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free! The Local Guide for Active Urban Families

kids arts

and the

may/june 2018

preschool & daycare • day camps

families westcoast

may/june 2018

• preschool/childcare • day camps • kids & the arts

on our cover...

Preschool/ Childcare Resource Listings

Kids In The Arts Dance vs. Sport

Kids In The Arts Boys & Dance

Kids In The Arts How Kids Benefit from the Arts





Camp Guide Day Camp Listings

Camp Guide Summer Learning

Camp Guide Camp Alternatives

Camp Guide Girls in Sport





Family Travel 28- Vancouver Island Roadtrip 30- Hidden Gems

WCF Feature Downtime

Kids & Performing Arts It’s time to get jazzed about boys in dance! We sat down with Arts Umbrella Dance Company member Jack Henderson for a behind-the-scenes look at the life of boys in dance.

34 Instagram: @westcoastfamilies

from the editor 6 7 8 32 36 30

From Our Family to Yours Contests WestCoast Finds WCF News Community Calendar Feeding Your Family Smarter Summer Snacking

next issue jul/aug Families with Special Needs • Summer Fun Early Bird Sign-up Fall Programs • Women in Business


from our family to yours

families westcoast

I clearly remember one day when I was about 10 years old, being dropped off for a single-day camp near my elementary school. I was excited and nervous to see what was in store, and I spent the day playing at a playground and doing simple crafts. Nothing fancy at all. Many years later, I can still remember the feeling of anticipation, and the experience of meeting new kids and being a part of something that felt special and unique.

Managing Editor Andrea Vance

Camps were not as common then as they are now, and were mostly supervised play in a school or community playspace. Now you can find a day camp for pretty much any sport, topic, or activity, and we love searching them out for you. In this issue, we’ve got a long list of day camps of all kinds, and the list continues online too!

Assistant Editor Bianca Bujan

Also in this issue, we talk about the benefits of Early Childhood Education, and provide you with a lot of options to help you find the perfect place for your preschooler. As many schools are being forced to reduce their arts programs, thankfully the opportunities for kids and the arts in out-of-school programs have exploded. Visual and performing arts classes are available in studios in every community and neighbourhood. We ask the question: Is dance a sport, or an art? And we explore the world of boys in dance, too. We talk about what makes art so important for a child’s development, and it’s not just to become the next prima ballerina or A-list actor. Whether it’s to find the perfect camp for your child this summer, or the perfect destination for your next family vacation, we’re giving you lots here to read and think about. Summer is just around the corner and we’re wishing you happy planning!

Publisher & Managing Editor

Contributing Editor Jodi Iverson Art Director & Layout Krysta Furioso Administration Jennifer Bruyns Accounts Receivable & Payable Jennifer Brule Advertising 604.249.2866 Published by National Families Network Publisher: Andrea Vance For distribution inquiries, please email

wcf presents

Kate Muker: an Evening with Dr. Shefali Struggle Less. Connect More. Transform your parenting.

Sunday May 27 Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage 2750 Granville Street Vancouver


Point Grey Fiesta The community’s annual start-of-summer event for families and friends.

June 22-24, 2018 8th Avenue and Trimble, Vancouver

For submissions to our community calendars, please email To share your feedback, please email Contributors Jennifer Bruyns, Bianca Bujan, Kelly Cleeve, Claire Newell, Alyssa Bauman, Michele Kambolis, Andrea Vance All contents copyrighted ©. Written permission from the publisher is required to reproduce, quote, reprint or copy any material from WestCoast Families Mailing address: 1215-C56 St. Box 18057 Delta, BC V4L 2M4 T 604 249 2866 | F 604 676 2802


Visit us online for new contests every issue!

Win A Day Out With Thomas Family Four Pack ($100 Value) Shakespeare Superfan Giveaway ($700 Value) In partnership with Bard on the Beach, we’re excited to offer our readers the chance to win a coveted spot in the Bard on the Beach Young Shakespeareans Summer Theatre Camps and Workshops, a Shakespearean-themed acting workshop designed especially for children. The lucky winner (between the ages of 8-13) will have the chance to learn from the very best in the theatre community by attending one of the following two-week, full-day workshops:

Romeo & Juliet from July 16-27 (9:30am – 5pm) A Midsummer Night’s Dream from Aug20 – Sept 1 (9:30am–5pm) The winner will also receive a pair of complimentary tickets to one of Bard on the Beach’s productions this year, plus a Young Shakespeareans t-shirt. This fantastic prize is valued at $700!

Day Out With Thomas™ provides the opportunity for children and their families to take a 20 minute ride on Thomas the Tank Engine™ and to meet Sir Topham Hatt™, the Controller of the Railway. Offering fun for the whole family, this exciting event includes a Thomas & Friends Imagination Station with Thomas-themed activities including stamps, temporary tattoos, hands-on arts and crafts, and a Thomas storytelling and video viewing area. There will be mini golf, mini rail rides, a bouncy castle, live entertainment and a large Thomas retail area. One lucky winner will receive a Family Four Pack of tickets, worth over $100! The Winner will have the choice between 15 departures times over the five days, running on May 19-21 & 26-27.

DAY OUT WITH THOMAS BIG ADVENTURES TOUR West Coast Railway Heritage Park, Squamish, BC Saturday May 19, Sunday May 20, Monday May 21, Saturday May 26, Sunday May 27 Train times at 9:30am, 10:30am, 11:30am, 1pm, 2pm, 3pm & 4pm

Deadline to enter: May 18, 2018

Deadline to enter: May 23, 2018

Enter at

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May/June 2018


westcoast finds

PlanetBox Lunch Box (Rover Model) Making lunches can be a taxing task. Whether you’re packing with wasteful wrapping, or washing dozens of tupperware containers on a daily basis, you’ll want to switch to this lunch storage solution that will make your job a little easier. With PlanetBox, the solution is simple. You can pack snacks, sandwiches and more in one easy-to-wash unit. The perfect marriage between bento box and dinner tray, these eco lunch boxes are easy to use, and totally awesome - for kids (and parents)! | $56

Rocket Foods Pure Oatmeal When you’re a busy parent on the go, eating a healthy breakfast and fuelling up with nutritious snacks to keep you moving throughout the day can seem like an impossible task. With Pure Oatmeal by Rocket Foods, you can quickly down a well-balanced brekkie before heading out the door. Available in 3 flavours, and made of pure oats and organic fruit, these easy-to-serve, good-for-you oatmeal pouches and cups will make a great addition to your daily dining routine. | $13 (6 cups)

TWELVElittle On-The-Go Backpack Stop dropping your bag or wrapping the straps around your suitcase handle during your travels and get a TWELVElittle On-The-Go Backpack instead. This sleek and stylish multi-functional backpack was designed with multitasking and travelling in mind, featuring a spacious main compartment with 5 organizational pockets, plus a separate opening for a fully-padded laptop sleeve. The back of the pack also features a zipper pocket with openings at both the top and bottom so the backpack can easily slide onto your luggage handle. | $188


TYME Iron Pro

Infant SunSprout Sun Hat

Too busy to beautify your tresses? The newly-released TYME Iron Pro is your quick-fix hair solution. With this perfectly pretty flat iron you can create virtually any style in 10 minutes or less. It features multiple heat settings for any hair type, automatic shut-off (no more stressing if you rush off and forget to unplug!), and professional titanium plates that heat up in seconds.

Tired of chasing flyaway sun hats that have been tossed by your toddler? Pick up an Infant SunSprout Sun Hat and rest assured that the sun-blocking top will stay on your tot. With a UPF 50+ sun rating, lightweight breathable fabric, quick release chin strap, and a crushable brim and neck cape for full coverage and easy storage. This is a must-have summer accessory for your tiny adventurer. | $230 | $30

May/June 2018


wcf resources in

child care & preschool Acorn Early Education Centre West Vancouver

Burnaby French Language Preschool Burnaby

Aves Early Education Centre Richmond

Burnaby Neighbourhood House Burnaby

Bramblewood Montessori Coquitlam Bright Eyes Academy Surrey Brightpath Kids Multiple locations Brightstart Children’s Academy Multiple Locations Brockton School North Vancouver


CEFA Core Education & Fine Arts A world leader in education for children ages 1-5 Multiple locations

Childgarden Preschool Childgarden Preschool & Discoveries is committed to providing an outstanding quality program that is welcoming, fun, exciting, stimulating, creative and safe. Port Moody

City of Surrey High quality, play-based preschool and registered programs that promote healthy growth and development throughout a child’s early years. Also the nature preschool program takes place outdoors and is fully supervised by certified ECE staff. Surrey

Cornerstone Montessori Surrey Counsel of Parent Participation Preschools Multiple Locations Creative Kids Montessori Vancouver

Creative Kids Learning Centres Multiple locations

Jewish Community Centre Preschool Vancouver

Elite Montessori Academy Vancouver

Kerrisdale Little Owls Preschool Vancouver

Garderie et Prematernelle les Moussaillons Richmond

Kinderheart Montessori Pitt Meadows

Granville House Montessori Vancouver Highlands Preschool North Vancouver

Little Koala Montessori Multiple locations Meta Montessori House Vancouver

Montessori Mes Petits Dedicated to providing an enriched environment that inspires and nurtures children’s natural love of learning as a life-long process. North Vancouver

My Whole Earth Academy Instilling a love of knowledge to produce innovative confident thinkers. Book your free visit now! Vancouver

May/June 2018


wcf resources in

child care & preschool SOAR Inclusive Preschool Richmond

West Point Grey Community Centre Vancouver

Sunny Gate Montessori Coquitlam

Westside Montessori Academy Vancouver

PJ Kids Club West Vancouver

Sweet Peas Cottage North Vancouver

Westside Montessori School Vancouver

Reach for the Stars Montessori Multiple locations

Vancouver Bilingual Preschool Vancouver

Write Choice Early Learning Centre Coquitlam

Roots and Wings Surrey

Vancouver Montessori Vancouver

Go to to find even more Early Childhood Education and Childcare Centres.

Smilestones Multiple locations

West Point Grey Academy Vancouver

North Star Montessori Inspiring a life-long love of learning in children. North Vancouver


preschools & daycare

Benefits of Preschool


hile parents may struggle with the decision of whether or not to send their children to preschool, there are many benefits beyond the childcare factor that can positively impact children by being in a learning environment at an earlier age. Here are some stats that demonstrate the added benefits of preschool for kids.

“The economic return to society down the line ranges between $1.50 and $3. And the benefit ratio for disadvantaged children [is] in the double digits.” - TD Special Report, 2012

“High-quality birth-to-five programs for disadvantaged children can deliver a 13% per child, per year return on investment through better outcomes in education, health, social behaviors and employment, reducing taxpayer costs down the line and preparing the country’s workforce for a competitive future.” - James J. Heckman,

“There is scientific evidence showing that experiences during the first five years of life have a material impact on economic and social success, including educational and career attainment, health and overall well-being.”

“Federal and provincial governments currently provide about $11 billion annually to early childhood education, but that’s lagging well behind what other developed economies spend.” - TD Special Report, 2012

“In Canada, a study by the Government of Alberta showed that children who are exposed to education earlier in life are more likely to do well in school and pursue further education, while less likely to drop out of high school.” - Early Child Development Mapping Project Alberta “$1 invested in early childhood is equivalent to $3 spent on school-aged children and $8 on young adults.” - James J. Heckman

May/June 2018 13

kids & the arts

Dance vs. Sport Dispelling The Extracurricular Divide by Bianca Bujan


arents of dancers have heard it many times. In casual conversation, other parents ask: “So what activities are your kids doing?” and when you respond with a list of dance classes, the enquiring friends continue with: “Oh, and are they doing any sports?”

There seems to be a great divide between parents when it comes to the extracurricular activities of their children. There are the sports parents - the ones who tirelessly transport their little ones to ice rinks in the wee hours of the morning, or stand under umbrellas on the edge of turf fields cheering on their mini soccer stars; and then there are the dance parents - the ones who ceaselessly carpool their tiny dancers to rehearsals, manoeuvring long manes into perfectly-pinned buns, and watching through two-sided windows as their children stretch, sweat and pirouette through complicated dance routines. Both groups of parents are equally as invested in their children, but the disconnect between parenting groups becomes inevitable as their children progress through their activities and more and more time is spent on the field or in the dance studio bonding with like-minded moms and dads.

There doesn’t seem to be any friction between the groups, they just coexist. What does turn this dichotomy into a heated debate though, is when dance and sport are compared as equal activities. Some believe that dance and sport are incomparable. They argue that dance is less strenuous, focused only on the individual, and less competitive than traditional sports. They view dance as an artform comparable to painting or playing a musical instrument. In sports, skill and measurable success are at the heart of determining whether or not an athlete is “great”. Unlike sports, skill alone does not define success for a dancer, as creative expression is equally weighted when determining the talents of a performer, and the line blurs when it comes to determining a “winner,” as the opinions of dance judges are partially subjective.


But dance is a sport, equally as team-building, physically-challenging and emulous. Yes dance is an artform, but dancers are both athletes and artists. While they may not appear to be working up a sweat as they glide gracefully across the stage, the physical exertion of a dancer is arduous. It takes a lot of core strength, muscle tone and stamina to make dancing look effortless. Many forms and levels of dance are competitive. Dancers learn choreography as a team and rely on each other to succeed when participating in dance competitions. Dance isn’t just about moving your body to the music, it takes a great deal of training, technique and talent. Just like perfecting a slap shot or a lay up, there are learned skills that take time to accomplish in dance. According to, sport is defined as: “An athletic activity requiring skill or physical prowess and often of a competitive nature.” Dance, then, quite perfectly fits within the confines of this definition. In 2005, two well-known dance reality shows hit the airwaves - So You Think You Can Dance, and Dancing With The Stars, shining a light on dance in a new, competitive, and physically-challenging way. While dance had mostly been seen by the public as a creative art performance, viewers were suddenly getting an inside look at the physically demanding athleticism required to make dance look so effortless - from the bleeding toes of prima ballerinas that are usually hidden behind their pointe shoes, to the career threatening injuries that have resulted when dancers have tried to push the limits and move their bodies in new ways.

In that same vein, viewers have also been exposed to the exhaustion and frustration faced by the competing celebrity sports athletes as they have tried to learn and perform choreography on the competitive stage. More than a dozen NFL players, and several Olympic medalists have taken to the stage to compete for the highly-coveted mirrorball trophy, and many have openly proclaimed how surprisingly grueling dance can be on the body. According to USA Today Sports, this season’s edition of Dancing With the Stars will be an all-athlete competition, featuring 2018 Winter Olympians Adam Rippon and Jamie Anderson - as well as former Olympic skater Tonya Harding, proving that the direct pairing of esteemed dancers and sports athletes is a winning combination for viewers - perhaps because people love to see the two categories, sport and dance, go head-to-head on the public stage. In many ways sport is a dance as well. Just as dancers practice their steps for performance days, football players plan and practice their plays for game days. Both train, practice, and plan their steps to achieve a main objective. When it comes to helping your children select their activities of choice, don’t discredit dance as a team sport or physically active option. Your kids will be exposed to the same peer bonding, competition, and physical activity as any other sport, and will reap the benefits of engaging in an activity that practices both athleticism and creativity - the perfect balance.

May/June 2018 15

kids in the arts

Boys & Dance Parents: It’s Time to Get Jazzed by Bianca Bujan


sually when I ask a teenage boy what he wants to do when he grows up, my query is met with a lackadaisical look, and a shoulder shrug. So when I sat down with Jack Henderson, a high school student and a new member of Arts Umbrella’s prestigious Dance Company, I half expected to receive the same level of apathy about his ambitions - but I was pleasantly surprised. With a professional jazz dancer and dance studio owner as a mother, one would assume that Jack was forced into the world of dance by duty more than by desire, but that definitely was not the case. Jack showed promise at a young age, revealing his natural gift of musicality and athleticism through dance parties around the house. He eventually took his talents to the studio, enrolling in hip hop and jazz classes at age 6, and he never looked back. While his passion and technique strengthened over the years, it wasn’t until Jack began to train with choreographer and dance instructor César Rubio Degollado, that he knew he had found his calling. “César was a big part of why I chose dance, it was great for me to see and learn from a male dancer growing up,” Jack shared about his earlier days in dance. But as Jack’s interest in dance grew, so did the pestering from his peers. “Grade 5-6 was a tough age for me, and I think it is for many boys in dance. It can be hard to stick with it and feel accepted at an age where your peers are making fun of you for dancing,” Jack shared on the challenges he faced as a dancer amongst his soccer and hockey focused friends. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for boys to quit dance during those elusive pre-teen years - if they even get to start dancing at all. “I have heard with my own ears, moms considering which classes to register their 5-year-old sons for at Arts Umbrella, and saying that they would love to register them in a dance classes but their husbands wouldn’t like it. It’s so shocking to hear that - especially in 2018,” shared Sally Hart, Manager of Dance Operations at Arts Umbrella. And for the boys who do dance, the difficulties don’t stop at the door. In an article shared on Huffington Post titled Tights, Tutus, and Relentless Teasing: Inside Ballet’s Bullying Epidemic, the author shares, “The statistics on boys, ballet and bullying are staggering. According to a study by dance sociologist Doug Risner, 93 percent of boys involved in ballet reported “teasing and name calling,” and 68 percent experienced “verbal or physical harassment.” Eleven percent said they were victims of physical harm at the hands of people who targeted them because they are boys who study dance.” In an attempt to eliminate the bullying and biases that still exist for boys in the dance world today, Arts Umbrella has developed a Boys Only Dance Program. “We have a vision for the future of dance and our society, where stigmas are eliminated for all genders, thereby unleashing the creative energy of all young dancers to pursue their love of dance,” reads the program’s web page. In the program, boys are encouraged to explore all areas of dance, surrounded by like-minded peers and male professionals. Best of all, all boys enrolled in the Boys Only Dance Program at Arts Umbrella receive an automatic 50% bursary.


For the boys who are considering quitting dance, Jack shared some advice: “It can be tough, but stick with it if it’s something you love to do. I’m so glad I did!” At the recommendation of the school director of the Dutch National Ballet in Amsterdam where Jack studied in the summer of 2017, Jack has recently taken the leap and moved to Vancouver from his hometown of San Francisco, to live on his own while studying in the Professional Training Program at Arts Umbrella, completing his high school courses remotely. When I asked him how he felt about missing out on his high school grad year, he shrugged and said, “That high school stuff really isn’t my thing. I know this is what I want to do so it’s worth it for me.” Jack loves learning partner work, but also really enjoys contemporary dance and the creativity of it all. He aspires to join either Ballet BC, or Hubbard Street Dance Chicago when he completes the Post-Secondary Program at Arts Umbrella, and is excited about his future career in dance. Says Jack’s mom of his continued success in dance, “I think the biggest highlight as a parent has been watching Jack flourish in the Arts Umbrella program artistically and physically, as well as making lasting friendships with people who live a life just like him.” When I asked Jack how performing on stage makes him feel, his eyes lit up and he sat taller in his seat. “There’s just nothing else like it. I still get nervous, but I know that’s where I want to be the most.”

wcf advertising partners in the arts To learn more about the arts for kids, and programs available, check out these amazing studios around the Lower Mainland: Arts Umbrella

Bard Education

Centre for Digital Media

Modern Music School

Green Apple

Tom Lee Music

Evergreen Cultural Centre

Suzy Birstein Art Camps

Driftwood Dance

Vancouver & Surrey Delta Coquitlam

Vancouver Vancouver Vancouver



Multiple locations North Vancouver

May/June 2018 17

kids in the arts

How do kids benefit from the arts? Just take a look at these facts.

10 skills kids learn from the arts Students who study art are 4 times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement and 3 times more likely to be awarded for school attendance. Arts and music education programs are mandatory in countries that rank consistently among the highest for math and science test scores, like Japan, Hungary, and the Netherlands.

Creativity Confidence Perseverance Focus Non-Verbal Communication Problem Solving and Decision-Making Historical and Cultural Knowledge Collaboration

New brain research shows that not only does music improve skills in math and reading, but it also promotes creativity, social development, personality adjustment, and self-worth. Multiple studies have concluded that curricular and extracurricular art studies and activities help keep high-risk dropout students in school.

Researchers find that sustained learning in music and theatre correlates strongly with higher achievement in both math and reading. Students who take four years of arts and music classes average almost 100 points higher on their SAT scores than students who take only one-half year or less.

Low-income students who are highly engaged in the arts are twice as likely to graduate college as their peers with no arts education. 72 percent of business leaders say that creativity is the number one skill they are seeking when hiring.


Accountability Open-Mindedness

May/June 2018 19

2018 camp guide part 2 : day camps Advertisers listed in red

performing/visual art


Arts Umbrella Vancouver & Surrey

BC SPCA Kids Camp Various Locations

Sasamat Outdoor Centre Belcarra

Bard on the Beach Vancouver

Beehaven Kids North Vancouver

SFU Camps Burnaby & Surrey

Burns Bog Conservation Society Delta

Soaring Eagle Nature School Vancouver

Camp Luther Mission Camp Pringle Shawnigan Lake Dolphin Kids Camp at Fraser Academy Vancouver Educating Towards Change Society Denman Island Fraser River Discovery Centre New Westminster Grouse Mountain North Vancouver Hazelmere Pumpkin Patch Surrey Loft Country Langley

Stanley Park Ecology Society Vancouver Stillwood Camps Lindell Beach Stream of Dreams Murals Society New Westminster UBC Farm Wonders Vancouver Urban Safari Surrey Vancouver Aquarium Kids Camps Vancouver VanDusen Botanical Garden Vancouver YMCA Camps of Greater Vancouver Various Locations

Bricks 4 Kidz Delta

North Vancouver Community Arts Council North Vancouver Pacific Dance Arts Vancouver Place des Arts Coquitlam

Camp Monarch North Vancouver

School of Groove Vancouver

Circus West Vancouver & Surrey

Staccato Burnaby

Driftwood Dance North Vancouver

Suzy Birstein Art Camps Vancouver

Evergreen Cultural Centre Various Locations

The Arts Centre Port Moody

Gateway Academy for Performing Arts Richmond

The Drama Class Surrey

Green Apple Art Center Vancouver H.O.W. Music and Arts Academy North Vancouver Leigh Square Community Arts Village Coquitlam Modern Music School Delta vancouver

Tom Lee Music Various Locations Tri-City School of Music Coquitlam UBC Word Wrestlers Vancouver West Point Grey Academy Vancouver

leadership and growth Build a Biz Coquitlam

OAC Camps Vancouver

Christian Urban Camps Burnaby & New Westminster

YMCA Youth Leadership Various Locations


Go to for more day and sleepaway camps for Summer 2018!

general fun camps


A Rocha Various Locations

Mulgrave Camp West Vancouver

Boost Camp at Fraser Academy Vancouver

Pear Tree Vancouver

Burnaby Village Museum Burnaby

PJs Kids Clubs West Vancouver

Chess2Inspire Association Various Locations

Science World Vancouver

Camp Squeah Hope

Resort Municipality of Whistler Whistler

SFU Camps Burnaby

CEFA Various Locations

Rocky Mountain Flatbread Co Vancouver

Coastal Kids Sechelt Summer Fun Day Camp Sechelt CoastalKidsSechelt/

City of Surrey Surrey

Royal BC Museum Victoria

Eagles in the Sky Vancouver

Spare Time Childcare Society Vancouver

JCC Camps Vancouver

Urban Academy New Westminster

Kids Zone Camp Langley, Aldergrove & Abbotsford

Westside Montessori Academy Vancouver

Collingwood School West Vancouver Daedalos Enrichment Vancouver Digital Media Academy Vancouver EcoDairy Abbotsford Finnegan Summer Vancouver

sports Canlan 8 Rinks Burnaby

North Shore Equestrian Centre North Vancouver

GEERing Up! Vancouver

Cliffhanger Climbing Various Locations

Origami Rhythmics Port Coquitlam

Genome Geneskool Camp Vancouver

Dragon Zone Paddling Club Vancouver

Phoenix Gymnastics Vancouver

High Touch Science Made Fun Vancouver & Victoria

Endless Biking North Vancouver

Pony Pals Riding Stables Delta

Langara College Camp Vancouver

First Steps Archery New Westminster

Richmond Aquatics – Watermania Richmond

Gord Haukas Tennis Camp Vancouver

Roman Tulis Soccer School multiple locations

Jericho Sailing Centre Vancouver

SFU Camps Burnaby

Vancouver All Stars Summer Baseball Camp Vancouver

Jump Gymnastics Vancouver

Sole Girls Multiple locations

Vancouver All Star Cheer Delta & Coquitlam

My Gym Children’s Centre Maple Ridge

Ultimate Soccer School Burnaby

Vancouver Hockey School Vancouver

Spirit of Math Richmond Summer at Southridge Day Camps Surrey The Centre for Digital Media Vancouver UBC Phenomenal Physics Summer Camps Vancouver UME Academy Various Locations Under the GUI Various Locations West Point Grey Academy Vancouver West Point Grey Community Centre Vancouver Young Entrepreneur Learning Labs Various Locations

West Point Grey Academy Vancouver West Van Soccer West Vancouver Windsure Adventure Watersports Vancouver May/June 2018 21

camp guide

Close the Learning Gap How To Avoid Summer Learning Loss by Andrea Vance


uring the summer holidays, it can be tricky to encourage your kids to continue learning. To help you keep your kids on track, we’re sharing some great ways to encourage your children to explore and learn - even when school is out.

Reading Get a library card and plan regular summer visits with the kids to replace the school library. Ask your local library about the Summer Reading Club, where kids receive weekly prizes for completing an allocated amount of reading time, or you can create a book club of your own and include your kids’ friends, and set some goals for books to read. As a family, you can also set aside time for reading together each day - even if it’s only for 20 minutes. Camps: Many libraries also offer day camps and scheduled activities. These are a great way to keep your kids occupied and learning through engaging exercises. Most camps will offer some form of reading component, whether it’s through a scavenger hunt, or reading instructions to learn a new game.

Writing Grab an empty journal and start writing about your summer adventures, or create stories based on experiences and your child’s imagination. Writing can take on so many forms! Challenge your kids to write their own book this summer, and ask them to create a story line, illustrations, and fill the pages with their creative ideas. Camps: Look for day camps that include writing opportunities. Creative writing can also be found in music, acting, and theatre classes, and science camps offer writing on observations and discoveries, too.


History and Culture Travel and adventure create curiosity, and provide so many learning opportunities about geography, history and culture. Make trips to local educational centres that will pique their interest, and learn something new as a family. Camps: Local museums and historical sites offer so many day camps, where learning opportunities are endless. Creative arts camps can also help kids learn about culture and the historical significances of the arts.

Wellness Get active and eat well to promote wellness skills. Go for bike rides and walks through forest trails together. Take the time to cook together, and find recipes to make, such as healthy muffins, cookies, and snacks to take on summer adventures. Head to local farmers’ markets to see what’s grown locally and how to prepare it.

Camps: Some specialty camps offer cooking and preparation classes so kids can learn more about the food they eat. Healthy can be a lot of fun, especially as kids learn about their well-being and nutrition. Best of all, these skills can be carried into the fall when they head back to school.

Science Get outside and plant a garden, or search up fun nature experiments you can do at home. The great thing about being outdoors is that you don’t have to worry about big messes - especially when there’s dirt involved! Enjoy messy outdoor play, and then let the rain wash it away. Camps: Outdoor adventure and farm camps are a perfect way to combine science and fun. Look for camps that keep the kids outside and exploring to learn in nature.

Choose a camp that both entertains and educates your kids, and they’ll stay on track during the summer months. For a list of educational camps, check out our guide at

Sports Even without organized leagues, kids can play sports all summer - whether it’s running in a game of tag at the park, or in a fun family baseball game. Grab a football and a group of people to create your own game of flag football! Pack a baseball bat, ball, and gloves, and bring them to a picnic spot, and challenge everyone to a game of 500. Biking can take your family to so many places, too, with no car or expensive gas required. Camps: There are many sports camps offered throughout the summer, and some offer multi-sports so you can try out different games and see what your child enjoys. Camps are a fantastic way to improve your skills, or to try a sport to see if your child wants to make a bigger commitment.

Personal Growth Summer is a great time to meet new friends while camping, travelling, or playing at the pool or park. This is one way that kids learn to grow and develop their social and emotional skills. Camps: Leadership camps provide kids with an opportunity to learn about themselves and how they can help people and the community around them. Camps at local organizations can also help kids to understand how they can get involved and contribute to their communities. There are also camps that offer ways to learn business skills, and explore their entrepreneurial spirit.

S.T.E.A.M. Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics. It’s all about being creative and finding learning opportunities in any space. In the forest kids can create forts, observe nature, and count trees. At the beach they can build sand castles, explore tidepools and collect shells. During travel and on rainy days, they can use their ipads and laptops to create games and use blocks and lego to make amazing creations. Camps: Many schools and learning centres offer camps in robotics, coding, and even lego building to stimulate S.T.E.A.M. in kids. Some specific camps focus on one or several aspects, and in many camps this type of learning is a beneficial by-product incorporated into creative play. Every camp offers kids a chance to learn through play, exploration, and creativity. Use this opportunity to find something new for your kids to experience this summer!

May/June 2018 23

camp guide

Camp Alternatives Think outside the tent! by Andrea Vance


e’ve all read posts and stories, and seen videos on the benefits of camp for kids. Free play, making new friends, and having new experiences to make memories that will last a lifetime. But not everyone has the same idea about camp for kids.

For some kids, their physical or mental limitations would prevent “normal” camp experiences from being possible… for others the thought of facing time away from family alone is too much. And for some families, the financial burden of camp is too much to cover. The good news is that almost all kids can have the positive experience of camp… you just have to look around a little to make it happen.

Family Camp

School groups

Many sleep away camps offer a week or two through their season that is dedicated to “family camp”. Mom and Dad (or just one) can come with their kid(s) to camp and share the experience together. Perfect for families who don’t have access to RV’s or tents and sleeping bags. Maybe a stepping stone for kids who want to try camp but need a little more family company the first time.

Many sleepaway camps offer school programs throughout the year for kids to try camp for a few days. The new school curriculums can be accommodated so teachers can use the camp as a learning experience as much as pure fun. This is also a great way for classes to work on team building, and to learn outside the typical classroom setting.

Try Camp Qwanoes, YMCA, and Camp Summit.

Try Evans Lake Forest Education Society, Sasamat Outdoor Centre.


Mom & Kids, Dad & Kids Camp What an amazing opportunity to get away with your kid(s) in an environment where you get to relax and enjoy, while the kids are having a blast. Everything is taken care of, even the cooking. This is a great opportunity for single parenting families to enjoy camp too. Try camps like Camp Fircom, Timberline Ranch and Stillwood Camp.

Community Centres and Facilities. In every community, local recreation centres and parks boards offer many different kinds of camps to keep kids busy in the summer. These camps tend to be more affordable, and offer a great range of activities in different age ranges. These centres also quite often provide before and after-camp care, which is perfect for parents who are at work. Museums, libraries and art galleries are also great places to try for local camps for kids. Try centres like West Point Grey Community Centre, Burnaby Neighbourhood House, YWCA, Burnaby Village Museum and Fort Langley Historical Site.

Day Camps With SO many options available, there is no doubt your family can find a day camp that works for your kids’ interests and ages. Daycamps are more affordable than sleepaway camps since they are not feeding and housing the kids. They also take away the aspect of being away from home, which may be difficult for some children. Take a look at our full listing of daycamps in this issue, and online where we have even more. Also, check the daycamp advertisers here that help make all this information possible to you.

Financial help Don’t let the price tag discourage you from signing up your kids for camp. Try support organizations like KidSport who can help with sports camps. Sleepaway camps like Camp Qwanoes, YMCA, Camp Fircom and others also offer aid for families unable to pay the full costs of camp. Always check with the camp you are interested in to see if they offer grants or discounted rates.

Special Needs There are many camps now that offer additional support and specialized facilities for kids with special needs. Not only do these camps offer a different level of care, which gives kids and parents comfort, but they also offer the kids a place where they are welcomed and see other kids facing similar challenges. Try Zajac Ranch, Easter Seals for sleep away camps. Also Pony Pals Riding Stables for day camps too.

May/June 2018 25

camp guide

Girls in Sport


hen they are young, we enrol our kids in all kinds of programs to keep them active, healthy, and well rounded. As they get older, they make more of their own choices and many times those programs slip away. This is especially true in sports, which is so valuable to so many aspects of a child’s development and well-being. By the time they are 14 years, twice as many girls have dropped out of sports as boys. Why? Social stigma, lack of access, safety and transportation issues, costs and lack of positive role models have all been cited as factors. Social Media and peer pressure often play a role. As do the pressures of school and other commitments.

Proof in numbers1 According to a study completed by the Canadian Association for Advancement of Women and Sport and Physical Activity (CAAWS) “Women in Sport – Fuelling a Lifetime of Participation”, the numbers give us a pretty clear message. • 41% of girls between the ages of 3-17 years do not participate in sport—and this jumps to 84% in adult women • Only 24% of all Athletic Director positions and 17 % of all head coaching spots in the CIS are female • Only 38% of senior staff and 29% of board members are female, among national and multisport organizations • A review of programming data from Canada’s primary national sports networks, concluding that of approximately 35,000 hours in programming in 2014, only 4% went towards the coverage of women’s sports, with over half of that percentage due to women’s professional tennis coverage and the Sochi Olympics • Only 5% of the total area of top national print media sports coverage researched was dedicated to women; While only 24% featured any coverage at all • The representation of women in sport commonly centres around femininity, rather than highlighting their athletic accomplishments. • By 10 years of age, if a girl has yet to participate in sports, there is only a 10% chance that she will be physically active as an adult.


• Entering adolescence, sport participation drops by 22% & school sport participation drops close to 26%

graduation rates, and leadership skills that can lead to achievement opportunities in school and at work.2


So, what can we do? There many ways that parents and other adults can help to encourage girls to participate, and stay in sports, especially through the crucial teen years.

I n 2015, the Canadian Association for Advancement of Women and Sport and Physical Activity conducted research, including surveys and interviews to understand better why girls are not as active in sports, especially as they age. A survey of 57 female leaders, of which 61% had over 20 years’ experience in sport revealed eight themes of challenges to female sport participation and leadership: 1. Predominant culture of sport (23.1%) 2. Financial implications (20.4%) 3. Access to sport on their terms (18.1%) 4. Alternate demands on time (14.3%) 5. Sharing the sport experience, i.e., limited female coaches & role models (11.6%) 6. Public perception (5.9%) 7. Peer/parental influence (3.8%) 8. The media (2.9%) It’s been proven statistically time and time again that sports for all kids will positively impact physical and mental health, and reduce the probability of young people engaging in risky behaviours such as unsafe sexual activities and drug use. Girls who stay active and participate in physical activity can prevent chronic diseases such as obesity and heart disease, lower rates of substance abuse, reduce risky behaviours, and decrease rates of teenage pregnancies. Plus overall it gives girls better mental health, higher self-image and confidence levels, improved teamwork and communication skills, increased

• Schedule time for sport in your family and recognize its importance for physical, mental, and social health; • Help girls’ confidence in sport by focusing on fundamental movements such as kicking, running, jumping, and catching before introducing sport-specific skills; • Encourage girls to join and continue to play, coach, and officiate a variety of sports from youth into adulthood; • Support elite female athletes by attending and watching events and by following them on social media; • Promote female sports news stories that focus on athletic skills, healthy living champions, accomplishments, and profiles positive role models; • Encourage the “next generation” of female sports enthusiasts by supporting an environment that is diverse, welcoming, and fun. If we all participate, we can push towards equality in sport, and show girls they CAN be a part of something bigger. 1 source: Canadian Association for Advancement of Women and Sport and Physical Activity (CAAWS) Women in Sport—Fuelling a Lifetime of Participation and Dairy Farmers of Canada 2 source: Women’s Sports Foundation “Her Life Depends On It III“

family travel

Vancouver Island Road Trip 7 must-see spots to add to your itinerary by Bianca Bujan


scape the peak-season congestion of the more popular travel destinations, and opt instead for the ultimate West Coast adventure by taking a family road trip through Vancouver Island’s southern coast. From a seaside sojourn in Sooke, to arborous adventures in Parksville, exploring BC’s lush landscapes and experiencing new outdoor activities with your kids is the best way to unplug and unwind while connecting with your family. Here’s how to enjoy an epic journey through the lower half of Vancouver Island by car.

Start with seaside adventures in Sooke.

Gear up and set out on an exciting pedal-powered Hobie kayak tour with West Coast Outdoor Adventure (, a fast and stable outrigger than can be easily propelled by riders of all ages. Glide through the crystal clear waters and enjoy sightings of the surrounding marine life, including seals, jellyfish, and sometimes whales and orcas that find their way into the Sooke Basin. Take a more expansive wildlife tour aboard a Sooke Harbour fishing boat, and sail down the Sooke Harbour and into the open waters of the neighbouring Juan de Fuca Strait. Float by a thriving ocean-surface oyster farm, spot whales, and take in the breathtaking scenery on a blissful boat journey, and get a taste of the area’s wild side by water.

Only an hour’s drive from the Swartz Bay ferry terminal, Sooke is the best spot to start your round-the-island tour. Situated on the southern tip of Vancouver Island, and recognized as the gateway to the Pacific Marine Circle Loop, Sooke is a popular starting point - but it’s much more than just a pass-through town.

Stop in at Sooke Potholes Provincial Park during your stay in Sooke, and enjoy water play in a whole new way! This popular day-use destination is a favourite with both locals and visitors, offering clean and clear pools that puddle in the naturally-carved bedrock of the Sooke River. Watch waterfalls weave wildly down the canyon walls, and stop for a picnic before heading to your next stop. Spend your days in Sooke at sea, and get up-close-and-personal with the rugged waters and rowdy marine life that dabbles the shores of this coastal town. Stroll down the wooden pathways of the Sooke Harbour Marina and spot silly seals that slap, spit and spin, waiting to catch droppings from the fishing boats that fill the surrounding boat slips.

Where to stay in Sooke: Settle into a family-friendly suite at the Sooke Harbour Resort & Spa (www. - a spacious and sleek oceanfront accommodation featuring fully-equipped (and nicer-than-home) kitchens, full-sized bedrooms, and communal hot tubs for end-of-day soaks. For large families or small groups that enjoy their own personal space, book the 4-bedroom, 2-level penthouse suite, which comes with a pool table, and extra space to relax.

Getting There Start with a fresh-air ferry ride from Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay, and return through Nanaimo on the Departure Bay to Horseshoe Bay sailing. BC Ferries ( offers steady sailings throughout the day to suit your scheduling needs, and if you book your stay through BC Ferries Vacations (, you can enjoy some savings too! Check out the “Parksville Retreat Sunrise Ridge Waterfront Resort” package to save big on your southern island getaway.


Spot more seaside wildlife with a stop-in at French Creek Harbour, where you’ll spot piles upon piles of sea lions sunbathing on the floating logs of the marina. Stay and watch as they leap on and off the barges, bark to each other playfully, and splash and play in the harbour.

Take the scenic route. While many roadtrippers will opt for the straight-through coastal route of the Trans-Canada Highway, the Pacific Marine Circle Loop (which connects Sooke to Duncan through Port Renfrew and Lake Cowichan) is a must-see scenic route to explore. Weave through tree-lined, single-lane roads and play ride-and-seek with your kids, counting roadside waterfalls, deer, and other forest wildlife along the way. If you take the scenic route, you’ll arrive in Parksville from Sooke in approximately 3.5 hours.

Play all day in Parksville. Known for its postcard-perfect beaches, Parksville is the ideal summer spot, but there’s so much more to see and do! Head to Coombs Old Country Market and browse the massive market, featuring a wide variety of unique toys, gifts, and international foods. Gaze at the infamous Goats on the Roof, nosh on mouthwatering fine Italian cuisine at Cuckoo’s Trattoria and Pizzeria, and satisfy your sweet tooth with an ice cream cone or a drool-worthy doughnut at Billy G’s Doughnuts. Snap photos in a sea of sky-high statues, browse books at the Cozy Corner Bookstore, or shop the boutiques. You can spend a whole day in this quaint town!

Head to Horne Lake Caves ( for a subterranean spelunking adventure that is sure to fascinate explorers of all ages! Take a self-guided multi-cave tour through the site’s pristine and untouched underworld, or go hardcore with a five-hour extreme cave rappel through the “Jewel of the Park”, where adventurers rappel down a 7-story waterfall and marvel at magnificent crystal formations. If caving isn’t your cup of tea, the park is still a beautiful area to stroll and explore. Where to stay in Parksville: Settle in at the Sunrise Ridge Waterfront Resort (, where you can enjoy a sizable suite in a serene setting surrounded by beaches, mountains, lakes and rivers. Take a dip in the heated outdoor pool, cook up a dinner in your luxurious kitchen, stroll along the 7.5 kilometers of sandy shoreline, and then cozy up and wind down with a drink by the fire.

May/June 2018 29

family travel

Hidden Gems The 5 Best Hidden Travel Destinations In BC by Claire Newell, Travel Best Bets


hen we’re planning a trip, the first destinations that come to mind are the popular tropical spots. But the perfect trip may be where you least expect it, hidden under the radar in your own backyard. Sometimes the perfect getaway is only a few hours away, just waiting to be discovered. Keep an eye out for these hidden gems, located right in our beautiful province of BC.

1) Summerland If a lakefront getaway is what you’re looking for, consider a trip to Summerland in the beautiful Okanagan. Located between Peachland and Penticton, the area is famous for its “bottleneck drive”, a system of roads connecting a large number of wineries. Summerland is home to one of Canada’s largest wine industries, with numerous world-renowned wineries and vineyards connected along bottleneck drive. However, don’t think that this a spot that only adults can enjoy. The sandy lake beaches and Kettle Valley Steam Railway offer plenty to keep young ones entertained and happy, making it a great destination for multi-generational families. Whether you visit Summerland for the sandy beaches, to enjoy some wine touring, or to visit the orchards, there is something fun to do for everyone in the family. You can swim the waters of Okanagan Lake and have a picnic on the beach, visit the many local art galleries, or better yet, see the work of the artists in their own studios. You can even get the whole family together to do something more active, such as hiking, or mountain biking the trails that surround the town. The best part though, is that Summerland gets more spring and summer sunshine than anywhere else in Canada, and it stays warmer throughout the


evenings compared to neighbouring cities such as Penticton. The average temperature throughout the summer months is between 17C and 21C. My favourite place to stay is the Summerland Waterfront Resort, for its relaxed style, range of amenities, and convenience for the whole family. Soak in the sun and the views (and the wine) this Summer in this spectacular lakeside town.

2) Pender Island If a quiet family getaway is what you are looking for, then my recommendation is a trip to Pender Island. This island is actually one of my favourite places to visit in the province. It serves as a beautiful and welcomed break from city life with easy access by BC Ferries. If you really want to maximize your stay, there are also seaplanes that can get you from Vancouver to the Gulf Islands, arriving in less than half an hour. Pender is known for their array of outdoor activities, such as fishing, boating, scuba diving, wildlife viewing, camping, and more. The whole family can find something to enjoy in the fresh air. If you’re staying overnight, consider heading to the South Island to Poet’s Cove Resort & Spa. The premier luxury resort of the Southern Gulf Islands, Poet’s Cove is perfect for families thanks to their private marina and villa-style accommodations. Situated on a secluded bay, this is the perfect spot to relax and take in the ocean views and sunsets.

3) Whistler I know what you’re thinking: How is Whistler a hidden gem? But most people only think of it as a winter destination! Summer trips often get overlooked despite everything Whistler still has to offer in the off-season. If you’re feeling adventurous, rent a bike and head up the mountain for some

downhill biking, or try out ziplining through the forest. If that sounds a little too adventurous for you, bike the trails or paths around the lakes and town instead. Another option is to explore one of the hundreds of hikes that offer breathtaking views. A popular trail heads over to the turquoise waters of Joffre Lake, but a lesser-known favourite of mine is Iceberg Lake, which can be found at the top of Skywalk Trail. If relaxing is more your speed, there are many lakes and pools to choose from where you can do as much or as little as you want. Although you can always just hangout on the sand, younger visitors are going to love all of the water activities available. Paddleboard, sail, canoe, or float around the lakes, or join a kayak tour down the River of Golden Dreams. I always prefer to stay close to the action of the village, where there are several hotels to choose from, such as the Delta, Westin and Hilton. From the village, there are shuttles or bike paths that lead to the lakes and trails, so you won’t ever need to pull out your car.

4) Savary Island Savary Island is a beach getaway paradise, perfect for those looking for an adventure. The island is a short and frequent water taxi ride from Lund, located on the Sunshine Coast. It can be bit difficult to get to if you are coming from Vancouver, but once you’re there, you’ll see why it’s worth the trip - especially when the more accessible islands are in peak tourist season during the summer months. Savary Island offers gleaming white sand beaches and stunning ocean and mountain views. But most amazingly, due to the warm southern tide, it also offers the warmest water north of Mexico. There are plenty of cabin rentals, but if you’re looking for a hotel check out the Savary Island Resort. The resort offers modern suits that are only steps away from the beach. Consider heading over during Savary Stock, a local music festival that’s fun for all ages! This is an amazing getaway if you’re trying to get your children off their devices and spend some quality family time outdoors, as the island is only powered by generators. The only cars on the island are owned by the locals, so most visitors get around by bike. Be prepared for some exercise, and remember to check if your cabin rental has a generator or propane for you!

5) Radium Hot Springs Radium Hot Springs (also known as just Radium) is a village of under 1,000 residents, located in the East Kootenays, just an hour away from Banff. Located on the “warm side of the Canadian Rockies”, it’s a small town that is big on hospitality and old-fashioned charm. Here you’ll find the Purcell and Rocky Mountain ranges, as well as national parks, wildlife, horseback riding, golf courses and of course, the natural mineral pools. The odourless hot springs are surrounded by natural rock walls, so you really can’t miss relaxing in these gorgeous natural thermal pools that are rejuvenating in every sense of the word. Hopefully these beautiful BC destinations give you some inspiration for a quick-and-easy family getaway this summer. The bonus of close-by vacations is that you can take more than one! Claire Newell is a travel expert, author, travel consultant on Global BC and president of Travel Best Bets by Jubilee Tours and Travel. May/June 2018 31

wcf news >> Pacific Medical Law Offers Janna Epp Bursary To Support Families Living With Cerebral Palsy In honour of Janna Epp, a young girl with cerebral palsy who passed away in 2012, Pacific Medical Law has established an annual bursary, awarding a selected recipient with a donation of $5,000 to help with care, therapy, and recreation for families who are living with cerebral palsy. Each year, applications are submitted for consideration, and a recipient is selected by Janna’s mother, who along with members of the Pacific Medical Law team, takes the time to read the stories of parents who need assistance for providing specialized care, support, and equipment for their children who are faced with the challenges of cerebral palsy. Throughout the year, Pacific Medical Law also continues to support families by contributing their time and resources to the Cerebral Palsy Association of BC. Applications for this year’s bursary are due by July 2, 2018, and the recipient will be selected on July 31, 2018.

>> CBC Vancouver Launches Its First-Ever Science Fair This year, students in grades 6 and 7 will have the opportunity to participate in the first-ever Science Fair hosted by CBC Vancouver. To apply, students are invited to submit a 100-word hypothesis sharing their concept for the fair. Entries will be judged based on creativity, originality, and incorporation of the themes environment and/or technology, as well as the realistic possibility of execution, and CBC staff, including CBC senior meteorologist and seismologist Johanna Wagstaffe, will select the top 30 submissions to participate in the Science Fair. The judging panel includes Wagstaffe and Science World’s Manager of Partnership Development & Science Promotion Magda Byma. Prizes will be awarded during the fair, with the grand prize including a trophy, a $750 gift card from Best Buy, and a spot in one of Simon Fraser University’s Science Al!ve Summer Camps. In addition, Johanna will feature the winner’s project on her CBC TV segment Science Smart. Visit CBC Vancouver on Hamilton Street on May 27, 2018 to browse the top 30 projects selected to participate in the Science Fair.

>> Join Canada Learning Code For National Girls Learning Code Day On May 12, 2018, Canada Learning Code will be hosting a national initiative that will bring young girls aged 8-13 together to learn how to code and build projects using their newlylearned skills. The event will be held locally in both Vancouver and Burnaby, and the girls will join over 3,000 other young girls who will be participating in the same initiative in other locations around the country. Participants will learn how to use technology to create positive change, how to better explain the game development process, how to apply personal interests and skills within the game industry, how to work with a team to find creative solutions to problems, how to create a collaborative video game from scratch, and how to use the tools, programs, and language learned to continue to code. Technology is a powerful tool that can be used to change the world. Give your girls a head start and start the learning process now.

>> The Vancouver Aquarium Celebrates The Coast With A City-Wide Scavenger Hunt And Special Offer For Locals Until May 16, 2018, the Vancouver Aquarium is inviting locals to celebrate life on the coast with a 15% off discount on pre-purchased online admission tickets. Tickets will also qualify for fast-track entry into the Aquarium. As part of this coastal celebration, the Vancouver Aquarium will also be hosting a city-wide scavenger hunt, where participants will have the opportunity to win a chance to participate in private animal encounter experiences. For four weeks, clues on the Aquarium’s social channels will point to secret locations in and around the city where hidden envelopes can be found. The first person to find the envelope and post a photo with it on social media tagging @vanaqua will win an encounter. A total of four encounters will be awarded during the campaign. Celebrate life on our coast with the Vancouver Aquarium, win big, and save!



wcf feature

Down Time 5 Ways to Help Your Child Unwind and Recharge This Summer Break by Michele Kambolis


ith school doors soon closing for summer, parents are left wondering just how to make the most of this precious time. While some pack in sports camps and even summer tutoring, others question whether there should be any plan at all. You’ll easily find parents on both sides of the debate.

As you consider your deep desire for that sweet summer balance, consider the following in your plans and intentions:

1) Get Your Hands Dirty With the over-focus on technology, many children have lost the essential, brain-supporting work of play – and play is indeed their work. They are calling on us to show up from a playful, non-anxious and conscious state of being. There is joy in play; where there is joy, anxiety cannot exist. So, get down and speak their native language, where toys are your words and play is your palette. If that’s too hard to authentically pull off, try de-stressing together with animal yoga, building a worry wall with sticky notes, or playing a board game.

2) Learn About Mindfulness A life practice of mindful attention and reflection is hands-down the most powerful tool we have to cultivate a family ecosystem of well-being. It also helps kids relax. When we connect through active, open attention on the present and live mindfully, as a non-judgmental observer, we can access the separation, patience and expansive state of being that supports heartcentered parenting. It is the antidote to anxiety. All it requires is sitting and quieting the mind (which is much easier said than done!). Persuading children to sit in contemplation for any period of time can be a challenge. Here is one trick that might help: Invite kids to sit on an imaginary train. Tell them to close their eyes and turn their internal spotlight on the scenery going by. Notice that the scenery is full of images, thoughts, and feelings. Ask them to notice those thoughts with no judgement at all. The longer they sit on the train the less busy their minds will become.

3) Move To Relax Getting busy with our bodies is one of the most powerful buffers from the harmful impact of stress. Summer is a natural time to get a move on. The surge in feel-good neurochemicals not only boosts our immune system, it helps us to feel less stressed overall. Add the great outdoors to the mix, and you will have doubled down on the benefits. Studies show we’re happier and more relaxed when we’re in natural environments than when we are indoors.

4) Find A Furry Friend This is summer happiness homework that most children will easily buy into: spending some time with a pet. One study by Dognition, an organization founded by Duke University researcher and cognitive scientist Brian Hare, found pet ownership to be strongly connected to increased well-being.


Researchers found that the act of petting a dog decreases blood pressure and increases dopamine, prolactin and oxytocin, all hormones associated with happiness and bonding, as well as beta-endorphins, which are associated with relaxation and pain relief. Snuggling a furry friend causes a pleasure surge that’s on par with finding money, eating chocolate, and looking at pictures of smiling babies.

5) Discover Down Time Unstructured down time is one of the greatest gifts (and challenges) that we can offer our kids over the summer. It’s when they discover new passions, talents and learn to structure and regulate themselves. Their imagination flourishes and relaxation comes naturally as they find their authentic voice, un-imposed by adult expectations and agendas. It’s a time when children can be in control, relax and maybe even uncover their dreams. Summer can and should be a time of meaningful, mindful activity, and of repose and reflection. Finding that balance is the key to a summer that is not only restorative for both kids and parents, but provides long-lasting benefits into the new school year and beyond. Michele Kambolis is a 20-year veteran child and family therapist, acclaimed author, and parenting expert. A MA/PhD (Cand.) in mind-body medicine, Michele combines her knowledge and passion for integrative healing to support parents and children through their challenges.

the art of

free play

“Play builds the kind of free-and-easy, try-it-out, do-it-yourself character that our future needs� - James L Hymes Jr.

Free play feeds their imagination. Play helps shape their personas.

Play boosts physical development.

Play with others teaches teamwork and good sportsmanship.

Play advances learning. Playing promotes social skills.

PLAY MAKES KIDS HAPPY! Play develops key motor and athletic skills. Play builds confidence and imagination.

May/June 2018 35

community Arts Umbrella - Expressions Theatre Festival Waterfront Theatre, Vancouver May 17 - 26 From the whimsical fun of Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, to the frontier hijinks of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!, this year’s festival boasts a bevy of beloved theatre classics, reimaginings, and an original new work that highlights such topical themes as self-image, family dynamics, and gender roles. BLOOM, Abbotsford Tulip Festival 36737 North Parallel Road, Abbotsford Daily until mid May, 9am - dusk This outdoor festival offers visitors a chance to marvel at 10 acres of rainbow-coloured fields of flowers, featuring more than 2.5 million tulips in a vivid display of breathtaking beauty. Ticket prices range from $5-$15. Family Day at Southlands Heritage Farm Southlands Heritage Farm, Vancouver May 1, 11am - 3pm Enjoy an afternoon on a working farm in Southlands. There will be a spring market, music, pony rides, a Southlands-wide scavenger hunt, pizza made in a cob oven, and more. Plus, meet the bees, pigs, goats, chickens and ducks on a guided tour of the farm! The Lawyer Show 2018: The Drowsy Chaperone Waterfront Theatre, Granville Island May 3-5, 8pm Each spring, Vancouver’s legal community comes together to create this high-spirited event and a valued tradition, The Lawyer Show is a fundraiser for two of Vancouver’s most cherished theatre institutions: Carousel Theatre for Young People, and Touchstone Theatre. Home Show & Family Fest Planet Ice, Maple Ridge May 4-6 This show is all about you – your home, your life, your family. With more than 375 exhibitor booths on site, you’ll find everything you need to renovate, decorate and landscape your home. Plus, look for great stage shows, hands-on activities and amusements. Single tickets are $4 and $7 for families.


Shift Handmade Spring Fling Market 9400 208 Street, Langley May 5, 10am - 4pm Come check out this selection of local, handmade, artisan, crafty goodness just in time for Mother’s Day! 26th Annual Fingerling Festival with Bobs and Lolo! Port Moody Recreation Complex & Noons Creek Hatchery, Port Moody May 5, 11am - 3pm This iconic environmental festival provides an opportunity for children to help release thousands of young chum salmon into Noons Creek, to help these fish begin their four-year journey at sea, and to visit the hatchery with its fish-rearing pond and restored wetland. Bobs & Lolo will be back again this year to give performances at 11:30am & 1pm in the arena. Free, fun, family event! Annual O.W.L. Open House 3800 – 72nd Street, Delta May 5 & May 6, 10am - 3pm This event allows you to get a behind the scenes look of one of the busiest raptor rehabilitation centres in Canada. 100% of proceeds are put towards food, medical supplies, cage upkeep, and facility growth. This is a great opportunity to help O.W.L. and their dedication to the wellbeing of raptors and getting them back to the wild. 1st Annual Langley Baby Day Church in the Valley, Langley May 7, 10am - 1pm An opportunity to gather information and resources available for you and your baby! There will be guest speakers, a marketplace, activities and door prizes at this free event for families with babies born in 2017 & 2018. Please RSVP per adult attending. Blooms & Bubbly Place des Arts, Coquitlam May 11, 7pm - 9pm Create your own tabletop floral art from fresh flowers and learn about floral arranging. Enjoy complimentary tapas and sip a glass of bubbly while you design, snip and arrange. Please bring your own pruning shears and wire cutters. Tickets: $76/person or 2 for $142.

National Girls Learning Code Day Traction on Demand, Burnaby & Amazon, Vancouver May 12, 1pm - 5pm This national initiative brings young girls ages 8-13 together to learn how to code and build projects while doing so. They join over 3,000 young girls across the country doing this on the same day. 19th Annual Country Market Hall’s Prairie Elementary School, Surrey May 12, 10am - 3pm Hall’s Prairie Elementary is excited to be hosting the 19th Annual Country Market School Fair! Enjoy live music, food, a huge garage sale, crafter’s market, raffle/50-50, silent auction, games, prizes, and more! KPU Science Rendezvous Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Langley Campus May 12, 11am - 3pm The Kwantlen campus will be transformed into a science and arts festival. The theme this year will be ‘Full STEAM ahead!’ Attendees can participate in hands-on experiments, chemistry magic shows, music workshops, design stations, interactive science labs, dancing fire, live bug races, flower labyrinth walks, and more! Free for the public. The Blanket-Share Exhibition Visual Space Gallery, Vancouver May 11 - 13, 12pm - 5pm This is a unique event, where exquisitely hand-sewn blankets from Mi Soo Park will be on sale, with partial proceeds going to support BC Children’s Hospital. Expressions Theatre Festival Waterfront Theatre, Vancouver May 17 - 26 Arts Umbrella celebrates gifted young artists boasting a bevy of beloved theatre classics, reimaginings, and an original new work that highlights such topical themes as self-image, family dynamics, and gender roles.

calendar Royal Canadian Family Circus Various locations throughout the Lower Mainland May 17 - June 10 The magnificent Big Top showcases a circus tradition that goes back to medieval times for 33 amazing shows, including the High Wire, Flying Trapeze, Platform Motorcycle Cyclone and much more. Fort Langley Beer and Food Festival Fort Langley National Historic Site May 19, 12pm - 5pm Enjoy live music, Fraser Valley craft breweries, local food vendors, and much more in a beautiful outdoor setting. Must be 19+ to attend. Royal Victorian Party Historic Stewart Farm, Surrey May 20, 11am - 3pm All hail her Majesty, the Queen! The whole family can enjoy this regal event with live dancing, birthday cake and a chance to meet the woman who had a whole era named after her – Queen Victoria. Future kings and queens are encouraged to dress the part. Surrey International Children’s Festival Surrey Arts Centre & Bear Creek Park, Surrey May 24 - 26 This festival inspires young hearts and minds to greater possibilities and celebrates our rich cultural heritage through performing and visual arts experiences. Access to the site and parade are free, while most performances and activities are ticketed. Ladner May Days Memorial Park, Ladner May 25 - 27 Kids can enjoy carnival rides (half price on Friday!), food trucks, live entertainment, and a parade on Sunday. There is a beer garden for the adults. www.ladner Art After Dark Place des Arts May 26, 7pm - 9:30pm Take part in a variety of arts activities just for teens including a hip-hop dance, painting, and creating animated flip books using post-it notes. Additionally, hang out in a chill room and enjoy other activities, snacks and music. (Ages 13-17)

Zili: Women’s Preventative Health Conference Saturday May 26, 2018 West Building, Vancouver Convention Centre Bringing together a community of over 300 patients, physicians, and allied healthcare professionals for a full day women’s preventative healthcare conference. Evidence-based presentations and discussions about the mind-body connection of healthy living, including mindfulness, nutrition, health screenings, and ways to improve your overall health proactively. An Evening with Dr. Shefali Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage, Vancouver BC May 27, 6:30pm - 8:30pm Dr. Shefali will share her radically different approach to parenting, one that has transformed the lives of so many families. Whether you have a baby or a teen, she will help you discover a new path to parent without fear or anxiety, learn to end conflict, and motivate your children through connection. Veg Expo Vancouver Convention Centre May 27, 10am - 5pm Veg Expo is Canada’s premier sustainable, vegan and vegetarian event, featuring over 200+ local and international exhibitors promoting their edible and lifestyle products. Vancouver International Children’s Festival Granville Island, Vancouver May 28 - June 3 Enjoy spectacular performances from around the globe. Acrobatics, puppetry, theater, music and lots of arts activities. Tickets available online. Tinypreneurs 2nd Annual Event 788 Quayside Dr, New Westminster June 2, 11:30am This event, a fun marketing fair for children, will teach them about advertising and promotion, so they can use those skills to promote their own businesses in the future. This whole fun learning experience will allow children and their entire families to explore and embrace the benefits of entrepreneurship from an early age, as well as showcase their talent and creativity.

RBC Race for the Kids Queen Elizabeth Park, Vancouver June 3, 9 - 11am RBC Race for the Kids will host runners and walkers of all ages and abilities on a scenic 2km or 5km Fun Run, followed by a carnival celebration. Pricing ranges from $0-$45. A Magical Evening WorkSafe BC Auditorium, Richmond June 16, 7pm Enjoy an evening of magic, music and laughter. There will be refreshments and a silent auction in order to raise funds for the organization “We Charities” and as well continued funding for an account at the Vancouver Foundation. BC Highland Games & Scottish Festival Percy Perry Stadium, Coquitlam June 16, 8am - 7pm “Come to the Games at the End of the Train” Take the Skytrain Evergreen Line to the last stop for a full day of piping, drumming, singing, dancing, whisky tasting, British food, cultural displays & children’s activities. Tickets available online or at the gates. Point Grey Fiesta Trimble Park, Vancouver June 22-24 This annual start-of-summer event for families and friends. Starting with a Saturday parade on West 10th Av, the celebration continues in Trimble Park with stage performances, activities and exhibitors. Carnival rides in Trimble Park operate from Fri-Sun. 5th Annual Rachel’s Ride Derby Reach Regional Park, Langley June 23 Rachel’s Ride is a community bike ride created to benefit the Wellspring Foundation for Education’s work in Rwandan schools. North Delta Family Day 2018 North Delta Community Park June 24, 11am Come out to watch the parade full of community organization, cars and floats, bands, and people in costume. After the parade the festivities continue for the rest of the afternoon.

May/June 2018 37

feeding your family Smarter Summer Snacking by Alyssa Bauman,

Summer is just around the corner! The sun is out, everyone is shining, and the energy is different. We’re approaching a season that promises way less structure, and hopefully more freedom to play. Whether it be packing for your next big trip, unpacking from yesterday’s day trek, or taking the adventure to your neighbourhood park, be sure to keep food on hand. We laugh about it in my house, but don’t you sometimes feel like a walking grocery store for your kids? The minute you get in the car, on the bike, on the road, or arrive at home after a day of adventure, someone is always hungry. Active families on the go are always in need of smarter, more nourishing snacks to keep not only the hunger (and temper tantrums) at bay, but snacks are also paramount in keeping kids primed, fuelled, and ready to thrive. Nutritious snacks are just as important as healthy meals, so make them count. Here are some tips to help you snack smarter during the warmer summer months. Satisfy those salty cravings. Mineral rich sea salt does a better job of curbing those salty snack cravings than a bag of chips, which will leave you feeling bloated, tired, thirsty and wanting more. Seaweed, kale chips, and edamame are some of my favourite crowd-pleasing snacks that not only satiate the cravings, but also help your body to restore its missing minerals.

Sweet Snacks • Perfect Protein Smoothie, or any smoothie on • Banana-hemp sushi - this could be my all-time favourite snack! • Green Smoothie Dates - stuffed with almond/nut/seed butter, and sprinkled with cinnamon • Banana and nut butter on 100% sprouted whole grain wrap • Sliced apples sprinkled with cinnamon • LARA Bars • Nuts and dried fruit (make sure there’s no added sugar) Salty Snacks • Edamame • 100% organic corn chips and guacamole and salsa • Hummus, black bean dip, or white bean dip and veggie sticks • Air-popped popcorn with nutritional yeast sprinkled on top Kale Chips This is a snack that everyone loves! It’s easy to make, and so incredibly tasty. Ingredients

Incorporate more fruits and veggies into your snacks. It’s a no-brainer, I know, but who doesn’t need a reminder. Vegetables such as carrot sticks, cucumber chips, and red pepper slices, are low in calories and nutrient dense. Plus, they’re super portable. They also fill you up faster and for longer because of their high fiber content.

• 2 large heads of organic kale (or more, they go fast), stems removed • 1 teaspoon sea salt • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast (a nice added dose of Vitamin B and protein) • Olive oil

Dig the dip. Entice them with a creamy hummus, guacamole, almond butter, or yogurt dip. Do what you can to keep them snacking on produce, and encourage them to eat their fruits and veggies first. Then they can indulge in the less healthy snacks. Chances are, they’ll eat less treats after filling up on the healthy stuff.

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Read the labels. The first three ingredients on the label matter most, as they are the most abundant. Avoid any product that lists sugar early in the list of ingredients. Question ingredients that you can’t pronounce or define. Don’t be fooled by the “all natural” labels as it has no true definition - any product can be claimed as all natural. Liquids count, but choose wisely. Sodas, juices, and energy drinks have 300+ empty calories, and many of them have caffeine, which actually dehydrates the body. This is not a good thing on hot days! Instead, stick with water. Drink as much water as possible. Flavour it up with lemon, parsley, cucumber, ginger, mint, lemongrass. Get creative, and remember if you let your kids play around with it, chances are they will drink up. Here are some of our favourite snacks:


Method Make sure kale is super dry. In a large bowl, massage kale leaves with 2 to 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Season lightly with sea salt and nutritional yeast. Spread out in one layer on a baking sheet. Space is a good thing so you might need more than one sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes, then check. Kale should be just starting to crisp. Remove from oven. Be very careful because these can burn quite quickly.

Certified Holistic nutritionist and health consultant, Alyssa Bauman, founded Nourished {A Health Consulting Firm} six years ago when she was constantly being asked for healthy living advice. It’s not as difficult as it seems, that’s where Alyssa comes in and guides you through whatever your nutritional needs may be. When she isn’t upgrading food choices, she will be playing in the park with with her most treasured muses—her three daughters.

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[ Life Like No Other ]

WestCoast Families May June 2018