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SPRING 2018

LIFETIME:

Talks + Tables PAGE 10

Douglas Coupland brings ÔVortexÕ to the Aquarium

OSOYOOS:

A destination for all ages PAGE 12

PHOT PH OTO: OT O: DAN TOU OULG LGOE LG OET OE T

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Grandragon George Draskoy was born to race PAGE 4


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THE VANCOUVER COURIER T H U R SDAY, M AY 3 1 , 2 0 1 8

“The chef here really knows his business.” I’ve been a working man all my life. I worked hard, and I learned to appreciate the simple things. Having my mates over for a pint at the pub and enjoying an excellent plate of fish and chips being at the top of my list. The chef here really knows his business, and the boys always want to come back for more. I still love a simple meal, and with all the choices chef makes available I’m trying new dishes and discovering new favourites.

To find out more about life at Tapestry, visit DiscoverTapestry.com or call to schedule a complimentary lunch and tour. For a tour at Tapestry at Wesbrook Village call 604.225.5000 and for Tapestry at Arbutus Walk call 604.736.1640.

DiscoverTapestry.com Tapestry at Wesbrook Village 3338 Wesbrook Mall, Vancouver BC 604.225.5000 Tapestry at Arbutus Walk 2799 Yew Street, Vancouver BC 604.736.1640 ® Registered trademarks of Concert Properties Ltd., used under license where applicable.


FROM THE

editor

T H U R SDAY, M AY 3 1 , 2 0 1 8 THE VANCOUVER COURIER

Life’s too short to say no to adventure SANDRA THOMAS STHOMAS@VANCOURIER.COM

One of my favourite jobs at the Courier — and I do wear many hats — is that of travel editor. I love travelling, writing about travel, and my volunteer position on the board of the B.C. branch of the Travel Media Association of Canada. This past February, I was invited on a press trip dubbed the “Ultimate Las Vegas Bucket List.” And it was bucket-list worthy, right down to a spectacular

helicopter tour of the Grand Canyon, including a stop at the top during which I conquered one of my greatest fears and did one loop around the Sky Walk. My hands and legs were shaking so badly by the time I was done, it’s a wonder I didn’t collapse — but I did it and was pretty proud of myself. But the very next day (Feb. 10) I received word that a helicopter from that same tour company, flying that exact same route, fell out of the sky killing five tourists from Great Britain and leaving two others with “catastrophic injuries.” I later read those tourists were also living out a bucket

list dream. Needless to say I’ve been thinking about them ever since and was initially wondering if I’d ever fly in a helicopter or small plane again. But now a few months later I’ve decided I can’t let my fears hold me back from these kinds of adventures — opportunities I never had the chance to enjoy when I was younger.

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THE VANCOUVER COURIER T H U R SDAY, M AY 3 1 , 2 0 1 8

Grandragon of False Creek Grandragon George Draskoy, hamming it up for the camera, wants to encourage older adults to try their hand at dragon boating. PHOTO: DAN TOULGOET

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T H U R SDAY, M AY 3 1 , 2 0 1 8 THE VANCOUVER COURIER

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30TH ANNUAL

SANDRA THOMAS | STHOMAS@VANCOURIER.COM

George Draskoy will compete in his 200th Dragon Boat Race a week before his 88th birthday George Draskoy is the quintessential Renaissance man. A retired forestry engineer, today Draskoy is a reiki master, passionate about photography, restores vintage photographs using a computer, has a brown belt in karate, designs websites and is an accomplished dragon boat racer. In June Draskoy will compete in his 200th dragon boat race — a week before his 88th birthday. Draskoy says he was inspired to take up dragon boat racing 18 years ago after attending the annual Dragon Boat Festival in False Creek. “At that race I saw the Gift of Life team made up of people who had donated kidneys, hearts and lungs and

I thought, if they can do it, I can do it,” says Draskoy, who in 1951 won a swimming championship in Hungary. It took Draskoy two years to finally join the team and he ended up at his first practice on Feb. 4, 2003. “It was plus five degrees,” says Draskoy. “It’s only really cold when it’s freezing.” Draskoy says dragon boat racing came natural to him. As an eight-year-old boy, born and raised in Hungary,

...I thought, if they can do it, I can do it...

Draskoy began paddling his kayak on the Danube River. “Then the Russians came and my kayak disappeared along with everything else,” Draskoy says of the Soviet occupation of Hungary after the Second World War. While taking part in the Hungarian Revolution of 1956, Draskoy was forced to flee to Yugoslavia. He was later jailed and then spent time in a refugee camp. After three months in an internment camp, Draskoy arrived in B.C. in 1957 where, after an accidental meeting, he convinced the dean of the Sopron Faculty of Forestry at the University of B.C. to allow him to enrol. He then went on to earn a master’s degree in recreational use of forest lands at the University of New Brunswick. After

decades of working in forestry, including years with the parks department in Newfoundland where he retired in 1988 as chief of park interpretation, Draskoy moved back to Vancouver. That’s when Draskoy began to pursue his passion projects. He is a prolific photographer and created a YouTube channel largely dedicated to the early days of forestry, his friends in the Hungarian community and his photographs. When he’s not behind a camera, Draskoy designs websites, plays Mahjong and reads on his iPad, is a reiki master and, of course, is on the water in a dragon boat. “I was born under the sign of Cancer,” says Draskoy, “so water is very important to me. I was born for it.”

Concord Pacific Dragon Boat Festival JUNE 22 – 24 George Draskoy says the Grandragons need more paddlers and wants to encourage men and women 50 and older to check them out during the Dragon Boat Festival, which takes place in and around False Creek from June 22 to 24. The festival is three days of free music, activities and world-class racing. The Grandragons is the first mixed seniors dragon boat racing team in Canada and in the past 10 years has set the standard for that division. Based in False Creek, the Grandragons have taken a lead role in promoting seniors’ dragon boat racing on the West Coast of Canada and the U.S. Over the years, the team has developed into a strong competitor at dragon boat festivals, usually finishing in the top two in senior events and in the top third in competition with younger teams in recreational division events. The Grandragons team includes a wide range of paddling abilities and their coaches are Olympic-level athletes who have personally performed and trained teams in local, national and international competitions in a variety of water sports. Their mandate is to help each member paddle to the best of their ability. For more information visit grandragons.org.


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Park board making Vancouver JESSICA KERR | JKERR@VANCOURIER.COM

Beach accessibility mat installed at Kits Beach, water wheelchairs available at several locations Two of Vancouver’s most popular beaches are now more accessible for people with mobility challenges.

the freedom to visit the beach on their own if they want.”

As part of the second phase of its commitment to making local beaches more inclusive, Vancouver Park Board has installed a Mobi-Mat, a non-slip beach access path, at Kits Beach. The park board installed the first Mobi-Mat at English Bay Beach last summer.

Sailor Vaughn checks out the Mobi-Mat at English Bay Beach.

PHOTO: VANCOUVER PARK BOARD

“Feedback from the beach mat at English Bay Beach has been extremely positive,” park board chair Stuart Mackinnon said in a press release. “If you’re in a wheelchair, going to the beach can be an ordeal as you need the help of a strong friend or lifeguard. Beach mats give those with mobility challenges

Jacques Courteau, co-chair of the City of Vancouver persons with disabilities advisory committee, has praise for the Mobi-Mat after a visit to English Bay last week. “I got out of my chair and lowered myself onto the ground,” he said. “It was

awesome to just stretch there on the warm sand. I stayed about one hour. It was glorious. I will certainly do this more often this year.” In addition to the Mobi-Mats, the park board has 10 new water wheelchairs available at various beaches and pools across the city. The water wheelchairs will be available starting June 1 at Kits, Second Beach and New Brighton outdoor pools, as well as a number of beaches — English

Jacques Courteau, co-chair of the City of Vancouver Persons with Disabilities Advisory Committee, tried out one of the park boardÕs new water wheelchairs. PHOTO: VANCOUVER PARK BOARD

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T H U R SDAY, M AY 3 1 , 2 0 1 8 THE VANCOUVER COURIER

beaches, pools more accessible Bay, Kits, Jericho, Second Beach, Spanish Banks (east and west) and Trout Lake. The chairs do require an attendant and are available on a first-come-first-served basis at no charge until Labour Day long weekend. The chairs are available at the lifeguard station at each location between 11:30 a.m. and 8 p.m. For more information visit vancouver.ca and search for “water wheelchairs.” “Inclusion and access are core values of the Vancouver Park Board,” Mackinnon said. “In addition to our commitment to accessible beaches, the Board has removed barriers to recreation based on income, race, gender and mobility and has forged a new relationship with community centre partners through a shared commitment to equitable access to recreation for all residents.”

The provincial government has declared May 27 to June 2, B.C.Õs first AccessAbility Week “AccessAbility Week is a time to recognize the people, communities and organizations that are actively increasing opportunities and removing barriers, so people of all abilities have a better chance to succeed,” said Shane Simpson, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction. “It’s an opportunity to focus on making our neighbourhoods more welcoming for people with disabilities and working together to build the most accessible, inclusive province in Canada.” Events and announcements are being held throughout the week, wrapping up with Access Awareness Day June 2. Communities throughout the province are hosting events and supporting activities that promote the importance of inclusion and accessibility for people with disabilities. The celebrations are supported by $10,000 in provincial funding to the Social Planning and Research Council of BC (SPARC BC).

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THE VANCOUVER COURIER T H U R SDAY, M AY 3 1 , 2 0 1 8

SPONSORED CONTENT

Kim SmithÕs affectionate dog, Duff, spends time with the residents at Youville.

MELISSA EDWARDS

It starts with pausing to ask someone what would bring them comfort and joy. Inside the total rethink of seniors’ residential care taking place at PHC sites A quiet revolution is underway at Providence Health Care (PHC), and it’s transforming how we care for elders in British Columbia. The revolution is called Residential Care for Me, and it has arisen out of the very frontlines of care, using innovation, research and compassion to change seniors’ lives through a thousand small but very meaningful moments. Residential Care for Me is already in phase two, being put into action on the ground through a process called Megamorphosis: a series of rapid, idea-to-action initiatives occurring in stages at PHC’s five residential care homes. Each cycle begins with a month of pre-work, in which staff of all types break from routine to slow down and connect with each other, residents and families – taking in their experience, learning what truly engages them. Next, the ideas and insights gained, small or large, are put into practice over an intense, two-week testing period, with extra support from leaders and allowing the usual months of planning to be tossed out the window. “You think you know a person very well,” says Heather Mak, a clinical nurse specialist who has been with the initiative from the start. “But we knew residents from a clinical perspective: their care

needs, their medical condition, how we need to support them in their daily lives. What’s different was asking the question, “What would bring you comfort and joy?” During the first cycle, which started at Youville Residence in February 2017, the answer from one resident’s family was surprising: a particular shade of bright red lipstick. “If you had asked me about this lady, I could have talked about where she was in her stage of dementia, and how we were trying to be responsive to her needs,” says Mak. But by changing the priority to the emotional, the Youville staff can now provide the things that really matter to her: singing her favourite songs with her, and putting on her lipstick every day. One resident has become much more active and engaged after he took on the task of ironing the vestments for the weekly church service, while a retired physician finds comfort in always having a clipboard on hand for drawing charts. For another, staff prototyped a specialized poncho to help her feel less exposed and more dignified as she gets wheeled through the halls to the shower. Two new lighting systems help residents locate nurses and move around more safely at night, and the spaces have been redecorated to be warmer and more welcoming.

PHOTOS: JEFF TOPHAM

A TRANSFORMATION IN

Members of the PHC Seniors Care team, pictured at Youville Residence in the beautifully decorated space mimicking 1960s Vancouver. From left: Jo-Ann Tait, corporate director, Seniors Care and Palliative Services; Heather Mak, clinical nurse specialist; Kim Smith and Robena Sirett, site and operations leaders; and Sonia Hardern, quality improvement specialist. INSET: Music

therapist Lorri Johnson sings with Youville resident Gary.

ÒIt was a challenging process, one that forced the entire leadership team to ask a hard question: if we had to live in a residential care, would we be OK with how things are? Would we want to live here?Ó

Frank plays a tune on his harmonica with music therapist Lorri Johnson.


T H U R SDAY, M AY 3 1 , 2 0 1 8 THE VANCOUVER COURIER

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ÒYou might say at the end of the two weeks that the residents were different,Ó says Mak. ÒBut really, what was most different was us.Ó Jo-Ann Tait, pictured with Youville resident Suseesh.

Johnson uses rhythm sticks as part of the music therapy program.

“You might say at the end of the two weeks that the residents were different,” says Mak. “But really, what was most different was us.”

A PLACE YOU SHOULD WANT TO LIVE IN So far Youville and Brock Fahrni residences have undergone Megamorphosis, and Langara, Holy Family and Mount Saint Joseph Hospital are eager to get started. There is genuine excitement in seeing such immediate real-world progress arise to match the future envisioned in the Residential Care for Me initiative, which was first launched by Jo-Ann Tait, corporate director, seniors care and palliative services, along with other residential care leaders in March 2014. As with many big ideas, the initiative was born out of frustration: faced with tight funding, aging buildings and the pressure of supporting people with increasingly complex care needs, Tait and her team knew something had to change. “We had been waiting, I think, for some kind of funding miracle, or for someone to say, ‘OK, we’re going to support residential care in a different way,’” she says. “But we very quickly realized that there was no magic answer. Instead, the answer lay within us.”

The team turned to Sonia Hardern, a specialist in human-centred design at PHC, who said the process must begin with “the people who are on the extremes,” says Tait. For one week in each care home, PHC executives came to sit with the most vulnerable residents – those who can no longer speak in a way that is understood – and experience the sounds and environments as they do. Meanwhile, residents who were able to speak for themselves were given cameras to document what was most meaningful to them. Ultimately, two themes arose from this work. “We have a flow of the day that is very routinized. It’s based on running an institution – not on people and what they want,” says Tait. Those routines needed to be “blown out of the water” – along with unstimulating environments that felt more like a hospital than a home. It was a challenging process, one that forced the entire leadership team to ask a hard question: If we had to live in residential care, would we be OK with how things are? Would we want to live here? “We put ourselves in the shoes of a resident moving into care,” says Tait. “I think I had forgotten

what it was like to have that first-time experience: walking into a home and being overwhelmed by the sights, sounds and smells. It brought me back to that very first time, thinking, ‘Oh my goodness. Why am I here?’”

A HOLISTIC APPROACH It’s a moment Kathleen Hamilton remembers all too well. She helped her mother, Beatrice, enter into the (now closed) Heather facility in Vancouver in 2002. “That first night, I almost took her home,” says Hamilton. “I remember going in – it was quite chaotic. My mother is a very gentle soul, but I could see that she was upset.” Beatrice soon moved to St. Vincent’s: Langara, where care improved. But Hamilton was still frustrated by staff who were too focused on routine to listen to what she knew was best for her mother. Beatrice passed away in 2006, but Hamilton continued to fight for change through an association called Advocates for Care Reform. PHC reached out to her in the early stages of Residential Care for Me, and she became an important voice in its design. “I’m just so impressed with what they’re doing,

and I think they’re the right people to do it,” says Hamilton. She loved seeing PHC connect with other care agencies across the world so they could build on what was already working, and reach out to universities like Emily Carr to learn how better design can improve care. “They are looking at this from a very holistic, big-picture approach,” she says. And the impact of Megamorphosis is already reaching further. The learnings will be applied to a $2-million improvement project at the Holy Family Residence, made possible by two generous legacy gifts, and there are plans for a new, community-style residence at the former Heather site that will be the first of its kind in Canada. The underlying vision for each step, from a favourite lipstick to a major construction project, is to create a space that supports each resident’s own sense of security, comfort and joy – just like home. As the Residential Care for Me program expands across all PHC residential care homes, you can make a real difference in helping to transform elder care in BC. Give now to support residential care at PHC. Your gift has real impact on residents today and in the future.

SUPPORT SENIORS & RESIDENTIAL CARE Your gift today to St. Paul’s Foundation will ensure the best care possible for seniors and residents. Providence Health Care sites include Holy Family Hospital, Mount Saint Joseph Hospital, St. Vincent’s: Brock Fahrni, St. Vincent’s: Langara, St. Vincent’s: Honoria Conway-Heather and Youville Residence.

I would like to make a gift of $________ NAME ADDRESS CITY POSTAL CODE PHONE EMAIL

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To return, please cut out the form and mail your donation to: St. Paul’s Foundation, 178 – 1081 Burrard Street, Vancouver BC V6Z 1Y6 Or donate online at

donate.helpstpauls.com/seniors-courier Your gift is tax-deductible. Charitable Registration No. 11925 7939 RR0001. St. Paul’s Foundation | 604.682.8206 | spfoundation@providencehealth.bc.ca


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THE VANCOUVER COURIER T H U R SDAY, M AY 3 1 , 2 0 1 8

Talks+Tables

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For the first time, this free Dialogue on Aging event will take place in June as well as September The Vancouver Courier and St. Paul’s Foundation are once again partnering to produce the Lifetime Seniors Talks + Tables event at VanDusen Botanical Garden. And while this annual seniors’ event will once again take place in September, this year a second date has been added — June 6. A highlight of the day includes Dialogue on Aging — a public presentation series with informative speakers, demonstrations and tables offering information on supports and services.

11 A.M. Sleep Matters Sleep consultant Glenn Landry: Glenn Landry has studied circadian rhythms and sleep for more than 20 years and his postdoctoral research focussed on sleep, aging and cognition.

12:45 P.M. Using Technology to Improve Safety and Quality of Dementia Care Lillian Hung: Clinical nurse specialist at Vancouver General Hospital

TALKS + TABLES TIPS The Lifetime Seniors Talks + Tables event is more than four hours long so you should plan strategically. Here are a few pointers to make your day that much more pleasant.

2:15 P.M. Getting Older and Getting Wiser: Mindfulness & Aging Elizabeth Drance: Geriatric psychiatric and clinical associate professor in the Department of Psychiatry and the University of B.C.

! There will be a table with greeters set up at both the visitor centre, which is home to the BMO Theatre, and by the parking lot outside the Floral Hall.

Former Lifetime cover model Cathy Browne helped greet guests at a previous Talks + Tables event.

! No pets allowed, with the exception of service animals. ! Bring a snack: Truffles Café is located in the visitor centre, but it can be busy at peak times.

Check out the following schedule to best plan your day. Talks + Tables is also sponsored by Providence Health Care and London Drugs.

! Also under the topic of “planning ahead,” choose which talk you most want to attend and get there early to ensure you have a seat. Same goes with demonstrations.

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T H U R SDAY, M AY 3 1 , 2 0 1 8 THE VANCOUVER COURIER

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DonÕt want to drive to Alouette Lake? You can take a free shuttle bus to Golden Ears Provincial Park instead. PHOTO: iSTOCK

There is such a thing as a free ride

Free bus will take you to Golden Ears Park from Vancouver this summer LINDSAY WILLIAM-ROSS

At 62,540 hectares, Golden Ears is one of the largest parks in B.C. and popular for its extensive trail system for hikers and equestrian use. Golden Ears also is home to Alouette Lake, a popular spot for swimming, windsurfing, water-skiing, canoeing, boating and fishing — and now you can travel there for free.

Operated by Vancouverbased Environmentally Sound Transportation, Parkbus will run every Saturday and Sunday, starting July 7 and ending Sept. 2, with departures from MEC’s Vancouver store (130 West Broadway) in the morning, returning in the late afternoon. You’ll need to pre-book your seat

online with a credit card deposit (to prevent noshows) — the reservation system opens in mid-June. Ahead of your reserved trip, riders will get safety information and park details via e-mail. While on board, you can learn about Leave No Trace principles from a ride facilitator.

And if your summer plans find you in Edmonton, Montreal or Toronto, those cities also have Parkbus services running this year.

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Bring the grandkids

The view from the patio of our townhome at Watermark Beach Resort in Osoyoos. PHOTOS: SANDRA THOMAS

SANDRA THOMAS | STHOMAS@VANCOURIER.COM

Osoyoos offers family-friendly activities for all ages Rattling along in the back of a 1952 Mercury one-ton truck, my family and I took in the stunning views that surround Covert Farm Family Estate in Oliver B.C., located within Canada’s only desert.

and checked out the farm’s animals. When it comes to a multigenerational activity, it doesn’t get much better than Covert Farm where we could have all happily spent the rest of the day — if we didn’t have swimming on our list of things to do.

old Cooper (second bedroom upstairs) and the fold-out couch in the living room for my son Ted and Carter. With just a one-minute walk to the pool complete with waterslide, swimming was a big part of our weekend.

We also made use of the barbecue attached to our townhome and we grilled dinner outside when we The truck stops at places of weren’t enjoying the fresh interest around the 650-acre farm, which takes 1.5 hours During the May long weekend seasonal ingredients at Restaurant at Watermark, to navigate, and along the way we stayed in a split-level, where chef Adair Scott has our friendly and informative two-bedroom townhome created a menu focussed on guide Krista filled us in on at Watermark Beach Resort the local bounty offered by everything from the sustainable in Osoyoos and it easily the Okanagan, including wine and organic methods used by accommodated me and my pairings from vineyards just owners Gene and Shelly Covert husband (water-view room down the road. It was there to their efforts to keep grapeupstairs), my daughter-in-law we devoured a tasting menu loving bears from destroying Stephanie and five-month for dinner that included an crops. During those brief arugula salad with delicious stops we’d all pile out of the salmon falafels and a platter truck for a closer look at this of assorted grilled meats and working organic farm. local vegetables. We took the Back at the tasting room/ leftovers back to our place to store/outdoor sitting and grill a very tasty breakfast the play area the adults enjoyed a next morning. Meanwhile wine tasting and charcuterie our breakfast at the restaurant board while eight-year-old turned Carter onto brioche Carter jumped on the massive pillow-shaped trampoline, The Desert Model Railroad is a must see when visiting Osoyoos. played in the water feature

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T H U R SDAY, M AY 3 1 , 2 0 1 8 THE VANCOUVER COURIER

French toast with fresh berries and vanilla cream, which may have spoiled him for any other version. There is also a group barbecue area beside the pool for Watermark guests to use, as well as fitness and yoga classes on the beach, a spa, and stand-up paddleboarding. The Watermark is also ideal because it’s central to worldclass wineries and awardwinning golf courses and is a Mecca for cyclists.

of the top 20 things to do in B.C. on tripadvisor.com — it’s absolutely astounding. Owners Ulla and Poul Pederson and their family have created 4,000-square-feet of themed landscapes covered in more than 1,900 houses and 19,000, tiny hand-painted people. Our favourite scenes included a circus, music festival, Monster Truck track, lake and drive-in movie. Visit osoyoosrailroad.com.

We also ate delicious Mexican food and drank jalapeno margaritas and ice cold Coronas at Spirit Beach Cantina at the NK’Mip RV Park where we sat outside at a table overlooking Osoyoos Lake. The cantina offers live music, a patio with a great waterfront view and a casual, family-friendly atmosphere. Eating aside, here are some other suggestions for a multigenerational trip to Osoyoos:

SUN HILLS RIDING CENTRE Carter enjoyed a long-lead horseback ride while we toured the centre, a humane riding facility where the majority of horses come from rescue situations, including several saved from a slaughter house. As well, owners Sherry Zarowny and Dave McGlynn use alternative riding equipment such as soft rubber hoof boots, saddles without hard frames and, whenever possible, bitless bridles. Visit sunhillsriding.ca.

OSOYOOS DESERT MODEL RAILROAD OK, there’s a reason this attraction has been named one

MEDIEVAL FAIRE AT THE DESERT PARK RACE TRACK We were all pretty excited to watch live jousting for the

first time at this annual event that transforms the race track into a bustling medieval faire including music, people in costume, kids games, axe throwing, stilt walking lessons, food trucks a beer garden and vendors. Visit osoyoosfaire.com.

Carter Bryant Thomas and dad Ted Thomas feed the llamas at Covert Farm Family Estate in Oliver.

CHERRY FIESTA The 70th annual Cherry Fiesta, the Osoyoos Canada Day celebration, kicks off July 1 with a pancake breakfast followed by a parade, children’s activities and entertainment. The festivities also include the biggest Canada Day fireworks display in Western Canada. Visit osoyoosfestivalsociety.ca. TIP: If you’re looking for a great cup of coffee and pastry or sandwich, visit Jojo’s Café on Main Street. We not only bumped into Poul Pederson from the model railroad, but also chef Adair Scott from our resort so we knew we were in the right spot for breakfast.

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THE VANCOUVER COURIER T H U R SDAY, M AY 3 1 , 2 0 1 8

Douglas CouplandÕs ÒVortexÓ exhibit on display at the Vancouver Aquarium includes this raft adrift in a sea of plastic.

children, looking as though they may be straight out of a Wii video game, occupy the bow and stern to round out the quartet.

PHOTO: ALEX KURIAL

“Vortex” breaks down planetary effects of plastic waste ALEXANDER KURIAL

New Douglas Coupland exhibit looks at devastating effects of plastics on the environment Society’s attitude towards plastics is having a devastating impact on both the environment — and humanity itself. That’s the blunt message behind Douglas Coupland’s new exhibit “Vortex” on

display at the Vancouver Aquarium. Coupland uses a series of stark imagery to show how our treatment of plastic waste has had massive consequences for this planet and challenges us to do better to help negate and reverse similar damage in the future.

“I want to stay in my home.”

“There’s this adage growing up, ‘Just throw it away.’ Well what do you mean by ‘away’?” asks Coupland. “The thing about away is that everywhere is away now. And you can’t just chuck that there or use that there without affecting all these people and all of these systems.” The centrepiece of the exhibit features a small raft adrift in a miniature sea of discarded plastic items. Water, a dense

“I’m worried about mom falling in her home.”

fog that wafts over the viewers, and ocean sounds all transport the audience to this forsaken stretch of ocean. Aboard the raft sits an eclectic mix of characters. Andy Warhol leans out at the viewer, camera in hand to document the mess — and our reaction to it. A displaced migrant woman from an African country sits with a thousand-yard stare. Two

For all they have given us, plastics have had a highly detrimental effect on the environment in their 111 years of existence. Hundreds of millions of tonnes of plastic waste currently sits in the world’s oceans. The manufacturing of plastic requires large amounts of oil and releases carbon emissions into the atmosphere. Coupland says this aspect of plastic’s impact on our society needs to be more widely understood. He hopes the inclusion of the migrant woman will help accomplish this goal and highlight the intersectionality of environmental and human issues. “Perhaps she’s from Nigeria, where Shell sucks the oil out, destroys the environment and causes migration and environmental degradation,” says Coupland.

Coupland’s intention is not to leave the viewer depressed about our current situation, but rather inspired that we can affect change. Hence the inclusion of the aptly named “Plastic Boy and Plastic Girl” — the two children on the boat. They, according to Coupland, represent the hope that the younger generation will take stock of such a wide reaching problem and take steps to curb the damaging effects of plastic in the future. The other main staple of the exhibit is a wall containing thousands of individual plastic items collected from the waters around Haida Gwaii. They represent the 12 discarded plastic items most commonly found off the coast of B.C. Coupland believes localizing the problem will cause viewers to reflect and take action on how they use and dispose of plastics. For the full version of this story visit vancourier.com.

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T H U R SDAY, M AY 3 1 , 2 0 1 8 THE VANCOUVER COURIER

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REPORT ON

Seniors Transportation

SANDRA THOMAS | STHOMAS@VANCOURIER.COM

Seniors Advocate recommends new programs that could fall under home support On May 10, Seniors Advocate Isobel Mackenzie released a report which concludes that changes are required to address some of the existing transportation systems and recommends a new program required to fill some of the gaps. Dubbed Seniors Transportation: Affordable, Appropriate and Available, the report looks at traditional transit, including HandyDART and Taxi Saver vouchers, which Mackenzie says offer support to some seniors some of the time, but can’t fill all transportation needs for all seniors.

Mackenzie says that while family and friends can fill many of the gaps, that’s a shrinking resource and not all seniors have that support. The report highlights the fact that getting a person from point A to B does not totally capture the transportation needs of frail and vulnerable seniors. Many seniors may have the physical ability to take a bus or use HandyDART, but they have cognitive challenges that require someone to accompany them or their physical frailty requires someone to assist them throughout their trip. None of the current programs provide for these needs and even with recommended improvements,

the report notes they will continue to fall short.

Mackenzie has recommended a new program called “Community Drives,” which would be administered under the existing home support program. The program assesses the physical and cognitive function of seniors, determines what their needs are, determines how much they can contribute to the cost of needed services and hires, schedules and supervises staff who assist seniors in maintaining their independence. Along with helping seniors get bathed, dressed and ensuring they take their medications, the program could easily schedule someone to pick up the senior and take them to a medical appointment. Using

Peggy Casey, a senior who is legally blind, uses the transit system six to seven times a month to travel from the West End. PHOTO: DAN TOULGOET

the existing infrastructure allows the program to get up and running quickly and will reduce duplication.

Other highlights of the report include:

Report. Mackenzie recommends that all Class 5 licence renewals that require a DMER be treated the same.

! Expanding the HandyDART system and expand weekend and night time routes. ! Improvements for The report notes that pedestrians because walking a roundtrip outing on ! Costs related to fuel and is a form of transportation Translink’s HandyDART costs parking be allowed as a used by many seniors. the province about $80, while tax deduction for friends an hour of home support can and family who drive frail ! Examine the shortcomings cost less than $38. seniors who are no longer of the taxi industry. able to drive themselves. In addition to the new A complete list of the 15 service, Mackenzie called for recommendations and the ! Review the costs charged improvements on a number by physicians for the Driver full report is available at of fronts. seniorsadvocatebc.ca. Medical Examination

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THE VANCOUVER COURIER T H U R SDAY, M AY 3 1 , 2 0 1 8

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LIFETIME Spring 2018  

LIFETIME Spring 2018  

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