Village Vancouver Newsletter and Calendar of Events 

April 2012

Welcome to the April 2012 edition of the Village Vancouver monthly newsletter and Calendar of Events! 

This edition is chock full of great stuff: 
  • Cabot Lyford writes about Right Livelihood Circles, an exciting new initiative that will take its participants (could be you!) through a well thought-out program designed to help each person gain the confidence, social support and competenices they need to find their own "Right Livelihood" - making a living while Transitioning and using one's creative gifts.
  • In this vein, we will also see a couple of examples of people who are doing just that: urban farmers Julia Smith, Emi Do and Shirlene Cote, and Rick Havlak who will be opening his Vancouver Homesteader's Emporium later this spring.
  • We're offering an Urban Permaculture Design Course, taught by Sara Dent and Erin Innes.
  • Transition from a Prince Rupert perspective!
  • Heather Talbot on The Work that Reconnects
  • Meet our new board members
  • Village Vancouver updates, events and much more!
We also hope that you like our newsletter's new format! Using Blogspot for our newsletters is a new experiment for our editorial team, so please bear with us as we learn the ropes. Ultimately, hosting our newsletter as a blog will make our newsletter much more dynamic, and it will be easier to find past articles as well.

Giving our newsletter a makeover has made us think: perhaps it's time for a new name as well (something more catchy than "Village Vancouver Newsletter and Calendar of Events")? What do you think? If you have any suggestions, please send them to We'll pick out our favourite suggestions and put it to a vote in our next edition!

Speaking of our next edition, we would like to theme the May newsletter around Permaculture. What is permaculture, what are its applications, and how does it fit in with Transition? So if you're a "permie" and would like to contribute something to the next edition, please write to us!

Happy reading!
Jordan Bober
Chief Editor, April Edition 

Right Livelihood Circles:

Finding your Groove in an Age of Change -By Cabot Lyford   

I’ve always wanted to do something intelligent.  There are many examples of inspiring people who have started movements or found leverage points that make enormous impact.  To paraphrase the old Chinese proverb, “with change comes opportunity”, and to find opportunities, to work intelligently, spend effort wisely, create synergies and learn to thrive in the midst of confusion – this is a lot to ask of one tired brain, so I turn to what may be the most powerful leverage point of all: friends working together.  Circles are a time-tested format for friendly collaboration, and hence the idea of a Right Livelihood Circle. Read the entire article... 

Village Vancouver Presents:

2012 Vancouver Urban Permaculture Design Course


The Transition Movement is inspired by, and, to no small extent, based on Permaculture and Permaculture Design Principles, and Village Vancouver is pleased to present this urban-focused design course.

Permaculture is an incredible design tool for building resilient and regenerative communities, strengthening neighbourhood Transition villages and initiatives, and rebuilding broken ecologies  Across the west coast there are a growing number of dedicated individuals offering courses.

Join Village members and Permaculture educators Sara Dent and Erin Innes, with guest teachers Jodi Peters, Delvin Solkinson and Cottonwood Community Garden co-founder Oliver Kellhammer, for one weekend per month from mid-April through mid-August. Find out more...

'Tis the season for getting your hands dirty - Urban farmers Julia Smith (Urban Digs Farm), Emi Do (Yummy Yards) and Shirlene Cote (Earth Apple Farm), together with a team of of volunteers and interns, are working hard to prepare the soil of their new nearly 3-acre lease in Burnaby. These urban food heroines are excited at the prospect of plying their craft on such a large plot (part of the Agricultural Land Reserve), and their hard work will undoubtedly be a big boon to the urban food movement in the region. They are currently looking for subscribers to their 2012 CSA's, so please check out their websites and sign up for your weekly share of the bounty they will be producing this season!

Village Vancouver Quick Updates
  • Village Vancouver strengthens its board: We had a great response to our call for applications to our board of directors last month, with eight highly qualified and passionate candidates applying for four positions. Now the results are in and we would like to welcome Beth Carruthers, Dana Wilson, Jacquie Miller and Jason Mertz aboard (see below to learn more about our newest board members). The new appointments bring our board up to a full slate of ten directors, ready to take on the world with renewed gusto! We would also like to thank outgoing board member Derek Irland for all of his contributions over the years, and are glad that he will continue to be closely involved in Village Vancouver in other roles.
  • Transition to a membership-based society: After having taken the step of becoming a registered Society last year, Village Vancouver will soon be inviting all of you - our lovely online and offline Transition community - to become official members in the Society. Members will be able to vote at our first upcoming Annual General Meeting, help set the course for Village Vancouver,  run for positions on the board, and will be eligible for other perks along the way. Building a legally recognised membership base is an important next step in our capacity building as an organisation, so we hope you'll take us up on our invitation later this month and become a member!
  • Fantastic survey response: Thanks to everyone who took the time to respond to the survey we sent out at the beginning on March to provide us with your feedback and ideas about how to advance Village Vancouver's role as a leader of the Transition movement in Vancouver. We received a terrific number of responses, and the input you have provided will be invaluable to us as we set our priorities over the coming weeks and months.

New and Outgoing Village Vancouver Board Members
Village Vancouver's board will see a number of new faces this month! Eight passionate and highly-qualified individuals responded to our call for applications in February, and of these four were chosen to fill vacancies on the board, bringing it up to a full slate of 10 members and infusing it with new strength and energy. 

The board would also like to thank outgoing director Derek Irland, who is stepping down after serving for two years in order to devote himself to other commitments over the next few months. We are glad that Derek will continue to remain closely involved with Village Vancouver in other roles.

Click here to learn more about our new board members...

Transition from a northerly perspective -By Jordan Bober

On March 23rd, Lee Brain and Ken Shaw of the newly formed Transition Prince Rupert delivered a highly interesting talk to a crowd of Villagers at Langara College about their experiences in forming Transition Prince Rupert and their visions for Transition in Canada. 

The audience listened with great interest as the two men described the differences between a big city like Vancouver and a small one like Prince Rupert, and how these differences are reflected in how Transition is unfolding here and there. Prince Rupert, with a population of 13,000, is located on an island with little room for outward growth, meaning that it forms a compact community that, as Ken and Lee put it, is the perfect type of community for a Transition Town. Read the entire article...

The Work That Reconnects -By Heather Talbot
How do you feel about the state of the world right now, and how does that inform how you experience and act in the world? 

These are some of the central questions behind “the Work that Reconnects”, a pioneering form of group work devised by Joanna Macy and originating in the 1970’s.  

For many of us there is a growing awareness of the grave situation we are in as a species right now, not to mention all the other systems which our practices and behaviors have put under threat.  It's difficult to know how to even process this kind of information and still stay sane... so the question is, how do we do that?  How do we deal with the grief we feel for the things we are losing; the anger, the fear and even the despair?  What do we do with these feelings and how do we move through them and/or harness their energy so we can feel energized and alive enough to fight this good fight; to undertake the work that so urgently needs to be done right now?


Each month, we plan to highlight at least one example of a Transition Town Trade (or Transition Enterprise). A Transition Town Trade is a trade or an enterprise that allows people to make a living while simultaneously helping to build the Transition Economy by creating more sustainable and resilient alternatives for others. To start or join the discussion about Transition Town Trades, please join the newly created Transition Town Trades Initiative page on Village Vancouver's website. 

Vancouver Homesteader’s Emporium – a Transition Enterprise
                                                          -By Rick Havlak

Home-grown veggies, fruit preserves, and cheese.  Fresh eggs, compost, honey, and homemade soap.

Do I have your attention? Maybe, like me two years ago, you suspect it’s possible to produce these things in your home, you know you could be healthier and more self sufficient, and you’re eager to learn.  Maybe, like I was, you’re asking “How do I begin?” 
Read the entire article...

More Neighbourhood Small Grants open now!

We're pleased to announce that the Vancouver Foundation's Neighbourhood Small Grant Program is currently accepting applications from several Vancouver neighbourhoods, including:

Neighbourhood Small Grants are for amounts ranging from $50-$500 for projects, workshops or events that bring neighbours together and/or make a positive mark in the neighbourhood. They're super easy to apply for - all you need to do is team up with at least one of your neighbours. Many Village Vancouver members have successfully applied for these grants in the past and used them to carry out Transition projects. We hope that many of our members will apply this year as well! Looking for a neighbour to co-sponsor an application? Why not send out a message or start a discussion in your neighbourhood Village page on our website?

From the Village Blog and Forums

End of the line for the Downtown Historic Railway?                                               -By Peter Finch    

From the 1890s up 'till the 1950s, Vancouver had an amazing transit system.  Clean, green and efficient, the network of streetcar lines operated by the B.C. Electric railway built the foundations of Vancouver as a sustainable city.  All of our major streets were engineered with gradients designed for light rail transit and achieved the enviable goal of making reliable transit available within four blocks everywhere in the City.    Read the entire post...                                                                                                           

Invitation to Join Community Garden Group in South Burnaby!!! -By Chris Mann

Several of us participate in a "Community Garden" group, collectively doing organic gardening on a 1000 sq ft plot in South Burnaby as part of a 14 acre Community Garden. There is a 200 sq ft greenhouse on our plot - perfect for the 35 tomato and 30 cucumber plants we grow, along with many other things inside AND outside - squash, lettuce, arugula, kale, beets, carrots, peas, beans, peppers, broccoli, swiss chard, bok choy, etc. We also grow enough flowers for everyone to collect bouquets every week! What would YOU like to grow?  Read the entire post...

March 17-18, 2012 Patio Peas Planted -By Cylia Wong

With the beautiful spring weather I was out on the patio digging out two of my wooden garden boxes and replacing with fresher soil.  I use a combination of my on-site compost material, old soil, and added some fresh soil/compost mix from the MOBY sale.  My strategem peas are planted.  We purchased these peas from the seedy Saturday at Stewart Farm a couple years back and grew these out last year.  This time I removed the chives.  According to my companion garden book, peas don't like the allium family so I'm hoping for a bumper crop this year. Read the entire post...
News from Away
Thanks to Villager Laura Arp for posting this interesting tidbit on our website!

French village Pince to hand out chickens to cut waste

As well as reducing waste, officials hope the chickens will provide at least 200 eggs per year

A French village has proposed giving two chickens to each household in order to cut down on organic waste.

Officials in the village of Pince in north-western France say the chickens should each consume 150kg (330lb) of rubbish per year.


Village Vancouver and the Earth Day Parade

Come celebrate our beautiful planet! Bring your family, friends, dogs, cats, decorate your bike, create banners or dress up in costumes honoring the winged, whiskered and finned. Village Vancouver will hand out 1000 folded cranes in support of creating global, legal protection against ecological destruction. See eradicating ecocide. There will be joyous music, inspiring performers and fun activities at Grandview Park following. This event is organized by Youth for Climate Justice.

The Parade begins at Commercial and Grandview Hwy. just north of the Commercial-Broadway Skytrain Station at 11 am on Sunday, April 22, 2012. Click here for more details about the Parade and how you can take part!

Village Vancouver Calendar of Events