beginning to take up new media and devices.When it comes to smartphones, while baby boomers still lag behind younger Canadians, their numbers are growing. It was during my second visit to the Apple store the employee prompted me to hit my phone’s “photo” icon, which I had never used before. (I always used the “camera” icon.)There to my amazement were my Fiji photos. He really had no explanation other than, “Sometimes these things take time.” Sounds like good relationship advice to me. twitter.com/sthomas10

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urbansenior

Fiji overflows with bula spirit TRAVEL

Sandra Thomas

sthomas@vancourier.com

“Bula!” From the moment I checked into my Fiji Airways flight out of Los Angeles last month to the time I waved goodbye to the friendly staff of our hotel almost a week later, I was met with that cheerful greeting from pretty much everyone I encountered in the South Pacific. What I soon came to realize is that much like the popular Hawaiian use of “aloha spirit” to describe a state of mind or lifestyle, “bula” translates into much more than a simple hello. That bula spirit was obvious as I checked into Outrigger on the Lagoon in May with a small group of travel writers.The Outrigger, situated in the heart of Fiji’s Coral Coast, is home to 207 rooms and 47 bures (cottages) set amongst 16 hectares of coconuttree lined gardens, which stretch along the shores of a reef-filled lagoon. My room included the resort’s trademark Talai butler service provided by 16 staff trained at the Australian Butler School.The service included the delivery of a glass of champagne and an amuse-bouche to my room each evening at 5 p.m., followed later by a cordial glass of liquor and tiny sweet, which greeted me each

night after I returned from dinner. Considering I was on a culinary and cultural tour of Fiji, that touch was much appreciated. (Though after the amount of food we ate on this trip, it certainly wasn’t necessarily for survival.) Besides the spirit of bula, I soon learned that music, which was playing not only in the lobby of the hotel as we checked in, but also at the Nadi airport as I arrived, is a constant on the islands. If I wasn’t listening to a two or three-piece combo, it was a solo staff member singing as he or she went about their work. Then there was the goodbye song, which was so beautifully sang by the staff it made me tear up even when it was being performed for strangers. It’s customary at many resorts in Fiji for staff to gather round the table of departing guests at their last meal, or in the lobby as they’re preparing to depart, and sing “Isa Lei,” a traditional song of farewell. But music was just one small component of our visit, which had a large focus on food. A highlight of the trip was an opportunity to enjoy a hands-on cooking class with Fiji’s most-awarded chef, Shailesh Naidu.The class, which is offered once a week in Ivi Restaurant at the Outrigger, focuses on South Pacific seafood and produce. Having cooked with various travel writers in the past, my expectations weren’t exactly high, but with help from chef

The lap pool at Outrigger on the Lagoon Fiji overlooks the adultsonly pool and pool bar. PHOTO SANDRA THOMAS

Naidu we actually cooked an incredibly delicious meal. On the menu this day was kumala (sweet potato) cakes, prawns baked with infused coconut milk, sautéed mustard rice with onions and curry leaves, Indo-Fijian chicken curry and banana lote (pudding) for dessert. Following the class we shared the meal family-style, passing dishes across the table and bragging about our culinary skills.Writers are infamous for not following directions, so kudos to Naidu and his team for not throwing us out of the kitchen for taking so long to complete our meal, despite the fact all the ingredients had already been chopped and prepped for us. We had eaten at Ivi the night before, which is adjacent to its namesake, a 100-year-old ivi tree.The restaurant offers fine dining Fijian style with a focus on Pacific continental cuisine. It was here the classicallytrained chef prepared our caesar salads and dessert tableside. We actually ate and drank

our way through the entire resort, including cocktails at Kalokalo Bar, situated on a hilltop overlooking the resort and ocean, and dinner at the Sundowner Café, where I enjoyed what the locals refer to as “bugs,” which resemble small lobster grilled on the barbecue and served with fresh lime. On our final evening we ate at Vale Ni Kana (Life in the Village) Restaurant, where we chose from a fresh

seafood buffet adorned with heaping platters of prawns, oysters and catch-of-theday fish followed by a fire dancing performance in the adjacent outdoor show area. It was during this last meal when staff gathered around our table to sing “Isa Lei” and wish us safe travels. Fijians are famous for making visitors feel like family and the people I met on this journey were no exception. So as staff waved

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goodbye to us for the final time, it was obvious even the most jaded writers in my group were moved and our bula just a little sadder. Getting there: I flew Fiji Airways out of Los Angeles., which can be accessed via Vancouver or Bellingham. Fiji Airways also offers interisland flights on its newly restructured Fiji Link service to locations such as Cicia, Taveuni and Vanuabalavu. twitter.com/sthomas10

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THE VANCOUVER COURIER W E D N E SDAY, J U N E 1 1 , 2 0 1 4

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THE VANCOUVER COURIER W E DN E SDAY, J U N E 1 1 , 2 0 1 4

Sunday, June 15

Readers share favourite Sandra Thomas

sthomas@vancourier.com

Father’s Day takes place this Sunday, June 15, to celebrate dads both living and gone. In honour of the occasion, the Courier asked readers to share some of their most memorable moments and memories of their dads — and they didn’t let us down. From a tribute to a dad who didn’t blink an eye when his son announced he was gay to the mystery of a birthday card produced from a dying father’s hospital bed, our readers made it clear — they love their fathers.

Marc Smith poses with a photograph showing one of his happiest memories — camping with his dad, Ian. PHOTO DAN TOULGOET

• 30 Day Adventures blogger Marc Smith credits his dad, Ian, for passing on the skills he values most in his career and life today. It’s been 14 years since my father passed away and like the 13 Father’s Days before, this one is bittersweet. Do I remember the father who taught

and passed on to me many of the skills I now hold most valuable in my career and life? Or do I remember that he wasn’t able to put down the cigarette and choose a life with his family over nicotine? The answer is I remember both.I celebrate the man who exemplified customer service and gracious hosting way before they were power buzzwords in the corporate suite.I strive to be as liked and respected as my father,while at the same time I remember that my father was frozen by fear — fear of the unknown,fear of not providing for his family and most of all fl fear of not mattering. The greatest gifts my father gave me are so ingrained in who I am today I couldn’t separate them from my DNA if I tried. I am fiercely loyal and fl dedicated to my friends and colleagues and I strive to treat others as I hope to be treated, just like my father did. Because I saw him stumble I refuse to let fear of the unknown stand in my way, but the greatest gift all that my father gave me was F

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W E DN E SDAY, J U N E 1 1 , 2 0 1 4 THE VANCOUVER COURIER

A21

Sunday, June 15

memories of their dads

• Vancouver resident and Courier reader Alan Antasuda shared this story about his dad Alex. One morning, my dad called asking me to help move a van full of flooring from the ground level to the third floor of an apartment complex he was working on. I made my way to where he was and when I got there I found two things: 1) there was no elevator, and 2) the van full of flooring was almost empty. There was an older,disheveled man moving the packages of flooring from the van to the third floor apartment.Anyone who’s worked with flooring knows how heavy those packages are and this man was carrying two or three at a time. From that full van,I moved maybe five packages — the rest was him.I asked my dad who this man was as he did not speak much to me.Was he the owner of the apartment?Was he the complex manager? My dad told me this guy was walking in the alley, pushing a cart looking for bottles and cans.The man asked my dad for change — in turn, my dad offered him a job. He obliged and the hard work began. No joke, this man was working his butt off! No complaints, just sweat on his brow from honest work. My dad paid him $40 and gave him another $10 to buy a meal.You’d never seen a man pushing a cart so happy. He

told my dad he planned to buy much-needed shoes and socks at Army & Navy to keep his feet warm. My dad told him to come back the next day and he would find work for him to do if he wanted it.The man came back the following day and worked just as hard. A little later my dad told me when the man came up asking for change he had three options: 1) say no and turn away completely, 2) give him change not knowing what he’d do with it, or 3) give him an opportunity and show him that someone’s willing to give him a chance. Lesson learned,dad.Sometimes people on the outs need an opportunity to prove they’re more than what they show you on the outside.Providing that opportunity might not change a person’s life completely,but it may provide some much needed hope.And sometimes hope is what helps people get through. My dad will always be a real life hero to me.Words will never be able to compliment the things he has taught me in life,I can only hope to live the example he’s been to me.(Happy 65th birthday Dad.I love you.)

• Steve Bodnar, vicepresident of finance for Glacier Media, said his dad gave him a piece of advice when he was young that he never forgot. Bodnar noted it was a quote his dad had also held close since he was a child. I have always thought this was a very wise quote and have never forgot it. I recited it a few years back and he was shocked that I had remembered it after all these years. “Knowledge is like a watch — keep it in your pocket until someone asks you the time.”

• Vancouver publicist Rory Richards remembers a very special birthday surprise from her father not long before he passed away. It was my 24th birthday. My dad was in palliative care and I had been his primary caretaker for three years leading up to this day. I went to synagogue that morning and when I was asked of my birthday plans I mentioned I was heading to the hospital later to spend some time with my dad. When I arrived at the hospital, much to my surprise, my dad handed me a birthday card. He had been in hospital for a couple of weeks, and we had gone in unprepared to stay so long, so I was wondering how he had managed to get a hold of a birthday card for me. Maybe he bribed one of the nurses to go downstairs to the gift shop, I thought. I opened the card and saw what appeared to be a bunch of random letters.They read: IWALDFTDWYCA24YAT. A wave of sadness swept

over me.I thought my dad had started to lose his mind.I had been forewarned by doctors that this was another stage of saying goodbye,and even though I knew it was coming,I wasn’t ready. “Do you know what it says?” he asked with a mischievous smile. “No, Pop. Not really,” I replied. “It says:It was a lucky day for this dad when you came along 24- years ago today.” I started to laugh and cry at the same time. My beloved,clever Pop was still with me.He was just too weak to write out the full words. I asked my dad later how he managed to get a birthday card from his deathbed. He said he didn’t know. That someone had dropped off a blank birthday card anonymously at the nurse’s station for him.The kind and forward-thinking stranger, who so thoughtfully dropped off that card, gave me one of my most beautiful moments with my dad, and the best birthday card a daughter could ask for. twitter.com/sthomas10

The card Rory Richards received from her father.

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100 per cent love.When I challenged him he stood steadfast, when I rebelled he pulled me back in line, when I came out as gay he hugged me and said that nothing had changed. My father loved me and that is the gift I carry in my heart each and every day.

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THE VANCOUVER COURIER W E DN E SDAY, J U N E 1 1 , 2 0 1 4

There’s still time to start a veggie garden Anne Marrison

amarrison@shaw.ca

Pleasant night temperatures and warm June rains make perfect planting weather even though we may have to dash out between showers to get anything done. It’s good to reflect that late plantings tend to catch up to earlier ones. Through June and early July is perfect timing for planting beets, the July sowings should be varieties that can stand into winter. The large heritage beet Lutz (also known as Winterkeeper) is one of these hardy ones, though the roots last longest when mulched. Parsnips can be directsown outside now. Parsnips are so frustrating because they’re very reluctant germinators.You’ll need to plant twice as many seeds than you would for any other root crop.The other challenge is

finding people that like them. Carrots can be planted through April right into the beginning of July. Gardeners who’ve had problems with the little brown tunnels of the carrot rust fly might try the partly resistant varieties such as “Flyaway” or “Resistafly.” There seems to be less carrot fly damage when carrots are grown close to garlic — and since garlic can be harvested without huge disruption of the soil, the two crops are good companions. For container gardeners, salad crops are very easy to handle, especially the leafy plants where slugs can be such a problem in the open garden. Copper barriers are easy to apply on containers and last for several years. Scallions (green onions), radishes and Cos or Deer Tongue type lettuces fit especially well into containers because their tall and

Carrots can be planted through April right into the beginning of July.

narrow growth takes up very little space. Planting in sequence, just a few seeds every week is the best way to organize salad crops and some herbs, such as dill. People who love

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salads would enjoy having the peppery-leaved annual nasturtiums in their salad garden. The transplants that some gardeners started earlier in the year and other gardeners get from garden centres can all be planted outside now. This includes, kale, Brussels sprouts and broccoli. Any cabbages remaining from the previous year will

flower and produce seed in spring.The flowers from kale and Brussels sprouts can be eaten when they’re still in bud. But if you leave them, the buds open into masses of small yellow flowers, which last for weeks and attract clouds of pollinating insects. June is the time to plant bush beans and pole beans. People with large gardens might plant pole beans in

rows with cross poles tied to central horizontal ones. Smaller space gardeners could plant pole beans in teepees. These need to be very sturdy and planting no more than two bean seeds per pole is safest. It’s hard work to re-erect a fallen trellis that’s already covered with bean plants. Squash and zucchini can be sown or transplanted outside now. It’s best to leave cucumbers and pepper transplants until mid-June. Peppers should always be transplants because they’re very slow from seed. Tomatoes can be planted outside at any time this month. Most are best grown under cover to protect them from late blight.Tomatoes need lots of food and water. Since the whole length of stem can produce roots, you end up with sturdier plants if you plant tomatoes sideways with only the top peeking above ground. Anne Marrison is happy to answer garden questions. Send them to her via amarrison@ shaw.ca. It helps if you add the name of your city or region.


W E DN E SDAY, J U N E 1 1 , 2 0 1 4 THE VANCOUVER COURIER

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Apple and Google vie for Canadian consumers Two readers win Samsung Galaxy tablets PRACTICAL GEEK Barry Link

blink@vancourier.com

In my last column I noted how the arrival of Google’s online music store in Canada signalled the growth of Google Play as a viable iTunes competitor. As soon as I put that column to bed, Google expanded its digital offerings again in Canada by adding television program purchases to Google Play’s video store. That means Canadians, starved for consumer choice in online entertainment compared to Americans, can get movies,TV, music, books and newspapers from Google. It also means Canada now has three main competitors for comprehensive digital-based entertainment: Apple, Google and Microsoft.

Apple of our eye

Apple remains in the lead for content. iTunes offers

music, movies,TV and books, and iPhones and iPads can access a universe of news apps. Looking specifically at TV, the market that Google just entered, iTunes has a larger selection than either Google Play or Microsoft’s Xbox Video store. Its selections are nicely laid out and curated. Prices are market standard. iTunes’ music offerings are excellent but iTunes does not offer a streaming subscription service yet in Canada as it does in the U.S. I don’t have any experience with its ebooks, but the selection looks reasonable. Google Play, which was nonexistent only a few years ago, is in solid second place for Canadians. Its video offerings are not as extensive as iTunes but it has all the mainstream releases, good prices and curation on level with Apple. Its music store looks very good, with good pricing, and offers a subscription

store, which offers a $10 a month music streaming service with the same claim to 25 million songs. I’m a subscriber.

Playing with Google

Google has expanded its digital offerings again in Canada by adding television program purchases to Google Play’s video store.

streaming music service for $10 a month, or $8 a month if you sign up before the end of June, with a reported access to 25 million songs. Its Newsstand is a standalone platform combining newspapers and magazines in one central app, which some people might prefer to individual apps for their news reading. I’ve used Google’s books platform on Android and like it, although I prefer my Kobo for reading. Microsoft takes third place for content. Its movie selections are comparable

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to Google Play, but as with Google its TV selections lag behind iTunes. Its once stupidly high prices for videos have been lowered to be in line with iTunes (a lesson that competition is important). Microsoft has no ebooks platform and no equivalent to Newsstand, although Windows 8 devices, from computers to phones, have well-designed apps for news, travel, health and food — all curated, drawn from various sources and free. Where Microsoft excels in Canada is its Xbox Music

Few people are purist in their choices and most households freely mix and match services and devices. Given the dominant market share of Windows computers, it’s likely most iPad or iPhone users have a Windows PC.There’s a fair chance they have an Android phone. And instead of Apple, Microsoft or Google, they get their music from Rdio, Slacker or Songza. Or they use all of these sources at different times, which is the way it should be. That means aside from content, the consumerfriendly provider is available across as many devices and platforms as possible and here Google takes the prize. Its video, music and books apps are found on Android, iPhone and iPad, and available to PC and

Mac users through the web. Apple, which makes money by getting consumers to buy devices, limits content to Apple devices and iTunes on PC and Mac. (The exception is music downloads, which can be played anywhere.) Even Microsoft, lagging in content, is working hard to expand its services across platforms. If you’re an all-Apple household, limited platform availability is not an issue for you as long as you don’t mind reduced selection in devices and like Apple’s design choices. I hate being locked into one system or company, but I also have a problem with commitment.

Tablet winners

We had two winners for our tablet giveaway, courtesy of Samsung Canada. They are Barb Ling and Irene Caudwell and were drawn by using random.org. Both are receiving a 10-inch Samsung Galaxy tablet. Congratulations!


A24

THE VANCOUVER COURIER W E DN E SDAY, J U N E 1 1 , 2 0 1 4

News

Car sharing co-op shifts into new gear Modo plans to offer more services Jen St. Denis

jstdenis@biv.com

Modo CEO Nathalie Baudoin hopes to double membership in the next three years. PHOTO DOMINIC SHAEFER

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The new chief executive officer of Vancouver’s homegrown car-share co-op is planning some big changes. “This fall, we’re dropping ‘the car co-op’ and we’re just going to be Modo,” said Nathalie Baudoin, CEO of Modo The Car Co-op. “And when we’re Modo, we could provide you with bikes, with ride share, with anything to help you plan your transportation needs.” Modo got its start in 1997 as the Co-operative Auto Network, founded on the ideals of the co-operative movement and the environmental benefits of car sharing. It rebranded as Modo in 2011, an effort that increased membership in the non-profit by 30 per cent, according to Cause and Effect, the Vancouver agency that led the rebranding effort. The co-op has also focused on renewing its stock of cars, with an emphasis on sustainability: 13 per cent of Modo’s fleet are hybrid or electric vehicles. Baudoin, a former marketing director at Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC) and Patagonia, is the first CEO the organization has had — she replaces Phil Baudoin, whose title was executive director — and she plans to aggressively expand the co-op while staying true to its member-driven roots. Baudoin hopes to double the co-op’s membership and revenue by 2017. She said taking out a bank loan to increase the co-op’s existing fleet of 300 cars and putting the organization “in the red” wouldn’t go over well with members, who are encouraged to wash the cars and fuel them in order to keep costs down. Instead, she plans to raise money through a fundraising campaign or crowdsourcing. “People who believe in sustainability, who believe in a new way of transportation, we think we might have some people grow the busi-

ness — because we’re more than a business,” she said. Baudoin is quick to point out that unlike Modo’s competitors, the co-op isn’t owned by a large corporation. Zipcar, which entered Vancouver in 2007, was bought by car rental company Avis Budget Group in 2011. Car2Go arrived in Vancouver in 2011 and is owned by Daimler. But the co-op business model has one big upside that Baudoin experienced first-hand at MEC: the ability to directly communicate with loyal customers who are open to receiving targeted messages about specific products or services. “Because it’s a co-op, you know everything about them,” Baudoin said. “You have a wealth of data.” Currently, Modo cars are concentrated heavily in Vancouver. Baudoin said her planned expansion includes putting more cars in other Metro Vancouver municipalities. The company uses data about where customers live to decide where to place new cars, an approach that differs from Zipcar and Car2Go, said Anthony Casey, marketing coordinator at Modo. Casey said the co-op continues to see strong membership growth, particularly in its business category. It also continues to see demand from developers looking to place cars in new condo buildings. Expanding Modo’s membership will lead to another challenge, said Baudoin.While current members have tended, like MEC customers, to be devoted to sustainability and open to joining a co-op, extending Modo’s reach will mean taking on customers who value convenience over making the extra effort to keep costs low for all members. Baudoin hopes to partner with Car2Go, which operates under a different model, on an “etiquette” campaign. Baudoin said that many Modo members also have memberships with Car2Go. twitter.com/jenstden


W E DN E SDAY, J U N E 1 1 , 2 0 1 4 THE VANCOUVER COURIER

Arts&Entertainment

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GOT ARTS? 604.738.1411 or events@vancourier.com

1 June 11 to 12, 2014 1. For some reason we always imagine Dan Bejar, a.k.a. Destroyer, in a perpetual state of sophisticated disarray running through the streets in a raincoat with a ratty paperback of Baudelaire in one hand and a half-empty bottle of wine in the other.Who knows — maybe he’s really into CrossFit in real life. Catch the enigmatic singer songwriter perform a solo show at the Rickshaw June 12 with guest Blackout Beach.Tickets at Red Cat, Zulu Records and northerntickets.com. 2. Just in time for the FIFA World Cup, Vancity Theatre celebrates the Beautiful Game June 11 to July 7 with a series of documentaries, biopics and dramas, including Carlos Cuaron’s Rudo Y Cursi, that looks at the sport in its social and political contexts, and explores its still-growing influence in the world. Gooooooooooooooooal! Details at viff.org. 3. Ready to have your mind blown? The Cinematheque relaunches its Cosmic Cinema series into orbit, this time pairing Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 classic 2001:A Space Odyssey with Andrei Tarkovsky’s 1972 psychological science-fiction drama, Solaris, a film often described as the Soviet 2001.The out-of-this-world double bill runs June 11 to 13. Details at thecinematheque.ca. 4. Water-friendly popsters Hey Ocean! kick off the Imperial’s one-year anniversary weekend celebrations, June 12, along with Good for Grapes.The Zolas and the Dudes headline Friday and Saturday nights respectively. Details at imperialvancouver. com.Tickets at Zulu, Red Cat, Highlife and northerntickets.com.

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

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THE VANCOUVER COURIER W E DN E SDAY, J U N E 1 1 , 2 0 1 4

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KUDOS & KVETCHES Dad poetry

In honour of Father’s Day this Sunday, the more poetic members of K&K have dusted off their quills to pen a series of heartfelt haikus about our dads. You’re welcome. And if you have some Father’s Day haikus to share with readers, please email them to k&k@vancourier.com. We’ll print our favourite ones in the next issue of the Courier. Fixing the mower Your acne ass startled me Goodnight, cratered moon. ••• My friend Dave saw you At the Wong’s corner store once Buying a Hustler. ••• That time you were crying When Spock died in Wrath of Khan Highly illogical. ••• MiamiVice soundtrack Or Bruce Hornsby and the Range You like a good beat. ••• When you ask for help With your PC, I’m afraid I’ll see your history. ••• Liona Boyd lust You’ve made known far too often: “One fine looking broad.”

MiamiVice soundtrack Or Bruce Hornsby and the Range You like a good beat. ••• Post vasectomy A bag of frozen veggies Soothed your loin’s last gasp. ••• Now that Co-op’s gone Where do you buy your gaunch? So much I don’t know.

Isn’t it a kitty

Earlier this year we reported on a Vancouver woman’s efforts to open a coffee shop called Catfé where cats roam freely among customers. Inspired by similar operations in Tokyo, Montreal and San Francisco, the operation would also run as a cat foster home and, in some cases, cater to the increasingly powerful demographic of coffee drinkers who insist macchiatos taste better when you’re looking at a cat’s pink starfish. We also reported on the cat-valanche of feline-related puns the future café caused in a

related Metro newspaper article. Unfortunately, the café owner’s online crowdfunding campaign fell short of its goal of raising $50,000, but according to an article in the Province this week, she’s still going ahead with the business. More importantly, the Province has continued the time-honoured tradition of employing as many cat puns as possible in any cute story involving cats, including “Catfé planner stays paws-itive,” “…it’s not a cat-astrophe,” “the ins-purr-ation,” “it will be a paws-itive environment” and “…the next step is to find the purrfect location.” Anyway, here’s hoping that Catfé will turn out to be a puss-sess. We’ll definitely be keeping tabbies on its progress. Seriously, somebody stop chasing this yarn. twitter.com/KudosKvetches

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W E DN E SDAY, J U N E 1 1 , 2 0 1 4 THE VANCOUVER COURIER

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Arts&Entertainment Storytelling Festival connects communities ‘Cabinet of Curiosities’ filled personal narratives, epics, fairy tales, traditional folk stories STATE OF THE ARTS Cheryl Rossi

crossi@vancourier.com

There’s a Punjabi word for First Nations people that was only used in Vancouver. “This is a word that doesn’t exist in Toronto or Winnipeg or Calgary,” said cultural researcher Naveen Girn. The word is taiké and it was used when First Nations and South Asian men worked and lived together at lumber mills. Taiké translates to mean your father’s elder brother. “It speaks to the idea of cousins between First Nations and South Asians,” Girn said. “But also this idea of this ancestry, that they both share this common ancestry. “There’s no picture that exemplifies that story,” Girn continued. “It only exists as an oral history. And it’s hard to trace those stories. But those are the challenges we now have in telling these intercultural stories that go back to the beginnings of Vancouver.” He and others will share little-known and time-hon-

S AV E

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oured stories, from epics to personal narratives, traditional folk stories and fairy tales at the 20th edition of Vancouver International Storytelling Festival, June 13 to 15.This year’s event has been dubbed A Cabinet of Curiosities. Girn has interviewed South Asian elders, scoured photo albums and interviewed ancestors of the British Indian passengers who sailed into Vancouver in 1914 on the Komagata Maru for various historical exhibitions he’s curated, including Unmoored: Vancouver’s Voyage of the Komagata Maru, which is at the Museum of Vancouver until Aug. 18. He plans to squeeze some of what he’s learned into a 20-minute story hung on a newspaper editor in Vancouver in 1914 named Husain Rahim, whose printing press was in Chinatown. “He talks about how the best restaurants in Vancouver are the Chinese restaurants because they don’t discriminate against South Asian customers like ones in Gastown,” Girn said. Rahim frequented the first Sikh temple in North America on West Second

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P L A N

Avenue and Burrard that was built in 1908 and operated there until 1970, when it was sold to pay for construction of the Ross Street Temple in South Vancouver.The temple’s basement served as a political gathering space for Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs when they weren’t permitted to vote, work in select occupations or buy homes in certain areas. Girn says the first marriage celebrated at the Second Avenue Temple was between a Sikh temple priest and his Caucasian English language tutor from the United Church of Canada. Naomi Steinberg, artistic director of the storytelling festival, is excited to feature Girn and other storytellers who are new to the festival in locations across the city for the anniversary year. The festival includes three evening programs and multiple daytime events and brings together storytellers that include Nigerian-Canadian academic, educator and storyteller Comfort Ero, Squamish elder Wendy Charbonneau and actor Deborah Williams. The Friday night show

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Cultural researcher Naveen Girn will share intercultural stories that harken back to the beginnings of our city at the Vancouver International Storytelling Festival June 13 to 15. PHOTO DAN TOULGOET

at the Hungarian Hall in Kensington-Cedar Cottage will focus on lighthearted tales.There’s a family story time Sunday morning in Mount Pleasant, a panel discussion on storytelling for social change Sunday afternoon, and the “Curiouser and Curiouser” event in Kitsilano that Girn will appear at Sunday night. “I’m looking forward to being there,” he said. “One of the great things about the idea of storytelling is that it can be used not just as a political force but as a force that connects us to our community.” Some of the events are ticketed; others are admission by donation. For more information, see vancouverstorytelling.org. twitter.com/Cheryl_Rossi

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A28

THE VANCOUVER COURIER W E DN E SDAY, J U N E 1 1 , 2 0 1 4

Arts&Entertainment

Hot and sexy Figaro full of ‘fancy frippery’ THEATRE REVIEW Jo Ledingham joled@telus.net

Jackie Minns and Seth G. Little appear in the United Players’ production of Figaro.

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“Flamboyant, flowery, fancy frippery” reads the press release for this production by United Players,

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directed by Adam Henderson.This Figaro — the play, not the opera — is all that and more. To begin with, it’s gorgeous: John R.Taylor draped the set with metres and metres of silky, satiny “swags” in warm, rosy colours; lighting designer Randy Poulis burnishes the set so it all seems to glow with the imagined warmth of the countryside in Andalusia where playwright Pierre-Augustin de Beaumarchais set the play. Director Henderson, who also adapted the play for this production, gives it all a very Spanish feel: Spanish accents, music and dance with castanets, foot stomping, hand clapping and flamenco-style dancing. Choreography by Sydney Cochrane is hot, Spanish and sexy. And, of course, Figaro is all about hot and sexy: who’s trying to seduce or evade the advances of whom. Count Almaviva (Chris Robson) is at the centre of most of the sexual entanglements; he’s a Don Juan of the first order. One of those he’s pursuing is Suzanna (MayumiYoshida) about to be wed to Figaro (Patrick Spencer), a servant in the Count’s household. The plot is as tangled as the Count’s infidelities to his wife Countess Rosine (Anna Theodosakis). If you don’t know the opera — I don’t — it’s very easy to get lost, which I did. And it’s easy to lose interest in all the romantic shenanigans — and now and again, I did. But I was always entertained by the look and the sound of the show: by the fabulous period costumes (Chanel McCartney) —bouffant gowns bedecked with lace and ribbons, velvet and buttons. And I loved the music, the singing and the dancing; it lifted the show right up. Googling Figaro will lead you to a plot summary that reads like a never-ending afternoon TV soap. But something revealed there is interesting: it would appear Beaumarchais didn’t see it as quite the farce that characterizes this production.The playwright asked the Count, for example, to be played “with great dignity yet with grace and affability.” He is definitely

caricatured here, as is Dr. Bartholio (Seth G. Little) and Antonio (David C. Jones). Indeed, the whole production sticks close to the play’s subtitle, La Folle Journée (The Mad Day) with characters hidden behind chairs, Cherubino (young Dexter van der Schyff) cross-dressed, overheard conversations, mistaken identity — in short, the stuff of farce. Sending Figaro up as Henderson does is a wise decision; it simply wouldn’t fly any other way these days. One of the most interesting facts about Figaro is that Beaumarchais originally set the play in France but when Louis XVI saw it, he closed it down because its condemnation of the aristocracy hit too close to home. The playwright revised the play, set it in Spain and it became the hottest ticket item in Paris in the spring of 1784. Henderson has seriously cut Beaumarchais’ original five acts down to two manageable halves and he’s working with some extremely fine actors.Yoshida is as saucy a Spanish wench as you can imagine; Jackie Minns makes a fine high-strung Marcelina. Anna Theodosakis is not only elegant and refined as the Countess Rosine but she has a beautiful operatic voice and, for a moment, we think we could be at the opera. Spencer, in the titular role, is not quite so broadly played as some of the others and that’s a smart move, too; we do hope he out-maneuvers the licentious Count. This very ambitious, very challenging Figaro brings to an end the 55th season of live theatre at the Jericho Arts Centre. Next season includes Facts by Arthur Milner, a psychological drama that deals with the ongoing Israeli/Palestinian conflict. Directed by Henderson (who several seasons ago directed the hugely successful Democracy), this promises to be a chilling, thought-provoking night at the theatre. For more reviews, go to joledingham.ca Figaro runs until June 29 at the Jericho Arts Centre until June 29. For tickets and info, call 604-224-8007 or go to unitedplayers.com.


W E DN E SDAY, J U N E 1 1 , 2 0 1 4 THE VANCOUVER COURIER

A29

The Courier presentsVancouver’s Elite Graduating Athletes of 2014

Andrew deVisser PAST

PRINCE OF WALES WALESMEN

PRESENT

RASHPAL DHILLON OVAL

FUTURE

CIS TRINITY WESTERN UNIVERSITY SPARTANS

E

very year in Canada, only a handful of teens clear seven metres in the long jump. Andrew de Visser, the country’s defending youth champion in the event, is determined to be one of them. “Once you hit it, you can say you’re in the club,” said de Visser, 18, who trains with the Vancouver Thunderbirds and will compete for the Spartans at Trinity Western University next season on an athletic and academic scholarship.The earnest and patiently resolute athlete mindfully chose the Christian university because of his faith. “It will help me grow in my walk with God,” he said. A six-footer, deVisser can jump nearly four times as far as he is tall. He won double gold at the B.C. high school track and field championships for theWalesmen last month and recorded a personal best in his two events,

the long jump and 110 metre hurdles. He jumped just seven centimetres short of the seven-metre benchmark. “When I hit the board and got that lift, it was amazing,” he said. “I was in the air longer than I’d ever been before. I didn’t want to come back down.” In 2011, de Visser was the 100 metre hurdles midget national champion but has since missed the race because of a recurring hamstring injury, which he suffered again last weekend. But he is a relentless competitor who delivers when it matters most, said Thunderbird jumps coach Byron Jack. “Andrew is a clutch performer.” Although de Visser, at 14, was too young to travel with the B.C. team to nationals in 2010, he persuaded his father to take him to Ottawa for the meet. He pulled out of the hurdles because of injury but in the long jump improved his personal best and finished fifth

against older athletes. “He is incredibly determined,” said Jack. Now ranked fifth among Canada’s juniors (boys aged 18 and 19), de Visser is the top long jumper in his age group. Thunderbirds head coach Derrick Johnston said de Visser has a light but powerful stride and together they have adapted his running mechanics. “On top of his raw talent, he’s committed to the sport. He’s a student of his events,” said Johnston. To Trinity Western, de Visser won’t just be a provincial and national champion, according to head coach Laurier Primeau. He’ll be more. “We value what we call the complete champion,” said the coach. “He brings a lot more to us than simply performance.” — MEGAN STEWART

PHOTO DAN TOULGOET


A30

THE VANCOUVER COURIER W E DN E SDAY, J U N E 1 1 , 2 0 1 4

Sports&Recreation

World Cup begins with Brazil hosts Megan Stewart

mstewart@vancourier.com

Say Olá! Prazer conhecêlo! to your hosts for the 2014 World Cup Brazil. For the next month — through the first game between Brazil and Croatia to the final July 13 — the Courier will introduce you to theVancouverites who are devoted to football (that’s soccer) and to following their national team from afar in coffee shops on Commercial Drive, pubs in Strathcona and convenience stores on Robson Street.These are the best places to watch your team, even if you’re a second-generation Scottish sports fan (like me) who cheers for Japan. To begin, there was only one place to start: the 2014 hosts. ••• Filipe Batista and his mother Maria opened Boteca nearly three years ago in August 2011. “We opened the day I turned 25,” said Batista, who has long eyelashes that curl around bright blue eyes. The restaurant has large front and back yards and serves home-style Brazilian food. “The typical flavours that you’d find at grandma’s house when she has her family over for dinner,” according to Batista.That includes feijoda, a black bean stew. “That is a staple dish of brazil. It’s a really big country with different regions with different dishes, but feijoda is one of the only dishes that you can go anywhere and find at anybody’s dinner table,” said Batista, who was born in Sao Paolo and has lived in B.C. since he was three.

GROUP Brazil Cameroon Croatia Mexico

GROUP Filipe Batista owns Boteca Brasil with his mother. “There will be people chanting and banging drums to bring the energy level up,” he said. PHOTO DAN TOULGOET

Equador France Honduras Switzerland

At Boteca, the walls are bright yellow and the dinner crowd rambunctious. During games — including the first one of theWorld Cup at 1 p.m.Thursday when Brazil hosts Croatia — Boteca will serve barbecue outside beside numerous televisions and a live band. What does the typical Brazilian fan drink? FB: If they’re here, they’re definitely drinking caipirinha [Brazil’s national cocktail]. What do they eat? FB: Appetizers, it’s always about finger foods and barbecue. They call it churrasco de gato, that means literally barbecued cat but it’s not cat! It’s just a joke that when you go to backyard barbecue, you don’t know what the person is serving but you’ll have good meat. It’s always beef and chicken. What is the best Brazil-

ian goal ever scored in a World Cup? FB: I can’t remember back to a specific goal. I remember where I was for the last World Cup. I was on Commercial Drive and they had closed the entire street for the big games.We were at Libra Room and they had Brazilian food there. That was the day the Netherlands got the best of Brazil and we were disqualified. Then the Netherlands went to the final with Spain and we got our redemption because Spain kicked them out. At least we got that much. Who will win if not Brazil? FB: Nobody.The power will shut off in the stadium. I would like to say no other team will win, but definitely not Argentina. Over the years we have build up a bit of a rivalry with them. Maybe Germany. Boteco Brasil is located at 2545 Nanaimo St., near Broadway. twitter.com/MHStewart

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A 0 0 0 0

GROUP

E 0 0 0 0

GROUP

Australia Chile chile holland Spain spain

Argentina Bosnia hertz Iran Nigeria

B 0 0 0 0

GROUP

F 0 0 0 0

GROUP

C 0 0 0 0

Colombia Greece Ivory Coast Japan

Germany Ghana Portugal USA

Uruguay

D 0 0 0 0

G GROUP 0 Algeria 0 Belgium 0 Russia 0 South Korea

H 0 0 0 0

GROUP Costa Rica England Italy

GROUP MATCHES DATE

PST GROUP

VENUE

THU 12 JUN 1pm

A

BRA

v

CRO

1

FRI 13 JUN

A

MEX

v

CAM

2

12pm B

SPA

v

HOL

3

3pm

B

CHI

v

AUS

4

SAT 14 JUN 9am

C

COL

v

GRE

5

12pm D

URU

v

COS

6

9am

3pm

D

ENG

v

ITA

7

6pm

C

IVO

v

JPN

8

SUN 15 JUN 9am

E

SWI

v

ECU

9

12pm E

FRA

v

HON 10

3pm

F

ARG

v

BOS 11

MON 16 JUN 9am

G

GER

v

POR

12pm F

IRA

v

NIG 12

G

GHA

v

USA

2

9am

H

BEL

v

ALG

5

12pm A

BRA

v

MEX

6

3pm

H

RUS

v

KOR

4

WED 18 JUN 9am

HOL 10

B

AUS

v

12pm B

SPA

v

3pm

A

CAM

v

THU 19 JUN 9am

FRI 20 JUN

6

2 8

4

3

9 5 11

1 12

VENUES

10

3

3pm TUE 17 JUN

7

1

7

9

BRASILIA Estádio Nacional

NATAL Arena das Dunas

6

FORTALEZA Estádio Castelão

10

PORTO ALEGRE Estádio Beira-Rio

SALVADOR Arena Fonte Nova

7

11 RIO DE JANIERO MANAUS Arena da Amazônia Estádio do Maracanã

CUIABÁ Arena Pantanal

8

12 CURITIBA RECIFE Arena Pernambuco Arena da Baixada

CAPACITY: 62,000

2

CAPACITY: 62,000

CAPACITY: 45,000

3

4

CAPACITY: 73,000

CAPACITY: 67,000

CAPACITY: 55,000

CHI 11 CRO

5 BELO HORIZONTE SÃO PAULO Arena de São Paulo Estádio Mineirão

CAPACITY: 56,000

CAPACITY: 46,000

CAPACITY: 79,000

C

COL

v

IVO

9

12pm D

URU

v

ENG

1

3pm

C

JPN

v

GRE

2

9am

D

ITA

v

COS

8

ROUND OF 16

12pm E

SWI

v

FRA

3

SAT 28 JUN 9am

1

1A

v

2B

3pm

E

HON

v

EQU 12

1pm

2

1C

v

2D 11

9am

CAPACITY: 39,000

CAPACITY: 46,000

CAPACITY: 44,000

GAME 5

F

ARG

v

IRA

5

SUN 29 JUN 9am

3

1B

v

2A

6

12pm G

GER

v

GHA

6

1pm

4

1D

v

2C

8

3pm

F

NIG

v

BOS

4

MON 30 JUN 9am

5

1E

v

2F

9

SUN 22 JUN 9am

H

BEL

v

RUS 11

1pm

6

1G

v

2H 10

12pm H

KOR

v

ALG 10

9am

7

1F

v

2E

1

3pm

G

USA

v

POR

7

1pm

8

1H

v

2G

3

MON 23 JUN 9am

B

HOL

v

CHI

1

9am

B

AUS

v

SPA 12

1pm

A

CAM

v

BRA

9

1pm

A

CRO

v

MEX

8

TUE 24 JUN 9am

D

ITA

v

URU

2

9am

D

COS

v

ENG

5

1pm

C

JPN

v

COL

4 6

SAT 21 JUN

1pm

C

GRE

v

IVO

WED 25 JUN 9am

F

NIG

v

ARG 10

9am

F

BOS

v

IRA

3

1pm

E

HON

v

SWI

7

1pm

E

EQU

v

FRA 11

THU 26 JUN 9am

G

POR

v

GHA

9

9am

G

USA

v

GER

8

1pm

H

KOR

v

BEL

1

1pm

H

ALG

v

RUS 12

TUE 01 JUL

QUARTER FINALS w6 11

9am

w5

v

1pm

w1

v

w2

6

9am

w7

v

w8

9

1pm

w3

v

w4

3

TUE 8 JUL

1pm

w5/6

v

w1/2

5

WED 9 JUL

1pm

w7/8

v

w3/4

1

FRI 04 JUL SAT 05 JUL

SEMI FINALS

THIRD/FOURTH PLACE PLAY-OFF SAT 12 JUL

1pm

v

9

v

11

WORLD CUP FINAL SUN 13 JUL

12pm


W E DN E SDAY, J U N E 1 1 , 2 0 1 4 THE VANCOUVER COURIER

A31

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Trout Lake Little League infielder Tyler Carros, 6, makes a play to first base for the senior rookie Blue Jays at Campbell Field on June 7. The Jays beat the Mariners 6-4. PHOTO DAN TOULGOET

Clubs contribute to $3M in upgrades

Megan Stewart

mstewart@vancourier.com

The Vancouver park board will invest nearly $3 million to upgrade storage, shelter, access and washrooms at 10 sports fields, including the little league baseball diamond at Hillcrest, which will become the only one in B.C. to accommodate athletes with limited mobility, known as challenger players. The challenger baseball upgrades will cost $286,000 to enlarge the dugouts and install artificial turf in the infield, among other alterations.The diamond will also be realigned so batters are not staring into the mid-day sun while at the plate. The upgrades are supplemented by a $30,000 endowment from the Vancouver Canadians minor league baseball club. In addition to the changes at Hillcrest, upgrades are planned for these parks: • A field house for the turf field at Oak Meadows beside Eric Hamber secondary for a cost of $712,000.TheVancouver Hawks Field Hockey Club is contributing $70,000. • New washrooms at Van Tech secondary turf field for a cost of $407,000.

• Improvements to the field house at Carnarvon Park for $488,000 with $100,000 coming from Jericho Little League andWest SideWarriors Football Club. • Improvements to the field house at Memorial South Park for $571,000. • Improvements to the washrooms at Hastings community field house, where the Hastings Little League will host the 2015 Canadian Championship. • Upgrades to the rink at Kerrisdale Arena for $35,000. • Improved storage at John Hendry Park for $15,000 with $5,000 coming from the Scribes Rugby Football Club. • Improved spectator seating at Beaconsfield, Champlain Heights, Douglas, Montgomery and Norquay softball fields for $25,000. • Permanent player shelters at Hamber, Jericho, Memorial South, Point Grey,Trillium and Van Tech artificial turf fields for $275,000. The park board voted unanimously in favour for funding these upgrades. Vision park board commissioner Aaron Jasper said the improvements were not only basic but also “long

overdue.” “A lot of the supporting infrastructure for our sports fields were either in desperate need of upgrades or in many case just weren’t adequate to begin with,” said Jasper. “We had a few organizations that wanted to step forward and contribute. That’s a pretty resounding endorsement when they contribute their own resources to the projects.” Certain upgrades will allow clubs to host tournaments and also shelter athletes from the rain. At Hastings Park, for example, the little league was planning to install portable washrooms for the national tournament because the existing toilets, which are attached to the concession, may still function but are unpleasant and could not readily accommodate large crowds, said Jasper. “They were going to basically shut down the washroom and get port-apotties,” he said. “All of those little things may not be sexy, but they really have a positive impact on everyone being able to get out there and be active.This reflects on all of us.” twitter.com/MHStewart

Registration closes June 16th! Run for the charity of your choice in the Scotiabank Charity Challnege!

June 22, 2014

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