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THE Local Guide for Active Urban Families July/August 2010

Healthy Living: Taking Time to Breathe

Summer Fun for Everyone!

Things to Do Every Day of Summer

Multi-Age Classrooms, Tips for Summer Learning and More! Summer’s Here—But So Are the Kids!

How to Balance Work and Home Over the Summer


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July/August 2010






Have you checked your Child?



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or call us at 604-717-6200 July/August 2010



THE Local Guide for Active Urban Families June 2010

Healthy Living: Taking Time to Breathe

July/August 2010

Top Story

Summer Fun for Everyone!

Summer Fun for Everyone!

Things to Do Every Day of Summer

Multi-Age Classrooms, Tips for Summer Learning and More! Summer’s Here—But So Are the Kids!

How to Balance Work and Home Over the Summer

On Our Cover

Things to do and places to go— every day and any day!


Cousins Camryn, seven, and Carly, ten, are ready for summer! Photographed by A. Vance

Features Education & Childcare 10 Multi-Age Learning 12 Summer’s Here—But So Are the Kids! 14 Creative Parenting 16 Checklist: Summer Fun that’s Educational, Too

From the Editor 8 Editor’s Note 8 Your Thoughts 17 Contests

27 27 WCM Profile Jodi Iverson, Sales & Marketing Specialist 28 WCM Feature Healthy Living— Taking Time to Breathe 29 WCM Events

Columns 9

WestCoast Finds

18 Travel You Gotta Be Here—A British Columbia Staycation 30 Last Look Summer Craft Project!

In Our Next Issue Sign Up for Our Email Blast And get Exclusive Access to Online Contests Latest Finds & Deals Special Offers Event Listings …and much more!

September Back to School! Grandparents

Follow us on Twitter! 6

WestCoast Mom: Career

July/August 2010


editor’s note

ummer has been a long time coming this year. I had my flip-flops ready back in April, waiting for the first excuse to wear them. I finally did—two weeks ago. Still, better late and all that. And now that it looks like the good weather is here to stay, I am pondering the ago-old parenting question: What the heck am I going to with my kids (or, in my case, just the one kid) for the whole summer? School’s out, and two long months of freedom await. I have received many suggestions from my friends and colleagues. Intensive swimming, sports camps, art classes, early literacy camps, ballet camps, group nature trips, not to mention all of the field trip possibilities— both local and international. I’m a little exhausted just thinking about it. After several seconds of serious reflection, I have realized that what I want is just to relax. I want to spend time with my daughter, whether in lazy days at the beach or hiking the Baden Powell. I will enrol her in a couple of her favourite activities, but the rest of the time, it’ll be just us, strengthening our bond, chillaxin’ at the park or beach or wherever. And since even days at the beach can get boring, we’ve put together a great, big list of things for you to do with your kids over the next two months—things you can do any day, every day, every week, in town or out, plus lots of special events, festivals and activities that the whole family can take part in. Make this a staycation you can really sink your teeth into.

Photographed by eclipseph


And if, as is quite possible, your thoughts occasionally turn to September and worries about whether your kids’ brains—and your sanity—will actually melt from too much fun, we’ve included some info on how to keep those brains active over the summer, as well as some useful tips for all of the work-at-home parents out there dealing with childcare issues—or more precisely, the lack thereof. We’ve also taken a look at a growing trend in B.C. public schools, thanks mainly to the recent budget cuts and school closures. Multi-age classrooms are in many of our children’s futures, but, according to one teacher, this may not be the tragedy we think it is. I hope you all have a lovely summer with your families, full of rest, activity and many good memories-in-themaking, and will look forward to connecting with you all again in September. Happy Summer!

13988 Maycrest Way, Suite 140, 2nd Floor Richmond, BC V6V 3C3 Tel: 604.249.2866 Fax: 604.247.1331 ­ ublisher P Andrea Vance Managing Editor Anya Levykh Art Director & Layout Krysta Furioso Accounts Receivable & Bookkeeping Jennifer Brulé Administration / Editorial Assistant Jennifer Bruyns Advertising Inquiries 604-249-2866 For distribution inquiries, please contact: Jennifer Bruyns Contributors: Jennifer Bruyns, Kathleen Casprowitz, Cori Howard, Michele Kambolis, Labour Union Photographers, Claudia Laroye, Gayle den Otter, Shari Pratt, Christina Stewart, A. Vance.

your thoughts After reading the article on the WCM Fitness Challenge [Fitness Challenge Results, June], I was proud of the winners. I have no idea who these women are but I can relate. After having children, I find the days are just not long enough. Raising two kids, having a job and keeping clean clothes on everyone’s back, I am lucky to have a quiet shower. I would love to do this for the one person who lives last on the list—me. If you are planning to have another challenge, please consider my name. Keep up the great work!! L. Delorme While I enjoyed your article on über-mom myths [Breaking the Über-Mom Myth, May], I feel that only profiling successful women who seem to “have it all”

takes away from that message. What about moms who don’t own their own businesses? Or who don’t “work” at all? Perhaps there is some merit in profiling a more diverse range of mothers in your pages. B. Eggerton Thanks for the great read about living in small spaces [Living Small, June]. As a family trying to raise three children in the West End, we can relate to the challenges of small living quarters and overcrowding. We feel our location, and the great amenities we have access to, make it all worthwhile, and really appreciate the tips on how to maximize your space. A. Fitterman

WestCoast Families (WCF) is an independent, regional parenting publication. As the Lower Mainland’s prime resource for happy, healthy & active families, WCF provides informative and relevant content. All contents copyrighted ©. Written permission from the publisher is required to reproduce, quote, reprint or copy any material from WestCoast Families. PUBLICATIONS MAIL 40027247 Published nine times per year in British Columbia, Canada. Total circulation: 50,000 For queries about editorial submissions, please view the contributor guidelines on our website. To submit a community calendar event or share your feedback, please email

Got anything to say, rant about or praise? We want to hear it all! Email with your comments, questions and suggestions, and be entered to win monthly prizes! 8

WestCoast Families is proud to have been selected as a mom-friendly employer for the 2010 Progressive Employers of Canada List. And congratulations to our fellow inductees!

westcoast finds

Vapur: The Anti-Bottle Vapur is the first collapsible water bottle designed to fit in your pocket, purse, backpack, or briefcase. Unlike rigid water bottles that are full of hot air when empty, Vapur can be rolled, folded or flattened and tucked away. This means it goes more places and fits in tighter spaces than any other bottle. Every Vapur is made from ultra-durable, FDA-approved, BPA-free polymer and is designed to withstand everyday use and regular cleaning. The inner layer is odour, taste, and stain resistant. To clean, simply place it on the top rack of your dishwasher, then air dry as needed to remove any residual moisture. Vapur can be sealed tight for packing and can even be frozen! SRP $11.99 each at

FINIS Wyland Dolphin Tail The Dolphin Tail is a unique monofin that slips onto both feet and secures with an adjustable Velcro strap, allowing children to swim and play easily in the water, while using actual dolphin swimming techniques. Available in aqua blue or pink. Portion of sales goes to Wyland’s ocean preservation efforts. SRP $29.99 at specialty swim and sporting goods stores.

XM Xpress RCi Radio For all those road trips, the Xpress RCi features plug and play installation using either the new PowerConnect FM transmitter or Aux In Cable to receive audio through your car’s stereo system; large full colour split screen display—the industry’s only colour split screen that enables the user to see what is playing on four channels, all at the same time; pause and replay function that allows you to pause, rewind and replay up to 60 minutes of live radio; the ability to save up to 10 songs so you can enjoy them again later; and TuneSelect and GameSelect features that alerts you when your favourite song, artist or team is playing so you never miss a beat or score. SRP $149.99 (plus XM subscription) at Best Buy, Future Shop and The Source.

OWI’s Mini Solar RobotiKits As school lets out each summer, parents face the challenge of keeping kids’ minds and imaginations active. OWI’s Mini Solar kits provide just the right mix of hands on learning and outdoor fun since the whimsical designs are activated by a mini solar panel that brings them to life. When kids watch the robots they built themselves speed up or slow down depending on light intensity, they’re not only learning and experimenting with cause and effect but also enjoying hands-on science without the carbon emission. Powered by outdoor sunshine or indoor halogen lighting, these kits are perfect for sparking the imaginations of elementary or middle school kids with little or no kit building experience. SRP $19.95 at R.P. Electronics in Burnaby and online at

ThermaCell Outdoor Lantern This new, 98% effective, aesthetically-pleasing, reusable and affordable solution to repelling mosquitoes is ideal for gardening, outdoor entertaining, camping and spectator events and is 100% DEET-free as compared to topical repellents. SRP $39.99 at Home Depot.

July/August 2010



Multi-age Learning By Gayle den Otter

Parents and educators throughout B.C. are experiencing the negative effects of declining enrolment, closure of neighbourhood schools, and limited budgets. It is critical that all education stakeholders take time to reflect on educational philosophies and best practices for our students. What are the most effective and motivating learning environments for our students?


eighbourhood schools are imperative to a child’s education and should be available in rural and urban settings. As declining enrolment affects the number of students in our schools, we see multi-age groupings becoming more common. Multi-age groupings include students from two or three grade levels within one classroom. From my research and teaching experience in a rural setting with a multiage classroom I feel that the positive aspects of this type of grouping far outweigh the challenges. The teaching is interactive in nature. The mix of activities is stimulating for all ages of learners, who become much more confident about their abilities. Young students can participate and contribute to more complex activities than if they were by themselves with same-age peers. Some evidence shows that younger students may even progress more rapidly than they might in a traditional classroom as they are exposed to a higher level of instruction. Here are some other benefits: Learning and development. Children learn at different rates and the rate of their learning is not even and predictable. It can proceed in periods of rapid growth mixed with periods of little or no measureable growth. The traditional system of individual grades assumes that children learn at predictable rates with all of them arriving at the same point at the same time. We know that children have uneven developmental patterns and differing rates of progress. In a multi-age classroom, students are given the opportunity to learn at their


own rate without fear of failure. Returning and older students are expected to be role models and leaders for the younger and new students to the classroom. Celebrating diversity. Differences are embraced and diversity is celebrated. How you learn is as important as what you learn. The philosophy of multi-age learning goes beyond a respect for differences in learning styles and academic abilities. Teachers take each student at their level and move them forward. Mobile learning. Multi-age classrooms are child friendly and allow students to group themselves naturally for play and activities. They are allowed to make choices and express themselves in many ways. Children are encouraged to work and play together and to mix freely regardless of their age or grade level. Children are mobile, and varied instructional practices maximize the potential benefits of interaction among children who vary in experience, maturity and ability. Many motivating activities are provided that pay attention to students’ interests as well as abilities. When a student is motivated they will do their best and are proud of their efforts. Building self-esteem. Students have the opportunity to teach others, which builds their self esteem. We remember 95% of what we teach! Students are able to work at different levels without obvious intervention, which avoids the emotional stress of being “taken out for extra help” or needing to be “retained.” By being given opportunities to mentor younger children, older students are allowed to gain self-confidence. Students have a strong sense

of belonging. Children enjoy the social mix of ages. Returning students help new classmates become more comfortable. Students are more responsible for themselves and often happier. Building relationships. Being able to teach students two years in a row has many positive benefits. The teacher knows the strengths and challenges of most students in September. There is less time needed for classroom management and there is truly time to become acquainted with the needs and interests of each child, deal with problems and ensure success. The relationships with parents, students and teachers are better developed. Both students and parents have a greater sense of security, and the relationships between school and home are more meaningful. There are some challenges in multi-age classrooms. It is nearly impossible for a teacher to keep up with the student’s academic needs given the wide span of abilities. This often causes burnout for motivated and conscientious teachers. Teaching a multi-age class involves more preparation time and a greater workload for teachers. Teachers receive no additional training nor are given extra support for multi-age/grade teaching. Parents express concern as to whether older students are being challenged and if the younger students feel overwhelmed by older and more competent students. Multi-age groupings that include too wide a range of developmental ages and academic skills may not be a viable solution. Teachers of multi-age classrooms may need to change or redefine their teaching methods as they become teachers of children and not “subject” teachers. Hornby Island Community School is a textbook example of multi-aged classrooms. It is located in a rural community that is accessible only by ferry. The children come from families that are living an “alternate” lifestyle in some way. The children are the focus of the community and each and every one of them is “looked after” and their “uniqueness” is celebrated. I have found that teaching students in a multi-age classroom is both rewarding and challenging! I have an in-depth understanding of each of my student’s strengths and challenges. This has allowed me to create lessons based on their needs and where they are in their development rather than focusing solely on the recommended curriculum. I have welcomed and encouraged parents to become involved in our classroom so that they feel secure in knowing that I value, understand and teach to the diversity within the classroom. From Arts afternoons where our students work with artists in the community to boat building, singing the “blues” and ocean studies, our students are involved in meaningful educational experiences that promote independence and success. Despite the challenges, I believe that a multi-age classroom is a learning community of children. Multi-age classrooms focus on individual students in a diverse setting and allow students opportunities to explore a subject or interest at a variety of levels. Being a part of a multi-age learning environment enhances the continuity of learning. It promotes collaborative learning rather than competition and provides one of the best educational structures to help children grow socially, emotionally and intellectually. July/August 2010



Summer’s Here— But So Are the Kids! By Christina Stewart

Working from home can be a dream come true for many parents. No commuting, no power suits; and you’re close to your kids if something happens while they are at school. Then comes summer and suddenly you are on the phone to Toronto trying to close that big deal when Junior bursts into the room announcing that he’s bored or Sally decides to turn on the noisy blender.


s there a way to balance work and home during the summer? You bet there is! Lesley Pyle, founder and president of Home-Based Working Moms Network ( says “For me, the benefits of working at home far outweigh the drawbacks. The best benefit in my opinion is the freedom and flexibility to create my own schedule, which allows me to be a wife and mom first and a business woman second. I find that extremely important. The other benefits are being able to contribute to our family’s income, having more time with my kids, playing a bigger role in their upbringing, keeping up on business skills and having an outlet for creativity and adult interaction.” Balance Is Tough Pyle admits it can be difficult to balance work and home when your work is in your home. “It can be hard to juggle parenting, marriage and a business,” says Pyle, a mom of two. “I recommend continually re-assessing your business, your family, your marriage, and yourself. Make sure each area of your life is getting the attention it needs and make changes when one area is being neglected.” This can all be compounded when summer strikes and your kids are home from school and underfoot. Cara Miller, the community producer for and a work-at-home-mom, has felt the pressure rise when school is out. “My biggest challenge is balancing my time to be able to enjoy the fun things that we love to do during school breaks and my responsibilities with work,” says Miller, a mom to four. Flex-Time Miller does have a few suggestions for making it all work. “In the summer and during school breaks, I tend to work more flex-time,” says Miller. “I’ll get up around five a.m. and work until noon, take the afternoon off and then work a few more hours in the evening once the kids are in bed.” Elizabeth Symmers is a mom of two who works from home twice a week as a senior accountant with a non-profit organization in Burnaby. “Work during their nap times or early morning while they are still sleeping or in the evening after they have gone to bed,” suggests Symmers. “My kids are older now, so it’s not a problem, but when they were little I spent a lot of late nights and early mornings working.” Enlist Help “Arrange playdates with other friends so that you have time alone to work at home,” offers Symmers. Miller agrees. “Last summer, I had the support of another mom who also works from home. Many days we would coordinate activities to be able to take all of the kids out to places like the beach, or playgrounds.” Pyle recommends getting others involved. “Do hire a babysitter or enrol your child in preschool or a Mother’s Day Out program if they are with you during your work time on a regular basis. For the summer, hire a student to entertain your kids for a few hours a day while you complete your work, or if you know other moms who would like to swap child care duty, plan a child care swap with one or more of your neighbours.”


Tap Into Technology “The thing that has become invaluable to me is my iPhone and the ability to get email and be online anywhere,” says Miller. “I take my laptop with me occasionally as well and if I can’t get an internet connection via Wi-Fi, I can use my iPhone tethered to my laptop to be able to get an internet connect. Before this was possible, when I was out, work was constantly on my mind. Now I can check in periodically, put my mind at ease and enjoy the time with my kids.” Prioritize “When it’s work time, make it work-only time and when it’s home time, make it only home time,” says Pyle. “It’s important to draw healthy boundaries between work and family. Don’t let your work take you away from your marriage or children repeatedly. Hire help when needed whether that is a sitter, house cleaner, virtual assistant or all three. Know when you can no longer do it all yourself and be ready to find the help you need.” Find Balance “Do an outdoor activity with them and then when you get back home, have them watch a movie or play something that requires minimum supervision,” says Symmers. Miller tries to work when her kids are busy with other things, however she admits “There are times that this isn’t possible and we end up having a jammie day filled with video games mixed with some TV.” Get Your Kids On-board Symmers recommends getting your children to pitch in. “Explain to the kids why you’re working at home and how they need to help to make it work,” she suggests. Miller doesn’t think her younger kids quite get that she works at home, but her 13-year-old understands. “She’s been quite helpful on occasion if I have a tight deadline or a phone meeting where I need quiet,” says Miller. “Although it usually comes at a cost for me, that she’s happy to charge!” Take the stress out of summer and ensure that both you and your kids are enjoying the fleeting summer months; remember, September will be here before you know it.

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Creative Parenting By Michele Kambolis


ave you ever visited a home where a child’s creativity is truly celebrated? While we may love Kelly Wearstler throw cushions on sleek Italian sofas, there’s something admirable about a family that can forgo the carefully designed house for walls adorned with a three-year-old’s first acrylic painting, or one that gives pride of place to a youngster’s Gaudi-style pinch pot. A creative life is a richer life, and where better for kids’ creativity to thrive than within the family? If you need to be persuaded that fostering creativity brings great benefits, you don’t have to look far. Here are but four arguments for pulling out the bins of art and letting youngsters splash around a little paint, like junior Jackson Pollocks.

Inspire perseverance. Showing encouragement and open appreciation for your child’s efforts—rather than commenting on the quality of what they’ve done—inspires him or her to keep going when a task gets challenging. After all, it took Michelangelo four years to complete the Sistine Chapel—surely we can let little Jimmy build his life-size Lego creation for weeks on end, despite constantly stepping on loose Lego pieces.

Creativity, the success booster: Ask and any parent will tell you that their child’s education and what they consider “success” are of far bigger concern than their child’s “creativity.” Most would be surprised to find that the latest research demonstrates that imagination and creativity are as important as intelligence in predicting how successful a person will be in later life. Dr. Robert Sternberg, of Tufts University, tells us creative skills are critically important to long-term success. Parents need not feel they are neglecting a child’s education while letting them create that papier-mâché tribal mask, or by simply making your own chocolate-covered bacon bars (yes, such things really exist). Those projects don’t take away from valuable learning time; rather, they make creative children the better learners. Creativity skills boost all their strengths while making room for the magical side of childhood.

Relax the controls. Hold back on giving your child all the answers when they’re struggling with a question. Instead, give them room to explore the many possibilities they see—no matter how ineffective or “wrong” those might seem to you. Go a step further and help them make a list of the most outlandish solutions they’ve thought of, then talk your way through the list together.

Creativity, the parent/child bonder: It stands to reason that exploring creativity together should deepen mutual attachment, so a little help from an interested adult goes a long way to inspire a child’s creative currents. Perhaps it’s the “talk time” that comes from spontaneously crafting something beautiful, interesting or just plain silly—whatever the spark, working together strengthens family connections.

Art in everything. Creativity goes far beyond the paintbrush or charcoal pencil. If you help children find their creative side in the day-to-day, you may find their general satisfaction with life increases, too. Imagine the possibilities of adding moments of creativity to the most mundane tasks: Listen to new musicians during a commute. Create vegetable sculptures during dinner prep. Wear two different socks to school. Enjoy animal crackers during snack time and act like each beast as it’s eaten.

Creativity, the bad mood buster: The myth of the depressed-but-brilliant artist was recently exploded by researchers at the University of Toronto, who are finding evidence that creativity may be a form of self-medication, giving gloomy artists a boost in mood. They also suggest creativity breaks down a form of cognitive tunnel vision, opening up a wider range of fields to explore and increasing feelings of happiness. So, go ahead, get creative—your child may be a little less focused, but they’ll acquire a happiness tool for life. Creativity, the identity creator: Creativity is a catalyst for each child to express his or her uniqueness. It lets them express “I’m here!” “I’m me!” “I can do it!” It lets them escape into their inner world and explore different roles, emotions and skills. What better way to discover their developing self than through story, play and a curious creative life? Stimulating creativity goes far beyond pulling out the Crayola box, so what can parents do to encourage imagination and creativity while juggling the many other demands of family life? Here are some simple guidelines which should help you nurture your child’s developing mind and creative world, without missing a beat in your busy parent’s life: Tolerate the off-beat. Conjuring up odd and open-ended questions stimulates imaginative free-thinking and gives kids opportunities to explore a wider range of ideas. Make the outrageous seem possible with questions like “What would be more fun if it had wings?” or “What would it be like if all the trees in the world were purple?”


Expand possibilities. By building on your child’s first hobbies and interests, you help deepen their creative process while expanding their experience. Why stop at just putting on a dragon costume when you can create dragon food recipes, make a dragon ecosystem in the backyard and invite the grandparents over for a dragon play?

Encourage discovery. Use creativity as a way to see things in a new and unusual light, to come up with alternative ways to solve a problem or to complete a task in a totally different way. Studies show that the average adult thinks of no more than three or four options in a specific circumstance, while the average child can come up with 60. We adults return to the same ways of doing things as a way to cope with life’s demands, but taking the time to think outside the box may go far beyond helping your child develop spontaneity—it might uncover a budding entrepreneur or inventor deep within. Include the whole family. When you learn to awaken your entire family’s creativity, wonderful things happen in ways small and large. All the family will make meaningful connections and embrace new ways to play, relax and grow together. Every child is born with creative potential, but each needs a creative nudge now and again. So let your creativity know no bounds. The result will be more joyful parenting and fun beyond measure. Michele Kambolis is the Clinical Director of Harbourside Counseling Centre, Vice Chair of BC Mental Health Foundation and founder of CHIKids. She can be contacted at 604.689.9116 or for any questions about your child’s mental health and development.


9:26 PM

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Checklist: Summer Fun That’s Educational, Too Keep your child’s brain active this summer with these handy tips! By Kathleen Casprowitz of Sylvan Learning ( Read with your child. You can’t start too early. You can’t read too much. Reading to young children nurtures an interest in language, words and communication. For older kids, reading together can be fun and interesting. Parents can even turn Harry Potter mania into a learning opportunity. Read the books together with your children and ask questions about the plot and characters. Search for reading activities on the internet and create a reading list. There are an abundance of sites that provide summer reading lists for children. At, children (K-8) create personalized book lists from more than 7,500 recommended titles, take quizzes on the books they’ve read at school or at home, and earn points toward small prizes for understanding the books they’ve read. The program is designed to motivate students to read more often, for longer periods of time and with greater understanding. Plan a field trip to an interesting site close to home—a historic site, a museum, the zoo, etc. Research the trip in advance with your child and discuss it afterwards. Find pen pals. Encourage your child to write notes and letters to family members and friends as a way of practicing writing. Plan a meal together. Helping mom or dad with the regular grocery shopping and meal preparation creates opportunities to use math skills such as making change, weighing fruits and vegetables, etc. Visit the library. Libraries can recommend books appropriate for your child’s reading level and interests, and many libraries offer free children’s programs. Keep a journal. Give your child an empty notebook to keep a summer journal. Regular entries will keep writing skills active.


Making Your Home a Year-Round Place for Learning Work area. Set up a simple table or desk in a well-lit area. Add a supply of pens, pencils, markers and paper, and you’re set. Reference materials. Make sure you have a dictionary, atlas and other resource materials available so your child can research information. Your example. Parents can help encourage learning activities by example. Read with your children. Discuss trips and experiences. Keep your own daily journal.


Enter to win any of these great prizes online at!

Enter to WIN a family trip to Behind the Scenes at the Royal BC Museum in Victoria! Royal BC Museum: Behind the Scenes—an approved 2010 UNESCO International Year of Biodiversity project— is a multi-year project that includes an original exhibition, special events p ro g r a m , i n t e r a c t i v e website and tours to the museum collections areas. Designed to give visitors an insider’s look at the museum’s 124-year-history of scientific research, Part One of Behind the Scenes runs through to fall 2011 and showcases the work of the natural history department. The 10,000-square-foot exhibition features thousands of natural history specimens, ranging from preserved sea cucumbers, clawed frogs and pythons, to a 225-million-year-old fossilized Saurichthys (reptile fish). The AmusEum is a highlight of the show. In this hands-on activity space, explorers 10 years and younger can go wild in three activity tents packed with biodiversity-themed games. Kids can break out their stripes by dressing up like a skunk, channel their inner marine biologist by trekking through a kelp-garden or perform scientific research by studying a bug’s innards through a microscope.

WIN! This Back-to-School Prize Pack from Hilroy! From runway-inspired designs and sports themes to eco-friendly and innovative products, Hilroy offers a complete line of notebooks, files, portfolios, cases, binders and more! You can win this awesome prize package which includes pocket portfolios, binders, notebooks, project folders, expanding files and more! Total value $150. Deadline to Enter: August 30, 2010

To visit the online Behind the Scenes interactive exhibition, visit and click on the magnifying glass. Family prize package for four includes: • Return vehicle travel on BC Ferries, Lower Mainland to Vancouver Island • Special Queen Victoria Hotel and Suites overnight package, with breakfast at Samuel’s by the Park or boxed lunch • Royal BC Museum Annual Family Membership • ‘I Spy Saturday’ family workshop, Royal BC Museum Approximate value $600. Prize must be redeemed by March 31, 2011. Deadline to Enter: August 30, 2010.

WIN! The Landshark Kneeboard Not quite a scooter or skateboard, but the best of the two. Shredding the sidewalk or catching a concrete wave has never been easier than with the Fuzion Land Shark 4 Wheel Kneeboard. The wide super stable seven-ply wood deck gets you close to the ground so you can tear up the turns. The custom PU wheels let you stick to the road no matter how tight the carve. The super responsive steering and the hand brake let you maintain control at top speeds. Suitable for ages 7+. SRP $89.99 and up. Deadline to Enter: August 15, 2010

July/August 2010



“You Gotta Be Here”: A British Columbia Staycation By Claudia Laroye

If you tuned in to any of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games coverage, you would have seen Tourism British Columbia’s You Gotta Be Here campaign ads, promoting the beauty and splendour of our home province of British Columbia.


hough these advertisements were perhaps intended more for the tourism market outside of B.C., it served to remind those of us who live here of the wonderful vacation opportunities literally at our doorstep. And with many families looking to plan their summer holidays with a close eye on the bottom line, what better time than now to look at and start planning a British Columbia Staycation Summer Holiday? Here are some suggestions on where and how to spend your family holiday in British Columbia this summer.

The Great Outdoors One of the best and most economical family summer vacations is to spend a week or two travelling to (and between) some of the outstanding national & provincial parks and campgrounds throughout British Columbia. The B.C. Parks website offers detailed information on each provincial park and campground in B.C., many of which are reservable by visiting You can reserve your campsite up to three months in advance of your arrival—a necessity for those busy summer long weekends or highly popular campgrounds such as Pacific Rim National Park in Tofino (a national park with its own separate reservation system— New to the reservation system this year is the ability to reserve specific campsites within campgrounds—a real benefit if your family has a favourite campsite, or wishes to choose that special site with a lake or mountain view. A popular family campground is Alice Lake Provincial Park, just north of Squamish, and a one-hour drive from Vancouver. There’s a children’s playground in the day use area, fishing, biking trails, a walking trail around the lake, as well as more substantial hiking trails in the park itself. The lake is popular for swimming in summer, though it always remains at a refreshing temperature due to its mountain location. For more information about Alice Lake and all of B.C.’s provincial parks, visit

Houseboating A driving holiday planned further afield takes you into “Holidayland”—the Okanagan. Camping and cabin rental options remain plentiful, but for something fun and different, consider renting a houseboat with another family (or your extended family) on Shuswap Lake, the “Houseboat Capital of Canada.” The lake is large, quite warm for swimming, and fairly calm. There are several docking points along the 1,000 km of shoreline to access parks, beaches, restaurants, ice cream shops and golf courses. Twin Anchors Houseboat Vacations ( has been in business for more than 30 years, and has two marinas, in Salmon Arm and Sicamous. They have over 100 houseboats to choose from, the largest being 3,900 sq ft and sleeping up to 24 people. No matter which houseboat rental company you choose, they will offer an orientation course for your craft, as a Pleasurecraft Operator’s License is not required for houseboat rentals (though it is recommended). (Note: If your children are not yet old enough to swim on their own, you may wish to plan this holiday for when they’re older and safety is no longer a major worry.)


Horseback Riding & Dude Ranches The Kootenay Rockies are an amazing part of British Columbia. While camping opportunities abound here as elsewhere in the province, the natural beauty of this region can also be explored and experienced in a traditional western style with a family stay at a guest or dude ranch. The Three Bars Dude Ranch ( outside of Cranbrook was voted Canada’s Best Family Dude Ranch in 2010. Horseback riding, fly-fishing, river-rafting and time spent exploring the great outdoors make for an amazing and memorable summer family vacation experience. The cost of a guest ranch vacation reflects its all-inclusive nature, but moms may particularly enjoy someone else preparing three square meals a day for a week or more!

Island Time You don’t need to fly to the Caribbean to get some “island time.” Along with the amenities of Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands offer a wide variety of scenery, natural beauty and unique experiences for the whole family. Using the B.C. Ferries system, you can island hop from the wild beauty of Galiano Island, to the peaceful beach combing on Pender Island, to the more populated and busy artisan scene on Salt Spring Island. In Galiano’s Montague Harbour Marine Park, you can anchor your boat in the harbour or camp on-shore in the park, which is also accessible from the Sturdies Bay ferry terminal. On summer evenings, the park rangers offer a special night-time interpretive program about the island’s unique sea-life. Rangers lower a special light into the ocean from a hole in the middle of the interpretive centre, and the coastal waters come alive with the nocturnal creatures eating, swimming by, and if you’re lucky, even mating. It’s an experience worth staying up past the kids’ bedtime for.

Tourist in Your Own Town For stuff to do per square kilometre, nothing beats spending time visiting an urban centre like Vancouver or Victoria. The family-friendly choices are plentiful and offer something for everyone. In Victoria, a few of the tried-and-true attractions include the Royal BC Museum, Butchart Gardens, Chinatown, the BC Parliament buildings, and whale watching tours (seasonal). But for something really different and kidfriendly, try the Victoria Bug Zoo ( It’s a small, two-room zoo, located downtown near the Empress Hotel, and it’s filled with hundreds of bugs, insects and spiders. “Bug guides” offer enthusiastic information and fascinating bug facts, and safe “real bug handling” is allowed and encouraged. The feeling of a 400-leg millipede crawling on your child’s arm is not a memory he or she will easily forget! In Vancouver, your family can experience and re-discover the Vancouver Aquarium, Stanley Park, Science World, Vancouver Art Gallery, Museum of Anthropology, UBC Botanical Garden, Vancouver Maritime Museum, VanDusen Garden, Granville Island…the list goes on and on. One of the more unique and off-the-beaten-track attractions in the city

is the Vancouver Police Museum ( If law enforcement, crime, punishment, CSI, and confiscated weaponry are of interest, your family will have “an arresting experience” discovering the seamier side of Vancouver and its criminal past. The museum even hosts birthday parties for kids four to 12 years old, with two enticing themes; CSI (Forensic Science) or Mini Police Academy. Many city attractions are located within walking distance of each other, or are easily accessible by transit. The getting there can be half the fun if you travel by ferry, bus or SkyTrain line—particularly if your family doesn’t use these modes of transportation often. A great way to plan an in-town family holiday is by sitting around a map and deciding on the week’s itinerary, with each family member being a “tour guide for a day” and choosing one day’s worth of activities for the whole family to enjoy.

Summer Festivals A family’s summer should include at least one or two community festivals or carnivals. Many such events are child-friendly and even offer free activities and entertainment. The Powell Street Festival (, July 30 to August 1, is an annual celebration of Japanese-Canadian arts, culture, food and heritage in Vancouver’s former Japantown district. The 101st Cobble Hill Fair (, on Vancouver Island in late August, showcases a traditional agricultural fair with livestock shows, blacksmith demos, hay bale tossing, as well as musical entertainment and a pancake breakfast. Finally, the summer of 2010 is the 100th Anniversary of the Pacific National Exhibition ( Whether you’ve never been, or are an annual attendee at the 17-day festival, this summer would be a great time to relive the history, ride the rides, cheer on the Superdogs, and sample the tasty fare at the Fair. And of course, that includes the mini donuts. Celebrate the most beautiful place on earth and enjoy a family holiday in British Columbia this summer!

Claudia Laroye is a local Vancouver mom and author of blog. She is passionate about family travel and about educating children through the travel experience. Her blog offers “how to” travel tips, information and inspiration, as well as destination advice for the new or experienced traveller. She contributes to Tourism Vancouver’s InsideVancouver. ca and other travel sites on the web.

Local Resources BC Ferries Research routes, schedules and reserve ferry routes and times on the BC Ferries system. BC Parks For information, location, maps and things to do in all of British Columbia’s Provincial Parks. Discover Camping Reserve campsites in B.C. Provincial Parks campgrounds, up to three months in advance of your arrival. 1.800.689.9025 | Hello BC The official website of Tourism B.C., with everything you’d like to know about Super Natural British Columbia.

July/August 2010


summer calendar

Summer Fun for Everyone! Things to do and places to go—every day and any day! DAILY Animal Grossology Metropolis at Metrotown 604 – 4720 Kingsway, Burnaby Check out the grossest, most entertaining and educational exhibit you’ve ever seen. Using imaginative interactive exhibits and animated characters set in virtual 3D animal world. Ongoing until August 25. Bard on the Beach Vanier Park, Vancouver This outdoor festival offers Shakespeare plays, related dramas, and several special events in two performance tents through September 25. Bear Creek Park Train & Mini Golf 13750 – 88 Ave, Surrey Ride the train, play some mini-golf and enjoy one of Surrey’s largest parks. 604.501.1232 | Big Bus Vancouver Tour the city on the vintage doubledeckers and retro open-top buses. Explore the city with a two day valid pass while getting on and off at any one of 22 different stops in the most memorable locations.


Burnaby Village Museum 6501 Deer Lake Ave, Burnaby See a blacksmith close up. Forge steel. Tour a cemetery, trace family or ride the carousel! Stroll the streets of the 1920s BC Electric Railway tram stop community. 604.297.4565 Capilano Suspension Bridge 3735 Capilano Rd, North Vancouver This bridge stretches 450 feet across and 230 feet above the Capilano River. 604.985.7474 | Capilano Watershed Tours North Vancouver Discover the Capilano Valley shaped by the glaciers and pioneers of our province on the four-hour bus tour. Learn where our water comes from, and how it is managed. Understand our coastal temperate ecosystems and forest management, and take in spectacular views. 604.432.6430 | Collage Collage 621 Kingsway, Vancouver Drop in from 1pm to 3pm for storytelling, arts and crafts, and a snack in between. Perfect for children ages three to six years.

Crankpots #153 – 555 West 12 Ave, Vancouver Choose from hundreds of functional and decorative pieces, from latte cups, to place setting and dishes, for you to paint and personalize. 604.871.0302 | Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden 578 Carrall St, Vancouver Journey back in time to 15th century China and enjoy this “window to another world.” 604.662.3207 Fort Langley Enjoy a relaxing day of exploring interesting and beautiful shops—there are over 80 businesses set in a historic atmosphere. Greater Vancouver Zoo 5048 – 264 St, Aldergrove Celebrate the zoo’s 40th anniversary on August 20 or stop by any summer day to see all sorts of animals not seen on the farms! Also, check the website for “Family night in the wild” in August. 604.856.6825 |

Grouse Mountain 6400 Nancy Greene Way, North Vancouver Take the Super Skyride, a tram that glides you up the steep mountainside to the mountaintop playground that offers hiking, helicopter tours, paragliding, picnics, logging shows and a spectacular view of Greater Vancouver. 604.980.9311 | Historic Stewart Farm 13723 Crescent Rd, Surrey Features a beautifully restored 1894 farmhouse, pole barn, root cellar and heirloom gardens and orchard in a lovely pastoral setting on the Nicomekl River. 604.592.6956 | H.R. MacMillan Centre 1100 Chestnut Street, Vancouver Through innovative programming, exhibits, and activities, kids are educated, inspired and evoke a sense of wonder about the universe, our planet and space exploration. 604.738.7827

summer calendar Kids Market 1496 Cartwright Street, Granville Island Shop and play indoors in the huge kids area or enjoy the patio and play area beside the pond outside! 604.689.8447 |

Playland 2901 East Hastings Street, Vancouver Huge amusement park open all summer long. Buy your Season and One-Day Play Passes online and save.

Kitsilano Beach Pool Cornwall Ave & Maple St On the water in the heart of Kitsilano, an extension of Kits Beach, is Vancouver’s largest heated outdoor salt-water pool that offers easy access “beach entry” for children. Concession and playground available and a walk away from Kits Beach! 604.731.0011

Pirates! Blocks & Buccaneers Exhibit Surrey Museum, 17710-56 “A” Ave, Surrey Drop in for an adventure of villainy, plunder, buried treasure and swabbing the deck! LEGO creations showcase the world of pirates, from their ships, treasures, famous battles and weapons to their dress, possessions, grub and legends. Ongoing until August 28.

Krause Berry Farms 6179 – 248 St, Langley Pick your own berries or buy prepacked, shop at the farm bakery, sip a berry milkshake on the porch, or enjoy the farm-made fudge and ice cream. 604.856.5757

Richmond Go-Karts 6631 Sidaway Rd, Richmond Check out the best outdoor go-kart track around. Fun for ages four and up. Weather permitting. 604.278.6184 |

Langley Centennial Museum 9135 King St, Fort Langley Check out their newest exhibit “Interwoven: N’laka’pamux Basketry and Basket Makers.” 604.888.3922 |

Maplewood Farm 405 Seymour River Place, North Vancouver An interactive petting farm for kids ages one to 100. Open daily from 10am to 4pm. 604.929.5610 | North Vancouver Museum and Archives 209 West 4th St, North Vancouver A series of fun-filled and educational mini adventures for children ages six to 12 years. 604.987.5612 |

Science World 1455 Quebec St, Vancouver Hands on fun and science education for kids and adults of all ages. 604.443.7440 | Splashdown Waterslides 4799 Nu Lelum Way, Tsawwassen 13 water slides of all shapes and sizes and water play area for toddlers. 604.943.2251 | Stanley Park Miniature trains running daily 10:30am to 5pm and children’s farmyard daily from 11am to 5pm.

Stanley Park Horse-Drawn Tours Kiosk along Park Drive in Stanley Park The one-hour tour departs every 20 to 30 minutes, daily, rain or shine. Surrey Museum 17710 – 56 “A” Ave, Surrey The first new museum built in B.C. in the 21st century! Various day camps offered all summer long. 604.592.6956 | The Great Escape 20645 Langley Bypass, Unit 104, Langley Family entertainment centre and indoor theme park for all ages including laser tag, climbing walls, bowling, and a jungle themed Mayan adventure playground. 604.530.1400 | UBC Botanical Garden 6804 SW Marine Dr, Vancouver Canada’s oldest continuously operating university botanic garden featuring a collection of over 7,500 different taxa, many of which are of wild origin. 604.822.4208 | Vancouver Aquarium 845 Avison Way, Vancouver Located in Stanley Park, the aquarium is home to over 70,000 amazing animals including beluga whales, sea otters and dolphins. Summer hours are 9:30am to 7pm. 604.659.3474 |

July/August 2010


summer calendar Vancouver Maritime Museum 1905 Ogden Ave, Vanier Park Discover the rich maritime history and traditions of the Pacific Coast. 604.257.8300 |

Nature Story Time Surrey Nature Centre, 14255 – 96 Ave Kids ages three to six years can drop in every Friday between 10:30am and 11am for story time books and songs. 604.502.6065 |

Vancouver Police Museum 240 E. Cordova St, Vancouver Offering special forensics-themed workshops for kids ages eight to 15 during summertime. 604.665.3346

Richmond Summer Night Market 12631 Vulcan Way, Richmond From bubble tea and eating competitions to snake exhibits and slippers, you can find it all at this annual outdoor market. Best of all, the night market is home to some of the best street food in the Lower Mainland. Come hungry! Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday until October 4.

VanDusen Botanical Garden 5251 Oak St, Vancouver Explore the 55-acre garden and huge variety of plants and animals. Discover the natural world through outdoor hands-on practical explorations, games and crafts. 604.718.5898 | Watermania 14300 Entertainment Blvd. Richmond Richmond’s Aquatainment Centre with a huge swimming pool, two waterslides, sauna and whirlpool. Total entertainment for the kids! 604.448.5353 |

WEEKLY Animal Show Richmond Nature Park 11851 Westminster Hwy Visit the small collection of live animals, the ambassadors to the wildlife community of the bog. Suitable for all ages. Sundays only. 604.718.6188 | Confederation Park Miniature Railway Confederation Park 120 North Willingdon Ave, Burnaby Ride the miniature train for only $2 a ride. Fun for all ages! Open Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, 11am to 5pm through October. 604.291.0922 Free Concerts In The Park Douglas Park Spirit Square, 20550 Douglas Crescent, Langley A new local talent will be featured every Friday night during this weekly summer concert series. 604.514.2940


Summerfest: Kids’ Fridays at Lonsdale Quay Lonsdale Quay, 123 Carrie Cates Court, North Vancouver Check website for schedule of various great entertainers offered every Friday until September 5. Vancouver Art Gallery Every weekend on Saturday and Sunday, the Gallery offers unique activities geared towards five to 11 year old visitors and their families. Weekly Family Programs are free with Gallery admission. 604.662.4717 | Vancouver Chinatown Night Market Keefer St & Main St, Vancouver Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 6:30pm to 11pm, shop for gifts items, fashion, or modern electronics and enjoy plenty of entertainment. Vancouver Farmers’ Markets Various locations Come meet your maker every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday at the various farmers’ markets in Vancouver. Enjoy the best in local produce, artisan foods and crafts. Ongoing through October. Visit website for locations and times.

DAY (OR MORE!) TRIPS Butchart Gardens 800 Benvenuto Ave, Brentwood Bay This National Historic Site of Canada boasts over fifty-five acres of stunning floral show gardens, plus a rose carousel, summer Saturday fireworks and a family discovery walk. 1.866.652.4422 |

Dinotown 53480 Bridal Falls Rd, Rosedale Live shows and parades, unlimited rides, inflatable fun, mini golf, a wet fun firehall, train and pedal cars, an adventure playground, and lots and lots of dinos!! Open daily until September 6. Foxglove Farm 1200 Mt. Maxwell Rd, Salt Spring Island Home to the Centre for Arts, Ecology and Agriculture, this 120-acre organic farm offers various workshops, culinary events, and cooking classes throughout the summer, and a special farm, arts and culinary camp for kids July 26 to 30. Don’t miss the free Foxglove Festival on July 25! Harrison Festival of the Arts Harrison Hot Springs From July 10 to 18, and set among the Village of Harrison along the streets, on the beach and in the Memorial Hall, the Festival presents music from all corners of the globe, a large outdoor art market, workshops, theatre, literary café, art exhibits, day and evening concerts and a full day just for kids on July 14. Royal BC Museum 675 Belleville Street, Victoria Step into our world. The Royal BC Museum has turned inside out to reveal a groundbreaking exhibition and yearlong schedule of activities. Children will flip for the AmusEum—a sustainabilitythemed activity zone! From Camp Inside Out to Backstage Pass tours, there’s something for everyone at Behind the Scenes. 888.447.7977 | Victoria Bug Zoo 631 Courtney St, Victoria This small museum located near the Empress Hotel boasts hundreds of the world’s rarest insects, arachnids and creppy-crawlies! Get a bug-guide to show you around and even handle some of the critters yourself. 250.384.2847 |

Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre 9811 Seaport Place, Sidney Discover the amazing diversity of the ocean, just in time for sunny days full of beach exploration! Daily programs throughout the summer, from shark feedings to story times! Peninsula Co-op’s Salish Sea School at the Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre is a handson/hands-wet summer camp that combines field and boat trips with games and art! Perfect for curious kids in grades one to five.

JULY 34th Annual Golden Spike Days Festival July 1 to 4 Rocky Point Park 2715 Esplanade St, Port Moody A fun-filled weekend for the entire family with entertainment, special events and activities, as well as great food! Vancouver Pride Parade & Festival July 7 to August 1 One of Vancouver’s biggest and best annual festivals, attracting over 600,000 visitors yearly, in support of the LGBT community, with many family- and youth-friendly events throughout July, culminating in the annual parade through downtown Vancouver on August 1.

July/August 2010


summer calendar Delta Community Animal Shelter Expo July 11, 11am to 4pm Memorial Park, Ladner Promote animal safety, awareness and responsible pet ownership. The event will also feature demonstrations, a pet parade, contests, and prizes. 604.323.3898 Fraser River Discovery Centre July 16 to 18 788 Quayside Drive, New Westminster Celebrate FraserFest with boat building and the official launch of the completed skiff on Saturday, and a brand new archaeology dig and new pollution model. Come celebrate the Fraser River at FraserFest! 604.521.8401 |


Party-at-the-Pier July 17 & 18 Foot of Lonsdale Ave and adjacent piers, North Vancouver A musical festival celebrating the maritime community with orchestra brass, magic, dancing, and a visit from the Kerplunks! 250.228.4452 Agoo Active Kids Day July 18, 10am to 3pm Kitsilano Ice Arena Come “Stay Out and Play” at a great event featuring a musical performance by Bobs & Lolo, gymnastics circuit, bouncy castles and more! 604.266.7500

KOOZA July 22 to August 22 Concord Pacific Place, Vancouver KOOZA is a return to the origins of Cirque du Soleil that combines two circus traditions—acrobatic performance and the art of clowning. Forest Symphony July 23, 5:30pm to 7:30pm Pacific Spirit Regional Park, UBC Encounter musicians and their songs along the trail. Starts at Cleveland trail across from the parking lot on 16th Avenue. 604.224.5739 Woodstock Amongst the Livestock July 24 & 25 Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Family oriented & agriculturally educational annual festival that is free to attend.

Harmony Arts Festival July 30 to August 8 Various locations, North Visit the various seaside venues to experience first-hand all the sights, sounds and sensations of this award winning 10-day festival. Everyone is welcome and all of the events are free. The festival offers a visual arts program, nightly Sunset Concert Series, Seniors’ Concerts, World Music Day, Children’s Programs, Studio Tours, Fountain Stage Concerts, Cinema in the Park, Youth Rock, the ever popular Craft Market, ArtSPEAKS, ArtDEMOS and much more. 604.925.7268 |

summer calendar AUGUST Abbotsford International Airshow August 13 to 15 Abbotsford Airport See various types of aircraft in use and formerly used by local and foreign militaries. Flying starts at 10am. 604.852.8511 | Afternoon Family Cruise August 29 MV Britannia (501 Denman Street) Cruise the beautiful waters of False Creek aboard the MV Britannia. “Mr. Bubbles” will be there for face painting and ballooning, as will “In the Company of Fairies” face painting your little princesses! Richmond Maritime Festival 2010 August 20 to 22 Britannia Shipyard National Historical Site, 5180 Westwater Drive See a variety of maritime exhibits, enjoy live entertainment and hands-on demonstrations. 604.718.8050 | Starry Night August 21, 7pm to 10pm Deas Island Regional Park, Delta Enjoy an enchanted evening illuminated by starlight and lanterns, drumming, storytelling and other activities. 604.224.5739

Art in the Park Festival August 21 & 22 Minnekhada Regional Park, Coquitlam Enjoy artists’ work, live jazz, watch roving performers, the outdoor café, guided nature walks, or crafts in the children’s area. 604.520.6442 | Pacific National Exhibition August 21 to September 6 2901 East Hastings Street Live shows, exhibits and attractions, agriculture and much more at the Lower Mainland’s largest annual ticketed event. Celebrate their 100th anniversary with your family! Kilby Kids Festival August 29, 11am Junction of Harrison and Fraser Rivers A full day of entertainment including piñatas and children’s performer Rosie Ribbon Star. 604.796.9576 | Feast of Fields August 29, 1pm to 5pm Wellbrook Winery, 4626 88 St, Delta Together our region’s farmers, restaurateurs, vintners, brewers and food artisans provide a delicious opportunity to experience the simplicity of committing to a local, sustainable diet.

Walking with Dinosaurs: The Arena Spectacular August 26 to 29, General Motors Place, Vancouver After 65 million years they’re back! Internationally renowned designers have worked with scientists to create 15 life-size dinosaurs, including the terror of the ancient terrain, Tyrannosaurus-rex! It’s a dazzling 10 million pound arena spectacle of unprecedented size and quality set to captivate young and old alike. Watch them walk. Hear the roar. From the ripple of their skin to the glint in their eye, you will know the dinosaurs really have returned!

July/August 2010



Characters:Layout 1

Where to pick up your copy of


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Jodi Iverson

Sales & Marketing Specialist

Photographed by Labour Union Photographers | What’s the lowdown on you? Blissfully married mom of two to Alex, 17 and Emma, 5. Self-employed sales professional specialising in family-focused, strategic marketing. Lover of music, reading, handmade things and the Okanagan. How did your business come about? After the birth of my daughter, I took a buy out from my previous company, which allowed me time to consider my options. With a husband who worked fulltime, a preteen, and a newborn at home, I felt it was in my family’s best interest for me to be present as much as possible. I decided to make a change and find a career I could pursue from home. Turns out it was the best decision I have ever made! I am passionate about my work, in particular helping to grow local businesses. What are some of your biggest challenges in work? In life? People often think the challenge of working from home is self-motivation, but for me the biggest challenge is knowing when to shut off. I have been known to make business contacts at the farmers’ market and answer emails well into the wee hours of the morning! I tend to work 24-seven. What would you describe as some of the biggest rewards of your work/family? I love the flexibility my business gives me. Being able to work from my son’s football game, while on a weekend away with my husband or at my daughter’s tennis lesson is pretty amazing. To me there is nothing better than spontaneous time with my family, so the ability to pick up and go at a moment’s notice is invaluable to me. Do you manage to take time-out for yourself? If so, what does that entail? I am always talking about taking time for myself, but am just starting to actually do so. I am a believer that how we perceive our time is as important as how we actually spend it. So if going to my son’s hockey game, a date night with my husband or the park with my daughter is fulfilling, to me that counts as time out for myself! I also recently took a sewing class and plan on taking more (shout out to Spool of Thread and Collage Collage who are offing classes in tandem so you can drop your kids off at a fantastic art class and go sew!) I also try to spend as much one on one time as possible with my sister, who is also my best friend and the person I count on to give me her honest, no-nonsense opinion—good or bad! >>> July/August 2010



WCM feature

Healthy Living: Taking Time to Breathe By Cori Howard

I am lying in bed with my eight-year-old son, rubbing his back in the dark, trying to help him sleep. He tosses and turns, sniffles and snuggles. This is our time, our few minutes alone. His fiveyear-old sister is already asleep and as we lie together under the warm blankets, he interrupts long stretches of silence to tell me about his day, his fears, his dreams. Page 1


nd yet, I am resentful about having to be here in the dark with him, knowing the longer it takes, the sleepier I will get, and the harder it will be to rouse myself to go downstairs to do the dishes, the laundry, make lunches. The longer it takes, the less time I will have to finish my work, read a book, decompress, talk to my husband. But sometimes—not often enough—I remember to be grateful for this dark, meditative time. When my children were babies, I used to sit for hours breastfeeding or with a sleeping child on my chest, unmoving for fear of waking them, keeping still until body parts went numb, thinking and thinking. For a writer, all that free mental time was restorative, calming and incredibly creative. I would come up with story ideas, plan new book projects, start letters to my children. Tonight, I am trying to be grateful, trying to use this quiet time to clear my head. But as I stare up at the ceiling, I am wide-eyed with the fear that I have forgotten something. The list rattles off inside my head: remember to pack swimsuit for Jaza’s class, is there enough food in the fridge for two dinners and lunches, when will I get to the grocery store, who will drive Ty to soccer on Saturday? My brain is firing questions I can’t answer and it’s making me hyperventilate. Stressed, I jump out of bed, give my son a quick kiss goodnight and head


(604) 731-5676 Handling cases involving custody of and access to children with care since 1982. Suite 308, 2902 West Broadway, Vancouver, BC V6K 2G8 28

downstairs to stare at the calendar. This is the only time I feel like an organized mom: looking ahead at the next day and knowing what’s coming. Motherhood has made a good Buddhist out of me. I live day to day, moment to moment. If you ask me about my weekend, I will say, “I don’t remember.” If you ask me what I’m doing tomorrow, I will say, “I don’t know.” Unless I’m looking at my calendar. (For those of you who are wondering…I haven’t bought an iPhone yet. I can’t imagine adding that to my to-do list right now, and can’t even afford my cell phone bill.) Tomorrow—my big, antiquated paper calendar reminds me—I teach a class at night, so I must try to prepare dinner in the morning, along with breakfast and school lunches. I have to remember to register my kids for summer camps. I have to call my mother, write a chapter for my new book, update my website, cancel the dentist, check my emails, have a shower, pick up the kids. I close my eyes, standing there in the cool, night air of my kitchen, and I think: tomorrow, I will lie with my son and breathe. Deep breaths. In and out.

Cori Howard is an award-winning journalist and the editor of Between Interruptions: Thirty Women Tell the Truth about Motherhood. She is also the founder of The Momoir Project (, a series of writing classes for moms and dads in Vancouver and online.

WCM profile cont’d Any must-haves? My Blackberry and laptop that allow me to work on the fly, listening to music, keeping in touch with friends and family, and indulging my online shopping fetish. Tell us one or two of the most important life lessons you have learned through being a mom/business owner. I am learning that when it comes to my struggle with time management, there is no magical answer…but I am not alone! Most mothers I know, be they business owners, part-time workers or stay-at-home moms, endeavour to balance work, kids and time for themselves. One key solution for me has been making my office kid friendly. I have as many art and craft supplies in my office as I do files! This allows my daughter and me to “work” together. Another solution is making the most of the time you do have with your family. Even if it is the drive to the dentist—talk, sing, laugh. These years are precious and fleeting, so every moment counts.

Adult Events for the Hip Mom Around Town! Theatre Under the Stars Malkin Bowl, Stanley Park | July 13-August 20, 8pm In its 64th season, Theatre Under The Stars is presenting Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and Singin’ In The Rain on alternating nights. Unforgettable outdoor live theatrical and musical entertainment. Check online for details. 604.734.1917 | The Brain Development and Learning Conference Hyatt Regency, Vancouver | July 16-20 This is a conference filled with practical, relevant information on children’s issues, with seminars on topics such as health issues, academics, social and emotional well-being, and cultural diversity, given by today’s research experts. 21st Century Flea Market Croatian Cultural Centre | July 18, 10am-3pm With 175 different vendors offering everything from shabby chic to 50s kitsch, collectibles and memorabilia to vintage kitchenalia, this popular European-style collectors’ market is a must-see. Jam-packed full of bargains on deluxe 20th century junque makes each date an absolutely-do-not-miss treasure-hunting adventure! Admission is $4 at the door. 604.980.3159 | Running Room 20 Minute Challenge Any Running Room | July 21 Get active by running or walking for 20 minutes in this annual event taking place across the country. Bring your friends and family, have fun while being active, and get a free hat! Register for free online.

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8th Annual Camp Moomba Yogathon & Blissfest MacInnes Field, UBC | July 24, 9:30am-2pm Join two thousand others for 108 minutes of yoga and raise awareness and funds for children impacted by HIV/AIDS. Funds raised from this event will help send a child to summer camp for an experience of a lifetime. Enjoy the marketplace for sustainable consumer products, clothing, services and delicacies, the live music and the Kid’s Camp Corner. Kids ages 12 and under are free! Please register online. Bare Buns Run Wreck Beach | August 8 Take part in this clothing optional 5 km run that attracts international participants. Remember appropriate footwear and sunscreen. $25/adult, $20/under 16 and 55+. Registration required. 604.876.3909 | World Run For Mental Health Wine and Cheese Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre | August 20, 6:30pm-10:30pm You are invited to an evening of good wine, delicious food and great entertainment to support Wayne Cho’s World Run for Mental Health. Wayne completed a run across Canada in 2009 to raise awareness for mental health and plans to do a 26,000km around the world to further shatter the stigma around mental illness. $30 in advance/$35 at the door. Summer Nights Concert Series PNE Amphitheatre | August 21-September 6, nightly at 8pm No matter the night, the Summer Night Concerts promise to keep you singing and dancing as you keep coming back for more with performers like Trooper, Huey Lewis, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts and Teri Clark. Concerts are free with gate admission to PNE fairgrounds. Check online for complete listings of entertainers. Huge Indoor Kids Swap Meet Cloverdale Fairgrounds | Aug 21, 9am-1pm For families and those expecting this is a goldmine! Everything from toys to strollers, clothing to baby gates you’ll find it here. Newborn to age 10. To book a table or for information please call. 604.588.9919

July/August 2010


last look

Summer Craft Project!

By Shari Pratt

Something’s Buggy: Puffy Paint Suitable for ages 3-7

Supply List • • • • • • • • • • • •

Tempera paint Flour Water Black construction paper (I used 11 x 17) Masking tape Chalk Stickers (I used Roylco lick and stick stickers) Google eyes Pipe cleaners (cut into 1” pieces) White liquid glue Squeeze bottles (I used picnic ketchup bottles found at dollar store) Optional: photographs or books about BUGS

Preparation 1. Puffy Paint: Mix in a bowl: ½ cup paint, ¼ cup flour, ½ cup water. Pour into squeeze bottles. Make as many colours as you like. I make one colour pr child. Can be made one day ahead of use. 2. Tape each child’s paper to a surface (can be a table, desk, piece of cardboard from a box) like so: tape around entire paper

Instructions 1. Talk about what BUGS look like. Show pictures or read a book about BUGS. 2. Draw the bug onto the black paper using the chalk. Hint: make sure the main bug body is BIGGER than the child’s hand. Add lots of legs, a head, antennae, and maybe a tail 3. Show your child how to squeeze out the paint from the bottles. 4. Let your child fill in the main bug body using 1-2 colours. In this example, the child used red and yellow. 5. Colours can be added on top of previous colours. Encourage your child to add stripes, polka dots, swirls... let their imaginations go crazy 6. Allow to dry (could take up to 5 days). Then untape from surface. 7. Stick the stickers around the bug to create a colourful boarder. 8. Attach the google eyes and pipe cleaner legs with white glue.

Artistic Influence: Jack Shadbolt (Feb 4, 1909– Nov 22, 1998) was an England born Canadian painter and teacher. Jack painted butterflies in a variety of sizes and shapes. He tried to demonstrate human emotions in the various transformations of a butterfly’s life. Jack taught at schools throughout Vancouver and Victoria. He also taught at the Vancouver School of Art (now known as Emily Carr University). Jack Shadbolt Title: Summer Icon (triptych), acrylic, 1977 Shari Pratt is a local artist and teacher, and owner of Creative Kaos School of Art and Imagineering (


July/August 2010



WestCoast Families July/August 2010  

WestCoast Familes Magazine