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The Local Guide for Active Urban Families

make a splash with



mom Rebecca Watt westcoast

july/august 2013

family real estate & design | summer fun

July/August 2013


families westcoast


• summer fun • family real estate & design


top story

summer fun

on our cover... On the cover of this issue, 3-year-old Ameeya enjoys a cool fruity summer punch, pool side with her family. Photographed by Rhonda Denta Photography

Travel Alderbrook Resort & Spa

Summer Fun Area Aqua Adventures

Summer Fun Bring History to Life BCs Rich Past

Family Real Estate & Design Housing Prices and Notes





Family Real Estate & Design Laneway Housing

Family Real Estate & Design Design Notes Creative Spaces

Summer Fun Geekology Websites & Apps




32mom westcoast

32 WCM Profile Rebecca Watt 34 WCM Feature Parenting Connections 35 WCM Events

from the editor 6 Editor’s Note 7 Contests 8 WestCoast Finds Summer Fun & Creative Spaces 10 Hot Spots 30 WCF News 36 Community Calendar 38 Last Look Keeping Kids Creative this Summer

next issue september • Back to School • Technology 4

July/August 2013


editor’s note


e don’t know about you, but in our WCF households it’s not just the wee offspring that are looking forward to making a splash this summer – we all can’t wait for the hot sultry days where taking a dip in the lake, running through the sprinkler, or flinging yourself down a dizzying waterslide is the most efficient way to cool down. Whether you’re camping, on a road trip, or hanging out at home this summer, we have everything you need to know about Southern BC’s water parks and waterslides, so you can have the most fun possible, with no surprises (like driving an hour to a place and finding out your child is three inches too short to get on the best slides). If you’re thinking of moving, curious about the other areas surrounding us, or even just sprucing up your present home, we’re happy to share what’s going on in Lower Mainland real estate, and we have been speaking to some of our area’s top realtors about what makes their neighbourhoods so special for families. In design trends, we get the downlow from interior design experts on how to create inspiring places for kids to exercise their imaginations, as well as laneway housing options that are inspiring architects and environmentalists equally. We sincerely hope you’re reading this while lounging in a sunny deck chair and sipping on a frosty beverage with an umbrella in it, but even if you aren’t, summer is here and it doesn’t take much to get out there and enjoy it. See you for our exciting Back-to-School issue in September!

Stephanie MacDonald Editor

more online!

this month at Go online to see even more! In July and August, you’ll find features on: Festivals and Events Around BC, Family Travel Insurance, Creative Home Design Ideas, and much more. Check back often as we add new items to our events calendar, write new posts to our blog, and update our feature articles regularly.


families westcoast

Managing Editor Andrea Vance Editor Stephanie MacDonald Contributing Editor Jodi Iverson Art Director & Layout Krysta Furioso Administration Jennifer Bruyns Accounts Receivable & Payable Jennifer Brule Advertising 604.249.2866 Published by National Families Network Publisher: Andrea Vance For distribution inquiries, please email For submissions to our community calendars, please email To share your feedback, please email Contributors Stephanie MacDonald, Clare Adams, Krysta Furioso, Rebecca Hemphill, Andrea Vance, Parrish Wilson, Jennifer Bruyns, Jodi Iverson 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

contests! Fort Langley Enter to win the opportunity to experience the new oTENTik overnight adventures at For t Langley National Historic Site for you and up to five family members! Parks Canada oTENTik cabins offer a unique blend of homey comfort and a taste of outdoor adventure, an ideal way for visitors who want to discover the joys of camping but prefer the comfort of a bed and a campsite already set up. oTENTic cabins are equipped with a table, chairs and comfortable beds to accommodate up to six people. Fort Langley National Historic Site supplies the use of barbecues, a group campfire, and an individual fridge, as well as a complimentary breakfast. Value $153

Deadline to enter: August 31, 2013. Enter at

Visit us online for new contests every issue! Dora the Explorer is coming to the Queen E! Families across Canada can finally rejoice! On Sunday October 13th, Koba Entertainment is proud to be bringing audiences its newest theatrical production starring the adventurous little explorer, Dora, and you could WIN four tickets, plus entrance to a meet and greet where your family could meet Dora in person! Dora is embarking on her most important mission yet in Nickelodeon’s Dora the Explorer Live! Search for the City of Lost Toys. With help from the audience, Boots, Map, Backpack, Diego and more, Dora uses her directional, counting, musical and language skills to successfully pass through the Number Pyramid and the Mixed-up Jungle to reach the City of Lost Toys. But watch out! You never know what that sneaky fox Swiper might be up to along the way! Value $120 Deadline to enter: August 31, 2013. Enter at

Britannia Mining Museum Enter to win a family package (2 adults and up to 3 children) To the exciting Britannia Mining Museum! This multi-award winning Museum offers guided tours and engaging exhibits that was voted “Best Attraction” for the Sea to Sky and Whistler area. Just like miners did, visitors climb aboard a mine train and rumble into an authentic tunnel. Entertaining guides describe the workings of drills and tools from the past century. Every visit includes gold panning with the chance to take home real gold! Play areas for children keep young ones entertained. Value $72

Deadline to enter: August 31, 2013. Enter at

families westcoast

is excited for the return of the 5th annual

readers choiceawards

Enter today for your chance to win AMAZING family prizes, including family passes to major attractions throughout the Lower Mainland.





Go online to for full details on all prizes and to cast your votes.

July/August July/August 2013 2013 2012


westcoast finds summer fun! Universal Travel Bag Going places with little ones entails a lot more than just carrying a squirmy little person with you. You need a stroller, a car seat, maybe a small bike, extra diapers, clothes, shoes, the list goes on. Specifically designed for buggy and beyond, Phil and Ted’s Universal Travel Bag makes traveling easy no matter what you are taking with you; It has loads of space with an adjustable size to fit all of baby’s gear. Simply place cargo inside the open bag, wrap it up and off you go, the sturdy wheels make it easy to roll when packed. And when you’ve finished using the universal travel bag, it rolls up into an easy to store compact bundle.

$100 at Lusso Baby and

Prana Snack Packs We’ve all had days where the 2:30pm staff meeting or baby swim class required a triple espresso to get you through, but now you can fuel up the healthy way with Prana’s extensive variety of 100% organic trail mixes made with the best-quality superfoods to boost your energy and your overall well-being. Made in Montreal and with combinations to suit all tastebuds, your vitality will impress teenage swimming instructors and your colleagues alike!

$16 per kg at Thrifty’s Foods and Choices Markets

editor’s pick MasterLock Safe Space Even if you’re not carrying the crown jewels with you, when you’re camping or traveling, it’s nice to have the peace of mind that comes with knowing your valuables, like your phone, cash, credit cards, jewelry, keys, passports, sunglasses or other small valuables are safe. Lightweight and portable, the MasterLock Safe Space locks up your valuables with the cable wrapped tightly to the safe or wrapped securely around a fixed object.

$30 on

Attitude Clean Bath Products Germy bathrooms and dirty kids are gross, but do you know what else is gross? The scary chemicals and carcinogens found in many cleaning and personal care products. Instead of giving up and moving to an aseptic biosphere in the desert, try Attitude eco-friendly products for your house and family. Chemical-free and lovely smelling, your home and family members can be free of vile dirt and bacteria as well as chemical residue.

$5 at Choices Markets, IGA, London Drugs and

Banz Glasses and Goggles Your kid wants to look supercool, you just want them not to go blind, but you can satisfy both desires with Baby Banz. Originally designed in Australia for one of the world’s toughest UV environments, these cool shades have been clinically tested by the world’s leading authorities on sunglasses and have passed the most stringent standards on sunglasses in the world. The neoprene head straps keep them secure on baby’s head and baby secure in looking stylish. Banz kids’ swim goggles are the perfect size and fit, and great for those hot, sunny pool days.

$20 at Active Baby and Lusso Baby and


design & creative spaces Gro Anywhere Blind

BEM Audio boom Box It’s been a while since you could impress bystanders with your amazingly impressive taste in music as well as your outrageously cool ghetto blaster. Not only does this new Boom Box deliver precision-tuned beats and clear audio at all volume levels, it’s also easy on the eyes with a soft-touch finish and classy, sleek design. bēm wireless Boom Box kicks out 10 hours of play time (your neighbours will love hearing your entire collection of Grateful Dead bootlegs, back-to-back) and connects in a snap to your phone and other Bluetooth®-enabled devices.

$250 at

KidCraft Train Table and Set All aboard! What little kids would not swoon over this train table and 100-piece train set from KidCraft? It’s got a two-tier bridge, a mountain with drive-through tunnel, and even an airport complete with helipad. Parents will love the nontacky espresso finish and solid wood frame with large rolling trundle for convenient storage, and the piece is so solid you can hang onto it for your grandchildren who may not otherwise know what a train is.

Even grownups have a hard time going to sleep when it’s light out, and kids will find any excuse to subvert bedtime schedules. Want to create a snoozy sleeping environment when there is too much light flooding in? The versatile Gro Anywhere Blind has been designed to ‘go’ anywhere with you, and can be put in place in minutes. Attaches directly to the glass using suction cups, ensuring a close fit that really does block light properly to keep bedtimes on schedule (so you can enjoy the evening sun).

$60 on

editor’s pick EasyMarimba Marimbas are the ideal gateway into music for your kids. They are intuitive, easy to learn, involve banging sticks on something, and best of all, they don’t sound terrible even when a two-yearold is going to town on the thing. If you’re not ready to commit to a marimba of your own, there’s EasyMarimba. Handmade locally, you can rent these colourful marimbas monthly while you introduce your child to the joys of making music.

$10 per month on

$200 or

July/August 2013


hotspots ManUp Dads! Walk into the new “Epic Man Cave” in North Vancouver, and you will find yourself a part of a completely new and personalized grooming experience. Relax in the lounge with a complementary personalized beverage selection while you use their iPads and WiFi to catch-up on business news, sports and entertainment. They specialize in the head and hair, the face and the shave, as well as the hands and feet to give you a shiny and new appearance and outlook on life. You can even have a beverage while you wait! Andrea, WCF Managing Editor


Adore Fashions Adore Fashions is a one-stop luxury shop for the little ones. Opened in January 2013, this boutique showcases a fabulous selection of designer baby and children’s premium quality clothing. You will find brands like Dior, Burberry, Gucci, Fendi, Monnalisa, Mackage, D&G, Versace, and Cavalli for stylish clothing and accessories.

2814 Granville Street, Vancouver, 604-620-8212 Jodi, WCF Sales Director

Vancouver Special The WCF team’s newest editorial meeting spot just sits on Main and 28th Avenue. A huge yet cozy room, hung with tapestries and adorned with pillows, it is a welcoming oasis. While the ambiance is lovely, you’ll want to stay for the fabulous chai and array of Indian and other Middle Eastern dishes, served a la carte or as part of a tasting menu. If you’re on the other side of town, there is a second location at 3239 West Broadway.

I love Vancouver Special for gifts, books, funky homeware, and a for a myriad of other objects that are well-designed and useful. According to their website, the store is “a retail store offering a carefully curated selection of contemporary furniture, sofas, design objects, household accessories, and art and architecture books”. Like the modest but retro-cool dwellings after which the store is named, they operate under the premise that good design can be accessible, affordable, of high quality and bring pleasure to daily life. They also host various events, lectures, parties and sales at the store.

3612 Main Street

East is East

Krysta, WCF Art Director Stephanie, WCF Editor

July/August 2013



Washington’s Gem Alberbrook Resort & Spa By Krysta Furioso


s residents of the Lower Mainland, many of us are regular visitors to Washington State. We shop in Bellingham, we weekend in Seattle, see concerts, and visit friends in Olympia. But how often do we explore the areas a little further off the beaten path? One such hidden gem is Alderbrook Resort & Spa. Located just west of Olympia, and nestled amongst the wild beauty of the Hood Canal, Alderbrook is one of those places that makes you say “Wow”, as soon as you pull into the parking lot. Leaving Vancouver in the late morning, my partner and I loaded ourselves, our seven-year-old, and our Border Collie into the car, and spent the day meandering south. For us, no trip through Bellingham is complete without a stop for lunch at our favourite healthfood market, and we can’t pass through Seattle without stopping for a coffee, so by the time we reached the resort, it was nearly dinnertime. Checking in, we were immediately overcome with the feeling that this was no mere hotel with chalet décor, this was the real thing. The smell of evergreens and cedar overtook us as we entered the stunning reception area. With monolithic and rustic exposed beams, a giant fireplace and huge windows overlooking the grounds and canal, it was obvious that this space was somewhere that would make guests forget their rush to check in and get the keys to their rooms.


Celebrating its centenary this year, Alderbrook celebrates a history rooted deeply in the celebration and preservation of all that makes this area quintessentially ‘northwest’. Originally created as a vacation paradise, the resort has grown and rebuilt over the last century, all the while staying true to the original vision of an unpretentious getaway where families could enjoy food and art while basking in the bounty of the natural surroundings of the Pacific Northwest. When we arrived, there was a wine and chocolate pairing happening in the lobby, and so after indulging and collecting our map and arrival package, we headed to our cottage. More than just a detached hotel suite, the cottage brought back memories of spending summers at relatives’ cabins in Ontario, where the sun told time over the lake, and children ran free in fun and safe communal spaces. The two bedrooms in the modern but classic cottage were spacious, and the cozy living room opened up onto a covered outdoor living space. We could sit on the couch in front of the fire and gaze out over the beautiful waters of the Hood Canal, right to the majestic Olympic Mountains. The view was unparalleled. We found packages neatly prepared for both our daughter and our dog, and the room was tastefully stocked with an impressive honour bar and a full kitchen with all the comforts of home.

Touring the Hood Canal is made fun and easy with scheduled sunrise and sunset cruises aboard the 42ft wood yacht that moors at the resort’s dock. Boardgames, lunch, drinks and fishing gear are provided for guests aboard ‘Jack’. As the resort celebrates its centenary in 2013, every month will see exciting events, including historical speakers, guided nature tours, and culinary guests. From guided hikes in August to paddle making in September, and all manner of Thanksgiving and harvest festivities in the fall, one can be assured that there is always something special happening at Alderbrook. We spent our first evening enjoying notably unique and delicious meals from room service, and being vegetarians, we were impressed with how gracious and attentive the kitchen staff were to our dietary requests. The next day we got up at dawn and took our dog for a long walk in the lush hiking trails adjacent to the resort where our daughter played nature guide with the help of the map the resort had provided. The afternoon was spent poolside in the classic conservatory-style swimming and sauna building. Room service is delivered right to the pool, and after a dip, I decided to sneak away to get acquainted with the spa, where the Signature Massage, (heated basalt stones with aromatherapy, relaxation and deep tissue techniques) is an absolute must for making a weekend getaway truly immersive and relaxing.

Visit Alderbrook resort online for details on the unique history of the resort, full spa menu, and complete events calendar.

Not only did we find that we weren’t left wanting for self-made fun, from badminton to swimming, aquabiking, the Xbox game room, golf, and hiking, we could also take advantage of many of the organized events and activities at the resort.

July/August 2013 13

Take a memorable family getaway this summer in the

Vancouver, Coast & Mountains Region! Written by Crystal Solberg

You don’t have to go far this summer to find the perfect family getaway! Spend some time exploring your own backyard in the Vancouver, Coast & Mountains Region. Comprised of four unique destination areas, the region offers accommodation to suit every budget and fun activities for everyone to enjoy. o courtesy of BC Parks

Mighty Fraser Country, Phot



Sea to Sky Country, Photo

by Toshi Kawano

Mighty Fraser Country Families with a love of outdoor adventure will enjoy Mighty Fraser Country. Consider a trip to Harrison Hot Springs, located approximately 90 minutes from Vancouver. The community is nestled against the sandy shores of Harrison Lake, making it ideal for water activities. Here you can go power boating, sea-dooing and fishing. Kids and adults young at heart will love the bumper boats and banana tube rides that are available on the lake, as well as the floating water park. On dry land, the whole family will also enjoy stopping in nearby Harrison Mills to visit Kilby Historic Site, home to a General Store museum, home-style restaurant and some friendly farm animals! At the end of the day, relax at the Harrison Hot Springs Resort & Spa which has five different hot spring fed pools for you to soak in while the kids play, but there are plenty of other great accommodations as well. Harrison Hot Springs has hotels, motels, bed & breakfast rooms and vacation rentals to suit every taste and budget.

Sea to Sky Country Start your getaway to Sea to Sky Country with a family trip to the Britannia Mine Museum. Located along Highway 99 in Britannia Beach, what was once a working copper mine is now a National Historic Site. Unearth some fun as you climb aboard an underground mine train and ride it through an authentic mining tunnel. Every visit includes gold panning and the chance to take home real gold! Kids will enjoy having their photo taken with the Super Haul truck – it is 8 metres high and 25 metres long, making it a real monster truck. Continue along Highway 99, the Sea to Sky Highway, to Whistler. There are a wide variety of family activities to participate in here, and the Blackcomb Base Adventure Zone is always a hit. Jump on the Kiss the Sky Bungy Trampoline and hit home runs the Batter Up! batting cage. There are also 1-hour horseback trail rides with a 1,000-foot vertical climb up Whistler Blackcomb. When it’s time to unwind at the end of the day, head to Legends by Lodging Ovations in Whistler Creekside to relax on your private balcony. Legends features a large number of two and three bedroom suites with fully equipped kitchens and in-suite laundry, making it the perfect family retreat. The hotel also features a pool to play in and there’s even a children’s game room on site! ADVERTISING FEATURE

July/August 2013 15

Mighty Fraser Country, Photo by Albert


Metro Vancouver If you’re looking for a great getaway in Metro Vancouver this summer, consider a trip to Burnaby. Families will love exploring some of the great city parks that can be found here, such as Deer Lake Park. Easy trails meander around the lake and in the summer you can rent kayaks, canoes, rowboats and pedal boats! Located nearby is the Burnaby Village Museum, an open-air museum on a 10-acre site that represents a typical tram-stop community. Costumed townsfolk welcome visitors and give demonstrations and popular stops include the blacksmith, general store and ice cream parlour. Gate admission is free and rides on the vintage carousel are only $2.21. There are also some great hotels in Burnaby that are located close to public transit. This makes it easy to take the bus or skytrain into Vancouver to do some exploring there as well. In the summer time downtown Vancouver is buzzing with activity, as people explore the Metro Vancouver, Photo by


Bob Young

waterfront and enjoy a variety of festivals and entertainment.


Sunshine Coast Although it’s a part of the BC mainland, the Sunshine Coast is only accessible by boat or plane. Head over to the Horseshoe Bay ferry terminal and take a 40 minute ferry ride over to the Langdale ferry terminal, near Gibsons. Keep in mind that you only have to pay for the ferry going one way! Follow the road signs and continue up Highway 101 towards Sechelt. A getaway to the Sunshine Coast isn’t complete without spending some time on the water! Take a First Nations cultural interpretive paddle and listen to ancient stories as you travel through calm waters with stunning shoreline views. Be on the lookout for marine life – there is always a chance of seeing seals, otters, sea stars and much more. The Sunshine Coast is home to some great campsites. If your family loves the outdoors, many of the campsites in the area have access to the water and swimming areas, as well as nearby trails. For those who would rather sleep indoors, there are also cozy Bed & Breakfasts, hotels, inns and vacation rentals dotted along the coast. Start planning the perfect family getaway today! Visit for travel ideas, event information and our favourite things to see and do in the Vancouver, Coast & Mountains Region.


July/August 2013 17

summer fun

Area Aqua Adventures What you need to know before you visit your local water park by Clare Adams


There’s something about waterslides that just screams summer; the perfect pastime of sunny days and the ability to play all day long, letting the hours slide by (literally!) without a care. However, if you’ve got younger children who love to slide, and you start to go to a few different places, you soon start to learn that not all sliding is equal. Sometimes your little one can join in the fun, other times they’re not going to make the mark. Having seen the super-sad, slumped shoulders of a disappointed child after a 45-minute drive to go sliding, I started to question how this all works.

What’s with all the different rules? This is a question I’ve had for some time, as it’s become apparent to us that some places seem to go on age, others by height, not all age or height requirements are the same, and then some allow double-riding (especially for infants/toddlers) while many don’t. My kids love sliding, so when the water parks are closed, we hit the slides in all the rec centre pools, but quickly found that even there the rules vary a lot. It seemed to me that

there ought to be some standardization of the rules. But having asked the question of those in the know, I found that there are necessary differences that are driving the rules.

Bridal Falls Waterpark

Cultus Lake Waterpark

Rides: 4 advanced slides (min 42” height restriction and no double riding), one tube slide (min 48” height restriction and no double riding) 2 intermediate slides (no height restriction and doubling permitted), 3 kiddie slides and one kiddie tube slide.

Rides: 3 extreme slides (min. 48” height restriction and no double riding), 3 double or single rider tube rides (min. 48” height restriction), two 4-5 person raft rides (min 36” to ride or 48” to ride alone), 5 zero-to-60 single-rider, face first mat rides (min. 42” height restriction), 3 body slides (min. 36” height restriction), 8 children’s body slides and a floating river suitable for all.

Features: All heated slides, free parking, can bring your own picnic, lifejacket and locker rentals available. Hardly any steps – almost entirely sloped walking trails to slides. NEW VIP area includes hard cover, insect netting, propane BBQ and ice cooler. Campground next door.

Licensing for waterslides is governed by the Safety Authority which tries to provide a consistent approach to regulations. But the fact is, the slides are all quite different and as such have different safety concerns. Most of the

Features: Non-sliders can enjoy floating in adventure river. Newly expanded picnic grounds and hot tubs. NEW Bazooka Bowls and The Boomerang Inline Raft Ride.

Cost: $20 + tax for all riders, except under 2 yrs is free. $11.42 + tax for dry passes. Discounted rates offered for entrance after 3pm. NEW 5 at 5 deal - $5 for the last hour of sliding from 5pm.

Cost: Full day - $29 (incl. tax) for everyone 48” and taller, $20 (incl. tax) for everyone under 48”, except children 2 years and under are free. Senior and twilight rates (for the last 4 hours) are available. Non-slider tickets, family tickets and season passes are not available.

Splashdown Park, Tsawwassen

Atlantis Waterslides, Vernon

Rides: The Black Hole and Bonsai Blueline enclosed slides with 48” height restriction. 4 advanced body slides (3 are 425 feet and 1 is 395 feet), 2 intermediate body slides, Big Jim’s River Run tube slide (320ft), 5 children’s slides and one 46 foot ramp slide.

Rides: one advanced slide, 3 ultimate flumes, 2 intermediate slides, 2 little kiddie slides, ramp slide and pool, hot tub.

Features: Volleyball, basketball and pool for non-sliders to enjoy. Lifejackets, umbrellas, volleyballs and basketballs available to borrow free of charge (ID required). BBQ, tent and locker rentals available. Can bring your own picnic.

Cost: Full day - $23.50 (incl. tax) for everyone 13yrs and older. $16.50 (incl. tax) for 4-12 year-olds, 3 year-olds and under are free. Senior rates, sitting senior rates, twilight rates (from June 30th, after 2:30pm), family passes for 4, swimming only passes and park area only passes are available. Tubes are included in admission price.

Cost: Full day - $22.99 + tax for everyone 48” and taller. $16.96 + tax for everyone under 48”, except 3 years and under are free. Seniors rates, twilight rates (from 4 hours before close), family of 4 passes and season passes (weekday only and unlimited) are available.


Features: All water is heated. Disabled parking and access. 9-hole mini golf for those not wanting to swim or slide.

time, the main factor driving the rules in place is actually the manufacturer’s guidelines for that particular slide. Harvey Ensing, Director of Engineering (I know, cool job or what!) at Whitewater Waterslides, based here in Vancouver, explained that most of the time the guidelines are in place based on the type of landing pool at the end of the slide, the average height/age when kids are mature enough to ride sensibly and the size/weight needed to carry a person all the way down a slide.

Factors to consider: • If it’s a landing/receiving pool (deep water), then there is usually an age restriction similar to swimming on your own –around 7 or 8 years or a height restriction of 48”. A pool has to be deep enough to be effective at safely catching all sizes of riders up to adults, so a 3’6” pool (which is the standard depth) would need a person to be around 48” tall to have their head above water standing in it! • Even sliding into an exit flume has potential dangers, with many slides being high up in the air, so children need to be mature enough to slide sensibly, not hold on or stand-up and to exit the flume quickly at the end. • Although waterslides have water flowing down them to carry the sliders, you need to have sufficient weight to be carried the length of the slide. If a child were to come to a stop part way down it’s a potentially very dangerous situation. • Most slides do not allow double or tandem riding because the extra weight can cause riders to go too fast, so unless it’s expressly permitted, you should assume that your child will need to ride alone and meet the necessary age/height requirements. • If a child is dropping into a landing pool and isn’t a very strong swimmer, they should wear a life-jacket, but many slides that end in an exit flume prohibit or prefer that you don’t wear life-jackets, but there is a risk of the lifejacket or the slide being damaged/scratched. • Parents should expect to have to wait at the bottom of the slide for children six years or younger, especially in rec centre pools as there is a risk that the child could exit the slide and go straight into deep water. This is similar to the requirement that younger swimmers should always be within arm’s reach of an adult. • Remember that most water parks require you to sign an insurance waiver, reducing their potential responsibility for accidents or injury, whereas the recreation pools with slides do not. This gives the water parks added flexibility with their policies and procedures because you assume more responsibility, which is another reason that the restrictions differ. So, if every slide potentially has its own set of rules, how as a parent, do we know what’s what? As I’ve come to learn, the best thing is to check the website if the sliding or safety policies are given or otherwise call ahead and find out the rules, particularly if you know your child will be disappointed if they find they aren’t going to be able to slide.

Whitewater Slides, Salmon Arm Rides: 4 adult slides, 3 child & toddler slides Features: 3 wading pools, 2 fountains and 2 jacuzzi tubs. Campground next door. 18 hole mini-golf for those not swimming or sliding. July/August 2013 19

summer fun

Bring History to Life Learning about the richness of BCs past by Rebecca Hemphill


istory has an undeserved reputation for being boring, but it comes to life when you get away from the names and numbers and give it a face. If you’d like to share British Columbia’s diverse and fascinating past with your children, try exploring some historic sites and activities that are geared toward families.

Fishing Canneries Fishing played an important role in BC’s development and a couple of great sites have helped maintain this slice of history for future generations.

Gulf of Georgia Cannery Once a bustling 19th century cannery, the Gulf of Georgia Cannery is now a fun, interactive museum. Step into the past with the clatter and crash of the canning line machinery, get up close and personal with fishing industry paraphernalia and learn about people whose lives depending on a successful daily catch. for more information

North Pacific Cannery If you’re in the mood for a road trip, try heading north…way north. The North Pacific Cannery is the oldest completely preserved cannery in BC. Located in the community of Port Edward, the site features 30 buildings crammed with relics. Wander the buildings to your heart’s content or join up with one of the guided tours and catch a glimpse of life in a 19th century cannery.

Fur Trade BC would not be the province we know today without the fur trade. Although the days of trappers and traders are long gone, you can still experience the activities and get a feel for the lives of those involved with two historic sites involved with the West Coast fur trade.

Fort Langley National Historic Site Originally a bustling fur trading post, Fort Langley National Historic Site is packed with interactive activities for the whole family. Enjoy blacksmithing demonstrations, feed farm animals, learn about historical weapons and much more. Fort Langley is fun for kids of all ages, with plenty of opportunities to get hands on with the display items and interact with costumed interpreters.

Fort St. James If you’re in the mood to travel further afield, you can sneak in a history lesson while enjoying the summer fun in Fort St. James. In between water-skiing and swimming, take some time to pop by the spectacular Fort St. James National Historic Site. Time your visit to coincide with some of their special events, or simply wander the site and chat with the costumed interpreters. The whole family will have a blast stepping back into 1896, with activities ranging from bartering for furs to relaxing in frontier furniture and so much more.


Natural History Looking for a way to help your children appreciate the natural world?

Burns Bog Pile into the car and head to Delta on a summer Saturday for a guided tour of Burns Bog by the Burns Bog Conservation Society. Known as the Lungs of the Lower Mainland, Burns Bog is a globally unique wetland that has been a key player in BC’s natural history for over 10,000 years. Kids love doing the bog bounce, smelling Labrador Tea and hearing about how the local First Nations used sphagnum moss in their babies’ diapers.

Tumbler Ridge For those who are interested in the more distant past, Tumbler Ridge offers a rare opportunity to walk in the footsteps of giants. The area boasts almost 200 dinosaur footprints and over 400 bones from two different ages. Your kids will love the evening lantern tour, when tracks that are nearly invisible during the day jump out at you by the lantern’s glow. For a daytime experience, visit the paleontology museum, enjoy the Flatbed Creek Dinosaur Tour or some of the countless outdoor activities the area has to offer.

Gold Rush BC had numerous gold rushes in the 1800s and you can spread “gold fever” to your kids with just a few simple tools.

Gold Panning If you have access to a stream or river and a metal pie plate then you have all you need for an afternoon of fun gold panning. Brush up on your gold rush folklore, find a river with a gravel bank and start searching for sparkly stuff. You might not find anything but you’ll have a great time trying! If the pie plate isn’t cutting it, you can buy a simple gold panning kit for only $20 from a variety of online sources. Be warned – gold panning can be an addictive hobby.

Gold Rush Trail If panning in your own neighbourhood was enough to whet your family’s appetite for all things gold, head out on the Gold Rush Trail to Barkerville, a historic Gold Rush town about 8 hours from Vancouver. Full of activities that will delight the whole family, Barkerville makes a perfect weekend getaway. Kids can pan for a sample of gold at the Eldorado Gold Panning and Gift Shop, learn about Barkerville’s most notorious criminals, or take a stagecoach tour of the town.

Cultural Experiences Long before Europeans set foot in this province, BC’s First Nations had a deep connection with the land. There are many tours, interpretive centres and museums that offer visitors a chance to learn about Aboriginal traditions, legends and stories.

Klahowya Village Every summer, Klahowya Village in Stanley Park showcases Aboriginal traditions and cultures. Hop on the Spirit Catcher train and enjoy the wonder on your kids’ faces as elaborately costumed dancers depict the 2013 theme, Legend of the Spirit Bear. Afterward, visit the artisan market or hear some traditional stories and legends at the Story Telling Circle. Pre-booked, customized tours are also available, with options such as interpretive forest tours, singing and dancing, and craft making.

visit us online

Nk’Mip Desert Cultural Centre For those looking for a sunny getaway, opportunities to make history and culture fun are endless at the Nk’Mip Desert Cultural Centre. Discover the vibrant culture of the Okanagan First Nations and the Osoyoos Indian Band and learn all about BC’s only desert through guided walks, interactive displays, and local legends played out in a multi-sensory theatre. If you’re in the mood to stretch your legs, walk the trails and experience the beauty and unexpected abundance of plants and animals that call the desert home. Whether you’re a history buff wanting to share your passion with your children or simply hoping to learn something new as a family, take the history lesson on the road this summer and visit some of BC’s entertaining and educational historic sites. July/August 2013 21

family real estate & design

Vancouver West Side $2,070,000 $696,300 $467,500

Thinking of buying your first home, or of moving up from your current place? There are so many different options in the Lower Mainland, each with their pros and cons. Do you care more about a short commute than beaches? Are schools of primary importance? Figure out what is important to you and we’re sure you’ll be able to find the perfect place in the Lower Mainland. We did some research for you and here’s the real estate market for families, in a nutshell. For more information, call the realtor below the area information, for contact the local real estate board.

Vancouver Mortgage broker Patricia Collins says of her time living on the West Side: “I loved my morning strolls along Jericho Beach, a 5-10 minute walk to all that 4th Avenue and Broadway had to offer, and Kitsilano Beach and Granville Island were also a short walk away. The streets were quieter, the streets lined with beautiful trees, but I did feel a little isolated at times.” Benefits for families: low crime rate, upscale ambiance, ocean and beaches nearby, great schools, good transit. Things to consider: While it is close to everything and the streets are very pleasant, residents can tend to keep to themselves behind gates and hedges, so the community is not as close-knit as some others.

Vancouver East Side $837,800 $518,100 $308,700

Richmond $937,600 $492,500 $346,000

Benefits for families: walkable, close to downtown, very community oriented with lots of activities and resources for young families, farmers markets and street festivals all year, good schools and parks. Things to consider: though safe for people, there is still quite a bit of property crime (house and car break-ins).

Richmond’s residents have the longest life expectancy in Canada! Benefits for families: close to ocean and beaches, diverse community, many recreational centres, parks and activities nearby, good transit. Things to consider: below the waterline, if there’s an earthquake, Richmond may not be the safest place to be.

South Delta $837,800 $518,100 $308,700

East Van is where WCF’s editor, art director and sales manager all live. Need we say more?

Realtor Eugene Knoedler says: “ I love the proximity to the beaches and parks and seeing familiar friendly faces around town. There’s a real sense of community here.” Benefits for families: low crime rate, sports-oriented, beaches, small community, good schools Things to consider: if you’re driving north into Richmond or Vancouver, the tunnel and bridges can cause big delays.


North Vancouver Benefits for families: great schools, good transit, great community with lots of families, very close to nature, with lots of world-class outdoor activities (hiking, skiing, mountain biking on the doorstep year-round. Things to consider: If you want to get off the North Shore, traffic congestion on the bridges may be an issue.

West Vancouver has the highest house prices in Canada, but also has some of the most spectacular parks and views. Benefits for families: low crime rate, close to nature as well as ocean and beaches, good schools, many activities and recreational opportunities (world-class skiing, hiking and mountain biking) close by. Things to consider: residents are in an older demographic for the most part, and if you’re commuting to the city, the bridge can (and will) add to your commute time.

$983,700 $602,100 $352,400

West Vancouver $1,859,000 ----$606,900

Surrey Central

Langley $544,400 $291,300 $210,500

New West $666,700 $393,700 $274,600

Benefits for families: great family housing, with more affordable townhomes and small homes; family oriented.

Projected to be the largest city in BC by 2050, Surrey Central boasts a SkyTrain/ transit hub, a university and a brand new civic space with many parks and amenities.

Things to consider: no rapid transit (yet!) and quite spread out; bad congestion downtown where most of the shops and restaurants are located.

Benefits for families: diverse population, good transit and growing economic base. Things to consider: Not particularly walkable outside the downtown core, though this is changing.

The former capital of the province has a charming town centre, lots of heritage buildings and a location overlooking the Fraser River Benefits for families: good schools, good transit, engaged community, good recreational and cultural/art facilities, small town feel with city amenities. Things to consider: city can be a little rough around the edges in some spots, and much of the riverfront is industrial.

Burnaby $906,200 $395,500 $330,500

A full 25% of Burnaby’s land is designated park space, and it was just awarded “Canada’s Best Run City Award” from MacLean’s magazine Benefits for families: affordable, sports-oriented, many recreational activities and facilities, good schools Things to consider: this city covers a vast area, both good and bad. Some are urban with shopping and transit while others are more rural and harder to access.

Coquitlam & Port Moody $706,000 $382,200 $246,700

Realtor Emma Van de Wetering says: “This area also features some creative new developments offering detached coach homes. It’s an ideal location for those who enjoy living “with nature” and spending a lot of time outdoors.” Benefits for Families: Walking distance to good schools, shopping and restaurants. Plenty of parks, trails, and green space. Things to consider: Short ride to WC Express over the Coast Mdn Overpass, and easy access to Mary Hill Bypass and Hwy #1.

$570,800 $296,800 $191,500

S. Surrey/ White Rock Realtor Peter Dolecki feels fortunate to represent this beautiful and fast-growing area

$851,600 $452,300 $238,200

Benefits for families: low crime rate, beautiful views, close to breathtaking ocean beaches, small community, good schools. Things to consider: The demographic for White Rock tends to be older-aged, while South Surrey is more geared towards families.

Many of the properties in this area enjoy larger lot sizes/yards and picturesque views of the mountains and farmland. Benefits for families: Excellent Northwest side location for commuters and busy families, near the Golden Ears Bridge, extensive shopping, WC Express Station.

Maple Ridge $462,700 $267,600 $171,000

Things to consider: toll bridge is consideration and consistent traffic congestion when leaving the city.

• Detached Home • Townhouse • Condo July/August July/August 2013 2012 23 23

family real estate & design

Laneway Housing Vancouver’s back lanes could now become livelier. by Monica Gonzalez


t could be a Vancouver eco-trend or merely a necessity in one of the densest and most desirable cities in North America, but the fact is, that over 800 permits have been approved to build laneway houses, also known as mini homes, all around the city since the eco-density Initiative was implemented in Vancouver in 2009. Apart from high-rise condos and basement suites, Vancouverites have discovered that they can still live in a well-established neighbourhood in the city before having to leave in search of a place they can afford to live. This is the reason why we are now seeing many little homes being built on the back ends of existing homes, and making our back lanes an inviting place to live! In order for a laneway house to work, the owner of a single-family home, on a lot that is at least 33 feet wide, must invest an average of $250,000 (including permits and construction) to transform the backyard/garage into a small 500-900 square-foot, one or two-bedroom living space. This home can then be rented out to someone looking to live in an efficient home, in comfort, and privacy, in the city, usually for about $1,700 a month. It seems like a win-win situation for both parties, and and top of it all, it seems like a good solution to the current housing deficit in the city. This might be the reason why this project is here to stay. In addition to being “mortgage helpers”, laneway houses are being built for many other reasons, including safe housing for elderly parents; to help college-aged children to live independently and build a private space but yet be close to the family, to welcome back newly married children starting their own family, or to simply downsize, as is the case for some empty-nesters that are not looking forward to relocating. Bryn Davison, LaneFab Co-owner, gave us some insights into some of the many benefits of laneway housing. These benefits are: keeping families together, land-use efficiency, cost efficiency (when comparing to the cost of buying a condo in the city), the use of existing neighbourhood facilities, the opportunity for owners to generate income, and the possibility to contribute to the affordable rental housing stock in the city. This type of housing is one that will preserve neighbourhood character, increase housing choice, and accommodate population growth all of which can occur for a reasonable price and in a reasonable timeframe. When we asked Bryn about life in a mini-home, he was excited to share his own personal experience since he and his wife live in a 360 square-foot, East Vancouver condo. “Vancouver is the perfect city for mini living spaces and laneway housing, since many of us love the city life and are used to small spaces anyways. You learn to value the space and live with the essentials. Life becomes simple, less expensive, allowing you to spend more time and money doing what you most love.” Bryn is an expert when it comes to building small spaces. He was the first one to build a laneway home in Vancouver and his company was awarded the 2013 Scotiabank Eco-living Award for his Business Leadership, setting the example of building energy efficient laneway homes in Vancouver. Although there are many benefits to laneway housing, the Eco-density


Initiative has raised a few concerns within the community. Neighbours are concerned about the impact of density on everyday life. Specifically, in the subject of privacy, noise levels, changes in the neighborhood appearance, parking, etc. Residents are also concerned about the capacity of existing community resources, such as childcare facilities, schools, and hospitals, some of which are already running at maximum capacity, to accommodate increased density. For the last few years, The City of Vancouver has been watching the evolution of laneway housing carefully, and, as a result of this, has recently expanded the program across all of the city’s single-family zoning areas and has implemented new regulations addressing some of the current concerns. Specifically, regulations on house height, parking, and storage space have been revised and changes are making this option more accessible to many of us. City planners are confident that public feedback is positive and that laneway houses can be well integrated and accepted in most neighbourhoods. Although Vancouver is leading the way in North America in creating a solution for housing need with laneway housing, other cities in the Lower Mainland, such as North Vancouver, Surrey and Coquitlam have also embraced this housing trend. Thanks to modern, eco-friendly architecture, technology and design, houses can now be built that help us maximize the available space without leaving us feeling cramped. Get ready to be surprised when attending a laneway home open house or when searching the web for laneway homes in Vancouver, you just might realize that you are willing to give up your big space and move into one of these perfectly designed mini laneway homes! For questions about laneway housing in Vancouver e-mail The City of Vancouver at or contact the enquiry centre at by phone at 604.871.7613. For general information, please visit

Summer has just arriv but we’re already planed, BACK TO SCHOOL! ning

Call or email to bo

ok your ad spot for after-school pr ograms, educatio n and tutoring spot s, or cool supplies and clothing for kid s. 604-249-



July/August 2013 25

family real estate & design

Design Notes Creating “Invitations to Play” and Creative Spaces for Children By Stephanie MacDonald


e all know that we should make sure our kids get enough physical activity in their day, and school forces them to exercise their intellectual capabilities, but what about your child’s creative side? Clearly, there are many benefits to encouraging your children to exercise their creative and artistic instincts, but apart from popping a beret on their little heads and sitting them down in front of an easel, how can we encourage them by creating surroundings that inspire them to use their imaginations? So many toys these days are already pre-formed, with a predetermined outcome, so how can we show our kids that the possibilities for fun are endless, and don’t necessarily come out of a toy store?

the like. I also think it’s really important to have tables at an appropriate size for the kids. Sebastian, my oldest, is more likely to work at the kitchen table, but Hugo, who is two, loves having a table just his size.”

result in fun and unique spaces Thinking outside the box with furniture staples can

Being creative doesn’t mean just drawing pictures or putting stickers in a book. Playing dress up or grocery store, putting on a play or a puppet show, or knights and dragons, or building a diorama or solar system mobile… all of these thing require your kids to use their imaginations, and though part of the beauty of these activities is that they can be done anywhere, there are things you can do in your home that can inspire creativity spontaneously, just because of the set up. An example we love is the idea of building a small stage in a corner of a bedroom or rec room, where the space under the stage can be used to store costumes and simple props, but there are a lot of other potions to explore. We asked some experts about their thoughts on the matter, and they shared some great pointers with us. Julia Smith, an interior designer at Baker Hill Homes, has three busy and creative children and a good idea of how to make inviting play spaces that still appeal to adults too. “Paulina and her friends really enjoy playing school/office/teacher: and our school desks can also be used for crafts, trains, constructing with blocks and


Another expert in designing creative spaces for kids is Bridgette Alomes of Natural Pod, a manufacturer of innovative and natural solutions for children’s play spaces. “It’s all about creating invitations to play,” she explains, “it’s not about us as adults entertaining the child. Children are capable beings who can and will create and discover on their own, given the invitation.” A few of Bridgette’s suggestions for creating these invitations include being good role models, “if kids see their parents using found objects to create things, they realize that they can do that too. They begin to see creating their own toys as a process that is fun.” Another key point is to take things out of toyboxes. “The invitation to play includes visual clues, and having materials accessible and visible is important.” Mariah Bruehl of the Playful Learning Ecademy (www. has a checklist of things to ask yourself while creating your own oasis of imagination and creativity in your home.

A well used easel with art supplies can inspire on a whim!

1. Are materials presented attractively?

2. Can your children access the materials independently? 3. Do the materials reflect your family’s values? 4. Do you have enough different materials that you can rotate them to keep them fresh and exciting to your kids? 5. Is there anything too loud or distracting right nearby?

An organized an d labelled art car t can keep inspiration ea sily at hand.

6. How does everything look from a child’s perspective? Get down to their level to see what they see. 7. Does this space inspire you? If it does, there’s a good chance it will be inspiring to them, too. So get your creative design juices flowing and see what kind of inspiring space you can bring to life for your little ones. It might just be as fun for you as it ends up being for them!

July/August 2013 27


design & summer resources

DESIGN aka design House & This website has everything you want and need for inspiration, ideas, and instruction too. How-to videos, designer blogs, forums, room shots and much more.

This Canadian couple’s blog shares great ideas on DIY, organization, decorating, and even recipes too. If you’re looking for super cool craft projects to do on your own or with the kids, they’ve got pages of them.

Apps for iPhone, Android, and Blackberry | Free

Ikea Hackers Home 3D

If you’re just trying to rearrange furniture, or designing a whole home, the Home 3D app can give you a visualization of the space to help you plan perfectly. Imagine walking through the rooms of your new home before they’ve even broken ground! App for iPhone or iPad | $3.99

Autodesk Homestyler

This website makes it easy! You can browse through their gallery of other floor plans, and copy to your own file to tweak or customize. Create your own from scratch, or just browse through pages of ideas. Web or iPad | Free


An Ikea “hack” is a modification or repurposing of an IKEA product – new or old. This blog was started in 2006 to share ideas on how to use and reuse IKEA products, with some ingenious results. Definitely worth a browse! Submit your own “hacked” ideas too.

SUMMER Student Aid BC

Did your teen just graduate, and now you’re all about to navigate the world of post-secondary education? The Government of BC has a website that will guide you through all of the financial aid available, in one spot. Student loans and applications, as well as grants and scholarships. This site is a “must” for all graduating students.

Hello BC Blog

BC Provincial Parks

If you are going camping this summer, or just looking for some great stops around our amazing province, this is a good place to start. The website includes information on everything from campgrounds to conservation and volunteering too. You can reserve a campsite from here, or look at news updates that may be relevant to your travel plans. A great local resource.

Drive BC

Summer means ROADTRIP in BC! This is a great website to check before you leave for route planning, highway and road conditions, construction updates, and much more. You can even look at their webcams to view highways in real time.

Environment Canada

Have the time off, but don’t know where to go yet? This is a great site for ideas on BC vacations. You can specify “Family” or “Adventure”, or search by area, and get some really cool ideas for your summer 2013 holiday. Or check out the Hello BC collection of reader-submitted blogs on all kinds of trips and adventures at:

Moms Minivan

We’ve all heard the question “are we there yet?” This website will keep them quiet and entertained until you really do arrive. Great ideas for DIY travel games and activities that anyone can do, and for all ages from babies to kids.

Whether you’re heading out by land or water, this website will give you all the weather conditions. Weather forecasts are broken down by province and city, and include historical data too. Marine forecasts are available along with tide and current charts. It’s a one-stop shop!


Want a local’s perspective on what to see and do in Vancouver, Coast & Mountains? Visit VCM’s blog, , regularly for tips, upcoming events and our favourite things to see and do!

July/August 2013 29

wcf news >> LemonAid Stands for the Because I Am A Girl Initiative

>> Become an Amateur Biologist this Summer with Project Butterfly

Small actions can drive big change, so this summer, as part of Plan Canada’s Because I am a Girl initiative, Canadian youth are invited to help inspire real change and turn lemons into Pink LemonAid by hosting LemonAid fundraisers in their very communities.

With the arrival of sunny summer days and creation of a new “citizen science” project called eButterfly, every child in the United States and Canada just gained the ability to become a working scientist. This project, which is now online, is one of the first of its type, and will allow everyone from children to senior citizens to record the butterflies they see or collect, build a virtual butterfly collection, share their sightings with others, and contribute to a scientific record of global change.

This fundraising campaign runs all summer long and proceeds will benefit the Because I am a Girl initiative, which helps girls in the poorest regions of the world gain access to education, food and a safe environment. To support Canadian youth in their fundraising efforts, Plan Canada’s Because I am a Girl initiative has created Pink LemonAid Kits full of helpful tips, promotional materials and instructions for how to host a Pink LemonAid stand. You can download your FREE kit online and discover more about the initiative at www. . You can also text Hope4Girls to 30333 and donate $5 to the Because I am a Girl Fund.

>> Surrey Fusion Festival Will Rock Holland Park this July The City of Surrey in collaboration with Coast Capital Savings is holding BC’s largest multicultural celebration, Surrey Fusion Festival at Holland Park on July 20 & 21, 2013 with an incredible spectrum of music and culture taking place on four stages. Last year’s event attracted over 100,000 people! Headlining on Saturday night is Canadian rapper, k-os. His innovative sound has garnered multiple Juno and Much Music Video Award nominations plus a Grammy nomination. His recordings have achieved platinum sales and the audience will be wowed with his unique fusion of rock and hip-hop. To close the event on Sunday evening, there will be a spectacle of Bollywood that will celebrate 100 years of Bollywood Cinema, and will include Bollywood singers, pianists, drummers and dancers. Also performing this year are hipsters The Zola’s, South Asian vocalist Shweta Subram, indie rock band Zerbin, Peak Performance finalists Jordan Klassen and hip hop artist Kyprios. Jim Byrnes and Steve Dawson will be celebrating 15 years of musical collaborations with a special set. New this year is an entertainment line-up on Saturday afternoon geared to seniors with Dixieland performers, chorus groups and even seniors’ bhangra dancing. Additionally, Sunday morning will feature a new children’s matinee with puppets, stories, singers and the BC Junior Talent Search winners.

Find out more by visiting

>> Get Physical this Summer! Our friend Jennifer Hood at Jump Gymnastics is reminding parents that summer is the best time to figure where your child’s natural sport abilities lie. Sunny skies (fingers crossed) and less pressure to perform, create the right conditions to find a sport that will keep them active for life. Jen advises to organize activities that support non-competitive exploration of sport skills and heap on the encouragement. Jump’s own camps are focused on sport exploration and include an eclectic collection of enrichment activities that range from making Kale chip to learning how to worm compost.

For more information, please visit


It’s free, and all you need to get started are a sharp eye, an interest in nature and a computer. Butterflies, an important part of many ecosystems, are extremely sensitive to changes in temperature, population growth, urban sprawl, changes in land and water use, and many other forces. Experts have the ability with powerful computers to interpret these changes and better understand how they are affecting biodiversity – but they don’t have the manpower to gather all the data. Because the project taps into the natural interests of children, both rural and urban, who have been chasing butterflies and making collections for centuries, it also offers an entry into the world of science at a very young age, organizers say. Their contributions will be just as valuable as those of an adult hobbyist or working professional, and in the process they can learn about ecology, botany, entomology, geography, computers, data management, global change issues, and other science disciplines. Data from new sightings will be combined in this project with historical information from a century of museum collections, organizers say, to provide some historic perspective almost immediately. This project is being developed in collaboration with the Montreal Space for Life, the University of Ottawa, the University of Alberta, and the Vermont Center for Ecostudies.

For more information, visit

>> Medeo Gives Patients Remote Access to Medical Care is a Vancouver-based website and app that provides secure video conferencing technology that enables patients and doctors in British Columbia to connect using their computer or Apple mobile device. Patients sign up via their computer at through a simple step-by-step process. Patients sign in to Medeo (via webpage or app) and fill out a ‘case’ request, in which they state why they need to see the doctor. This helps physicians decide which cases are suitable for an online video consultation. Patients may then attach any necessary photos or files that are relevant to the visit. • Patients can upload scanned copies of previous test results or consultations from other doctors for storage on their profile (this can be securely accessed by the patient for reference). • When ready to see the doctor, patients are connected by online video with a Medeo Coordinator who help them ensure that their computer is set-up correctly. • The patient is connected to a doctor for their online visit. Medically necessary services provided by physicians powered by Medeo are publicly funded for BC residents with a valid medical services number (MSP). A Medeo app for Apple devices is free to download from iTunes.


6 th annual

p R e s e n T e d By

the ultimate CeleBRATIOn of music • food • culture *AwARded Be sT Cu lT uRA l e v e n T In C AnAdA*



The ZOlAs / shweTA suBRAm / ZeRBIn / JORdAn klAssen The JIm ByRnes/sTeve dAwsOn CeleBRATIOn / kypRIOs

c u lt u r a l pav i l i o n s

flavours of surrey • kids world

July 20-21


holland park / surrey bc across from king george skytrain station




hen seven-year-old Oscar and his three-year-old brother Ellio t come home, they hang their coats on kid-level coat hoo ks, and then head over to a spe cially designed snack shelf with snacks and plates to make themselves something to eat. “Th make their own choices, and the e kids like being able to y like the responsibility,” says the ir woodworking mother Rebecc “and when everything is at the a Watt, ir level they have no excuse to not hang up their own coats. It our small space tidy.” helps keep Rebecca is somewhat of an exp ert in this regard, having renovate d a few houses and worked on more, from multi-million dollar many mansions to cozy condos with her husband Phil, whom she me taking a woodworking and join t in while ery program at BCIT. “After art sch ool I discovered that most of the jobs in the art world were adm steady inistrative, and I really wanted to work with my hands.” She enro the Women in Trades program lled in at BCIT where the students spe nt time working in various trad plumbing, to aircraft maintenan es from ce, to joinery, and it was the cab inetry and woodworking industry she decided she’d like to end where up. “Unlike art, which is so sub jective, with a woodworking job, either do it or you can’t, and I like you can that.” Though the apprenticing was tou gh, Rebecca proved tougher, and the couple worked in separate for a few years until baby Oscar shops arrived on the scene. With the new family member to look out for, Reb and Phil had to decide what the ecca ir careers would look like if they wanted more flexibility, and the to go out on their own. “We bot y decided h can’t imagine going back to work for other people.” Their company, simply called Phil & Rebecca Watt, focuses on cus tom built-ins, kitchens, and inno solutions for small spaces in hom vative es. “We do lots of bench areas, nooks and cabinets for new hou renos—projects that are too sma ses and ll for companies like those we used to work for. ” When they have spare time, whi ch isn’t often, the couple like to produce their own furniture, and always renovating their own hom they are e, which they like to keep sma ll but very functional for a family Rebecca has lots of good advice of four. when it comes to creating function al and creative spaces for families a small footprint. “For us, becaus within e we live in a smaller space, it’s important to pare down our belo and have a place for everything. ngings This is key for kids because the y need to be able to find what and then put it back after. I rota they want te toys and things in and out of their room. After two months, is fresh and exciting again, and the thing you can have less things that way .” Knowing your kids’personalities and what they need is also a con cern. Her kids’room is equipped with lots of bins, and has been designed with each individual in mind. “Oscar is artistic, and he also needs a place where he can be quiet away from his little bro ther, so we have a tiny school desk in a corner where he can do his own thing, and that is his space. Oscar’s bed is up higher, and Elliot’s bed and his things are at a level where they are reac hable by him.” As the kids grow, so will what they need from their environme nt, and Rebecca and Phil are happy to accommodate their cha nging needs with new and inno vative solutions. “Our kids are pretty spoiled when it comes to furniture.” Phil recently suffered a workpla ce accident that injured his han d badly (he will make a full recovery) and Rebecca was able to step up and finish their pro jects on her own until he gets back in the game. With a strong partnership in their business and family, this crafty couple can’t help but succeed, and Oscar and Elliot can continue to reap the benefits of a flexible family and funky furniture in their environs. Check out some of their work at .

mom westcoast

Rebecca Watt fine woodworker By Stephanie MacDonald | Photo by Dylan Doubt


For us, because we live in a smaller space, it’s import ant to pare down our belongings and have a place for everythin g. This is key for kids because they ne ed to be able to go in an d find what they want and then put it back after.

July/August 2013 33

wcm feature

Parenting Connections The Fun Way to “Work” on your Relationship Parrish Wilson


Warm nights... Care-free days... Backyard BBQs... Sounds like a perfect recipe for family fun. This summer you probably have plenty of day trips and weekend adventures planned for the little ones – waterparks, camping, the Night Market, and local beaches top the list of activities for most families in the Lower Mainland during the beautiful months of July and August.

So when you finally manage to finagle some time away from the kids, don’t spend it doing “whatever”. Make the time really special and plan an activity that honours your values. If you & your spouse value

Check out

But what about you and your sweetie? Have you planned some special ways to celebrate the season with your spouse? Summer is a wonderful time to reinvigorate a relationship that may have taken a hit due to the demands of your pint-sized loved ones.


It’s normal for your relationship to slide down the priority list when you become parents. With daycare, school trips, endless laundry and bedtimes to coordinate, giving a little lovin’ to your partner-in-crime may seem like just another task on the to-do list. Nonetheless, maintaining your relationship is a must if you want to weather the storms of parenthood and enjoy the special moments together for a long time to come.

• Get painting at Raw Canvas in Yaletown • Build skills with a Digital Photography Class (Check out the continuing education section of your local college)


• Hike the Chief in Squamish • Try Stand Up Paddle Boarding in False Creek • Soar the zip lines atop Grouse Mountain


• Check out the Grand Hotel: Redesigning Modern Life exhibit at the Vancouver Art Gallery • Wander the Vandusen Gardens


• Test your Shakespeare at Bard on the Beach • Indulge your inner thespian at the Surrey Arts Centre


• Enjoy the improv masters at Vancouver Theatre Sports League • Laugh it up at LaffLines Comedy Club in New Westminister

One of the best ways you can strengthen or renew your relationship is to spend some time honouring your shared values. Shared values are what originally brought the two of you together and what led you to start a family. “Shared values…. Hmmm…. That sounds a little touchy feely. I don’t think my hubby will really go for that.” But shared values are actually easy to identify and a lot of fun to incorporate into your lives. Here are some common ones: humour, beauty, adventure, culture, fitness, health, friendship. When you take the time to honour your shared values now (even though you’re busy parents) you feed your relationship in meaningful and fun ways. To help discover your shared values take a moment and ask each other these questions: 1. When do you feel at your best? 2. What were your favourite things to do together before you had kids? 3. What new activity or adventure have you been dreaming about? These questions may take you on a trip down memory lane or lead you to dream up future goals and plans. Either way, the ideas that come from these questions will show you what you value as individuals and which values you share as a couple.


There’s no excuse for boring date nights! Spice it up and invest in your relationship with activities that you are both passionate about. Relationships do take work but that work can be fun! Spend some quality time doing activities that bond the two of you, bringing you closer together as a couple, not just as parents. Happy parents raise happy kids! Parrish Wilson is founder of Two Hearts+, changing the way couples parent together. Teaching you what you really need to know to make it work: communication, teamwork and how to stay connected as a couple. For more information, go to

momevents westcoast

Adult Events for the Hip Mom Around Town! Sex Talk in the City: The classroom, the bedroom, the street Museum of Vancouver Ongoing until September 2 Sex Talk in the City teases out how people in Vancouver have learned about sexuality, defined pleasure, and responded to the politics of sex.

Outdoor Flea Market Willingdon Community Centre, Burnaby July 13, 10am-2pm Clean out your garage, home, attic and come on down! Sell your household items such as dishes, figurines, books, clothes, toys, jewellery, lamps, small furniture and odds and ends. Free admission for buyers. 604.297.4526

Baby and Me Hiking Club Pacific Spirit Park July 2- September 3, Tuesdays, 10:30am-12noon Come and enjoy weekly hikes with baby, meet other new parents and enjoy the beautiful outdoors. Hikes are all easy to moderate. The cost is $40 for 10 hikes. 604.432.6359 |

Slo-Pitch for Kids Riverway Sports Complex, Burnaby July 13-14 Join one of 32 teams for some fun slo-pitch and help raise monies for kids suffering life threatening illnesses. All profits go directly to Make-a-Wish.

Summer Serenade Spirit Square, Pitt Meadows July 3, 10, 17, 24, 31 & August 7, 14, 21, 28, 7-9pm Enjoy summer music series of performances organized by Bruce James Orchestra.

Bremner’s Customer Appreciation Day Wellbrook Winery, Delta July 20, 11am-3:30pm Free wine & juice tasting, BBQ, vintage tractor and car display & tours of the brewery as well as a blueberry eating contest! Please pre book for a tour. 604.946.1868 |

Dancing on the Edge Festival Various locations throughout Vancouver July 4-13 Dance performances will take place outdoors at site specific locations at Crab Park, Gastown, along with performances at the Scotiabank Dance Centre and the Firehall Arts Centre. Single tickets range from $20-$28. 604.689.0926 EPIC Sustainable Living Festival 2013 VanDusen Botanical Garden, Vancouver July 6 & 7 Vancouver’s newest and grooviest outdoor summer festival celebrating sustainability, culture and community. Enjoy a weekend of live music, beer and wine vendors, delicious eats and a huge sustainable living marketplace. 604.695.5001|

Circle Craft & Craft Council of BC Summer Market Jack Poole Plaza, Vancouver July 25-28, check website for time Enjoy this outdoor Summer Market with over 70 exhibitors! Admission is free. 604.801.5220 |

Concerts in the Square Shipbuilders’ Square in the Shipyards, North Vancouver August 3, 10 & 17 Featuring contemporary recording artists, cultural performers and a display of original art by local artisans. Vancouver Pride Parade & Festival Runs along Denman Street & ends at Sunset Beach Festival site August 4, 12noon The parade entries include colourful floats, musical marching bands, community groups and 650,000 spectators. After the parade, listen to live music & enjoy the headliners on the Festival Stage. There will be booths with products and services & a private, beachfront beer garden. Summer Night Concerts PNE Amphitheatre, Vancouver August 17-September 2 Enjoy nightly concerts at the PNE including Melissa Etheridge, Loverboy & Foreigner. Free with gate admission. Kids Swap Meet Cloverdale fairgrounds August 24 New and gently used kids items for sale with everything from baby to 10 years! 604.588.9919


Global Relay Gastown Grand Prix Gastown July 10, 5:45pm Watch North America’s top cyclists race wheel-to-wheel on Gastown’s thrilling 1.2-km course with the hairpin corner. Women’s race is 30 laps and men’s is 50 laps. Khatsahlano! Music & Art Festival 1857 West 4th Avenue, Vancouver July 13 This free festival features ten stages showcasing more than 40 of Vancouver’s top musical performers plus eclectic pods of distinctive local artisans, street performers and a host of other festivities. 604.263.6443 |

The Children’s Party Specialists Face painting, balloon animals, arts and crafts, and more.

604-318-1261 • July/August 2013 35

community Whistler Street Entertainment Whistler Village Weekends thru to November Free, family-friendly events, attractions and performers including juggling acts, circus performers, musicians, bike stuntman, dancers and acrobats. whistler-street-entertainment Greek Summerfest 2013 4641 Boundary Road, Vancouver June 27 - July 7, 12noon-10pm (11pm on wknd) This fundraising event features live music, performers and Greek food. Admission is free. 2nd Annual Mini Golf Tournament Giggle Ridge Adventure Golf, Cultus Lake July 6 This event is a mini golf tournament the whole family can enjoy! Tickets are $20 each (or $100 for a team of 6) and includes 1 round of golf, swag bags, prizes, award ceremony and a BBQ lunch. 866.320.5923 | Tanabata Festival Nikkei National Museum and Cultural Centre, Burnaby July 6, 11:30 am–2:30pm Celebrate this traditional Japanese holiday and write your summer wish on a colourful paper streamer, decorate and take home a “sasa” bamboo branch, and enjoy bon odori dancing and taiko drumming. There will be lots of familyfriendly activities, games and food. Admission: $3. 604.777.7000 | tanabata-festival-2/ 32nd Annual Berry Festival Downtown Abbotsford July 6, 9am–8pm & July 7, 10am–4pm Bring the family to Historic Downtown Abbotsford to enjoy the festivities including a pancake breakfast, rock climbing, rides, great food and so much more! berry-festival/


Dairy Days Kilby Historic Site, Harrison July 6, 11am-3pm Today is all about honoring the Kilby Jersey Farm. Come out and learn about farming and cows with BC Dairy Association’s mobile learning classroom. 604.796.9576 | Exotic Reptile Show Richmond Nature Park July 6- 7, 11am – 4pm Drop in to see this reptile show that includes snakes, lizards and geckos. This event is for all ages and admission by donation. 604.718.6188 | parks/naturepark/about.htm Playing with the Arts: Children’s Day at the 2013 Harrison Festival of the Arts In and around the Memorial Hall, Harrison Hot Springs July 10, 11am–4pm Explore music, crafts, physical activities and a diversity of entertainers. Activities include the Climbing Wall, soccer fun & crafts. Site admission $6. 604.796.3664 | Rockin’ in the Park Coal Harbour Park, Vancouver July 13, 11am -2pm The excitement will include a Bouncy Castle, arts and crafts, face painting, entertainment, plus lots of games and treats. 604.718.8222 MOV’s Upcycled Urbanism 700 block Granville Street, Vancouver July 13, 10am-6pm Join the Museum of Vancouver for a day of creative play! Build temporary structures from giant blocks and explore what it means to change public space. Get involved or just hang out, experience and watch! This event is free

Party-at-the-Pier The Shipyards, foot of Lonsdale Avenue, North Vancouver July 14, 11am-5pm Check out numerous marine-themed activities and displays, along with entertainment on the Shipbuilders’ Square stage and adjacent piers all for free! 866.594.3243 Bollywood Wedding Italian Gardens at the PNE, Vancouver July 17-21& 24-28, 8pm An outdoor interactive dance and theatre event! Tickets are $35/ adults and $20 for seniors and children under 12. 778.706.6224 | Surrey Fusion Festival Holland Park, Surrey July 20 -21, 11am-10pm This festival is the ultimate celebration of music, food, and culture featuring 4 stages and more than 30 cultural pavilions and experience cuisine from around the world. Touch-a-Truck 2013 Abbotsford Entertainment & Sports Centre July 21 Have your kids ever wanted to see and play with their favourite machines up close? This is a fun, hands-on, educational event for the whole family! Machine operators will be on hand to talk to children about the machines. 604.743.5000 Boundary Bay Airshow Boundary Bay Airport, Delta July 27, 11am Exciting Aerial and Static displays as well as prize draws, children activities and food concessions. Admission is free.

If you’d like WestCoast Families magazine delivered to your event free of charge, please email your request to

calendar Honda Celebration of Light English Bay, Vancouver July 27, 31 & August 3 Watch the largest offshore fireworks competition in the world with shows from United Kingdom, Canada and Thailand. Come early and bring a blanket and food. Please don’t forget to take your garbage with you! International Bog Day Burns Bog, Delta July 28, 10am-3pm Start the day off with Jog for the Bog, a trail walk/run through Burns Bog. Stay for the fun and celebrate International Bog Day, with free entertainment for all. Harmony Arts Festival West Vancouver Ambleside waterfront August 2-11 Enjoy street performances, art exhibitions, artist talks and demonstrations, concerts, the Art Market, family-oriented activities and unique culinary experiences. 604.925.7268 | Tsawwassen Sun Festival Winskill Park & South Delta Rec Centre August 3-5 An all weekend event including ball tournaments, fireworks, a parade, petting zoo, children’s festival and a beer garden! Check website for event times. Pirate Day Kilby Historic Site, Harrison August 5, 11am-3pm Pirate games, crafts and a treasure hunt all make for a great outing. Start working on your costume now as there will be a contest for the best dressed pirate! 604.796.9576 |

Abbotsford Airshow Abbotsford Airport August 9-11, 8am-6pm (show starts at 10am) Watch various aircraft in use and formerly used by local and foreign militaries as they perform tricks in the sky! Check website for event schedule. Delta Community Annual Animal Expo Ladner Memorial Park August 11, 10am-4pm A fun, free community event that promotes animal safety and awareness, including dog trainers, dog bite prevention education for children, wildlife management and fun activities. 604.940.7111 Willingdon Community Fair Willingdon Community Centre, Burnaby August 15, 5–8pm Barbeque, entertainment, games, raffles, community displays and more! 604.297.4526 The Fair at the PNE PNE Fairgrounds, Vancouver August 17 – September 2 (closed Aug 19 & 26) With hundreds of performances and exhibits and more than 50 thrilling rides & attractions, The Fair at the PNE is definitely the best part of summer! New this year: 20% price reduction in Gate Admission and parking rates, Coupon Book with hundreds of dollars in savings on food and merchandise, Reserved seating and a bigger venue for Summer Night Concerts, and much more. Adults $16, Kids 13 & under Free. Starry Night Deas Island Park, Delta August 17, 7:30-10pm (start anytime between 7:30 and 9pm) Experience the magic & mystery of the park transitioning from day into night. Drum in the park, walk along lantern lit trails. Visit discovery stations and listen to the night sounds. 604.952.3029

Vancouver Latin Summer Festival 2013 Victoria at 15th, Vancouver August 18, 11am-7pm Family event admission is free, donations welcomed Annual Kids Festival Kilby Historic Site, Harrison August 24, 11am-3pm Load up the kids and get out of the house for one last hurrah this summer. Enjoy a full day of entertainment for the kid’s including face painting, balloon twisting, emergency vehicles and our famous piñata party. 604.796.9576 | Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Musical Ride Swangard Stadium, Burnaby August 27, 5:30pm-9pm The troop of 32 horses and riders performs a variety of cavalry drills choreographed to music. Join in for fun displays, activities and food! Artstarts on Saturdays ArtStarts Gallery, Vancouver August 31, 11am-1pm Kids can explore the ingenious ways that bugs and birds use plants and other materials around them to create shelter and camouflage. Make patterns with rubbings on paper, or try thgeir hand at weaving using all natural materials diverted from green waste. Ideal for ages 3-12. Fort Farm Fest Fort Langley National Historic Site August 31-September 1 Explore the heritage garden and feed the farm animals at this authentic Hudson’s Bay Company fort. Watch a barrel making demonstration, compete in the farm relay and watch farm-related demonstrations. activ2013.aspx

Visit for more family friendly events in June! To have your event included in the WestCoast Families community calendar, please email your details to

July/August 2013 37

last look Keeping Your Kids Creative this Summer Summer is a time for fun, sunshine and adventure, but it is also a great opportunity to do some art activities with your kids inside and outside.

Self Portrait Plaques

Hoola Hoop Drawing



• Pencil

• Hoola hoop

• Plaster of paris

• Pencils

• Styrofoam trays

• Paper or a sketchpad

• Bucket for mixing

• Pencil crayons

• Acrylic paint and brushes • Acrylic medium

make it! make it! This is a simple inside project for a cloudy day. Take a styrofoam meat tray (I simply ask for a couple from the super market butcher). Take a pencil and have your child draw their face, pressing down semi-hard to make an impression in the tray. Talk about your child’s interesting facial features and focus on shape and line. Then, mix up the plaster of paris, reading the instructions carefully. Pour the plaster into the tray and let set until hard, it takes approximately 5-7 minutes. Pop it out of tray and you have a relief plaque with a face on it. Cover the plaque in a layer of acrylic medium, and let dry. Talk to your child about Matisse’s famous portrait of his wife called “The Green Line.” In this beautiful painting, Matisse uses unconventional colors such as green , blue and purple to paint his wife’s portrait. Talk to your child about using color based on emotion and go crazy and have fun! The ArtWay is a student-centered space where people are encouraged to tap into their true creativity and vision. The ArtWay offers adult mixed media courses as well as adult\child classes where a parent can come with their child and enjoy the experience of creating together. July and August we are offering adult and child mixed media classes Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 1:30 -3:30. All supplies included, cost is $175.00 for both.


Go outside on a nice sunny day— you can hit a park or the beach. Throw the hoola hoop or find an interesting spot to put it down. Sit down and observe the beauty within the circle. We often miss the details in life, so have your child look at the shapes, textures, colors and lines. Start by drawing shapes, just by observing the outside of the shape, tell your child to draw lines, noticing there are lines around the shapes and within the shapes. Use your pencil crayons to add color, and encourage your child to make a new drawing with the shapes they may see. For example, they may see animals, fish, castles etc.


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WestCoast Families July|August 2013  

WestCoast Families July|Aug 2013 issue includes Family Real Estate & Design special, plus Summer Fun.

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