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The Local Guide for Active Urban Families

fun sun in the

july/august 2016

families with special needs | women in business

July/August 2016


families westcoast

july/august 2016

• families with special needs • summer fun • women in business

on our cover... The Velasquez family, winners of our Healthy Family Expo Photo Contest, make the most of summer (and catch the best views!) on the Sea to Sky Gondola.

Families with Special Needs Parenting with a Disability

Families with Special Needs Special Needs Resources

Families with Special Needs Future Planning

Summer Fun Events & Attractions





WCF Feature Fall Programs Early Sign-up

Women in Business Business as Usual

Women in Business How to Network

Families with Special Needs Living with a Disability - Stats




26 Photo by Ali Roddam

24 mom westcoast

24 WCM Profile Sheryl Gray & family 27 Time Out

next issue sept/oct • 2017 Baby Guide • Fall & Halloween Fun • Families at Home 4

from the editor 6 From Our Family to Yours 7 Contests 8 WestCoast Finds 23 WCF News 28 Community Calendar 30 Last Look Chalk Art Adventures Instagram: @westcoastfamilies

July/August 2016


from our family to yours


families westcoast

pring into Summer Ah, the summer months in the Lower Mainland! It’s no secret that after the long, rainy days of spring, we start to crave more sun, sand and surf to spruce up the dreary weather. Here at WestCoast Families, we’ve been hard at work preparing our fantastic summer issue, and we know you won’t be disappointed.

Our July/August issue is an information-packed magazine, because we’re celebrating families with special needs. We have excellent features on what it’s like to be a parent who has special needs, an article highlighting support programs for families, and some great insight into future planning to ensure care for your child. It’s also our summer fun focus! Check out our feature on fun things to keep you hopping all season long, while keeping the little ones entertained. And to celebrate women in business, we’re looking at the finer details of networking; the who, what, where, when and why! As usual, we have some incredible advertisers who support each issue and help bring all this valuable information to your doorstep. Enjoy the summer, kick back with our latest issue, and don’t forget the sunscreen! Managing Editor Andrea Vance Assistant Editor Kelly S. Thompson Contributing Editor Jodi Iverson Art Director & Layout Krysta Furioso Administration Jennifer Bruyns Accounts Receivable & Payable Jennifer Brule Advertising 604.249.2866

Assistant Editor

The advertisers in this issue allow us to provide you with all this great local information. Please support their businesses, and let them know you saw them in WestCoast Families!

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 Nicole Breit, Jennifer Bruyns, Marci Deane, Krysta Furioso, Jodi Iverson, Kelly S. Thompson, Heidi Turner, Andrea Vance, Yvonne Zacharias 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! Toopy and Binoo!

Visit us online for new contests every issue! Farm Fun!

There’s nothing better than a day on the farm spent exploring, eating fresh On September 17 and 18, Toopy and Binoo fruit and veggies, and catching some sun. Maan Farms takes this experience are coming to town with their wacky, zany to a new level, with play areas, rides and more! You and your family could win and hilarious fun. Their show, Fun and Games, a 2016 Family Season Pass, for unlimited access to all the amazing attractions. promises to be an action-packed adventure. The whole family will have a blast Visit the countless farm animals, play in the Fun Farm Yard with tube slides and we’re offering a family four-pack of tickets to one lucky winner! and more, explore the wooden fort, burn rubber on the go carts and hang Deadline to enter: August 15, 2016. from the zip line! Enter at Deadline to enter: July 28, 2016. Enter at

The 2017 Baby Guide is due! This is the biggest baby issue of all, and it will be inside the Sept|Oct issue of WestCoast Families, PLUS another 10,000 copies distributed on their own throughout the Lower Mainland. All ad rates are discounted. Call or email to book your spot today!


babyguide 604-279-2866 |

July/August 2016


westcoast finds Mifold Booster Seat This insanely portable booster seat is ten times smaller than your average car seat, making it easy to take on trips. Ingenious design means this handy seat is under a kilogram and packs up nice and small to fit in luggage, while being easy to clean and useable for kids from 40-120 pounds. | $95

Sola Deodorant Backpack of Sensory This kit comes with a perfect collection of toys for children with special needs, with a variety of sensory-based, bestselling toys that will keep little ones busy for hours. With the handy carrying bag, make sure to pack the Backpack of Sensory on your next road trip. For the month of July, all WCF readers receive free shipping to anywhere in BC! | $150


Deodorant is one of those necessities in life, but like many personal care products, they can be full of chemicals and nasty fillers. Enter Sola Skincare, whose Coconut deodorant not only smells delicious but also keeps you dry and fresh in a handy, portable tin. Arrowroot powder absorbs moisture and baking soda dispels smells. Safe and natural for the whole family! | $14

Bell Sidetrack Helmet Started in the 1950s, these snazzy helmets will delight any kid. With tons of styles to choose from and super high safety standards, parents and kids alike will love all the selection, fun colours, and breathable designs. Best of all, these helmets keep noggins safe during those daring cycling and skateboarding adventures. | $40

Charlie’s Hospitables After many hospital visits with her chronically ill daughter, local mom, Cherie, makes these fantastic baskets full of “hospital survival kits” and other goodies for celebrations. Stuffed with local, Canadian products, Cherie takes custom orders to make stressful times a smoother experience. Best of all, five per cent of every kit goes to the Canuck Place Children’s Hospice. | $65 and up

Green Toys Recycled Sand Set These awesome, eco-friendly toys are safe for the environment and your little one! Pack this fun bucket, trowel and castle mould for your next beach visit and set to work in the sand. Kids will love exploring the water and textural elements of sand, while parents will rest assured that the toys are constructed with soy-based inks and recycled milk containers! Of course, this set is BPA, PVC and Phthalates free. | $35.50

July/August 2016


families with special needs

Parenting With a Disability Helping parents overcome challenges by Yvonne Zacharias


t’s a fact that raising children isn’t without challenges and hurdles, but for parents with disabilities, parenting raises several other concerns, including physically caring for their children and also accessing services and supports to maintain a happy home.

For the past 17 years, Michelle Goos has lived under a shadow, fearing that the government would take away her precious daughter, Cheyenne.
Social workers might see Michelle as being unfit because she has a developmental disability. School was hard for her. Making friends was hard for her. Navigating strange city streets was hard for her. But when Cheyenne was born, a light came into Michelle’s life, and Michelle worried that a heartless outsider might snatch her away. “You just don’t know who is watching,” said Michelle in an interview from Victoria, where she lives with her daughter and David, Cheyenne’s father and her common-law partner of 21 years.
Her fear was exacerbated by a panic disorder. “I would be really stressed out not knowing if I would ever get her back.”
 “Unfortunately, there is a common attitude among many professionals that children will be in danger if they are kept at home with a parent with an intellectual disability,” said Karen DeLong, director of community development with Inclusion BC, an advocacy and support group for people with these disabilities.
“Our argument is with adequate supports, families should be able to be kept intact.” DeLong said there is no one-size-fits-all formula for supporting parents with disabilities. Their needs are as varied as families without special needs parents, although the lack of affordable housing remains a consistent theme.
According to Statistics Canada, approximately one million Canadians are parents living with mental or physical disabilities and more than half are mothers.

In the fall of 2014, the West Coast Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF) released one of the few Canadian reports on the subject.
Documenting the experiences of 25 mothers with disabilities, it concluded that mothers with a mental health diagnosis in Canada were three times more likely to have been involved with child protection services than mothers without a diagnosis.
The report described how mothers’ fear of having their children removed prevented them from reaching out to social workers and others to ask for the support they need. The late UBC law professor, Judith Mosoff, also did some groundbreaking research into parents with disabilities. She reviewed 40 child protection trial judgments, in which the mother had a mental health diagnosis, almost always resulting in permanent removal of the child and extreme poverty.
Parents with disabilities are often suspicious of professionals who are ostensibly there to help them and sadly, according to Mosoff’s research, that suspicion has some validity.
In all 40 cases, she did not find a single case in which a witness didn’t start out as a helping professional.
In a lecture on the topic, she followed that stark statement with an equally startling one: “Absolutely everyone who was there to provide service ends up being a witness adverse to the interests of the parent.” She added there is a common assumption that treatment programs, medication or therapy works. If it doesn’t, the parent with the disability is automatically blamed. However, there are bright spots on the horizon.
Programs are being developed to help new parents with special needs, even right after conception, and several provincial programs and local supports offer counselling and respite childcare. Once a pregnant woman with a disability comes into the purview of the BC Women’s Hospital & Health Centre, a care team is put together, drawing in healthcare providers, social workers and sometimes community resources.
 The centre has been particularly focused on women with spinal cord injuries, said Melanie Basso, senior practice leader - perinatal. If the mother-to-be has an injury above the sixth vertebrae, these women run a particular risk of developing a life-threatening condition called autonomic dysreflexia.
After watching for signs of this condition and providing treatment, the hospital develops a plan for labour, birth, hospitalization after birth and putting the resources in place for them to transition back into the home.
“Our job is to walk beside women,” said Basso. “We’ll often put supports like post-partum doulas in place to support their transition and also to ensure the safety of the baby.”
 Because women with disabilities are more at risk of developing post-partum depression, the hospital tries to provide resources to deal with this.
Addressing another issue, the centre is developing a pamphlet to encourage breastfeeding by paralyzed women who have no physical sensation at that level.
 Far from being helpless, Basso is struck by the resourcefulness of families in these situations. “We’ve worked with families who have been very creative to adapt equipment,” she said, adding that just witnessing the sharing of this information among families can be very powerful.
 Other helpful adaptations are being made as well. Thoughts of inclusivity are leading to the production of parenting products that assist those with special physical needs, such as adapted cribs that can be lowered if the parent uses a wheelchair, or mechanical lifts to help parents with physical disabilities raise and lower children into the bath. For the deaf parent, there are sensors that light up to indicate when their baby is crying.


A variety of organizations, like Inclusion BC, Community Living BC, and the Family Support Institute, to name a few, are there to assist and one of the largest benefits has been social media. Parents with disabilities can now reach out to each other through these channels, breaking the sense of isolation, sharing stories and lending peer support. For the 17 years of her daughters life, Michelle Goos always got the sense that big brother was watching. She doesn’t necessarily think this is wrong, although it added a certain stress to motherhood.
Now, a silver lining has started to appear in that dark shadow. Cheyenne is nearly 18. The government can no longer take her away.
“I think we have the same challenges as any other mom but sometimes we might not understand that challenge. We don’t know how to explain it.”
One thing Michelle does know. She loves her child deeply. “It has been challenging, it has been gratifying and it’s been life changing.” And that is a sentiment that is universal, across all abilities and families.


July/August 2016


families with special needs

Special Needs Resources Programs, services and supports by Heidi Turner


aising a child with special needs can be challenging, and parents might find themselves overwhelmed as they look for support and education about raising their children. Across the Lower Mainland and throughout British Columbia, there are a variety of organizations that offer general and specialized programs to help children with special needs and their families. These programs offer everything from advocacy to education, from physical therapy to learning support, and from feeding programs to respite. Some focus on children in a specific age group or with a specific need, while others offer generalized support for all families who need assistance. Here are some programs across British Columbia and the Lower Mainland— broken down by region—that assist children with special needs and their families.

Special Olympics Special Olympics allows individuals with special needs from ages 2 to 84 with the opportunity to participate in sports experiences. There are currently 49 communities within Special Olympics BC that offer Special Olympics Programs, including Vancouver, Burnaby, Delta, Richmond, Abbotsford, and Chilliwack are among cities in the Lower Mainland. Athletes have the opportunity to train and compete to test their skills against athletes with similar abilities. Youth programs are offered for children ages two to 18, and involve teaching basic motor skills and sport experience. Meanwhile, summer and winter sports programs are offered for participants ages eight and up, including aquatics, golf, track and field, curling, figure skating, and floor hockey. Special Olympics BC also offers health programs, designed to help athletes with intellectual disabilities be as healthy as possible.


Learning Disabilities Association Vancouver The focus of the Learning Disabilities Association of Vancouver is to provide affordable and accessible education for children and youth who have learning disabilities. The organization works with children and their families one-onone to help the student academically. It also provides children and families with educational consultations and financial planning options, and assists with obtaining a diagnosis if none has been made. Programs are offered across the Lower Mainland for children ages 5 to 17.

Infant Development Program With 52 Infant Development Programs across British Columbia, the organization provides services for children from birth to three years old who have, or are at risk of having, a developmental delay. Consultants with the Infant Development Program provide services to help children overcome their challenges and give parents resources for development.

The Family Support Institute The Family Support Institute provides support across British Columbia to families of people who have a disability. The organization offers parent and family networks and resources, workshops and training opportunities, and family support. Their volunteers can guide families to local services and supports, and can attend important meetings with families.

BC Centre for Ability

Developmental Disabilities Association

The BC Centre for Ability offers community-based services for children, youth, and adults with disabilities. Among the services provided by the BC Centre for Ability are social emotional programs, occupational therapy, speech language therapy, early intervention therapy, and brain injury services. They also offer a supported child development program, in which consultation and extra staffing assistance are provided to ensure children who require extra support have access to daycare and preschool. Programs are run across the Lower Mainland, with some programs offered in select cities.

With more than 50 community programs and services in Vancouver and Richmond, the Developmental Disabilities Association assists more than 1,600 children and adults with developmental disabilities, and their families every year. Their programs and services include childcare, leisure and social programs, respite, and infant development. The Developmental Disabilities Association’s Infant Development Program provides home-based services for children from birth to three years old, who are considered at risk for developmental delays, are already experiencing delays, or are diagnosed.

Centre for Child Development

Laurel Behaviour Support Services

In operation for 60 years, the Centre for Child Development helps children from birth to 19 years old with special needs in Surrey, Langley, Delta, and White Rock. Their services include communication therapy, family services, occupational therapy, supported child development, and recreation therapy. In addition to therapeutic services, The Centre for Child Development offers help accessing emergency services, help in applying for assistance or funding from the government, and support in advocating for a child with special needs.

Children and Adults with Attention Deficit Disorder (CH.A.D.D.) CH.A.D.D. Vancouver is part of an international organization that provides support to families of children and adults who have attention deficit disorders. The Vancouver chapter provides a support group, continuing education, community resources, and educational programs for medical and educational service providers. Vancouver chapter meetings are held monthly.

Vancouver Padiatric and Family Wellness Chiropractor This modern and friendly location offers chiropractic care to a wide range of patients, in particular, for children and pregnant women who experience aches and pains unique to them. Chiropractic health is vital to all children and this spectacularly knowledgeable clinic helps to soothe children’s fears while making a pleasant and healthy experience.

Matthew’s House Matthew’s House is a respite service provider that offers care for children ages four to 18 who have complex medical issues and developmental disabilities. Children from across British Columbia can stay at Matthew’s House in Abbotsford for anywhere from two days to two weeks at a time, and receive specialized care in a safe environment while their families have peace of mind and an opportunity to re-energize. Among the services provided at Matthew’s house are individualized care and behavioural plans prepared with the family, a state-of-the-art playground, and emergency respite care as needed. Parents are also able to spend one night in the child’s room to help their child adjust to the new surroundings.

Laurel Behaviour Support Services provides behaviour support services to children and adults who have autism or other intellectual disabilities. Their services are offered to individuals in metro Vancouver, southern Vancouver Island, the Sunshine Coast and north Okanagan. The organization specializes in Early Intensive Behaviour Intervention for children who are under six years old. They also provide behaviour consultation, parenting programs, and workshops for families and care providers. For youth aged 14 to 18 who have autism spectrum disorder, Laurel Behaviour Support Services offers employment services, matching the needs of the client with an appropriate employer.

Vancouver Parents Transition Group As children who have special needs become adults, the transition to adulthood can be a difficult time for both the youth and his or her family. Vancouver Parents Transition Group meets once a month and provides education and support for parents whose special needs children are becoming adults.

Millennium Learning Advantage With a focus on each child’s individual needs, all learning abilities can be catered to at Millennium Learning Advantage. Their impressive institution allows children the chance to receive an education matched to their needs and learning style, complete with outstanding teachers and heavy research into brain-based learning.

Strive Living Society Strive Living Society delivers community living services for children and youth who have special needs, including mental health issues, physical disabilities, complex health care needs, and developmental disabilities. Strive’s programs include respite services, specialized housing, and one-to-one support, ensuring children and youth have access to recreation and leisure activities. These programs are just a sample of the options and services offered in the Lower Mainland and throughout British Columbia. The BC Ministry for Children and Families has links to more programs designed to help. July/August 2016 13

families with special needs

Future Planning Ensuring your child is provided for by Nicole Breit


ll parents need to plan for the future, but for parents of children with special needs, that responsibility extends beyond basic financial and estate planning. These tips can help you make a comprehensive long term plan to ensure your child is always well provided for. For parents of children with special needs, planning for the future means addressing some difficult questions–how to cover long term care costs, where the child will live as an adult, and who will provide care and support when parents are no longer able to. While future planning starts early for a child with special needs–typically as soon as there’s a diagnosis—it becomes even more important in the teen years. In BC, the legal age a person can make a will is 16, something estate planning lawyer, Blair Dwyer, recommends for a child who has a Registered Disability Savings Plan. Another important milestone is a child’s 19th birthday, when a person becomes an adult in the eyes of provincial law. At that time, parents can no longer act on their child’s behalf for medical or financial decisions.

Legal considerations In order to continue assisting their children with healthcare and finances once they turn 19, parents need to be aware of two key legal documents: the Power of Attorney and Representation Agreement. “Without these documents,” Dwyer says, “a doctor couldn’t talk to the parents because of privacy concerns. A bank might refuse to let them withdraw money for their child’s care and refer their child to the Public Trustee to take over managing their assets.” For children who aren’t able to legally appoint a Power of Attorney or sign a Representation Agreement—if there’s a mental capacity issue, for instance—a special Representation Agreement exists that enables parents to make personal, financial, and healthcare decisions on their child’s behalf. In cases where an individual may be particularly vulnerable and easily influenced, a monitor is normally appointed. “It could be a family friend, relative, doctor or healthcare worker. Ideally someone who would notice if something is not quite right,” says Dwyer. Parents should expect to spend between $2,000 and $5,000 to cover legal fees, and to update a will, Power of Attorney or Representation Agreement every five years or sooner, if there’s been a birth, marriage, death or job change.

Build a nest egg Many parents worry about how they’ll cover the costs of their child’s future care, especially if the child requires constant live-in support throughout their adult lives. Children who are eligible for the Disability Tax Credit (DTC) also qualify for the Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP), a tax-advantaged way to grow savings. Parents can contribute up to $200,000 to the RDSP, with additional government contributions available through the Canada Disability Savings


Bond and the Canada Disability Savings Grant. To apply for the DTC, a physician would complete Form T2201 on the child’s behalf, confirming a severe and prolonged impairment. The tax credit can be claimed by the child or transferred to parents to compensate for their child’s care costs. Once Form T2201 is approved by the CRA, anyone may contribute to the child’s RDSP. The earlier contributions begin, the better, as compounding returns can significantly increase savings over time, adding a pad of funds to care for your child. Parents should note that government contributions are based on net family income, including the parents’ income while the child is under 19 years old. At 19, parental income is not included, even if the adult child lives at home with her parents. Dwyer advises parents to leave some contribution room for children over 18 years, to take advantage of matching contributions that are based only on the child’s income (and the income of the child’s spouse, if the child is married).

Preparing a will For most parents, having their teenager make a will is the furthest thing from their minds. But for parents of a child who is ill and for whom an RDSP has been established, a will is essential. RDSP assets belong to the child. If the child dies, assets in the RDSP will be distributed as part of the child’s estate (not pursuant to an RDSP beneficiary designation). “If there’s no will, intestacy comes into effect,” Dwyer explains. “The ultimate recipients would then be determined by default next-of-kin rules. It’s much better for families to have their own tailor-made plan in place.” For parents looking for more information, “Estate Planning for Families Who Have Children with Special Needs in BC,” available on the ACT Community website, is an excellent guide.

Family estate planning Making a will can be extremely difficult for parents of a child with special needs. A common concern is the fair division of assets. Parents want things

Resources As the parent of a child with special needs, you’ll probably consult a host of professionals when planning for the future: a lawyer, financial planner, accountant, various healthcare professionals and more. These organizations can help your child with their ongoing personal planning needs – and encourage them to be socially active and engaged in their communities.

to be even for all their children, and may feel guilty about the sacrifices their able-bodied children have made to support a sibling with special needs. “Fairness may mean the other siblings will get less to preserve more for the child who needs more,” Dwyer says. “Most of the time siblings are very supportive.” He recommends that parents have a family discussion, to air out any feelings and set expectations. In terms of managing an inheritance, parents can establish a trust for their child with special needs, who may need help making independent financial decisions. “A manager (called a trustee) is appointed in a trust situation— typically a sibling or other family member who can make decisions for the benefit of the child. They can help with investing, paying rent, and set aside a monthly or weekly allowance for the child.”

Creating a transition plan Becoming an adult is challenging for any child, with big decisions to be made about post-secondary education, finding a job and a place to live, not to mention how they’ll spend their time once they gain some independence. Parents can help make the shift into adulthood easier for a child with special needs by working together on a transition plan. Transition planning can start as young as age 14, with children taking an active role in their decision-making, with input from parents, healthcare providers, social workers, teachers, peers, extended family and friends. “Transition Planning for Youth with Special Needs,” available on the BC Ministry of Children and Families website, is a useful guide for parents who want to start planning.

Special Needs Resources The Lower Mainland offers a variety of resources and programming for families with special needs. Check out some of our favourites. Canucks Autism Network For those living with autism, it can be difficult to participate in group sports and other events. Canucks Autism Network offers children with autism the chance to participate in year-round sports, arts and social programs for both the child and their families. Communitas With locations throughout BC, faith-based Communitas offers care and skills-based programs for those who have disabilities, and respite for their families. Their person-centred care is a comfort for families while engaging programs educate and inspire. Phoenix Gym Phoenix is proud of offer a variety of specialized therapeutic gymnastics programs for children who have special needs, allowing all children to experience the physical and emotional benefits of the sport that is catered to a child’s individual needs.

July/August 2016 15



by Jodi Iverson

School is out for summer and Lower Mainland families are looking for fun in the sun! We have compiled a list of summer activities to keep you busy till the school bell rings again. Greater Vancouver Zoo

Bill Reid Gallery

Lions and tigers and bears, oh my…literally! For the animal lovers in your life, visit the Greater Vancouver Zoo. Pop onto a Quadra Cycle or hop on the safari mini train for a 12-minute narrated tour of the zoo. CAZA accredited, the GV Zoo works hard to ensure the conservation and protection of endangered species.

The Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art is named after the acclaimed Haida artist and is the only public gallery in Canada devoted to contemporary Aboriginal Art of the Northwest Coast. This summer, take your big kids to check out The Seriousness of Play: Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas, an exhibit on Haida manga!

Burnaby Village Museum Step back in time to a 1920s village for a day filled with historic fun. Learn about blacksmithing, visit the print shop and talk to shopkeepers all in period dress. Model T car rides, a vintage carousel, and an old fashioned ice cream parlour add whimsical fun for the entire family!

Gulf of Georgia Cannery Learn about the rich history of West Coast fishing at the Gulf of Georgia Cannery in historic Steveston Village. Kids will love checking the interactive exhibits and the Cannery Kids’ Corner. Parents will love the education value and the Music at the Cannery shows running all summer!

Kidtropolis Looking to beat the summer heat? Kidtropolis offers almost 18,000 cool square feet of fun where kids and their adults can immerse themselves in a model city and use their imagination to become doctors, teachers, firefighters…or whoever they want to be. Drop in anytime and let your imagination guide you!

Watermania Make a splash this summer! Watermania has you covered. Located in the Riverport Sports and Entertainment Complex in Richmond, Watermania is home to two waterslides, a wave pool with interactive seahorse play feature, diving boards, whirlpools and more! Family change rooms and admission rates are available.


Maan Farms

Harrison Hot Springs

Wagon rides, a petting zoo, a zip line and a huge bouncy pillow are just a handful of the family friendly activities waiting for you at Maan Farms. Before you head home, be sure to stock up on 100% pesticide-free berries, a treat at the country market and maybe a bottle of wine from the estate winery!

Just 90 minutes from Vancouver, Harrison Hot Springs is a playground for family friendly summer fun! Hike or bike your way through a self-guided circle farm tour, or maybe enjoy a boat tour of Harrison Lake. Kids and adults alike will enjoy their floating waterpark, and if you want to stay the night, the iconic Harrison Hot Springs Hotel welcomes families with therapeutic hot springs and comfy rooms.

Royal BC Museum The Royal BC Museum is the perfect place to explore for visitors of all ages. Enjoy the current exhibitions including Mammoths: Giants Of The Ice Age, running until December. Don’t forget the permanent galleries as well, which include favourites like the BC archives, natural history galleries, First People’s galleries and more!

Krause Berry Farm Spend a day in the new Fresh Family Fun Field, with giant jumping pillows, educational games, and fresh snacks, all while testing your skills as a farmer. Enjoy family friendly u-pick fields, market, bakery, Porch restaurant, and fresh hot berry waffles at the KB Corral & Cookies Kitchen. Saddle up in the estate winery for a taste of their award-winning wines.

Imagine Childrens Museum Just south of the border, our friends at Imagine Children’s Museum have created a magical play environment for kids ages 1-12. Interactive exhibits galore, inside and out! Don’t miss their highly acclaimed Rooftop Adventure!

Pirate Adventures Ahoy mateys! Join a band of pirates and set sail from Granville Island for a swashbuckling adventure on the high seas! With multiple daily sailings offering fun for the whole family, this is a must do this summer.

July/August 2016 17

fall programs

early bird sign-up

Advertisers in bold

Music & the Arts Tom Lee Music Place Des Arts Arts Umbrella

Royal City Youth Ballet The Makers Room Vancouver Bach Choir VSO School of Music

Burnaby Minor Hockey Association


Cloverdale Minor Hockey Association

Millennium Learning www.millenniumlearningadvantage. com

Coquitlam Minor Hockey Association

Creative Kids Learning Centres

Delta Youth Soccer Association

JEI Learning Centre

New Westminster Minor Hockey Association


North Vancouver FC Port Coquitlam Minor Hockey Association Port Moody Amateur Hockey Association

Mathnasium Oxford Learning Sylvan

Circus West


Richmond Minor Hockey Association


Evergreen Cultural Centre

Jump Gymnastics

Royal City Youth Soccer

Burnaby Neighbourhood House

Gabriela’s Movement Studio

Phoenix Gym

Surrey Minor Hockey Association

City of Surrey

Gateway Theatre Academy for the Performing Arts

North Vancouver Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

Vancouver Youth soccer Association

Girl Guides

Aldergrove Youth Soccer Club

West Coast Auto Group FC

Scouts Canada

Burnaby Girls Soccer

West Vancouver Minor Hockey Association


Northwest Academy of Performing Arts Port Moody Arts Centre


July/August 2016 19

women in business

Business as Usual

Conferences for women in business by Kelly S. Thompson


unning a business is hard, especially so while also trying to incorporate time for self-care, growth, learning, and also helping to raise a family. The moms at WestCoast Families can relate, while trying to keep up to the demands of daily living while also making space for the things in life that matter. Women in business face unique challenges from their male counterparts. Although strides are being made to solidify a woman’s role at the top of the leadership ladder, men dominate many business events; natural considering males dominate the percentages in the field. Thankfully, communities are answering the call with more and more events, conferences and groups designed to help women support one another through the excitement, trials and tribulations of business. With advice on life balance, professional development and an opportunity to connect with like-minded women, more and more people are signing up to take part in female-only networking and informational events. Why not embrace the characteristics that make women unique and the extra flavour this perspective brings to the workplace?


Conferences and business networking events can be key to building your business, offering a platform for promotion and a chance to share thoughts, ideas and failures with others in the hopes of learning and growing in work and life. WestCoast Families has rounded up some of the best groups and events that cater specifically to women in business, so you can connect your way to personal and professional success.

Tri-City Chapter of the Valley Women’s Network Living outside of the city doesn’t preclude anyone from taking part in networking events. The Valley Women’s Network connects women from the valley area to share and support one another in both their personal and professional goals. Members are encouraged to share their stories of success and failure in order to offer peers insight while also offering a platform for members to share their business offerings with others. Their organization is entirely volunteer run, offering an opportunity to get involved at a deeper level. The Tri-City Chapter also hosts luncheons and barbecues and occasional conferences, with lectures, speakers and much more.

Women in Business Conference

Yes Vancouver

If you’re going to travel to a conference, then this might just be the one you don’t want to miss. Women in Business is a huge national organization, with members across the country, and their annual conference is traditionally spectacular. Next year, Ottawa hosts the event, which has a jam-packed schedule of speakers, professional developments and mix and mingle events, offering a host of opportunities to connect with other successful business women. These conferences inevitably speak to both the home and financial elements of work while also highlighting the personal and wellness tips and tricks.

YES! Vancouver takes networking to a whole new level with fun, exciting and interesting events designed to contribute to a good cause while also offering information and networking opportunities for professional women. With the creators having a passion for the charity Dress for Success, not only do women gather at YES! events to network, but also to raise funds to allow other women to break into the workforce. They host many events throughout the year, with more than $100,000 raised so far. Networking while also having a ball? Doing yoga? Dancing? Yes!

Women’s Leadership Circle For those at the top of the professional ladder, or those hoping to get there, the Women’s Leadership Circle is the organization to join. With regular events throughout the year, including an upcoming event at the Terminal City Club, women will connect with other leaders in the business world while also enjoying drinks and dining in fabulous locations.

The Connected Woman With a host of events to connect women in business, the Connected Woman is an organization dedicated to helping women succeed. They offer various events for networking while also hosting many online workshops to help navigate issues relevant to the workplace and home life too. Their monthly newsletter is a wealth of information while the online events are also fun and educational opportunities for growth.

WOW Event WOW, or Women of Worth, operates under the belief that all women are leaders, and let’s be honest, there’s a lot of truth in that! Women bring unique perspectives to leadership, and with more females at the helm, anything is possible. WOW seeks to support and empower women in the workforce, discussing aspects of leadership through inspiration and platforms. They host a variety of events throughout the year, with some of the incredible venues including Sparkling Hill Spa Resort and Harrison Hot Springs. Members will be treated to powerful information sessions and a supportive environment of laughter, information and energy. Events sell out, so book as soon as possible.

Young Women in Business Launched in 2008, Young Women in Business, or YWIB, supports, well, young women in business! While many women make excellent leaders, there is a lot of experience and knowledge that comes with the school of life, but young women and recent graduates also have valuable assets to contribute. YWIB offers mentorship and professional development geared towards the younger entrepreneur, with various chapters also set up through UBC, SFU, Kwantlen and more. Their annual conference is informative and educational while their mentorship program partners members with personal advocates in the business world.

Forum for Women Entrepreneurs Many a successful woman has been a member of the Forum for Women Entrepreneurs, where business owners and owners-to-be are encouraged and supported throughout their business ventures. The organization hosts several events for members to connect throughout the year, but also offers exciting e-series events too, so those who can’t make it in person can take part in educational workshops from the comfort of their own home. Their FWE Talk series touches on hot-button business topics and challenges unique to entrepreneurs. FWE also offers a mentorship program and a bunch of other unique ways for like-minded women to connect.

For more conferences and events for women, go to our website July/August 2016 21

women in business

How To Network

The importance of connecting with others by Marci Deane


became an Independent Mortgage Broker with more than 10 years of industry experience but no clients. I remember those first lonely weeks in my home office, just the dog and I, wondering where was I going to find a deal to work on. It became clear that I needed to build a database and network to promote my services and myself. Eight years and hundreds of networking events later, I’ve developed a thriving business. My journey to becoming an entrepreneur started in 8th grade with my pal Emma, when we launched our “Clowning Around” birthday party entertainment service. This was the ultimate lesson in business networking. We literally door-knocked around the neighbourhood and asked parents to refer us to their friends. Several years after we hung up our clown suits, I landed at the bank, which is where I climbed the ladder and learned about the wonderful world of mortgages. After 10 years at the bank and a few years working in commercial real estate, I eventually found my calling when I became a licensed Mortgage Broker. But as all business owners know, networking is key to building a business, creating a roster of clients, and developing relationships with customers and other business owners who might assist me in my own life and work. The first thing I did was join a local women’s business networking group. At my first meeting, I decide that I needed to get involved and meet as many people as I could, so I volunteered to be the greeter at the door. This led to several years as both a member and executive volunteer for that group. Key to my networking experience, I did not just show up; I became involved and connected with as many women as I could. Next, I launched a weekly networking group of like-minded but noncompeting business owners, in which we supported each other to grow our businesses and held one another accountable to answer for actions and results. Not only did I meet people who might positively impact my career and connect me with potential clients, but also I made friends with people who were also striving to make their business succeed. My experience with networking is that the best business comes from referrals and personal connections. If you meet someone from a newspaper ad or via their website, you spend the first part of your business relationship figuring out “who they are” and in turn, forming an opinion about them. Most of us lean towards building business relationships with people who we know (from networking events!) or have been recommended by friends or colleagues. If you met the person at an event, you have seen them “in action.” Perhaps you have even interacted socially and established some rapport. Through networking, business people are able to develop trust in your ability to do your job in a professional and competent manner. The key to successful business networking—and in turn, to growing a successful business—is credibility. This takes time to build, and the process cannot be rushed and is always done better in person than over the Internet. However, personal recommendations from trusted clients and referral partners lead to creditability with new clients and within your networking


circle, making you the subject matter expert in your field. And when you need services or items from someone else, you’ll likewise connect with those who made a great impression in person. For those who feel nervous about the concept of networking, here are some tips to make the most of the business networking events you decide to attend: Get Involved – Step up! Take on a job or join the association executive. This way, you’re sure to be remembered and make a positive impact. Be Prepared – Make sure you come to each event prepared with business cards! Be Helpful – ALWAYS look first for ways that you can help others. The business will come back to you when you are not too pushy or hard selling of your own goods or services. Approach the event looking for ways that you can genuinely help someone else. Be Strategic – Pick just a few key events to attend each week/month, and dedicate yourself to making the most of that time. Make sure you don’t spread yourself too thin going all over town, every day, with no time to follow up and actually build relationships with the people you have met. It is better to get two or three business cards, follow up and build rapport, versus leaving the event with a stack of cards for people you never plan to email again or have not built a significant connection with. Be Professional and Social – Always show up nicely dressed and say hello, smile, and make conversation. If this is hard for you, pick events where there will be people in the room you know you can find something to chat about. Perhaps build your confidence by first attending a local Toastmaster group to work on your public speaking. Rest assured though, the more times you get out and attend events, the easier it will be. Follow Up – Do what you say you will do! If you take a card from someone and say you will get together or provide information, ensure you do that for the sake of credibility. Connect - Find some mentors, hang around with positive people on your same growth path, read good books, stay positive, pick small things to change and work on one thing at a time. Remember, building a strong business is a marathon, not a sprint. It takes time, practise and repeated training, but if you are willing to put in the time and effort into networking and connecting with like-minded people, the results will be well worth the effort. Marci Deane is an Independent Mortgage Broker serving Vancouver and surrounding areas and lives in North Vancouver. With over 21 years of professional experience in banking, mortgages, real estate and finance, she has earned a reputation for being an exceptional leader, savvy business woman, and an award-winning networker. |

wcf news >> ManTalks We define ourselves through a variety of factors, and society teaches us that we should stack ourselves up against others to measure our own value. Enter ManTalks: a community of men on a mission to become the best version of themselves. ManTalks believes that with a little education, men can be empowered to embrace who they are and live up to their own potential. Started by Connor Beaton, ManTalks offers several events and educational sessions to help men (and women!) find balance and fulfillment, all by redefining what it means to be a man in 2016. ManTalk Mondays offers weekly sessions designed to connect like-minded individuals in their path, and the ManTalks Mastermind Group offers a unique workshop for ten men who are looking to make a positive impact on the world. Through mentorship, discussions, workshops and more, this group is shaking up the definition of “man!” With values like courage, accountability and authenticity, we like the message this group sends to men and women all over the Lower Mainland.

>> BC Summer Games If you’re into sports, then you know that the BC Summer Games offers something for everyone, with exciting competition, amazing venues and a collection of events that makes for an amazing sporting experience. From July 21-24, Abbotsford is host to the Games, which return every two years to a new location to bring together the community and action lovers from all over the province. The Games have been around since 1978, when the Premier sought to bring a sense of community to British Columbia’s talented athletes and coaches, while also boosting tourism. Since the inception of the games, there have been more than 350,000 competitors, coaches, staff and volunteers, and countless spectators, all hoping to glimpse some of the province’s most accomplished athletes in their element. There are countless ways to get involved, whether you hope to catch one of the matches or simply want to volunteer (which is also a great way to see some of the action!). There are tons of different sports on offer, so every member of the family can cheer on their favourite, from baseball and volleyball, or triathlon and rowing.

>> WE Create Change at South Delta Secondary School There’s nothing better than raising money for a valuable cause, and for kids and teens, the more fun that can be had while raising that money, the better! The students at South Delta Secondary School sought to amp up the fun factor with their latest fundraiser in support of WE Create Change, a massive coin drive initiative through the Royal Bank of Canada. Paying homage to Star Wars, students have coin collection jars with positive and negative point values, a tribute to the “dark and light” sides of the movie characters. With alliances and donations, the homeroom with the highest point value at the end of the fundraiser wins! And the charity wins too, as the school hopes to raise $2,000 to support healthcare in Haiti, through medication, doctor access, and education. Since 2012, the WE Create Change organization has raised more than $3.3 million, with several different methods of supporting families in need. The We Create Change mission is to empower students to support education, clean water and sanitation, health, agriculture and more. So get creative and help your little one think of a small way in which they can contribute to positive change for those in need all over the world.

>> Surrey Cultural Grants We all know the value and importance of the arts in our culture, especially since Canada boasts such a wide range of artists and artistic expression. Be it through dance or writing, music or education, the arts have a place all over the Lower Mainland. Thankfully, the city of Surrey knows how important funding is to promote the sustain culture of such a diverse nation. Their Cultural Grants Program allows organizations and individuals to apply for grants for planning and projects of cultural sustainability. Whether an artist is seeking a grant to create a public work of art or an arts centre hopes to fund a community workshop, the city provides monies to those helping to promote arts, culture, and heritage in unique ways. Guidelines and application procedures for these grants will be announced on the Surrey website as of August, so be sure to check back and see how you or your organization can be a part of promoting culture in your city!

July/August 2016 23

mom Sheryl Gray westcoast

by Kelly S. Thompson | photos by Lisa Porter

Writing and rearing on the west coast Families living on the west coast know all about the sun, surf and sand that our area is known for. With tons of opportunities for parents to access programs and resources, it’s the ideal place to call home and make a family. For Sheryl Gray, a writer and mother of three, the Lower Mainland is the place she calls home for several reasons; love, family, and a thriving career in a fast-paced environment. It immediately becomes clear that Sheryl was born a helper. She is an Ontario native, growing up in the town of Cambridge, just outside of Toronto. After obtaining a degree in Recreation and Leisure Studies from Brock University, and a certificate in Volunteer Management from Conestoga, she forged her career in the healthcare sector, working as a recreation therapist in senior’s care homes, amongst other work. But despite the love she had for her job, Sheryl decided life on the west coast was calling, and so was a drastic career change. “30-plus years of Ontario winters makes the west coast pretty wonderful,” she said. Life stages rolled by in rapid succession, with her move to the coast in 2001, meeting her spouse, Tim, in 2002, and finally, a writing career. Sheryl’s decision to finally allow the creative juices to flow was a leap she’d always wanted to make. She became a freelance writer, later obtaining a diploma in Professional Writing from the prestigious Douglas College program in 2012. Today she has worked for a variety of publications on a variety of subjects, WestCoast Families included. Sheryl has a beautiful family with Tim. Together they have sons, Jake, 8, Nick, 5, and daughter Alexa, 4. After living in Burnaby and New West, they settled in North Delta to ensure a backyard and cozy home for their kids. Their mini


brood is active and thriving, constantly shuttled between school and activities while Sheryl juggles her writing and Tim makes a living as a manager at a steel plant. Bravery seems to be in Sheryl’s DNA, not only in her cross-country move but also her leap into writing; an unstable career at best. “I’m a second-career writer, so some of the lessons are still fresh for me,” Sheryl said. Freelancing gives her the flexibility she needs to be an active member of her family and coordinate the needs of her children, although it does mean the occasional late night. “I do much of my writing late at night. It’s more efficient for me, but because I enjoy writing, it also feels like the me time that I need,” Sheryl said. Her new life as a wordsmith has honed the language she uses when talking with her children, careful to avoid jargon and with a new focus on speaking simply to convey meanings. Like most parents, Sheryl has challenging parenting moments, which can be further stressed as her middle child, Nick, was born with Down Syndrome, which causes several developmental delays. Nick reaches and progresses through developmental stages more slowly, but through access to various support systems, he continues to make improvements. He has one-on-one care in school and actively participates in a variety of programs. On top of the usual shuttling of children to activities and events, Sheryl must also accommodate Nick’s constant medical appointments, required to help him grow and develop into a happy and healthy adult. As a parent to a child with special needs, it is clear that Sheryl’s background as a recreation therapist prepared her for the importance of inclusion and acceptance, concepts she hopes to distill in her children. “I’ve always used

“We have always tried to give our kids choices, and lots of encouragement to try new activities so they can find their true passions in life, whether sports, hobbies or eventually, careers.” people-first language and try not to make assumptions about how others can participate, or what type of help they might want or not want,” she said. Before giving birth to Nick, Sheryl admits to a complete lack of knowledge about families with special needs, but she was always sensitive to the requirements of all persons, regardless of physical and mental abilities. But Nick has offered a new clarity into the need to be considerate of others. “We don’t expect other families to understand our challenges, just some empathy would be great!” she said. “I think most parents are doing the best we can, and we should support each other in that.” She has moments of exhaustion and frustration, pushed to what feels like the limit of her patience level, but Sheryl tries to maintain perspective, and like all mothers, tries as hard as she can. Her parenting style remains the same for all children; an environment that fosters individuality and acceptance while picking her battles over important issues. “We have always tried to give our kids choices, and lots of encouragement to try new activities so they can find their true passions in life, whether sports, hobbies or eventually, careers.” Having one child with special needs can make it trickier to navigate relationships with and between her other children. Sheryl is careful to ensure each of her kids feel special, and allows them to feel and voice the rollercoaster of emotions that stem from the necessity of Nick requiring some extra attention. “I ask them how they’re feeling about challenges we sometimes have with Nick, and let them know that their feelings are okay to have, even if they’re angry or sad feelings,” Sheryl said. She ensures each child has quality time alone with their parents, focusing on a special activity that highlights that child’s passions, though Alexa always prefers the company of her brothers. Like all families, Sheryl and Tim must find balance in the hectic nature of raising children in a bustling city while carving time for careers and their own dreams. Thankfully, other than the usual sibling rivalry, Sheryl notes that Nick is regarded as a brother, not a brother with special needs, “and they fight and wrestle with him same as each other.” As they grow, Sheryl watches her children develop their own interests and is keen to foster those passions. “I like baseball and video games,” said their oldest

son, Jake. Technology love runs in the family, since Nick enjoys television on the iPad, while Alexa is keen on tea parties with various stuffed guests. Alexa’s imagination might have sparked the start of the next generation of writers. “She tells me she wants to do the same work as me, but with taking photos instead of writing words,” said Sheryl. But when it comes to Nick, his future is less certain, as he needs more time to progress, a fact that occasionally saddens Jake, who wants his brother to have every opportunity. “It’s a different mindset to know that he’ll [Nick] likely need my support for my entire life (and what happens after that is a worry),” said Sheryl. “People laugh and talk about how the kids will grow up and move out and we’ll all miss this...but that’s not a certain in my world.” With a child with special needs along with two other young and active children, it has proved difficult for the couple to find child care, resulting in a reliance on Tim’s sister for tight times. As the kids get older, opportunities grow for Sheryl and Tim to carve out time for themselves as a couple and as individuals. With the kids old enough for babysitters and their last little one off to kindergarten next year, Sheryl’s excited at the prospect of only one school for daily drop offs and a few more date nights with her husband! Despite extra challenges to overcome, like most families in the Lower Mainland, Sheryl, Tim and their children take advantage of the many hopping activities and events available to them, the criteria only being, “a decent playground.” The whole family is active and are avid sports fans, with the kids involved in a variety of activities such as baseball, soccer, dance, and Special Olympics. Off time is spent cruising farmers markets or going for walks through the area they call home. Sheryl has taken risks in life, risks that are now rewarding her with a rich family life and a career she loves. While she sets small goals, like taking Alexa on a trip or helping Nick to be self-sufficient, she also hopes to teach her children, “to be their own people, to speak up for themselves, to speak up for others who can’t or won’t speak up for themselves. Unparalleled kindness, always.” Like the narratives she weaves in her work, Sheryl raises her family with flexibility, care, and love; the perfect tale for any bedtime story. July/August 2016 25

Living with a Disability Canadian stats about living with special needs by Kelly S. Thompson We all know that raising a family isn’t easy, full of stressful moments as plentiful as the rewards. Many Canadians and their family members are living with disabilities, which offers unique challenges and pressures that few of us can fully appreciate. These challenges are magnified when trying to raise children with special needs in our education system, which can be fraught with battles to obtain proper education for each child’s specific needs. It remains a sad fact that disabilities can affect both educational and career options and choices, and we want to ensure we live in a world that is inclusive and celebratory of all abilities. In tribute of the latest census, and thanks to Statistics Canada, we’ve delved into some stark facts about living with special needs in Canada.

13.7% of Canadians have a disability of some kind.

Pain-related disabilities are the most common in adults.

85.9% of persons with disabilities also have another type of disability.

35,100 children with disabilities (who are in regular school programs) have tutors and teacher’s aides.

Nearly 3% of Canadians have a visual disability.

13.3 % of parents of children with disabilities can’t have their little one in the childcare they prefer due to regulations and lack of service options.

People with disabilities on average make less than 1/3 of their fellow Canadians. Those with developmental disabilities face the greatest challenge in education, and are four times more likely to not graduate high school.

Only 77% of people who require assistance and accommodations in school are receiving that accommodation.


1.7% of kids under 5 have a disability (chronic health conditions make the largest proportion) and 4.7% of children between 5-14. This is likely due to some diseases being more difficult to diagnose in children.

In almost 50% of cases of disability in children, one or more family members have to alter their work schedule to accommodate that child’s needs, with 65% of cases being the mother who makes the adjustment.


Kid-free Events for Mom & Dad! Retail Therapy Boutique & Wine Tour Vanilla Clothing, Langley July 10 & 17, 11:30 am-6pm Join in for an afternoon of sipping and shopping! Tickets $55 + taxes includes brunch, transportation, samples, tastings, VIP Shopping, discounts and wine tastings/education to complete the day!

Déjà vu Vintage Market Wellbrook Winery, 4626 88th Street, Delta July 9, 10am-4pm Vintage trailers to browse, live music to listen to, wine tasting to tempt you, a selfie station to entertain you, and lots of amazing vendors with booths brimming with vintage treasures!

Vancouver Folk Music Festival Jericho Beach, Vancouver July 15-17 This annual, three-day festival features folk music from around the globe, performed in a beautiful outdoor venue.

Uptown Live! 6th Ave & 6th St, New Westminster July 23,11am-7pm Uptown Live! is a free event featuring three performance stages showcasing the best of BC’s Indie music scene.

Giggle Dam Viva Las Vegas Summit Theatre, Cascades Casino, Langley July 20, 6-9 pm Team up with the Giggle Dam for an exciting night of dinner theatre, right in the heart of Langley! This is a very unique experience you don’t want to miss!

Rockin’ River Country Music Festival 2016 Merrit July 28-31 Come join thousands of other country fans for four days of country music and good times with friends! Get a day pass or camp in the campground for the whole festival! Line up TBA.

Stanley’s Jamboree Richmond Ice Centre August 12-14, 9am-5pm Join in this free adult only co-ed hockey tournament, with all proceeds going to Kids Sport. Must be 18 years+. 604.274.0011 Kids Swap Meet Cloverdale Fairgrounds August 20, 9am-12:30pm Kids toys, baby equipment, clothing, games, books and so much more. Sell your gently used kids items and make yourself a profit. Small/home-based businesses are welcome too. 604.533.1970 Columbia StrEAT Food Truck Fest Downtown New Westminster August 20, 4-10pm Enjoy over 80+ food trucks, various beer gardens and live music! Annual Fork & Finger Foodie Event Downtown Langley August 27, 11am-4pm Calling all foodies! Celebrate the unique and delicious restaurants located in Downtown Langley at the Fork & Finger Foodie Event.

July/August 2016 27

community Canada Day: Celebrating the 100th Anniversary of Canadian Women’s Suffrage Queen’s Park Bandshell, New Westminster July 1, 11:30am-3:30pm Please join for a day of fabulous fun and celebrations for the entire family, with performances, exciting entertainment, interactive community display booths and the celebrated “Pick-a-Box” silent auction. Free Admission. Canada Day Pancake Breakfast Krause Berry Farm, 6179 248 St, Langley July 1, 9-11am Come celebrate Canada with pancake goodness! A tray of tasty pancakes is all by donation, with all proceeds going to Breast Cancer Research in memory of Liz Krause. Pioneer Fair Historic Stewart Farm House, Surrey July 2, 11am-3pm Come dressed as a pioneer and bring a picnic, then rustle up some friendly competition at the races and carnival games. Have your face painted, then take a family portrait at our Frontier Faces photo-op, taste homemade ice cream, lemonade and popcorn, and watch live demonstrations of spinning and weaving by the Peace Arch Weavers & Spinners. Take a tour of the 1894 farmhouse with a costumed guide. Free. 604.592.6956 | Theatre Under the Stars 2016 Season Stanley Park July 6-August 20 This season features the fantastic and wellloved shows, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, and West Side Story! Kids will love the music and venue while costumes and singing will delight the whole family. Performances alternate and promise to be full of entertaining thrills. Dancing on the Edge Festival 2016 Various Venues July 7-16 Vancouver will host a convergence of Canada’s best dance artists and choreographers, as well as a special performance by a renowned Belgium choreographer/dancer, as part of the 10-day, live performance festival. Tickets are $28.


Annual Monarch Butterfly Release Krause Berry Farm, 6179 248 St, Langley July 9, 1-3pm Pre order your butterflies for release and help raise funds for Langley Lodge and the Langley Hospice Society. Learn all about these beautiful winged creatures and have an afternoon at the farm.

Concert in the Park Deer Lake Park, Burnaby July 10, 7pm The VSO, under conductor Tania Miller, will perform popular classics in one of Metro Vancouver’s most beautiful outdoor concert venues. Bring your picnic blanket or chair and settle in for a wonderful evening at this free outdoor concert.

Tour de Delta Throughout Delta July 8-10 Professional cyclists from around the world will compete in events across all three districts of Delta over three separate days. The whole weekend is filled with fun for the entire family, including free entertainment and activities.

Music on the Wharf Port Haney Wharf, Maple Ridge July 11, 7:30-9pm The Lonesome Sinners take the stage to perform music that combines the best of roots: blues, swing, and jazz. People of all ages are welcome to attend and enjoy the music. Weather permitting.

The Whistler Children’s Festival Whistler Olympic Plaza July 8-10 This festival brings hands-on art workshops, crafts, theatre, multimedia, dance, music, and more to the heart of the village. Admission is $5 and children under 2 are free. Purely Local Summer Market Ocean Park Community Hall, South Surrey 9 July, 10am-3pm Check out this market full of locally made products for little ones. $3 entry free but kids are free! Food, entertainment, swag bags to the first attendees and more. Great raffle and 20 local artisans. Butterfly Release Krause Berry Farms July 9, 1-3pm Help support the Langley Hospice Society & Langley Lodge by attending the annual butterfly release and fundraiser, with fun for the whole family and a beautiful day in nature. Ladner Village Market 48 Avenue, Ladner July 10, 24 & August 14, 28, 10am-4pm BC’s favourite outdoor street market is back for another year! Enjoy artisans, fresh produce, live music, crafters, food and more! Free admission, rain or shine.

Vancouver Pro Beach Volleyball Open Kitsilano Beach Park July 15-17 The event attracts over 20,000 spectators each year and offers activities for all ages, including a youth volleyball tournament, prize giveaways, interactive crowd activities, food and beverages, and some of the best beach volleyball action in North America. Free. Blessed Coast Music, Yoga & Arts Festival 60001 Squamish Valley Rd, Brackendale July 22-25 Three days of riverside camping, world-class live music, illuminating workshops, yoga classes with BC’s most inspired teachers, offerings from the community’s artisans and vendors, and a ceremony with our Indigenous hosts and elders. The fair has a kids zone with fun activities and entertainment and families can enjoy ethical, organic, local vegan and non-vegan food options. Meal plans, reserved camping and RV camping available. Kids under 12 are free. Country Fest Albion Fairgrounds, Maple Ridge July 23, 10am-10pm and July 24, 10am-6pm Don’t miss this fun festival that goes country! With the “More Than a Fair Deal” theme, this family friendly event is fun for the whole family. Don’t miss artisan demos, backyard farming information, all day entertainment, two stages, rides, animals, sheep shearing, markets and more. Free admission.

calendar Boundary Bay Airshow Boundary Bay Airport July 23 This airshow has something for everyone, both in the air and on the ground! Brightpath Open House Various Locations July 23, 10am-1pm Your child’s early education is important, so explore your options with the Brightpath Open House, with a chance to learn all about the Brightpath curriculum and their focus on physical literacy. Also learn about their app that lets parents be a part of their child’s day.

Champion of the Crescent Blackie Spit Park, Surrey July 24 This event features a 10km competitive race, 5km recreational race and a kid’s race, a corporate relay, and a SUP Exhibition and family activity zone. Please pre-register. Abbotsford Agrifair Abbotsford Exhibition Park July 29-31 Enjoy animal shows, rodeo, kids zone, trade show, main stage entertainment, demolition derby and midway rides!

Surrey Fusion Festival Holland Park, Surrey July 23 & 24 This free family event is the ultimate celebration of food, music and culture, featuring over 70 performances on four stages over two days.

Tsawwassen Sun Festival Winskill Park & South Delta Recreational Centre July 29-August 1 Enjoy a slow pitch tournament all weekend and on the Monday, check out the activities and entertainment at Winskill Park, as well as a parade down 56th Street. There will be rides for the kids and a beer garden for the adults!

Honda Celebration of Light English Bay, Vancouver July 23, 27 & 30 Vancouver’s beloved fireworks festival is returning for a 26th year at English Bay. This year’s festival includes the Shorefest concert series, the Concord Pacific Seawall Challenge and Vancouver’s largest Food Truck Festival, in addition to the world’s longest-running offshore fireworks competition from Netherlands, Australia, and USA.

7th Annual White Rock Princess Party Centennial Arena Hall, White Rock August 6 Interactive play date and live performance with Queen Elsa, Princess Anna and other fairytale princesses! There is also activities and crafts, face painting and hair decorating, cookie decorating, magic castle and more. This is a fundraiser put on by the White Rock Firefighters charity for children between the ages of two to ten.

2016 MRPM Country Fest Albion Fairgrounds July 23-24 Main stage entertainment, kids activities and performers. Vintage market, food, games, farm exhibitions and so much more! Admission is free.

Osprey Days 2016 Osprey Village, Pitt Meadows August 6, 11am-9pm Family fun for all. Join the music festival in beautiful Osprey! Vendors, family activities, beer garden, live music and much more! This is a free event.

Pirate Day Kilby Historic Site July 24 Ahoy there! Join us for a day of pirate fun for the kids! Dress in your best pirate costume to win a prize in our costume contest. There’ll be pirate games, crafts and of course, a treasure hunt!

Outdoor Movie at Krause Berry Farms Krause Berry Farm, 6179 248 St, Langley Aug 7, 8pm Berries and movies make the perfect match! Come to the farm for an outdoor movie at the new Fresh Family Fun Field!

Amazing Farm Scavenger Hunt Historic Stewart Farm House, Surrey August 13, 12noon-3pm Would you have made it as a pioneer? Find out as you team up with friends and family in this race around the farm. Show off your settler skills and test your knowledge of Surrey’s past for prizes and bragging rights. Register your team at the welcome table by 2pm to ensure your spot. 604.592.6956 North Delta Show and Shine North Delta Recreation Centre August 13, 10am-3pm Classic and vintage cars will be on the display. Fun for the whole family! Starry Night Deas Island Regional Park August 20, 7-9:30pm Experience the mystery of the park as it transitions from day to night. There will be drummers, activities, and a nature walk. 7th Delta Community Animal Expo Memorial Park, Ladner August 21, 10am-3pm Leashed dogs are encouraged and there are many activities for families to enjoy with their pet(s): games, amazing prizes, cooling station for dogs and food for the kids and treats for the dogs! Come see the adoption rescue groups, Raptor Ranch, OWL, Vancouver Aquarium Marine Mammal Rescue, Bacon-The-Pig, llamas and mini horses! Enjoy games and fundraising items for the Delta Community Animal Shelter’s Tollie Fund! Free. Abbotsford Airshow Abbotsford Airport August 12-14 Watch various aircraft in use and local and foreign militaries as they perform tricks in the sky! Please check the website for event schedule.

July/August 2016 29

last look Chalk Art Adventures! by Jodi Iverson

The long, hazy days of summer are the perfect time to share dreams and adventures with your family. This simple and engaging project is a fun way to open a dialogue about your kid’s dreams and goals, and perhaps even share a few of your own. Enjoy learning about your littles aspirations while getting creative, playing with chalk and building dreams!

materials • Sidewalk Chalk & imagination!

make it! • Open the discussion with your littles about their greatest dreams. Do they want to fly? Be an astronaut? Be king or queen of the world?! • Together, sketch out your ideas on scrap paper, or take inspiration from an existing masterpiece your child has created. Use social media sites to explore other ideas and options. • Make the dreams come to life using chalk sketches to outline your child’s body, and elaborate with drawings, colours and designs.

try this... • Take inspiration from your favourite superheroes, cartoon characters or literary favourites. • Surprise each other with an unexpected adventure! Position your partner and create around them. No peeking! • Crush the chalk with a little water and use paintbrushes for finer details.




plus tax



©2016 McDonald’s





Not valid with any Extra Value Meal, Happy Meal or other McCafé beverage. At participating McDonald’s restaurants in Canada.



WestCoast Families July August 2016, Special needs, women in business


WestCoast Families July August 2016, Special needs, women in business