West Vancouver Beacon | May / June 2024 | Edition 62

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IN THIS ISSUE OPINION PG 2 AMBLESIDE ORCHESTRA PG 4 MASON BEES FERRY BUILDING GALLERY PG 7 LOCAL VOICES PG 12 We are grateful to live and work on the unceded traditional territories of the Coast Salish peoples. No. 62 Shedding light on the communities from Lions Bay to Dundarave May/June 2024 PG 10
Sun setting on Eagle Harbour.
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Please note that all contributing writers for The Beacon retain full rights and that the full or partial reproduction of feature articles is unauthorized without the consent of the author. Personal opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed are solely those of the respective contributors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of the Beacon, the publisher or the editorial and creative staff.

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Backstories, books and bubbles

n Wednesday, April 3, West Vancouver Memorial Library hosted a book launch for a new anthology of community stories. With contributions from 18 local writers, West Vancouver Stories: 2024 was the Most Gifted Book in 3 Amazon categories during its first month after publication. It was also a #1 Amazon Bestseller in Regional Canada Biographies and Memoirs, as well as #1 Bestseller in the Community and Suburban non-fiction categories.

Librarian Julie Backer opened the launch with a warm welcome to authors and guests, and a land acknowledgement to the Squamish, Musqueam and Tsleil-Waututh Nations. Denise Howell, Co-Executive Director of Grants and Communications at the West Vancouver Foundation talked about the work of the foundation and its grants program.

Then the writers took to the podium, sharing how they became involved in the project and what the process entailed. Instead of the customary readings, the authors told their backstories: what inspired them to write these particular stories.

Prior to West Vancouver Stories: 2024, addictions specialist, Dr. Antonio Ocana, had written largely for academic and research purposes. In October of last year, he attended an evening at the library where the writers from West Vancouver Stories: The Pandemic Project (published in February 2021) read their stories. During the event, he received a call that sent him rushing from the library, across many bridges, to support an old friend. It was this phone call, the events that followed, and the subsequent emotional processing, that inspired his story. His almost

accidental involvement in this project has become a new passion: writing. He says he has no plans to stop anytime soon.

John Weston’s story was inspired by his cycling journey. The former West Vancouver Member of Parliament notes that his participation in this project led to the discovery of his “latent creative skills” that had been lying dormant for years. His future is filled with exciting projects, combining his re-discovered writing skills, his passion for fitness, and a desire to “make Canada the fittest nation on earth by 2030.”

Oftentimes, it is childhood wisdom that stirs forgotten memories: Psychotherapist Elke Babicki took us back to her five-year-old self’s conversations with God; L. Noël talked about the question from an 11-year-old that prompted her to examine “where we live in

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Photos provided From L to R: Lindy Pfeil, L. Noel, Antonio Ocana, Kimberley Clarke, Anne Baird, Elke Babicki, Wendy Winslow, Trish Leslie, Nancy Henderson, Julie Flynn, Elizabeth Wooding, Evelyn Dawson, Brenda Morrison & Karen Hoffman.

our bodies” and teacher Kimber ley Clarke’s story of love and loss was inspired by a pho tograph of her bedroom window in her childhood home.

Wendy Wilkins Winslow also recalled some of her more distant memories and wrote about her Middle East adventures as director of nursing. She told the audience, candidly and courageously, that some of her more recent stories were still too tender to share publicly.

The final author of the evening to speak was Dr. Brenda Morrison, Director of SFU’s Research and Engagement Centre for Restorative Justice. She shared the poignant backstory to some of the breaks in

Wher life, both literal and figurative. Incorporating her love of the land and the values she holds dear, she demonstrated how writing our stories enables us to make meaning of it all.

Guests at the book launch commented on the diversity of stories, and the range of issues, emotions and themes prevalent in the anthology. It was a deliberate decision to have no set theme for this project. What would happen, I wondered, when people felt safe enough to share deeply personal experiences and turning points in their lives? Without fear of being judged. In a nurturing, confidential space. What would they write about? What burn-

ing stories would emerge, demanding to be documented?

Each week, new prompts and themes motivated writers to put pen to paper, to examine their lives with curiosity and compassion, and to “go for the jugular” (something encouraged by writer Natalie Goldberg).

There was some initial trepidation–claims of “I’m not a writer.” But what quickly became clear was that we are all writers. Stories live in our bones, our blood, our very DNA. All we have to do, says Ernest Hemingway, “is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.” And so that’s what we did. And such stories were written! Of confusion, sadness, love, despair. Hope. And, of course, resilience.

The intention of the project was to build community, and the focus was the collaborative writing, revision, and editing process. Each week, writers worked in small groups of 3 or 4, finessing each other’s writings. They asked for clarification, provided encourage-

Celebrate our community’s diversity

est Vancouver is surrounded by majestic mountains on one side and the blue Pacific Ocean on the other. It offers fantastic ski hills, gorgeous parks and beaches. It truly is a magnificent city. The District of West Vancouver continuously promotes the city and supports the community through events and activities.

West Vancouver Community Cultural Fest celebrates our community’s diversity through international food, unique entertainment, and traditional costumes. Cultural events such as these encourage people from

diverse backgrounds to learn about each other. Community members have the opportunity to share their rich cultures and traditions. Local businesses, which are the heart of the community, are promoted.

There are various ways to participate in the festival this year. Apply for a pavilion to share your culture through art, other activities, or interactive demonstrations. Origami and dance lessons are a great way to connect.

The festival is not limited to professional artists or performers. Everyone is welcome! Local vendors are encouraged to promote

their businesses. In previous years, multicultural food vendors have been very well supported. Displays of photos and costumes from around the world have also been popular.

The festival is looking for enthusiastic volunteers for numerous roles, including organizing kids’ programs, supporting the cultural pavilions, and running information booths. This is a wonderful way to get involved and make new friends.

This festival is sponsored by generous supporters, including Park Royal Shopping Center, who are committed to the community.

ment, and feedback. It was truly a community effort.

Many of the audience members attending the launch had read West Vancouver Stories: 2024. They were delighted to hear the backstories, saying they provided valuable context, depth, and meaning to the anthology. The hope is to have more events in the future where all the writers can share their backstories. Please contact me if you would like to arrange or host a “backstory” or “reading” event.

Huge thanks to Julie Backer for her tireless attention to detail, and West Vancouver Memorial Library for providing a wonderful spread, and welcoming space for this evening of celebration. Gratitude to the West Vancouver Foundation for the Neighbourhood Small Grant that supported this project. For information on participating in future anthologies, to receive updates on book events, or to purchase the book, please visit westvanstories.com.


The festival this year takes place at Ambleside Park on Friday, May 31 (from 4-9:30pm) and Saturday, June 1 (from 11am-9:30pm).

To find out more, become a sponsor, apply to be a vendor, or get involved as a volunteer, visit https://wvculturalfest.ca.

May/June 2024 PAGE 3
West Vancouver Cultural Fest. Photo: Jini Park JINI PARK Wendy Wilkins Winslow

The Ambleside Orchestra

It began as a group of amateur musicians getting together for informal jam sessions 30 years ago.

Retired from various and sundry professions, they wanted to make music together, but they didn’t really want to drive at night. Although there were numerous bands and orchestras in the Lower Mainland, almost all held evening rehearsals. None catered to the particular desires of retired folk with long afternoons to fill.

So flautist/percussionist Hilary Clark got together with conductor/French hornist Anita Sleeman, and they set up a little music group for Wednesday afternoons. Before long, they were joined by a dozen friends, and then another dozen friends.

Eighteen years later, Nicolas Krusek took

over the baton. He spent 11 years on the podium, growing this group of musical friends into a maturing, multigenerational orchestra capable of playing some pretty complex music. The orchestra filled out as students, selfemployed professionals, and people who did shift work, came on board.

Since 2022, the Ambleside Orchestra has continued to grow under world-class conductor Bujar Llapaj. The orchestra boasts full wind, brass, and percussion sections, which enables it to perform symphonies (elaborate musical compositions in four movements). And the string section has grown steadily as highly skilled players have discovered that Maestro Llapaj is on board. Under his leadership, the orchestra’s level of musicianship and complexity of repertoire have risen to exciting new levels.

Talented associate conductor, Nicholas Urquhart, is a Lower Mainland music edu-

cator, composer, arranger, and double bass player.

The Ambleside Orchestra presents up to eight concerts of varied orchestral repertoire each year, in community venues across the North Shore and in Vancouver.

Rehearsals and most concerts are held in Highlands United Church in North Vancouver’s Edgemont Village. The mainstage concerts are reasonably formal affairs, and sometimes include high-level guest soloists. These have included clarinetist Gene Ramsbottom (named a Distinguished Artist by Funding for the Arts North Shore in 2015), bass Andrew Stewart, mezzo-soprano Hilary Crowther, saxophonist Julia Nolan, bassoonist Isaac Bull, tubist Ned Hale, and many others.

The orchestra members are all ages and come from all walks of life. Pianist/violinist

Eva Jarvis performed a piano concerto with the orchestra when she was barely into her

teens. And trombonist Jim McCulloch played with Ambleside for 20 years, until he died at the age of 99.

Once a year, the musicians board a bus and head for the Downtown Eastside, where they present a free concert in Carnegie Hall (the auditorium at Carnegie Community Centre). Performances there are fluid and informal, with audience members coming and going—and sometimes even getting up and dancing around the room. It’s not uncommon to see audience members conducting from their seats, then getting up and heading outside to find their friends and bring them back into the auditorium.

Members of the Ambleside Orchestra also occasionally present chamber music concerts. These intimate concerts, in locations such as West Vancouver’s Silk Purse Gallery and North Vancouver’s St. Agnes Anglican Church, feature wind quintets, brass quintets, string trios, piano/horn duets, and other small musical combinations.

The Ambleside Orchestra is always looking for intermediate to advanced string players. It also keeps a roster of qualified wind, brass, and percussion players. For more information, please visit amblesideorchestra.ca.

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Ambleside Orchestra. Photo provided Maestro Bujar Llapaj. Photo provided


UBC’s Eh? Cappella breaks personal records

ast year, Eh? Cappella, one of UBC’s competitive a cappella teams, was runner-up at the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella quarterfinals in Tacoma. The ICCA is most recognizable as the competition from the 2011 comedy flick Pitch Perfect

At the regional semifinals in Salem, Oregon, the then-17-person group (of which I am a member), performed a set that excited judges and audiences alike. We returned home to BC with stories, smiles, and sentimentality, but no official placement.

UBC A Cappella is comprised of seven groups, five of which are “general.” Recognizable by their punny musical names, general groups vary in size and meet 1-2 times per week to prepare a music-only set for semester-end concerts. The other two groups (or “teams”) represent UBC as varsity sports teams. They meet 3-5 times per week to perfect a ten-minute set complete with choreography, and travel to the US to compete.

At only eight years old, Eh? Cappella (or Eh?) is relatively “young” in the scope of the competition, but still the oldest ICCA group at UBC. This year’s iteration of Eh? was directed by fourth-year psychology major, Anushka Mullick, and third-year cognitive systems major, Jathin Arjun. The team was downsized to 14, including one vocal percussionist and one primary bass.

The group experienced a rocky beginning to the 2024 competitive season, missing one of three soloists at quarterfinals in Washington. With only 13 people, the team re-arranged the bulk of choreography and voice parts in Tacoma the night before

the competition, and co-musical director, Jathin Arjun, took over the solo.

Despite these unprecedented changes, Eh? Cappella once again placed second at quarterfinals (after UW’s Furmata), progressing to West semifinals in Redwood City, CA. The North west Collective, UBC’s other competitive team, placed third.

After seven weeks of touch-ups, extra rehearsals, re-choreographing, and re-composing, Eh? Cappella’s 14 members (somewhat deliriously) departed from YVR in the early hours of March 22, one day be fore semifinals.

Eh? Cappella received fourth place at the end of the night–the first time in the team’s history that it has placed in the semifinals.

UC Davis’ Lounge Lizards took third place, UCLA’s Scattertones second, and the champion was UW’s Furmata. Having had a long-standing relationship with Furmata, Eh? Cappella enthusiastically celebrated their win alongside them.

The competition was held at the nearly 100-year-old Fox Theatre in Redwood City, which felt exceptionally classic, from the glimmering marquis to the intimate backstage dressing rooms.

The fine-tuned set in its ultimate form told a story of hope, joy, and heartbreak over the span of ten minutes. The audience was engaged from the blow of the pitch pipe to bows.

While the primary focus of an ICCA set is the music, choreography is also vital to the pulse of a performance. Ours did not go unnoticed, and vocal percussionist/choreographer Christopher Fung received an award for Outstanding Choreography. Just as the roars died down, Fung was called forward again, and awarded Outstanding Vocal Percussionist.

After a night spent reviewing score sheets, singing each other’s praises (literally), and uniting with alumni and family who had travelled to watch the competition, all members retired to bed. The next day, some woke to early flights, others for breakfast with new friends from Furmata and a day of tourism in San Francisco.

Eh? Cappella 2024 took a final team bow on April 13 at UBC A Cappella’s spring concert at Lord Byng Secondary, but the record-breaking ICCA set will soon be available as an EP on all major streaming platforms.

Series Veteran roots, blues and slide guitarist described by The Guardian as “spellbinding” joins us for two intimate performances. Martin Harley
McEwen Theatre
May 16 & 17 | 7:30 pm
ROSE LEPIN The team commemorating performing at the Fox Theatre. Photos provided Musical directors Jathin and Anushka.

Oldie but goodie

ames is proud of being 90. But his pride is wounded when bus drivers, noting his mane of white hair, assume that he needs help to clamber aboard and shuffle to a seat.

“Make way for the senior citizen!” they bellow. Aaagh!

Stirred to compassion, some passengers offer a seat.

But once, the appeal yielded extra surprises. James was coming home to Ambleside from Park Royal. The bus was packed. Standing room only. If you could find a place to stand. But help was at hand.

Two elderly ladies, one with a walker, the other with a four-pronged cane, were seated in the niche behind the driver’s seat.


They stood up and offered their seats to James. He was horrified. Women giving up their seats to him? That’s a man’s job!

“No, thank you ladies,” he said, gently but firmly. “I sit in back. I’ll go there when the bus empties out a bit.”

The driver lucked into a short free run of road, as he drew away from Park Royal. He raced to enjoy a few moments of delicious speed. Whee! Passengers swayed and swung as he shot round corners and slid through changing traffic lights.

The aisle emptied as people got off at Ambleside. The remaining passengers’ eyes were glued to James, still clinging to one strap.

Unable to resist a chance to show what

90-year-olds can do, he saluted, then swung from strap to strap all the way to the back of the bus. His feet scarcely kissed the ground. Back seaters squeezed together to welcome him. The ladies at the front waved.

The bus driver turned into the 20th Street bus stop and screeched to a halt. Doors opened. James got out. Home at last! As he

started down the stairs, a faint but audible round of applause erupted from passengers who had witnessed the feat. Did I witness it myself? No. I was home fixing dinner. But I know James. He’s a hardy, stubborn Scot, who loves a challenge. He’s an oldie but goodie. I wouldn’t put it past him.


Spring is in full swing and summer is nigh

ay is the month to take care of roses. Potted or in the garden, they need attention. To avoid black spot and aphids, plants must be healthy. They like their ‘feet’ somewhat damp and cool, so provide a mulch of dead leaf matter, pebbles (pots), and bark chips (ugly). Before that though, some well-rotted manure is good. Chopped banana peels, worked into the surface, provide lots of phosphorus and potash. Water only in the morning and to the base, not the leaves.

Once rhododendrons/azaleas are finished flowering, it is time to fertilize with their type of food. Spent blossoms and a bit of mulch

near the drip line keep roots damp. As with rhodos, any flowering shrubs or trees can be pruned to shape now.

Lawns that had their lime and aerating treatments earlier in the year, warrant a fertilizer application in May. There are lots to choose from but higher nitrogen is good.

Mow frequently— once a week if you can— and keep blade height to 2.5 inches. Leave the clippings on for an added dose of nitrogen.

Plant out tomatoes after the middle of May. Get a hoop over them right away and as they grow, take out the side shoots (not fruit bearing) which directs energy to the fruit. To-

matoes need to be watered once a week and more often in the full heat of the summer. Like roses, water thoroughly at the base, not on the leaves or fruit. They need full sun.

By mid to late June, annuals and some perennials will be in full growth mode. Pinch off some of the top growth to encourage bushier and flush growth. Always pinch at a node on that stem so that growth can resume at that point.

How about planting dahlias? There is a huge variety of breathtaking flowers of all sizes. Plant in a 6-inch hole, with the ‘eyes’ up and cover with about 3 inches of soil. As the sprouts come up, fill in with more soil. Wait

till the sprout appears before watering and set in stakes. These are lovely plants in a border garden or amongst companion plants.

Dig up tulips and daffodils with lots of soil and set them off out of the way till the foliage has completely died back.

Some of my favourite plants this time of year are Astilbe (part shade), cimicifuga (part shade), yarrow (full sun), and Astrantia (part shade).

Enjoy your garden!

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Mason Bee initiative buzzes along

Libraries are known for lending books, but the West Vancouver Memorial Library is adding to that narrative by lending something more unconventional— mason bees.

At the helm of this unique program is Taren Urquhart, WVML’s Arts & Special Events Programmer and a seasoned bee enthusiast with over 25 years of experience.

In 2016, she approached the library’s Youth Department with an idea for giving mason bees a home on the balcony of the Storyhouse in a “bee hotel,” which provides kids an up-close look at the lives of this gentle pollinator. Then, in 2022, a mason bee lending program took shape, piloted with an online workshop.

Now, every spring, patrons can borrow a mason bee “bungalow” along with 10 to 15 mason bee cocoons from the library’s bee hotel, kickstarting their journey into beekeeping. In its third successful year, this lending program has grown into a vibrant community of 86 mason bee enthusiasts

across West Vancouver and beyond. The program is perfect for anyone with a garden, a small backyard, or low-rise apartment patio. Mason bees already live in your neighbourhood, are easy to care for, and don’t sting, making them a great addition to any family.

Urquhart says, “What started as an educational project has evolved into a groundbreaking lending program that isn’t part of the catalogue of any major British Columbia library to my knowledge. Part of the program’s success is the required education workshop that runs every February, where people learn how to care for their colonies, which also gives people a chance to learn from one another and build a sense of community.”

The lending program is not just about beekeeping; it’s a strategic move towards integrity and sustainability, which is at the heart of the library’s mission. Mason bees are exceptional pollinators and contribute significantly to local plant life. “By lending them out, we’re not just creating hobbyist beekeepers; we’re nurturing a network of

environmental stewards,” says Urquhart.

The success of the mason bee lending program has led to a collaborative effort with the West Vancouver Seniors’ Activity Centre. Their Woodwork Shop participants have crafted larger mason bee houses, such as the one now found at the Capilano View Cemetery, and are available for past participants of the library program to purchase. Plans are underway to expand this initiative to other locations, including the Argyle Village Pollinator Garden located along Ambleside’s waterfront.

May/June 2024 PAGE 7
The second library bee hotel in 2023. Close-up of the bee hotel. Mason bees at the library bee hotel.
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FDundarave’s Libby’s Pharmacy was a dream

rank Libby started his pharmacy career in Vancouver, in the 1930s, at Harcus Drugs. He and his wife Lydia, however, had a bigger plan – to own their own store.

Their dream was realised in Libby’s Dundarave Pharmacy at 2494 Marine Drive. The store featured a café at the back,

overlooking the sea. It was a variety store in the true five-and-dime tradition. If you needed a snow brush for your windshield, a Dinky Toy car for a child’s gift or a box of Rowntree’s Black Magic chocolates for Valentine’s Day, you could find it there.

Libby’s sold everything under the sun and the sales staff knew where everything

was. There was even a machine to test tubes from your radio and they stocked replacements. The store was always full. New stock was generally just added to the top of the stack, so excavating was required.

Period photographs of Dundarave depict the pharmacy as a major part of the west end of the village. It was also a major part of many people’s lives, including Michael Pasch-Rees, whose mother, Hilde, ran the coffee shop.

I had the opportunity to ask Michael about his memories of the pharmacy, and of Frank. What follows here is a record of our conversation.

MP: I remember Mr. Libby as warm and friendly. He always wore a medical style smock in blue, grey flannels and polished brogues. He had the prescription labels on a spool on a little manual typewriter which he typed with his index fingers. I never heard Mr. Libby raise his voice. He gave instructions to staff in a friendly, respectful way. Many of the women who worked in the drugstore were there for years: Vivian Rogers, Betty Luft, Dolly in the Post Office and Mrs. Mac (my classmate Ken Lavell’s grandmother.)

CA: I understand Frank was an early adopter of recycling and repurposing items.

MP: Yes, at the very back of the dispensary there was a staircase down to the compounding and storage space. The basement there was a maze of old fixtures and equipment, Mr. Libby truly never threw anything out!

CA: Do you have any memories of customers of the pharmacy or coffee shop?

MP: In the early years, many older ladies came for afternoon tea. I was always amazed at how much clothing they wore. In summer! Cream colour coats, gloves, dresses, and lovely shoes. Blue hair was common. I was told that one of those ladies was rescued from the Titanic as a child. We had regular daily lunch customers. Ron, the owner of the Chevron station, came in at noon every day. Mom had a special extra-large soup bowl just for him. Same thing every day. Soup, four saltines, large glass of milk. Mr. Fred Wilson from the Kensington Antique Shoppe on the north side came every afternoon for coffee and a bran muffin. His wife Ethel (yes, Fred and Ethel) was a lovely lady. I still have the Royal Crown Derby candlesticks and fruit bowl my mother bought from them. The dentists across the alley came in for lunch at 1:00 every day. Dr. Waterbury, Dr. Mielke, and Dr. Bourgault were the regulars; the fourth in the office varied. Mrs. Crabtree was the receptionist. The “boys” had a strict timetable! One time Candace Bergen and her crew came for lunch while they were filming at Lions Gate Studios. CA: What was your involvement with the pharmacy?

“ “I remember as warm and always wore a smock in blue, and polished - Michael

MP: My mother took over the sub-lease on the Seaview Coffee Shop in October of 1966 and ran it until 1981. From the age of six to the age of 21, I spent many hours there, first reading comics down next to the pharmacy and then working for my mom. I had a chair behind the counter where Mr. Libby could keep an eye on me, and my mom could see me from upstairs when she was at the dishwashing station. I was allowed free rein at the comic and magazine rack provided they remained in resalable condition. I was a tidy little guy and upheld my part of the perfect bargain. Mr. Libby always pulled out all the “racy” stuff from the magazine rack. It was put in the back and

PAGE 8 May/June 2024
CHRIS ADSHEAD Photo: courtesy of Charles Howard (Bud) Griffiths. 012.WVA.GRI Libby’s Pharmacy and Libby’s Sea View Coffee Shop, located at 2494 Marine Drive, in June 1974. F. Libby was the proprietor. The IGA Super Market can be seen to the right. Photo: courtesy of West Vancouver Archives 1488.WVA.RAH The 2400 block of Marine Drive. The view is east down the centre of the road at the intersection of Marine Drive and 25th Street. Visible businesses include: Super Valu, Cunningham Drugs, and the Sagers’ Maple Shop on the left, and Hollyburn Bakery, Monk’s Hardware, Libby’s Pharmacy and Marketwise IGA on the right.


dream realized

left to be returned when the months were traded out. No smut at Libby’s! By the age of eleven, mom put me to work washing dishes and busing tables. Unlike my friends, I worked for my allowance, but, as a result, always had pocket money.

remember Mr. Libby and friendly. He a medical style blue, grey flannels polished brogues.”


CA: Do you know what the coffee shop was like before your mother took over?

MP: I don’t think the coffee shop looked any different before my mom leased it from Mr. Libby. It had a beige Formica lunch counter with a dozen old fashioned chrome diner stools. There were little curved chrome menu clips at intervals. The menu was at the back, the chrome napkin dispenser in the middle, little glass salt and pepper shak-

ers with chrome tops and the ubiquitous Heinz catsup bottle. There were four large round tables for four with maple captain’s chairs. People shared! The balcony had a further three round tables which increased the capacity for about six months a year. I was told that prior to my mom, Mr. Libby had hired a number of people to look after the diner, but it never worked out. The idea was to let the space to an independent operator, like my mom, who would be responsible for it without Mr. Libby having to pay attention to it. Word quickly spread about the good soups, great burgers and breakfasts as well as her famous butter tarts and apple pies.

CA: What happened after the pharmacy lease ran out?

MP: Mr. Libby moved to a small secondfloor space close to where Delany’s is now and ran his pharmacy there for quite a few more years. My mother bought Kay’s Koffee Korner at 22nd and Marine, then across from Wetmore Motors. She renamed it Hilde’s. She, Kirsten and her other longtime staffer, Ingrid Traviss, continued the diner tradition for another five years. Nearly all

the regulars from Libby’s followed her to the new location. I worked there on weekends too. The IGA grocery store became Caper’s. Later Caper’s connected the two stores and put a restaurant back into the same spot where the diner had been. They extended the restaurant at the back with an addition that easily doubled the square footage. The kitchen was on the IGA side. What was odd to me was that the staircases up to the restaurant and down to the washrooms below, were both in the same places. It was a little disconcerting. Kirsten Meyer worked at Caper’s for years after mom retired in 1985. Customers used to tease that the restaurant had changed, but the servers hadn’t.

On the corner where the pharmacy and IGA once stood, there is currently a Shoppers Drug Mart. But probably not for long, as redevelopment is planned. As the saying goes, “the only constant in life is change.”

Thank you to Michael Pasch-Rees without whom this article would not have been possible. Thanks to WV Archives for the photographs, and to the WV Art Museum for digging out the pharmacy door so I could photograph it.

CORRECTION NOTICE: In the last issue of The Beacon (#61) the caption under the photograph on page 3 should have read:

“View facing south from the dock overlooking the houseboat and Sewell’s Landing.” Chris Adshead photograph, October 2011

May/June 2024 PAGE 9
Photo: courtesy of West Vancouver Archives 1492.WVA.RAH May 25, 1965. Businesses on the south side of the 2400 block of Marine Drive, in Dundarave. The view is west. Visible businesses include: Pick-a-Pocket Bookshop, Custom Cabs, Bill’s Nursery, Boultbee Sweet & Co. real estate, the Dundarave Bake Shoppe, Flowers by Lily, Sea Chest Enterprize, Alpha Sign Lettering, Carpentry Crafts, Magpie Art Gallery, Quality Cleaners and Tailors, Hollyburn Bakery, Dundarave Meat Market, Dundarave Coffee Shop, Monk’s Hardware, Dunn’s barber, Libby’s Pharmacy, Marine View Tearoom and Marketwise IGA. Photo provided Portrait of Frank Libby circa 1955, taken from a poster used when Frank ran (and won) a seat as WV Parks Commissioner. Photo: Chris Adshead Decal sign on Libby’s Pharmacy front door, circa 1950. Property of West Vancouver Museum.

Two new exhibitions at the Ferry Building Gallery

The Ferry Building will be hosting West Vancouver’s graduating students for an exhibition, between May 9 and June 2, continuing an annual tradition that has endured since at least 2004. Each year, the Ferry Building opens its doors to graduating students from West Vancouver schools including Collingwood,

Mulgrave, Rockridge, Sentinel, and West Vancouver Secondary schools. This event provides a platform for the talented youth of the community to showcase their artistic creations and share their unique perspectives with the public.

The exhibition promises to be a captivating journey into the minds of local youth, featuring artworks of diverse styles, sizes, dimensions, and materials. From paintings to sculptures, photographs to mixed media installations, visitors can expect to encounter a rich tapestry of creativity that reflects the vibrancy and diversity of West Vancouver’s emerging artistic talent.

The opening reception takes place on Thursday, May 9, from 6–8 pm, and the exhibition is sponsored by SD 45 and Collingwood School.

From June 6-30, the gallery presents Is this too frivolous? – a thought-provoking exhibition featuring the works of two distinct artists, each offering their unique

perspective on the intersections between beauty, urgency, and surrealism in the face of climate change.

Throughout history artists have worked with themes infused with beauty and inspired by nature. Asta Kovanen and Marlene Lowden continue this tradition with a shared appreciation for the natural world, inserting their unique takes on these perennial subjects into the current conversation.

Marlene Lowden’s dense, off-kilter paintings are inspired by the forest and the ocean. She confronts the pressing question: In a world threatened by climate change, is there still space to embrace beauty? With a firm belief in the power of art to inspire hope and calm, Lowden explores the dichotomy of creating art for aesthetic enjoyment versus conveying urgent messages, ultimately advocating for the importance of making time for beauty even in turbulent times.

In contrast, Asta Kovanen takes viewers on a surreal journey through the world of

invasive plant species. She views the natural world as her main inspiration and collaborator. Each of Kovanen’s photographic collages captures the absurdity and adaptability of plant communities in the face of climate change, with an emphasis on delight instead of despair. She aims to spark conversations about environmental stewardship without adding to the viewer’s anxiety about the current conditions.

A West Vancouver Foundation Community Grant supports this exhibition. Gallery hours are Wednesday to Sunday from 11am-5pm and admission is by donation.

For information about either of these exhibitions, email lniehaus@westvancouver. ca or call 604-925-7266.

PAGE 10 May/June 2024
Parts of the Puzzle (2024), a 48x30 oil on canvas by Marlene Lowden. Control Devil by Collingwood student, Rebecca Sun. Prismacolor on Bristol 24” x 18 Everything Falls Into Place (2024), a 36x36 oil on canvas by Marlene Lowden.
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Rockridge student Alina Jansen’s (2024) Priorities, pencil and gouache 14” x 11”.

What’s happening in Lighthouse Park

People wonder, after seeing the impact of the looper moth in Stanley Park, how our beloved old growth forest in Lighthouse Park is faring. Historically, populations of this native defoliator have surged in roughly twenty-year cycles.

“We do not have specific data available, but I can confirm that the looper moth is present in West Vancouver,” says Tiffany Bentley, West Vancouver Parks Environmental Operations Manager. “While we know there is some looper moth activity in Lighthouse Park we have not observed a dramatic impact. Nothing like the level of impact in Stanley Park.”

The two parks have different histories, resulting in two different forests.

Stanley Park was heavily logged before being designated as a park, allowing hemlock to proliferate in sunlit open spaces. It is mostly these hemlocks that the moths have attacked and that have been cut down en masse.

Prior to becoming a park, Lighthouse Park was logged only in a small northeastern corner, so today it is truly an old growth forest with massive coastal Douglas-firs predominating, along with a wide variety of other trees and shrubs.

Tiffany explains: “In all parks in West Vancouver we address hazard trees as they are reported by staff or the public. Removals are only completed when there is a target such as a trail, building, or other infrastructure within striking distance of the tree. Otherwise, the natural cycle is allowed to take place.”

So, a different type of forest leads to different treatment, and we are lucky that Lighthouse Park’s trees can mostly be left to run their natural course.

Additional good news, particularly for those whose mobility is compromised, is the new bylaw approved by council on February 12, 2024. This includes three amendments to the dog bylaw: that Birdsong Path in Lighthouse Park be removed from the list of offleash areas, that dogs must be on a leash no greater than 2 metres in length while on the path, and that a maximum of 2 dogs per person be allowed on the path. This short 345m path

is the only accessible trail in the large network of trails in Lighthouse Park, and the amendments will make it safer for those who are less able to skip out of the way of frisky dogs.

District Bylaw 4545 states that dog feces must be removed in a sanitary manner. Bag dispensers and red disposal bins are available at trailheads. Bacteria, parasites and/or viruses in dog feces make it dangerous for soil and plants, harmful to people, wildlife and other dogs, and disgusting on wheelchair wheels and on the hands and boots of rangers and volunteers removing invasive species from the forest.

There are three new interpretive signs along Birdsong Path. The LPPS created the

signs based on the “PROVOKE, RELATE, REVEAL” philosophy of Freeman Tilden, the guru of national park education in the US. LPPS is grateful for support from the Parks department and the West Vancouver Foundation for their installation. Let the signs ‘provoke’ you into learning more about the trees, the forest environment and the many songbirds you’ll hear along the path. These signs join the Wetlands sign, two sturdy benches and a wheelchair-accessible picnic table to make for a delightful visit. Birdsong Path winds along the first section of Juniper Loop, ideal for wheelchairs, walkers, strollers and those who desire an easy walk in the forest.

May/June 2024 PAGE 11
Birdsong Path.
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Local voices continue

Local Voices celebrates our community as it was and is, in the words of the people who live here. Presented in partnership with the West Vancouver Historical Society, this popular community conversation series takes place at the West Vancouver Memorial Library.

On May 8, West Vancouver Streamkeepers will be talking about their role in monitoring salmon migration in our local creeks. Mike Perley will speak about the fish and their habitat. He will share some of the trials and challenges, the joys and rewards that Streamkeepers encounter as they go about their work, including the popular annual Adopt-A-Fish event, another successful partnership with West Vancouver Memorial Library.

On June 12, the topic is Maritime History of Howe Sound with Eric Andersen, for the Forest History Association of BC and The Story of a Fjord with Diane Mitchell on behalf of the Howe Sound UNESCO Biosphere Region.

Local maritime history is a world in it-

self. Eric Andersen will talk about the various uses of Howe Sound in the past and the present, with a look at a future which holds the Howe Sound Biosphere and a proposed LNG export site.

On behalf of the Átl’ḵa7tsem/Howe Sound UNESCO Biosphere Region, Diane Mitchell will tell the story of the landscape of the fjord and its importance as a key watershed for the region.

Based in Squamish, Eric Andersen is a local historian with a wide range of interests, a Councillor with the District of Squamish, and a director of the Forest History Association of BC. Diane Mitchell works with the Átl’ḵa7tsem/Howe Sound Biosphere Region. She was formerly the Curator of Education and Collections at the Britannia Mine Museum.

These conversations complete Natural History, the 2024 edition of the Local Voices series.

These conversations take place in the Welsh Hall at West Vancouver Memorial Library, from 6:30 – 8 pm. Doors open at 6 pm. For more information contact Laura Anderson at 778.279.2275 or lander1@ shaw.ca.

St Stephen’s Community Singers

A mixed-voice adult choir, directed by Annabelle Paetsch, will be joined by the Cadenza Music Academy vocal ensemble and director Mahtab

as well as flautist Nancy Riecken for a joint end-of-season concert on Sunday, June 9, beginning at 2 p.m. The concert, “Spring into Summer,” will be at St Stephen’s Anglican Church, 885 22nd St., West Vancouver, with admission by donation.

PAGE 12 May/June 2024
Haghighi Photo: courtesy of City of Vancouver Archives Union Steamships vessel crew, Squamish harbour, 1925. Photo: courtesy of UBC Rare Books Union Steamships brochure cover, 1930s. Photo: courtesy of Tim Cyr Squamish Terminals with 1914 port facility pilings in the foreground.
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National forum on health and fitness in West Van

Afirst-ever national event takes place this spring in our community centre, at Park Royal, and at Sentinel High School.

Produced by the Canadian Health and Fitness Institute (CHFI), the First Annual National Forum on Health and Fitness in support of Let’s Move Canada will bring expert speakers from around the country, while showcasing the best West Van has to offer in encouraging healthy lifestyles.

CHFI sprang into life in the wake of work I performed as West Van’s Member of Parliament, from 2008 through 2015, when I worked with community members to pioneer National Health and Fitness Day, the first Saturday of June each year.

As we hosted the world for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games, West Van leaders joined then Senator Nancy Greene Raine and me at a forum in Park Royal to ask, “What should be the legacy of the Games?”

The answer was: “Commit to raise the level of health for everyday Canadians.” That translated to a commitment to disrupt corrosive trends of sedentary behaviour, obesity, diabetes, cardio disease, loneliness, and mental illness. Out of efforts on Parliament Hill came the foundation now known as CHFI, whose goal is to “Make Canada the Fittest Nation on Earth by 2030.”

The upcoming forum will spread over three days: May 28, June 1, and June 2. Canada’s first ever Minister of Sport and Physical Activity, Carla Qualtrough, headlines an illustrious team of speakers that includes mental health experts, local Gold Medal Olympian Madison Mailey, and other inspirational spokespersons. CHFI’s Patron, Governor General Mary Simon, will provide greetings. Local celebrity musician Shari Ulrich

will bring her magic. The cast of supporters includes Enhance West Van, the West Vancouver School Board, Park Royal, and British Pacific Properties, and other donors are lining up to make the forum an impactful event.

is required, by way of the QR code on the event posters or by going to the CHFI website: CHFI.fit/forum. You can also follow us on social media @letsmovecanada and join in #letsmovecanada.

At the same time as the forum, CHFI will be rolling out Let’s Move Canada. This unique, holistic approach, co-created by the Indigenous Physical Activity & Cultural Circle and the Canadian Health and Fitness Institute, emphasizes the interconnectedness of individuals, families, communities, and nature. A national movement, it inspires both Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities from coast to coast to be physically active.

Together we’re determined to cast new light on the need to transform Canadian culture into one that integrates physical activity in all “walks of life,” while letting the country know that in West Van we truly “walk our talk.” Forum events are free, but registration

The Let’s Move Canada Challenge, in partnership with Strava, takes place from June 1 to June 21, and coincides with National Health and Fitness Day and National Indigenous Physical Activity Awareness Week. You can join the challenge by downloading Strava.

We welcome anyone interested in sponsoring CHFI, donating, or volunteering, to email info@chfi.fit.

May/June 2024 PAGE 13
“ “... a commitment to disrupt corrosive trends of sedentary behaviour, obesity, diabetes, cardio disease, loneliness,
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PAGE 14 May/June 2024 MARK BALLARD Personal Real Estate Corp. 604 341 3147 mark@ballard360.com JAMES BARNES Licensed Realtor® 604 360 7529 james@ballard360.com Salt Spring Island 176 MARACAIBO LANE $649,000 One of the last undeveloped WATERFRONT lots in the community! Maracaibo is a private residential community on Salt Spring Island where ocean-view homes sit on a 530-acre peninsula among groves of arbutus, r, & oak trees. This SUNNY, 5,651 sq.ft., high bank waterfront lot features STUNNING OCEAN VIEWS down Long Harbour. FULLY SERVICED w/building plans pre-approved (1,500–1,760sq. ft + 2 parking). Maracaibo o ers proximity to trails, beaches, and a 20+ acre community area including 2-acre lagoon, clubhouse, guest cabins, tennis + pickleball courts, private docks w/ kayaks, canoes & lasers. Incredible location o ers community orientated living, proximity to the ocean, and only 5km from the shops & Saturday market in Ganges.
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May/June 2024 PAGE 15 Macdonald Realty Ltd. This communication is not intended to cause or induce breach of an existing agency agreement.
give you my personal assurance that when it comes to the business of your present or future home, open houses, or private showings you will never deal with an assistant or third party associate. In short, I will always be there to help you with the details and decisions that are so critical to the purchase and sale of your home.” - Franco 604.842.2668 franco@francodiligenti.com francodiligenti.com “ Selling my home had not been an easy process until I spoke with Franco. His diligent and professional effort were beyond what I could’ve hoped for and he delivered on everything that was promised. He was the right realtor for me and I would highly recommend him to anyone thinking of buying or selling their home. I am exactly where I want to be thanks to his knowledge and expertise.”

In the 14 years that I’ve helped my clients buy and sell homes here, I’ve always felt that I’m not just selling a home, I’m

a lifestyle. When I move someone into a new home, the process doesn’t end with me handing them the


In the 13 years that I’ve helped my clients buy and sell homes here, I’ve always felt that I’m not just selling a home, I’m selling a lifestyle. When I move someone into a new home, the process doesn’t end with me handing them the keys; I’m involved in connecting them with their new community - my community. I was fortunate to grow up in Eagle Harbour and my husband, in Horseshoe Bay. Our son and daughter learn in the same classrooms that we did at Gleneagles - it doesn’t get more local than that. Since childhood I’ve been familiar with the trails, parks and beaches that my family enjoys today. I feel very fortunate to have fashioned a successful career doing what I love to do in this beautiful area I call home and I would love to help your family buy or sell the West Coast dream... because I believe it is.

- my community. I was fortunate to grow up in Eagle Harbour and my husband, in Horseshoe Bay. Our son and daughter learn in the same classrooms that we did - it doesn’t get more local than that. Since childhood I’ve been familiar with the trails, parks and beaches that my family enjoys today. I feel very fortunate to have fashioned a successful career doing what I love to do in this beautiful area I call home and I would love to help your family buy or sell the West Coast dream... because I believe it is.




This tastefully updated and meticulously maintained 4 bdrm / 3 bthrm / 2739 SF family home sits on its own private oasis with stunning ocean and nature views. Words can’t describe this incredible setting with beautiful perennial plantings, soothing creek and private old growth forest next door. The home offers an ideal open floor plan with 3 bedrooms up and a rec room and 4th bedroom down. Walk to beach, trails, store, café & school.

5707 BLUEBELL DRIVE $2,500,000


This move in ready 5 bdrm / 4 bthrm / 3071 SF family home sits at the end of a quiet cul-de-sac with marina views. It features an ideal floor plan on 3 levels - main floor boasts beautiful vaulted ceilings, hardwood floors, kitchen off the cozy family room & two sunny decks. Upstairs offers 3 large bdrms and downstairs you’ll find 2 more bedrooms and a large rec room with garden access (easily suitable). Complete with level driveway & 2 car garage.


Embrace unparalleled serenity with this 3+ acre waterfront property, a hidden treasure between West Vancouver and Lions Bay. Accessible only by boat, this gem offers an unmatched level of privacy and tranquility. With low bank water access, this pristine parcel is an ideal setting for your dream home or a secluded vacation haven. A rare opportunity to craft your personal paradise in a breathtaking location.

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Nestled in absolute privacy, this extraordinary 5 bdrm + office / 5 bthrm / 5661 SF residence sits on over half an acre surrounded by lush gardens. Main level features an open plan with gourmet kitchen. 4 spacious bdrms up plus a large hobby room. Downstairs offers a games room, gym, sauna, hot tub & tons of storage. A greenhouse, double garage & gated flat driveway complete this remarkable home.


This 5 bdrm + office / 5 bthrm / 3000 SF contemporary masterpiece, perched on a sunny bluff within a desirable cul-de-sac in Lions Bay’s Kelvin Grove, defines luxury living with unparalleled ocean vistas from every room. Exquisite finishes throughout are enhanced by floor-to-ceiling windows/doors that showcase the stunning panoramic views & open onto an expansive deck leading to the jacuzzi & pool.


3379 MARINE DRIVE $2,150,000 WEST BAY

This charming 4 bdrm / 2 bthrm / 2984 SF historic home offers incredible panoramic ocean views and a unique opportunity to restore it to its original luster or build your dream home. Located on a peaceful, sunny flat lot on a private lane off of Marine Drive, it promises endless potential. Easy access to local parks, beaches, Dundarave Village, and ideally located in the desirable West Bay & Rockridge school catchments.

PAGE 16 May/June 2024 KIM TAYLOR Real Estate Group KIMTAYLORHOMES.COM | KIM@KIMTAYLORHOMES.COM | 604.315.2645 INDEPENDENT ADVISOR OF RENNIE AND ASSOCIATES REALTY LTD. THIS COMMUNICATION IS NOT INTENDED TO CAUSE OR INDUCE A BREACH OF AN EXISTING AGREEMENT(S). E.& O.E 290 KELVIN GROVE WAY $2.688M $1.68M $1.899M $1.29M $1.935M 325 BAYVIEW PLACE 510 BAYVIEW ROAD 623 E KINGS ROAD 509 - 6707 NELSON AVE This beautifully renovated 7 bdrm / 5 bthrm / 5,528 SF Kelvin Grove home boasts incredible panoramic views on all 3 levels. Hidden below the street for maximum privacy, this home reveals its magnificence the moment you step inside. 3 bdrms up; an impressive main floor with a 1000+ SF sundeck; TWO spacious 2 bdrm suites. Lots of updates, a detached garage and a separate studio. Inhabit the essence of majestic Lions Bay in this one-of-a-kind 4 bedroom home surrounded by unparalleled ocean and nature views. Imagine entertaining friends and family on your large viewing deck or flat, grassy yard. A warm community awaits you - just a short walk to three beautiful beaches, trails, community hall, general store, café and pre and primary school (in West Vancouver school catchment). This impressive 6 bdrm / 4 bthrm / 3725 SF West Coast residence is perched on a spectacular 14,228 SF lot with sweeping SW views of Howe Sound. Upstairs features 3 spacious bdrms, main level boasts an open kitchen/dining/living room with incredible vaulted ceilings, large picture windows & sliders to an expansive entertaining deck
lower level offers great suite potential.
with garage
the market, this home
lovingly built
its owners
1969, who still reside in the house
private treed lot set back far from the street at the end of a flat, quiet cul-de-sac. Well maintained and lots of updates in this beautiful home. Enjoy the peace and tranquillity of your very own slice of nature. Horseshoe Bay Sanctuary by Westbank is a vibrant waterfront community framed by nature. This brand new 2 bdrm / 1 bthrm / 941 SF suite boasts 500 SF of outdoor space & ocean views. Features include 10” ceilings, travertine stone fireplace, Miele appliances, granite slab countertops & wide plank floors. Steps to unique shops & restaurants. Complete with private boathouse & a 26ft Chris Craft boat for your leisure. LIONS BAY LIONS BAY LIONS BAY NORTH VANCOUVER HORSESHOE BAY $3.95M 6239 WELLINGTON AVE Experience luxury coastal living in this completely renovated 3 bdrm / 4 bthrm / 2467 SF home. This architectural masterpiece boasts br eathtaking ocean views from every room. Every detail has been well thought out, from the vaulted ceilings to the floor-to-ceiling oriel windows and skylights that flood the home w/ natural light. Walking distance to Garrow Bay, school, local shops, restaurants & transit.
First time ever on
today. This 4 bdrm / 3 bthrm / 2833 SF residence is situated on a
them with their new
involved in connecting
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