THE No. 46
BEACON Shedding light on the communities from Lions Bay to Dundarave
Lions Bay’s Madison Mailey, along with the rest of the Canadian Women’s Eight, rowed to gold in Tokyo, on July 29, 2021. Story on p5.
We are grateful to live and work on the unceded traditional territories of the Coast Salish peoples.
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IN THIS ISSUE 3
CONNECTING THROUGH ARTS
CHECKING ON EAGLETS
LINDY PFEIL OPINION TEAM
Chris Stringer Publisher
Lindy Pfeil Editor
Penny Mitchell Advertising
Melissa Baker Creative Director
melissabaker @westvanbeacon.ca 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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On not losing any more days
t was Friedrich Nietzsche who said, “I would believe only in a God that knows how to dance.” My first ballet class took place in a church hall in South Africa. I was seven. In my frilly pink ankle socks, I was convinced that God Himself was there, dancing alongside me in the sun streaming through the windows high above my head. (At seven, I did not yet know about Nietzsche’s most famous quote: “God is dead.”) Over the years, ballet retained its sense of sacredness. Socially awkward in real life, the studio was my safe place. Predictable. The barre, piano music, trembling muscles and the unchanging order of the exercises. No speaking allowed. It was such a relief. At 17, I started teaching. My ballet teacher at the time was pregnant, and her patience with the five-year-old ballerinas was wearing dangerously thin. I inherited them just in time for the year-end recital. It was from these preschoolers that I learned the delicate art of soliciting cooperation from those with zero – and I mean zero – interest in cooperating. It remains the single most useful lesson I have ever learned. (It involved a lot of bodily fluids, and is a story best left for another time.) But it was this experience that lit the teaching flame in me. There is nothing quite as rewarding as seeing little human faces light up onstage when they hear the audience applauding for the first time. For them. The understanding that their efforts – their dancing – has brought joy to others. That we can
create magic with our very own bodies. And so, for the next 35 years, I taught: preschoolers, teenagers, children and adults. For a while, I had my own little studio, in a church hall where dust motes drifted softly through the sunlight. (Which is how I came to be the editor of the Beacon – another story
for another time.) A few years ago, for a variety of reasons, all of which seemed reasonable at the time, I stopped teaching ballet. And I was so busy doing “stuff” that for the longest time I didn’t miss it. We are such clever creatures, aren’t we? We busy ourselves so thoroughly, that we don’t even notice the absence of magic. Or grace. And then came the pandemic. And my mother’s heart attack that took me back to South Africa, to the city of my first ballet class. I was struck by how my mother had aged.
Hunched shoulders, shrinking spine, heart hidden from the world. How had this happened? And how could I prevent the same from happening to me? My mother is only 23 years older than me. That’s not a lot of time. I went Googling. I searched in every cyber nook for ways to slow down my impending aging. I examined intermittent fasting and read about how different physical and mental activities impact our brains. I dove into dementia studies, neuroplasticity, depression, anxiety, stress, cardiovascular health, Parkinson’s Disease. I researched PhDs in gerontology. And magic spells for eternal youth. And then I found Silver Swans®. Developed by the Royal Academy of Dance, one of the largest dance organisations in the world (founded in London, England in 1920), Silver Swans® ballet classes are designed specifically for older learners. Years of research have gone into creating this licensing programme – research that puts dance ahead of other physical activities in the variety of health benefits that it brings. The classes improve mobility, posture, coordination and energy levels. I was fascinated by the research but, what with the pandemic keeping me indoors virtually 24/7, I was also just a little desperate to move again. I found an online Silver Swans® class, placed my fingers on the makeshift barre (a dining-room chair), turned out my feet, exhaled my shoulder blades away from my ears and smiled. I was seven again. See page 3
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It’s all happening! Branching, ‘winghop’ dancing and first flights! BY
his was the title of the North Shore Eagle Network’s July report, when the two-to-three-month-old eaglets under observation, were learning to fly. There are 20 North Shore eagle nests under the watchful eyes of network volunteers
Mother teaching eaglets to fly.
Continued from page 2
And as I pliéd and pirouetted, I felt Himself twirling through my veins in the southern hemisphere winter sunshine. And it hit me: how incredible it is to have this body, this unfurling spine, that can sway and waltz, can feel the energy of the universe. I decided, right then and there – with my medicated mother sleeping in the next room, with a global pandemic raging, with sadness
who record and report their findings to coordinator Sally McDermott. Sally, in turn, disseminates the information to the districts and to the Hancock Wildlife Foundation. Here are excerpts from Sally’s July report: Good news: Finally the eaglet in the JPP nest in Lighthouse Park showed itself at 11 weeks of age! Geesh, way to tax the perseverance of the monitor! So we are up an eaglet
Photo: courtesy Jann Aldredge-Clanton
seeping across the planet – that a return to music and magic was in order. I’m not afraid of dying. I’d prefer not to do it quite yet, but death is not something that keeps me up at night. Being unable to fully live, however, terrifies me to the tips of my toes. According to the research, dancing could be my best defense. But ballet is also one of the things that brings the most joy and beauty into my life. And I figure we can all do
and one nest. Bad news: Unfortunately we lost two eaglets during the heat wave, one from the Capilano Golf Course nest and one from the Kenneth Gordon nest. This is truly disheartening. Final two weeks: The last two weeks of the eaglets’ life in the nest is fraught with mishaps and danger! Those eaglets have huge wingspans, so knocking each other out of the nest or off branches is all too common. One of our Byway eaglets ended out of the nest for 24 hours on what we think was an ‘oops-a-daisy’ flight but made it safely back. Branching to fledging: Successful fledging includes lots of wingercising leading to short jump or hop flights to branches to the side of the nest or just above it. Then increasingly longer flights to higher branches and/or further out on branches with crash landings back into nest. Finally, the first flight out of the nest to another tree which is called fledging and hopefully nailing a successful landing back into the nest. Hopefully you will get to witness all or some of the above! If you go to your nest and you can’t see the eaglet, scan the nearby trees carefully. Because of their dark feathers they blend easily into the shadows of the tree. Hopefully their squawks will guide you to where they are.
After first flight: The eaglets usually hang out for ten or so days practicing flying from tree to tree and back to nest hoping to be fed by mum and dad. Often one of the adults leaves first then sometimes the second as they tire of feeding their demanding, now, young adult. Then they all take off on their northern migration and we await the adults’ return in the fall and hope for a successful year and life for our eaglets. Sally’s reports on the eaglets will continue in the November Beacon. In the meantime, the video of the Horseshoe Bay eaglet branching can be accessed on vimeo.com/57268257. The Ambleside eaglet’s flight, (vimeo. com/57342337), shows the eaglet in a perch tree flying from branch to branch, watched over by mum or dad, then managing a long swooping flight west to do a flyby of its sibling in the nest and back to perch tree. Encouragement for its sibling? Or just showing off? The North Shore Eagle Network was founded in 2000 by David Cook. Sally McDermott, a lifetime resident of lower Caulfeild, assumed the coordinator responsibilities in 2015. Sally’s message to Beacon readers is this: “Monitors welcome! Sightings welcome! Know of a nest? Please let me know!”
with a little more of that right now. Friedrich was right: “We should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once.” I don’t want to lose any more days. Friday, October 1st is World Ballet Day. As a proud new Silver Swans® licensee, I would like to invite you to dance with me. I will be offering free ballet classes at various locations on the North Shore. Open to any adult (any gender, any age), wear what you
will – bare feet or ballet slippers, tutus or trackpants. Don’t come because it’s good for your flexibility. Or your brain. Or your heart. It is, of course, good for all those things. But come and dance on October 1st, simply because you can. Because how incredible is that? To enquire or register for a free class on World Ballet Day please go to SilverSwans.ca or email email@example.com.
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The Mary Bayes Rain Garden
ommunity involvement is at the heart of the now-completed rain garden on Douglas Street. This neglected local park, situated next to the tennis courts, had become overgrown with invasive plants and the area was muddy for a good part of each year. After the death of Mary Bayes, in October 2018, the community was looking for an appropriate way to honour her memory. Mary was deeply involved with local community volunteerism. She was chair of the Gleneagles Community Advisory Committee, spent many years as a director and co-chair of the Western Residents Associa-
tion (WRA), was involved in Cool Neighbourhoods and a partner in publishing The Westerner. She was also treasurer for various organizations, including Rotary and the Horseshoe Bay Residents Association. Mary was honoured for her volunteerism in 2016 when she received the West Vancouver Community Commitment Award. Her friendly smile, as she walked her beloved dog Rufus around Horseshoe Bay, is greatly missed. In December 2018, a subcommittee of the WRA was struck to consider a suitable community legacy in memory of Mary. We discussed the many ideas suggested
The library and chat bench in the Mary Bayes rain garden in Horseshoe Bay.
by residents and how the funds collected should be used to best effect. Several excellent ideas were put forward and we believed that Mary would have liked all of them. However, one idea sparked the most interest. During Mary’s time on the board of Cool North Shore she became interested in the concept of rain gardens and was keen to do something in the overgrown Douglas Street Park. It was this idea that the WRA decided to proceed with. During the period January through September 2019, planning and community information sessions took place. This was followed by site preparation and the first plantings in October 2019. A second round of planting, planned for 2020, was postponed due to COVID-19. It finally took place in April 2021. This year, a mini library box was created by local residents using a decommissioned North Shore Outlook box. It was installed, along with a chat bench built by the District of West Vancouver (DWV) staff. Finally, a driftwood sign was added which explains the idea of the chat bench and honours Mary’s memory. Funding came from a variety of sources, including local residents, BC Nature Trust, and considerable in-kind support from SFU
and DWV. West Vancouver Foundation support went towards the signage, library and plants. The collaboration continues as the rain garden has been expanded and it is maintained by community members with their work parties. When you visit, you’ll see the many improvements, including a raised gravel pathway linking Douglas Street with the lane at the back of the motel. Creating West Vancouver’s first rain garden has been a huge and worthwhile undertaking. The project has served to educate the community as to the environmental value of rain gardens as they filter toxins from the road run off and it has also provided a public space for residents. While the larger Horseshoe Bay Park is used by residents, it is also a popular spot for ferry users and other non-residents. Douglas Street Park is further away from the noise and provides a quieter space. So many volunteers continue to contribute their time to this project – an example of community involvement that Mary would be proud of. As a dog lover she’d also like the fact that dogs can now (legally) walk through the park!
Lions Bay’s Madison Mailey rows for gold BY
he Lions Bay community cheered with joy and pride as Madison Mailey rowed to gold on Thursday, July 29, 2021 in Tokyo in the Women’s Eight. Prior to launching for their race, Madison asked her teammates to repeat after her: “We are so strong. We are so fit. We are so mentally tough. We are the fiercest competitors on the water.” Madison continued: “I really want to try something, let’s hold hands, breathe together, anything negative breathe out, breathing in our strength and confidence. We will go onto the water feeling united.” Madison is an outstanding team player and leader. She had a necklace made for each team member to wear while rowing to gold that said ‘Be Strong.’ They were created thinking about teammate, Kasia GruchallaWesierski, whose bike crashed in June training. Kasia broke her collarbone in the crash, yet rowed in the Olympics, miraculously requalifying five days prior to the races. Madison has enjoyed absolute commitment and support from her parents, Kim and Victoria and her older brother, Brook. On Friday, July 23, the Village of Lions Bay came together at the Lions Bay School field for a Lions Bay Olympic Rally community picnic to cheer on Madison and the Women’s Eight. The event was to end at 8 pm, however the team’s first qualifying race was earlier than planned at 8:20 pm PST. Monitors at the rally showed the race to over 150 people still remaining. Exhilarating for all. Going for gold, the Canadian Women’s Eight rowing team jumped into the lead,
never giving it up. “My champion moment was the Lions Bay Olympic Rally. It was my community believing in me, so that I could believe in myself,” says Madison. “I watched the video of the Lions Bay Olympic Rally in Tokyo before the medal race. I was so moved by watching past Olympians still wanting to inspire everyone and by my community standing behind me and cheering me on. The mantra of the 2020 Olympic games is United by Emotion and this really resonates with me.” Madison explains that she didn’t have any specific childhood Olympic inspiration moments. “Instead, I found my inspiration by looking up at those athletes currently competing on the national team. They are so strong and fast and then one day I thought why not me?” She continues: “I did not try to re-create myself to become an Olympian. I thought, what am I doing? How can I do it better? What am I really good at? Being a nice person, working hard, and being a good teammate. I love working hard. Hard work is respected in this sport.” Madison believes it is important to acknowledge the stress and fear you will feel on the start line before a race, and then go back to your breathing and trust in your training. “This is no different than what we have done a million times. We really just competed with the same vigour we bring to training every day.” When asked what it was like to win the Olympic gold medal, Madison replied, “Well, it was obviously a dream come true. I couldn’t believe it when I saw we crossed the finish line first. My coxswain was screaming, We are Olympic champions! It was a shock. I was so proud of what my teammates and
C U S TOM PLAN
Canadian Women’s Eight rowing to gold.
Biting into gold at the medal ceremony in Tokyo, from L to R. Back row: Kasia Gruchalla-Wesiers, Christine Roper, Sydney Payne, Avalon Wasteneys. Front Row: Lisa Roman, Susanne Grainger, Andrea Proske, Madison Mailey, Kristen Kit.
I did. On the dock, I thought about all the things that we had overcome - the injuries, the pandemic. Yet somehow each of our
Olympic races were just text book.” Congratulations Madison!
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Connecting communities through art BY
Founder/Director, Youth Art for Action
s a public speaker and debater, I have long discussed and debated over current events. I am a high school student at Collingwood school, and for one speech tournament, my prompt was elderly neglect. To create my speech, I spent hours reading articles about isolated elders and their experiences. I ended up with a well-drafted, rhetorical speech, but something didn’t sit right. I realized that, with or without my speech, many elders in my community were still alone. With this realization, I was inspired to use my talents for a better use. I had already been a painter for many years–it was my favourite pastime. But most of my paintings were just collecting dust in the basement. My newfound realization, combined with my existing passion for art, inspired me to look further. This resulted in myself and Jena Yue, an-
other high school student, creating Youth to BC Children’s Hospital and the Purdy Art for Action (YAFA) in the summer of Pavilion long-term care center. Because the COVID-19 pandemic has 2020. We have both long been inspired by impacted the elderly community the calming and expressive nature of art. With YAFA, we finally particularly deeply, YAFA have the chance to use hoped to find a way to lighten up the spirits our creativity and artof isolated seniors in work to tangibly help retirement homes. the community. Youth Art for During August, we started a series of Action is a foundafree painting worktion where young shops en Plein air artists donate their with the elderly from work to empower the community around Amica Senior Lifethem. YAFA believes that styles Home. art can be an instrument We facilitated workPhoto: courtesy of Jenny Zou shops on Impressionistfor change, and all proJena Yue and a participant painting at Amica Senior style lilypads as well as ceeds made at YAFA go Lifestyles Home. acrylic still-life roses, ustoward non-profit organiing art as a tool to connect zations. So far, YAFA has sold 26 paintings and different generations. We are looking forhas made around $2,500. Apart from fun- ward to hosting additional painting workdraising, YAFA also donates paintings to shops during the school year. More information can be found at youlocal hospitals and retirement homes. In the summer of 2021, we donated paintings thartforaction.com.
Photo: courtesy of Catherine Chen YAFA donating two pieces of art to the Child & Family Clinic at BC Children’s Hospital.
Photo: courtesy of Jena Yue A painting workshop at Amica Senior Lifestyles Home.
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Lawn bowls and laughs BY
ne of my summer highlights was attending the West Vancouver Lawn Bowling Club’s open house. Situated in Memorial Park (opposite the West Vancouver Memorial Library) the club’s gorgeous gardens and mountainous backdrop make this a spectacular place to spend an afternoon. Lawn bowling events have been a regular occurrence in West Vancouver since before World War I. Initially, they were organised on the tennis greens near the Navvy Jack Thomas house. In June 1931, the Men’s Club built a green south of the original West Vancouver United Church, and in 1934 the original clubhouse was constructed. By 1994, the clubhouse was in such poor shape – rodents in the basement, a sloping floor and leaking roof – that it was basically condemned. A huge fundraising effort over the next three years was responsible for the design and construction of the new clubhouse. With contributions from the West Vancouver Municipality, the government, the BC Lottery Foundation and Ambleside Tiddlycove Lions, as well as private donations and countless volunteer hours, it opened in April 1998, just in time for the new bowling season. The open house in July provided the opportunity to try my hand at bowling. The last (and only) time I participated in lawn bowling was thirty years ago, in the Drakensberg mountains, in South Africa. This is not an excuse; I was never athletic, and my skills have not improved. But at least I could see better then. And bend more easily. My opponent was West Vancouver may-
or, Mary-Ann Booth. What I learned during this activity is that our mayor is exceptionally skilled with a bowling ball. Thankfully, she is also a gracious winner, so I didn’t feel quite as pathetic as I otherwise might have felt. And the bonus is that I discovered that my knees still work. We also got to try golf croquet. Our very lovely (and extremely patient) volunteer, Jan Currie, explained the rules. Players follow a course with each hoop being contested in turn. As soon as one hoop is scored all players move on to contest the next. The aim, apparently, is to get your own ball through the hoop, from the correct side. When Jan told us that we could use our mallet to hit our opponent’s ball away from the hoop, that became my strategy. Of course, this only works if you have eye-hand-ball coordination. I don’t. But it was still a huge amount of fun. The club is active 12 months of the year. There are two outdoor natural grass greens, and seven rinks of indoor or ‘Short
Mat’ bowling inside the club for the winter months (October 1-April 30). The indoor game is similar to the outdoor game except it is played on a carpet instead of grass and each rink is much shorter than outside. To add variety, each of the seven rinks has slightly different types of carpet, which requires variation in how fast the bowl is delivered. The indoor game thus presents just as much challenge as the outdoor game. The club hosts special events, local tournaments, holiday parties, barbecues and charity functions, including an annual tournament that raises funds for the Lions Gate Hospital. To encourage new members to join, club fees are minimal for the first year. You are invited to try the game before committing to membership. Friendly club volunteers will help you out by teaching you strategies, skills and etiquette of the game. For additional information or enquiries contact Janice at 604926-0991 or go to westvanlbc.ca.
Photo: courtesy of David Charbonneau WVLBC members who attended the Canada vs. the World tournament in front of the clubhouse.
Photo: courtesy of Nancy Henderson Playing golf croquet with Mayor Booth.
Photo: courtesy of Janice Mackay-Smith The beautiful volunteer-tended gardens at WVLBC.
ON THE EDGE OF BEAUTY
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In Autumn, make the most of late bloomers In September, late-blooming perennials are showing off their last colour bursts of beauty. • This is a good time to give hedges a final light trim so that new growth can harden off in time before frost. • I always recommend aerating your lawns now (even if you did so in the spring), applying a thin layer of turf mix top dressing and over-seed as the cooler weather is better for seed germination. • Plant peonies in September and October. • If you have the summer blooming heather, give a light trimming of the flower spires only. Wait till February for more. • Visit nurseries now to check out the early arrival of spring bulbs that can be planted from mid-September through to late November. Follow the package depth directions of the bulb and try planting in groups of 25 with the bulbs ‘shoul-
der to shoulder.’ This method makes a great showing when they are randomly planted. Maybe plant a few indoors for early blooming. Generally new bulbs are packed with natural energy and do not need the addition of bone meal. • Keep deadheading your annuals and perennials. You might want to save the seed pods to plant later. October is the time to enjoy the colour of trees and various shrubs and vines with Vine maples and Japanese maples leading the way with the brilliance of shrubs like ‘Burning Bush’ (euonymus alatus) and always the Boston ivy vine. • Clear beds of annuals now and add to your compost pile. • Take up dahlias and gladioli and store them in a cool, dry place. • As perennials lose their lustre, this is a good time to lift them to relocate or divide them. • October is also a great time to select and plant new shrubs
and trees when conditions are cool and there is low risk of shock to the plant when it is installed. Some of my favourite trees: Styrax japonica, Stewartia pseudocamellia and try Camellia Yuletide – it blooms at Christmas! • Prune spent rose blossoms. Collect all the dropped leaves and destroy; do not compost. Prune more in spring. • It is important to keep your lawn free of leaves and you could give a final light winter fertilize and apply dolomite lime but two weeks apart. • Go get those spring bulbs! Try a solid yellow and white combination for a great effect. A favourite of mine is ‘Red Emperor’ – a tall tulip.
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Living in the present
n 2018, Lorinda Strang received the West Vancouver Chamber of Commerce Business Leadership Award for her work as Executive Director of the Orchard Recovery Center on Bowen Island. The Orchard Recovery Center is an internationally accredited and licensed private addiction treatment facility located on Bowen Island. “The Orchard’s clients are provided an exceptional opportunity to reclaim their lives,” Lorinda explains. “The goal is for them to leave feeling emotionally strong, personally accountable and enthused about lifelong recovery. We put the heart and science into addiction recovery.” Lorinda grew up in Dundarave in the ‘60s and ‘70s, attending Irwin Park and Hillside schools. Her favourite places included Dundarave beach, the Ambleside pool, Brunswick Bowling Alley, and the movie theatres. So how did this mother of three find herself helping develop, co-owning and leading a recovery centre for drug and alcohol addiction? Well, Lorinda herself has been in recovery from alcohol addiction for 32 years. A series of circumstances in her young life led to her seeking the comfort of alcohol. Her mother’s broken marriage when she was three was followed by living with an alcoholdependent stepfather and finally the loss of her brother to an accidental drug overdose. Lorinda’s inner strength, along with strong positive family role models, have enabled her to live a full life as a wife, a mother and a business leader. Her mother
“Wait for me Daddy!” 1942. Whitey, the little boy, is Lorinda’s father.
and grandmother were both strong, independent, single mothers, who opened and operated antique stores in various locations in Vancouver. Her mother ran her own store on Bowen Island until retirement. Lorinda reveals that she is following in her grandmother’s footsteps; she was 39 years sober when she passed away. She acknowledges her birth father, too, as a role model. They re-united when she was 21. She discovered later that he was Whitey, the little boy in the infamous “Wait for me Daddy” photograph from WWII. The origin of the Orchard Recovery Centre dates back to 2001 when Lorinda and her husband, Gavin, were living on Bowen Island, raising a family and building businesses that included a restaurant, performing arts theatre, and a fitness centre. Lorinda had been in recovery for 10 years when Gavin, ever the entrepreneur, discovered that Canadians, looking for a holistic addiction recovery experience, had to travel to the US. He planned to combine the businesses on their acreage to develop a centre that would offer the ideal space and environment for professionals to provide recovery services. There was lodging, food, a fitness
Staff picnic, Crippen Park, Bowen Island.
centre, gathering facilities and beautifully peaceful Bowen Island, close enough for access but far away enough for anonymity. Gavin, the creator and Lorinda, now the operator, opened the Orchard in 2002 and the business grew quickly as word spread about the idyllic facility and the quality team of professionals providing recovery services right here in Canada. Over time Gavin moved on to more entrepreneurial endeavours and Lorinda continued her leadership commitment to the Orchard. “Today the business has expanded to an exceptional team of fifty employees and contractors providing their services in an environment that provides a feeling of safety and peace for our clients,” says Lorinda, with a sense of gratitude and pride. “Personally, the rewards of living in sobriety are immeasurable. In every corner of my life, I meet someone seeking advice for a friend or a family member who is being impacted by drugs or alcohol. By being open about life in recovery it has helped me overcome much of my social anxiety and has provided me the opportunity to be there for others who are going through similar struggles.”
Lorinda and Orchard General Manager, Joanna Journet receiving Chamber of Commerce Business Leadership Award.
When asked for the code she lives by, Lorinda Strang offers a simple answer, “Live in the present moment.” For more information, visit orchardrecovery.com.
Socially Active: Making friends in West Vancouver BY
Welcoming and Inclusive Communities Program Coordinator, District of West Vancouver
ollowing months of COVID-19 restrictions on social interactions, newcomers to West Vancouver will finally have the opportunity to make connections and meet new friends in their community
when they join Socially Active—a unique program designed to connect newcomers with longtime West Vancouver residents. Socially Active is a welcome addition in West Vancouver—a growing community with diverse backgrounds, experiences, abilities, and identities. The program is funded by Enhance West Van—a registered charitable society that operates the West Vancouver Community Centre, Aquatic Centre, and Ice Arena through a joint operating agreement with the District of West
Vancouver. Socially Active is free of charge and open to newcomers and longtime residents of West Vancouver. Following preliminary interviews and orientations, participants will be matched based on their personality and interests and will connect with each other for 1 to 1.5 hours per week (online or inperson) over a six-month period. They will also receive invitations to events and workshops where they can meet others and learn about the community.
For more information about Socially Active, or to register, please visit westvancouverrec. ca/newcomers.
To vaccinate or not to vaccinate, that is the question
recently overheard an argument between a pro-vaxxer and an anti-vaxxer. The pro-vaxxer was quoting efficacy and safety data from official medical and government websites. The anti-vaxxer was presenting different ideas. Both rejected each other’s claims outright. The interaction quickly degenerated into name-calling. While the pro-vaxxer’s statements about vaccines were scientifically correct, her method of persuasion was not. If you have any hope of influencing another, the discussion cannot be a one-way street where you inundate the other with your truth while belittling his view. This is especially true if your opponent believes tenaciously for personal reasons, often without evidence. The result will be an escalation of mistrust and hostility towards you. A pre-COVID survey indicated that most Canadians believe that vaccination
programs are effective. Nonetheless about forty percent were unclear about the science and therefore hesitant to get jabbed. Online “influencers” have a huge impact. About a dozen individuals have been identified as stoking fear and paranoia about vaccination. Since fear is one of our most powerful motivators these online voices have an impact not only on their followers but also on the anxious and uncertain, and on those who mistrust government and big pharma. It is sometimes difficult to distinguish between science and nonsense on the
internet. And there are no laws against spreading disinformation. When there are dangerous lies, social media platforms have the right to remove the statements. It has been a rather reluctant process though and government counterpropaganda has always seemed to be in reaction, rather than taking a proactive approach. Now we are moving into a fourth wave of this pandemic with a much more contagious variant, in part because we have been unable to achieve herd immunity. The vast majority infected are and will be
“The vast majority infected are and will be the unvaccinated.”
the unvaccinated. Individually, we each have power to convince others. When a person hears a message repeatedly from peers that highlights their nonconformity, they feel pressure to comply. If the reluctant other is friend or family, the most powerful nudge can be emotional. A final thought: it is likely that this planet will see more pandemics, similar to the killer plagues of the past. We might think of COVID-19 as our dress rehearsal. Those who refuse to adapt could eventually be eliminating their contribution to the human gene pool. Ian Macpherson is a psychologist who lives and practices in West Vancouver. More at westvancouvertherapist.com.
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y friend and I had coffee today after gym. I told her about my new, goingto-sleep experiment. I suffer from “squirrels in a cage syndrome.” I can’t switch off at night. This cuts down on zzz time. Counsellors at a recent senior symposium warned that sleep deprivation leads to the staggers, dementia, and the possibility of keeling over and breaking a hip. Uh oh! To prevent this, I began scoffing down Melatonin and Tylenol at night. That didn’t help. Worse, my doctor warned that sleep medications can impair your gyroscope. She urged me to banish bathmats and remove all obstacles on my path to the biffy. I might trip under the influence of Tylenol-PM. (And I
thought I was doing well not to be sucking down alcohol or Ambien.) I had to find a drug-free way to get sleep. Meditation? No. I’m hopeless at it. Shopping lists, family follies, and story ideas disturb my concentration. I needed stronger stuff. My eye fell on an old rosary, given me long ago by another friend. She taught me how to say the Hail Mary prayer, so I’d feel comfortable in the church where we went to Mass to hear her husband play the organ. I love it. It has hung in my bedroom for years. I remembered Patty telling me she says 50 Hail Marys every night. Before she gets to 30, she’s fast asleep! Of course. Divine intervention! I believe in the power of prayer. How had I become addicted to over-the-counter solutions? I Googled the Hail Mary prayer to re-
fresh my memory. When I had it down, I went to bed clutching the rosary in my right hand. I climbed up one bead with each Hail Mary, as instructed. Unfortunately, free from the need to think, my mind soon skittered off again. I worried about Mary, and what she had suffered. I worried about worrying, and about where I was in the rosary cycle. I lost count. I finally dozed off in the wee hours. When I woke, the rosary was wrapped around my ear. Perhaps it had been carrying on for me throughout the night?
I’ll try it again tonight. I refuse to remember that the prayer has been adopted by sports fans to describe a desperation pass, made to save a losing football game. Holy Mary, pray for me, a sleep-deprived senior. If it doesn’t work, back to drugs. Anything for a little shut-eye.
DOLLARS AND SENSE
The cost of borrowing in the future
uch has been said about the possibility of rising interest rates on borrowed money. Governments around the world have been creating fiscal stimulus (borrowing and spending) to keep their citizens employed and economies afloat. Consumers and businesses have enjoyed these years of almost free money creating unprecedented debt levels on their own accords. At some point, the game of
musical chairs will stop, rates will rise and some may not find their chair. We all need to be prepared for that scenario. Consider a simple $500,000 mortgage with variable interest rate, currently at 3.1%, with a 25-year amortization (repayment) period. If rates rise 1%, the monthly mortgage rate will rise from $2,391.96 to $2,657.28. That is $265.32 more per month or $3,183.84 per year! A 3% increase would
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cost an additional $10,043.40 annually. While maybe not dramatic enough in itself, consumers and businesses with multiple lines of debt may find their cash flow hard pressed to meet these stresses. Bankruptcy and business failures are likely. For the time being, the Bank of Canada is content to maintain a low-rate policy, believing that recent signs of inflation are temporary. However, at some point they
will need to move toward withdrawing their fiscal stimulus. Great sensitivity will be needed in order to avoid a serious recession. On our own parts, each of us should review our debt lines and consider paying these down in the near future if we can. Rates are low for now, but they won’t stay that way long.
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An immigration story
ccording to census information fea- age 21, following her five-year bachelor’s in tured on West Vancouver’s Facts architecture and landscaping back in Brazil. and Stats page, 41% of West Van“At that time, we had a study-work visa, couver residents are immigrants. The ben- so if you would come to study English, you efits of our city’s rich diversity can be felt could work, which is no longer the case,” she everywhere, from the businesses that line says. “I had no intention of immigrating to our streets, to the students that attend SD45 Canada.” schools, and everything beyond. But the True North seduced her and A 2020 Forbes article noted she sought permanent residence that Canadian immigration via the express entry system. increased by 26% between Her journey was interrupt2015 and 2019. As immied with the news that her engineer tech program grants came up north in was not recognized as apdroves, the United States proved school experience saw a 7%-and-counting for the CRS, and she needdrop in legal immigration ed to re-think her plans for during the four years of the residency very quickly. Trump administration. AlPolessa at her goodbye party though the Canadian ComHaving already paid before moving to Canada. prehensive Ranking System approximately $30,000 in may seem simpler than US processes, be- school fees for her previous program, she coming a permanent resident can often be made the decision to continue the road to costly, whether emotionally, mentally, fi- a post-graduate work permit. This brought nancially, or all the above. her to BCIT, where she studied graphic deThyana Polessa of northern Brazil is no sign and theatre production. With a mandated twenty hour maxistranger to these costs. She has lived in British Columbia for ten mum to her work week, Polessa paid tuition years and has kept a positive spirit through by working virtually for companies that opan immigration process that has been any- erated outside of Canada, as well as solidifything but easy. And being one of a mere ing her career as a freelance photographer. 2,875 Brazilians immigrating to British CoIn the three years following her gradualumbia in 2011, incredibly lonely. tion at BCIT, Polessa worked domestically “If you are smiling, you just look stupid, on a post-graduate work permit, accumubecause why would you be smiling?” she lating work hours to apply for permanent says, through a laugh. residency. The application requires three With the goal of learning English through full years of work experience in Canada, and a local engineering technician program, Po- this did not include the part-time jobs she lessa touched down in British Columbia at held while at BCIT.
One month before completing her required 36 months of work, she was laid off due to COVID-19. She reached out to Canadian Immigration Services and was ultimately approved for PR. “It was all very stressful. I am not going to lie,” she says. Polessa estimates that she has spent approximately $100,000 on becoming a permanent resident. Despite the long and difficult process, she is thrilled to finally be a permanent resident. She lives with her partner of three years, Maria, and their dog, Nano. Rose Lepin is in gr 12 at WVSS. She spends her free time singing in the District Honour Choir, taking excessive photos of her cat, and performing her duties as the reigning Miss Teen Greater Vancouver and Miss Canadian Inspiration Ambassador.
Photos provided Polessa with her Canadian family: her partner, Maria, and their dog, Nano.
Polessa and her Engineering Technician classmates exploring Vancouver during her first week here.
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FROM THE INKWELL
The uninvited luncheon guest
efore the raccoon population was decimated by distemper, Caulfeild was plagued by an oversized and energetic population of the cheeky procyons. They overturned garbage cans. They dug up bulbs planted against the coming of spring. They ate everybody’s grapes as they were on the point of ripening and terrorized the neighbourhood cats. They are equipped with thumbs, which, although they cannot close them on their index fingers, allow them to open garbage cans and boxes. They are omnivorous. Like the coyotes, they have adapted to the presence of humans. The name raccoon comes from an Algonquin word, aroughlause, meaning he who scratches with his hands. Clever and mischievous, they are completely unafraid. Although they have an engaging appearance, with their black ringed eyes, striped bushy tails and grizzled grey bodies, they can be quite vicious. Like coyotes, they are well known for their propensity to seize cats, carrying them off for supper. Nancy and Chris Ashton have lived for some thirty years on Pilot House Road. One day Nancy set about baking bread. She laid out the fresh loaves to cool on her kitchen table and repaired upstairs. She heard an odd noise in the kitchen and came back downstairs to investigate. There, on the kitchen table, she beheld a raccoon busily devouring one of her freshly baked loaves.
She advanced on the beast and banged the table with a wooden spoon, the first weapon that came to hand. The raccoon glared at her over the loaf, evidencing an edgy attitude that deterred her from any attempt to lay hands on it. The pointed teeth and, more intimidating, the long sharp claws, gave warning that she should conduct only very cautious negotiations over title to the loaf. She banged her wooden spoon repeatedly and shouted at the creature in uncomplimentary language. The raccoon stood up on its hind legs and glowered at her with its big black button eyes. It emitted a growl, a surprisingly loud baritone. The beast clearly had a flair for the melodramatic, for it bobbed up and down and continued its menacing growls ranging over a whole octave, while Nancy continued to bang on the table, advancing the spoon towards the raccoon. This seemed to achieve the desired result, for the raccoon dropped down from its upright en guard stance, picked up the loaf in its jaws, turned and wobbled with its characteristic rolling gait to the edge of the table, dropped the loaf onto the floor and leaped down after it. Grasping the loaf again in its mouth, it hastened to the back door, which had a cat door let into it, through which the raccoon had gained entry in the first place, attracted by the
“She banged her wooden spoon repeatedly and shouted at the creature in uncomplimentary language.”
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smell of newly baked bread. Now, the loaf was too wide to go through the cat door and, though the raccoon tried to exit with the loaf in its mouth, it soon discovered that was not an option. It dropped the loaf and bustled off through the cat door, which swung back to its closed position. Nancy walked round the table and over to the door. She stooped to pick up her now ruined loaf. As she did so, to her astonishment, the cat door slowly opened inwards and a skinny, hairy hand was thrust through it, groping about for the temporarily abandoned loaf. The hand, locating its objective, grasped the loaf and tried to turn it round. Nancy seized the battered loaf. The claws opened and closed as the raccoon sought to retrieve its prize. Nancy bent down and peered through the
cat door. Her gaze was met by two angry black eyes glaring through the door. It eventually withdrew its hand and the cat door closed with a decisive click. Nancy opened the back door and watched the raccoon hopping over the rocks in her back garden. It stopped once, cast a resentful glance over its shoulder and disappeared into the bushes, leaving Nancy clutching her now ruined loaf.
understood. understood. The Things Kids Say.
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NIFTY THRIFTY STORE
Changes in leadership at St. Francis-in-the-Wood
will be open on
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 2nd 10am and 2pm
at the St. Francis-in-the-Wood Church hall in beautiful Caulfeild Cove Treasure hunters can find many valued, some barely used, even some antique items – all in good condition. Beneficiaries of the proceeds are the various charities supported by St. Francis. Reverend Dr Angus Stuart.
Venerable Stephanie Shepard.
West Vancouver Presbyterian Church
Sunday Service at 10am 4772 Piccadilly Road South
fter sixteen years as the rector of St. Francis-in-the-Wood Church, Reverend Dr Angus Stuart retires on September 13. As is the practice in the Anglican church, when a minister has served a lengthy term, as Angus has, his replacement will be interim for a year. During this time the church leaders will form a canonical committee to begin the process of preparing and searching for a permanent rector. This will be the second change in church leadership this year. Reverend Alecia Greenfield was the minister in training, known as a curate, for two years, before being assigned by the Diocese Bishop to lead her own parish in Vancouver on June 30. The Venerable Stephanie Shepard will serve as interim minister at St. Francis-in-theWood for the next year. She has been serving as the interim minister at St. Martin’s Anglican Church in North Vancouver for the past 18 months.
604.922.3531 | stfrancisinthewood.ca
Sundays at 10:30am
2893 MARINE DRIVE 604.926.1812 westvanpresbyterian.ca
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320 Bayview Road, Lions Bay
233 Bayview Road, Lions Bay
171 W. Kings Road, North Vancouver
This charming 2 bedroom plus loft / 3 bathroom / 2,583 SF A-frame boasts gorgeous westerly views of Howe Sound, stunning vaulted ceilings and natural light bursting through tall windows. The generous, flat outdoor area offers plenty of room for entertaining while enjoying Lions Bay’s spectacular views and sunsets. Walk to 3 beaches, trails, marina, school, café, store & transit.
This extraordinary residence will leave you breathless at every turn. Panoramic ocean views present themselves from every room, while large picturesque windows and nearly 400 SF of skylights flood the home with natural light. Completely Renovated in 2019, this 4 bedroom / 5 bathroom / 4,749 SF / 3-level masterpiece displays exquisite details and superb craftsmanship designed to provide the ultimate in comfort & luxury.
This gorgeous, custom-built executive home in Upper Lonsdale features 6 bthrms, 7 bdrms including a master with deck and ocean & city views, yoga room and a 2 bdrm legal suite. The main features beautiful, heated hardwood floors, office, formal living/dining room and open kitchen/family room. Entertain in the backyard oasis offering a covered porch with gas fire-pit and an outdoor kitchen with built-in BBQ. This incredible home is everything you could ask for.
6526 Wellington Place, Horseshoe Bay
20 Seaview Place, Lions Bay
2901 - 120 W. 2nd St., North Vancouver
$1,399,000 This one of a kind 3 bedroom / 2 bathroom / 1386 SF partially renovated home was designed by Dino Raponish and featured in Western Living Magazine. The main features 18’ high vaulted ceilings supported by a dramatic pillar and an open plan with a wood fireplace and views up Howe Sound. Off the kitchen is a large sun deck for entertaining & enjoying the beautiful surroundings of this private 10,345 SF property.
$2,440,000 This stunning 4 bedroom / 4 bathroom / 2,848 SF ocean view home sits on a 10,072 SF private flat lot on one of the most desirable cul-de-sacs in Lions Bay. Imagine kids on bikes, communal ball hockey nets, table tennis and Halloween central. 1 min walk to beach and marina, 5 min walk to store and 10 min walk to school. Substantially rebuilt in 2016 with the most exquisite finishings.
$3,998,000 This sprawling 3 level Penthouse at the Observatory has 12 foot ceilings throughout with views as far as the eye can see. Completely rebuilt in 2018 featuring wide plank oak hardwood floors, Ann Sacs designer tiling, handcrafted oak cabinets, and massive stone marble countertop perfect for entertaining. The top level is reserved for the master bdrm, large walk-in closet and stunning ensuite with custom stone soaker tub. One of the most spectacular penthouses on the North Shore.
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60 4. 315 . 2645 | K imTaylo rHo mes . c o m
In the 12 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 is in the same classroom at Gleneagles that we were in - 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. Cheers,