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The Local Guide for Active Urban Families

three cheers for


july/august 2015 kids with special needs | summer fun

July/August 2015


families westcoast

july/august 2015

• summer fun • special needs on our cover... Winners of our cover contest from the Healthy Family Expo: Sherwin, Stefanie, Colby, and Connor are jumping for joy to visit the Sea to Sky Gondola for amazing summer adventures.

Summer Fun Modern Home Ec Peppy Picnic

Summer Fun Sizzlin’ Summer Beaches

Summer Fun Local Outings & Activities

Special Needs Saying it Right





Special Needs Local Special Needs Resources

Special Needs Infant Development Programme

Special Needs Geekology

Special Needs Funding for Families





from the editor

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september • Back to School • Families at Home • Healthy Families 4

6 From Our Family to Yours 8 WestCoast Finds 24 WCF News 27 Time Out 28 Community Calendar 30 Last Look The Art of Bubbles

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: 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 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 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

Hello Summer! Here at WestCoast Families, we love when summer rolls around. It means farmers markets, beaches, vacations, and more time with the kids off school, and the chance to explore more of the Lower Mainland. It’s also time for our annual focus on summer fun, which encourages us to get out more often to check out some of the local offerings. Speaking of summer fun, we have a great feature this month on our roundup of the best beaches in the Lower Mainland. Check it out to see if your favourite made it on the list! We are also very excited about our feature on children with special needs, a topic that does not receive enough attention and encompasses so many visible and invisible disabilities. Check out the amazing read written by a mother to a child with special needs, as she discusses social graces in speaking to families with children who have special needs. We also have our special needs advertisers with advice and snippets on the positive changes they’ve made in the world. We hope you’ll enjoy this issue as much as we did and that you’ll explore some of our advertisers who offer amazing products and services.

Assistant Editor

Managing Editor Andrea Vance

Published by National Families Network Publisher: Andrea Vance

Assistant Editor Kelly S. Thompson

For distribution inquiries, please email

Contributing Editor Jodi Iverson Art Director & Layout Krysta Furioso Administration Jennifer Bruyns Accounts Receivable & Payable Jennifer Brule Advertising 604.249.2866

For submissions to our community calendars, please email To share your feedback, please email Contributors Cora Boecker, Jennifer Bruyns, Barb Coates, Krysta Furioso, Sheryl Gray, Jodi Iverson, Jen Schaeffers, 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

wcf presents Grand Re-Opening of Maan Farms Abbotsford July 11 Come out and celebrate at the kids play areas, entertainment, food, and more.

Movies Under the Stars Holland Park in Surrey Saturdays in August at dusk Free family-friendly movies, fun activities and performances too.

Country Fest Albion Fairgrounds, Maple Ridge July 25 & 26 Entertainment, kids activities, food, games, and more.



Visit us online for new contests every issue! Are You a Diva? We all love to be pampered and Super Diva Spa Party wants to make sure you get the attention you deserve! Enter to win a Mini Diva Party that includes 90 minutes of pampering fun for up to six girls. Their bright and fun spa dÊcor, use of robes and slippers, magazines, spa hair wraps and Mini Manis for guests and Pedi (for the birthday girl), no one will want to leave! Don’t miss this prize valued at over $230! Deadline to enter: August 15, 2015

Ahoy, Matey! Pirate Adventures on Granville Island is a mix of theatre and sailing, all in one! Families board the boat, dress the part in pirate garb, then sail the seas for adventures unknown! Win one of four 2-packs of tickets (8 tickets available in total!) to this awesome adventure that the whole family will love. Deadline to enter: July 30, 2015 Enter at

Enter at

July/August 2015


westcoast finds great ideas for summer fun! Gluten Free Chef Goodies Finding tasty treats without gluten can be difficult but the Gluten Free Chef has risen to the challenge with a delicious line of breads, pizza crusts, pancake mix and more. Their pizza crusts are so tasty that the Flying Wedge uses Gluten Free Chef crust for their celiac pizza lovers! | $10 for two pizza crusts

Cutting Fruit Crate by Melissa and Doug This quality-made wooden fruit set will appeal to children with sensory awareness, with bright colours, a satisfying “crunch” when the Velcro is “cut” and a chance for any child to feel accomplished for preparing their own imaginary meal. | $29

Teeter Popper From the educational toy makers, Fat Brain toys, this unique, curved plastic toy can be spun on, swirled around in or even worn like a turtle shell! The creative and physical play opportunities are endless and kids will love the fun popping sound it makes thanks to the design and suction cups. | $45

Kinetic Sand Kids will love kinetic sand, which can be molded, moved and shaped into tons of designs. The experience is amazingly tactile with the soft “sand” able to move through fingers then firming into shapes, all while being gluten-free and non-toxic. | $20-55


Scentuals Handmade in BC, these beautiful bath products will have you slathering on the luscious body creams, soothing hair products and a fantastic line made just for baby. Blissful on skin without damage to the environment, this ecofriendly company offers a body care line that’s good for your skin and the world. | $10 and up

WAFF Notebooks and Cube Combos These cool notebooks offer kids countless opportunities to create with the accompanying colour and text blocks that snap on the cover and personalize their writing material. With a variety of notebook colours and an alphabet of letter cubes, kids learn colours and shapes while enhancing literacy. (Parents might want to steal it for themselves!) | $12-30

July/August 2015


modern home-ec Peppy Picnic When the summer months come, we all love a little picnic. Be it at the beach, in a park or on the road, something about eating on the go makes us appreciate even the most meager of meals. But picnic food doesn’t have to be boring sandwiches on white bread with a side of crudité. Why not kick it up a notch with some of our favourite tasty treats for eating while out and about? Just be sure to be environmentally friendly on your picnic to ensure that your trip doesn’t cost Mother Earth. Use washable containers and recycle after all the fun!

Green Goodness Salad Assistant Editor, Kelly S. Thompson I love salads on picnics, but they can get boring. So I mix it up with different veggies, healthy fats and tons of flavour. My husband loves this salad and my nephew goes nuts over the dressing. Ingredients • • • • • • • • • •

1 ripe avocado, cut into pieces 1 English cucumber, sliced 1 cup fresh baby mozzarella Salt and pepper to taste 1/4 cup olive oil 3 tbsp lemon juice 3 tbsp white wine vinegar 1 tbsp fresh basil, chopped 1 tsp Dijon mustard 1 garlic clove, minced

Instructions Mix first 4 ingredients in a large bowl. Whisk together remaining dressing ingredients and mix together. This recipe has lots of healthy fats and veggies to keep everyone’s belly full.

Asian Inspired Turkey Quinoa Meatballs Publisher, Andrea Vance This is a family favourite. We cook up a batch to take on a picnic or even on a road trip. They travel well and even taste good cold! Our favourite is a dip of mustard and mayonnaise! Double the recipe and freeze some for later. Ingredients • 1 lb organic ground turkey • 1/4 cup cooked quinoa • 2 cloves garlic, minced • 2 green onions (scallions), minced • 1/2 medium carrot, grated finely • 1 tsp grated ginger • 1 tsp dried parsley • 1 tsp dried cilantro • Dash of Chinese 5 spice • Couple dashes of soy sauce (low sodium or Bragg’s) • Juice of 1-2 medium limes • Salt & pepper to taste Instructions Preheat your oven to 350°. Combine the turkey and quinoa in a large bowl. Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty! Now add green onion, carrots, herbs, ginger, lime juice and salt and pepper. Stir everything together with you hands until you can easily roll them into little balls. Roll out your turkey mixture into whatever size meatballs you like for easy protein snacks. Place your meatballs on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake them for 10 – 20 minutes, depending on the size, until they are no longer pink in the middle. Source:

Picnic essentials for your next family outing: • • • • • •


Blanket Wet Wipes and napkins (someone will always spill!) Environmentally friendly bamboo cutlery (or bring metal and wash later) Water A bug cover Sunscreen

Gluten Free Banana Chocolate Chip Mini-Muffins Publisher, Andrea Vance These are a HUGE favourite in our house. They’re packed with goodness and the kids think they’re a treat. Make a bunch, and freeze some. Take straight out of the freezer for a road trip or picnic – they’ll be plenty thawed by the time you get there. Ingredients • 1/2 cup quinoa flour * • 1/2 cup oat flour * • 1/2 teaspoon salt • 2 teaspoons baking powder • 1 teaspoons baking soda • 4 ripe bananas • 2 eggs • 2 tablespoons honey • Mini chocolate chips * Oat flour and quinoa flour are available at most grocery stores. If you can’t find them, simply put each ingredient in a high-powered blender (like a Vitamix or BlendTec) and blend until it looks like flour. Instructions Preheat oven 400 degrees. Mix flours with dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, mash bananas, add eggs and honey. Add to dry ingredients. Mix in chocolate chips (I usually place chips on top after I scoop into muffin tins so kids SEE the chips and think they’re a total treat!) Pour into lined mini-muffin pan and bake 16-20 minutes.

July/August 2015


sizzlin’ summer beaches

by Kelly S. Thompson

Our favourite, local sandy hotspots With the summer weather upon us, it’s time to get out and explore the beautiful Lower Mainland. And when temperatures rise, there’s nothing better than settling in with the sun, sand, and waves, which makes for lots of fun for kids and adults alike! In our area, we’re spoiled for choice when it comes to beach selections, which is why WestCoast Families has rounded up our favourite beaches for you to explore. Jericho Beach, West Point Grey This family-friendly beach has it all, with beautiful views of the Burrard Inlet, an awesome concession and lots of beautiful, sandy beaches. The washed up driftwood logs make for perfect leaning posts and the nearby Jericho Sailing Club is a nice spot to pop by for lunch if nothing at the concession stand tickles your fancy. Also nearby is the Ecomarine Paddlesport Centre, where you can rent paddleboats, canoes and kayaks to get a different perspective on the water. There’s also some excellent barbecue areas for family eats!


Centennial Beach, Tsawwassen If your kids crave a little more action in their beach experience, look no further than Centennial Beach, rated number 1 on “Things to Do” in the Delta area by Tripadvisor. With the spectacular play structure for kids along with the delicious Centennial Beach Café, your children will be spoiled for entertainment options. And when their bellies are full, everyone can explore the delightfully warm water while building sandcastles or exploring hiking trails. This beach is also wheelchair accessible and has excellent washroom and rinsing facilities, with a large picnic area and playing fields too. And if fires are permitted in the area, you can roast marshmallows and other goodies on the beach boundary-bay-regional-park

White Pine Beach, Port Moody You’ll love White Pine Beach at Lake Sasamat, located in Belcarra Park. With accessible picnic shelters and incredible views to accompany the luxurious beach, you won’t want to leave once you stretch out the beach towel. There’s also some excellent fishing to be had in Sasamat Lake, so bring along your fishing license and cruise down to the wharf. If boats aren’t your thing, you can always go crabbing down by the water. belcarra-regional-park

Deep Cove Beach, Deep Cove

Alouette Lake, Maple Ridge

A trip to Deep Cove always feels like heading out into another part of the province. The beach at Deep Cove offers beautiful hiking trails for kids, adults and pets, as well as Deep Cove Kayak Rentals, where the whole family can paddle their way to recreational bliss. There are also beautiful spots to picnic with (steep!) paved paths and absolutely stunning views of the cove. And if you forgot the food at home, some great little cafés are nearby too.

Located inside Golden Ears Provincial Park, Alouette Lake offers some stunning fresh water beaches. You can have your pick of endless boating and water sports, including kayaking and windsurfing, with the option to rent a boat or bring your own. The park is also wheelchair accessible, including the great washroom facilities. Best of all, when the day is finished the fun doesn’t have to be! You can rent a campsite for the night and cap off the day with roasted marshmallows, if fire regulations permit at the time (check the website for updates).

White Rock Beach This is a popular beach and for good reason. Nearby shops and restaurants leave lots to do off the water while the location offers amazing views. When the tide goes out you can walk for nearly a kilometre, offering a unique perspective on the city. Nearby Semiahmoo Park has a fantastic playground and the water is some of the warmest and most relaxing in the area.

Spanish Banks, UBC If you love your doggies, then Spanish Banks is the beach to be at. With a large off leash dog area, your furry companion can tear around the beach with wild abandon. There are some great picnicking areas with grass and shade but also some great rocky beach sections that make for interesting walks with kids. When the tide is out, Spanish Banks has an incredibly long beach that makes for neat exploring and ball-throwing opportunities! There’s also a concession and washrooms nearby and some great hiking through Pacific Spirit Park and lots of volleyball courts for sandy games.

English Bay Beach, Vancouver As the most populated beach in downtown Vancouver, English Bay Beach is a happening place, but after moments there, it’s easy to see why. With amazing views, tasty concession and shops and restaurants nearby, there’s always something happening. Best of all is the swimming raft with a large slide, which kids will love. The beach is wheelchair accessible and lifeguards are regularly on duty, which is a comfort for beach-going parents.

Wreck Beach, UBC For the more adventurous amongst us, there’s always Wreck Beach, which offers a clothing optional beachside experience. Dogs aren’t allowed on the beach in the summer months and it is an area well paroled by police, so beachgoers can rest easy. The vibe is laid back and fun and the views are absolutely incredible.

July/August 2015 13

summer fun

Make Summer Sensational! Local Outings and Activities By Kelly S. Thompson


f you’re looking for some summer fun, we have it all lined up for you! Check out these amazing things to do in the Lower Mainland the next time someone chirps “I’m bored” over the summer break.

Grouse Mountain, North Vancouver Take a ride on the gondola, go for a hike, climb the Grind, or just sit back with a great book and check out the incredible views.

Imagine Children’s Museum, Everett, WA A short trip into Washington allows children to explore interactive exhibits at this colourful and entertaining museum full of crafts, rotating themes and thrills for the whole family.

Richmond Aquatics, Richmond Kids can beat the heat at Richmond Aquatics, where they will not only learn to swim but will also engage with other kids and build their confidence through physical activity.

The PNE/Playland, Vancouver What’s not to love about PlayLand and the PNE? Rides, food, games and endless opportunities for fun await, plus lots of great events and concerts through the summer.

Vancouver Maritime Museum, Vancouver Learn all about our waterways, history, and even about pirates that explored Lower Mainland waters! Kids will love dressing up and exploring the ship built inside.

Rocky Mountain Flatbread, Various Locations

Harrison Hot Springs, Harrison

Feeling hungry? The whole family will love the wood-fired oven pizza, friendly staff and cozy decor. Kids will roam the play kitchen while tasty pizza is created!

The next time the family needs to get out of town, a short trip to Harrison will refresh the whole family. Dip in the hot springs, go camping, then hit the water for a boat ride and more!

Vancouver Police Museum, Vancouver Lock yourself in a cell, peruse old weapons and artifacts from our city’s rich history, and dress up like a pretend criminal! Kids will love the Crime Scene Investigator camp too! www.vancouverpolicemuseum.cap

Burnaby Village Museum, Burnaby

Pirate Adventures, Granville Island

Take a walk back in time and visit the museum to learn about how Burnaby residents lived. Top the day off with a ride on the carousel and of course, ice cream!

Argh! Don a costume and visit Granville Island where families can board a real life pirate ship where they will learn all about life on the high seas in this entertaining show.


For more great summer fun ideas, go to

July/August 2015 15

special needs

Saying it Right Talking to parents of kids with special needs by Sheryl Gray


e is so-o-o lucky to have you for his mom.” “I could never do what you do. You’re so strong.” “Special children are only given to special people.” Knock me off my pedestal, quick, before I believe any of that is true. I may be mom to a child who is differently abled, but I do confess: I get frustrated and lose my patience. I get overwhelmed and cry (happy and sad tears). I am quite my own family and friends, same as you. Parents of children with special needs are parents first. Like many other parents, we’re winging it and learning as we go. Every baby is different, every child is different, and as parents, we tackle challenges as they arise. A raging tantrum, a bout of croup, a broken leg, an urgent surgery... we’re all doing the best we can, and we figure it out as we go.

We’ve got a lot in common Sameness can be difficult to see when there’s so much that looks different. Different can make it hard to find the right words. Being politically correct can be a moving target, and make conversation awkward at best. Does my child have special needs, is he differently abled, or is he handicapped? Acceptable terms vary with geography, culture, and aren’t consistent across different special needs communities. In Greater Vancouver, Autistic child is fine to say, whereas child with Down syndrome is preferred. Confused? Don’t be, just ask. Most parents of kids with special needs would rather you used any words instead of keeping quiet. “Before I had my son, I’m pretty sure I didn’t always use correct terms or was aware of potential sensitivities,” says Danielle Gibbons, mom to a two-year-old boy born with Down syndrome and transient leukemia. “I’m happy to answer questions about my son, as long as they come from a genuine place of trying to understand and learn.”

educate about ASD. “I’ve had some questions come from places of real ignorance, or on controversial topics, and I’m cool with that. I’d rather people ask than make assumptions,” says Tobias.

Linda Tobias has two boys, ages five and six, and agrees with Gibbons. The wording isn’t the most important thing; it’s the sentiment behind what’s being asked or said. When it comes to questions about her older son, who has autism spectrum disorder, she appreciates the opportunity to

Polite questions are usually well received by parents of kids with special needs, as long as they don’t come attached to judgment. “What’s wrong with her?” “Didn’t you have prenatal testing?” Yes, people ask these questions, and worse. When we see someone ambling over with a curious smile,


Questions, please

sometimes we do get our backs up, just in case. “I find I am always searching people’s faces for their reactions to my son, trying to determine their tolerance and acceptance of him,” says Alana Brittain, mom to a 10-year-old son with Down syndrome and a 17-year-old son who has a gifted designation. “I’m good with questions from people who want to understand, but comments can be really challenging.” Brittain, a teacher, endured a colleague remarking, “I thought you could take care of that kind of thing these days.” Judging comments, even the well-intentioned ones, are best left unsaid. The fact that your sister’s neighbour has a friend

in Prince Rupert with a child who has special needs...we’re probably more likely to bond over the best place to buy local berries, or some tips on kids’ consignment stores. “The only time I wince is when someone tries to relate to my experience. I don’t mind the questions, but let’s leave it at that and get back to talking about regular mom-stuff, like diapers and sleep training,” says Kerry Godbout, mom to a one-year-old son with Down syndrome. Judging eyes can inflict as much pain as the comments, as experienced by Wendy Kubota, mom of three girls, ages seven, 12 and 16. Her middle child was diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder at age three, causing inability to manage sensory inputs. Sensory episodes would result in violent meltdowns, and could be caused by the feeling of fabric against her skin. Kubota remembers the painful feeling of the judging eyes of witnesses to these incidents. “Oh, to be judged. A child with an invisible disability is really still visible, and can be seen as different, or even difficult,” says Kubota. “ I’ve had the benefit of my own experience to reframe the situation of an out-of-control child. I don’t automatically see a bad parent, I see the difficulty of the circumstance for the parent.”

Kids speak Most kids shoot from the hip with their questions and comments about everything they hear and see. Embarrassing? Sometimes, but remember, we’ve got kids too, and we get it. Kids’ questions are rarely the problem with an interaction gone sideways – it’s more likely the reaction of the child’s parent. “I’ve never been overly offended by anything said to me; I try to look at the intention behind the comments or questions,” says Katie Bartel, mom of a two-year-old daughter, and two seven-year-old daughters (one adopted from a Bulgarian orphanage for children with developmental disabilities). “I do get offended when parents pull their kids away or point and stare. I just wish people would ask instead of staying away because they don’t feel like they know the right thing to say or do.” Anne Belanger, mother of a nine-year-old son with Spinal Muscular Atrophy type 2, had a positive experience with a colleague who was honest about not knowing the right thing to say. “She came to my office and was apologetic in admitting she didn’t know anyone with a physical disability like my son’s. She was curious and had some questions, and told me she didn’t know how to ask,” says Belanger, whose son uses a wheelchair for independent mobility. “I don’t appreciate thoughtless questions about whether or not he can walk. But she was open, and candid, and I answered all her questions that day.”

Saying it right

Or not at all...

How old is your son?

What’s wrong with him?

How is she doing?

I’m sorry.

Does she like sports?

She’s so lucky to have you.

Do you live nearby?

I couldn’t do what you do.


Awkward silence. July/August 2015 17

special needs

Local Special Needs Resources How Special Needs Service Providers Are Benefitting Families WestCoast Families asked some local special needs organizations about their role in helping Lower Mainland families and their children with special needs. Check out how they’ve been giving back to the community!

Sirota’s Alchymy Martial Arts and Life Skills Academy How does Sirota’s Alchymy help children with special needs? Sirota’s Alchymy has been globally pioneering martial arts education for individuals with various special needs and abilities. Their programs focus applying martial arts integrated with life skill education and character development to provide an empowering program for students of all ages. They promote inclusion and integration while instilling a nurturing environment for all students. Why Martial Arts at The Alchymy? 1. Promote the “Yes, I Can!” philosophy 2. Integration of life skills into their teachings 3. Positive reinforcement of skills and behaviours 4. Structured sessions with yielding instructors 5. Students can excel and progress based on their personal accomplishments and stage in development 6. Excellent student/instructor ratio 7. Offering both private and group lessons for individuals with various physical, intellectual, developmental, sensory special abilities. Sirota’s Alchymy has two Centres - Vancouver/East and Richmond/Steveston area. From their experience of working with over 2,000 individuals with special needs, the class structure and the philosophy of the program is extremely important if the child is to have a positive experience. Not all martial arts facilities cater to all children. The Alchymy programs have been successfully offered to individuals with autism, developmental coordination disorder, down syndrome, cerebral palsy, FASD, ADHD, mobility disabilities and sensory disorders. Everyone is very welcome at The Alchymy!

Canucks Autism Network

would likely never be a hockey mom. Soon after, the Owen family found CAN. The Owen boys have participated in many CAN programs including soccer, skating, and swimming but it was not until the hockey program was introduced that Karen truly felt her dreams becoming a reality. She remembers the exact moment she received the call confirming that her son had made the CAN hockey team. Flooded with tears, she immediately called her husband telling him he was going to be a hockey dad. One of the best calls of her life.

James Cameron School James Cameron School showcases how they’ve helped a child with special needs, and their family too. James Cameron School caters specifically to children with special needs and learning disabilities. Finding help for your child can be a real struggle for families. One parent of a child at James Cameron School has this experience: “We had our daughter privately assessed for a learning disability. A public assessment would take years and I was told hers would keep being held off because she was ‘coping’ in school. We lived in the Okanagan region of BC, and the public route would have been a minimum three years. We were told that five children per year in the Okanagan are assessed and the wait list had 15 kids before her. I looked at all the websites. Our private registered psychologist told us about four schools. I interviewed nine registered psychologists to perform the assessment on our daughter before choosing ours. Six psychologists did not return calls. I am a nurse and nothing prepares you for this system. I met James Cameron School principal, Olive Wagstaff, and I observed. We knew we belonged at this school. We moved from the Okanagan for our child to attend here. I researched and found these resources alone. I compared the psychologists schooling, professional specialties, experience, cost, length of interview assessments, testing methods employed, feedback and personality by phone. I chose the most knowledgeable (according to me), who is devoted to appropriately diagnosing these children to help improve their futures. I had to wait, but it was worth it.”

Canucks Autism Network shares how they’ve helped children with special needs and their families meet their goals. The Canucks Autism Network (CAN) was founded in 2008 by Paolo and Clara Aquilini, whose son has autism. CAN provides year-round, innovative, high quality sports, recreational, social and arts programs for individuals and families living with autism, while building awareness and providing training in communities across British Columbia.

Down Syndrome Research Foundation (DSRF) DSRF outlines how they assist those with Down syndrome through education, literacy and life skills and conferences.

Families living with autism can access CAN’s high quality, adaptive programs for only $25 per ASD individual per year by visiting CAN currently serves over 2000 families and continues to welcome hundreds of new families each year. One such family has been particularly impacted by CAN.

The Down Syndrome Research Foundation (DSRF) offers direct support for speech and language; occupational therapy to support academic, recreational and life skills acquisition; one to one reading for students of all ages; small group programs that support students who are transitioning into adult life; and a fun and educational summer school program. Information is also readily available through visits to their centre, free online newsletter, website, Facebook page, or email enquiry.

Karen Owen is a mother of three boys, Nicholas, Oliver, and Alexander, two of whom have autism. When she and her husband got the first diagnosis, she found herself letting go of many dreams she had for her son. She came to terms with the fact that he would not have a typical childhood and that she

Today, Canadians with Down syndrome are expected to be fully participating members of their community, with fulfilling lives that include meaningful education, work, a busy social calendar and deep relationships. Access to the latest information about important health care screening and techniques


for maximizing developmental potential represents a critical indicator of how successfully this community inclusion potential will be realized. Sleep apnea, for example, is a treatable condition that occurs in up to 80% of people with Down syndrome and, left untreated, can negatively impact language, cognitive development, health, and mental health. The DSRF will be presenting their 20th anniversary conference “From Good to Great: Enhancing Quality of Life for People with Down Syndrome” on October 23rd and 24th of this year. They will offer this rich opportunity for parents and professionals to learn from an outstanding lineup of international speakers, as well as Canadian expertise. It’s also a great way to network with other families and learn from the true experts: other parents who have “walked the walk” before you.

Laurel Behaviour Support Services (LBSS) LBSS tells WestCoast Families how they support people with developmental disabilities, as well as their families. Laurel Behaviour Support Services (LBSS) offers behaviour consultation to young children, youth and adults with autism spectrum disorder and/or a developmental disability. They collaborate with families and support teams to provide evidence-based, individualized programs. Their focus is to help individuals learn new skills, overcome challenging behaviours and make enduring changes that will improve their quality of life. Certified consultants offer the globally recognized Triple P™ Stepping Stones parenting program, which has helped many families. LBSS also offers several other workshops for families, care providers and professionals geared towards the knowledge and tools needed to provide effective supports. The diverse team of dedicated and experienced consultants deliver homebased behaviour support services and training in communities across BC. They serve the Sunshine Coast, all Metro Vancouver and Fraser Valley communities, Vancouver Island, and the Okanagan.

Millennium Learning Advantage Millennium Learning offered this profile of a student they’ve helped through their education geared towards children with special needs. “My 14-year old son, Jack has high-functioning autism and has benefitted immensely from the Listening Program and P.A.C.E. program that he has done at Millennium Learning for a year and a half. Jack had very low to no written output at school and was very detached from the people and events going on around him. Any time he was not receiving one-on-one attention, he was lost in his own world. Within weeks of starting the Listening Program, Jack started talking about other students in his class. Previously, he would go the whole year only knowing two or three other students. By the end of the year, Jack knew the names of all 30 students. Within a few months of Listening, Jack started writing. Suddenly, he wrote a full page story for class. Then he started writing his novel. This term he got his first ‘A’ in English. His progress has grown from there. He has a great new group of friends and a new level of confidence to propel him into high school. I attribute this to his time with Gillian doing The Listening Program and P.A.C.E. P.A.C.E. has taught him to accept that some things come very easily and some things

take a lot of patience and hard work to accomplish. Jack used to become frustrated very quickly with a task that he could not immediately master and would give up. Now he knows that if he keeps trying, he will succeed.

Pivot Point Pivot Point discusses the services they provide and how families can access their support network. Pivot Point has grown to become one of the largest accredited agencies serving children, youth, and adults with Autism and other disabilities throughout BC. Their unique focus on therapeutic services that actually create change, while helping families become stronger, sets them apart from many other services that are more recreational or less intentional in nature. Pivot Point also adheres to a more evidence based approach, which helps them take the guesswork out of trying to help clients learn, grow, and thrive. With service teams in nearly every major city in BC, Pivot Point is available to create positive shift in the lives of those with special needs, then support that journey towards overall improved quality of life for everyone in your family. Or perhaps you know another family that is struggling. is a great place to start and parents can engage in an information session. From there, Pivot Point can start to tailor their services to the unique needs of each family. It’s a journey and Pivot Point is ready and here to help!

Matthew’s House Matthew’s House shows how they came to be and how they seek to help families with special needs through respite care and support. Complications during his birth left Matthew Froese completely dependent on others for every aspect of daily living. He dealt with significant pain, uncontrolled seizures and digestive issues. Despite these challenges, he had a gentle spirit and was deeply loved and strongly supported by family and friends. After Matthew passed away in 2010, his parents, Doug and Andrea sought to honour his legacy by supporting other families like theirs. “The intense support that these kids need can cause family members to lose sight of one another,” Andrea says. “That’s why we wanted to start Matthew’s House, so the community could see that families can’t do it alone.” After years of dreaming, planning and tireless fundraising, Matthew’s House opened its doors in November 2013. Located in Abbotsford, this resource supports families in BC by providing individualized, quality respite care in a homelike environment for children who live with complex care needs. Children who stay at Matthew’s House enjoy a state-of-the-art residence staffed by experienced caregivers. The home is fully wheelchair accessible and includes amenities like overhead track systems for transferring, interior playrooms and a wheelchair-friendly outdoor playground. Parents and staff work together to create a care plan for their child’s stay. An overnight guest suite allows parents to help their child settle in. Kelly, whose daughter Jadacey stays at Matthew’s House, says it has made an incredible difference. “This place has been a huge blessing in our lives,” Kelly says. “I honestly don’t know where I’d be without Matthew’s House.”

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special needs

Infant Development Programme Monitoring your child’s progression by Cora Boecker, Supervisor of Langley Infant Development Programme, Langley Child Development Centre Do you have questions or concerns regarding your child’s development? A parent’s instinct is usually right. Some common areas of concern may include: • Reflexes that persist past four months of age (i.e. grasping reflex, “fencing” reflex, stepping reflex) • Not saying any words at 12 months or two-word sentences by 24 months • Not sitting, crawling or walking when expected • Difference between left and right side of body in movement, strength or tone (i.e. not grasping equally with both hands, dragging one leg, turning head to one side predominantly) • Bypassing a stage in development (i.e. not crawling before walking) • Regression in skills • Muscle tone that is too tight (stiff legs or arching) or too floppy (poor head control) • Poor eye contact • Eyes turning in or out


• Not responding consistently to sounds • Not pointing by 12 months • Not playing with toys as one would expect

in their community ( and making a call. This service is available to families with children, birth – three years of age, who have developmental delays, may be at risk for delays or have a diagnosis.

• Not showing interest in others • Difficulty eating (i.e. gagging or choking)

Here are some everyday tips that can help encourage optimal development:

• Sensory concerns (under or oversensitive to sound, light, touch, taste, smell, movement)

• When your baby is awake, give him/her lots of supervised tummy time (on the floor, on your chest, over a rolled up towel, etc.) – short periods throughout the day work well.

• Difficulty grasping objects Please don’t take the “wait and see approach.” There are lots of simple strategies that you can try at home during your daily routines to help encourage a child’s development. A referral to an Infant Development Programme (IDP) in your community can help. IDP is available in every community across the province to provide in-home consultation support to address your concerns, provide strategies on how you can help encourage your child’s development and/or help direct you to the most appropriate service. There is no charge for this service and IDP does not require a Doctor’s referral. Parents can refer by finding the programme

• Sing, talk and read to your child. It’s never too early to start! • Respond to your baby cries – you can never spoil a crying baby • Floor time is best. Limit time in exersaucers, jolly jumpers, bouncy seats, etc. • Limit screen time – preferably no screen time before two years of age. • When possible, leave the car seat in the car and carry your baby instead. • Look at your child’s behaviour as communicating a need. What are they trying to tell you?

For more information, go to

July/August 2015 21



Check out these online resources for great tips and other valuable information for families with special needs.



The purpose of Special Education is to enable the equitable participation of students with special needs in the educational system in British Columbia.

Community-based services that enhance the quality of life for children, youth and adults with disabilities and their families in ways that facilitate and build competencies and foster inclusion in all aspects of life.



Services and supports intended to promote children’s healthy development, maximize quality of life, assist families in their role as primary caregivers and support full participation in community life.

To advance the education, employment, social development, legal rights and general well being of people with learning disabilties in the province of British Columbia.



SSCF works with your child help him or her reach full physical, social and emotional potential, with the goal of becoming a happy, healthy and growing member of the community.

Non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the participation of people with developmental disabilities in all aspects of community life.

YOUTH BRIDGES TO THE FUTURE To inspire and assist the youth of BC and Yukon, who are living with a physical disability,


THE BC ASSOCIATION FOR CHILD DEVELOPMENT AND INTERVENTION A provincial association of agencies that provide child development and therapy services to children and youth with special needs and their families in British Columbia.

FAMILY SUPPORT INSTITUTE OF BC To strengthen and support families faced with the extraordinary circumstances that come with having a family member who has a disability.

LET’S PLAY Helping kids with physical disabilities become physically active early in life

GO SHOPPING • Flaghouse Resources and equipment for special needs and therapy sports • Toys Tools and Treasures High-quality products that provide both fun and therapeutic benefits. • Tools for Kids home-based business supplying pediatric Occupational Therapy products • School Specialty Canada Supplemental resources for all learners and every need.

July/August 2015 23

wcf news >> Starworks Packaging and Assembly Celebrates 15 Years of Success We all know how competitive the job market can be, and the pride that a good day’s work gives us. Starworks Packaging and Assembly has been a local business offering employment to those with developmental disabilities, working in kitting, packaging and assembly services. The Developmental Disabilities Association founded Starworks and this year, it celebrated fifteen years of service. At Starworks, employees with special needs are employed in a variety of jobs, maintaining personal independence that builds confidence and of course, contributes to the economy. The company also offers employees training through local colleges and other support to promote their independent success. “Partnering with Starworks has been a great way for us to ‘walk the talk’ and support community development efforts close to home,” said Denise Taschereau, CEO of Fairware, one of Starworks’ clients. With a commitment to social responsibility, dozens of people with special needs are finding valuable and meaningful employment.

>> Summer Play Dates When off from school, kids can easily get set into a summer of video games and indoor activities that don’t spark the imagination much less offer anything in the way of physical exercise. Peekaboo Beans, the renowned children’s clothing company that makes clothing specifically for play, heard about a report by ParticipACTION, which indicated that children are spending more time on screens and less on the playground involved in fun, simple and imaginative play. The owner of Peekaboo Beans sought to change this statistic with Pop-Up Play Dates designed simply for children to play without computers and handheld devices. The first event was held on 26 June at Charleson Park in False Creek and it was a wild success, full of kids engaging and playing with one another, their parents, and their environment. Events will occur throughout the summer around the Lower Mainland, so be sure to check out the next Play Date in your area…or start your own!

>> Claire Newell Christens the Scenic Opal When booking a vacation, Claire Newell of Travel Best Bets has proven that she knows the best deals and the best locations, but she is a travel celebrity beyond the Lower Mainland! Claire also is our expert for our annual Travel & Adventure feature in the spring, so WestCoast Families was thrilled to learn she was recently invited to Germany where Claire christened the Scenic Opal in June. The Scenic fleet of ships is known for giving vacationers a trip of a lifetime, with luxury at every corner of the boat and all-inclusive trips around beautiful Europe. “It was an honour and a privilege to be asked to godmother such a beautiful vessel. Breaking the champagne against the hull of the ship was an experience I’ll never forget,” said Claire. Several hundred guests gathered to help welcome the new ship into the fleet of Space-Ships, where it will cruise through Europe’s waterways with a stunning 85-cabin space, complete with gym, sauna, and more amenities than anyone could ever hope for. It’s time to plan your next vacation!


>> EcoDairy Charging Station We live in a world where power, electricity and energy are being consumed at wild rates, with less and less sustainable resources to keep up with demand. We are constantly looking for new sources of energy and ways to reduce our carbon footprint, which is why many of us choose to drive electric cars and power our homes with alternative means. With an eye to the future, the EcoDairy in Abbostsford, in partnership with BC Hydro, the government and Science World, has created a lightening-fast charging station for cars, which can power up a vehicle in less than 30 minutes. Most interesting of all is how the charging station is powered: cow manure! The onsite anaerobic digester converts cow manure into biogas, which is then used to power not only the charging station but also the entire farm! Now that’s self-sufficient! Opened in June, the EcoDairy is now an excellent stop for those (and their vehicles) in need a little energy boost.

>> WhaleReport There’s nothing more magical than seeing a whale, and for those in the Lower Mainland who have had the pleasure of the experience, it is one you won’t forget. And of course, you always want to turn to someone and tell him or her about all that you’ve seen! Enter WhaleReport and the BC Cetacean Sightings Network, a new app that allows you report sightings of whales, dolphins and porpoises. Your information will help researchers study these amazing animals, their travel patterns, migration routes and more! It also helps to understand how their environment impacts these animals’ lives, which are so shrouded in mystery thanks to their underwater homes. If you use this app to report cetacean sightings, you could be a part of conservation efforts to improve their lives. So the next time you see a whale, dolphin or porpoise, snap a photo, detail the weather, mark your location, and help the ecosystem, all with one click of a button.

July/August 2015 25

special needs

Funding for Families

CKNW Playla

nd Picnic

Where families can turn for financial support


hen a child has special needs, parents soon learn that the expenses for their medical, educational and emotional care can be expensive.

While holding her newborn son in her arms, and having doctors tell her he had brain damage and might never walk, mom Robyn vowed to do whatever it took to help her tiny baby. Little Nathan was born premature; his underdeveloped lungs couldn’t supply enough oxygen to his brain, which resulted in cerebral palsy. But with early intervention physiotherapy and specialized mobility equipment, both funded by Variety - The Children’s Charity, Nathan took his first steps at the age of three and a half. His future looks very promising. Every year, Variety hears hundreds of stories like Nathan’s from families across British Columbia. Children who have special needs are born every day, and often a diagnosis isn’t determined until well into the toddler years. Adding to the stress families experience is the discovery that the costs of many of the therapies, specialized equipment, and medicine their child needs to meet their challenges exceed what is covered by private or provincial health care plans. And that’s where this worthy charity steps in.


Variety - the Children’s Cha

For most people, Variety means Sunshine Coaches and the annual Show of Hearts Telethon. But it is so much more, and wants families to know about the wide scope of funding support available to kids in British Columbia who have special needs. From birth to age 19, Variety helps families in three key areas: 1) Access to medical care and services 2) Communication and mobility equipment and therapies 3) Tuition fees and bursaries to special schools and developmental and educational programs This important charity believes each child who has special needs is a champion, and is inspired by the courage and determination with which they meet their challenges. Variety knows that, with support, each child is capable of achieving remarkable little victories, unique to their individual potential. Families feel supported, and say that help from this vital source significantly reduces their stress, allowing them to focus on the most important thing – their child’s needs. Variety wants to help, and has made the process of applying for a grant simple, secure and confidential. Call 604.320.0505 within the Lower Mainland, 310-KIDS (5437) for the rest of B.C., or visit Variety online. For other funding options, the CKNW Orphans’ Fund is dedicated to enhancing the lives of children living with physical, mental, social and behavioural challenges in BC Communities. As one of the largest sources of individual grant funding in the province, the CKNW Orphans’ Fund supports lower income households and their children for things like therapies, medical equipment, educational bursaries, tutoring, camperships and more. If you need assistance, please visit CKNW Orphans Fund for more information.


timeout Ballroom Dancing at Robson Square Fridays throughout July and August Robson Square, Vancouver Since 1991, DanceSport BC has put on a social ballroom dance event every Friday during the summer months. Whether you are a dance professional or have two left feet, with a group of old friends or getting to know a new city, these dances are for you. Free. robsonsquare/ Dancing on the Edge 2015 July 2-11 Canada’s longest running dance festival continues the tradition of bringing together internationally renowned dance artists from around Canada for ten days of spectacular and surprising contemporary dance in Vancouver. Deja Vu Vintage Market July 11, 11am to 4pm Come find that special piece of furniture or home décor item you’ve been looking for! Stop by Wellbrook Winery’s store and sample the unique selection of premium fruit wines. Treat yourself to some delicious snacks from the food trucks then head over to the free photo booth. Admission $5, Children free.

Theatre under the Stars Stanley Park, Vancouver July 10-August 22, 8pm Amateur & professional actors perform musicals on summer evenings at picnicfriendly Stanley Park. 604.734.1917 | Khatsahlano Music and Art Festival West 4th Avenue between Burrard and MacDonald July 11, 11am-9pm This year’s festival will feature eight stages showcasing more than 50 of Vancouver’s top musical performers, as well as the eclectic work of local artisans and street performers. This 10-block street fair also features a wide variety of food options, bustling patios, giveaways, special activities, and new this year, licensed outdoor beer gardens! Hot Rod Sunday at Willowbrook Willowbrook Shopping Centre, Langley July 19, 10am-4pm There will be up to 200 hot rods, vintage, classic, and custom cars and trucks showcased at this free public event! Come check out the vehicles, plus enjoy an awards presentation, musical entertainment, 50/50 raffle, door prize draws, food and automotive-related vendor sales taking place all day!

Kid-free Events for Mom & Dad!

Third annual Circle Craft - Craft Council Outdoor Summer Market Jack Poole Plaza, Vancouver July 23-26 At this free summer market, you’ll find fine work in clay, glass, leather, metal, fibre, and wood, as well as clothing, jewellery, fashion accessories, home décor items, and visual arts. Check website for times. Rockin’ River Fest Mission July 30-Augusrt 2 This 3-day country music festival features Lady Antebellum, Big & Rich and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and much more! Harmony Arts Festival John Lawson Park, West Vancouver July 31-August 9 This 10-day festival attracts over 130,000 people. There will be over 70 free concerts this year from some of Canada’s most memorable artists. Free. Vancouver Pride Parade English Bay, Vancouver August 2, 12noon-3pm Attracting crowds of more than 650,000, the Pride Parade is renowned on the international stage as one of the largest and most successful LGBTQ2+ events in the world.

3rd Annual Columbia StrEAT Food Truck Fest Columbia Street, New Westminster August 22, 4-10pm Come “Get Trucked Up” at the largest one-day food truck fest in Canada, presented by RiverSky by Bosa Properties. With 70 trucks, more entertainment and more space, it’s going to be an even bigger summer street party than ever before! Free. events/435311893317121/ PNE Summer Concerts PNE Amphitheatre August 22-September 7, 8pm 14 nights of great shows including Loverboy, Hall & Oates, Tom Cochrane and Red Rider, Clint Black and Joan Jett (just to name a few!). All concerts are free with gate admission. EduTalks Seminars 2015 Summer Series Changing the Conversation August 24-25 Parents and professionals will receive handson tips and practical advice from renowned experts and thought leaders including Tamara Taggart, Sharon Selby, Penny ShepherdHilland & Dr. Justin Davis. Please pre register online. 

July/August 2015 27

community Stanley Park Free Outdoor Movies Stanley Park, Vancouver July 7-August 25 Expect classics like Jurassic Park, The Breakfast Club and Harry Potter. Don’t forget to arrive early to get a good spot, since upwards of 5,000 people attend each screening. Concerts in the Park 2015 Delta and Tsawwassen Ongoing until August 19, 7pm Enjoy our series of free outdoor concerts within a park setting. Concerts will be cancelled in instances of poor weather. Please bring your own blanket or lawn chair. Check website for schedule and locations. 604.943.9437 |

Grand Reopening of Maan Farms Maan Farms, Abbotsford July 11 Explore the new Maan Farms, rebuilt after the devastating fire last year. Kid play areas, berries and entertainment await you.

Harrison Festival Harrison Hot Springs July 11-19 This nine-day, cross-disciplinary, multicultural art event has entertained, enlightened, and embraced festival goers for over 35 years.

Knight Street Community Day Knight Street at 17th avenue, Church Parking Lot, Vancouver July 12, 11am-3pm All are welcome to this annual family-friendly neighbourhood event. There will be bouncy castles, helium balloons and games. Live music, Sno-cones, cotton candy, hot dogs, ethnic tasting, popcorn and much more!

The Granville Social by VIVA Vancouver Granville Strip (Hastings to Drake) July 18-19, 12noon-7pm The Granville Social is a participatory festival of local and international artists, musicians, athletes, artisans, DJs, community groups and businesses. Participate in a street hockey game, dance lesson, skate board demo, or street art. 

Fleetwood Multicultural Fair Francis Park, Surrey July 12, 11am-6 pm Come celebrate our third annual fair and gathering with live music, dance demos, kids activities and drums, as well as a local market with great goods made in BC. All ages. Free.

Caribbean Days Festival Waterfront Park, North Vancouver July 25-26 It’s a weekend full of tropical rhythm, cuisine, carnival and culture as only the Caribbean can offer. Over the years, the festival has grown into the largest Caribbean event on the local calendar, drawing tens of thousands of attendees. Free.

Hello Kitty’s Supercute Friendship Festival PNE Forum July 17-19 Hello Kitty is hitting the road with her first North American live tour event! Hello Kitty’s Supercute Friendship Festival is an interactive musical and lifestyle event for friends of all ages! Magic Show 2 Go’ with Matthew Johnson Firehall Centre for the Arts July 18, 12:30pm Magic Show 2 Go presents...the amazing Matt! Come see a fun, dynamic magic show that kids will love. Buy tickets in advance by calling or at the door. Tickets $5 604.596.4485 |

Honda Celebration of Light English Bay, Vancouver July 25, 29 & August 1 The Honda Celebration of Light is not only the longest running offshore fireworks competition in the world, but BC’s largest public event. Watch China, Brazil and then Canada compete! Boundary Bay Airshow Boundary Bay Airport, Delta July 25, 12noon Celebrating the 70th anniversary of the end of WWII, featuring B17, B25, Mustang and Harvard Aircraft, Super Dave, Skyhawks and much more! There will be children’s activities, food vendors, community booths and a beverage tent!

We can deliver WestCoast Families magazine free to your event! Email us at or call 604-249-2866 28

calendar Country Fest Albion Fairgrounds, Maple Ridge July 25, 10am-10pm & 26, 10am-6pm Main stage entertainment, kids activities and performers, vintage market, food, games, farm exhibitions and much more! Admission is free.

Jog for the Bog & International Bog Day 2015 Richmond July 26, Registration - 7am & Race - 8:30am Come for the run, stay for the fun! Pancake breakfast (free for runners, $5 for guests). There will also be free entertainment and prizes. Bring your family and friends! 5K Walk/Run $45, and 10K Run $50. Henry V Performance Works Outdoor Stage, Vancouver July 24 –August 8, 7:30pm This is an outdoor performance, but in case of rain, the show will be moved inside. Concession and an interactive Craft Zone will be available in the Teen Shakespeare Village before the show and during intermission. Presented by the Carousel Theatre for Young People’s Teen Shakespeare Program. 604.685.6217 | Abbotsford Agrifair Exhibition Park, Abbotsford July 31- August 3 See animal shows, a rodeo, kid zone, trade show, main stage entertainment and midway rides! 10 years old and under are free.

Movies Under the Stars Holland Park in Surrey Every Saturday in August, dusk Wreck-It Ralph starts off the summer movie series, followed by Home, How to Train Your Dragon 2, Cinderella and Big Hero 6 on August 29. The event is free for all to enjoy. Arrive early and participate in fun activities and watch great performances by local entertainers. Tsawwassen Sun Festival Winskill Park, Delta August 1-3 All weekend you can watch the Slo-pitch tournament with food concession and beer garden. There will be a parade, car show, marketplace, children’s midway and a volleyball tournament. Abbotsford Airshow Abbotsford Airport August 7-9 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. Starry Night Deas Island Regional Park, Delta August 15, 7:30-10pm Experience the magic and mystery of Deas Island Park as it transitions from day to night at the free Starry Night event, featuring discovery stations, drumming, lantern-lit trails and more. Dress for the weather and bring flashlights. The event is stroller accessible.

Visitor Appreciation Summer Carnival Kilby Historical Site, Harrison Mills August 23 A festive bash thrown to celebrate all the partners and supporters, this event is admission by donation. There’ll be live music, carnival games, market stalls, face painting, crafts, a barbecue and loads of prizes for the kids! Latin Summer Festival, Vancouver Trout Lake Park August 16, 11 to 7 pm Vancity’s hottest outdoor fest from salsa to food trucks, complete outdoor dancing, kids zone and much more.   Free Admission Day at the PNE 2901 East Hastings Street, Vancouver August 25, 11am-1pm Admission is free at the PNE for 2 hours only! It’s first come, first serve, so get there early to save.

Visit events_calendar for more family friendly events this month! To have your event included in the WestCoast Families community calendar, please email your details to Go to to see more local and community family events in your area.

July/August 2015 29

last look The Art of Bubbles! by Jodi Iverson

Bubbles add a simple twist to painting that all ages can enjoy. Here are two fun ways to use bubbles to create beautiful artwork. Try these methods for fun stationary, cards or a backdrop for a painting!

materials • Watercolours • Bubble solution or dish soap • Bubble wand • Straw • Jars • Water colour paper

make it! Method 1:

• • • •

Mix paint with bubble solution, creating a palette of colours to choose from Gently blow bubbles onto your paper and see what happens! Continue blowing bubbles until your masterpiece is complete Dab oversaturated areas with a towel

Method 2:

• Mix paint with bubble solution • Pour mixture into a shallow vessel • Use a straw to blow masses of bubbles in your mixture • Gently lay your paper on top of the bubbles, being careful to capture only bubbles and not the liquid that lies below • Remove paper and let dry

did you know? • A bubble gets its colour from iridescence. As waves of light pass through a bubble, they get distorted by reflecting off different layers of soap film. • The colder it is, the higher a bubble will fly because the warm air from your breath is lighter than cold air. • According to the Guinness World Book of Records, the biggest free floating soap bubble recorded was 2.98 meters cubed!


familiesathome Real Estate & Design Issue Coming September 2015! WestCoast Families is presenting our 4th annual Families at Home feature in the September issue. We’ll be talking about real estate options around the Lower Mainland, with new home ideas, energy saving tips, and home design too. Discounted ad rates available!

backtoschool Summer has just arrived, but we’re already planning BACK TO SCHOOL. You should be planning too if you have a business offering after school programs, lessons, school supplies, supplementary learning, childcare, or fundraising to kids. The September issue of WestCoast Families will include a “Sign-Up” feature for kids programs, the coolest new school gear, and much more.

Reach over 100,000 families with your message! Book your ad space by August 14 to be part of this fun issue! 604-249-2866 |




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with the purchase of a general admission ticket*






*Redeemable online with code inside ShareBox™. See details in-store and at For a limited time only. At participating McDonald’s® restaurants in Canada. ©2015 McDonald’s Minions is a trademark and copyright of Universal Studios. Licensed by Universal Studios Licensing LLC. All rights reserved. ®Cineplex Entertainment LP or used under license.

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WCF Jul|Aug 2015  

Kids with Special Needs, Summer Fun

WCF Jul|Aug 2015  

Kids with Special Needs, Summer Fun