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The Local Guide for Active Urban Families

happy holidays! from our family to yours

november/december 2015

winter fun | family photography

moms westcoast

Our WCF Team!

Love of learning

starts here

Elementary Open House Sun Nov 8, 12:00 - 4:00 pm

Thurs Nov 12, 7:00 - 9:00 pm

at The Westin Bayshore

at Westside Montessori Academy

Westside Montessori Academy 3075 Slocan Street (on 12th Ave at the Italian Cultural Centre) (604) 434-9611 westsidemontessoriacademy.ca

families westcoast

november/december 2015

• winter fun • family photography

on our cover... The WCF Kids are all wrapped up in winter fun! Photo by Dylan Doubt www.dylandoubtphotography.com

Winter Fun Experience is a Gift

Photography Our Favourite Covers

Photography Advice from the Experts

Winter Fun Fun Local Events and Activities





Winter Fun Snowshoe Sensation

Winter Fun Winter Program Listings

Winter Fun Voracious Volunteering

Travel Victoria





24 moms westcoast

The WestCoast Families Moms!

from the editor 6 7 8 22 28 30

From Our Family to Yours Contests WestCoast Finds WCF News Community Calendar Modern Home EC WCF Family Holiday Recipes

next issue jan/feb • Education 4


www.twitter.com/wcfmag www.facebook.com/westcoastfamilies www.pinterest.com/wcfmag

If you own, lease or otherwise occupy private property containing a glass-fronted gas burning fireplace, fireplace insert or heating stove, you should read this notice. Under a court-approved class action settlement certain manufacturers are offering, free of charge, barriers intended to prevent burns from the hot glass fronts. Further information is below. NOTICE* OF SETTLEMENT APPROVAL AND CLAIMS PROCEDURE OF A CLASS ACTION INVOLVING CERTAIN GAS BURNING FIREPLACES, FIREPLACE INSERTS AND STOVES TO: ALL PERSONS IN CANADA WHO OWN, LEASE OR OTHERWISE OCCUPY PRIVATE PROPERTY CONTAINING A FIREPLACE FROM ONE OF THE SETTLING DEFENDANTS DESCRIBED BELOW CERTIFICATION A lawsuit commenced in British Columbia has been certified as a class action against CANADIAN HEATING PRODUCTS INC., MILES INDUSTRIES LTD., MONESSEN HEARTH CANADA, INC., and MONESSEN HEARTH SYSTEMS COMPANY (doing business as VERMONT CASTINGS GROUP) (the “Settling Defendants”), by the Supreme Court of British Columbia (the “Court”). WHAT IS THE LAWSUIT? It is an action concerning the risk of burns from contacting the hot glass fronts of some gas burning fireplaces. WHAT IS THE SETTLEMENT? The British Columbia Supreme Court has approved a settlement under which the Settling Defendants have agreed to provide, free of charge, barrier screens or screen kits for certain of their Fireplaces to reduce the burn risk.

WHAT DOES COURT APPROVAL MEAN? Class Members are bound by the settlement. Notice of the proposed settlement was published in April and May, 2015. The settlement was approved by the Court on May 26, 2015. WHERE CAN I OBTAIN MORE INFORMATION, OR OBTAIN A FIREPLACE BARRIER OR SCREEN? Class Members should contact: Crawford Class Action Services (the “Administrator”) Suite 3-505, 133 Weber Street North Waterloo, ON N2J 3G9 Toll Free: 1-877-739-8933 Fax: 1-888-842-1332 Email: fireplaceclassaction@crawco.ca DO I NEED PARTICIPATE?





No. You do not need to pay any money to participate in the settlement. Class members pay nothing. The lawyers appointed by the Court to represent the Class will be paid by the defendants under the settlement.



Class Members are all persons in British Columbia, plus all persons elsewhere in Canada who choose to “opt in”, who have one of the Settling Defendants’ gas fireplaces, inserts or stoves (“Fireplaces”) in their home that was installed between January 1, 2001 and December 31, 2014.

The following law firm represents the plaintiffs and the class, and will answer questions about the class action:

If you live in British Columbia and have such a Fireplace you are automatically included in the class action settlement. If you live elsewhere in Canada you may choose to opt into the settlement. You should immediately review the full legal notice in this matter to ensure that you understand your legal rights. Further details on the proposed settlement and on opting in are available via the telephone numbers and email & website addresses set out in this notice. Claim Forms and Opt in requests MUST BE SUBMITTED by June 6, 2016. If your communication is not received in time it may not be considered valid.

Farris, Vaughan, Wills & Murphy LLP, 25th Floor, 700 West Georgia Street, Vancouver B.C. V7Y1B3 Contact fireplaceclassaction@farris.com Or Mike Wagner @ 604-661-9388 or Robert Anderson, QC @ 604-661-9372 (*) This Notice is just a summary. For more detailed information, including a list of all defendants and the definitions used in this Notice, please go to or contact the www.fireplaceclassaction.com Administrator listed above, or contact the lawyers above.

Do Not Contact the Court about this Notice. For any questions, please contact the Administrator or the lawyers listed above


from our family to yours

families westcoast



appy Holidays! This is the time of year that those in the Lower Mainland tend to bust out their umbrellas, don their scarves and mittens and start braving the onslaught of chilly winter weather. But it’s also a time that we tend to unite together to celebrate the holiday season.

Here at WestCoast Families, we get excited to share our favourite local finds to make the perfect holiday gift for your loved one. Don’t want to buy stuff? We have you covered with a list of local experiences that will make an ideal present for the adventurer in the family. This being our photography issue, we’re also offering readers a sneak peek into our favourite WestCoast Families covers, with our very own Krysta Furioso explaining how you can recreate them and make your own family memories. And of course, we’ve outlined some ways families can have fun throughout November and December. Best of all, our WestCoast Mom this issue are the Moms of WestCoast Families! Read on to hear about our longtime staff and how they’re raising their kids in the community, just like you. Once again, thanks to all our amazing readers and advertisers. And Happy Holidays to everyone!

Managing Editor Andrea Vance editor@westcoastfamilies.com Assistant Editor Kelly S. Thompson kelly@westcoastfamilies.com Contributing Editor Jodi Iverson jodi@westcoastfamilies.com Art Director & Layout Krysta Furioso studio@westcoastfamilies.com Administration Jennifer Bruyns admin@westcoastfamilies.com Accounts Receivable & Payable Jennifer Brule finance@westcoastfamilies.com Advertising sales@westcoastfamilies.com 604.249.2866

Assistant Editor

Published by National Families Network Publisher: Andrea Vance publisher@westcoastfamilies.com For distribution inquiries, please email publisher@westcoastfamilies.com For submissions to our community calendars, please email admin@westcoastfamilies.com

Coming in the January/February issue of WCF! It’s our annual EDUCATION feature! With local information and resources on private schools, field trips, learning centres, and more. Extra: We’re featuring the best and brightest FIELD TRIPS for schools! PLUS we’re exploring IB ( International Baccalaureate) education for kids in the Lower Mainland.

To book your ad spot, call or email today. 604.249.2866 | sales@westcoastfamilies.com



To share your feedback, please email editor@westcoastfamilies.com Contributors Jennifer Bryuns, Krysta Furioso, Michelle Hopkins, Jodi Iverson, Lindsay MacNevin, Kelly S. Thompson, Andrea Vance All contents copyrighted ©. Written permission from the publisher is required to reproduce, quote, reprint or copy any material from WestCoast Families Mailing address: 1215-C56 St. Box 18057 Delta, BC V4L 2M4 T 604 249 2866 | F 604 676 2802


Visit us online for new contests every issue!


To win tickets visit westcoastfamilies.com

Great Big Show

MARCH 20, 2016

All Aboard the Polar Express! Explore the childhood story and movie favourite with a trip on the Polar Express! West Coast Railway Heritage Park in Squamish is home to this ride on the rails, so don’t miss a chance to get in the chilly holiday spirit with the Polar Express. Grand prizes are two family four-packs of tickets, valued at $112. With dates in November and December, enter immediately for your chance to dream a little holiday magic aboard this magical train!

FOR TICKETS CALL 1.855.985.5000

VISIT WWW.TICKETMASTER.CA The nameELIZABETH says it all! KobaTHEATRE Entertainment OR is bringing their live Great Big Show QUEEN with loveable characters like the Backyardigans, Max and Ruby, Mike the www.GreatBigShowOnTour.com Knight and more, bringing all their fun-loving antics to life. We’re offering a family four-pack of tickets with a meet and greet with the characters you MEDIA PARTNER BACKYARDIGANS™ and © 2004-2009 Viacom International Inc. Licensed by Nelvana Limited. MIKE THE KNIGHT © 2015 Hit (MTK) Limited, Mike The Knight™ know and love! Don’t miss it. and logo and Be A Knight Do It Right!™ are trademarks of Hit (MTK) Limited. FRANKLIN™ Kids Can Press Ltd. Franklin characters © 1986 Paulette Bourgeois and Brenda Clark. Franklin and Friends ™Corus Entertainment Inc. group of companies. MAX & RUBY™ © Rosemary Wells. NELVANA™ and CORUS™ Corus

Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved. Deadline to enter: January 30, 2016

Enter at www.westcoastfamilies.com

Deadline to enter: November 20, 2015 Enter at www.westcoastfamilies.com

Nov/Dec 2015


holiday gift guide LoveMyLocal Province Cheese Board Pay homage to your favourite province with these fun bamboo cheese boards, made in the shape of Canada and all of its provinces. Made right in Vancouver and beautiful to serve holiday meals on!

www.etsy.com/ca/shop/LoveMyLocal | $66 and up

The Great Western Canada Bucket List Dundurn press offers this detailed and unique book that will have your family crossing off “to-dos” for travel in British Columbia. Make a list of your faves and bring this book to get inside information.

Blocotoys These foam toys come in a variety of creative creatures, with the unique blocky features they’re known for. Designed in Montreal, kids will love snapping together sections to make their own special friend.

www.blocotoys.com | $20

www.dundurn.com | $20

Fidoodle Story Blocks These adorable wood blocks, made in Canada, allow children to stack and arrange to tell a new story with the pictures printed on each block. The creation opportunities are endless!

Doonbug Kids Belts Colourful style options let kids use Velcro to adjust their belt on their own, building independence while giving them a personal sense of style. Sizes and styles are available for all ages.

www.etsy.com/ca/shop/DoonbugDesigns | $16



www.fidoodle.com | $35

K8’s Freetoes Socks Designed by adorable K8, who made an impression on Dragon’s Den investors, these toeless socks are perfect for pedicures, yoga, or wearing flip flops with extra warmth! Lots of fun colours, styles and more.

www.freetoes.com | $7

Grimm’s Four Elements Building Set

Obakki Foundation Scarf These beautiful modal scarves serve purpose! The sale of 500 scarves means clean drinking wells for villages in the Sudan. Each colour represents a different village so buy them all for a good cause.

This amazing, bright and interesting puzzle will educate and entertain any child. It has 23 pieces of sustainably harvested wood, all coloured with non-toxic dyes and contained in a beautiful tray that makes this show and play worthy!

www.hipbaby.com | $100

www.obakkifoundation.org | $30

Padraig Cottage Slippers These snuggly slippers are Canadian-made with fine wool and cozy sheepskin, but tough leather bottoms to prevent slips. Buttercups Children’s Boutique carriers sizes for newborn to youth, so you can find pairs for the whole family.

www.buttercups.ca | $29 and up

Cabyn Tunics and Sweaters These cozy, Vancouver-designed sweaters and tunics are made from incredibly soft fleece and will outfit the whole family in snuggly, stylish duds during cold winter nights.

www.cabyn.ca | $55 and up

Rudsak Leather These amazing leather products stem from Montreal-based Rudsak, which has a unique sense of style in their handbags, coats and more. Durable, comfortable and super stylish for rainy Lower Mainland days.

www.rudsak.com | $50 and up

Nov/Dec 2015



experience is a gift ooking for a great holiday gift but don’t want to buy more stuff to clutter up small Lower Mainland spaces? We’ve outlined some of the best experiences that you can buy for loads of fun in the local area this holiday season.

Cook for Two Indulge your inner foodie with cooking classes. Learn a skill and mingle with others while dining on the fruits of your labour.

Zip Line Down Grouse


A sense of adventure is needed for a zip line through Grouse Mountain, which offers incredible views and the thrill of a lifetime. You might even spot a bear! Best of all, take the gondola up for a unique experience.

Art, Exercise and Inspiration


Take a Flight Learn to fly or be taken on a flying tour of the Lower Mainland. Whatever you choose, viewing life from the air is an experience not to be missed.

Does your little one love art, dance, or acting? There are a variety of programs for kids that would make a perfect gift on holiday mornings. Check out places like Collage Collage, Jump Gymnastics, Circus West and Phoenix Gymnastics for tons of fun options to appeal to any childhood passion. www.collagecollage.ca | www.circuswest.com www.phoenixgymnastics.com | www.jumpgymnastics.ca www.boogalooacademy.com

Roam Wild


Car lovers dream of a chance to drive some of the most expensive and unique cars in the world. Why not pay for a day rental and cruise around some of the amazing views in the Lower Mainland?

Hit Up a Fun Park


There are several locations to choose from, but kids will squeal with delight to receive a pass for one of these fun hot spots, with bumper cars, rides, games and more.

Get Out on the Water


Show Tickets There’s nothing better than getting dressed up to go to a show with the whole family, and Vancouver offers tons of family options. Check out Gateway theatre and the Royal City Ballet, who put on spectacular performances this time of year. www.gatewaytheatre.com www.royalcityyouthballet.org

10 WestCoastFamilies.com

See the Lower Mainland and surrounding islands from the water! The whole family can participate from the activity hub of Granville Island. Rent a Skidoo, paddleboard, or sailboat, pretend to be a pirate or take a Burrard Inlet cruise for family memories everyone will cherish. www.vancouverwateradventures.com www.accentcruises.ca | www.pirateadventures.ca If all else fails and everyone wants to get outdoors, try taking a hike through some of the amazing and beautiful parks, trails and mountains that our area has to offer. It’s free, fun, and full of fitness for the entire family.

Nov/Dec 2015


family photography

Our Favourite Covers How We Created Some Memorable WCF Covers By Krysta Furioso


ne of the best things I get to do as Art Director for WestCoast Families has to be creating our covers every issue. Not only do I get to work with amazing and adorable kids and their families, but I get to make them do silly, crazy, exciting, and creative things! Our photoshoots are always a blast, and it’s endlessly exciting for me to make it all come together and send it off to the printer.

Photographed by Dylan Doubt www.dylandoubt.com

We got to the shoot and it was an amazing sunny day, which for Vancouver in May is usually cause for celebration. However, the bright sun was creating intense shadows and glare on our models and the mini Vancouver Special. The photographic magician that he is, it was obvious that Dylan was able to get some great shots despite the challenge, but even so, after about 15 minutes, Bob asked if he could run inside and grab his sunglasses to deal with the glare between shots. He brought a pair for Arlo as well, and happened to also reappear with a mandolin, which he strummed happily as Dylan worked with the lighting.

This issue was a special one to all of us here at WCF because it was the launch of our brand new look. We gave the whole magazine a big facelift and were really excited for a fresh start with a new layout and lots of new content and ideas for our readers.

As the scene before us took shape, we all realized that these unplanned pieces of the puzzle were exactly what we needed to capture these two in all their glory! This shot is actually one that Dylan took as a test for his lighting setup as Bob strummed lazily on his madolin and Arlo explored the Vancouver Special. It’s because of shots like these that I always ask photographers to keep shooting as our models relax from their poses. You never know what gems you’ll capture in those moments!

Here are some of our most memorable covers to date, and the fun stories behind the photos!


The Local Guide for Active Urban Families

montessori building brighter brains

mom westcoast

jan/feb 2012

education | visual & performing arts

tigers vs. dragons

January/February 2012

It was the education issue and we were focusing on Montessori, so naturally we decided that would be a great theme for our shiny new cover layout.

For this photo, we enlisted the help of our favourite photographer, (and my partner) Dylan Doubt, and headed over to Tyee Elementary Montessori where six-year-old Max was ready to help us by posing with some bright Montessori materials. We set up in the kindergarten classroom where there was a fantastic bright red table that had seen lots of use under the hands of students over the years. We wanted to keep it bright and iconic, so we kept the colours very basic, and asked Max to dress in neutral colours. For the wonderful turquoise background, Tyee was kind enough to let us tear off a length of construction paper from one of their huge craft rolls. We simply taped it to the wall and Dylan started clicking as Max stacked the Cylinder Blocks for us over and over. It wasn’t long before I knew we had the perfect shot, and this cover turned out to be the perfect way to introduce the new and improved WestCoast Families magazine to our readers! free!

June 2012 Photographed by Dylan Doubt www.dylandoubt.com

The Local Guide for Active Urban Families

This cover is a perfect example of how magic can just appear before your eyes, unplanned and unexpected.

make father’s day


For our Father’s Day issue, we wanted to get a dad on our cover who embodied all that is fun and awesome about fathers. Who better than Vancouver is Awesome founder, Bob Kronbauer? dads westcoast

june 2012 summer learning fun | party guide

Rick McCrank Dan Bejar

12 WestCoastFamilies.com

son Arlo. As we began to chat about where we would do the shoot, and what kind of fun and exciting activity we could have them doing in the shot, Bob mentioned that he just happened to have a custom-made scale model of a Vancouver Special sitting in his front yard. Wow!

Bob happens to be an old friend of Dylan’s so we got in touch and he was eager to jump onto our cover with his


Photographed by Revival Arts www.revivalartsstudio.com

The Local Guide for Active Urban Families

camp guide part 1

sleepaway camps mom westcoast

april 2013

April 2013

This is hands-down my favourite WCF cover of all time. For those of you with a keen eye and fondness for film, you might have picked up on the fact that this cover was an homage to a movie that had recently been in theatres. That film is Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom, and as soon as I saw it, I knew I had my Camp Guide cover!

I knew I had my work cut out for me as I started thrift shopping for the outfits for our young hero and heroine, but was pleasantly surprised at how luck seemed to be on my side. I was able to find the perfect pieces to capture the aesthetic I was after, and what I was unable to find at the thrift shop, I found I actually had in my own home. get green | eco-resources

Tovah Paglaro

This shot was taken in my own backyard under our amazing 100-year-old Hemlock tree, and yes, that is my daughter’s toboggan in the background! I can’t even begin to describe how unspeakably amazing our two models were. I am still blown away by the luck we had in finding these two, and by the incredible chemistry they had with one another despite never having met until the morning of the shoot. 10-year-old Mackenzie and 11-year-old Bracken completely embodied the characters we were using as inspiration, and beyond that, their awkward and adorable pre-teen interactions made this my absolute favourite shoot to date. Nobody could stop giggling, including yours truly, and photographer Jason Brown of Revival Arts Studio. The down side was that I ended up with at least half a dozen perfect cover shots, and I knew I had to narrow it down to just one!


January/February 2013 Photographed by Dylan Doubt www.dylandoubt.com

wcf annual

education issue

mom westcoast

jan/feb 2013

family literacy • mindfulness

Kelly Brock & Sarah Johns

I have to say that I always look forward to shooting the covers of our education issues. Maybe it’s the fact that I know I get to play favourites and pick another great kid from my own daughter’s school to be our model, or maybe it’s that I get to sneak into the school after hours and play with all the cool Montessori materials that I usually only get to look at as I pick up and drop off my daughter.

For this cover, I wanted to revisit the clean and iconic look we’d established a year earlier for our previous education issue. Again, we headed to Tyee and this time recruited 7-year-old Ziyan to be our cover model. While Dylan was setting up in one of the primary classrooms, Ziyan got into his best shirt and tie. He was in “afterschool mode” and we knew it would be a challenge for him to keep still during the shoot. I decided that since we were shooting with an actual blackboard as our background, I would take advantage and actually recreate the WestCoast Families logo right on the blackboard instead of faking it with a chalk-like typeface later in Photoshop. I surprised even myself with how well it turned out! The shoot was lots of fun as we all tried to make Ziyan laugh while he was trying to be serious for our shot. The end result is a great example of why I believe that a great photo doesn’t always have to include a smile. Ziyan’s determination to play this character comes through so well in his facial expression, and what’s better than capturing that kind of acheivement?

The Best of Both Worlds

op HipH Breakin’ Choreo Contemporary

Old Skool Freestyle

All ages and levels Call 604 805-0558 www.boogalooacademy.com


Ballet z z Ja Lyrical Musical Theatre Voice

Quote promo code WCF for a free week of classes! (new students only)

visit us online


Nov/Dec 2015 13

family photography

Advice from the Experts We asked some of our favourite local family photographers for their advice on great family photos. Here’s what they had to say!

What can parents do to get children in a holiday mood for family photos? A great way to get ready for family photos is to prepare your children mentally for the session. Explain where they are going, how long it will last and about being in a studio with some expensive equipment and lay out your expectations for behaviour. Offer a positive incentive for after the session, like a movie or ice cream, if behaviour standards are met. Ask the photographer beforehand if you can offer candy as incentive, as I find most candies and cookies are intrusive to the process. Also avoid offering electronics as incentives or you will often lose all chance of getting a great family photo. Ask your photographer prior to the session if he or she has Christmas props or that you will like or bring your own. All photographers have their own style, so make sure you like their style and enjoy their creativity from images you’ve seen on their website. And prepare to have fun. Your photographer has seen it all and knows that expecting a two-year-old to sit still for any length of time is a remarkable feat. Relax and have fun…the laughing funny shots are usually the best anyways! Nadine Inkster, Nadine Inkster Photography

14 WestCoastFamilies.com

What is the best way to capture candid shots of children? Candid shots of your children will be the most precious ones for you over the years. The most important tool is patience. Just sit quietly while your child is playing a game, watching something on TV or being read a story. Props, like toys, favourite teddy, bubble blowing, etc., can be great for getting kids animated. Next, be ready with your camera zoomed in and try to stay far enough away that they’re not aware of you. Don’t use your flash—cameras can be set to a high ISO (this can be achieved on automatic) and low light isn’t such a problem these days. It’s unlikely you’ll get the perfect picture the first time, so you don’t want to spoil any atmosphere that’s there. It is always nice to have source light. Without getting too technical, if the subject is lit mainly from the side rather than having the source directly behind the camera, you’ll achieve a nice contrast, which makes your photo more interesting. However DO NOT sacrifice what’s most important and that’s the expression on her face or the body language you’re capturing. Philip Grosvenor, Cowboys and Angels

What makes the perfect backdrop for pictures? Anything and everything! Some of my favourite shots of my daughter were taken at the dinner table, in the car, at the park, and even in the bath. The key often isn’t what’s behind your child, it’s how they interact with their surroundings, or how they transcend them. That load of laundry in the background of the perfect shot of your child doesn’t have to mean the photo can’t hang on your wall. For me it isn’t about the background, it’s about how the scene fits together, and if there happened to be unfolded laundry that day, my memory of the photo will be all the richer as I remember that old laundry basket, or how my daughter used to climb inside of it.

How do you get everyone in the mood for a photo session? The best way to get everyone excited is to make the shoot into a story or an adventure where taking photos is only one part of the fun. If you’re shooting in the woods, pack a picnic and make an afternoon of it. Leave time before and after the shoot for a hike, some snacks, and some free time for the kids. If you’re shooting at home, let the kids help set up and let one of them get behind the lens for a bit to capture what they see as well. Make sure to schedule enough time for a few breaks so nobody gets burned out before you get your shot. The more fun your kids have while taking photos, the easier it will be to incorporate photography into your family’s life. Dylan Doubt, Photographer

Krysta Furioso, WCF Art Director

Nov/Dec 2015 15

fun winter

Living in the beautiful Pacific Northwest offers a vast winter playground to explore and enjoy with our families. Here are 11 delightful ideas to keep you busy…even if the weather is frightful!

by Jodi Iverson

Burnaby Village Heritage Christmas November 21 - December 11

Fort Langley Historic Site December 19 – January 3

The holiday ambience at Burnaby Village Museum is palpable as you stroll along winding village paths. Don’t miss twinkling lights, holiday wreaths, vintage themed displays, live entertainment and more. Of course, visit Father Christmas and ride the 1912 carousel.

WCF Tip: Consider challenging the family to the Twelve Days of Christmas scavenger hunt with answers found in delightfully unexpected places!


Escape the city and head back in time to charming and historic Fort Langley. Indulge in traditional children’s activities and crafts while enjoying the feel of Christmas’ past.

VanDusen Garden Festival of Lights

WCF Tip: Last minute holiday shoppers can hunt for holiday treasures at the Šxwimele Gift shop.www.parkscanada.gc.ca/fortlangley

Christmas Market November 21 - December 24 The authentic German Christmas Market is back at Queen Elizabeth Plaza, complete with sausages, chocolate, and mulled wine! The whole family will enjoy the bustling atmosphere and entertainment. Kids market includes crafts, gingerbread decorating, and a meet and greet with Santa and friends. For the grand finale, take a spin on the city’s only holiday themed carousel.

December 1 – December 31 Bundle up and get out of the city, in the city! VanDusen Gardens is one of Vancouver’s gems, boasting 55 acres of spectacular garden for your family to explore, decorated with over 1 million lights. Enjoy live entertainment, treats and storytelling by the Vancouver Public Library.

WCF Tip: Save your ticket from The Festival of Lights for free admission to

Enchanted Nights at Bloedel Conservatory in Queen Elizabeth Park from Dec 4 to Jan 3! www.vandusengarden.org

Christmas at Canada Place

WCF Tip: Hop on the Skytrain to Germany! Why waste time looking for downtown parking? www.vancouverchristmasmarket.com

December 12 – December 30

Mount Seymour No winter is complete without some sliding! The faint of heart and little ones will enjoy the tobogganing hill while the daredevils and older kids hit up the tubing park for a more extreme experience. Not a slider? Keep warm by the fire whilst enjoying the view in the cozy Enquist Lodge.

WCF Tip: The road to Mt Seymour is a Class A Highway and requires that vehicles driving on Mount Seymour Road use winter tires in good condition or carry chains October 1 – April 30. www.vancouverchristmasmarket.com

16 WestCoastFamilies.com

The Historic Woodward’s windows are a fabled part of Vancouver’s history. Canada Place purchased the displays in 1993 and has revived them in the Christmas at Canada Place experience. Also check out the Avenue of Christmas Trees and Rudolph’s Theatre, making this a festive family night out!

WCF Tip: This event is sure to charm the senior generations of your family as they reminisce and share stories of holidays past.


Fly Over Canada

Polar Express

November 27 - January 5

November 28 - December 20

The flight simulator has been transformed into a winter wonderland complete with Santa and Mrs. Clause guiding you through your journey. Soar over Canada while helping the big guy find his missing elves.

WCF Tip: Don’t want to fly? Enjoy the festive outdoor deck area, featuring ice sculpture, Santa visits and choir performances, free of charge!

All aboard for fun! This is a holiday must for your little train lovers. Take a ride on the beloved Polar Express, singing carols and enjoying hot chocolate and cookies. Upon arrival at the North Pole enjoy a visit with the Clause family, crafts and more.

WCF Tip: Wear your pyjamas, just like the in movie! www.wcra.org


Robson Square Sea to Sky Gondola

It’s always a thrill for us west coasters to skate in the open air! Located in the heart of downtown with a backdrop of city lights, this is an enjoyable activity for the whole family. Skates can be rented on site.

November 28 - December 20 For an outdoor family adventure, head up the scenic Hwy 99 to the Sea to Sky Gondola. Take the breathtaking ride ascending 885 metres above sea level. Once you reach the summit, choose from a plethora of outdoor activities including snowshoeing, spectacular winter walks, tubing or a cozy meal in the lodge.

WCF Tip: Check out one of the many food trucks parked in the area for an après skating snack! www.robsonsquare.com

WCF Tip: The gondolas are stroller friendly! www.seatoskygondola.com

Vancouver Lookout November 28 - December 20 For a birds eye view of our beautiful city, take Vancouver’s very own “great glass elevator” up to the Vancouver Lookout Tower. Rising 168.6 metres, the Lookout offers a breathtaking 360-degree view of Stanley Park, the Pacific and the North Shore Mountains.

WCF Tip: Check out the Junior Pilots program where kids can earn their golden wings by learning about Vancouver! www.vancouverlookout.com

Nov/Dec 2015 17 November/December

Snowshoe Sensation Where and how to explore the snow by Lindsay MacNevin


e’ve all been stuck inside on a cold winter’s day, feeling as though the long dark days of winter will never end. The kids are restless and you crave physical activity but cringe at the cost of skiing. Let WestCoast Families introduce to the fast-growing sport of snowshoeing, the ultimate winter activity for families looking to get out and enjoy the crisp, fresh air. British Columbia is teeming with opportunities for snowshoeing, specifically though the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley areas, where groomed trails and ski resorts make it easy for the whole family to enjoy. But before you suit up and hit the trails, we’ve outlined some tips on the sport and highlighted the best routes to explore.

Trails to Try If you are just starting out with this sport, head to the ski resorts and explore their trails and options. You will find on-site rentals, warm rest areas and marked groomed trails ensuring that you won’t lose your way and the whole family can get a taste of the snowshoeing experience. For those feeling slightly more adventurous, Mount Seymour, located in the Fraser Valley, is considered one of the best resorts for snowshoeing in all of North America. Besides offering an abundance of relatively easy trails that you can explore on your own, the resort offers plenty of guided snowshoe treks, including an evening lantern tour and a chocolate fondue experience. In particular, the Discovery Trails are peaceful and scenic, sitting in a protected basin, with well-marked trails ranging from beginner to expert. The route meanders through old growth forest and passes two frozen lakes, with some of the most picturesque landscapes in the province. If you happen to have your own equipment and want to avoid the crowds on the park trails, there are two free marked snowshoe trails that start from the Mount Seymour parking lot. Dog Mountain is a short, easy and relatively flat whereas the Mount Seymour Trail is longer and more strenuous. This trail offers exceptional views of the city and can take approximately three hours to complete. If you want to try your hand at high terrain snowshoeing, Hemlock Valley Resort offers an extensive variety of snowshoe treks, guided or not. If you are looking for a beginners loop perfect for the whole family, check out the Base Loop trek, which takes snowshoers gently through the trees. To get your heart pumping, check the Mount Klaudt Loop, which starts with an intense uphill climb, takes you over a bridge and back down to the base. Another option is to take the chairlift to trek around the alpine backcountry where you will be treated to spectacular views of Harrison Lake.

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Another option is Cypress Mountain, which offers over 11 kilometres of safe trails for both beginner and experienced snowshoers. Snowshoe rentals are available on-site and users are asked to sign in and out of the registry. A variety of groomed trails are what makes this mountain resort so popular, and as you get more familiar with snowshoeing you will find yourself venturing out on the most difficult of trails. There are free route options that can be accessed from the resort including Hollyburn Ridge trail, a popular yet difficult choice that winds through woodlands for views of Grouse Mountain, the Georgia Strait and the Gulf Islands. For more experienced snowshoers and those looking to avoid the ski resorts, there are a number of local trails to discover. Malcolm Knapp Research Forest, located about 60km east of Vancouver, is open every day from dawn until dusk and offers trails ranging from one to six kilometers. Just download the map online in advance and make sure to pack food and water, as there are no facilities. Another popular local snowshoe trek is Brandywine Falls, an easy, welldefined trail that only takes an hour round-trip and offers a spectacular viewpoint at some waterfalls. Last but not least is Zoa Peak, located at exit 221 on the Coquihalla Highway. The road to Falls Lake parking lot is not plowed in the winter, so park on the road and start your trek in. This climb is for more experienced snowshoe families, as it is about a 10km round-trip to the summit, which offers stunning views of Falls Lake. Expect incredible mountain scenery on your way up as you trek through alpine forests.

Snowshoeing Tips • Start this sport is by renting your snowshoes. Most outdoor retailers and ski hills have them for rent for as little as fifteen dollars a day, which offers the opportunity to try a few pairs before deciding which you like. New technology has increased the variety of snowshoes, including brilliant kids options. • Avalanche awareness is especially important in these areas, so make sure you read signs and follow warnings. • Snowshoeing is a workout so plan on dressing in layers, especially when you bring the little ones along. A good rule of thumb is to dress them as you would when going for a winter hike. • The only thing left is to decide where to go!

winter programs Burnaby Neighbourhood House Ongoing programming for preschool, children, youth, adults, seniors and families, including winter break day camps from December 21-31 for grades 1-7. www.burnabynh.ca

Port Moody Arts Centre Registration is open for winter programs including ceramics, theatre arts, visual arts, music and voice. Also offering pro-D day camps for ages 6-12. www.pomoarts.ca

Boogaloo Academy Choose from a selection of award-winning dance classes for all ages, including a new adult hip hop class! Register now for winter break dance camp. www.boogalooacademy.com

Imagine Children’s Museum Ongoing programming includes art studio, i-engineers, science sleuths and cartoon corner. Also celebrate New Year’s at the museum on December 31 from 7-9 pm with live entertainment, activities and a grand finale ball drop at 9! www.imaginecm.org

Circus West Register now for the winter term and enjoy specially designed circus classes for children and teens, as well as parent and tots. Classes include a variety of circus arts and a high level of fun! www.circuswest.com Cowboys & Angels Drop in anytime to escape the cold and get creative painting a unique ceramic treasure. Choose from a large selection of functional cups or fantastical figurines! www.cowboysandangels.ca Gateway Academy for the Performing Arts Register now for the new teen playwriting class running January 7 to March 10. Ages 13-18. www.gatewaytheatre.com/academy Place des Arts Register now for a selection of winter classes in visual art, dance, music and theatre. Also offering pro-D day “Day of the Arts” Camps. www.placedesarts.ca

Rhythm Gym Inclusive and non-competitive gymnastics classes designed to inspire children and development of a life-long love for healthy, creative and enjoyable physical activity. Register now. Ages 1-10. www.rhythmgyms.com Vancouver Lookout Drop in with the children and try the Junior Pilot’s Program, learning about Vancouver through fun, interactive activities. Upon completion, kids will receive their golden wings badge! www.vancouverlookout.com Vancouver Martial Arts Kids & Teens Register now for k ids and teens programs offering a strong foundation in fundamental martial arts. Classes are designed to teach the art of self-defence, build self-confidence and improve fitness. www.martialarts4kid.com

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winter fun

Voracious Volunteering Give back with your family


By Michelle Hopkins hen the holiday season approaches, it can be easy to get caught up in the madness of consumerism and focus on our immediate families. But this is also a time to think of others, especially those less fortunate, and to think about how we can give back and support our communities through volunteering. Last December, Ignacio de Jesus, his daughter Maylene Cervantes and her 17-year-old son Nathan sorted toys at the Richmond Christmas Fund. “It was such a fun experience doing this with my family,” he said. “It gives more meaning to the holiday season.” For all three of them, giving back to the community was “a positive, rewarding experience.” Cervantes echoes the sentiments of many volunteers when she says that once you see the good that comes from donating a bit of your own time, it’s hard to stop. “I want to make a difference and contribute to making where I live a better place,” she says, adding that her youngest son is going to volunteer this year. “I also want to instill in my sons how important it is to care for our fellow man.” Ultimately, volunteering teaches children and teens about compassion, empathy, tolerance, gratitude, and community responsibility and is a great way to spend the holiday season. Jocelyn Wong, general manager Richmond Cares, Richmond Gives, agrees and adds: “If a family wants to start volunteering, it’s best to start with asking their local volunteer centre.” Meanwhile, Greg Dawson, Communications Officer for Greater Vancouver Food Bank, says its organization sees many visits from children as young as four who come to donate Christmas funds with their families, as well as children running fundraising events with their parents. Of course, choosing where to volunteer can be a daunting experience. Govolunteer.ca is an umbrella organization where local not-for-profits post volunteer roles, allowing the public to connect with opportunities. This is a great way for families to find various nonprofits that are looking for people to help out during the holidays. “The non-profits that post on Govolunteer.ca

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range from arts and culture organizations, to advocacy and support, to health, to social service, to environmental and animal protection services—you can find it all,” says Rebecca Jackson-Harrop, Community Engagement Specialist at Vantage Point that hosts Govolunteer.ca. If you’re looking for a specific place to volunteer, WestCoast Families has searched out some of the organizations in particular need this holiday season.

The Greater Vancouver Food Bank The Greater Vancouver Food Bank is always in need of support and this need increases over the holidays. Sort food at home, then trek to your local food bank to give, pack bags, sort shelves and offer your support as a family. www.foodbank.bc.ca/get-involved/volunteering

The Lower Mainland Christmas Bureau This amazing organization is always looking for help collecting, sorting and shipping the nearly 100,000 items it receives every year, including toys, clothes and food vouchers. These goods are then distributed to needy families during the holiday season. To volunteer in the warehouse, you must be high school age accompanied by an adult. For its seasonal events, they have a wide range of ages volunteering, so the whole family can take part. www.lmcb.ca/other-bureaus/

Richmond Christmas Fund Get in the spirit by providing gift-wrapping and coat/parcel check services to customers at Richmond Centre and Lansdowne Shopping Centre from November 27 to December 26. Donations will directly support the Richmond Christmas Fund. Volunteers must be 12 or older and under 16 must be accompanying by an adult. If wrapping isn’t your thing, families can assist in sorting toys and setting up the toy room, or pack up and prepare remaining toys for storage following distribution after registration is complete. www.volunteerrichmond.ca

Rogers Santa Parade

Union Gospel Mission

This is a fun way to get into the Christmas spirit! In Vancouver on Sunday, December 6th, there are various positions for those 16 years and older, including being a Route Marshal and handing out giveaways to parade spectators along the route. For younger kids there are costumed positions in the parade, including being a snowflake, elf or Christmas tree. The whole family can join in the fun and cheer each other on.

Families can volunteer to put up Christmas decorations at the Union Gospel Mission’s Women and Families building on East Cordova in the Downtown Eastside. Or families can host Christmas parties for their guests living in social or affordable housing. UGM provides the space, while families provide activities, food, cups, plates and drinks.


Covenant House Vancouver Although you need to be over 26 to volunteer with Vancouver’s homeless youth living here, there are many other ways families can help out. Families can recruit other family members and friends to donate much needed clean, age appropriate clothing, food and personal items. In addition, there’s the Christmas Backpack program where families can pick up new items from its checklist or donate an entire backpack. Each member of the family can choose an item for the lucky recipient. www.covenanthousebc.org


The Orchard This affordable housing site in Surrey is often in need of volunteers willing to rake leaves. Volunteers must be 12 years or older. Generally, if families are hoping to serve at one of its major meals, they must be 19 years of age or older.

Care for Animals at the SPCA Caring for animals teaches empathy and compassion while simultaneously reducing stress. Volunteer to walk animals at the local shelter or consider acting as a foster family for pets in need. Children will love caring for the furry family member while you’ll be offering a much needed home. www.spca.bc.ca

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wcf news >> Pugly Potatoes from Fraserland Organics In an area that offers endless options for freshly grown produce, Lower Mainlanders are becoming more aware of how their food is grown and where it comes from. But we’re also a nation famous for wasting food, a statistic that doesn’t only hurt our planet but damages our pocketbooks as well. And the waste doesn’t start at home. Did you know that 26 per cent of all produce doesn’t make it to grocery stores? That’s because we’ve grown up in a world of genetically modified foods, and when our fruits and veggies don’t meet our aesthetic requirements, we discard them. But no longer! Fraserland Organics is a fifth generation family farm in Delta, growing certified organic crops since 1995. Their potato production is generally quite hardy, but many are cast aside by grocery stores for shape, size and skin defects that do not affect the quality of the vegetable. To put an end to waste, Fraserland started the Pugly Potato, a program that offers No. 2 grade organic potatoes directly to consumers. Stop in and buy some long-lasting potatoes today!


>> Science World Gardens for Good Grant We all know Science World BC as a place to explore, educate and learn about the benefits and changes in science. Recently, a new honour was bestowed upon the centre when it was announced as the recipient of the 2015 Nature’s Path Gardens for Good Grant. The Gardens for Good program encourages community gardens to be grown in communities where residents struggle to afford access to healthy foods. “As a charitable organization, support like this makes a world of difference. This generous award will allow us to expand our ability to grow nutritious, local food that will help educate Vancouverites about the gardening potential that exists in their own backyards and the fruits of our labour will help out community kitchens in the Downtown Eastside,” said Jennifer Ingham, Vice President, Development for Science World. Nature’s Path is giving Science World a $15,000 grant for their community garden project as well as technical design and production mentorship.


>> BroTalk Most of us are familiar with the Kids Help Phone, which allows teens and children to express feelings, thoughts, concerns and life issues to trained counsellors. It also offers a chance for teens to give a voice to mental health issues, which to this day remain clouded in shame. But boys often feel particularly stigmatized when it comes to seeking help, a pressure that can prevent them from obtaining treatment and assistance. Thankfully, Kids Help Phone, with funding support from the Movember Foundation, launched BroTalk, an online support and referral service that provides male teens a resource when they are struggling to cope. Through the program, they can be directed to Kids Help Phone counsellors, online suggestions, and other options for accessing support. Movember is helping to support this venture in their mission to bring awareness and support to male health issues, and this includes mental health. Make sure your teen boys are aware that support is available with the click of a mouse.


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>> New Kids’ Gallery Opens at the Surrey Museum We live in an area that thrives on green living, and thankfully, many businesses and services are following suit with more sustainable practices. Teaching our children about the value of maintaining our planet is a vital step towards securing a safe and healthy future for the earth. This led the Surrey Museum to open the new Kids Gallery, which educates children about sustainability, climate change, the concept of carbon footprints and ways to reduce energy usage. A trip to the new gallery will involve a tree fort, experiments and even a bike that can be pedaled for energy! “Sustainability considerations and how our choices today will affect our community tomorrow underlies every decision we make as a city,” said City of Surrey Mayor, Linda Hepner. “Adding a sustainability-themed Kids’ Gallery to our Museum will engage children and youth in this important conversation, and help promote an awareness of stewardship into their everyday life.” The museum will continue to develop and grow the gallery over the next few years, giving children further opportunity to learn and explore. Bring your kids to visit this innovative spot just for kids!

>> EarthBites Learning to cook is a vital life skill that serves us well into adulthood. But many people are still unaware of where their food comes from and how to cook ingredients to make the most of nutrition and flavour. Thankfully, EarthBites is on the scene, a local non-profit developed by the Rocky Mountain Flatbread Education Society, teaches children to grow and cook their own food. Through EarthBites, educators and chefs visit classrooms across the Lower Mainland to teach kids how to create their own healthy meals. The owner, Suzanne Fielden, said, “It’s so much more than a school gardening program. The children learn how to grow, harvest, craft and sell their food and they also learn about nutrition.” New adult classes are now being offered to continue the education for adults, with classes taught by famous Chef Vikram Vij and Chef Robert Clark. These funds raised by these cooking classes will fund EarthBites programs in schools, so take a class, learn to cook, and partner with other adults in a future of healthy, well-educated children.



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moms westcoast

The Moms of WCF

Meet the women behind the mag by Kelly S. Thompson by Kelly S. Thompson

I am lucky to work with some of the most talented women, all of them capable, strong and astounding mothers. As the only member of the WestCoast Families team without children, I am often on the outside looking in, a perspective rife with opportunity to reflect and admire. Admire is a great word, because it’s hard not to when you consider the company I keep at the magazine. I am impressed with the dedication my coworkers show not only in doing their jobs well but in being the best parents possible. That’s why this holiday season I want to introduce you to the women behind the magazine. Prepare to be inspired.

Andrea Vance Publisher

Andrea is the owner and publisher of WCF. Her two children, Jesse, 5, and Olivia, 7, came later in life, allowing Andrea the chance to expand her career in finance after obtaining her degree from SFU. A dedicated Lower Mainlander, she now lives in Delta, citing the nearby resources as a draw. “So much is at our fingertips,” she says.

Andrea is a true professional networker, and her dynamic personality lends to her ability to manage the WCF team. “The magazine itself exposes me to perspectives and insight that I otherwise might not see,” she says. This attitude allows every member of the team to offer new ideas and suggestions, which Andrea encourages, fostering a work environment that promotes creativity and forward thinking, the same qualities that have contributed to Andrea’s personal success. When she isn’t at the helm of the magazine, Andrea and her family travel extensively and explore the community at their doorstep. She is extremely active with a passion for photography, hockey, and more. But it is evident that her passion for her children is unmatched. “I never ‘had to’ be a mom, but thought it would be interesting to share the world with little ones, watching them learn and explore,” said Andrea. “It’s given me patience I didn’t know I had. I’ve learned to listen more and talk less. I’ve learned that imperfection can be a beautiful thing.”

It’s literally impossible not to like Jennifer, who keeps the magazine trucking with her financial prowess. “We support each other whether it’s Finance regarding work or personal lives,” Jennifer said of her WestCoast Families partners. On top of being great at her job, Jennifer is infinitely kind and perseveres through any and all challenges. If that isn’t enough, she is also mother to son Kenneth, who is 21 years old.

Jennifer Brulé

Of course, finance can’t occupy every moment of her day. Jennifer spends much of her time hiking and travelling with her husband or exploring the art of pottery. Thankfully, the Lower Mainland offers space and opportunity to explore all of the things she loves. “I’ve lived here all my life and am glad I’ve been able to share experiences of living here with my son,” said Jennifer. These days, Jennifer is experiencing a new challenge after an illness left her mostly deaf, a stressor that she has dealt with by displaying incredible strength and dignity. Recently, she received a cochlear implant and is excited about the way ahead. In the meantime, she approaches her route to healing using the same concepts that she’s learned in motherhood, offering this advice: “Have patience and try to find the humour in situations, no matter how difficult they might seem.”

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No business is complete without a capable and confident administration operator, which is where Jennifer Bruyns comes in. Jennifer manages the finer details of the magazine, all with an amazing sense of humour and quick wit. She is effervescent and absolutely hilarious, qualities that make her a great member of the WestCoast Families team.

Jennifer Bruyns


One theme stood out amongst all of the WestCoast Mom interviews, and Jennifer was no exception. She insists that our “close knit” working team creates an “inspiring group of ladies” that she loves to work with. The feeling, we can assure you, is mutual. Jennifer’s children are 12 and 20, keeping her plenty busy when she isn’t working on the magazine. Jennifer also loves to camp throughout the Lower Mainland, exploring the outdoors. Although accomplished in her job, where Jennifer has made the biggest impact is as a mother to her two kids. “I now know unconditional love and I have two best friends,” she said.

Jodi Iverson

Sales Manager and Contributing Editor The magazine doesn’t function without Jodi, our Sales Manager, a role she’s held for more than a decade. Her knowledge and experience have helped build the WestCoast Families brand through social media, events and more. Her son, Alex, is 22 and her daughter, Emma, is 10. Together they live in East Vancouver with her husband, Corey. Meeting Jodi, it’s obvious that she is one of those women who are meant to be a mother. “I’ve been a mom since I was 17, so it’s a very big part of my identity,” says Jodi. “It’s the joy of my life.” Considering the hyper-local mandate of WestCoast Families, Jodi is a natural fit considering her involvement in her area. Indeed, her community participation is enviable and admirable, as she can often be found fundraising and bringing awareness to local issues. “I’m kind of a chronic volunteer,” says Jodi. And in all her sacrifice as a mother, Jodi’s children are cognizant of the effort. “She takes me to all my different programs, even if it means skipping things that she actually has to do in her own life,” says Jodi’s daughter, Emma. Along the way, Jodi has learned many life lessons, but none as great as her parting words: “Live in the moment. That’s the biggest thing my kids have taught me; to really be present.”

Krysta is the Art Director of WestCoast Families, bringing the magazine to life with creative layouts and ideas. She lives in East Van with her partner, Dylan, her daughter, Clementine, 9, Art Director and two Border Collies. Both in her art and family life, Krysta represents everything we value at WestCoast Families, truly immersing herself in her community and exploring all it has to offer. “The magazine has made me feel a part of the wider community of families in the Lower Mainland,” she said.

Krysta Furioso

The reflection of all her hard work as a mother is evident in Krysta’s intelligent and vivacious daughter Clementine, who is opinionated, stunningly polite, and passionate. “What I’ve learned most in being a mom is that my child is always watching me, and everything I do has an effect on her. It’s a pretty huge responsibility when you realize that your child is emulating what you do.” When asked about about her expierience with motherhood, Krysta says, “My daughter is the embodiment of all my life goals. It’s about sharing life.” How could anyone put it better than that?

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wcf feature

Victoria for All Seasons Escape to the Island


by Andrea Vance

ometimes being at home with family means distractions like laundry, yard work, and screens. This year, my daughter and I took a one-night trip to Victoria to explore the sights, but more importantly to spend some time together, one-on-one. We discovered the great city of Victoria while we talked, sipped tea, explored history, and so much more. We decided to stay away from the typical tourist stops and instead explore on our own by foot, bike, and boat. What we found was a Victoria that was so much fun for kids and filled with discoveries in the least likely places.

Buy a $6 plate from the fish shop at Fisherman’s Wharf while you wait for your amazing fish and chips lunch, and the seals will be ready. Keep the fish covered though, since the seagulls are perched nearby just waiting to grab one. The water taxis in Victoria Harbour make several stops to save you from walking. We took this one over to Fisherman’s Whar f for just a few dollars, and we got great entertainment from the captain too.

At $63, the price of High Tea at the Empress Hotel can be daunting, but kids are 50% off and it really is something you should try at least once. My daughter was SO impressed with the formality and silver as she sipped her (herbal fruit) tea. There were more finger sandwiches and pastries than we could eat. From the valet service to the front desk and the staff you meet in the halls, everyone at the Empress hotel was engaging and top-notch. We even came in after a fun-filled day to find my daughter’s favourite stuffie propped up for bedtime when they delivered complimentary cookies and milk to the room. The kids’ scavenger hunt was a lot of fun and took us all around the grounds as we laughed and learned. The Pedicabs in Victoria have to be the best way to get around. For around $20, they’ll take you on a guided tour to Chinatown that is the perfect length for kids, and even included a stop at the Rogers Chocolate shop for a free sample.

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The Royal BC Museum is another stop that’s worth the admission of $11-$16. You could spend the entire day here and explore human history, natural history and so much more. We really loved the interactive coastal exhibit and the authentic historical town. But you can’t miss the First Peoples Gallery, which is visually stunning. One last stop! Walk a few blocks from the harbour, and you’ll find Beacon Hill Park, where kids can feed ducks and watch turtles as they walk over cool bridges. Then head to the Children’s Farm where everyone can interact with goats, peacocks, sheep and more. Best of all…it’s all FREE. www.fairmont.com/Empress www.victoriatours.net www.victoriaharbourferry.com www.royalbcmuseum.bc.ca www.beaconhillchildrensfarm.ca

momevents westcoast

Adult Events for the Hip Mom Around Town! Private School Expo Westin Bayshore November 8, 12noon-4pm The largest private school event in Canada, this expo showcases a variety of schools and will educate parents about how to find the right school for their child. www.ourkids.net Debunking Myths About Mental Illness Science World November 10, 7-9pm Develop a better understanding of how our views on depression and anxiety have changed through this hands-on approach that uses some of today’s tools for diagnosis and treatment! Tickets $15 each. 18+. www.scienceworld.ca Just Between Friends Fall and Winter Sale Croatian Cultural Centre November 12-14 Don’t miss this amazing children’s and maternity consignment sale. Clothing, toys, infant equipment and furniture! Find designer and boutique brands priced 50-90% off retail. Items are inspected for quality and meet Health Canada safety regulations. 604.325.9933

Sparkle 2015 Rocky Mountaineer Station November 14 Enjoy cocktails, craft beer, wine, canapés, cash bar, a fashion show, live entertainment, and a silent auction! All funds raised will support Starlight families and programming for the upcoming year. 604.564.7837 The Olde Farmhouse at Christmas Abbotsford Tradex November 14-15 Join over 90+ vendors for a fun filled day of junking! This is treasure hunting and Christmas shopping, all under one roof! www.theoldefarmhouse.ca All About Christmas Gifts Expo Chilliwack Heritage Park November 14-15, 10am-4pm A fabulous Christmas gift market, full of gift ideas, bargains and more from local home-based and small businesses! Admission is $3. 604.858.7727 | www.allaboutexpos.com

That’s the Spirit Charity Shopping Night Willowbrook Shopping Centre, Langley November 17, 6:30-10pm Enjoy holiday shopping, help local charitable organizations, and take advantage of exclusive savings. Featuring over $12,000 in prizes, Santa photos, refreshments, live entertainment, amazing store discounts and offers, and more. 100% of ticket proceeds will benefit local charities. Tickets are $10. www.shopwillowbrook.com Christmas at Hycroft UWC of Vancouver at Hycroft, Vancouver November 19-22 If you need a little inspiration to get yourself in the Christmas spirit and need some fresh new gift and decorating ideas, you will love Christmas at Hycroft! www.uwcvancouver.ca Crime Free Multi-Housing Phase One Training Workshop November 25, 8am - 4:30pm Shadbolt Centre for the Arts, Burnaby This program is designed to help residents, owners, and managers of rental communities, in partnership with Police Agencies, keep illegal activity off their property. $75. Pre-registration required. www.bccpa.org

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community Garden Light Festival Bear Creek Park, Surrey November 5, 5-8pm Wander through the lit up paths illuminating the garden, incredible tree projections, and an enchanting river of ice and light. Discover the wildlife around the garden at night with a Nature Guide and learn how these animals are adapted to survive to life in the dark. There will also be music and crafts! www.surrey.ca 5th Annual Fleetwood Diwali Festival Fleetwood Community Centre Gym, Surrey November 7, 1-3pm Join in for activities, food, beverages, prizes, and more! All are welcome. Free but registration and tickets are required for admission. Come by the Information Desk at the Fleetwood Library (15996 84 Ave) to pick up tickets. Limit five tickets per person. www.surrey.ca Bugs Bunny at the Symphony II Orpheum Theatre November 7-8 Celebrating the world’s most beloved Looney Tunes and their legendary stars projected on the big screen including Daffy Duck, Elmer Fudd, Pepe Le Pew, Tweety, Wile E. Coyote, and Road Runner — while their extraordinary original scores are played live by the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra! www.vancouversymphony.ca Sweet; Beyond the Stars November 13, 6-9pm Join for an evening of special guests and activities celebrating discoveries in the night sky. Meet astronomers, have fun in our out-of-this-world photo booth and try some hands-on space science of your own. Free! www.scienceworld.ca

Will Stroet & the Backyard Band Whistler November 14, 5:30pm Will Stroet, an award-winning bilingual children’s musician and educator, connects with kids through high-energy, interactive and educational music in English and French. Ticket prices vary by age. www.artswhistler.com Glenda’s Christmas Cottage 4557 Mt. Lehman Road, Abbotsford November 14 -15, 11am–3pm Come decorate Christmas cookies and make crafts with Mrs. Claus. There will be a special visit from Santa and free hot chocolate and popcorn by the bonfire. The event is free but donations will gladly be accepted to Matthew’s House Children’s Hospice. www.glendaschristmas.com Surrey Kids Conference Guildford Recreation Centre, Surrey This is a collaborative, creative, inclusive, and healthy approach to linking children ages 6 to 12 to community resources, services and educational experiences. Kids in grades 1-7 can register for this conference to participate in workshops designed to support healthy lifestyles, social responsibility and personal development. 604.502.6243 | www.surrey.ca Heritage Christmas Burnaby Village Museum November 21-December 11 Spectacular displays of lights have been added to the traditional must see stops. Free gate admission. It’s a Sparkling Winter Wonderland! www.burnabyvillagemuseum.ca

Disney on Ice presents Frozen Pacific Coliseum at the PNE November 25-29 Enter a fantastical winter wonderland beyond imagination at Disney on Ice presents Frozen, presented by Stonyfield YoKids Organic Yogurt. Join royal sisters Anna and Elsa, the hilarious snowman Olaf, Kristoff, his loyal reindeer Sven, and the mystical trolls, as they journey to discover that true love is the most magical power of all! www.ticketleader.ca

Edmonds Festival of Lights Edmonds Community Centre November 28, 2-5:30pm There will be live entertainment, snacks, crafts and activities for all ages. And Santa will be there! One lucky child will help the Mayor light the big tree at 5:15pm. 604.297.4831 Park & Tilford Gardens celebrates its 27th Hi-Light Festival 333 Brooksbank Avenue, North Vancouver November 28–December 31, 5pm This majestic community event will showcase over 150,000 lights displayed over three acres. Every Friday is family night, where Santa himself will make a special appearance. Entrance by donation. www.parkandtilford.com Kooza; Cirque du Soleil Concord Pacific Place Ongoing until December 27 Enjoy this show with an adrenaline rush of aerobics in a zany animal kingdom! The show combines two circus traditions—acrobatic performance in all its splendor and fragility, presented in a colourful mélange that emphasizes bold slapstick humour. www.cirquedusoleil.com

We can deliver WestCoast Families magazine free to your event! Email us at admin@westcoastfamilies.com or call 604-249-2866 28 WestCoastFamilies.com

calendar CKNW Orphans Fund Pledge Day Terminal City Club, Vancouver December 2, 5:30am-7pm This is a day for raising significant funds for vulnerable children living with special needs in British Columbia. Donate in person or online. www.cknworphandsfund.com Hansel and Gretel: An East Van Panto York Theatre, Vancouver December 2-January 3 Complete with a gingerbread house, a buttkicking brother and sister team, and a cute little cannibal witch, Hansel and Gretel lures you deep into the East Van wilderness to deliver a fantastic holiday treat. Recommended for a general audience and all tickets are $20. 604.251.1363 | www.tickets.thecultch.com Christmas Carol Sing-along Minnekhada Regional Park December 6, 1-4pm Bring the kids for an afternoon of festive fun including sing-alongs in front of a Yule log and a visit from Santa. 604.432.6359 | www.minnekhada.ca Owl Show Richmond Nature Park December 6, 11am-3pm Owls are remarkable predators that rarely reveal themselves to people. Stop by the park for a unique opportunity to see and learn about these secretive birds of prey. Admission is by donation. All proceeds support Richmond Nature Park Society educational programs. This event is for all ages. 604.718.6188

A Lantern Affair Multicultural Celebration of Light Place des Arts December 6, 2-4pm A Lantern Affair offers lantern making and other fun arts activities at this free, all-ages event. Participate in an interactive lantern ceremony; visit with Father Christmas; enjoy music and other performances; browse the festive market and more. Admission is free. www.placedesarts.ca Winter Family Ball The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver December 6, 4-10pm This evening includes a champagne reception, family photos, a silent auction, children’s activities, a festive holiday meal and entertainment with a DJ. Buy your tickets online. www.ilovemyfamilyservices.com Pancake Breakfast with Santa Krause Berry Farms, Langley December 13, 9:30-11:30am Enjoy this free pancake breakfast by donation to Breast Cancer Research in memory of Liz Krause. www.krauseberryfarms.com Goh Ballet’s the Nutcracker The Centre in Vancouver December 17- 22 The Goh Ballet’s critically acclaimed production of the beloved holiday classic. The Nutcracker, returns to The Centre in Vancouver in December 2015. A fairytale ballet, the story is treasured by children and adults alike, weaving a tale full of magical surprises, and enchanting choreography. 1.855.985.5000 | www.gohballet.com

Longest Night Richmond Nature Park December 19, 1-4pm Create lanterns to light up the night sky, and write your wishes on paper then toss them in the fire to set them free. Decorate a wildlife tree and help our birds survive the cold winter. Enjoy storytelling, face painting, and seasonal crafts then join the Frost Fairy for a lantern lit walk through the winter woods. Take home a festive evergreen swag for your door. This event is suitable for all ages. 604.718.6188 Heritage Holiday at the Fort The Fort, Fort Langley December 19- January 3 (Closed Dec. 25, 26, Jan 1) Escape the holiday bustle and make memories with your family and friends at the Fort! Enjoy a traditional holiday atmosphere, crafts, and children’s activities. Regular admission fees apply; free for annual pass holders. www.pc.gc.ca 5th Annual Family First Night Mount Seymour, North Vancouver December 31, 6-9pm Enjoy tubing and tobogganing, live entertainment, wonderful performers, cozy up to the warmth of two custom fire pits and indulge in fresh hot apple cider and s’mores. Enjoy a daring highline balancing act or venture into the woods with your family on an intriguing Snowquest. All of this followed by an early NYE countdown and a fireworks finale at 9pm. www.mountseymour.com/event/family-first-night

Nov/Dec 2015 29

modern home-ec WestCoast Families Holiday Recipes It’s that time of year where we all crowd around the table to dig in to our favourite comfort food dishes. The WCF staff have opened our cookbooks to share some of our very own holiday recipes with you! Lemony Brussels Sprouts Jodi Iverson, Sales Manager

Turkey Stuffing Kelly S. Thompson, Editor This is a Thompson Specialty! My grandma made us all cookbooks with family recipe faves. This is mine, perfect for the holidays! • • • • • • • •

1 loaf of semi-stale white bread, cut into cubes 4 stalks of celery, chopped 2 onions, chopped ½ cup butter, melted 1 tsp salt ½ tsp pepper 4 tsp poultry seasoning 4 eggs, lightly beaten

Sauté celery and onions with butter until onions are translucent, approximately 5 minutes. Add spices then mix with bread and eggs. The mixture will be very wet. Put into a casserole dish, cover and microwave on high for approx. 10 min, then crisp in oven at 350°F for 15 min.

Apple Betty Krysta Furioso, Art Director My mom used to make this yummy dessert all winter long, and it’s still one of my favourites. Whenever I make it and the smell of apples and cinnamon wafts through my house, I’m immediately transported back to Ontario on a chilly winter afternoon. • • • • • •

3-4 apples 1 cup flour ½ cup soft butter (I use vegan margarine from Earth Balance) ½ cup brown sugar ½ cup white sugar Cinnamon to taste

Cut up apples and place in deep baking/casserole dish. Sprinkle white sugar and lots of cinnamon over the apples. Combine butter, flour, and brown sugar, and place on top of apples, packing down firmly. Bake at 350°F for 40 minutes.

30 WestCoastFamilies.com

Brussels sprouts are a polarizing vegetable—either you’re in or out. While I am a sprout lover, my husband was of the former persuasion until this recipe came along. Loaded with vitamin A, potassium, calcium and fiber, these reimagined Brussels sprouts are the perfect accompaniment to your holiday meal. • • • • • •

Brussels sprouts to cover 2 baking sheets Olive oil Kosher salt Juice & zest of 2 lemons 2 tbsp of capers 1-2 tsp of chili flakes (to taste)

Toss Brussels sprouts with olive oil and kosher salt. Place in single layer on cookie sheet. Bake at 350°C for 20-25 minutes or until caramelized. Combine lemon juice, lemon zest, capers and chili flakes to make dressing. Toss sprouts in dressing and put back in oven for 5-10 minutes to crisp.

Ham Ball Andrea Vance, Publisher This recipe came from my Auntie Joanne, who brought this to every holiday dinner where it was quickly devoured. Now my sister has perfected the recipe and ham ball continues to be a must-have for all family gatherings! This recipe also freezes so you can make a few to take to holiday parties and have for unexpected guests. • • • • • • •

8 oz pkg cream cheese ½ cup mayonnaise 2 x 8 oz tins flaked ham 2 tbsp chopped parsley 1 tsp minced onion ½ tsp dry mustard ½ tsp Tabasco

Beat cheese and mayonnaise until smooth. Stir in rest of ingredients, cover, and chill several hours. Form into ball and serve with crackers or veggies.




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The November|December 2015 issue of WestCoast Families, featuring Winter Fun, Family Photography, and Holiday Gift Guide


The November|December 2015 issue of WestCoast Families, featuring Winter Fun, Family Photography, and Holiday Gift Guide