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families westcoast


The Local Guide for Active Urban Families

fun & cool

back to school

mom Cora Burnette westcoast

september 2012

consignment • grandparents

families westcoast


• back to school • consignment Travel Victoria A Step Back in Time is Just a Few Steps Away


top story

back to school on our cover...

4 year old Nyomi is the winner of the Show Your Smile contest from the Langley Toy & Product Fair. Nyomi is ready to head back to class in her amazing dress from Redfish Kids: Lucky dress $72; Revival jacket $75 Photographed by Revival Arts |

Back to School Little Kids, Big Worries Anxiety in Children

Back to School Transform Stress into Success Get Out of the House Quickly



Back to School The Skill of Caring Teaching Empathy

Consignment Sources & Resources Listings

WCF Feature Sandwiched Between Kids and Aging Parents

I’m Raising My Family Bilingual





24 mom westcoast

32 WCM Profile Cora Burnette 34 WCM Feature Isabelle Brasseur on Incontinence 35 WCM Events


Back to School Want it? Wear it! The Best in Homegrown Fashion


from the editor 6 Publisher’s Note 7 Contests 8 WestCoast Finds 12 Readers Choice Awards 28 WCF News 36 Community Calendar 38 Last Look Handmade Books

next issue october Fall Fun! halloween • everything baby


September 2012


publisher’s note


he sun is setting earlier each evening, and the days are getting shorter. Yes, it’s that time of year again. Back to School signals the end of summer. The end of long, warm days, and sunny afternoons. The end of camping trips and beach explorations. But we all know that fall brings good things too.

Many parents celebrate the arrival of September and the return of school. No more juggling schedules and daycare. No more acting like a camp counselor organizing day trips and activities for kids to keep boredom at bay. Many kids are excited too, since it’s their opportunity to get back in touch with friends who have been scattered over the summer break.

families westcoast Managing Editor Andrea Vance Editor Stephanie MacDonald

Back to school time also means back to school shopping. In this issue, we’ve found some of the best and coolest fashions for kids heading back to the classroom. There are so many great local and Canadian companies now designing and producing their own clothing lines and we wanted to tell you about them. We’ve gathered up 14 fantastic kids outfits from 10 different Canadian lines of clothing, hats and shoes so you can see how fabulous “buying local” can be!

Contributing Editor Jodi Iverson Art Director & Layout Krysta Furioso Administration Jennifer Bruyns

It’s also a great time to save some money, and maybe earn a little too. It’s our annual Consignment Guide, and we tell you about great places to buy and sell clothing and shoes, sports equipment, and kids gear too.

Accounts Receivable & Payable Jennifer Brule Advertising 604.249.2866

To all the Grammas, Papas, Omas, Gramps, and Nanas out there, Happy Grandparents Day! On September 9, we celebrate you and all you do, with your patience, kindness, wisdom and great stories.

Published by National Families Network Publisher: Andrea Vance

As you ease back into the fall, don’t forget to spend a little time on our website. We’ve got great resources, an even bigger calendar of events, valuable articles, and lots more. You can even read WCF online in full by clicking on the cover photo. And, of course, don’t forget about all the fabulous contests we run each month.

For distribution inquiries, please email For submissions to our community calendars, please email To share your feedback, please email Contributors Michele Kambolis, Natacha Biem, Kyla Rozman, Kristy Hill, Keith Swayne, Stephanie MacDonald, Krysta Furioso, Andrea Vance, Jennifer Bruyns, Jodi Iverson

Happy Fall everyone!

Correction: photo credit from “I’m Raising My Family” in Jul/Aug issue of WCF should go to Jonny Sopotiuk.

WestCoast Families is an independent, regional parenting publication. Published nine times per year in British Columbia, Canada. Total circulation: 50,000. All contents copyrighted ©. Written permission from the publisher is required to reproduce, quote, reprint or copy any material from WestCoast Families


online @

For editorial submissions queries, please view the guidelines on our website.

Visit to view our magazine online anytime. And check back often for: • upcoming events

• new articles

• contests

• local links

• valuable resource listings

• blog posts • and more!


Mailing address: 1215-C56 St. Box 18057 Delta, BC V4L 2M4 T 604 249 2866 | F 604 676 2802

WestCoast Families is proud to have been selected as a mom-friendly employer for the 2010 Progressive Employers of Canada List. And congratulations to our fellow inductees!


Visit us online for new contests every issue!

Win a Meet and Greet with Max and Ruby! Win four tickets to see the ever-patient Ruby and her sweetlynaughty little brother Max in Koba Entertainment’s Max & Ruby in the Nutcracker Suite. Inspired by one of the greatest musical scores ever - Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite - join Max and Ruby as they take to the stage for their most magical performance yet.

Win a Prize Pack of school supplies from Hilroy and Five Star® This great prize pack includes: • • • •

At Vancouver’s Centre for the Performing Arts on November 12. You can win 4 tickets to Max & Ruby, plus a meet and greet with these popular characters.

• • • •

Value $139.00

Enter at

Value $74

Deadline to Enter: September 30, 2012

Hilroy® Coloured Pencils - 24 pack Zwipes® binder Five Star® 15-Pocket Poly Portfolio 1 large and 1 small Five Star® Poly Composition Book with Pocket Five Star® Expanding File for Binder 3 Hilroy/ Mead fashion folders 3 Hilroy/Mead fashion notebooks Five Star® Extra Large Pencil Pouch

Enter at Deadline to Enter: September 30, 2012


babyguide The 2012 Baby Guide is Coming This Fall! The 2012 Baby Guide features new articles, valuable local information, handy resource listings, and special offers and discounts for new & expecting parents.

Email to book your ad today! September September 2012 2012


westcoast finds: back to school cool Beautiful and Edible Flowers are good for getting you out of the doghouse, filling up hospital rooms or beautifying funeral parlours, but these bouquets from Edible Arrangements serve a dual purpose by satisfying the eye and the stomach. Fruit, and more importantly, chocolate, can be delivered right to your home and would make a great reward for a good report card, a sports achievement, or just to comfort them on their first week of school.

Starting at $27.00 at

Take a Stance against Boring Socks Most feet begin their journey with adorably cute baby socks, only to move on to mismatched sports socks, to plain old business socks or panty hose, to knee highs and compression wear with maybe a detour into argyle every once in a while. Break your feet free from the tedium with fun and fabulous Stance socks. As individual as you are (or want to be), Stance socks come in dozens of bold designs to match any mood or occasion, and will liven up any outfit this coming Fall.

Dinosaurs Galore Dinosaurs are cool. Period. Who didn’t want to be a paleontologist at some point in childhood (before learning it was all about crouching in a sweltering, dusty desert all day peering at rocks). Reignite your old passion along with your child’s curiosity with these lifelike prehistoric animals from Schleich. Reenact the epic battle-to-the-death between Triceratops and T-Rex or envision a hilarious buddy caper involving Brachiosaurus and Velociraptor – your imagination is the only limit.

$9.00 - $16.00 at

$27.00 to $53.00 at

editor’s pick

Your Lunchbox is S’well Colourful Kicks Your little one will be able to leap to the top of the style heap in these kicky, colourful Fitzsimmons Boots from local company, Native Shoes. They’re washable, water resistant, vegan, shock absorbent, odor resistant and Velcro-free. The only problem is, they might want a pair in every colour.

$50.00 at


As thirsty as your kid may be, nobody’s happy to get luke-warm milk with their lunch, so lukewarm water it is. But lunchtime milk is rehabilitated with S’Well drinking bottles. As capable of delivering ice-cold milk as it is comfortingly hot chicken noodle soup, these drinking bottles are completely non-toxic and super-insulated enough to keep liquid cold for 24 hours or hot for a full 12. And guess what Mom? They also have one designed just for wine.

$30.00 at

Ariaprene Lunchbags

Sustainable Sandwich Saviours With “Litterless Lunches” as popular today as Wagon Wheels and Wonder Bread back in the day, your kid can confidently sit at the envirofriendly table unwrapping their healthy sandwich or snack from their Lunchskins reuseable sandwich bags. With charming graphic patterns that appeal to both girls and boys, your kid’s hummus and sprouts on squirrelly bread will be devoured like it was a preposterously large fake-chocolate-covered marshmallow and jam cookie sandwich.

$8.95 at Raspberry Kids,

Though you were so thrilled with your She-Ra lunchbox when you got it, where do you think it is now? Probably moldering away in a landfill for the next couple hundred years. Spare your kids from this depressing thought with Lavish and Lime’s Reusable and biodegradable lunch bags that are cute, come in many styles and colours, and will last a whole year before you throw them away to quickly decompose in landfill conditions. Constructed from a toxinfree material, Ariaprene, which is a better insulator than neoprene.

$28.50 on

Watery Protection for Your Electronics Waterfights are an essential part of summer, and a surprise water balloon attack is an ever yday possibility when you have kids. It may smudge your mascara, but it doesn’t have to threaten your phone or MP3 player when you’ve treated it with Liquipel. A revolutionary process that applies a watersafe coating to your devices, you can now chat in the rain, run through sprinklers or even fall out of your kayak, knowing your devices will be fine, even if your makeup is not.

$59.00 at

Be Cooler with These Bags Even when it’s not Mr. Freeziemeltingly hot outside, kids and parents alike will be loving these adorable So Young cooler bags. Great for storing baby bottles, snacks, drinks or lunches, they come with an adjustable strap so they can be worn as a backpack or messenger bag, hung from a stroller, or even snapped right onto handlebars. And they’re so classically pretty and practical you’ll probably want to get one for your lunch too. So Young also makes awesome diaper bags, messenger bags and more.

$29.95 at Boomers and Echoes

Hilroy Zwipes Customizable Binder

Track and Field Laptop Bags So often laptop cases are either so ugly you hate to be seen with them, or so snazzy and expensive you can’t afford one. If you like kitch-with-a-modern-twist you’ll adore Track and Field’s vintage-y silkscreened laptop carriers, which are a perfect present for anyone going off to college, university, an internship, or even (gasp) work. And at only $50.73, you can get one for your sister, nieces, goddaughters…

$50.73 on or at Barefoot Contessa and Precious and Few

You spend all of biology class lovingly inscribing One True Love’s initials onto your lovely new binder, only to practically run right into Britannie between classes– wearing his hockey jacket! You could drag around your notes in a cardboard box all semester, or you could simply plan ahead and just get a Hilroy Zwipes Customizable Zipper Binder. It comes with dry erase markers that make it easy to erase whatever-hisloser-name-was and move on. Also good for to-do lists, homework notes and legitimate doodles of course.

$19.99 wherever you buy school supplies September 2012



Victoria A Step Back in Time is Just a Few Steps Away Photos and text by Krysta Furioso

The Royal BC Museum

The Fairmont Empress Hotel


etting lost in the day-to-day bustle of living and working in the big city can easily confuse one’s perspective on their surroundings. If you’re like me, you might tend to forget that although we live in one of the greatest places in the world, we are also surrounded by wonders of all kinds outside the city limits. Just a short drive or ferry ride away are countless places to explore and have family adventures and getaways. Take Victoria, for example. Our little sister (or maybe ‘grandmother’ would be more appropriate) is always there waiting for us to visit, but we mainland folk tend to take her a little bit for granted–at least I do. Thanks to BC Ferries, getting to Victoria is as easy as hopping on a ferry at Tsawwassen Terminal, and enjoying the ride across the Georgia Strait, through Active Pass and the many channels that traverse the waters between the mainland and Vancouver Island. Standing on the outer decks of the ship, not only will your eyes feast on the splendor of the amazing Gulf Islands and their Arbutus-lined shores, but on a lucky day you might even be treated to a pod of Orcas or Dolphins as they pass by the ship, breaching and dancing in the ocean waves. After the soul-cleansing ferry ride to Vancouver Island, if you haven’t yet left the weight of city behind, your first view of lovely Victoria will surely transport you to another time and place. The wide streets lined with stone and brick buildings will have you convinced that you’ve happened upon a quaint British village–instead of the capital of British Columbia. The perfect spot to settle in for a weekend in Victoria is also one of the city’s shining gems–The Fairmont Empress Hotel. Dangling her toes in the waters of the Inner Harbour, The Empress is as majestic as her name suggests. Opening her doors in 1908, the hotel has been a first-class destination for dignitaries and celebrities for over a century. Walking through her halls, you can almost imagine having pulled up in a horse and carriage to dine in the Crystal Ballroom with the Queen herself!


The wide streets lined with stone and brick buildings will have you convinced that you’ve happened upon a quaint British village– instead of the capital of British Columbia.

The little ones will be awestruck as they wander the long corridors and grand staircases in search of items on the hotel’s kid-oriented scavenger hunt, and of course, their famous afternoon tea service is not to be missed. Keeping with Victorian tradition, the hotel serves a variety of their signature teas along with tea sandwiches, fresh scones, preserves and clotted cream in its ‘Tea Lobby’. Guests are treated to live piano music and in addition to accommodating a variety of dietary needs from vegan to gluten-free, The Empress offers ‘Prince’ or ‘Princess’ tea service for the young royals on your trip. After tea, an appropriate destination might be Craigdarroch Castle. A short drive or scenic walk from the Empress, this Victoria landmark is set on one of the city’s high peaks. Built in the 1890s by wealthy coal baron Robert Dunsmuir, the castle has been restored and opened to the public as a museum since 1979. Furnished and decorated with period-correct pieces, each of the rooms open for display have been meticulously arranged to suggest the actual activity that may have taken place there when the Dunsmuir family called Craigdarroch home. Used as a backdrop for the movie Little Women, your little men and women will undoubtedly come away daydreaming of afternoons in the drawing room, evenings in the games room, and life in another time.

Craigdarroch Castle

The Butterfly Gardens

Keep digging into the city’s glorious past with a visit to the Royal BC Museum. Conveniently located adjacent to the Inner Harbour and The Empress, the museum consists of the Province of British Columbia’s natural and human history museum as well as the Provincial Archives. Set aside an afternoon to meander through each of the three permanent galleries. The natural history gallery includes life-sized displays of the diverse geography of the province and a simulated journey to the depths of the ocean. Favourites to watch out for are the woolly mammoth and the giant sea lion! The modern history gallery includes a collection of artifacts from the 20thcentury, as well as a replica of a cobblestone streetscape of early 20th-century Victoria, complete with a silent theatre, a hotel, a train station and Chinatown. The gallery continues with a tour of early forestry, fishing, and mining industries including a mineshaft and water wheel, and then a history of exploration that includes a large-scale replica of Captain George Vancouver’s ship, the HMS Discovery. The First People’s gallery on the third floor is a First Nations exhibit, portraying life before and after contact with Europeans. The gallery includes a collection of masks, totem poles, and our favourite, the Kwakwaka’wakm longhouse. Turn your focus back to the wonders of living in the present day with a visit to the amazing Victoria Butterfly Gardens. Located in Brentwood Bay, no family trip to Victoria would be complete without a stroll around this other-worldly tropical paradise. The Butterfly Gardens are home to over 75 different species of butterflies and moths, over 200 species of tropical plants, as well as a variety of birds and fish. Enjoy watching your kids stand in awe of the diversity within the gardens, and be amazed at how colourful and ornate nature can be. Make sure to pick up a butterfly identification checklist for the kids to complete as they pass through the Gardens! As you leave the beautiful city of Victoria, you’ll surely be wondering not only why it had been so long since your last visit, but also how soon you can make your next trip across the pond–just a hop, skip, and a jump away!

September 2012


families readers westcoast

is excited for the return of the 4th annual


Enter for your chance to WIN the ULTIMATE FAMILY PASS to major attractions throughout the Lower Mainland! The Ultimate Family Pass includes annual family passes to some of Greater Vancouver’s major attractions: • Playland • Vancouver Aquarium • Watermania • Science World • Vancouver Art Gallery • Capilano Suspension Bridge • Maplewood Farms • Fort Langley Historical Park • Britannia Mine Museum • Museum of Vancouver


choice 2012

Go online to for full details on all prizes and to cast your votes. 12

bascckhtoool Get a load of these great Back-to-School Programs!

September 2012 13

back to school

Little Kids, Big Worries Raising Children in an Anxious Society


By Michele Kambolis, MA, RCC

rom generation to generation, kids’ worries remain relatively similar: school, socializing, family feuds, and self-development are high on the list.

So why have anxiety disorders become so common – affecting more kids more severely than during times of great strife, including the Great Depression, World War II, the Cold War, and the turbulent 1960s and ’70s? The “Age of Anxiety”, wherein one in five children is afflicted with a diagnosable mental illness, is of much concern for parents and experts. Watching a child struggle with these emotional challenges is distressing and, left untreated, can spiral into an even more detrimental issue when they’re grown. Anxiety in children is often dismissed as growing pains, temperament, or phases of development, which they’ll outgrow. Unfortunately, left unchecked, these conditions too often manifest in later adolescence and adulthood as more severe problems: depression, substance abuse, lower rates of post-secondary completion, lower income levels, and loss of employment. But it’s not all doom and gloom: when properly diagnosed and treated, anxiety disorders dissipate in 75 percent of youth. Yet many children are not treated because of stigma, lack of services, or lack of knowledge; only about one-third receive treatment. How do you identify an anxious child? Despite the similarities between anxiety and stress, they are not the same thing – and clinical levels of anxiety will not respond to regular techniques for managing stress. Add to that, unlike adult anxiety, childhood anxiety can present as a behavior or physical problem; making it hard to pinpoint and diagnose. If you suspect your child is suffering from abnormal amounts of worry, properly assess what’s really going on. Rule out factors that can trigger or deepen anxiety, like learning difficulties or developmental problems, and take stock of their life; hygiene, sleeping, exercise, and nutritional habits should all be considered. Look for unaddressed stressors (problems at school, a new sibling, etc.), and have your doctor check for an overactive thyroid, allergies, anemia, or ear infections. Kids themselves can be a powerful tool, and great help, in changing their own habits. Not surprisingly, when our curious children learn about how their brain works they discover they have the power to influence how it develops. This self-awareness increases a feeling of control over their internal reality.

Are the Information Age and the Age of Anxiety coconspiring to create a generation of nervous children? There is little yet known about the role of other modern cultural factors such as the impact of technology and video games on neurological development, but there is evidence that proper mental stimulation, rest, and ample free play are significant factors in the proper health and functioning of a developing brain and self. Hiding the smart phones and spending a few hours in the backyard can do wonders for any child (and also give parents a break from hyper-organizing a child’s day and activities).

Identify: 7 Types of Anxiety • Separation Anxiety: your child’s reaction to separation is beyond that expected for the developmental level; feelings of panic; worry about harm to a loved one

• Social Anxiety: “fear of evaluation” that causes kids to self-criticize, avoid group activities, and act out in social environments

• Generalized Anxiety: continuous anxiety (rather than episodic);

can be detected through symptoms such as muscle tension, difficulty concentrating and sleeping

• Obsessive Compulsive Disorder: child presents a number of obsessive, repetitive, and compulsive behaviors

• Tourette’s: a “tic” disorder characterized by repetitive, involuntary muscle movements [motor tics] and/or repetitive, involuntary vocalizations [vocal tics]

• Panic Disorder: panic attacks with more than one month of

Prevent: Simple Tools to Combat Anxiety • Develop thought and mood regulation skills (increasing the capacity to cope with anxiety in a successful way) • Create an environment dedicated to strong attachment • “Emotional coaching” for children • Foster a lifestyle that includes physical activity and healthy diet • A balanced schedule that includes mental rest


subsequent persistent worry about either having another attack, the consequences of the attack, or significant behavioral changes related to the attack

• Specific Phobias: child exhibits a fear of particular objects or situations that present little or no real threat

• Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: persistent re-experiencing of

traumatic events can be detected by a child becoming less responsive emotionally, depressed, withdrawn, and more detached from their feelings, while avoiding situations or places that remind them of the trauma

Pharmaceuticals don’t have to be anywhere near the top of your list of methods to cope with anxious children. Cognitive behavioral therapy, which works on a self-supporting premise of behavior identification and modification, is a highly effective and relatively fast-acting option for treating anxiety disorders. Treatment needn’t be invasive or bring more stress to the family. Anxiety-easing exercises include simple relaxation techniques such as deep breathing and progressive relaxation, in combination with the development of thought and mood regulation skills. These accessible and drug-free solutions have been shown to not only decrease anxiety, but increase attention span and ability to focus, improve sleep and social relationships, and lessen anger and aggression. With diagnosis and treatment, families can manage childhood anxiety and foster relaxed and happy kids. Step 1: Play now for a happier today - and tomorrow.

Help: Treatment Resources CHI Kids

The Child Anxiety Network

BC Partners for Mental Health and Addictions

BCCH – Mood and Anxiety Disorder’s Clinic


Friends for Life

Mental Health Information Line 1-800-661-2121


1-800-730-0522 (ask for CBT specialist Registered Clinical Counsellors of BC)

September 2012 15

back to school

Transform September Stress into Success Get Out of the House Quickly


By Kyla Rozman

he dog is underfoot, the kids are still in their pajamas, your toast is burning, the TV is blaring, spilled milk has soaked through homework, the garage door is stuck, and your keys are missing. Welcome to September in most households – an unwelcome return to a stressful time of hurried transitions that can break even the most positive parent. They say less is more. They’re right – you can get out of the house in less time with more organization. There are only a few key elements essential to a smooth and efficient morning, all within your power. The little voices in your house may be the loudest, but yours is the strongest. Stay positive and it will spread. (Conversely if you struggle, that too will infect the morning.) Structure equals safety for children, so create the structure and watch the calm replace the storm. Having realistic expectations about your morning will also avoid unnecessary heartbreak. If they are wearing yesterday’s pants (or last night’s dinner), will that keep them out of college? No. Your morning routine can be redesigned, revamped and renovated. Habits, including stress-induced ones, can be changed with a little direction and structure. You can maximize your morning to get out of the house in record time. Here’s how to do it. 1. Set Morning Goals. It’s simple - if you don’t have clear measurable goals you won’t be able to reach them or know when you’ve succeeded. Envision your ideal morning and jot down what that looks like. An example: to be out of the house at 8:35 a.m. to catch the bus. 2. Set Evening Goals. These goals should enable you to achieve your morning goals with ease. There’s no need to get fancy – keep them simple and achievable: packing lunches immediately following dinner is a good place to start.

3. Create a Checklist. Create a separate morning and evening checklist, and place in a prime location (like the kitchen counter) so that it is visible to everybody. Keep the lists short and sweet and ask your children for input. For the morning, think: Lunches, Brush Teeth, Feed Dog, and for the evening - Homework Completed, Clothes Set Out, Bags Packed. 4. Sound the Alarm. You know how a school’s bell signals you to stop and transition? Bring that efficiency home. Buy a very loud alarm and set it to go off at key times so that the entire house can hear it. Don’t overdo it or you’ll all tune it out – think a five-minute warning to breakfast time and an alert to five-minutes before it’s time to leave the house. 5. Remove Distractions. Make your mornings a ‘no toy zone.’ Cell phones, iPods and Facebook can wait, as there is nothing like a technology distraction to make feet drag. It may feel cruel and unusual, but putting aside the

Put the “Home” Back in “Homework” After a long, hot summer it can be tough to pry kids away from the vacation and beach lifestyle and back into a school routine focused less on frolicking and more on learning. Especially when it comes to homework. But homework is a key part of your child’s education, and it’s important that they not only complete it, but also understand what they’ve learned. Studies show that children’s achievements in school improve with increased parent involvement in education. So get involved in your kids’ schoolwork – you might even learn something new too! ABC Life Literacy Canada offers 10 tips on how to make homework part of your daily routine: 1. Develop a daily routine by setting aside a specific time each day/ evening for homework. 2. Provide a quiet, well-lit place with basic school supplies. 3. Understand your child’s style of learning – this will help you develop a personalized homework plan for your child. 4. It’s not uncommon for kids to get overwhelmed with big assignments or projects. Help them break the project down into smaller steps. Work on pieces throughout the week and do the hard parts on the weekend. 5. Talk with your child’s teacher and be aware of their method of teaching. Help your child by using familiar terms and examples. 6. Don’t reserve learning to homework hour. Make learning a part of daily life. 7. If your child gets frustrated or distracted with their homework, allow them to take a short break. If this frustration continues, talk with your child’s teacher to determine if a tutor might be needed. 8. To reinforce comprehension and memory skills, take 10 minutes to talk about the stories you’ve read together. 9. Show your child that the skills they are learning relate to real life. If your child is learning math, for example, balance your cheque book or have them count out change for you. 10. Teach your child to be independent. Offer to help them with difficult homework challenges, but then let them complete the remainder on their own. For other family literacy tips and activities, visit www


O T A C C A T S studios ams at r g o r p music

electronics will help keep everybody focused on getting out the door. A positive bonus – you may even all connect with each other, which is a great start to a day before everybody goes their separate ways. 6. Maintain the Systems. We all over-achieve at the onset of big changes; that’s how gyms sell memberships. The big question is: how are you going to stick with these new goals? Pacing your family is a good start – try just one new thing each week until it has become a habit before adding another change to your routine. The reward for getting out of the house in record time is also great motivation to continue with the positive changes. Stay dedicated to your new morning routine; even if the start is bumpy you will soon reap the rewards. (Those feelings as you watch your house in the rearview mirror with time to spare may cause happy dancing in the car.) Don’t feel stifled by the changes - there is absolutely still room for spontaneity in life. The key is if you start and end your day with some sound systems, you’ll actually enjoy those little moments in between.

604-421-3753 4663 E. Hastings Street, Burnaby

Classes for all ages & interests Preschool Piano • Music Together Guitar • Drums • Voice • Piano Contemporary & Classical

Kyla Rozman is the go-to organizer for anybody with an overflowing schedule. Kyla specializes in customizing systems to help you stay on top of life’s moments, both big and little. For even more help with goal setting and getting organized, sign up for her newsletter at, or connect with her on Facebook ( for more quick tips and guidance.

September 2012 17


want it?

wear it!

We all know that Back to School means looking cool! The pressure is on to find the best in fall fashion, and WestCoast Families has stepped up to the task with our Back To School Fashion Feature. Hitting the classroom in style is easy-peasy with these great Canadian home grown labels.


olivia Hatley Stars & Stripes Dress $40 Rainboots $55

dreyton Redfish Kids Kick Jeans $44 Mandarin Collar Shirt $56 Revival Jacket $75

CiciBean Hangout Sweatshirt in fuchsia $69


Be Me Mini Skirt in green $45


Lip Gloss Skinnies in pink $45

Labs Hoodie in blue plaid $50

Legwarmers in the foggy dew print $20

Cargo Pant in blue plaid $33 Milkshaxs Mountain Biking Tee $35

September 2012 19

want it? wear it!

Stonz Mittz $45 Hatz $22 and $27

emma Triple Flip Reese Love Top in cream $42 Mini Tulle Skirt in black $39 Skivvies Leggings in pink $22 Roxy Backpack $52 Toms Shoes $45

dreyton Joe Fresh Grey Sweater $32 Red Plaid Shirt $16 Slim Crinkle Jean $22

source guide

High Top Shoe $24

Nobis Hats: L’il Trenton $28

Nobis Triple Flip Redfish Kids Clothing Cici Bean Peekaboo Beans Mountain Equipment Coop Milkshaxs Hatley Joe Stonz

clementine Peekaboo Beans Keepsake Tunic in pink $45


Over Yonder Pant in green $38

Redfish Kids

Let’s be Friends Jacket in green $59

Kelly Skirt $49 Rumi Blouse $44

Inset: Two-Tone Sweater Cashmere & Wool $68

Colours and pricing may vary from photos and descriptions shown here. Please check online and in stores


want it? wear it!

camryn CiciBean

jaden Mountain Equipment Coop Geo Pants $32,

Party Pant in grey $59

Mogul Hoodie $79

Leave Your Mark Tee in pink with Scarf in foggy dew $42

Keen Brady Kids’ Shoes $79 MEC backpack $16 Milkshaxs Heli-Riding Tee $35

emma Triple Flip Go Faster Legging in black/charcoal $44 Champion Tank in purple $43 Swerve Jacket in purple $78 Infinity Scarf charcoal $18 Sparkle Bag in pink $32 Converse Shoes $35

nyomi Peekaboo Beans Lap of Luxury Jacket in pink $59

clementine Hatley

Five Star Tee $45

Stars & Stripes Tee $25

Voyager Skinnies in green $39

Terry Zip Cuff pants $33

Nobis Hats: L’il Eve $58 Inset: Swing Red Hoodie $53

September 2012 21

back to school

The Skill of Caring 6 Easy Ways to Teach Your Child Empathy By Natacha V. Beim


four-year-old girl walks into a classroom for the first time. She does not speak English, and she knows no one, except her father who is lovingly dropping her off. The children are playing and only one boy notices her by the door from the other side of the room. He gets up, walks towards her and reaches for her hand. He doesn’t say a word, but when he looks at her, she knows he understands exactly how she feels, and she feels safe. Children who are empathetic are better able to deal with their emotions and those of others during conflict or even in everyday situations. This also allows them to “read” social cues, such as when a person wants to play and when they prefer to be left alone, or when it’s ok to give someone a hug. This will help your child make friends easier, have deeper and more meaningful relationships, and even have better grades at school. Every child has the innate ability to understand another person’s circumstances, thoughts and feelings, which is described as empathy. As parents, all we need to do is cultivate it. Here are six tips to teach your child empathy:

4. Help your child understand others. Your child covers his ears when he hears another child cry very loudly. His first reaction is to feel bothered by the child. You take the time to look, then quietly comment to your child “That boy seems very upset, I see he is also holding his leg, he must have fallen and hurt himself. How can we help?” As your child gains more practice, choose situations that are progressively more subtle or complex: “I noticed that Sam had his head down and was walking slowly after school today, I wonder if he had a chance to play with anyone at recess? Do you know if he might be feeling left out?”. Try also to help your child understand why a person may be affected by something that does not seem so obvious to them “Your sister is not upset with you, she is upset because she did not do very well on her test. She just needs a little time alone until it passes and she can think about it without getting emotional.” 5. Show your child how to make others feel good.

1. Help your child recognize different feelings. Help your baby recognize different basic emotions and begin identifying them with words. Start with basic feelings, like “angry”, “happy” or “sad” and evolve to more subtle ones like “proud” or “disappointed”. This is the first lesson in teaching empathy and emotional intelligence. You can draw how you feel, talk about it, express it with movement, but don’t forget the most important prop: a mirror. Show your child their facial expression for each emotion, and explore it together. As they grow older, use more complex vocabulary to help them understand how they feel: “It surprised you to see dad arrive so early today.” To enhance this learning, make sure you share with your child how you are feeling as well, by using feeling words yourself. 2. Be aware of others’ feelings. As you go through the day, demonstrate empathetic behavior by observing other people’s state of mind. Invite your child to participate in this observation by including it as part of your daily conversations. For instance, “That baby is laughing, she must feel so happy!” or “Look at the puppy in the car, it must be feeling lonely”. This will help your child recognize feelings in others. 3. Walk your talk. The best way to teach your child empathy is to be empathetic as parents. Respond to your newborn’s needs with empathy and kindness, don’t keep him crying or waiting and you will teach him that you care. As they grow older, listen to them and let them know they are loved and understood. They will learn that even being there for someone provides comfort. If your child sees you holding the door for strangers, or giving up your seat for someone who needs it more, it will teach your child not only to understand how others are feeling, but to know that they have the ability to make people feel better.


It is incredibly rewarding to make someone else happy. Give your child ample opportunity to care for you (they can make you a tea, for instance, or save you a piece of their chocolate bar), for siblings (“What do you think we could prepare for dinner that would make your brother feel special?”), for others (“it was really nice of you to hold the door for that man at the supermarket, especially because he looked so tired”. Once your children receive an allowance, teach them to set aside the amount they choose to help someone else. They can choose to help someone in need, or raise funds for something they believe in, like saving endangered species. 6. Praise empathy in your child. When you see your little one demonstrating empathy, concern, or care for others, be quick to compliment her on her actions. “It was very nice of you to share your bucket at the park. How did you know this child wanted to play with it?” or “You made grandma very happy by giving her such a big hug. She misses you so much when she doesn’t see you!” Children who are empathetic feel much happier and more fulfilled. They also have a much higher level of understanding and acceptance for other cultures, and embrace different people and experiences regardless of how different they are from their own. They have more respect for animals, insects, and the environment, and have the qualities needed to be a true leader, an example for others. The next lesson will be to ensure that they treat themselves with the same kindness and respect as they treat others. The same way you taught your child to discover his feelings first before being able to understand how others feel, teach him that unless he feels happy and his needs are met, he won’t have much to give. A lesson as parents we also should learn! Natacha V. Beim is a writer, speaker, parenting expert, teacher, and the founder of Core Education & Fine Arts Early Learning & Junior Kindergarten schools ( You can reach her at

September 2012 23

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Back to School Savings Save Some Money, and Make a Little, too!


e all know that when the kids head back to school, it can be a strain on not only our schedules, but also our pocketbooks. Here are some smart and easy ways to take a bit of the pressure off. The closets Now that you’ll be pulling back out the old fall & winter clothing boxes, no doubt the kids have outgrown many of the pieces. Pick out the good ones, clean & press them, ensure they have no stains or damage, and take them to a consignment store to earn a little money. While you’re there, shop around for clothes for your kids for fall too, since items are typically about 25-30% of original retail prices. The front entryway If you have the space, create room for everyone. Have hooks and shelf for every family member. A bench with cubbies underneath is a good choice. Get rid of shoes that are worn out or don’t fit anymore. Same with jackets and scarves, hats,

and mitts. Take inventory of what you already have before buying new fall and winter coats and boots. Older kids may be able to hand down their items that don’t fit anymore too. Don’t forget that shelters and other organizations need cold weather items donated! The gear As the kids get ready for another season of hockey, soccer, lacrosse or whatever else they are passionate about, check their gear for what may be too small or worn out. Keep your eyes open for sports swaps or buy and sell lightly used equipment at a sports consignment store. The school supplies. Take a look at your list, and look around the house. There may be many items you already have and don’t need to buy again. Make a list and stick to it… although that’s sometimes easier said than done when you’re faced with cool and colourful displays of the most expensive binders! If your kids come shopping with you, limit them to one

extra or “special” item. You can also offer for them to pay for the difference in price between the items you’re willing to buy, and the ones they would like. For larger or specialty items, check used goods websites - some times there are even items listed for sale that have never even been used.

Resources Websites for discounts, coupons, and comparison-shopping:

Sites to buy and sell used goods:

insider info

Consignment buying… Shop in the right place. If you’re looking for high-end designer items, make sure you pick the right consignment store. Consignment stores in higher end neighbourhoods tend to carry higher-end merchandise. Take your time. Consignment stores have great hidden treasures, but it may take a little more time to look through all the racks. Try it on. Most sales are final sales, so be sure to try it on before you buy. Because the items are from different clothing companies, and often different countries, the sizing may not be what you’re used to. Buy in season. Most consignment stores sell according to the season. Don’t plan to look for a sundress in November! Check back often. New pieces arrive almost daily.

selling… Make sure it fits. Visit the store and take time to look around to evaluate its feel and appearance. Look for a shop that sells the same general type, style, or level of merchandise that you are selling. Know the terms. Be sure to get a copy of the consignment agreement in writing so you are clear on the terms. Know what the fees are and how long the clothing will be consigned for. Can you get a higher percentage of the sales amount if you use your money to purchase items in the store? Also, find out if the clothing is donated to charity at the end of the term, or returned to you. Clean and press. Go over each item carefully to make sure all they are unstained, laundered, repaired, and pressed. Most consignment stores will specify that items be dropped off in a bag without hangers, but be sure to check first. Stay in season. Consignment stores typically have strict dates for accepting items for certain seasons. Check their website or call the store to confirm. September 2012 25

wcf feature

Sandwiched... ...Between Kids and Aging Parents by Kristy Hill


Resources t’s Saturday morning, and you are running through your to-do list for the day as you sip day-old coffee:

Eight-year-old son’s soccer game; bring Mom to the doctor (with expected long wait in the waiting room and probable stop at the pharmacy); take Mom grocery shopping (which you’ve been doing since she stopped driving and is too nervous to walk alone); drive Mom home and unpack the groceries; head to Costco for your own groceries – don’t forget laundry soap for Mom and Dad; go home and help 11-year-old daughter with a book report; start making dinner (probably hamburgers and corn because it’s fast and easy); eat dinner; and finally, bedtime with maybe a book or the TV on; oh wait, there are eight new work emails to read. It’s a typical Saturday for you, as part of the sandwich generation. Are you sandwiched? Maybe you have young children and senior parents. Maybe you have an older child with a disability and an aging parent. Maybe you have grown children and are asked to help care for grandchildren, while you care for a parent with dementia or Alzheimer’s. Maybe you are single, with a growing career but feel you can’t take that dream promotion because of the time required of you to care for your aging Mom or Dad. Whatever situation you are in, you find yourself caught between the obligations and needs of your children, work, spouse and aging parents. So it’s time to get help! Private Homecare Private homecare is an alternative to a private care facility, with services offered directly in the home. Nurses and care aids come directly to the home and provide a range of services from personal care (bathing, showering, changing), to companionship, medicine management, grocery shopping, or even medical attention. These services can range from a few hours a day, to every day of the week. So why choose private home care? Here are a few insights into why it can be beneficial for families.

Nurse Next Door

Loving Home Care Services

It is flexible and made to Home Instead Senior Care suit your needs. Only need it when you are on vacation or while you’re at work? Private Jennifer Bruyns – homecare services can fit into Certified Health Care Attendant your schedule and provide 778-668-6146 a range of services from big to small. “Jennifer came three times a week, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.,” says Marie Harris, whose mother-in-law was living with their family and has dementia. “She also came during some evenings so we could go out and not have to worry.” They can remain in their own home. Having a sense of independence provides great quality of life and losing it can be devastating. Waiting to move to a private care home for seniors is often put off as long as possible to maintain independence. Homecare allows seniors to continue to live independently and remain in their community, in the comfort of their home, and surrounded by the people they love. It provides respite. If your parents are living in your home, it can be long days taking care of your own family along with your aging parents. “Sometimes, people just want the peace of mind from someone checking in on their parents while they are at work, away on vacation, or out for the evening.” says Jennifer Bruyns, a Certified Health Care Attendant and independent private homecare provider. By having someone come in for a few hours while you go out, it will alleviate some stress and give you a worry-free break. It is more affordable than a private home facility. Private facilities can cost nearly $5000 to $7000 per month with subsidies only available to individuals with a low income or a lack of assets. Homecare services can be designed to suit your needs and charged on an hourly or daily basis – allowing it to fit within your budget. “With an independent private homecare provider, you get a set wage per hour,” says Jennifer. “It doesn’t matter if I’m grocery shopping or providing medical attention, the wage doesn’t change.” They are on a waiting list. Despite the high cost of a private home, waiting lists in Vancouver, B.C. are long and inevitable. “When my mother-in-law went on a waiting list for a facility,” says Marie, “we were told it could be six months to two years before something would be available.” Private homecare can be used temporarily, while waiting to move to a care facility. They get personally matched with someone. Private homecare services allows for your parents to be matched with a caregiver, and not just get who is available. The food they cook, the language they speak, and much more can be considered. “This allows for a stronger connection,” says Arif Abdulla, Vice President of Marketing & Communications
for Nurse Next Door Home Care Services. “Your parent might be apprehensive at the idea of someone coming into their home to help them. But if matched well, it often goes from ‘that girl’ to ‘MY girl’ is coming.”


September 2012 27

wcf news >> Make-A-Wish BC grants their 1,500th wish! At just three years old, Nicholas was diagnosed with leukemia and immediately his world turned upside down. With years of treatments behind him, Nicholas is ready to focus on having fun instead! On September 29th, Nicholas will have his wish granted to visit Cars Land. Not only will this wish be very special for Nicholas, it will be the 1,500th wish granted by MakeA-Wish BC & Yukon since its inception in 1983. “Although we wish there weren’t so many kids in the province who are battling a life-threatening medical condition, the positive memories and hope created by each of these wishes is something we’re very proud of” remarked Ross Hetherington, CEO of Make-A-Wish BC & Yukon.

Visit for more information.

>> Websites for schools & groups Weebly—a veteran in consumer-friendly, website creation– has created a tool specifically for teachers to create classroom websites–for free–and CEO David Rusenko has been shocked by the flood of teachers who are flocking to build a class site– especially given the feedback he gets from them on how this has transformed their classrooms. Students can go home at night and read their teacher’s blog, check in on recent homework assignments, view their course curriculum, and respond to online classroom discussions—all in a controlled and private environment that negates the issues that come up with social networking sites. The site is so easy to use that parents and students can also create sites if they wish to do so.

>> Shop and Donate to a Good Cause Make your back to school online shopping generate donations to the Canadian charity or non-profit of your no added cost to you. These days you can shop for almost anything online, and now two Vancouver business women, one of them a working mom, have figured out how to harness Canadians online buying power to generate donations to the charity or non-profit of their choice… at no added cost. What could be easier than generating donations through your everyday online purchases...without costing you an extra penny? They landed on this idea after analyzing fundraising initiatives from all over the world and discovered a way to generate donations through online shopping. As a result, they partnered with Vancouver’s gurus of web development, Graphically Speaking, to develop a site called and reached out to retailers. To date they have 170 retailers including: Sephora, Expedia,The Bay, Home Depot, Roots, 1-800-gotflorals, Indigo, and Leap Frog. Go to, choose a charity, click on your favorite retailer’s icon, and a donation will be generated to your chosen charity once a purchase is made on the retailer’s site. Same product, same great price, with the added benefit of a donation to your chosen Canadian charity.

>> Parental Preparation Coordinating the schedule and activities of all family members can be quite a challenge, especially when September arrives. According to the Vanier Institute of the Family, between 46% and 61% of Canadian parents have a hard time juggling work and family. Fortunately, these parents can now use Planiclik, a new web-based tool that will help them simplify their daily lives and organize their kids’ back to school routine. Entirely designed in Canada, Planiclik allows for planning of daily activities, managing expenses, the school supplies list, and to-do lists, among others. Whether you are two busy parents living under the same roof, separated, or even living in a blended family, the Planiclik platform was created to suit the needs of every family. Planiclik is the perfect alternative to notes scattered on the wall calendar, address books, filing cabinets, and post-its! “Back to school can be a challenge for many parents. I was myself looking for technology that could help me coordinate all the activities, information, lists and documents concerning my children but I couldn’t find anything that was truly suited for my needs” says Lyne Petit about her idea behind Planiclik. Among the many features offered by Planiclik are: a calendar that can be shared amongst multiple users; a profile for each child in the family with important and practical information ready at hand, a family expenses planner, an access management system based on the user’s status, a document-sharing system, a list management system, an iPhone application (by the end of 2012).

For more information, visit


>> Tree of Knowledge The MAJESTA Trees of Knowledge Competition began in 2011; 2013 will be its third year running. The program aims to help Canadian schools experience the benefits of being outdoors and win a $20,000 outdoor classroom. Since the program was launched in 2011, more than 80 schools from across the country have submitted an application. Schools that enter the MAJESTA Trees of Knowledge Competition have a chance to win: a grand prize consisting of an outdoor classroom from MAJESTA valued at $20,000, expert consultation from Tree Canada and outdoor learning curriculum support from Focus on Forests. Secondary prizes consisting of $5,000 for the runner-up, $3,000 for third place, $2,000 for fourth place and $1,000 for all other finalists. The most creative group prize is $3,000 for the school who shows the most creativity, enthusiasm and community engagement during the voting period. To enter, schools must submit a: completed application form, 400 word essay on why their school should be chosen to receive an outdoor classroom, description and photos of the existing school grounds, project description and plan for the outdoor classroom, description of how the school will promote the project during the voting period, letter of permission from the school board, and a two-minute video (optional).

Deadline to enter: January 13, 2013

September 2012 29

i’m raising my family...


By Keith Swayne


ow do you say that in Papi’s (Daddy’s) language?”

Phillip knew that I didn’t talk like my wife, but he didn’t know that my way of speaking was called Spanish. It was just normal to speak two different ways at home. We have five children, and decided early that we’d give them access to a bigger world through languages—English, Spanish and French. Today, the younger three are more proficient than the older two. Languages are embedded in our family life. Our youngest son learned Spanish at home but also did French immersion in his early years at school. Phil and I still switch between Spanish, French and English. It’s a very personal connection for us. He is often asked to help other students at school with their Spanish or French homework, and really enjoys his friendships with kids from other countries who are not yet proficient in English. The rest of our children’s lives have also been enriched by knowing more than one language. This last year our daughter, Rebeka, married a great young man from a Nicaraguan family. They are determined to speak Spanish at home. Their wedding was a beautiful blend of our family traditions and a typical Latin American ceremony. My grandson, Gabriel, laughed out loud when he announced his exciting discovery that uncle Eduardo could speak Abuelito’s (Grandpa’s) language! Our oldest daughter, Danika, says that one of her favourite childhood memories is singing in Spanish and dancing in the living room while I played the guitar. She also loved braiding hair with her friends and enjoying fresh pupusas (delicious Central American food) at the Spanish-speaking church we attended when she was young. Our son, Tim, used his Spanish on the construction job site with Spanish-speaking workers. He discovered he had a natural talent, and went on to dabble in the languages of his friends and co-workers: Polish, Mandarin Chinese and Afrikaans. Ben studied French in college in addition to his contact with Spanish at home. Unfortunately, it took us a while to figure out a few simple things about bilingual parenting, so our older two didn’t get the same benefits as the younger ones. Now I can pass on the important lessons we learned so gradually. One of the most important things I wish I had recognized earlier, is that kids pick up languages primarily through their personal relationships. They learn the languages of the people they connect with at home, in the extended family, at church, in the neighbourhood and by enjoying another culture. I also learned you don’t have to be bilingual to raise bilingual children. It is entirely possible to raise children with skills that you don’t have, including languages (or art, music or sports).


I have discovered many approaches to the task. In fact, you will inevitably create your own customized way of integrating new languages into your family. Some of the most common plans are: • one parent, one language – Papi speaks Spanish, Mami speaks English • context determines language – German at Oma’s house, English at home • time determines language – Italian only on Saturdays It is important to account for the unique personality and learning style of each child. Some kids are analytical, others are more social or more intuitive, for example. I am convinced that parents are the best guides for the children’s learning, even if other teachers contribute to their accomplishments. There are many people successfully raising their children with multiple languages. Some of them aren’t especially talented, organized, or university educated. You can do it. It will help to learn from other people’s successes. Recognize that absolute perfection in a second language is not the only legitimate objective. A good start early in life can make greater fluency much easier later on. If your children only speak Arabic now, they will find it relatively easy to read and write later, and to learn other dialects of the spoken language. Enjoy the language and allow for incomplete outcomes on the short term. It’s not an all-ornothing proposition. Beware of many serious misconceptions and bits of misinformation. You may have to do a little homework yourself. For example, bilingual children do not end up with poor English. They not mix up languages (although they mix them together occasionally for fun or efficiency). The truth is that multilingual children tend to excel academically, professionally and socially. Keith Swayne is a multilingual language teacher living and working in Vancouver. He has been teaching languages and workshops, primarily in Starbucks stores, for over 15 years. Among his programs, he teaches “Keith Swayne’s Guide to Raising Bilingual Children”. His website is

visit us online

September 2012 31

mom westcoast


Cora Burnette of Little Miss Vintage By Stephanie MacDonald | Photos by Krysta Furioso


even-year-old Sasha is pretty lucky. Not only are her parents in a cool band, but her mom also runs a vintage shop full of all the most wonderful dress-up clothes imaginable. “She’s into the whole fifties look, all frilly and pouffy,” says the extremely hip mom in question, Cora Burnette, owner of Little Miss Vintage and vocalist and guitar player for the local indie group The Burnettes. Sasha and her little brother Jay, who is almost four, are common fixtures in the store, where there is literally something for everyone. Leather coats from all eras, to shoes, to sparkly accessories, to hundreds of different dresses and sweaters, Little Miss Vintage is one of the most inspiring stores on the Commercial Drive, and that’s saying a lot. Opened six years ago when Sasha was still a baby, the store is still Cora’s baby, and it’s obvious: the collection of clothes is carefully curated and in mint condition.


It’s a very warm summer day in the shop, and people stroll-through browsing the astonishing collection of beautiful, funky, and elegant clothing artifacts from the forties through to the present. A lady walks in, Cora says hello, and asks, “Looking for anything in particular?” “Yes. Cardigan. 1959.” Cora goes to work finding something appropriate for the woman who is putting together the wardrobe for an Arts Club production. After the woman leaves, Cora explains why she opened the store. “I adore vintage so much I’ll buy something I love even if it doesn’t fit me.” So opening the store was a natural decision, but retail was not Cora’s first enterprise. A stand-up comedienne to begin with, Cora still runs a corporate entertainment business dealing mainly with team building through interactive entertainment for companies. “I do game shows, talk shows, that sort of thing.  >>>continued

momevents westcoast

Adult Events for the Hip Mom Around Town! Vancouver Fringe Festival Granville Island September 6-16 Presenting live theatre in an informal, accessible, and inexpensive environment, breaking boundaries between audiences and artists, encouraging open dialogue between theatre-goers and theatrecreators. Jerry Seinfeld’s return to Vancouver! Orpheum Theatre September 8 America’s premier comedian has come back to Canada and will be performing his signature standup routine. Car Trunk Sale South Surrey Recreation Centre September 8, 9am-1pm It’s a giant garage sale! Load up your cars, trucks and minivans with items you no longer need. Don’t miss out, spaces fill up fast. $15 The BC Lung Association’s Bicycle Trek for Life and Breath 200km White Rock to Cultus Lake September 8 -9 Unite with other riders and take part in this two day, fully supported 200 km ride through BC’s picturesque Fraser Valley for all ages and abilities. Registration fee is $25.00.

••••••• ••

Mama Blogs Cactus Club, Vancouver September 12, 7pm Inspiring you to start a blog or improve your existing blog, this event is led a panel of four amazing writers and bloggers that are the absolute experts in the field of blogging. Our panelists will cover their story on getting started, inspiration and some tips for writing a blog. The evening is sure to hold laughs, guidance, insider information and an all around amazing moms’ night out! Includes wine and appetizers. Members $25, Non-members $30 Fraser Valley Food Show Tradex Trade & Exhibition Centre September 14-16 Enjoy unique food experiences, opportunities to learn behind-the-scenes culinary magic from professional chefs, dynamic entertainment through celebrity chef cooking presentations and exhibits, and fantastic shopping opportunities. Spend on Trend Heritage Hall, 3102 Main Street September 14-16, various times Spend on Trend is back for its ninth annual show, showcasing Vancouver’s own diverse local designers and artisans: accessories, jewellery and clothing.

Vancouver International Flamenco Festival Various Venues September 17-23, 2012 The festival presents flamenco artists performing in a range of styles – from traditional to contemporary, and soloists to ensemble works. Beerlesque II The Roundhouse, Yaletown September 21, 6-11pm Celebrate burlesque and BC craft beer in support of the community arts and recreation centre. Tickets are $55 and you must be 19 years of age to attend. Aids Walk for Life Sunset Beach September 23, registration starts at 10am Join in this national awareness and fundraising event that takes place every year in communities all across Canada. Funds raised support direct programs and services for Canadians living with HIV/AIDS in their communities. 604.915.9255 | Train Queen Elizabeth Theatre September 25, 7:30-9:30pm See multiplatinum band Train perform live.

From Field to Table Historic Stewart Farm September 27, 7-9pm Gather ideas for Thanksgiving: explore a menu plan using local food to create a delicious meal, learn about and taste local wines, and inspire your inner table decorator. $35/session. Must pre-register. Interior Design Show West Vancouver Convention Centre September 27-30 Celebrate design with over 300 exhibitors, world class features, and design icons and celebrities. Explore the site for an insiders look into Trends, Ideas and New Products. Home Based Business Fair Steveston Community Centre September 29, 10am-2pm Reconnect with customers, meet new clients and book home parties to sell products at this first time event. Limited tables available. Register in person or by phone.


Little Miss Vintage is one of the most inspiring stores on the Commercial Drive, and that’s saying a lot. It’s funny, people are encouraged out of their comfort zones onstage. I make fun of the company a little bit and everyone relaxes and has a good time.” Though the entertainment company is a bit on the backburner at the moment due to the rest of her busy life, they did three or four shows last year. Now she is focusing on a different type of entertaining. As a musician, Cora shares the spotlight with her husband, Chris, and they’ve been making music together as the Burnettes for more than a decade, and are about to release their fifth album this year. The first four are Album Schmalbum (2002), We’d Better Be Dreaming (2004), Nothing Ever Happens Here (2008) and A Boy and A Girl (2011). “We basically started playing music together from the time we met.” They share both singing and songwriting responsibilities, though not necessarily at the same time. “I wrote a lot of the first album, and then Chris wrote the second after I had a baby – so we share.”

Described by The Province as “charming and homespun,” FFWD magazine from Calgary describes the Burnettes as “effortlessly recalling the glory of mid-‘90s slacker rock without sounding dated. Bringing bluesy delivery to an indie sensibility, this is a whole new generation of electric white-boy blues”. Having played recently at the Community Association of Montessori Parents (CAMP) annual barbeque, the kids got a chance to see their parents perform. “It was really really exciting!” says Sasha. They can next be seen live on September 8th at Farmfest 2012 in Lake Shawinigan with Carolyn Mark, and have plans to play some more shows when the new album comes out. Back in Little Miss Vintage, another lady is buying a pair of heels while Sasha quietly watches a movie at the back of the store. I tell her is must be really cool to have a mom who is in an indie band with her dad and who not only has funky style, but actually owns a store full of amazing and fun clothes. “Yeah, it is,” she says, with the mild demeanor of someone who has never known any different. September 2012 33

wcm feature

Isabelle Brasseur

Far from the roaring Olympic crowds, and far from the intense training schedules that got her there, Olympic pairs figure skater Isabelle Brasseur projects a quiet confidence and an open manner when discussing a topic that is considered at best, a cause for snickering, and at worst, an off-limits taboo subject.


he is comfortable under the spotlight; as half of one of Canada’s most successful pairs teams in history, Isabelle and her partner, Lloyd Eisler, were five-time Canadian pairs champions, won gold and three silvers at the World Pairs Championships and capped it all off with two bronze medals at the Olympics–one while suffering from a broken rib. So pushing boundaries is familiar territory to this woman, and this time she is encouraging others to join her in a conversation about incontinence; a common condition that effects everyone from the elderly, to new mothers, to people with chronic illness. We were thrilled to have the opportunity to sit down with Isabelle and talk about her new role as a seemingly unlikely spokesperson for Depends undergarments. WestCoast Families: Skating and incontinence don’t seem to be an intuitive match, like, say, football players promoting deodorant. Why do you think Depends chose you as a spokesperson? Isabelle Brasseur: I think that because incontinence is a problem that affects many people across the board, it wasn’t a specific sport they were focusing on, more just athletes people were familiar with in Canada and who people could relate to. I was surprised at first, but I immediately thought about my mother, she had Progressive Supranuclear Palsy, and how difficult it was for her dealing with losing control of her body. She felt she was losing her

Advice from Registered Physiotherapist, Susannah Britnell Urinary incontinence is a very common problem, affecting over 1.5 million Canadian women. Leakage can range from a few drops, to soaked underwear and clothing, and it can impact a person by limiting their physical activity and can affect their social life. The bottom line (no pun intended) is that pelvic floor exercises, often known as Kegels, have been shown to be very effective in curing or improving symptoms of urinary incontinence. The problem is, the majority of women are using incorrect pelvic floor contraction technique, so their pelvic floor contraction is ineffective, or possibly non-existent. Many women use their abdominals, hip adductors, and gluteals instead of the correct muscles of the pelvic floor. Pelvic floor physiotherapists assess pelvic floor technique, strength, coordination, and functional integration. Physiotherapy helps women to learn how to use their pelvic floor correctly. Then, they can work on coordination, strengthening, and endurance work. The elimination of dietary bladder irritants, such as caffeine and alcohol, and using calming techniques for the bladder can be very helpful as well. It is never too late to improve your pelvic floor with exercise, even if you have been experiencing leakage for years. However, don’t assume you are doing it correctly. If you are not improving after two weeks of


dignity, but that should not be the case. If society can become more open and accepting about these issues then people can keep their dignity while experiencing incontinence. Special underwear can help them go on with their normal lives without discomfort or feeling shame, and that’s why I decided to be part of this campaign. WCF: You have a 12-year-old daughter, and I know from experience that tween girls are mortified by everything their parents do. How has she reacted to this? IB:[Laughs] Well, the ad is shown in Canada and we live in New Jersey, so she’s not bombarded with it. But also, she is a dedicated, high-level skater, and very mature! If anyone teases her she understands that it is part of having a famous parent, and she tries to explain that it is an issue that is close to our family because of her grandmother. WCF: What has been the best thing to come out of this campaign for you? IB: Well, doing the ad with hockey player PJ Stock was fun, but absolutely the best part has been knowing that bringing this issue out into the light will help people. I feel like if my efforts have helped just one person let go of their shame and embrace life more fully because they have the understanding that incontinence is a very common issue, among many different groups of people, then I will be happy. And so far the response has been overwhelmingly positive!

exercises, consider getting your technique assessed, which involves a vaginal exam by a physiotherapist who has additional training in this area. Technique is very important! Some people may only need 1-2 physio sessions, others more. There is also a Continence Clinic at BC Women’s Hospital and Health Centre that provides free assistance to women in BC who are experiencing any control problem with their bladder or bowels. Treatment plans may include education, biofeedback, bladder/bowel re-education and training, and possible electrical muscle simulation. They also hold education workshops once every two months for people on the waiting list.

Resources Susannah Britnell Registered Physiotherapist, Dayan Physiotherapy and Pelvic Floor Clinic. 909-750 West Broadway, Vancouver, BC. 604-7393133. Continence Clinic at BC Women’s Hospital and Health Centre Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. 604-875-3137 or 604-875-3060


Where to pick up your copy of

families westcoast

New Distribution Locations! Boundary Bay Montessori House, Delta Children’s Kingdom Montessori, Vancouver Little Savages Consignment, Pitt Meadows Logan Creek Counselling, Langley

Children’s Kingdom Montessori Centre Preschool & Kindergarten Register Now! September and January Enrollment Mandarin, Art & Music classes are included 4720 Elgin St. Vancouver (near Knight & 31st Ave.)

Tel : (604) 872-8898

One World Karate, Vancouver Rich/Follows Vasectomy Clinic, Langley Sunflower Academy, Vancouver Staccato Studios, Burnaby Tot 2 Teen Dental, Vancouver Yaletown Montessori, Vancouver & Port Coquitlam If your business would like to become a distribution point for WestCoast Families magazine, please email us at It doesn’t cost you a thing, and we make all the arrangements!

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

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September 2012 35

community LEGO: Myths & Muses Surrey Museum Ongoing until September 15 Explore fascinating histories and mythologies of the Mediterranean as told with LEGO, presenting a world of gods and goddesses, heroes and monsters from ancient times, all created from our favourite block! Playland Ongoing to September 30 Get access to over 30 rides and attractions. Get a discount by buying a playpass from 7-11 or Safeway locations. Wonder of Learning River Market at the New Westminster Quay Ongoing until December 8, every Tuesday– Saturday, 10am-6pm This free exhibit of children’s art and theories is now open. There is also a circus school on the same level beside the exhibit which makes a wonderful family day/visit. KerrisdaleAntiques Fair Kerrisdale Arena September 1 & 2 Antiques, Vintage Collectibles, Retro Chic, and so much more! Labour Day Fall Fair September 3, 11am-4:30pm An old fashioned fall fair complete with games of chance, entertainment, and crafts! Join one of the races, try the corn shucking, or bite your way through the watermelon-eating contest. NorthRidge Free Carnival! Thomas Haney Centre, Maple Ridge September 8, 11am-3pm Free Carnival! Bouncy Castles, pony rides, facepainting, carnival games, prizes and a free lunch!


Toopy and Binoo Bell Performing Arts Centre, Surrey September 8: 1pm, 4pm and 7pm The Centre for Performing Arts, Vancouver September 9: 1pm and 4pm Toopy and Binoo and the Marshmallow Moon brings to life the two fun-loving and adorable characters, whose antics are driven by their out-of-this-world imaginations. Tickets at Sports Swap Meet Steveston Community Centre September 8, 10am-1pm Find great deals on all sports equipment (excluding helmets) Fall into Fun –Open House Cloverdale Recreation Centre September 8, 11am–2pm Browse around and enjoy the entertainment, displays and demos. Learn what daily activities, programs and special events are happening at the Centre for all ages A Day at the Farm Westham Island, Delta September 8, 10am-4pm A Day at the Farm is an event for the entire family, presented by Delta Farmland and Wildlife Trust. This event will be hosted on Westham Island Herb Farm and Ellis Farm in Delta. Fleetwood Festival Fleetwood Community Centre September 8, 11am-3pm Check out this annual event for the entire family. Entertainment, children’s activities, concession foods, balloons and much more! Paws for a Cause Multiple locations September 9, 10am registration Bring along your pooch and put your best paw forward to raise much needed donations for more than 32,000 animals the SPCA cares for each year. This year’s goal is to raise $1,000,000.00

Dance Allsorts 15th Anniversary Party Heritage Hall, 3102 Main Street, Vancouver September 13, 6:30-9pm Featuring performances from the response (Artistic Director Amber Funk Barton) and other great guests, with a community dance party to follow. Free for New Works members, annual memberships can be purchased at the door for $10. Aggasiz Fall Fair Aggasiz September 14-15 Come out for the parade, entertainment, cornhusking, 4-H exhibits, educational displays, tractor pull, kids corner, crafts and much more! Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup Various locations September 15-23 Organize a cleanup by becoming a site coordinator or help at a cleanup by becoming a cleanup participant Kidswapmeet Cloverdale Fair Grounds Sept 15th, 9am Bring your shopping bag and small change and be ready for 4 hours of great shopping! Luminary Festival Sunstone Park, North Delta September 15, 6-10pm See the park come alive with lights while you and your family enjoy an evening of music, entertainment, lantern-making workshops, children’s activities, food and beverages. Sea to Sky Family Fair September 15, 10am-4pm This is an annual fun & informative event that puts everything families need under one roof including entertainment & amazing exhibitors. Adults $5 Kids $3 (under 2 years free) Discount on Mini rail rides with admission to the Fair.

calendar Scotiabank Dance Centre Open House September 15, 11am-5pm From contemporary and tap to flamenco and First Nations dance, the annual Scotiabank Dance Centre Open House offers the chance to sample a host of dance styles in a day of free open classes, studio showings and events. Admission is free.

Fall Lantern Festival Thompson Community Centre, Richmond September 22, 5-8pm Light up the night and ring in the fall season by creating a lantern and participating of procession of light through the park. Live entertainment and activities for the whole family.

Vancouver’s the Word on the Street Downtown Library Square September 28-30 FREE, accessible, and fun for all ages, Vancouver’s annual celebration of reading brings visitors face to face with our vibrant writing and publishing community.

Art and Science in the Soil VanDusen Botonical Garden September 16 We will investigate creature homes both big and small. You will learn to make a tool called a Berlese Funnel to inspect the creatures hiding amongst leaf litter. Finally, you will capture one of these homes in your very own soil pigment painting to take home!

Youth Fest Guildford Recreation Centre, Surrey September 22-23 Youth Fest 2012 is showcasing a wicked lineup of local youth bands, activities, skateboard demonstrations, a teen dance and all kinds of awesome things for you to do on a Saturday. Suitable for youth aged 13-18, with some activities for ages 10-13 and families as well.

Harvest Festival & Block Party Mount Pleasant Neighbourhood House September 29, 11am-4pm Enjoy local music, food and art, outdoors on Prince Albert’s Street, and a variety of activities inside Mount Pleasant Neighbourhood House like games, silent auction, workshops and raffles. Admission is free and all ages are welcome!

Southlands Country Fair September 16, 10am-4pm Southlands Riding Club This has become a popular tradition where citizens of the lower mainland are invited to come enjoy a day in the country without leaving the city featuring pony rides, petting farm, games, and many more free activities!

Children’s Swap Meet Poirier Community Centre September 23, 9am-1pm An excellent opportunity to buy or sell used children’s items. Our vendors will be selling used children’s clothing for all ages, childrens toys, books, strollers, sporting equipment and more. 604.927.4386

Terry Fox Run Multiple locations September 16 Celebrate the legacy and dream to find a cure for cancer. Join in a non-competitive run as an individual, family or group to help raise funds for cancer in memory of Terry Fox. Please check website for locations and times.

Aeriosa Scotiabank Dance Centre September 27, 12noon Bringing together the athleticism of rock climbing and the grace and artistry of dance, the company uses rope rigging systems to create three-dimensional performances that re-interpret gravity, and delight and inspire audiences. Tickets start at $10.

Gazillion Bubble Show Science World, Vancouver September 18 Join Fan Yang and his family as he attempts for his 18th Guinness World Record where he will encapsulate 180-200 people at least 5ft or taller inside a single soap bubble.

Jersey Day Burnaby September 28 Show your love and support for sport by wearing a jersey, team or club uniform to school, work, or play. Many other events in other communities to celebrate national Sports Day.

Family Day at PdA Place des Arts September 30 This fun day is designed to actively engage families in learning about art in a fun, interactive and informal environment. Offering a guided tour of the current exhibitions plus three dropin style workshops geared for all ages where families create artworks based on what they have learned during their visit. Playback BC Place September 30 Be a part of this video by youth, for youth, featuring youth, turning downtown Vancouver into a playground. Together you will move as one, all while showing off special skills, crazy costumes, and awesome dance moves. For people of all ages, shapes, sizes, and abilities. Visit for more family friendly events in June! To have your event included in the WestCoast Families community calendar, please email your details to:

If you’d like WestCoast Families magazine delivered to your event free of charge, please email your request to September 2012 37

last look Beautiful Books Creative Covers By Jodi Iverson

Textbooks, notebooks novel, dictionaries – kids will be using them all this school year. Help yours express themselves (and protect the books!) with this simple project.

materials • Cover Material – you can stick with the tried and true brown paper or get adventurous with maps, wrapping paper, posters, duct tape, bubble wrap -the possibilities are endless! • Tape • Scissors • Embellishments (optional) – stickers, ribbons, stamps, etc.

make it! Step 1 Place book on centre of paper then, using your book as a guide, fold top and bottom of so your paper is the same height as your book. Step 2 Fold paper around book cover. Flip the book over & repeat this step on the back cover. Step 3 Slide book covers into pockets you have made. Step 4 Tape cover to itself along top and bottom of your book. Older kids? Try this! Use fabric and fabric glue instead of paper & tape!

did you know? Some luxury medieval books were bound using gold, silver and jewels! 38


$ 99

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At participating McDonald’s® restaurants in Canada.

©2012 McDonald’s

WestCoast Families September issue  

The September issue of WestCoast Families feautres Back to School products and information, Consignment Shopping information, calendar of ev...

WestCoast Families September issue  

The September issue of WestCoast Families feautres Back to School products and information, Consignment Shopping information, calendar of ev...