Village Vancouver Newsletter May 2012

Village Vancouver Newsletter and Calendar of Events 

May 2012

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

We hope that you will enjoy the main theme of 
this month's newsletter, which is Permaculture. The permaculture movement has played a very powerful role in the origins and development of the Transition movement around the world and here in Vancouver, and yet many of this newsletter's readers may only have a vague notion about what permaculture really means. Doesn't it have something to do with gardening? Well, yes, but as we hope you'll discover in the articles below, permaculture principles have applications - and implications - that go far beyond the vegetable plot. Indeed, when applied to our human systems and activities, permaculture presents a blueprint for the kind of low-energy, resilient, sustainable and complete communities that the Transition movement is working towards.

This month Village Vancouver is turning 4 years old! It is amazing to look backwards and see how much has happened and how far we've come in such a short time, but we are most interested in looking forward to the crucial (and exciting!) work still to be done. On this anniversary, we have an important invitation to extend to all of you: to become official members of the Village Vancouver Transition Society and attend our first AGM in July to help up set a course for our future! See below for further details.

There's a lot going on this month, and this newsletter is where you'll get the scoop! 

Happy reading!
Jordan, Sharon and Ross
The Village Vancouver May Newsletter Editorial Team

Permaculture and Transition

-By Jordan Bober   

Permaculture - if you have been active in Village Vancouver or any other Transition initiative around the world, chances are you have come across this term more than once. Many students of permaculture find themselves naturally drawn to the Transition movement, and those who become active in Transition often find themselves sooner or later drawn to permaculture. Did you know, for example, that more than half of Village Vancouver's board members are in possession of a Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC), an internationally recognised certification?

But what is permaculture, and what links it so strongly to the Transition movement? Read the entire article...

Permaculture and business?

Can permacultural principles be transplanted to business enterprises other than agriculture? Permaculture co-originator David Holmgren thinks that it can! At this time when many Transitioners are either running or thinking of starting their own enterprises, Holmgren's translation of the 12 permaculture principles to the world of business can provide some useful pointers!

You're invited!
Become a member of the Village Vancouver Transition Society!

"You're raising the bar for all the other initiatives with your extensive range of activities."
-Ben Brangwyn, co-founder of the Transition Network

Village Vancouver turns four years old this month, and  we continue to enjoy very healthy growth. The worldwide Transition Movement,  of which we're a proud member, has spread like wildfire, and currently includes over 950 initiatives in more than 30 countries. Our Village community numbers in the thousands and we're one of the largest and most active Transition initiatives on the planet. Read more...

Call-out for Volunteers

As Village Vancouver grows, we're finding that some of our infrastructure is due for an upgrade! For example, we have received feedback from many of you saying that our website would benefit from a makeover that would make it easier to navigate and use, and we are interested in exploring other ways that we can use IT to make our activities easier and more effective.

Are you knowledgeable about web design and/or development or information technology generally? Would you like like to be able to leverage your skills to help further the Transition movement in the Lower Mainland? If so, please get in touch with us at! We would certainly appreciate your help.

Even if you're not an IT-afficionado, there are many other ways we could use your help! If you could be interested in volunteering with Village Vancouver, please fill out this form to let us know a bit about yourself.

Finding the sweet spot

-By Cabot Lyford

What if we could all earn our living working with friends at enjoyable things that help move our world towards a beautiful future?  You may already be doing that, but if not, why not join us as we apply the intelligence of our hearts and minds to the task of finding your sweet spot, the intersection of your gifts and passions with unmet needs in the world.  Our first Right Livelihood Circle is now in progress each Wednesday evening.  As things progress, we may start a second circle on Tuesday or Thursday nights.  Our goal is to found a network of viable businesses that support the transformation of our world to a just, abundant and beautiful future.  We want to make every moment count, especially our working moments.

Beyond the Blue Box

-By Spring Gillard

Village Vancouver has started a monthly recycling event in Kitsilano to recycle materials that the City blue box program doesn’t accept. It was inspired by the Beyond the Blue Box event at Britannia Community Centre. It has been an education for me to learn about all the different types of plastics that can be recycled. Like the plastic tube that some soft cheeses come in, or those one serving peanut butter and jam containers you get at restaurants (and slip into your purse for the camping kit). Not only is the plastic recyclable, but so is the little foil top. Read the entire article...


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. 

Urban Digs and Yummy Yards: The new farming pioneers                                

When it comes to Transition Trades, those arguably on the forefront of the new local, sustainable economy are our urban farmers. Our current food system is one of the great Achilles heals of our society, requiring huge amounts of non-renewable energy to produce, process, transport and prepare food - and generating lots of waste in the process (by most accounts up to 50% of the food produced in North America is wasted). Metro Vancouver is in a particularly precarious position, importing more than 75% of all fruits and vegetables from Californa alone, not to mention imports of most other types of foods. If something were to get in the way of those imports (natural catastrophes, political problems, etc), Vancouver would find itself in a very tight spot. 
Read the entire article...

Vancouver Mini Maker Faire calling all urban farmers!

Vancouver's Mini Maker Faire is taking place from June 23-24 at the PNE this year, and the organisers would like to invite more farmers to share what they do in their "Home Grown Village". The fee for presenting as a Maker is $25, and a bit more for a commercial vendor. The deadline for registration as a Maker is May 19th, so hurry and submit your application today!

Here's another great opportunity for Village Vancouver members to get their Transition projects off the ground! The City of Vancouver and the Vancouver Foundation have teamed up to the Greenest City Fund, a 4-year, $2 million fund that will be used to make small grants to neighbourhood-based projects that specifically help further the goals of the Greenest City Action Plan.

Residents of Vancouver are eligible to apply for grants of up to $1000 by May 25, 2012, for neighbourhood projects that address one or more of the following priority areas:
  1. Making businesses greener or creating green jobs.
  2. Growing and eating local food.
  3. Making buildings more energy efficient.
  4. Promoting greener forms of transportation.
  5. Creating zero waste.
  6. Mitigating climate change and breathing clean air.
  7. Improving access to nature and planting trees.
  8. Conserving drinking water.
  9. Reducing our ecological footprint.
We hope that many VVers will seize on this opportunity to apply for grants that can help turn their Transition projects into a reality! For more information about the grants and how to apply, please visit Got an idea? Why not reach out to other VVers in your neighbourhood via the neighbourhood Village forums, and see if others share your vision!

Regular Neighbourhood Small Grants still available!

Remember, regular, easy-to-apply-for Neighbourhood Small Grants are still open for applications in the Carnegie/Raycam/Strathcona (deadline May 18; see map of area) and West End (deadline May 25; see map of area) catchment areas. Small grants are also available to residents of the North Shore (deadline June 8) and Surrey's Whalley neighbourhood (deadline May 25).

Village Vancouver and the Vancouver Permaculture Meetup present:

Permaculture Rendezvous 

June 2nd, 10am-1pm, Kiwassa Neighbourhood House, Hastings-Sunrise Village.
This event is for the community! Village gathering, brunch potluck, morning bazaar, Seed Swap, plant exchange, workshop, activities and teaching for youth. 

Join locals in celebrating springtime in Vancouver. Please add to this event. Tables and workshop space available. Please engage in the marketplace, any of the above activities, or bring something for the potluck. 

Transition in Vancouver Workshop
June 9-10, 2012 - Langara College

Join leaders of the transition movement in Vancouver for a 2-day workshop and dialogue introducing the principles, steps and lessons of the successful Transition Town model of local response to global challenges, and engage in generating positive, tangible responses based on collaborative efforts and community self-reliance.

The workshop will be led by sustainability/resiliency educator and certified Transition Trainer Lena Soots. 

This will be the 5th time Village Vancouver and Langara College Continuing Studies have offered this popular workshop. Mark your calendars, and RSVP here in order to receive updates with further details about this workshop.

Village Building Convergence in Portland May 25-June 3

Portland's City Repair is hosting the 12th Annual Village Building Convergence from May 25th to June 3rd. This is a fun-filled week gather people together for natural building, permaculture and public art projects, learning valuable skills for urban sustainability and social regeneration. During the evening everyone will gather at a central venue for a night of wholesome food, presentations by leaders in the forefront of positive change, and exhilirating musical performances from local bands.


Doxa Documentary Film Festival May 4-13

The DOXA Documentary Film Festival is taking place in Vancouver from May 4-13, with 76 screenings, 5 different venues, 6 world premieres and the first ever digital interactive film to open the festival. 

Having trouble deciding what to see? Village Vancouver board member and documentary filmmaker Dana Wilson has suggested a couple of documentaries that may be of special interest to VVers. See them here...


Village Vancouver is proud to co-sponsor:



Ayoudo is a Vancouver-based start-up with a social media iPhone app and website that connects people to each other when a little—or a lot of—help is needed. They have just launched their Social Garden initiative to connect gardeners (aspiring and expert), green thumbs, urban farmers, etc. across the city through Ayoudo and would appreciate your feedback and support!

Amy Tran, VVer and social media specialist for Ayoudo, has this to say about Ayoudo's latest initiative: "We love the idea of using social media to help build community in Vancouver and know that gardening is one way for people to connect with each other. With Ayoudo, people can request help, for anything from soil delivery to the building of a greenhouse to general yard maintenance. It's where horticulture meets social media. Throughout the month of April, we'll be interviewing gardening experts, sharing advice for beginner gardeners, and profiling organizations around the city. All this content will be posted on our blog:"

Amy hopes that the members of Vancouver’s robust gardening/urban agriculture community will feel further connected with the help of Ayoudo. Ayoudo is also aiming to connect experienced gardeners with people who would appreciate their gardening know-how and be willing to compensate them for it. 

Learn more at

Village Vancouver Calendar of Events