Free The Fern: Invasive Education 101 – June 12, 2021

3 May

The popularity in gardening has increased immensely during the pandemic. For anyone doing a bit of gardening, or just walking through trails in our parks around Vancouver, you might see invasive species taking over some natives species. Free The Fern is a non-profit organization based in SE Vancouver working hard to remove invasive species. They recently hosted a Zoom session with over 70 participants for which there was a waiting list. It is a hot topic for those wishing to ensure our native plants survive and thrive. The recent Zoom session was a great way to get information and there is more detailed info online at Invasive Species Council of Metro Vancouver and Grow Green. If you prefer to get your hands dirty, literally with some hands on experience removing invasive plants, Free The Fern invites you to the Champlain Heights Trail on June 12th. Experienced volunteers will lead 2 groups for a 50 minute session with a maximum of 6 participants. They will show you how to remove invasive species like like English Ivy, Himalayan Blackberry and Common Periwinkle, a common ground cover. This is an outdoor event with physical distancing protocols in effect. The event is also free, but registration is required. To book a 50 minute time slot, email freethefern@gmail.com.

Covid-Safety Protocols:

  • outdoor location
  • mask wearing
  • bring your own garden gloves
  • sanitized tools provided
  • physical distancing in effect
  • book a 50 min time slot
  • max of 10 (six participants and 4 volunteer leaders) per session.

Vancouver Farmer Markets Kick Off Summer Season

30 Apr

Spring is here which means lots of local products at our farmer markets in East Vancouver. Each of the markets hosted by Vancouver Farmer Markets has a lot to offer in the way of locally grown produce, handmade goods, artisan breads and baked goods, locally made jams, cheese, free range and organic eggs and of course wineries, breweries as well as spirits to name just a few.  Trout Lake as many readers may know is the largest market in East Van and with Covid protocols, do expect a bit of a line up.  Mount Pleasant Farmers Market which is in Dude Chilling Park is a smaller market, but we love that it’s on a Sunday. Riley Park Farmers Market is next to one of the most beautiful community gardens we’ve seen and happens year round every Saturday from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. The Main Street Farmers Market is currently closed due to construction. We have set out below the dates when the markets begin and end for the Spring/Summer season. We encourage you to stop by and support our local producers this season.

Trout Lake Farmers Market
9:00 am – 2:00 pm
Every Saturday: May 1, 2021 to October 30, 2021
Location: Lakewood Drive & E 13th Avenue

Mount Pleasant Farmers Market
10:00 am – 2:00 pm
Every Sunday:  May 23, 2021 to October 31, 2021
Location: Guelph Street between 7th & 8th Avenues (on the paved play area between Mt. Pleasant Elementary and Guelph Park/Dude Chilling Park)

Riley Park Farmers Market
10:00 am – 2:00 pm
Every Saturday: All Year Round (Sumer Kick Off May 1st)
Location: 30th Avenue and Ontario Street

Main Street Farmers Market
Currently Closed Due To Construction

Virtual Production Of Wheel Voices: Tune In!

26 Apr

For two nights in May, you are invited to check out the virtual production of Wheel Voices: Tune In!. It is a mashup of original scenes, rap, spoken word, and choral pieces. Featuring a cast of 14 Vancouver-based community artists, this virtual performance weaves personal stories rooted in the disability experience with passionate anthemic scenes, and one hilarious comedic take on revenge fantasy. 

Music is a common language; it dissolves barriers and strengthens bonds between people from many walks of life. Realwheels performers will come together in an online collaboration, demonstrating a range of talents across genres. Wheel Voices: Tune In! is edgy, poignant, funny as hell, and full of heart. 

Originally scheduled for production in May 2020, but postponed due to the pandemic, they have now put together this virtual production through online rehearsals, innovation, and tenacity. Each performer brings their originality, heart, and spark to the “stage”. Virtual shows run May 5 and 14, 2021 at 7:00 pm both evenings. Tickets are Pay What You Can. To grab your tickets, visit Reelwheels Theatre.

Fluevog Shoes Hosts A Virtual Spring Shopping Party April 29th

22 Apr

The Cultch invites you to their first virtual fundraising party with Fluevog Shoes. On April 29th from 6:00 – 8:00 pm you will be invited to purchase shoes during this Zoom event with the one and only John Fluevog in attendance. The bonus, is that 50% of the proceeds go directly to The Cultch and supporting the arts. An RSVP is required so to grab your spot, visit The Cultch.

As an added bonus, you will also have the opportunity to purchase and enjoy a bottle of wine from Liberty Wine Merchants who have curated a selection of discounted wines exclusively for this event. A list of wines will be provided with your RSVP confirmation.

Firehall Arts Centre Presents An Outdoor Exhibition Yellow Objects May 11-22

16 Apr

The Firehall Arts Centre is hosting the world premiere of yellow objects, an exhibition created by Derek Chan, from Tuesday, May 11 to Saturday, May 22, 2021. The exhibition will take place outdoors in the Firehall Arts Centre’s courtyard and is limited to 10 patrons per showing. There will be no live performers – only objects, voice recordings, and projections. Over the 12 day exhibition, there will be a total of 50 showings, each 40 minutes in length. yellow objects invites us to question our responsibility to future generations by stepping into a Hong Kong of two eras – 2019 and 2050. “This piece is a collection of what was, what has been, what is, and what could be,” says Chan. “It’s a rally for the ones who are still risking their lives out there; written in remembrance of those who cannot be there anymore; a lament of families broken and loves lost.”  The production is. inspired by the ongoing pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong and the Chinese government’s oppressive enforcement of the National Security Law in July 2020. Individuals can step into the world of yellow objects through the shoes of protagonists ‘Sandra Wong’ and ‘Uncle Chan’.

Prior to visiting the exhibition at the Firehall Arts Centre’s courtyard, patrons can take part in a series of short digital narrative adventures, which will be available on April 19, April 26, and May 3 via Rice and Beans Theatre. This digital component is an introduction and portal into the exhibition piece.

Through the exhibition piece, taking place May 11-22, patrons can witness the rest of ‘Sandra’ and ‘Uncle Chan’s’ journey to Hong Kong from 2019 to 2050 – with a walk through the Chinese underworld and beyond – culminating in a final act of political defiance against tyranny.

The Firehall Arts Centre’s Artistic Producer Donna Spencer says, “It is exciting to showcase this very pertinent and challenging exhibition at a time when the world’s eyes are on Hong Kong and the dismantling of the democratic movement there. Derek and his collaborators have found a way to share this important information in a COVID-safe exhibition that is dramatically compelling.”

COVID protocols: Between each showing, the venue will be sanitized as per COVID-19 protocols. Patrons will be required to wear a mask and follow the two-metre social distancing rule. Tickets must be purchased in advance. Ticket prices range from $15 to $25. To purchase your ticket, visit the Firehall Arts Centre.

Skout & Y Brands Sample Sale April 14-16, 2021

14 Apr

If you are looking for a great deal, we invite you to check out the Sample Sale being hosted by Skout & Y Brands between April 14 and April 16, 2021. Note shopping is by appointment only between 9:00 am and 6:00 pm to ensure COVID protocols are being followed. To book your appointment to shop for Skout products, email “hello@skout.ca” and for Y Brands, email kathy@ybrands.ca. Cash and credit cards are accepted. Location is 1355 Parker Street, Vancouver.

Indian Summer Festival Launches Public Art Street Banner Project with Punjabi Market

12 Apr

Vancouver’s Punjabi Market plays host to an exciting new visual art project and collaboration featuring colourful street banners that line the area. Curated by the Indian Summer Festival, in partnership with the Punjabi Market Regenerative Collective, banners feature high calibre artwork from Musqueam (Xʷməθkʷəy̓əm) artist, Debra Sparrow (θəliχʷəlʷət) and Jag Nagra, artist and Collective member. The project looked at the idea of place and placemaking in the context of the Punjabi Market being located on unceded, ancestral Musqueam territory and marking 51 years of existence as an important hub for the South Asian community.

The Indian Summer Festival asked the two accomplished artists to respond to the Punjabi Market’s call for ideas to celebrate cultural traditions in the community. The resulting street banners are installed on Main Street between 48th and 52nd streets and will adorn the neighbourhood from April 12, 2021, until 2023. The Musqueam Nation’s banners are installed on the first and last poles on the street as an ‘embrace’ of this project and the Punjabi Market.

“The two banners I designed comprise of a phulkari pattern and a peacock,” says Jag Nagra, artist and member of the Punjabi Market Regeneration Collective. “Phulkari is traditional embroidery from the Punjab region of India where individual stitches create bold, colourful patterns. And much like the phulkari, what makes up a community is the weaving of individuals. Thread by individual thread is intertwined to tell a story, one that connects us all.”

Roadways in our world today
Replace the rivers that were the roadways of the past
Where people congregate for food and gatherings
In Musqueam, the old people tell a story
Of a two-headed serpent making its way through the waterways
Leaving behind lilies…
Over the last two centuries, the story has disappeared deep into the bottom of the river
Only to reemerge in a vision by Isaiah Sparrow after the story was related to him
It is an honour to have such a young man following his history
Bringing back stories that are never ending and important for the places we live.
The geometric designs reflect the blanket patterns woven by Musqueam women,
And are as old as time…
The modern designed birds are filled with Salish elements
Like us, in this modern day world we adapt to.         
The colours are in keeping with Jag Nagra 
And her amazing reflection of her history,
Both as ancient as time
We walk together on this land

Debra Sparrow

Free The Fern Hosts Invasive Removal Zoom Session April 28, 2021

11 Apr

If you are interested in learning about the best practices for removing common invasive weeds, Free The Fern invites you to a free Zoom session on Wednesday, April 28th 7:00 – 8:30 pm.  You will learn the skills to remove invasive plants like Himalayan Blackberry, English Ivy and others from your garden or other green space.  Free the Fern is a new local organization based in SE Vancouver that was founded in January 2021. It is a group of 14 community members and environmental stewards living within Champlain Heights.  They, like many others, realize invasive plants have already spread throughout our local parks and green spaces. Free the Fern was created to decrease the spread of invasives along the Champlain Heights Trail with a mission to replace the invasive species with native plants.  If you are interested in participating in the Zoom session, pre-registration is required email them directly to register at freethefern@gmail.com.  

Free The Fern is also hosting a fundraiser to raise money for adding new native plants to the Champlain Heights Trail. Hand painted canvases by Christine (Kiki) Nombrado featuring local birds and plants are available for sale for $15 each (5″ x 7”) or 3 for $40. 100% of the proceeds will go to fund native planting on the Champlain Heights Trail this Fall.  To purchase the art work, we invite you to reach out to freethefern@gmail.com. To follow along on Instagram, visit them at FreeTheFern.

Renfrew Ravine Park Spring Clean Up April 11th

5 Apr

Have some free time on your hands and wish to get involved in your local community? Still Moon Arts Society is hosting a spring clean up in Renfrew Ravine Park April 11th from 10:30 am to 1:30 pm. This is a great opportunity to give something back to a local park. On April 11th a group of volunteers will be picking up trash and doing a bit of weed maintenance, specifically culling a few invasive species like English Ivy. All ages are welcome to participate. Meeting location is 3958 Renfrew Street. For more information on what you should bring (outside of your mask), visit Still Moon Arts Society or email adrian@stillmoonarts.ca.

#TakeOutBC Support Local Restaurants

1 Apr

This past year certainly feels like a roller coaster ride with many ups and downs. So many local businesses and organizations are struggling during this pandemic. We’ve already seen a number of restaurants shut their doors permanently. Just the other day, we learnt a long-standing Greek restaurant in SE Vancouver shut their doors on March 5th. We expect there will be more to come, but of course we hope not. With the most recent Provincial Health Orders, we have learnt there is a temporary hold on indoor dining until April 19th and possibly beyond. It is now take-out and delivery for restaurants save for those that have an outdoor patio.

We know the rapid changes in Provincial Health Orders has made it difficult for many businesses to pivot on a dime leaving them holding inventory, cutting staff, etc. We appreciate not everyone is in a position to support local restaurants due to their own personal circumstances. For those that can, we encourage you to support local where and when you can. Whether it’s take out, delivery or patio dining. There are so many great spaces around the City and some hidden gems. Did you know a personal favourite Via Tevere Pizzeria on Victoria Drive has an outdoor patio in the back of the restaurant? Add to that, they have a great online ordering system. If it’s great coffee you seek, did you know Platform 7 Coffee on East Hastings has an outdoor space behind their restaurant? There are a also number of areas along Commercial Drive that have carved out sections for outdoor patios and, of course, some have always had them like Havana Restaurant. Main Street and Fraser Street have also created many outdoor spaces for patio dining. We hope you will join us in supporting our local restaurants and #takeoutBC when and where you can.

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